In an email received on September 18, 2013 it was noted by a Coronation resident that the Squadron Sponsoring Committee (SSC) was informed that 572 Castor Air Cadets Squadron was being moved to Stettler. The Coronation resident said that this was done without prior discourse with parents and those involved with the Cadets in the area, and that many were very upset with this information.
Stan Monkman, Director of Public Relations for the Alberta Provincial Committee of the Air Cadet League of Canada, responded to this information by saying that the news being circulated was a faulty interpretation of information.
“The squadron is not moving,” Monkman said in an interview, “the information that was let out the other day was a misinterpretation of facts.” He said the individual who released the information and spoke of the Squadron definitively being moved to Stettler was misapprehending the truth of the matter.
“The Squadron is in Castor, and we will maintain it’s viability as best we can,” Monkman said.
He said there was talk of moving the Squadron due to the size of Castor relative to the population base of Stettler. He noted that there are about 20 Air Cadets in Castor at present; mostly from outlying communities around the town.
“The only problem is that we have… insufficient adult volunteers to run the squadron,” said Monkman. He said that currently there is one ‘Blue Suiter’ or Cadet Instructor Cadre, which denotes a member of the Canadian Forces that is tasked with the supervision, administration and training of Cadets. Monkman said there is only one Cadet Instructor Cadre in Castor at the moment, “and the Squadron needs a minimum of four, and preferably five, adults to help run the Squadron.”
“We are hoping by working with the parent group in Castor to build up those numbers,” Monkman said, “and we have to do that rather quickly. It’s going to be a bit of an uphill battle… to get the qualified people in there.”
Monkman said most adults will qualify but that adults with some specialities are needed as well. He said that parents should be actively seeking persons to assist with the squadron, with the intent that “these persons will eventually be signed on to the squadron, and they become either Cadet Instructor Cadre officers, or Civilian Instructors,” also know as CI’s. Monkman noted that CI’s and Military Officers are paid positions by the Department of National Defense.
Monkman acknowledged the good work that the Cadets do in the community and how important the institution is to character-building.
Monkman said he would not be present at a meeting concerning the Stettler issue slated for Monday, September 23 in Castor, but he noted that the Provincial Chairman and Director of the Central Wing would be in attendance. He said the meeting would establish with the parent group – which he stressed was extremely important to the life of the program – to ensure they have the tools available to them to go out and bring in new instructors.