04 April 2003


From: Steve Maunder, Exeter, UK
Date: 28 Mar 2003 05:45
Subject: Recent Events

Hi Tony,

Many thanks for the latest weekly brief, it's great to think that the guys "at the sharp end" can still keep in touch with the rest of us through Email. Keep up the good work guys - we are all thinking about you and trust that you all return safely.

Had an e-mail from an old oppo, Derek "The Baron" Barron this morning. Like me, he has been accused of "scratching at door" by his family since this whole incident kicked off in the Gulf. It's surprising how many people have asked me when/ if I'm going to get "called up"! I have suggested perhaps we should get a few others who are still of healthy mind and limb together and volunteer our services to Ian Berry as "Pensioner Team". We will need a good boss - Jerry Allen what are you doing for the next few months??

Joking aside, I know the trade was very stretched last time around and it looks like this time it may continue even longer, so who knows? If the letter dropped on my door mat tomorrow, I wouldn't even think twice... running a children's adventure park vs. saving lives... not much thought needed there I think.

Best wishes to all the troops keeping the goods moving and keep your heads down...

Steve Maunder
Kilo Team (80-85)

PS Please note change of phone number Tony - 01803 310063 


From: Greg Saunders, Carterton, UK
Date: 28 Mar 2003 14:45
Subject: Short Flights

Hi Tony

I'm currently one of the "war-dodgers" (NOT my choice!) at Brize Norton. Currently leading a Traffic Team of lads and girls who have just received an education into the amount of baggage pallets that can be built by one shift!!! It has been busy (very busy at times!) recently as you would expect...

I remember recently there was a discussion on longest and shortest flight times. How's this...I was on a MAMS task in '96 and we landed at Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma. A pretty crap night as it was a year to the day of the Oklahoma City bombing so the mood was pretty crap amongst the locals. Next day we got to the airport and the crew mentioned we needed some kind of special blended military fuel (don't ask me details I'm not a techie!!). They requested a tanker be sent over from Tinker AFB just over the freeway. This was turned down. So we started up, trundled off for the runway, took off, banked over and landed at Tinker. If my memory serves me we were airborne for less than 2 minutes. 

Shortest flight between two airfields? Possibly!


Greg Saunders


From: Rip Kirby, Basingstoke, UK
Date: 30 Mar 2003 09:06
Subject: Joke of the Week


News reports have filtered out early this morning that US Special Forces have swooped on an Iraqi primary school where they detained teacher Mohammed Al-Hazar. Sources indicate that when arrested Al-Hazar was in possession of a ruler, protractor, compass and a calculator.

US President George W Bush argued that this was clear and overwhelming evidence that Iraq did indeed possess weapons of maths instruction.


Rumour corner - you didn't hear it from me, but...

Forces still wearing boots that melt

British forces in Kuwait are still suffering from a lack of desert boots and some are finding that their standard black combat boots are melting.

Geoff Hoon, Defence Secretary, has been joined by Iain Duncan Smith, the Conservative leader, and his defence spokesman Bernard Jenkin in playing the problem down after visits to the troops in Kuwait.

Despite Mr Hoon's insistence that British troops were fully prepared for war and that the right equipment was on its way, desert boots are just one of a list of missing items that includes clothing, hats and goggles.

The lack of the boots is a particularly acute problem for troops and airmen at air bases in Kuwait where the hot tarmac and heat from aircraft engines is melting the soles of their standard issue "boots, combat, high", described by one senior officer as "totally inappropriate".

Warrant Officer 2 Ralph Deegan, who as quartermaster with a detachment from 21st Signals Regiment at an air base near the border with Iraq is practised at finding stores and equipment, said even he could not get desert boots.
"There is the infrastructure in place, but a shortage of equipment in the system," said Sgt Maj Deegan. "It sticks in the throat to be told by politicians in the UK that there is no problem.

"I am a professional in supplies and I have to go out and do what I can and I may have to beg or barter. I'm sick of being referred to as a 'Flintstone' or a 'Borrower' by the Americans."

When it was rumoured back in January that more than half the soldiers going to the Gulf were buying their own desert boots, the MoD said they did not need to do so. Cpl Cheryl Rowland, another member of 21st Signals Regiment stationed at the air base, bought a pair and her mother sent her out a desert uniform. "I don't know what I'd be wearing if it is wasn't for my mum," she said.

The MoD said the desert equipment was being sent to the front line first and troops at air bases would not get theirs until later. But one member of a front-line tank crew said that he and his colleagues were also having to make do with standard issue black boots and were soaking their feet twice a day to reduce swelling. "It's like wearing Wellington boots filled with water," said Cpl Simon Gray, from a Challenger 2 crew with the Queen's Royal Lancers. "We're tipping the sweat out."

The disarray over supplies of desert uniform comes despite a report by the National Audit Office in September 2001 criticising the lack of desert boots. The study said the black boots melted in desert heat and led to soldiers being taken off an exercise because of footrot.

Wg Cdr David Picton, in charge of the Tactical Support Wing of the RAF contingent at the base, said: "The Americans keep asking why we have so many different regiments here in my crew and I tell them we don't. It's just we can't get hold of the same uniforms."

Mr Jenkin said yesterday there were logistical problems. "But everything I asked about when I was out there, I was absolutely assured would arrive in time."

Soldier opts to wear Iraqi boots

A British soldier has put on Iraqi army boots that he found in an abandoned barracks after the Army black boots he was sent in the Gulf fell apart in the desert heat.

Guardsman Lee Williams, 18, of the 1st Battalion Irish Guards, part of the Desert Rats Royal Scots Dragoon Guards battle group, said that his new Iraqi boots were "lighter and more comfortable." No replacements had been available for his disintegrating boots, he said.

His disclosure is one of the most embarrassing examples so far of equipment shortages affecting British forces since they arrived in the Gulf. Other soldiers are wearing patched combat trousers, repaired in one instance by removing a pocket, and in another by cutting up a colleague's spare shirt.

Soldiers also say they must put on wet desert combat trousers because they have received only one pair each and have nothing else after washing their clothes.

Army officers admit problems in supplying equipment, partly because of the short time between the announcement of the British deployment and the soldiers' arrival, but say the troops' combat effectiveness is unharmed. Some also say soldiers have always complained about kit shortages, almost regardless of that provided.


From: John Bell, Cairns Qld., Australia
Date: 31 Mar 2003 02:34
Subject: The UKMAMS Way

A member of UKMAMS was deployed to Iraq. While he was there he received a letter from his girlfriend. In the letter she explained that she had slept with two guys while he had been gone, she wanted to break up, and she wants pictures of herself back.

So the guy does what any squared away Muppet would do. He went around to his buddies and collected all the unwanted photos of women he could find. He then mailed about 25 pictures to his girlfriend with the following note:

"I'm sorry but I can't remember which one you are, but please take the one that belongs to you and send the rest back. Thank you."


From: Gordon Gourdie, Euxton, UK
Date: 31 Mar 2003 06:15
Subject: Irish Tramp

Hi Tony,

Don't know if you want to use this or not but I thought we could give the Scousers a break. My wife is Irish by the way and found this quite amusing.

Paddy the tramp knocks on the door of a big mansion house and asks the woman if she can give him some work to do for a few pounds 'cos he's feckin starvin.

The woman gives Paddy a tin of paint and a paint brush and tells Paddy to paint the porch.

Half an hour later Paddy knocks on the door and tells the woman he's done the job. The woman gives him a tenner.

As he's walking away he says to the woman, " By the way, it's not a Porsche, it's a feckin Mercedes Benz!"


From: Charles Collier, Marlborough, UK
Date: 01 Apr 2003 04:01
Subject: Ultimate Indulgenge Journey, Circa 1970

Hello again Tony,

Going back to my time as DAMO at RAF Changi I was contacted by my good friend Bob, a fellow movements officer working at the HQFEAF air booking centre. He had information regarding a forthcoming exercise recovery by the resident Hercules Sqn, No 48, at RNZAF Whenuapie, North Island New Zealand. Consequently, there would be plenty of spare capacity going outbound to New Zealand, but the return would be taken up with recovery payload. He had the idea that three people: Bob, Peter and Charles; all RAF officers at RAF Changi could pay a visit to North island New Zealand as indulgence passengers.

Bob had also noted that a Britannia ac on a training flight was transiting east about from Lyneham and was due to flag stop Auckland Airport some 10 days after the exercise recovery. From there it's itinerary gave a stop at RAF Changi - our return destination. I said that it was a very chancy trip relying on the availability of three seats being offered on the Britannia at Auckland airport. But that I had a plan! I said that what I could do to guarantee our return trip was to book out a complete Britannia aircraft triple seat unit and take it with us to New Zealand.

Bob thought it was a great idea, so that's what I did! 

The trip outbound was very satisfactory and we arrived at RNZAF Whenuapi complete with seat unit and lodged it with the RNZAF air movements unit there.

We had a most enthralling 10 days in the North Island and when that was finished we made our way to collect the seat unit from the air movements unit. They gave us a lift with the seat to the international airport where we waited for the arrival of the Britannia. It arrived and the captain and crew walked passed us on their way to ops - the captain a senior Sqn Ldr, turned round and pointed at our triple seat and said, "what have you got that here for?" And furthermore, "who are you?" We explained and he fell about shaking with amusement. In all his years as an RAF Air Transport pilot he had never before been approached by prospective indulgees with such a proposal. He asked where we were going to, and RAF Changi was their next stop. So he took us with our seat unit which was not needed after all!

When you go on an any world wide trip, always make sure that you have done all you can do, to get back - if you want to that is!

Many regards to all



From: Jack Riley, Urangan Qld., Australia
Date: 31 Mar 2003 18:58
Subject: Useless Facts

If you yelled for 8 years, 7 months and 6 days you would have produced enough sound energy to heat one cup of coffee. (Hardly seems worth it.)

If you had flatulence consistently for 6 years and 9 months, enough gas is produced to create the energy of an atomic bomb. (Now that's more like it!)

A pig's orgasm lasts 30 minutes. (In my next life, I want to be a pig.)

A cockroach will live nine days without its head before it starves to death. (Creepy, but I'm still not over the pig.)

Banging your head against a wall uses 150 calories an hour. (Do not try this at home...... maybe at work.)

The male praying mantis cannot copulate while its head is attached to its body. The female initiates sex by ripping the
male's head off. ("Honey, I'm home. What the....?!")

The flea can jump 350 times its body length. It's like a human jumping the length of a football field. (30 minutes ... lucky pig ... can you imagine??)

The catfish has over 27,000 taste buds. (What could be so tasty on the bottom of a pond?)

Some lions mate over 50 times a day. (I still want to be a pig in my next life...quality over quantity)

Butterflies taste with their feet. (Something I always wanted to know.)

Right-handed people live, on average, nine years longer than left-handed people. (If you're ambidextrous, do you split the difference?)

Elephants are the only animals that cannot jump. (OK, so that would be a good thing....)

A cat's urine glows under a black light. (I wonder who was paid to figure that out?)

An ostrich's eye is bigger than its brain. (I know some people like that.)

Starfish have no brains. (I know some people like that too.)

Polar bears are left-handed. (If they switch, they'll live a lot longer.)

Humans and dolphins are the only species that have sex for pleasure. (What about that pig??)


From: Andrew Kay, Stafford VA, USA
Date: 02 Apr 09:22
Subject: A Couple of Anti-French Anecdotes...

The lads might enjoy these two Tony,


Andy Kay

You are the President of the United States. Scientists have discovered a meteor that is headed towards the earth. They have calculated that it will strike France in 2 days, at approximately 2:30 A.M. The meteor is large enough to completely wipe France from the face of the earth forever.

France and the United Nations have requested that the United States send all available ships and aircraft to help evacuate the country. Among the ships and planes you could be sending are many that are being used to fight the war on terror overseas.

As the President, you must decide if you:

A) Stay up late on the night of the impact to watch the coverage live?

B) Tape it and watch it in the morning?


Once upon a time in a nice little forest, there lived an orphaned bunny and an orphaned snake. By a surprising coincidence, both were blind from birth. One day, the bunny was hopping through the forest, and the snake was slithering through the forest, when the bunny tripped over the snake and fell down. This, of course, knocked the snake about quite a bit.

"Oh, my," said the bunny, "I'm terribly sorry. I didn't mean to hurt you. I've been blind since birth, so, I can't see where I'm going. In fact, since I'm also an orphan, I don't even know what I am."

"It's quite OK," replied the snake. "Actually, my story is much the same as yours. I, too, have been blind since birth, and also never knew my mother. Tell you what, maybe I could slither all over you, and work out what you are, so at least you'll have that going for you."

"Oh, that would be wonderful" replied the bunny.

So the snake slithered all over the bunny, and said, "Well, you're covered with soft fur; you have really long ears; your nose twitches; and you have a tail so you must be a bunny rabbit. 

"Oh, thank you, thank you!" cried the bunny, in obvious excitement. The bunny then suggested to the snake, "Maybe I could feel you all over with my paw, and help you the same way that you've helped me."

So the bunny felt the snake all over, and remarked, "Well, you're smooth and slippery, and you have a forked tongue, no backbone and no balls. I'd say you must be French".

At the time of writing, Coalition Forces have secured Saddam International Airport and promptly renamed it Baghdad International. The move into Baghdad proper has begun.  It is rumoured that the airport will be "open for business" within 36 hours and I can imagine that UKMAMS will be there in strength setting up airhead facilities.  Our thoughts are with you all - be careful out there...


Well, that's it for this week

Have a great weekend!

Best regards