09 Sep 2020

A new Commandant today takes over command of the RAF Air Cadets.

Air Commodore Tony Keeling, 50, takes the baton of command from Group Captain John Lawlor who has been Interim Commandant since July when Air Commodore Dawn McCafferty retired.

The post is based at the RAF Air Cadets HQ at RAF Cranwell in Lincolnshire but involves extensive travel across the country.

Air Commodore Keeling said: “I am delighted to be appointed as the next Commandant of the RAF Air Cadets; it is an amazing youth organisation of nearly 60,000 volunteers and cadets, comprised of the Air Training Corps, the Combined Cadet Force (RAF) and 2 Flying Training School, and found across the whole of the UK and in some overseas locations.

“As a former cadet myself, I am a huge fan of the RAF Air Cadets - the cadets are a total inspiration, growing into fantastic young citizens with an enthusiasm and ambition that knows no bounds.

“I am also acutely aware that the organization would not enjoy its fantastic reputation without the determination and commitment of an excellent team of permanent staff working with the brilliant network of adult volunteers.”

Group Capt Lawlor said: “It has been an absolute privilege to hold the position of Interim Commandant for the last 10 weeks.  I wish Air Commodore Keeling an excellent tenure as Commandant of this amazing organisation and I am honoured to continue as the Chief of Staff.”

Air Commodore Keeling, a former air cadet from 145 (Altrincham & Hale) Squadron, is an RAF Engineer by profession and his last post was as the Air Officer A4, responsible for all aspects of the RAF’s operational engineering and logistics, the associated Branches and Trades, as well as RAF Photography and RAF Music Services.

With a background in STEM and an interest in walking and cycling he is sure to be warmly welcomed by the cadets, volunteers and permanent staff.

NB: Cadets are aged 12-19 and are based at 960 Air Training Corps squadrons and at 220 Combined Cadet Force (RAF) schools across the UK and overseas. For more information see

Air Cadet Magazine

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Air Cadet Magazine

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