By Graeme McNaughton/The Oshawa Express
When it comes to Oshawa’s 151 Chadburn Squadron of the Royal Canadian Air Cadets, being a top squadron is no sky high dream – it is a reality.
For the eighth time since its creation 75 years ago, the 151 Chadburn Squadron has been honoured with the Dr. George Westman Proficiency Shield, making it the top air cadet squadron in the province. Since there is no longer any nation air cadet recognition, this is the highest honour that can be bestowed upon the 151.
Ted Gilbank, a retired cadet lieutenant colonel who has been with the air cadets since 1951 and is a former commander of the 151, said that even though this is the eighth time the squadron has receive this award, it is still a huge honour.
“We have a very active program and it’s very progressive and we have a high standard. You’re rated by the air force too – it’s not just the air cadets,” Gilbank tells The Oshawa Express.
Gilbank himself was also honoured with the President’s Medallion, alongside Major Garry Burns, by the Air Cadet League for their work with the cadets.
The former commander says that over the decades, the 151 has been the starting point for many that have gone on to higher postings in the Canadian military.
“Quite a group of them. We have two lieutenant colonels that are in the regular force now, and overall we got four F18 pilots, we got three helicopter pilots and two more flying (Hercules transport planes) out of Trenton,” Gilbank says.
“There’s one ex-cadet of mine who was the command historian for the Canadian navy. There’s also lots that have gone to be successful in the commercial world. It’s not a recruiting unit for the air force. Some may want to do that, but it’s up to them, and there’s no pressure on anyone to join anything.”
For more information on the 151 Chardburn Squadron of the Royal Canadian Air Cadets, please visit chadburn.org.