Home

 Welcome to 861 (Wideopen) Squadron ATC!861_crest_small

We are a voluntary youth organisation based on and supported by the Royal Air Force offering a huge range of activities and opportunities to young people aged 12-20 years.

Our cadets have the chance to get involved in a huge range of exciting activities such as powered flying and gliding, the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme, target shooting and fieldcraft to name but a few.

If you are 12-18 years old and you think you would enjoy doing a range of activities as flying, gliding,shooting, adventure training, as well as gaining a variety of new skills and qualifications, all whilst enjoying new experiences and meeting new people, then the Air Cadets is for you!


From the Squadron Commander

861 (Wideopen) Squadron was selected as the Durham/Northumberland Wing representative for the Sir Alan Lees Trophy competition in 2014 and again in 2015.  In the 2015 competition, the Squadron won the North Region competition and was identified as the top performing ATC Squadron in the North of England!  There are around 1,000 Squadrons in the UK so this puts our Squadron in the top 0.6% of all Squadrons nationally which is an amazing achievement.

Since then we have continued to go from strength to strength. My continuing aim for the Squadron is to deliver a rounded experience for all of our young people – this means that we don’t just specialise in a single activity area, we do everything from adventure training, to sports, to flying and gliding, to target shooting and much much more.  Therefore, we are an extremely busy and active Squadron which offers maximum opportunities to our cadets.

Our Squadron is extremely well resourced – our new Squadron HQ was completed in 2010 and is a fantastic place to run a Squadron from.  We have two Squadron Owned Vehicles, a minibus and a support van, which enables us to move large numbers of cadets around for activities as well as their equipment.  We have have a large Adult Staff team who have wide ranging qualifications which means that we are able to be quite independent and the vast majority of our training is delivered by our own staff rather than relying on other Squadrons for support.

We are supported by the Royal Air Force which means that our cadets enjoy piloting aircraft and gliders as well as visiting bases around the world!

Please take a look around our website to see what we have been up to and what opportunities are available to you. Alternatively, pop along to the Squadron on any Monday or Thursday evening – you can find us here.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Kind Regards,

Flying Officer Mick Soulsby    LCGI  MInstLM  RAFVR(T)


Yet more success for cadets from 861 Squadron last night.
FS Lucy Denyer completed her Master Air Cadet qualification, FS Elaine Newton was presented with her Air Cadet Pilot Scheme certificate, Cpl Easton gained his Senior Air Cadet qualification and Cdt Wood gained his Leading Air Cadet qualification. Finally Sgt Tom Waters gained his Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award.
Well Done to all the cadets who were presented with certificates. To all the cadets of 861 Squadron, keep up the good work and you will reap the rewards.
If you are aged between 12-17 yrs and think that this could be for you, please come and see us, we parade every Monday and Thursday evening between 7pm-9:30pm.
#whatwedo
#dnwaircadets
... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

Successful night at 861 Sqn tonight.
Chuffed to present a boatload of Blue Radio Communication badges to cadets who successfully completed the syllabus.
Also the first of this seasons Duke of Edinburgh Awards with a Bronze for Cpl Craig Gilchrist- well done young man.
Congratulations to all cadets, keep up the good work.
#dnwaircadets
#whatwedo
... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

So, what did you do this Summer Holiday??
Well, Cadet Flight Sergeant Elaine Newton spent some of her holidays flying an aeroplane at Tayside Airport after successfully beating off stiff competition and gaining a place on the Air Cadet Pilot Scheme.
FS Newton spent 2 weeks at Tayside where she completed ground school lessons and flew for a total of 12 hours, gaining her bronze flying Wings.
This is a great achievement and she should be very proud of what she has done.
FS Newton said "It was a fantastic experience, I've got the flying bug now and I want to continue to fly if I can".
Congratulations from us all to FS Newton on her achievements and we look forward to hearing about Cadet Warrant Officer Josh McAree's trip to Tayside later this year, as he too was successful in getting a place on the same course.
These are great achievements for 861 Sqn and follows on from the gliding Wings that we achieved during the Summer. So, for the first time in a while, the Squadron now has cadets sporting flying Wings on their uniforms.
Well done everyone- fantastic efforts.
If you think this is something you'd enjoy, why don't you pop down and see us tomorrow night (Wednesday 6 Sep) where we will be opening the Squadron to new potential recruits between 7pm-9pm. See you there.
#whatwedo
#dnwaircadets
... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

This weekend saw 861 Sqn field a fairly young and inexperienced team in the inter Sqn AT Challenge at RAF Spadeadam.
The team worked hard,got on with the job and given their level of experience they did brilliantly.
During the weekend they had to be self sufficient, walk a planned route, take part in First Aid, mountain biking and a bit of Archery, so a fairly demanding couple of days.
Really proud of your efforts and well done to the team.
If you're between 12 and 17 and fancy a challenge, 861 Sqn has an open night this Wednesday between 7pm and 9pm. Why don't you pop down and see what we can offer.
#dnwaircadets
#whatwedo
... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook