From: Dave Jones, Wellington
Sent: Friday, January 27, 2012 21:16
Subject: Re: UKMAMS OBA OBB #012712
Many thanks for the brief. It is so very sad that cuts continue - whether they by RN, Army or indeed our own blue. I doubt very much that history would repeat itself from the days of WWII, given technological advances (and of course nuclear threats) however, has the British Government not learned from the pre WWII days of cut backs which left Britain so far behind the ball with ill equipped services? My father barely made out of France with the BEF (Medic).....
The threats are different today but no less real whether it be the continued terrorists activities around the globe or the continued push from Argentina that the islands our colleagues fought so hard for (and the folks down there) are theirs? The British Forces personnel deserve better - outsourcing positions and cutting back is not always the best solution nor is closing bases. I am still at a loss as to the rationale of closing one of two heavy lift bases a little while back.
The closing of RAF Hospital Wroughton and other medical facilities way back in the 1990's (when I was drafting at RAF PMC Innsworth) has also bewildered me.
The latter element of the armed forces could have been merged with the DHBs whilst retaining access to airfields for casualty arrivals and repatriation of service personnel or indeed joint civil use.
I just wonder who in the UK will respond under the Aid to Civil Powers caveat should fire service personnel strike nationally as they did in 1977-78 - yep - I was there; who will drive ambos? Who will collect rubbish? - there must be some planner somewhere in Whitehall with his or her head in a bucket!
I retired from the UK Armed Forces in 2000 having served a career engagement and having joined at 16....progress is fine for the right reasons e.g technology changes, better equipment and so on all contribute to change; pounds speak and of course the current economic climate does little to help but perhaps the British Government should consider the huge social benefits that such service brings - particularly for the youth who obviously have so much energy to burn; yep - the riots and social unrest often displayed through the tv screens of police and emergency service programs - screen, even down here in NZ, "uniformed training" and a little bit of discipline in the right context would do not harm.....
Obviously the changes are set to be made - for those heading back to civilian life and work - good luck, the skills you have are highly desirable; obtain qualifications if you can (academic or professionally) - plan your exit and don't give up.
Still, what do we know? - we only served; wore the uniform and put life on the line - many friends multiple times. The support and to thank you for your dedicated service and the stress on your wife, partner and families?
Well, chaps (and chapesses) - we will make you redundant.
VC-10's fly off into the sunset
Three VC10 aircraft are set to make their final flight, from RAF Brize Norton to Leicestershire and into retirement.
The three planes have spent a total of almost 125,000 hours in flight since they started operational life over 45 years ago. They have flown as transport and air-to-air refuelling planes and have seen service in the Falklands, Kosovo, both Gulf Wars and Afghanistan.
The retirement is part of a planned phasing out of the VC10 fleet before they are replaced by Voyagers. RAF Brize Norton’s remaining nine VC10s, which are part of 101 Squadron, will be gradually withdrawn until the final aircraft are taken out of service in March 2013. Wing Commander Kev Brookes, who is in charge of 101 Squadron, said: “They are a true testament to the excellence of British design and engineering. “The VC10 will always be remembered by the pilots for its positive handling and smoothness of flight, yet with its reserve of power it would still handle like a fighter.”
The Oxford Times
From: Noel Baigent, Takaka
Sent: Saturday, January 28, 2012 04:10
Subject: RNZAF Mystery Photo 012712
The RNZAF mystery photo is 'RNZAF Base Woodbourne Supply Sqn' probably taken in the mid 80's.
RNZAF Base Woodbourne
Located 8km west of Blenheim at the top of the South Island, Woodbourne was established in 1939 as the base for No.2 Service Flying Training School (No.2SFTS). Also located nearby during WWII were the ground training camps of the Delta.
In 1942-43, Kittyhawk Fighter Squadrons used the satellite Fairhall field. In 1945 No.2 SFTS was closed and the RNZAF Central Flying School and some ground training units, including the Officers' School of Instruction were relocated to Woodbourne. In 1949, The Aircraft Repair Depot RNZAF was relocated from Ohakea, and in 1951 the Boy Entrant School was established at Woodbourne. Today, Woodbourne is the Air Force's only support base. Units at Woodbourne are responsible for the training of recruits, initial officer training, trade training and command training.
The Ground Training Wing was created in 1995 from existing units at Woodbourne and those relocated from Wigram and Hobsonville. Also at Woodbourne is the Air Force's only heavy maintenance facility for the repair of aircraft airframes, engines and avionics systems. This unit was commercialised in 1998 and is now managed by Safe Air Ltd.
With a typical student population, Woodbourne has personnel strength of around 1,250. This comprises 700 service personnel and 100 civilians, while around 450 contractor's staff operate the Repair Depot and provide essential support services such as catering.
From: Dave Wilkin, Romford
Sent: Friday, January 27, 2012 11:05
As you may know that I have for some time been trying to find the old Boy Entrants from my training entry, 39th Boy Entrants, at Hereford. A number of us were transferred to Movers.
I have had some information for a couple of the missing, and I hope that the OBA members may be able to help.
Firstly from C Shift at Lyneham, Circa 1965; SAC A (Buzz) Berzins. Can anyone throw any light on his history before or after Lyneham? There is a strong rumour that he went to Canada and joined the RCAF. This would have been around the late 60's to mid 70s. Can any of our Canadian members perhaps help with a steer as to find out if he did join the RCAF?
The other chap I'm looking for information on is Pete Burns. The last sighting I have for him was in 1970 on a flight from Bahrain to Singapore to take part in Exercise Bersatu Padu. I'm not sure if he was on mobile duties at Abingdon or was a Reforce Mover drafted in from Lyneham or Brize Norton?
Thanks in Advance
Airmen put pedal power to use
Donated bicycles will be sent to the Kajiado Child Care Centre in Nairobi which cares for children with physical disabilities and provides a treatment programme that enables them to be rehabilitated, allowing them access to mainstream schooling.
Sergeant Jon Smith, a Logistics Movements Controller at RAF Leeming is spearheading the unit’s campaign for old bicycles. Jon said: “Our aim is to collect donated bikes from the unit and from neighbouring towns so that we can send them to this school.
“What the Kajiado Centre then does is amazing, they turn the bikes into wheelchairs and mobility aids for the children at the facility.”
The RAF Air Movements Trade has helped the centre in many ways for almost 20 years [http://ukmamsoba.org/kajiado.htm]
Personnel from RAF Leeming will be in Northallerton town centre, alongside Northallerton Mayor Councillor John Coulson on February 15 to collect bicycles from the public, and also in Bedale on two market days in March.
Jon said: ‘We do hope that our local community can join with us and donate old bikes or disability aids. We will be publishing dates shortly as to when we will be in town to collect them. Sadly we will not be able to collect from individuals homes.”
The project is running until the end of March to enable items to be gathered and packed for shipping but Jon hopes to hold another collection later in the year.
For more information, telephone Jon on 01677 457212 or Mr Tim Reid on 01677 457069.
RE-CYCLING at RAF Leeming has taken on an international flavour this year, as airmen from the unit’s Mobility Team aim to collect old bicycles to send to an African Child Care Centre for re-use.
From: Dave Moss, Barrow
Sent: Saturday, January 28, 2012 07:15
Subject: Re: UKMAMS OBA OBB #012712
Good morning Tony,
The article in the latest OBA newsletter about moving a Merlin helicopter brought back a few memories of earlier times.
I am sure that a number of the OB's will remember the 'good old days,' when we used to load two Wessex onto the Belfast midst much taking to bits.
All done whilst said Wessex was on the Belfast ramp so that the 'tried and tested' standard tie down scheme could be put into action and modified as necessary as we went along.
I remember that the good old standby rolls of two inch lashing tape came in for some serious use at times.
Great newsletter as always.
Regards to all
RAAF flies food to Lightning Ridge
The Department of Defence said on Friday the aircraft left RAAF Base Richmond in the morning loaded with groceries, provisions and drinking water and would make two trips to deliver more than 19 tonnes of supplies to the town.
In preparation for this mission, another Hercules flew to Lightning Ridge on Thursday to deliver a forklift and four-member team to unload and distribute supplies as they arrived.
RAAF Air Lift Group commander Air Commodore Gary Martin said RAAF personnel were trained and equipped to respond to a broad range of contingencies, including helping those affected by natural disasters.
"Delivering aid to those in need is something that we are well-practised in," he said in a statement.
"On this occasion we have assisted the State Emergency Service to get urgent supplies to the people of Lightning Ridge, ensuring their wellbeing until normal transport routes reopen."
The relief mission was launched in response to a request from the NSW government and follows other other assistance to Queensland communities affected by the recent floods.
The Sydney Morning Herald
A RAAF C-130 Hercules transport aircraft will deliver essential supplies of food and water to the flood-affected community of Lightning Ridge in northern NSW.
BAe to modify used 146-200
transports for Royal Air Force
BAe Systems is to modify two used BAe 146 transports for the UK Ministry of Defence under an urgent operational requirement deal to support operations in Afghanistan.
"The C-17 and CS Project Team intends to place a contract with BAE Systems (Operations) for the upgrade of two second-hand civil BAe 146-200 quick change aircraft," the MoD said on 11 February. The deal will include the design, installation, test and certification of modifications required to allow the passenger type to enter military service, it added. These will include the installation of defensive aids system equipment to meet the UK's theatre-entry standard for operations in Afghanistan.
The MoD in late December announced it was seeking expressions of interest from potential suppliers of two second-hand BAe 146 aircraft "to enable the safe transport of troops and freight in theatre". The acquisition is planned to ease the strain on its in-theatre use of the larger Lockheed Martin C-130J/K for short-duration flights.
Once fielded, the used aircraft will double the RAF's inventory of BAe 146s, with two -100 examples already in use with the service's 32 (The Royal) Sqn, at Northolt air base near London.
From: Paul English, Swindon
Sent: Monday, January 30, 2012 06:30
Subject: RE: UKMAMS OBA OBB #012712
Another great edition of the newsletter.
I read with interest the article on the 2 x BAe146's being used in sunnier climes.
Yet another comparison of the Belfast....we have a good, capable aircraft which we sell off, then we hire it back and use it under contract to fulfil the need. Now we have gone back round the houses yet again. I recall flying home from Gutersloh in a 146 in the 80's/90's before they were used on the Queens Flight.
How much more money can this Government waste scrapping aircraft then rehiring them?
I know the saga, that if the fleet is owned by someone else, then the overheads are lower. hence why a lot of MT went to "White Fleet" i.e. contract vehicles that are owned by say ACME vehicle hire, they provide the maintenance etc etc.
Just my 2p worth!
p.s. For those on Facebook, Tony "Snapdog" Gavin, ex-Guardsman and fellow ex-Mover has created his own Vet's page: VC10 Vents Stackers. I'm sure most Movers qualify!
New members who have joined us recently:
Brian Hunt, Witney, Oxon, United Kingdom
Vaughan Jones, Blenheim, New Zealand
Welcome to the OBA!
Cargo dropped from CC-130J Hercules largest in Canadian history
A recent training exercise, Ex Mountain Star, saw the largest Content Delivery System (CDS) drop in Canadian military history.
On Oct. 5, 24 CDS bundles were launched from a CC-130J Hercules aircraft over 8 Wing Trenton’s Mountain View training area, in Ontario.
“We did it to show that this aircraft can do it, all over the world and with accuracy,” said Captain Joseph Tufenkdjian, 436 Transport Squadron pilot. “We use [the CDS drop] for tactical purposes. We’ll drop ammunition, food and whatever else is needed, to our troops on the ground.”
Although the capability to drop 24 CDS had always existed for the Hercules, there simply wasn’t any requirement to do so. The maximum amount of bundles that can fit into a Herc is 24 and the content, or weight, of the bundles is irrelevant to a successful drop.
“There’s no difference in what we drop, be it rice or ammunition,” said Capt Tufenkdjian.
A key consideration in terms of planning CDS drops is ensuring that all bundles will arrive safely on the drop zone.
“There are [special consideration] to take in terms of planning. We have to make sure all bundles are going to drop safely on the drop zone. We use calculations, computers, wind and basic math to get it on the drop zone. There are specific things we need to do, like add more power, but the aircraft will drop these bundles, there’s no question.
Be it one bundle, or 24 bundles, it’s the same in planning terms – it’ll just take a little longer.”
From: John Seccombe, Gloucester
Sent: Tuesday, January 31, 2012 08:11
Subject: Salalah 71
I was reading Masirah history and came across the story of Sultan Qboos being flown to Salalah in an Andover with cargo. I filmed that a/c dropping off the Sultan and have just had it transferred to DVD.
Some of your colleagues who were at Salalah after 1971 may have frequented the Wobbly Wheel club. Not everybody would know the story leading to the birth of that club.
One day a Britannia aircraft delivered some cows to the new Sultan. On take off it lost a landing wheel which bounced off into the bondu. As Chief/Tech (MTO) I arranged for the massive wheel to be to be retrieved, cleaned, and painted white, to be the emblem of the new 'Wobbly Wheel' club.
Two weeks later the owner of the aircraft gave notice that the 'Wheel' would be collected from the desert. We told him about our Wobbly Wheel club and asked if we could keep it. Not only did he agree but he also sent us a framed incident report which used to stand in front of the decorated Wheel. The true story was lost through the years. I even saw a corporal on face book claiming 'another club' he invented.
Back in '66 I recall that the original 'Wobbly Wheel Club' was named after the sand-filled trailer that was towed behind an armour plated Bedford 3-Tonner. The rear axle of the trailer had 6 wheels set at an angle of about 30º to the perpendicular. When it was towed along the sand roadway the offset wheels caused the sand to be shifted sideways with such force that any ordinance intentionally planted in or at the sides of the road would be detonated. No one was allowed to travel the road between the base and Resuit Jetty until the Wobbly Wheel had travelled it both ways. That was 46 years ago - my memory could be fuzzy.
Upgraded New Zealand C-130s undergo operational tests
The Royal New Zealand Air Force's (RNZAF) first pair of upgraded Lockheed Martin C-130H Hercules aircraft are undergoing an operational test and evaluation process, while the remaining three are undergoing an extensive life extension programme (LEP).
The two upgraded aircraft are based at RNZAF Auckland for the evaluations and have already flown as far afield as Europe, the US, Antarctica, Australia, and Pacific Islands
"The final three aircraft are being modified at RNZAF Woodbourne under the management of a Ministry of Defence team led by Graeme Gilmore, a highly experience engineering manager and executive," said the NZDF. Work on the first of the three remaining aircraft commenced in April 2011 and should be completed in June 2012.
From: Kevin Skinner, Royal Wootton Bassett
Sent: Saturday, February 04, 2012 05:13
Subject: Request for Sponsors
I am therefore after sponsorship of £1,000 to assist with the purchase of tour attire, such as Tee- Shirts, Polo Shirts etc. The attire would carry the name and/or logo of the sponsor and additional publicity shots with a company banner for example could be taken at the tournament for the sponsors' use.
I am desperate to secure a small sponsorship deal for a Brize Norton Rugby team (containing a number of Movers) I am taking out to Cyprus in May 12 to compete in the Akrotiri International Floodlit Tens.
Believe it or not, due to the volumes of 'walking freight' on the Cyprus troopers we have to fly Civ Air as CNFP is not supported and subsequently funds are stretched to the max at present.
In the previous two years I have been interviewed by BFBS TV wearing sponsored polo shirts and these videos are also on internet sites such as Facebook and You Tube in addition to being broadcast to tens of thousands of British and coalition troops worldwide. The sponsors name would be well publicised.
If any of your members are able to assist, with any amount could they please get in touch using this email address, it would be greatly appreciated.
Many thanks and kindest regards to all.
MOD to buy extra C-17 aircraft
Speaking in the House of Commons, Mr Cameron said: "Because the Ministry of Defence's finances are better run and better managed, and because we have found savings, we will be able to purchase an additional C-17 for the RAF.
This aircraft is becoming an absolutely brilliant workhorse for the RAF in terms of bringing men and material into a war zone like Afghanistan, but also evacuating civilians in times of need. It's an important investment for the country and I'm glad to announce we can make it today."
The newest C-17 is currently being built by Boeing in the USA and is due to come off the production line next month. It is then expected to enter service with the RAF in July 2012. The aircraft, which will cost £200m, will be based at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire along with the other aircraft in the fleet which are operated by 99 Squadron. The C-17 aircraft can fly over 4,500 nautical miles (8,300km), meaning it can cover the distance beween the UK and Helmand province in the one flight.
Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said: "The C-17 has shown its worth in Afghanistan ensuring that our troops are given the fastest, most efficient passage home. It is a vastly impressive aircraft that can carry three Apache helicopters, or take a whole Chinook helicopter. This latest addition to the RAF fleet will further strengthen the vital airbridge between Britain and Afghanistan, ensuring critical deliveries are made to the front line.
"Buying equipment off-the-shelf allows us to quickly deliver equipment that our troops need on operations at best value prices for the taxpayer.
As well as transporting troops and equipment, C-17s can also be converted rapidly to offer intensive care provision in support of the aeromedical airbridge.
Prime Minister David Cameron has announced that the MOD is to order an additional C-17 Globemaster, taking the number of aircraft in the RAF's fleet to eight.
The purchase of an extra C-17 will help to support the airbridge which transports Armed Forces personnel and equipment between the UK and Afghanistan.
One aircraft is on standby 24-hours-a-day to fly seriously injured personnel back to the UK at short notice. The aircraft can also be deployed to help with humanitarian and disaster relief efforts around the world.
From: Charles Collier, Devizes
Sent: Saturday, February 04, 2012 08:58
Subject: RAF Movements Course 1970
Sam Mold asked if I knew Flight Sergeant Al Gutteridge at the Air Movements School RAF Abingdon 1970.
Well, I now remember him although my instructors were Flt Lt Dave Kitchener and Fg Off Tony Broderick.
However, we took a trip to Southampton during the course and I took some pictures and I think Al Gutterige is on one of them.
RAAF joins US-Japan air exercises
Cope North, which began on February 11 and runs through to the 24th, focuses on improving coordination between the three air forces in a number of different scenarios.
“Humanitarian assistance and disaster relief exercises, dissimilar air combat training, and strike mission training will be conducted during the first week of the exercise,” USAF Maj Greven, the lead planner for this year’s Cope North, said in a story on the USAF’s official website.
The RAAF is participating for the first time in a Guam based military exercise with forces from Japan and the US.
The exercise will include “opposing force” aircraft played by F-16s from the 18th Aggressor Squadron based at Eielson AFB in Alaska. Australian participation includes 1SQN F/A-18F Super Hornet, 2SQN Wedgetail AEW&C and 37SQN C130 Hercules aircraft.
Australian Aviation Magazine
“Large force employment training will be the focus of the second week. Additionally, JASDF and USAF will conduct live surface attack tactics training on the Farrallon de Medinilla range in the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands.”
Armed forces conducting winter exercise
The Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) recently deployed its search-and-rescue (SAR) and air mobility capabilities to Northern Ontario in support of a major disaster response exercise.
Approximately 50 RCAF personnel are present around Cochrane, Kapuskasing, and Hearst from Feb. 20-25 to participate in Exercise TRILLIUM RESPONSE 2012 (Ex TR 12), a training exercise that aims to further enhance Canadian Forces quick response capability to assist Canadians when needed.
"We’re here to provide air mobility support for the exercise and also to practice our SAR capabilities in a remote northern environment during winter," said Lt-Col. Stephen Hill, head of Joint Task Force Central (JTFC) Air Component Coordination Element (Central).
"Our airmen and airwomen are proud to be active players in this exercise and we’re glad to be working closely with more than 500 soldiers from the greater Toronto area, CFB Petawawa, and the Canadian Rangers."
"The exercise scenarios and our activities are very realistic so we can test our capabilities and find ways to further improve them," said Capt. John Valade, Operations Planner. "We’re providing airlift to the Immediate Response Unit (IRU) from the Royal Canadian Dragoons out of CFB Petawawa into Cochrane, using a Beachcraft 200 aircraft from the Multi-Engine Utility Flight from 8 Wing Trenton.
“We are also using two CH-146 Griffon helicopters from 1 Wing Kingston to transport the IRU Commander and his team to Cochrane airport."
Air deployments in support of the exercise are CH-146 Griffons and aircrew from 400 Tactical Helicopter Squadron from 1 Wing and a CC-130J Hercules, a Legacy Hercules and a Beachcraft 200.
Aircrew, aviation technicians, SAR Techs and specialized SAR equipment from 424 SAR/Transport Squadron and 436 Transport Squadron from 8 Wing are also participating. In addition, paratroopers from the Canadian Forces Land Advanced Warfare Centre (CFLAWC) will also be exercising their parachuting capabilities.
"We’re here to support JTFC and make sure that available air assets are used effectively and efficiently to help achieve the objectives of this exercise," Valade said. "We are also taking advantage of this exercise to conduct realistic training for RCAF personnel."
The RCAF is also getting a lot of training value for the tactical drops using the Hercules aircraft and specialized winter tactical flights for the Griffon helicopters.
"This exercise gives us an opportunity to test the equipment that we have for the MAJAID, see what works well and know what else has to be improved, so we can better serve Canadians whenever our help is needed," Valade said.
The MAJAID drop included sustainment kit for 20 survivors as well as the actual Argo vehicle that is dedicated for immediate deployment.
Packing procedures as well as dropping techniques were tested and some lessons learned will be implemented to make sure that the MAJAID equipment will be configured as appropriate. The sustainment kit can be scalable up to a large number of persons.
This unique capability is based on elements of the Canada Command MAJAID contingency plan, which is designed to prepare the Canadian forces for a large aircraft disaster in the northern part Canada.
The Department of National Defence is the lead agency responsible for the overall operation of the co-ordinated aeronautical and maritime SAR system in Canada; while, lead responsibility for ground SAR like response for cases of missing or lost persons belongs to provincial or territorial authorities.
"Exercises like Ex TR 12 are an important way to practice our skills and remain prepared to assist Canadians whenever and wherever we’re needed," said Capt Valade. "We are committed to working with our other government department and the Civil Aviation Search and Rescue Association (CASARA) partners to provide effective and co-ordinated response to emergencies anywhere in Canada."
Organized by JTFC, Ex TR 12 is a large, joint regional exercise that revolves around a simulated large commercial aircraft crash outside of Cochrane in the Mistango Lake area, and a smaller aircraft crash northwest of Hearst near Constance Lake. No actual aircraft were crashed as part of the exercise.
From: Dave Wilkin, Romford
Sent: Wednesday, February 08, 2012 13:21
Subject: Blasts from the Past
Here's a couple of Blasts From The Past that are bound to stir up some memories from both sides of the pond!
From: Jack Riley, Urangan, QLD
Sent: Tuesday, February 07, 2012 03:52
Subject: FW: Military Wives' Choir
I'm sure this will move you. It is taken from a British series where a chap by the name of Gareth Malone takes a group of people and turns them into a choir. This time he's taken a group of military wives whose husbands are all away in Afghanistan and turned them into a choir.
Gareth looks about 16 yrs old but is actually in his mid-30s and a Choir master for the London Symphony Orchestra, among other things. They wrote a song based on excerpts from letters written by the couples whilst apart and this is the beautiful result. Warning ... it may just bring a tear to your eye.
Click on the link above to watch the video
From: John Belcher, Chippenham
Sent: Wednesday, February 08, 2012 16:28
Subject: 40th Anniversary of the RAFMS being at RAF Brize Norton
In order to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the Defence Movements School (formerly the RAFMS) located at RAF Brize Norton; it has been proposed that a formal evening function take place in the WOs & Sgts Mess on 23 Mar 12. The event will take the form of a Dining in Night and will be open to past and present permanent staff, both military and civilian, on a first come first serve basis. Please see full details attached.
This is expected to be a popular and well attended event, therefore returns and payment are required ASAP and certainly no later than Thu 29 Feb 12 (cheques only payable to ISS-RAF Brize Norton- Sergeants’ Mess).
Once payment is received a notification will be returned in order to confirm your booking.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding this event please do not hesitate to contact either the undersigned or Sgt “Otty” Otterwell at the DMS on 95467 7424, alternatively the Project Officer, WO Garfield on 95461 6033.
All the best
From: Derek Grayson, Muscat
Sent: Monday, February 13, 2012 09:34
Subject: Upcoming Job Opportunity for C-130J-30 Loadmaster
I have not got all the details as yet, but the company I work for are purchasing a C-130J-30 and we will be looking to recruit a qualified Loadmaster/Instructor who has at least 1 year minimum experience.
The successful applicant would be working in a Middle-Eastern country; terms of the contract will be available soon.
Delivery of the aircraft is expected in 6 months' time.
Interested parties can send me an e-mail briefly outlining their qualifications and experience firstname.lastname@example.org
That's it for this issue
Have a great weekend!