From: Wayne Flaherty, Winnipeg, MB
Sent: December-30-10 10:21
Subject: Re: UKMAMS OBA OBB #122910
After the latest OBB, I stand corrected. My apologies to all. It seems my old eyes were not doing the best job of identifying Bob Popwell whom I know very well. My fellow movers have put me in my place quite correctly. I also apologize to both gentlemen for my mistake.
Cheers and a great New Year to all movers everywhere.
Thank you Wayne, much appreciated. On the brighter side we did hear from a lot of people who otherwise might not have written in - good stuff!
From: Al Gordon, St. Albert, AB
Sent: December-30-10 21:09
Subject: Re: UKMAMS OBA OBB #122910
Thanks again for another great newsletter, it sure brings back memories.
I think that the CAF Mystery photo in this edition is Vic Sampson receiving the clasp to his CD. No idea who the Colonel is or the year this was taken.
Have a great and healthy New Years
From: Steve Richardson, Trenton, ON
Sent: January-01-11 21:56
Subject: CAF Mystery Photo 122910
I think that is a young Sergeant Vic Sampson getting his CD 2 for 22 years of service from a Colonel at CFB Winnipeg.
Take care and a have a Happy 2011!!
From: Pat and Mike Stephen, Victoria, BC
Sent: January-17-11 19:10
Subject: Mystery Photo
Re CAF photo on Brief 122910 - Airman on right receiving CD1 appears to be Vic Sampson - Year - 1983? Colonel on left uknown.
From: Gerry Davis, Bedminster
Sent: January-01-11 9:10
Subject: The Movements School at Kidbrooke
I thought that I would stir up a few memories for those of us that go back this far. The Movements School at RAF Kidbrooke was in South East London in the Borough of Greenwich.
Kidbrooke started off as a gliding school in 1941, although the area these days is totally surrounded by housing. Over its life there were many different RAF units based there, including a Barrage Balloon Depot, No.1 Stores Depot, A language School and an Air Publications and Forms store, to mention but a few. There was some talk of ‘secret goings on’ there as well over its lifetime.
The Movements School was based there from 1954 until 1963 and my detachment was during November and December 1962 on No. 6 Junior Movements Course. There were 30 of us budding Movers present.
You never knew what to expect when you were sent on a course, but this was some experience!
I remember the course was easy, by that I mean it wasn’t stressful. The instructors were authoritative and accommodating. The curriculum included both surface and air movements with little problems thrown in for good measure which included planning a road route with a large load and several obstacles which you had to avoid, like low bridges, road works, etc. Shipping, canal and rail movements were also taught.
With the ‘West End’ of London on our doorstep it was fantastic. In addition ‘The Dover Patrol.’ Pub was only a stone’s throw away down the road. We seemed to have lots of sessions in there during the 6-week duration of the course. It was easily identifiable by its sign. ‘A Ship in Choppy Waters in the English Channel’. It was pulled down in the 80’s and houses built on the site.
There was of course a rush to get to the ‘West End’ after cease work each day and to get the free tickets to all the big shows. I remember that these were obtainable from the Union Jack Club which always seemed to be full of WRNS. Watching them dance in formation was something to behold… Boy… I bet you would like to hear more about those smartly uniformed lovely ladies?
One or two of the course members also took advantage of the many other forms of entertainment that was on offer in our capital city. Some, it seemed, never got out of Soho!
It was quite entreating to watch some of the lads, first thing in the mornings who had ran from the tube station, trying to make it in time for the first lesson. Having stayed out all night, missing a night’s kip and the excellent food that was on offer. All the meals were first rate.
I even took advantage of the RAF Dental Services, who at that time were accommodated in Harley Street, making several visits to replace my front teeth which had somehow got damaged (another story!).
No airfield there, although we did have a Hastings aircraft minus the wings to practice loading and offloading on. The Chiefy Instructor used the cockpit for growing tomatoes in, which was out of bounds to us ‘erks.’
The Kidbrooke experience was something special; it was memorable for all the right reasons. All of us were young and looking for adventure. The time spent there, because of its location in London, was second to none. An eye opener and a learning curve in life itself. On completion of the course we were awarded the annotation, Q-EQ-AM. There is now a school, The Thomas Tallis School occupying the site.
My mate, Warrant Officer Geoff Bear, was with me, he was an SAC at the time.
From: Len Bowen, Chisholm, ACT
Sent: January-02-11 22:19
Subject: AIA11 at Melbourne/Avalon
Belated compliments of the season to you and yours. Thank you for yet another excellent production.
Missed input to the last newsletter due to a number of conflicting family matters, not least the impending arrival of our first grandchild (I’ve got the model railway set and a .22 rifle with a cut-down stock started already), but for the next issue...
If anyone is passing through Melbourne Tullamarine Airport en-route to the Australian International Airshow 2011 (AIA11 - a.k.a. Avalon ’11) between Friday 24 February and Monday 7 March this year, look out for an old RAAF Squadron Leader still wearing his red MOVO arm band. I’m back in harness facilitating the arrival and departure of our Chief of Air Force’s invited overseas VIP guests visiting Melbourne/Avalon for AIA11. My VIP Handling Team and I will be in and around the Tulla International and Domestic Terminals during that time, and if anyone needs a helping hand, call me on Mobile 0417 669 543.
This will be my last AIA year, so make the most of having an Old Bods Assn rep on site if you pass through Tulla. Will be delighted to meet you ... unless, of course, I’m busy handling another Middle Eastern princess and her 15 pieces of baggage... but that’s another story.
Salaams to All,
'Super-Hercules' aircraft shows its might in Afghanistan
Faster, stronger and smarter, Canada's newest Hercules aircraft has arrived for combat duty in southern Afghanistan.
"We call it the super-Hercules," Maj. Brad Wintrup said Sunday after the arrival of a C-130J here. Ordered by the Harper government three years ago from Lockheed Martin Corp. at a cost of $1.4 billion, Canada began receiving the first C-130Js last summer, under budget and ahead of schedule.
The last of 17 stretched versions is expected by the end of 2012.
From the outside -- other than its swept-back, six-blade propellers -- the J model doesn't look much different from the Hercules the Canadian Forces have been flying for the past 50 years. But Wintrup said the new series flies farther, faster and higher and can carry more while burning less fuel.
Its fully digital cockpit, complete with head's-up pilot display, looks more like that of a fighter jet, and the new avionics and computerization means the Herc's minimum crew complement will be reduced from five to three, with the flight engineer and navigator replaced by electronic boxes. Even the remaining two pilots up front and the loadmaster are less hands-on with the switches and now have more of a monitoring role, said Wintrup. "The computers do everything," he said.
With its four Rolls-Royce engines and larger, improved propellers, it can also take off from a shorter strip, which can be made of anything from grass or gravel to hard-packed sand. Its high engines and propellers, tougher landing gear and rubberized "belly tape" enable it to land on relatively punishing terrain.
"It's designed to take a lot of abuse," said Wintrup, who has been a military pilot for 20 years. number of coalition countries here already fly the J model, which is used for "tactical uplift," delivering troops, vehicles, ammunition and other supplies to locations across Afghanistan.
A second C-130J will be in Kandahar by the spring, but the Afghan conflict was not the original intention f acquiring the new aircraft, said Lt.-Col. Henri Levasseur, deputy wing commander of the Joint Task Force Afghanistan Air Wing. Some of the Canadian Forces' Hercules have been flying since the 1960s, with airframes originally designed for 10,000 hours of flight still in service after 45,000 hours in the air. Those older craft are now being pulled out.
The Vancouver Sun
A new member joining us recently is:
Phil Ellis, Conningsby, UK
Welcome to the OBA!
From: John Holloway, Shrewsbury
Sent: January-12-11 4:43
Subject: NSRAF Cosford Branch
Not too late I hope in wishing you all the very best of all your wishes to you and yours in the coming year.
Anyhow back to normal now and we had our first 2011 get together at Cosford yesterday and we had the usual good turnout. Our speaker was Ken Ballantyne a local historian and publisher who gave us a very interesting talk on WW2.His subject was mainly on a Lancaster rear gunner a local lad Trevor Bowyer who joined up at the very start of the war and was very fortunate to survive after 59 missions after taking part in many of the major raids on Germany.
Ken has published Trevors story, the book is titled ‘Another Dawn Another Dusk’ proceeds of the sale of it going to the Bomber Command Charity dedicated to the 55,000 RAF lads who lost their lives.
He also touched on others and the one that was interesting was the first VC's to be won by F/O Garland flying a Fairy Battle in May 1940 along with his sergeant who were both awarded posthumous VC's; however there was a third member of the crew, a young LAC air gunner who also died in the attack but got no award whatsoever and there is now a move to get that put right.
I've attached a copy of the book cover and it also appears on Ken Ballantynes website. Do a Google with just Trevor Bower Gunner and an interesting website will appear; there are of course many more
Man bids to turn aircraft carrier into school
A Hong Kong businessman has offered to pay about $7.7 million for the British aircraft carrier HMS Invincible so he can turn it into an international school in China, a report said Friday.
The South China Morning Post reported that Lam Kin-bong made the bid at an online auction for the decommissioned ship, which played a key role in the 1982 Falkland Islands conflict between Argentina and Britain.
Lam, who operates the popular Wing Wah chain of Chinese restaurants in Britain, offered to pay five million pounds ($7.7 million) in the auction, which stopped taking bids Wednesday, the paper said.
If he wins the auction, Lam plans to tow the 22,000-tonne Invincible to the southern Chinese city of Zhuhai, near Hong Kong and Macau, and turn it into a school "to help foster communication and cultural ties between China and Britain", the report said. Lam could not be reached for comment on Friday.
The entrepreneur told the Post that he had no plans to use the ship for military purposes, amid US concerns about Beijing's military build-up. "My intentions are purely commercial and have nothing to do with the military," Lam was quoted as saying.
Lam said another option is to berth the vessel in the English city of Liverpool and turn it into "a school to boost the understanding of China and the Chinese in Britain".
A British Defence Ministry spokeswoman told the Post that the vessel would be stripped of all its components. "In effect, whoever buys equipment like this is buying a shell", she added.
From: Ian Berry, West Swindon
Sent: 12 January 2011 16:38
Subject: RAF AIRCRAFT SERIAL Nos - LOSSES ETC
Found this outstanding site for info on many matters RAF.. www.ukserials.com
Don't know if you are aware of it?
If not, enjoy.
From: Bob Dixon, Dauntsey
Sent: January-14-11 9:24
Subject: RE: RAF AIRCRAFT SERIAL Nos - LOSSES ETC
I remember being present at a small select meeting, often every Friday afternoon, in the old 38 Gp HQ in 1974, which was an annex of the Officers Mess at RAF Benson.
The AOC was discussing with his deputy and Gp Gapt Ops the recent RAF accidents and I was there as the sole ‘loggie’ in 38 Group (my main task was Air Plans.)
I look now at the number of accidents and remember the seniors discussing the acceptable loss rate of aircrew killed per year being single figures in the future. The AOC doubted such low numbers and opined that such a lack of dash and drive would result in weakly led RAF Squadrons unable to meet the demands of combat !!
Bye Bye Fat Albert
Photographs by Andy Humm
The end of an era:
RAF bids a fond farewell to long-serving Hercules Fat Albert, a gentle giant of the skies
The sun is setting for one of the RAF's most dependable workhorses, signalling the end of an era for an aircraft that has served around the world for almost half a century. But instead of cruising gloriously across the skies for their final journey, the fleet of giant Hercules C130 transporter planes is being towed along the roads of Wiltshire special trailers.
Last Sunday the second of the RAF's fleet of more than 30 Fat Alberts left its home at RAF Lyneham to begin the long, slow journey to a Staffordshire breaker's yard where it will be dismantled.
Measuring almost 100ft from nose to tail, and with a wingspan of more than 130ft, the flying giant was accompanied by a police escort through Wootton Bassett and up the M4 motorway to Hixon Airfield.
Pockets of locals lined the route to bid the old warhorse a fond farewell. Similar convoys are expected to make the same journey in the coming weeks as the fleet is gradually broken up.
The C130 began flying out of RAF Lyneham in the late 1960s. It has since seen action throughout the world's trouble spots, playing a key support role in the Falklands War and Gulf campaigns. But after a long and distinguished career it is to be phased out and replaced by the A400M - a collaborative venture involving the governments and industries of six European countries.
Andy Humm, a former RAF engineer who now works as a contractor on the base, told The Wiltshire Gazette: 'The village was out in force to see it passing by. There were even people out in their dressing gowns watching, despite it being below freezing.
'It took ages to get through because it was so large. It had problems going over the roundabouts. 'I have spent many years working on that particular aircraft, mostly when it was a Mark One plane during the Falklands.'
Lyenham's airbase is also set to shut down next year, although an RAF spokesman pointed out that the loss of the airfield and its aircraft are the result of planned upgrades rather than Ministry of Defence cutbacks.
'People will obviously connect the moving of these parts with the impending closure of Lyneham but that is not the case,' the spokesman said. 'The Hercules has simply been taken out of service and the sections of the plane are being transported to Hixon, where they will be used for parts.'
The 2,500 staff at RAF Lyenham are to be redeployed at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire when the base closes.
The Wiltshire Gazette
There is no audio on this video
From: Keith Parker, Melksham
Sent: January-12-11 11:08
Subject: The Floods Down Under
Only a few weeks into the New Year and already we have the first Natural Disaster.
Please pass on my good wishes and hopes that all will soon be well for all our fellow Old Bods and Aussie MAMS Guys down under. I sure there will be a team or two deployed to the flooded area.
Take care we're thinking of you all and especially Jack Riley.
"Keep your powder dry"
From: Peter Clayton, Wroughton
Sent: January-16-11 6:43
Subject: Hercules by Road
I have sent a clip from the local news to you concerning the movement of Hercules by road from RAF Lyneham to Hixon Airfield in Staffordshire. It has a short video attached, I hope you get it alright. I am not sure if there was still a UKMAMS team in the back of the fuselage going up the M4!!
I hope the New Year started well for you, unlike some of our friends in Queensland, Australia with those devastating floods. It is hoped of course that everyone is safe and can soon start to rebuild their lives when things get back to normal. I am already seeing stories of the volunteers joining in to help with the massive clear up, no doubt the forces will be involved as well.
It was sad to see the last flight of the Harrier's in the last newsletter but it reminded me of a MAMS task I was on back in June 1977. We flew from Lyneham to Vandel, Denmark on XV 294, 24 Sqn, it was Exercise Jumbo Ocelot with No 1 Sqn Harriers on a Taceval. The team or teams spent 3 days under canvas at Vandel and I have noted that we offloaded 20 Hercules flights. Unfortunately I do not have all the names of those involved, my log book did not go into such detail, something I now regret, however maybe one for Ian Berry to research?
My lasting memory of that trip though was one day during a quiet period the Harriers came back and treated us to a display of their unique capabilities, ending with a bow to the crowd. Then when they were on the taxiway going back to their hides some of the team quickly made up some score cards and we stood on the grass showing the pilots our scores on the performance, just like come dancing.
Some of the pilots took it all in good spirit but I do recall one at least was not amused and gave us a certain salute involving not many fingers! I think we even heard talk of the prank later in the all ranks mess tent. Good old days.
We returned to Lyneham on XV183 on June 13 1977.
Okay, all you pilots and wannabe pilots. Let's test your dexterity! Here's your chance to see
how you would do as the pilot of a cargo plane over a drop zone. Click on the picture to start.
From: Al Sadler, Spangdahlem
Sent: January-17-11 11:24
Subject: RE: The Next Newsletter
Canada has just recently stood up a small detachment in Germany using the US Air Force base at Spangdahlem. Our responsibilities are to move priority 2 and 3 freight along with through passengers heading into and out of Kandahar.
Our website has just been published at: English and French.
Aerial shot of Spangdahlem taken in 1989
MESSAGE FROM CHIEF OF AIR FORCE TO ALL AIR FORCE PERSONNEL
I visited RAAF Base Amberley last Friday to see first-hand the great work being done by Air Force personnel. The men and women at Amberley are doing an excellent job supporting the flood efforts in some extremely difficult circumstances. Amberley itself had significant flooding on Tuesday evening and, while some tarmac area and electricity and sewerage systems were affected by flood waters, the hard work by those personnel who remained on base meant that operations and support to flood assistance activities across southern Queensland were not affected.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the Air Force personnel who have and continue to assist with flood operations, including supporting their local communities with the huge clean-up required. In particular, I would like to emphasise the good work being done on the ground by all Amberley based units in assisting the Ipswich community, the airlift being conducted ALG and AFTG up and down the east coast, and the broader CSG participation as a part of Operation Queensland Flood Assist. I would also like to thank the DSG personnel and contractors who worked to keep the base open and operational during the flood peak.
For those Air Force personnel who have been affected, I would like to remind everyone that your chain of command is available to assist you. For those in uniform, you may wish to make contact with the National Welfare Coordination Centre on 1800 801 026 for support from Defence Community Organisation. Civilian employees and their immediate families can contact the Employee Assistance Program on 1300 366 789 to make an appointment for free counselling.
Thank you once again to everyone involved in flood assistance operations. Your tireless efforts are not going unnoticed.
Chief of Air Force
18 January 2011
Oldest aircraft in service is finally dropped from the flight rota at county RAF base
The oldest aircraft in service with the Royal Air Force is to be finally retired with a special ceremony tomorrow.
For the past 45 years, navigators and weapons control operators have been put through their paces on the Hawker Siddeley Dominie T1.
But the decades-old airframe will be dropped from the RAF's flight rota at RAF Cranwell training college, near Sleaford, by the end of the month after it has been left almost redundant following cutbacks by the Ministry of Defence.
Operated by 55 (Reserve) Squadron at the training college, the Dominie T1 was previously used to train crews on aircraft such as the Nimrod MRA4, which is being withdrawn, and the Tornado GR4 which is being scaled back.
Station Commander Group Captain Dave Waddington said: "The Dominie has been a workhorse of the RAF since 1965, during which time it has been used to train many generations of aircrew.
"It moved to RAF Cranwell in 1996 when RAF Finningley closed, so it has been a familiar sight over the skies of Lincolnshire for many years now. Retiring any aircraft from service is always a poignant moment, but it is also a time to commemorate the outstanding service the Dominie has provided to the Royal Air Force for over 45 years."
To mark the end of service, a six-ship of Dominie aircraft performed a flypast over Lincoln city centre at about 1.30pm yesterday.
The Dominie T1, a modified corporate jet, was originally brought into service in the early 1960s to train navigators, particularly for the V Force. Of the 22 initially built, just seven remain.
Craig Hoyle, of specialist aviation publication Flight International, said: "Its retirement comes as the number of students passing through the system has dropped as a result of the cuts linked to the Strategic Defence and Security Review.
"The Dominies have served well, but the RAF's increasing use of single-seat aircraft such as the Eurofighter Typhoon mean that their services are in reduced demand. The cancellation of the Nimrod MRA4 programme has also had an impact on their planned workload."
Another special service is also planned to take place at RAF Cranwell tomorrow.
It will see a six-ship formation of Dominies leave the station and carry out fly-pasts over RAF Cranwell. There will then be speeches by crews from the base.
From: Brian Lobb, Osoyoos, BC
Sent: January-17-11 13:03
Subject: RE: The Next Newsletter
Would it be possible for you to advise all RCAF ‘Movers” that Buck Lobb is writing a book about them and would like input: stories etc. they would like to submit.
Brian Lobb E-Mail
From: Brian Lay, Wellington
Sent: January-18-11 23:19
Subject: RNZAF Mystery Photo 122910
Here's a bunch of Kiwi Air Movers at Riyadh during GW1.
Back row L to R: Sgt ALM 'Bob' Norton, Cpl 'Mat' Mataroa
Front row L to R: Cpl 'Head' Felton, Cpl 'Skiv' Deveskovi & Cpl [now W/O] Brian Lay.
MOD announces changes to allowances for Service personnel
The Ministry of Defence has today announced changes to the allowances paid to Armed Forces personnel for expenses incurred during service.
The move will ensure that the allocation of allowances is fair and appropriate to meet the needs of Service personnel.
The savings measures announced today follow an extensive review of the allowances system which has attempted to ensure the eligibility criteria are appropriate and the rates are set at realistic levels.
All actual, unavoidable expenses incurred for Service reasons will continue to be reimbursed.
Allowances paid for operations and separation from families have remained the highest priorities for reimbursement and lower earners have been protected as much as possible.
The Prime Minister set out the need to reduce allowances as part of the wider Strategic Defence and Security Review, published in October 2010.
Savings of £250m a year from the current annual Service allowances bill of £880m have been identified following an extensive review of the system.
The changes announced today affect a broad range of allowances. Alterations to the Local Overseas Allowance, paid to personnel stationed abroad, will save around £30m per year, given current exchange rates, after the staged introduction of savings to April 2012.
The Department has already announced adjustments to the Continuity of Education Allowance which are expected to save £20m a year.
Andrew Robathan, Minister for Defence Personnel, Welfare and Veterans, said: "This Government knows that these changes will require some readjustment and will be painful for some personnel as they come into effect over the next three years. But we are all aware of the financial difficulties currently facing the country and we have had to make hard decisions.
"Where possible we are implementing the changes gradually over a number of years to ensure that personnel have time to adjust. All Government Departments have had to cut expenditure, and the Defence Budget is not exempt from this. These changes are absolutely necessary to get spending under control."
The review has expressly not targeted those on operations which is why no changes are proposed for Operational Allowance, Longer Separation Allowance or Unpleasant Working Allowance.
From: Charles Collier, Devizes
Sent: January-17-11 16:02
Subject: Tromso Crash
I've been sorting out pictures and came across the attached which dates back to Tromso days 1970's when the C130 Hercules landed badly and came to a stop in the storm drain at the side of the runway.
All the best
From: Tony Gale, Aylmer, QC
To: Charles Collier, Devizes, UK
Sent: Monday, January 17, 2011 10:10 PM
Subject: RE: Tromso Crash
I recall loading the aircraft (Foxtrot Team) at Wittering prior to it aquaplaning off of the runway in Norway. There was one three-tonner and some of that mesh runway material (forgot what you call the stuff).
From: Charles Collier, Devizes
Sent: January-17-11 20:04
Subject: RE: Tromso Crash
That mesh was called PSP! And the 3 tonner also had the Sqn Imprest with a PO accountant officer on board. I went in after the accident with a gas mask on to recover the Imprest and I noted that everything had been tied down correctly so nothing had shifted with the massive deceleration.
Marshall Aerospace Completes Tristar Upgrade
Marshall Aerospace is upgrading the avionics of nine Lockheed Tristar tanker transports serving with the Royal Air Force.
Marshall Aerospace has completed development of an avionics upgrade for the UK Royal Air Force (RAF) fleet of nine Lockheed Tristar tanker-transports. The work was designed to avoid obsolescence problems that now affect these aging aircraft, and to provide compliance with the latest requirements for flying in civil airspace, such as CNS/ATM.
The upgrade has taken considerably longer than expected, but the trial installation aircraft has now been returned to the RAF. The Tristar fleet is fully engaged in transporting British troops to and from Afghanistan, as well as in air refueling duties.
According to Marshall, “the new navigation displays make it very easy for the crew to maintain situational awareness... despite having to operate in potentially hostile airspace as well as intensive civil air traffic environments. The Tristars are due to be replaced by Airbus A330MRTTs provided under contract by a private consortium, but a British parliamentary watchdog revealed last year that the new Airbus aircraft will need additional modifications to meet the “minimum theater entry standard” for operating to Afghanistan.
From: David Howley, Melton Mowbray
Sent: January-20-11 7:31
Subject: Ex-Movers meet at Saltby
I am pleased to say that following the Christmas newsletter I had e-mails from Bob Thacker and John Guy. It was good to hear from John, last time I had seen him was on the School in 1980.
Saltby on Tuesday was really sunny if cold (you know the sort of wind that goes through you and is too lazy to go around!) but the first really good day since November, so it brought out a lot of people to get annual checks completed and others (like me) just to get some flying in.
I had just completed a couple of winch launches and back at the “bus” heard the Logger say that Bob Thacker was about to launch.
Sometime later I caught up with him on the launch point - needless to say neither of us recognised each other - something to do with being thinner in those days (76-78) and having more hair. It was good to make contact and have a chat about “the past” (The Good Old Days!).
Attached photo shows the last glider being towed back to the hangar. Nice sunset but a bit of a pig for those landing into it.
That's it for this issue
Have great weekend!