All of the unit’s staff are volunteers. Our staff are split into two categories – Officers and NCOs (Non-Commissioned Officers). Below are the profiles of the current Officer staff, their qualifications, interest and goals.
Officers go through a rigorous selection and training scheme before being accepted as a Cadet Force officer and receiving a commission from the Minister of Defence. Officers may have made their way through the ranks from a cadet or be a suitable adult volunteer.
It is the unit officers that have official responsibility for cadets – their safety, welfare and training.
Pilot Officer Stuart Mudd
Pilot Officer Stuart Mudd, joined No. 1 Squadron with the intention of becoming a member of the Officer staff. He came to us from the UK, where he joined as a cadet in 1997, rising through all the ranks until becoming a Civilian Instructor in 2005. As a UK cadet at 872 (Hull West) SQN he has been to Norway, Holland for the Nijmegen Marches (twice) and Australia with IACE. He has completed gliding and flying scholarships to his first solo flight, parachute training to his first solo jump, obtained Bronze, Silver and Gold Duke of Edinburgh Awards and attended various camps, courses and expeditions. He obtained the honorary position of Lord Lieutenant’s Cadet (Queen’s county representative) in 2002. From 2005 as a CI he was the Training Officer, Band Master (side snare & bass drum) and Adventure Training Officer, not always all at the same time.
He emigrated to NZ in 2010 and has returned to the Air Training Corps after a brief hiatus. In November 2015 he attended the NZCF Officer’s Commissioning Course and the Range Conducting Officer’s course in June 2016. He is currently the Unit Commander and he endeavours to offer more expedition opportunities to cadets.
Pilot Officer Alastair Helm
PLTOFF Helm first joined No.1 Squadron in 2009 as a Cadet and rose through the NCO ranks to Flight Sergeant. He left the Squadron in early 2013 to allow time for work as a swimming instructor before moving to Christchurch for a year to study Engineering. He rejoined the 1SQN in May 2015 as a Civilian Instructor.
Prior to leaving the Unit, PLTOFF Helm completed Junior and Senior NCO courses in 2011 and 2012 respectively, along with these two leadership courses he has also finished the Bushcraft course at RNZAF Dipflat in the Nelson Lakes. PLTOFF Helm completed the NZCF Officer’s Commissioning Course in November 2016. He has since completed the Officer Bushcraft course at Tekapo and RCO course which qualifies him to take Cadets on expeditions in the bush as well as shooting at a range. He is currently the Stores Officer for 1 Squadron.
Pilot Officer Clara Whitcombe
PLTOFF Whitcombe is transferred to No. 1 Squadron in 2015 as an Under Officer. She is studying Law at Victoria University. She hails from the West Coast of the South Island. She went through all the ranks at No. 36 (Greymouth) Squadron, including Warrant Officer. She completed the Junior and Senior Non-Commissioned Officer courses in 2011 and 2012 respectively. She completed the Cadet Bushcraft course in 2013 and in 2014 travelled to Canada through the IACE program. She is the Admin officer for 1Squadron.
Pilot Officer Henri Raaijen
Prior to commissioning in May 2017, he completed a number of Cadet courses including the Junior and Senior NCO’s courses, National Gliding course, National Aviation course and the Aeronautical Navigation course.
PLTOFF Raaijen is currently the Training Officer at 1 Squadron. The part of this role that he enjoys is the planning of activities, general unit operation and the continuous development of Cadets skills.
Under Officer Riona Minchin-McClennan
Under Officer Riona Minchin-McClennan joined 1 Squadron in February 2012. In 2015 she transferred to 21 Squadron District of Masterton Air Training Corps. UO Minchin McClennan returned to 1 Squadron in August 2016 when she moved back to Wellington for university. She rose through the ranks to Flight Sergeant before she was appointed to Under Officer in March 2017. UO Minchin-McClennan is the Basic Flight Commander and the squadron adjutant. UO Minchin-McClennan completed Junior and Senior NCO courses in 2014 and 2015 respectively, along with these two leaderships courses she also attended the Under Officers course in 2017. In 2018 UO Minchin-McClennan was one of the first Under Officers to complete the Instructional Techniques and Training Management course. UO Minchin-McClennan has staffed both Junior and Senior NCO courses in Central Area. She enjoys the opportunity to teach, learn, and pass her knowledge onto the students on the courses.
Under Officer Michael Horrocks
Under Officer Michael Horrocks joined No 1 Squadron as a cadet in early 2013. In July 2016 he completed a Junior NCO course followed by a Senior NCO course in July the following year. In 2018 he attended the Under Officers Course and the Instructional Technique and Training Management Course.
UO Horrocks has attended a variety of NZCF activities over the years including numerous unit bushcraft, aviation, and shooting activities, and cadet staffed the 2017 RNZAF Air Tattoo. In 2017 he attended the NZCF National Aviation Course where he flew his first solo flight. In January 2018 he was among the first six cadets in the country to attend the RNZAF flying experience, where he gained experience flying the T-6 Texan II and A-109 aircraft.
UO Horrocks is currently a training officer in the unit and aims to create an enjoyable yet disciplined unit environment in which cadets will learn new skills, grow their confidence, and take advantage of the many opportunities the NZCF has to offer.