New Zealand Air Training Corps

New Zealand Air Training Corps

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New Zealand Air Training Corps

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The Air Training Corps or ATC is one of the three corps in the New Zealand Cadet Forces, the other two being the New Zealand Cadet Corps and Sea Cadet Corps. It is funded in partnership between the RNZAF and 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. Unlike the United States Civil Air Patrol, service as an ATC cadet does not translate into higher pay, rank, or seniority in the NZDF.


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 knowledge and provide an insight into Air Force work to prepare young men for the RNZAF when they became of age.

Compulsory Military Training (CMT) was reintroduced for all males of 18 years of age in 1951. The rate of increase in the cadet movement from 1948 to 1960 eventually proved counter-productive in the 1960s, as the Army could not effectively support the numbers while meeting their own commitments.

Compulsory Military Training was abolished again in 1958 and replaced by the ballot system of conscripted service for randomly selected 20-year-old males, which operated between 1960 and 1970. By 1964 the Cadet Forces reached a peak strength of 198 units, with 1000 officers and about 54,000 cadets.

Reorganisation saw many schools cease cadet...
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