Squadron History

Squadron of the 21st Century

Since the Squadron's formattion on the 10th April 2000, cadets from 22 (Sandy) Squadron have been benefitting from a wide range of activities and opportunities. These include air experience flights in helicopters, air-to-air refuelling flights, fast jets and other aircraft.

Sandy Squadron have the honour of sharing the same number as 22 Squadron, Royal Air Force, and have been granted the use of the Squadron's crest design, bearing the mathmatical symbol Pi, on top of the Maltese Cross.

During the squadrons first decade, the cadets has managed to raise money for local charities, the RAFA Wings Appeal, the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal, Help For Heroes, as well as funds to keep the Squadron running. The cadets have also represented the Air Cadets on a regular basis parading on Remembrance Sunday in Sandy, as well as other parades..

Lord Lieutenant of Bedfordshire with the cadets

The Squadron today incorporates the original aims set out in 1941 of promoting and encouraging a practical interest in aviation and the Royal Air Force among young people , provide training which will be useful in the Services and civilian life , and encouraging the spirit of adventure and develop qualities of leadership and good citizenship.

The Squadron began it's time under the command of Flight Lieutenant Lesley Castleton, until the 1st September 2000 when Flight Lieutenant Margaret Bell assumed command of the Squadron.

In 2001 the Squadron attended camp at RAF Northolt for annual camp, during which time the Squadron members were invited to 10 Downing Street, providing a rare opportunity to experience the atmosphere of number 10’s State Rooms.

The Squadron have also had the opportunity to fly in many RAF aircraft during this time, including flights in a Sea King, C130 Hercules, Chinook & Griffin helicopters, and VC10 tanker.

Lord Lieutenant of Bedfordshire with the cadets

On 1st September 2009, Flight Lieutenant Mark Robinson assumed command of 22 Squadron. Flight Lieutenant Lt Robinson gained the appointment following a successful career at 134 (Bedford) Sqn.

The same year, Wing Commander Anthony Smith DFC AFC, the Squadron President and a former Pathfinder in Bomber Command during World War 2, passed away. The cadets escorted his coffin at the church and Squadron Officer, Flight Lieutenant Geoff Matthews RAF VR(T), gave the eulogy.

Sqn Photo 2011

In 2012, Cadet Flight Sergeant Tiffany Cotton became the first cadet on the Squadron to have flown in an RAF fast jet, flying in a Hawk training aircraft as used by the Red Arrows.

As of the 1st January 2013, Squadron training officer, Flying Officer Robert Kitchener assumed command of the Squadron, after three successful years with Flight Lieutenant Robinson. Flying Officer Robert Kitchener was previously commanding officer at 134 (Bedford) Squadron, transferring to 22 (Sandy) Squadron in mid 2012.

Lord Lieutenant of Bedfordshire with the cadets

During 2013, the Squadron host a visit by the Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant of Bedfordshire, Mrs Helen Nellis. Also during the year, cadets from the Squadron got the chance to fly in the RAF's newest aircraft, the KC-30 Voyager, during and air-to air refuelling flight.

On the 1st May 2014, Flying Officer Brian Storey assumed command of the Squadron, as Officer-In-Command, transfering from 73 (Huntingdon) Squadron.

Squadron Commanding Officers

    • Flight Lieutenant Lesley Castleton (Apr 2000 - Sept 2000)
    • Flight Lieutenant Margaret Bell (Sept 2000 - Sept 2009)
    • Flight Lieutenant Mark Robinson (Sept 2009- Jan 2013)
    • Flying Officer Robert Kitchener (Jan 2013 - May 2014)
    • Flight Lieutenant Brian Storey (May 2014 - April 2017)
    • Civilian Instructor Jeffrey Henshaw (April 2017 - Present)
22 (Sandy) Squadron Air Cadets