The remarkable achievements of Air and Defence College students have been celebrated at a prestigious graduation ceremony held at the International Bomber Command Centre in Lincoln.
Senior RAF officials, aerospace business leaders and proud onlooking family watched the ceremony in which Air and Defence students were individually presented with graduation certificates by guest of honour, Commandant of the RAF College Cranwell, Air Commodore Andrew Dickens.
He said: “After a challenging year, this is a very welcome opportunity for us to come together to celebrate your achievements as the graduating students of the Air and Defence College.
“As the situation in Ukraine worsened earlier this year, you understand that our personnel have to be ready at a moment’s notice, night or day, 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, to respond to threats.
“The RAF works with partners around the world to strengthen national and international security and protect the interests of the UK and our allies.
“As the Commandant of the Royal Air Force College, I frequently walk through the grand front entrance of College Hall at RAF Cranwell, which bears the Royal Air Force motto ‘Per Ardua Ad Astra’ – Through Adversity to the Stars. When this enduring motto was chosen, in the early part of the twentieth century, the country was dealing with adversity and recovering from a world war.
“The Air and Defence College students graduating today should be looking forward to a bright future as envisioned in the second part of the Royal Air Force motto – ‘Ad Astra’ – to the stars.”
Inspire Education Group (IEG) also took the opportunity to present the following awards to students for exceptional commitment and excellence throughout the programme:
– Student of the Year was awarded to Alex Dennis and Ben Edwards.
– Students’ Student, was awarded to James Boreham and Petit Ajero.
– For the Pursuit of Excellence, was awarded to Henry-James Robinson and Kaycie Shaw, who will enjoy a flight with the award sponsor, the Royal Air Force.
Graduate, Alex Dennis, commented, “Thanks to the Air and Defence College, I have been able to shatter my own limits physically through the brilliant fitness program and mentally through all the challenging experiences I’ve been through.
I know that the Air and Defence College has put me one step ahead of the other people joining the Royal Air Force or any other service, this is because of the countless opportunities we have had throughout the year.
All the RAF base visits and especially the week-long adventurous training trip to RRC Crickhowell have given us an unforeseen insight into how the RAF operates.
I think anyone even slightly considering a career in one of the tri-services or a Royal Air Force industry partner should do the course as they’ll gain priceless experiences throughout the year and make brilliant friends.”
Sara Gibson, Air and Defence Coordinator at Stamford College said,
“I’m very proud of our Air and Defence College 2021/22 graduating class from Inspire Education Group. The programme continues to offer first-class opportunities that are truly career-facing for students interested in a career with the Royal Air Force and their defence partners, that without a doubt give them a head-start. Our graduating students have shown yet again that they are mature, focused and motivated young people and I wish them every success in their future careers!”
Gary Lewis, Air and Defence Coordinator at Peterborough College, added, “All of the students have demonstrated commitment, courage, drive and a will to improve. Their enthusiasm has been infectious and witnessing their personal growth and transformation into motivated, career-minded and well-rounded individuals has been a pleasure. I am incredibly proud of each graduating student and I truly believe they will succeed in whichever career they pursue.”
Since Air and Defence College began six years ago, over 500 students have graduated, all benefitting from this unique ‘employer-led’ programme and resulting in places on RAF Basic Recruit Training, progression into apprenticeships, employment and further study for a career in the aerospace industry.