Flt Lt Terry Knights RAFVR(T) (Retired), has been awarded The British Empire Medal in the Queen’s birthday honours list for his voluntary service to young people and the community in Exmouth.

Mr Knights now 87, has been involved with 299 (Exmouth) Squadron of the Air Training Corps since 1971, increasing the number of parading recruits and overseeing the induction of the squadron’s first female cadet.

Devon and Somerset Air Cadets’ Wing Commander John Parsons said: “His peerless example has enthused hundreds of cadets as well as other volunteer staff and his exceptional personal qualities are an inspiration to all.”

At the end of his time as an air cadet Terry joined the RAF as a pilot where he completed three years of service before having to leave on health grounds in 1953.

Upon leaving he joined the air cadets squadron in Derby as a flying officer.

In the late 1960s his work took him to Canada, whilst there he joined No.1 Squadron Royal Canadian Air Cadets as Flying Training Officer.

In 1970 Terry returned to England and a year later he took command of Exmouth’s 299 Squadron. He has been involved ever since.

In the last 49 years he has overseen the development of training programmes and he also introduced the squadron to the Ten Tors challenge and the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme.

He retired from uniformed service in 1987 and continued with the squadron as a civilian instructor.

As well as volunteering with the air cadets he has also given up his time as a footpath warden in Exmouth for nearly 25 years.

Mr Knights has also volunteered at Age Concern Exmouth since 1995 and was involved in setting up a day centre for men with mental issues.

Congratulations and best wishes from all at Devon and Somerset Wing on your award.


Air Cadets from 13 (City Of Exeter), 299 (Exmouth) and 2401 (Dawlish) Squadrons have been able to take part in air to air refueling operations over the North Sea. The fifteen air cadets who were accompanied by their volunteer staff took off from RAF Brize Norton aboard an RAF Voyager aircraft which was due to carry out the in-flight refueling of several RAF Coningsby Typhoon aircraft.

Voyager is the RAF’s sole air-to-air refueling (AAR) tanker and also operates as a strategic air transport.  The aircraft is in service as the Voyager KC.Mk 2, equipped with two underwing pods for refueling fast jets, and as the Voyager KC.Mk 3, with an additional centreline hose for use by large aircraft.

Fuel offloaded during AAR is taken from the aircraft’s standard wing and fuselage tanks, leaving the cabin free for up to 291 personnel and the hold available for freight.  As a tanker, capabilities include the ability to operate a ‘towline’, where the Voyager orbits around a prescribed area awaiting ‘receivers’, or in a ‘trail’, where it flies with a number of fast jets, refueling them over long ranges while taking responsibility for the formation’s fuel and navigation.

Alternatively, it can operate as a passenger aircraft in much the same way as a civilian airliner, but delivering personnel safely into theatre thanks to its defensive aids suite.  Voyager also offers considerable capacity for the movement of palletised and/or bulk freight in its lower fuselage hold.  A versatile aeromedical configuration, including the ability to carry up to 40 stretchers and three critical care patients is available, as is a modest VIP passenger fit.

Devon & Somerset Air Cadets Media Communications Officer, Squadron Leader Dave Rolfe said “The cadet’s flight lasted for over three hours, providing them with a great opportunity to see at first-hand how the RAF operates.”

If you’re aged over 20 you can volunteer as a member of staff. That’s it. No need for military experience or any form of previous training, we’ll take care of that. We’re just looking for suitable, enthusiastic individuals to help our cadets get the most from their time with us.

The benefits of being a part of the Air Cadet Organisation are the same for volunteers as for cadets – the opportunity to do lots of exciting activities and develop personal skills and talents. As a volunteer this is free to you!

For more information phone our membership line on 0345 6006601.


Air Cadets and volunteer staff from Devon & Somerset Wing of the Air Training Corps have returned from the Ten Tors Competition which was held this weekend.

One of the Wing’s teams completed the 55 mile section, another the 45 mile section,  whilst a further four teams completed the 35 mile challenge.

There may be many challenging outdoor events in Britain today, but Ten Tors stands alone in its scale, its ambition, and the fact that it is aimed solely at young people.

The event takes place every year on Dartmoor during the weekend following the May public holiday and is now firmly established in the collective consciousness of the South West. All those who attempt Ten Tors will undoubtedly remember it for the rest of their lives and for many it will be a life-changing experience.

Training for the event is the responsibility of the participants and starts months in advance. Completing Ten Tors is not easy, with the terrain, distances and often the climate all conspiring against success. It is achievable though with the right commitment, training, endurance and grit.

The event starts and finishes at Okehampton Camp and is organised by the Army’s Headquarters South West with support from the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force as well as civilian emergency services and volunteers.

The Ten Tors Challenge is attempted by 2,400 teenagers in 400 teams of six. The teams navigate routes of 35, 45 or 55 miles (depending on age) over the northern half of Dartmoor, visiting ten nominated tors / check points in under two days. Teams must be self-sufficient, carrying all they need to complete their route and stay out overnight safely.

Well done to all the Air Cadets who formed teams for the event this year.



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