The white Ford Transit minibus was reported missing from Squadron 1350 premises on Farm Road, Titchfield, on Wednesday morning.
Police discovered the vehicle with its numberplates removed in Waterlooville on Friday morning.
Sector Commander Flight Lieutenant Debbie Herniman faced cancelling activities for the cadets after the theft.
She wished to extend a ‘big thank you’ to the community for its ‘phenomneal support’ in helping to locate the vehicle, with thousands of people from all across the UK sharing an appeal for help on social media.
She said: ‘There was one post from someone saying ‘I have shared this in Belfast if that helps’ – so we had help from all over the country.
‘And we had offers from several companies who said we could hire their vehicles for free.’
It took the cadets four years of fundraising, through stewarding at community events and selling raffle tickets, to afford the minibus bought in 2012, which has been used extensively to get the squadron to weekend trips and national competitions.
Mayor of Fareham, Pamela Bryant, who is supporting the Squadron as one of her choosen Mayor’s Charities, said she was ‘really delighted with the community’s reaction.’
Anyone wishing to support the group through the Mayor’s Charities can send a cheque donation to The Mayor’s Office, Civic Offices, Civic Way, Fareham PO16 7AZ.