Flying Officer Selena Maxwell
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New Zealand Cadet Forces

The Air Training Corps or ATC is a volunteer youth organisation and one of the three corps in the New Zealand Cadet Forces (NZCF), the other two being the New Zealand Cadet Corps (NZCC) and Sea Cadet Corps (SCC). It is funded in partnership between the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) and local communities, and its members are civilians. Members have no obligation to head into the regular force, however some do choose to join New Zealand Defence Force.


The Air Training Corps was formed in September 1941, at a time when New Zealand was considered to be at risk from Japanese invasion and the British were not in a position to help. Its purpose was to train potential airmen in basic airmanship and provide an insight into Air Force work to prepare young men for the RNZAF when they became of age.

The first unit raised was at Otago Boys High School in 1864, making it one of the oldest youth service organisations in New Zealand. By 1870 there were several secondary school units in existence. The NZCF celebrated its 150th anniversary in January 2014, with an exercise held at Waiouru Military Camp.


The ATC, as a component of the New Zealand Cadet Forces, is managed at a national level by the Commandant NZ Cadet Forces (usually a Regular Force Lieutenant-Colonel or equivalent), who is part of Headquarters New Zealand Defence Force staff in Wellington. At community level, The ATC are represented by the Air Training Corps Association of New Zealand.


Local cadet units such as 75 (Arawa) Squadron ATC receive no funding from the government nor from the New Zealand Defence Force. Each unit is completely funded by the families involved through various fund-raising activities throughout the year. We operate as part of a nationally-registered Incorporated Society and are a registered charity. Every dollar donated and fund-raised directly benefits your own child’s cadet unit.