From: John Belcher, Chippenham
Sent: 18 March 2010 23:23
Subject: RAF Mystery Photo 031910



Not being a spotter or anything but this is a Mi17 helicopter that was bought by the British government so that Afghan Air Force pilots could be trained to fly the helicopters.

There have been a number of courses and when the last one is trained, the helicopter will be given to the Afghan Air Force.

Good to see that the Government can buy a helicopter quickly…..


I thought it would be a little more difficult than that.. we live and learn!

From: Dave Wilkin, Essex
Sent: 19 March 2010 09:28
Subject: Re: UKMAMS OBA OBB #031910


Ref RAF Mystery Photo.

It is a Mi 17 Mk1V Serial No XB697 Ex Bulgarian Air Force Serial No 402 - or - XB698 Ex serial No 403 Both to Afghanistan 19/03/2010



From: Al Stacey, Wiltshire
Sent: 19 March 2010 12:34
Subject: RAF Mystery Photo


A nice easy one this issue.

The photo shows one of two ex Bulgarian Air Force Mi17’s (the export version of the Mi8) operated by the Special Duties Sqn, Joint Helicopter Command under Project Curium.

The helicopters were flown from Boscombe Down and maintained by QinetiQ on behalf of the MoD and were used to train Afghan nationals to be helicopter pilots.

The project has now terminated and the two helicopters donated to the Afghan Armed Forces.

Attached is a photo of the very same helicopter being loaded to an Antonov 124 at Boscombe by 1AMW yesterday (18th March 2010).

Al Stacey

Thanks for the update Al!

From: Philip Clarke, Vienna
Sent: 20 March 2010 09:42
Subject: RAF Mystery Photo

Hi Tony,

Me again.

This is an ex Bulgarian Air Force MIL MI17 Mk1A (MSN 103M102), which is currently at Boscombe Down with the Empire Test Pilot School & QinetQ, training Afghan helicopter pilots as part of Project Curium.

There are two there currently, ZB697 & 698, & interestingly these two registrations are re-allocated. Previously used, apparently, on target drones.

Another interesting fact is that the Rotors on the MI17 rotate in the opposite direction to our fellows.

All prizes accepted in any hard currency - used notes preferred.



Ahhh, too slow for the prize - sorry Phil!

Almost all varieties of breakfast cereals are made of grass

From: Malcolm Porter, Upton-upon-Severn
Sent: 19 March 2010 04:51
Subject: Terry Titterington's funeral


Terry Titterington's funeral yesterday was a wonderful turn out - I trust someone is reporting on it for you - putting names to people's faces was the difficult part!


From: Paul English, Swindon
Sent: 19 March 2010 05:22
Subject: RE: UKMAMS OBA OBB #031910

Hi Tony,

I attended Terry Titterington's funeral yesterday...He was given a great send off... Some of those who attended.. (in no particular order)

John Calver
Colin Allen
Terry Roberts
Jim Brett
Jim Cunningham
Tony Geerah
John Gardiner
Brian Kent
George Lynes
Chick Hatch
Dave Eggleton
Malcolm Porter
Jim Marchant
Dave Gaylor
Frank Thorington

Apols if I have missed anyone...

Terry's daughter and brother-in-law gave moving tributes to a very special family man..

To the trade he was also part of a wider family and will be fondly remembered as being firm but fair. I had the pleasure of working with him on JHSU in its formative years alongside John Calver, it was certainly a lot of hard work in the early days getting to grips with new equipment and working alongside "brownjobs". Terry took it all in his stride and was a great mentor to us Movers who were on JHSU.

I personally think the Army guys were somewhat worried when Trade Group 18 actually started to beat the Army at BFT's and even shooting..Something John Calver also mentioned yesterday...

Ars Lenit Iter !!

Certainly Terry's skills smoothed the journey for a lot of Movers who followed in his footsteps...

RIP Terry



From: Brian Kent, Carterton
Sent: 19 March 2010 07:29
Subject: Terry Titterington

Hi Tony,

Malcolm Porter and myself, having attended Terry's funeral, would like to say thank you to Terry's family for a moving service and how brave they were on the occasion.

The number of friends who attended was a tribute to how Terry was liked and loved, even though some attending had not seen Terry for a number of years but still remembered him.

Meeting up again with friends ansd collegues after many years certainly got the memory box activated, but I think we all managed to get names, faces and places together in the end.

All in all it was a very memorable and uplifting occasion

God bless you Terry

Brian Kent

From: Peter Clayton, Wroughton
Sent: 31 March 2010 14:48
Subject: Funeral of Mr T

Hi Tony

I just wanted to say what an honour it was to be able to attend the funeral of Terry Titterington on 18 March 2010. The Crematorium was full with standing room only and it was great to see so many old friends making the effort to attend, although of course it was sad that it had to be under such circumstances that we all met up again. There were of course so many words of praise for Terry, telling everyone what a truly nice person Terry was, he was of course one of the best and he will be sadly missed by all his friends and family.

Several days before the funeral we had a meet & greet at the RAFA Club in Swindon and once again the same faces turned up to have a drink and catch up. I always wish I could remember to take my camera to such occasions, it would have been useful at the funeral but I felt maybe not appropriate. But really it would have been good to have some photos of the many old faces from the past, it was great to see Ian "Wee Foddy" Newlands for one. He told me it was 40 years since we last met; I could not believe it, time flies!

There were so many faces from the past, some I could remember the names of, some a bit hazy, too many to name but great to see Gus Cobb, Merv Cork and Chick Hatch to name just a few.

It all goes to prove what a great 'family' the Movements Trade in general was and still is. Thanks must of course go to you and also Colin Allen for keeping us all in touch, long may it continue.

Take care.



From: Luanne MacKinney, Dartmouth, NS
Sent:Friday, March 05, 2010 9:54 AM
Subject: CAF Mystery Photo 031910

When I was a Loadie with 436 Squadron I went on Green Flag in England (now I couldn't find any of my flying log books so I'm uncertain of both the location in England and even if it was a Green Flag or not - my bad). On the last night of partying I noticed (I think it was) one of the New Zealand Loadies 'borrowing' this huge bear. It was almost five feet high if memory serves me correctly. Anyhow, I thought little of it and went on back to my most serious task of drinking.

Then next day when we were leaving, while doing my pre flight, I noticed a lot of the other crews going in and out of the Hercs,but not their own aircraft I asked my FE what the silly boys were up to. He laughed and said that some countries don't lock up their Hercs very well at night and some crews (probably Loadies) were 'breaking' into other country's aircraft to play a few jokes. (As you may recall we Canadians even lock up our emergency exit windows when we put the Herc to bed and so no one was able to get into ours). Anyhow, I had finished my pre-flight and I decided to check the New Zealand Herc to see if they had the bear. Well, they did, and as no one was around I 'borrowed' the bear from the Kiwis who had 'borrowed' it from LXX Sqn and brought it back to Trenton!

I named him "BJ"

I sewed up the holes in him (his ear was almost falling off and I think there were other small spots that needed stuffing put back and holes sewn up), I bought him a yellow T-shirt (either that or the Sqn donated it), I sewed 435 Sqn and a 429 Sqn (this is when 429 was a Herc Sqn) patches on his chest and I just did an overall clean up on him. Treated him real well.

Then I decided to send a letter, which was scrawled on paper imitating child-like penmanship, and then I mailed it to the Sqn where he belonged. I told them that "...I have been bear napped..." and that in the beginning he was very scared and sad, but now he was being taken care of quite nicely and the lady even sewed him up and gave him new clothes. But he did not like being put in jail. etc, etc. I do wish I had kept a copy of the letter - again - my bad.

I most definitely do not remember the name of the MP. We tried to put handcuffs on him but his arm was too big. This picture was taken in the Trenton jail.

Anyhow, much to my surprise, I got a response. Find a letter from BJ's wife. It was so sweet and I laughed and laughed.

Then there is the letter from Flt Lt. J G Gladston:


With it he also sent a picture of their "...highly trained CRW team of the Special Bear Service (SBS)..." but I have not included this picture as I did not take very good care of it and it is a little damaged.


They had gas masks on so I am not sure anyone would be able to recognize themselves in it. But one day I will scan it and sent it anyhow.


You won't be able to use the letters, (that would definitely give it all away) but I have attached them for your reading pleasure. I have put yellow stickies over certain words because if they were sent over the net, the words would today probably send a red flag to the CIA, FBI and National Security. Back in '94 it was a word of small value. After 911, that word has a much larger impact.


BJ stayed behind glass in our display cabinet at 436 Sqn for all to admire until he was returned, intact (actually he was looking better) as stated in the letter from the Flt Lt. They flew over and picked him up....

Thanks Luanne, and thanks to the membership for bearing with us!

It is now possible to print human skin with an inkjet printer

From: Charles Collier, Devizes
Sent: 23 March 2010 16:55
Subject: Heavylift Belfast - Cairns

Hello again Tony,

During our recent holiday in NZ/Australia, we flew into Cairns airport in Queensland. Whilst at the airport I noticed parked, seemingly in flying condition, a Short Belfast freighter of the Heavylift company.

Now I've seen for the first time your summaries on this website of all Transport Command aircraft including the Belfast where you mention the very aircraft that I saw! It's a pity I did not take a picture of it but there it is.



Here you go Charles - if you Google Belfast+Cairns you'll get many interesting results!


Australia to sell retired Caribou transports

The Royal Australian Air Force, which phased out its last de Havilland Canada DHC-4 Caribou light tactical transports last December, has announced plans to sell some of the aircraft.

Australia's Department of Defence "expects that up to two Caribou aircraft will be tendered with the intention that they be retained in Australia in flying condition as items of military heritage".

It adds that "up to a further seven will be tendered for sale as going concerns".

Canberra has retired 13 Caribous, replacing their transport services with an interim batch of Beechcraft King Air 350s. The DHC-4 entered RAAF service in 1964.


22% of us skip lunch daily

From: Brian Lay, Wellington
Sent: 23 March 2010 04:22
Subject: Re: RNZAF Mystery Photo 031910

Phase 2 Air Movements Course

Back row: Cpl Graham Ellis, Cpl Brett Goodall (now S/Ldr ALM), Cpl Chop Murray, Cpl Noel "Budgie" Baigent.

Front row: Sgt Bob Stuart, F/Sgt Dennis "Pinkie" Searle Inst, Sgt Morrie Pugh

Thanks Brian!


We're Flying High in a Man's World

As Britain faces a jobs crisis and work satisfaction is at an all-time low, the RAF is one of the few employers actively encouraging more women from all backgrounds to join up for a high-flying career.

I spent a day at the country’s busiest air base, RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire, to meet young women pilots. Fighter jets screech overhead and hangars are filled with troops heading for Afghanistan.

Planes take off for the war zone from Brize Norton almost every day. It may not sound like a female-friendly environment but the Ministry of Defence is keen to persuade women to join up.

Flight Lieutenant Hannah Ford says: “Yes, it can feel daunting when you first arrive at training and there are hundreds of men and only two girls. You get a lot of banter about being the only ‘bird’ and I’d never try to keep up with the lads drinking down the pub. But I honestly couldn’t think of a better career option for me.”

The TriStar co-pilot from Reading, Berks, adds: “When you take to the sky there is no better feeling. Up there, we’re all equals.”

That is the message RAF bosses are hoping to get across over the coming months. Squadron Leader Glyn Dean from RAF College Cranwell in Lincolnshire explains: “Women make up 13% of the Royal Air Force but are still under-represented in many roles, including flying. “We are visiting schools and career centres across the UK to enthuse women about jobs in the RAF."

Jennifer Dunkerley - Daily Star

The population of the Earth has more than doubled since 1950

Angels of the Air

AN RAF C-17 cargo plane swoops like a giant albatross from the skies over Afghanistan. Its mission - to rescue six critically-injured soldiers from the frontline after they were shot by the Afghan policeman they were training. Five of their colleagues were killed when the rogue cop turned his AK47 assault rifle on them at a checkpoint.

The massive £130million aircraft usually carries tanks, troops and supplies to the frontline. But in just 60 minutes it has been transformed into a fully -functioning intensive care ward at 30,000 feet. And for many passengers the seven-hour trip is the difference between life and death.

They are tended to by a dedicated team of doctors, consultants and nurses who are members of the RAF's elite Critical Care Air Support Team unit (CCast).

The team includes Scots anaesthetist Martin Ruth. The Wing Commander, from Glasgow, has worked with C-Cast for over ten years and has been in the RAF for 22 years.

Martin, 41, has been deployed in Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan - all a far cry from the wards of the Royal Infirmary in Edinburgh where he spends the rest of his working life. He says: "When people are injured in wartime it's always hellish and very distressing. "But we have to give a level of intensive care you would expect in most hospitals."

Their patients are young soldiers - many with horrific injuries and victims of the Taliban's improvised explosive devices. The C-17 almost always returns with more bodies than it went out for and this flight is one of the busiest the C-Cast team has seen.

There are eight wounded in total, with injuries ranging from double amputations to horrific facial wounds - and at least four are critical. Flight Lt Aimee Foster - a C-Cast nurse - admits: "It's upsetting to know how they've been injured. "The soldiers are really going to struggle to get over being attacked like that."

The troops also describe how they had to play dead after being shot to avoid being finished off by the madman. One says: "I feel guilty I didn't kill him. I was last to be shot."

Another shell-shocked soldier - who witnessed his colleagues being wiped out in front of his eyes - is asked how he copes. He answers: "When I find a way I'll let you know."

Martin adds: "I think we are seeing more injured now as more are surviving due to the great work of surgeons and medical teams in the field hospitals on the ground. The biggest factor for us while we are working is our environment. "The noise has an effect and there are limitations. "You are in the back of an aircraft which maybe had a Chinook in it the previous trip." But it's not the treatment that gives the team nightmares. It's dealing with distraught families of the men waiting for them to land back at RAF Lyneham in Wiltshire. Martin reveals: "Sometimes there are members from the same unit on board. "It's very difficult as we have to think of the patient's right to privacy but at the same time we want to help.

"But the most difficult and emotional part is going back and talking to the next of kin. It's often the boy's parents, fiancée or wife. They don't have a lot of information and they want to know what's happened. It can be very difficult to have to tell them the extent of the injuries."

RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire is home to six C-17 s - the most expensive pieces of kit owned by our armed forces. Flown by 99 Squadron, they are on standby 24/7 and can retrieve injured troops within 36 hours of an incident. 99 Squadron is also increasingly deploying soldiers to the frontline and the dangers of flying into a war zone are always in the back of the medics' minds. But Martin insists: "We have nothing like the danger the guys at the forward operating bases are in."

Each patient has a dedicated team looking after them and flight nurse Therese-Anne Kelly says: "They don't remember an awful lot. You constantly have to reassure them as there's good research to suggest your hearing stays with you at times like that. You always, always have to treat the patient as if they are awake."

"We see badly injured bodies day in and day out, week in and week out. We bring them back to their families and there is a lot of emotion there." Flight Lt Niven Phoenix adds: "You wouldn't be human if you weren't moved by seeing someone's body damaged beyond comprehension. Some of the people you've taken out you could be bringing back in a few weeks. And some of the lads were telling us they've already tied tourniquets on to their legs just in case they lose one. These lads are operating in a whole different sphere of bravery. I couldn't do that."

The Scottish Sun


From: Gerry Davis, Bedminster
Sent: 25 March 2010 12:12
Subject: A Thank You To Our Troops

Hello again Tony,

I would like, if I may, to pay tribute to, and show my personal gratitude, to all our serving and retired service men and women together with those of our allies, who we rely on for so much.

I feel there is a need for a special mention to those of you who have served or are serving in the forces of Australia, Canada and New Zealand, who over the years have always been at our sides and supported us here in the UK in the conflicts which we have found ourselves in throughout the world.

I can imagine that in your own countries you must be affected, as we are, by the ever-increasing numbers of our fallen and those who suffer the wounds of war, resulting in In their young, shattered lives changing forever.

Here in the UK there has been much publicity in how we have failed, as a nation, to consider our heroes, together with the lack of help on their return into civilian life and their prospects for employment. It is also difficult to understand in a time of war that we no longer have any military hospitals.

There are, of course many organisations, which offer support and comfort, as the healing process takes hold. There are also many special events, which raise millions of pounds to provide specialist facilities, especially for the ever-increasing numbers who have lost limbs.

One of the not often mentioned problems is the families, who are left to deal with the trauma and stress, of the loss of a husband, father, brother, sister son or daughter, and not forgetting sweethearts and partners and the effect this has on their lives.

We who have served or are serving know of these things, but in a selfish greed riddled world that is today, it is hard to understand the politics of it all.

We must be grateful that these conflicts are not on our doorsteps, although, there is an increasing number of dissidents and incidents with terrorists which are slowly changing our cherished way of life in our proud countries

The finances of our country seem to be in turmoil, our troops are short of the right sort of equipment, our politicians, are self centred and in it for themselves.

One thing is sure; we have a commonwealth of friends and comrades, who we cannot do without. Bless you all.

Thank you.

Gerry Davis

Thank you for that Gerry.

More than 2,500 left handed people a year are killed from using products made for right handed people

From: David Stevens, Bangor
Sent: 30 March 2010 01:12
Subject: RE: UKMAMS OBA OBB #031910

As ever Many thanks Tony You really are something else!! Packed full of good stuff.

I will be in touch when I retrun from Myanmar later in May.

Keep well and best regards


Thanks David - as Jack would say, "Go well."

From: Ian Berry, West Swindon
Sent: 29 March 2010 12:11
Subject: BUA VC10 - ADEN

Hi Tony,

I think I'm losing it as I was sure I saw a picture on one of this years briefs relating to BUA?

Attached picture is of some steps (ex-BUA) now at the Brooklands Museum. They are against the side of the Sultan of Oman's ex-personal VIP VC10. The aircraft began life with BUA prior to the SOAF acquiring it.

Coincidentally my first deployment overseas to Aden was on a shiny new BUA VC10 Gatwick-Khormaksar.

Coming back it was a BUA Britannia Khormaksar-Tehran-Athens-Gatwick. (At that time Iran was stable but there had just been a Military Coup in Greece!)

Cheers for now,


Lifestyles of the rich and famous...


Pierce Brosnan once worked with the circus as a fire eater


Pearls melt in vinegar


That's it for this issue

Have a great weekend!