About Us

The Air Cadet Organisation

The Air Cadet Organisation (ACO), better known as the 'Air Cadets', is a UK-wide cadet force with more than 40,000 members aged between 12 and 20 years.


The ACO is sponsored by the Royal Air Force and can give you hands-on experience of activities and courses that will challenge and develop your skills to help you succeed in whatever you want to do.


The ACO is made up of two areas:

  • Air Training Corps - The ATC is the RAF's cadet force, divided into six regions, 36 wings and more than 900 squadrons within communities around the UK
  • Combined Cadet Force (RAF) - The CCF (RAF) is our section of the CCF, which is made up of cadets from all three services, coming together in approximately 200 independent and state schools across the country

Our aims are to:

  • Promote and encourage a practical interest in aviation and the Royal Air Force among young people
  • Provide training which will be useful in the Services and civilian life
  • Encourage the spirit of adventure and develop qualities of leadership and good citizenship

At Maidstone Squadron, we are able to offer a wide range of activities to all our cadets, including flying and gliding, adventure training, sports and music.  Our cadets are also able to participate in the Duke of Edinburgh's Award scheme and work towards formal qualifications including BTECs.

Rank Structure

The Air Cadet Organisation rank structure broadly follows that of the parent service, the Royal Air Force.  The rank structure encompasses all uniformed members of the organisation whether they are adult staff or cadets.  The uniformed members of staff are supported by non-uniformed members of staff, who are not part of the rank structure.

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The Team

Maidstone Squadron is run by a dedicated team of adult volunteers, each performing their own role on the Squadron.  In addition to this, all staff are instructors in various activities and subjects.

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The Squadron Committee

Maidstone Squadron has an active civilian committee, but are always looking for new members to join and assist in developing the Squadron further.  Current members meet monthly with the Officer Commanding, and are responsible for the administration of funds, applying and searching for grants for equipment, assisting with fundraising and recruitment events plus other tasks required by the Officer Commanding.

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The Cadet NCO Team

The Squadron Staff are supported by a team of cadet NCOs, who have displayed enthusiasm, commitment and potential, and are promoted on merit.

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Classification Training

In order to provide members with knowledge and skills that can be utilised as part of a variety of activities within the Air Training Corps, a classification structure is utilised.

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