New commanding officer for Airdrie's 88 Lynx Air cadets
The 88 Airdrie Lynx Royal Canadian Air Cadets handed over leadership of the squadron in a special ceremony at Airdrie’s Genesis Place on Sept. 5.
The day marked an official Change of Command Parade, during which former Commanding Officer Captain Marc Halas passed his duties over to Captain Paulette Curtis.
“I do feel honoured,” said Curtis, who has lived in Airdrie for three years. “It is a huge responsibility, being responsible for that many cadets and I am so excited about the opportunity to be able to lead them and be there for them.”
The ceremony, which was officiated by Calgary’s Lieutenant Commander Bob Newton, who is the Area Cadet Instructor, included the official handing over of the squadron’s banner.
The squadron has existed for 12 years and Halas has been one of its officers since its inception. He has been the commanding officer for six years and will stay on with the squadron as administration officer.
Curtis, the mother of two children who are members of the Airdrie Lynx Squadron, has been involved with the cadet organization on and off for 17 years. Last year, she was a staff member for Airdrie Lynx and has experience with two other Air Cadet squadrons in both Alberta and Saskatchewan.
Curtis said in the future she is hoping to secure a permanent home for the squadron, as they are now forced to meet in a variety of venues, including Ecole Airdrie Middle School and the Airdrie legion.
“Right now, I want a building for us,” she said. “We need somewhere to parade.”
According to Curtis, 70 youth are now involved with the Airdrie Lynx squadron, which meets Wednesdays from 6:15 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Curtis said the organization is accepting new members and welcomes all youth ages 12 to 18.
“Come check it out,” she said. “There are so many opportunities in cadets.”
Those opportunities include learning to fly in gliders and powered airplanes, sports, leadership training, drill instruction, and band and summer camps, according to Curtis.
There is also the chance to make friends that may last a lifetime, she added.
“Many people have started their aviation careers through cadets and not just pilots, but mechanics and the ground crew,” she said. “These cadets can learn to fly before they are even old enough to drive a car.”
For more information, visit Airdrie Lynx at www.airdrieaircadets.ca