FLT LT FRANCESCA O’BRIEN
I started with the ATC when I was 17 years old and reached the highest rank of Cadet Warrant Officer. During my time as a cadet I represented the wing and region in various sporting events and gained my scholarship and achieved silver solo wings at the age of 17 at Swansea airport. At the age of 20 I became an officer and within my first year being commissioned I gained my community sports leadership, BEL, mountain bike leader, archery leader and first aid at work. In 2011 I was promoted to Flight Lieutenant as the Commanding Officer at 1998 – the same year I married my husband Alex who then became a CI on the sqn. More recently the sqn was recognised at being in the top three most improved squadrons in the UK.
ADULT FLIGHT SERGEANT TOM JENKINS
I joined the ATC as a cadet in 2004 while accompanying a friend and haven’t left since. I managed to reach the rank of Flight Sergeant as a Cadet, and while I was in University I decided to make the transition to a staff member. I enjoy carrying out all aspects of the D of E Award Scheme and field craft exercises which all the Cadets benefit from and enjoy at the same time.
Outside of cadets I enjoy cycling and other activities cadets as taught me. I would recommend joining the ATC to any youngster as you can get so much out of it providing you put in the time and effort.
SQUADRON ADJ – CI HELEN STONES
I joined 499 (Port Talbot) sqn in 1993 as a cadet and reached the rank of CWO. I had the privilege of being selected for an IACE to Canada in the Summer of 2000 and in the same year travelled to the Nepalese Himalayas to climb Mera Peak. In 2001 I was selected as the Wing and Region’s Best Female cadet. After timing out as a cadet in 2001 I then became a CI. I transferred from 499 sqn in 2012 to 1998 (West Cross) (the best decision I ever made) .
Alex joined 1998 Sqn a few years ago to help his wife, Francesca (Officer Commanding) with various squadron activities, in particular the DofE and sport. Alex has always been a keen sportsman and has enjoyed sharing his knowledge and skill with the cadets. The most recent event he attended was for our inter sqn Training day which was run by our sqn and saw around 50 staff and cadets enjoy a day filled with various activities such as sport, shooting, drill and project work. Alex was tasked with cooking for all who attended and it was a job well done.
1998 (West Cross) Squadron
TAC, The Grange, West Cross, Swansea SA3 5AD
Telephone: 07522 828084 (only answered during parade nights)