Wing Commander Stuart Iles RAF VR(T) has formally assumed command of the Warwickshire & Birmingham Wing Air Training Corps during a handover ceremony which was held on the deck of the Destroyer HMS Bristol.
The momentous handover of command to Wg Cdr Stuart Iles by the outgoing Wg Cdr Pravin Ladwa after 9 years in the post was witnessed by 120 Cadets and Staff from Warwickshire & Birmingham Wing who were visiting the Royal Naval Base at Whale Island Portsmouth.
During the short ceremony Wg Cdr Pravin Ladwa signified the change of command of the wing by handing over the wing banner to his successor. Squadron Leader Bryan Coats later presented the outgoing Wg Cdr with a framed Wing Commanders pennant as a farewell gift from the Warwickshire & Birmingham Wing.
Having relinquished command of the Warwickshire & Birmingham Wing, Wg Cdr Pravin Ladwa will be concentrating his time on his new role as Central & East Regional Training Officer.
He said: “This is a very emotional time for me. When you have spent 46 years (Man & Boy) in the same wing it’s not easy to be moving on. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the cadets and staff who have made me so proud to lead the Warwickshire & Birmingham Wing in the 9 years that I have been in command. This wonderful organisation has given me a lot and I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for the Air Cadet Organisation.
”Can I also for the record say a very big thank you to the late Wg Cdr George Hanson who was my mentor throughout my career within the ACO as a Cadet and Adult.”
The Incoming Wing Commander, Stuart Iles, said: “Most, if not all of you knew me as the Wing Adventure Training Technical Officer (WATTO) – dealing with Duke of Edinburgh and First Aid, which I thought was a challenge, but the privilege which I have now been handed comes as the biggest challenge I have ever faced.
“The road ahead is hard, ‘we have to do more with less now’, the decisions I make will be in the best interests of this Wing and I hope you will support me through this changing period in our cadet life.”
“Finally, I would like to say how much I am looking forward to working with you all as Officer Commanding Warwickshire & Birmingham Wing.”