Squadron Parades and Activities

Address: 311 Squadron parades at Erina Army Depot, Central Coast Highway, Erina
Timings: Thursday nights from 6:10pm to 9:45pm during school terms.

All Cadets/Recruits are expected to attend these parades. If you are unable to attend then you should advise ahead of time and apply for leave for that night. Failure to apply for leave will result in you being marked absent. If you have more than 3 consecutive unexplained absences, you will be asked to show reason why your membership in the AAFC should not be terminated.

In addition to Thursday night parades there will be some weekend activities, which may include flying, gliding, bivouacs, field exercises, small bore* and WTSS range practices, RAAF Base visits and ceremonial parades such as ANZAC Day, Vietnam Veterans Day and Remembrance Day. These activities generally involve the practical application of subject content delivered during Squadron parades on Thursday evenings.

*Small bore range practices involve live firing of .22LR rifles, and are completely optional. If parents object to their son/daughter participating in firearms training, then that Cadet will be excused from these lessons and activities.

Flying & Gliding
Lessons are sponsored by the Air Force, so the cost to cadets is substantially less than that charged by commercial flying schools. Training is largely ’one on one ’, with strict emphasis on safety.

Flying training is conducted during school holidays and weekends strictly in accordance with the CASA syllabus. Cadets progress through the syllabus to First Solo, then General Flying Proficiency Test (GFPT), then onto the Private Pilot’s Licence (PPL). All training is undertaken at Air Force approved flying schools .

Gliders are controlled and flown just like conventional powered aircraft. Gliding trains pilots to be very well coordinated on the aircraft controls and to have a high degree of in- flight situational awareness and excellent out- of- cockpit lookout. Many Australian Defence Force and commercial aviators began their flying careers by learning with the AAFC.

Learn how to be a glider pilot in the AAFC
•A cadet can begin gliding training after he/she completes 12 months’ home Squadron basic training and has been recommended by the Squadron Commanding Officer. Cadets must also have parental consent .
•A cadet can fly solo at the age of 15 years after completing the pre-solo training syllabus.
•A, B and C gliding certificates can be achieved during training, with patches and badges awarded by the Gliding Federation of Australia and the AAFC for each competency level .

The Air Force Flying Scholarships

Flying scholarships for cadets were first sponsored by the Air Force in the 1960s.

The Chief of the Air Force reintroduced the Air Force Scholarship program in 2009 for both gliding and powered flying disciplines. Successful applicants receive considerable financial assistance with their initial flying training.

Cadets who apply for a scholarship must be recommended by their Squadron Commanding Officer, have parental consent, and be selected on their overall commitment to the AAFC (through attendance at a home Squadron, plus Wing-based activities). Applicants undertake a selection interview for personal suitability, enthusiasm and commitment to aviation.

Bivouacs & Field Exercises
Up to three times a year, 311SQN have squadron Bivouacs - where you load up your hiking packs, fasten your boots & put on your Camo paint. Spend a weekend camping and training in some of NSW best national parks. Put into practice the theory you learn every parade night with survival and Field craft being the main focuses of these camps.

As they progress in the AAFC, cadets take part in an increasingly challenging program of fieldcraft and survival activities, with Squadrons offering several bush camps every year.

Cadets learn basic map reading, navigation and camouflage skills, progressing to skills such as creating a bush shelter from the natural environment, collecting water and trapping food.

Fieldcraft and survival camps give cadets a chance to lead their peers in challenging circumstances. It’s out in the bush where you really make friends for life!

Small Bore & WTSS Range Practices
The AAFC has a comprehensive firearms safety training program that works with both .22 calibre rifles and the current ADF rifle, the F88 Austeyr.

Cadets learn basic safe handling of the rifle before they have the chance to put rounds down range in a safe environment.

More experienced shooters may represent their Squadrons ( and even Wings) in shooting competitions.

Ceremonial Parades
Cadets participating in drill and ceremonial activities learn self-discipline, alertness, teamwork, balance and body control . They also benefit from a sense of pride and belonging. Wings have highly skilled Precision Drill Teams that represent the Wings (and sometimes the RAAF) at service/civilian marches, parades and events.

From the start of their time in the AAFC, cadets participate in significant public ceremonial events such as ANZAC parades and Freedom of the City marches.

RAAF Base visits (GST)
Regional & National Activities
Promotion Courses