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Bringing Air Cadets to Bradford

By Miriam King, Bradford Times

Bringing the Air Cadets League to Bradford - from left, LCol. Ferguson Mobbs (ret.) - Governor Air Cadet League of Canada Ontario Provincial Committee, Bradford Legion president Mike Giovanetti, Veteran Service Officer George Nielson, and past president Ruth Brooks. Miriam King/Bradford Times/Postmedia Network

Bringing the Air Cadets League to Bradford - from left, LCol. Ferguson Mobbs (ret.) - Governor Air Cadet League of Canada Ontario Provincial Committee, Bradford Legion president Mike Giovanetti, Veteran Service Officer George Nielson, and past president Ruth Brooks. Miriam King/Bradford Times/Postmedia Network

The Bradford Branch 521 of the Royal Canadian Legion has been working with the Air Cadet League of Canada on a new project: to bring a branch of Air Cadets to Bradford.

It's an initiative that has the full support of the Ontario Provincial Committee of the Air Cadet League.

“We're so excited that the Bradford Legion has stepped forward to provide this opportunity to hundreds of young men and women, to get the life instruction... that they won't get anywhere else,” said L.Col. Ferguson Mobbs (Retired), Governor of the Ontario Provincial Committee.

The Air Cadets program provides instruction, leadership training, gliding experiences, and much more to girls and boys between the ages of 12 and 18 – and can lead to a career in aviation, or the military. “Approximately 10% of the cadets that graduate go on to the military,” Mobbs noted.

Currently, Bradford West Gwillimbury youth must travel to Newmarket to participate in Air Cadets, with the 94 Newmarket Squadron. The new initiative will provide the opportunity locally, with plans to meet at Bradford District High school.

“It's a growing community here,” said Bradford Legionnaire and former air cadet, George Nielson. “It's necessary for us to do this for Bradford.”

“We're excited,” said Legion President, Mike Giovanetti, noting that not only will the initiative provide new opportunities and an introduction into the military for local Youth, it will raise the profile of the Legion in the community. The Bradford Legion will sponsor the new Air Cadet squadron, providing financial support and space for a Cadet command post at the Legion property on Back St.

The only thing needed now is public interest. At 30 names are needed, expressing interest, before the project can proceed. Families interested in signing up their young people for the new Air Cadet Squadron in Bradford are asked to contact Mobbs at destry40@rogers.com, with their name and phone number. It's an expression of interest only; there is no commitment.

For more information on Air Cadets, see www.aircadetleague.on.ca - and watch for updates.