Air Cadet Organisation
The Air Cadet Organisation (or ACO) is the collective name for the UK cadet forces sponsored by the Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force
The Royal Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Formed on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world...

. The organisation is subordinate to No. 22 Group RAF
No. 22 Group RAF
Number 22 Group is one of only three groups currently active in the Royal Air Force, falling under the responsibility of Deputy Commander-in-Chief in Air Command. Its current full title is Number 22 Group and it is responsible for RAF training policy and controlling the Royal Air Force College...

, with a serving RAF officer as Commandant Air Cadets
Commandant Air Cadets
Commandant Air Cadets is the title given to the Royal Air Force officer who is responsible for running the Air Cadet Organisation, embracing the Air Training Corps and the RAF Sections of the Combined Cadet Force...

. The current Commandant is Air Commodore
Air Commodore
Air commodore is an air-officer rank which originated in and continues to be used by the Royal Air Force...

 Barbara Cooper
Barbara Cooper (RAF officer)
Air Commodore Barbara Cooper CBE is a British Royal Air Force officer and the current Commandant of the Air Cadet Organisation . She was promoted to Air Commodore in 2008 and became the RAF's highest-ranking female. She became the Assistant Chief of Staff at Air Command headquarters...

 CBE. There are approximately over 40,000 cadets and some 10,500 volunteers involved in the ACO.


The ACO is made up of:
  • Headquarters Air Cadets at RAF Cranwell
    RAF Cranwell
    RAF Cranwell is a Royal Air Force station in Lincolnshire close to the village of Cranwell, near Sleaford. It is currently commanded by Group Captain Dave Waddington...

    • 28 Volunteer Gliding Squadrons and the Air Cadets Central Gliding School
    • 12 Air Experience Flight
      Air Experience Flight
      An Air Experience Flight is a training unit of the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve whose main purpose is to give introductory flying experience to Air Cadets or the RAF section of the Combined Cadet Force...

      s equipped with the Grob Tutor aircraft
    • 2 National Air Cadet Adventure Training Centres
  • 928 Air Training Corps
    Air Training Corps
    The Air Training Corps , commonly known as the Air Cadets, is a cadet organisation based in the United Kingdom. It is a voluntary youth group which is part of the Air Cadet Organisation and the Royal Air Force . It is supported by the Ministry of Defence, with a regular RAF Officer, currently Air...

     Squadrons in the UK and overseas
  • RAF contingents of the Combined Cadet Force
    Combined Cadet Force
    The Combined Cadet Force is a Ministry of Defence sponsored youth organisation in the United Kingdom. Its aim is to "provide a disciplined organisation in a school so that pupils may develop powers of leadership by means of training to promote the qualities of responsibility, self reliance,...

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