05 April 2002


New members joining us this week are:

Kumar (Mo) Mohindra from Andover, UK

Pete Tuite from Lyneham, UK (First and only Rock Ape to serve on the squadron!)

Dave Cromb from Brisbane, Australia

Welcome to the OBA!


From:     Bill Nangle, Victoria, BC,
Date:      29 March 2002 12:50
Subject:  21 Mov Ops Course

Hi Tony,

Glad you liked the pic!!  Let me just say that the uniform tunic I'm wearing in the photo would no longer fit! :-)

Interesting story about one of the guys in that Photo, Bob Percy.  He was a real lazy [person of uncertain heritage], who was forever off sick.  One day he "hurt his back" and was given 7 days off.  All went well until about 3 days later when his DAMO arrived at Swindon Station, climbed in a cab and found Bob was driving the cab!!

Needless to say, Mr Percy was marched right to jail, and left Her Majesties Service shortly after ;-)

Ah! the good times!!

Feeling a lot better these days, it’s just wonderful what a pill a day can do for you.  I've started a rigorous exercise program, and hopefully, soon, I'll get back into that old tunic ;-)

Happy Easter!

[Ed:  Thanks Bill - Glad to see that you're on the mend and looking forward to hearing from you more often. Trust me, I know exactly what you've been going through. One of the best cures, apart from the one Aspirin a day - is walking - and I walk at least five miles a day. The picture can be seen in Images 1970


From:     Ian Envis, Crowborough,  
Date:      29 March 2002 16:47
Subject:  Re: Old Boys Briefs 032202


First time I have found the time to write...

I found it a great shame that Martin Liggett used the OBA Website to become somewhat personal about the Oggies of 4624 Movs Sqn RAuxAF when they have been 'called-up' to support the regulars.

In 1982, when the Sqn first formed, the regulars had been under much pressure with the Falklands war and many of us saw assorted RN, Army and TG18 LL qualified people drafted into BZN and LYN to overcome Mover shortages. Later in 1990 the MOD and others dithered about calling-up the Oggie Movers.

Irrespective of Martin's experiences and apparent personal grievances, surely VERY KEEN and trained Oggies - within the limits afforded by the inadequacies of the training aids and time on real airframes that MOD and others impose, are superior to the assorted rag-tag people that assisted the regular Movers in 1982 and again in the early part of 1990?

Likewise, the slur cast by Martin reflects on hard work by many well known regulars and ex-regulars that served with 4624: Derek Pilkington, Derek Coles, Frank Thorington - to name a few, and the ultimate leader in the form of the strong silent Bob Dixon (the voice of MAMS and 4624 surely?).

As many will remember, diplomacy is not a well known Envis trait (nor tact!). Perhaps Martin can reflect on his comments and realise that the Oggies are here to stay if President Blair and his cronies get their evil way. More UN style deployments and over stretch of the regulars, the life for the ''volunteers'' is not going to get easier - nor is that of The MOVERS (Mobile and static).

All the above said Tony, an outstanding website and very useful for news and fond memories.

Cheers Ian

[Ed:  Thanks Ian - I was hoping someone would respond to the challenge!]


From:     Dave Cromb, Brisbane, Qld.,
Date:      29 March 2002 17:12
Subject:  Re: Welcome

G'day Tony,

Have received  mail from Bob Turner & Bill Nangle, excellent! Also received contact from a real old buddie, Alan Warwick-Moore.  Sadly he also attached a photo of the drinking team of Air Movs Akrotiri 1969-71, I aged 30 years in an instant!

Thanks Tony, I'm sure this is going to be sensational.  Will revert with an article when I'm able to access web & have scanner.

Do you see any teams whist they are on task?  Sadly not too many stage thru Brisbane, and when they do time is against them.  The closest RAAF base to me is Amberley, some 2 hours drive away. I can almost see Brisbane airport from my place, 3 km's away.  I do see & hear the odd Herc (RAAF) usually when doing East Timor rotations.

Gotta go, cheers


[Ed: Unfortunately I don't get to see any teams in this neck of the woods.  It's great to see that you've been able to make contact with some old friends Dave - welcome!]


From:     Ian Berry, Swindon,
Date:      30 March 2002 18:54
Subject:  20 Years on…


With the 20th Anniversary of the Falkland’s War just about to happen, I thought I'd forward on some photos.

I spent most of the conflict on Ascension Island where we were running a 24 hour operation with three 6 man teams and three other men on days. Numbers of personnel on the island were tightly controlled due to the non-availability of water. The first team 'in' included Jim Stewart, Stu Everett, John McClymont and Dave Salmon. Hopefully Dave can fill in some of the gaps.

Next team down included Gordon Gray and Tony Searle followed by my team which included Derek Barron, Ian 'Dinger' Bell, Dave Brown and Paul Newman. We were followed by the late Ian Thomson, Nige Robinson and Kev Sullivan.

The first couple of weeks were really hectic as most of the ships had sailed without their full complement of stores. On arrival at Ascension (Wideawake) the stores were 'vert repped' (vertical replenishment) out to the ships. Once they came in range the Chinook (removed from the Atlantic Conveyor) would begin to fly out stores and as the range decreased the SeaKing joined in followed by the Wessex and then 'tailed off' in reverse order once the ship headed south.


[Ed:  Thanks Ian - all of the photographs can be seen in Images 1980 - and I'm sure they will bring some memories back to the people who served in both Ascension and Stanley during the war.]


From:     Mo Mohindra, Andover,
Date:      01 April 2002 114:01
Subject:  Re:  Welcome

Hello Tony,

Thank you for your welcome and acknowledgement.

I am glad the search led me to the site. I do have a black and white photo to send to you. It is the group photo of the last movers at Gan taken in early 1976, a couple of months before Gan shut down. Fitzzy at the RAFMS has the photo at the moment as he wanted a copy for himself. As soon as I get it back it will be scanned and despatched.

Rgds for now. Keep up the good work.


[Ed:  Thanks Mo, looking forward to that.]


From:     Martin Liggett, Swindon,
Date:      04 April 2002 09:53
Subject:  Aircrew Feedback 


Could you please remove the advert for a DC8 loadie, as the job is now filled.

Also, there’s an interesting thread on the pprune website, in the Military Pilot’s Forum, check out "How many Blunties does it take to....???"  Page 2, where a bitter and twisted CH47 crewman slags off Movers.  I'm sure Ian Berry would have a few words to say.


[Ed:  I have removed the advertisement as requested.  I did have a look at the Pilot's Forum, and found the offending item which is repeated below. I've also reprinted one of the better responses - which really sums it up!]:

"TheSeeFarShadow" (CH47 Airman Aircrew):   How many Blunties does it take to change an Operational Det into a RGF circus?

I want out, (prepare for rant), all it took was an operational detachment somewhere sunny.  Maybe I'm the only aircrew to notice that the Royal Air Force, or maybe the Royal Ground Force, is run by empire building "what's a Tristar / Nimrod / VC-10 / Herc" circus. Yes, so that's laid it on the table, you know where I am.

I am completely appalled by the attitude of 'supporting' blunties. I came here with an open mind. Yes, I've been on many single type dets, but does it really take so many 'support personnel' to support themselves. I'm not talking about the techies, who work harder than we do, it's the 'hangers on'.

Maybe they're now being scaled down, but there are still PTI(s), MT drivers, a dozen Plods, Padre(s), Movers, Medics and Admin Guru's friends (if he has any) and a SWO who are not needed. I'm sure they have friends and families in the UK to go home to instead of being OOA.

In these days of the Armed Forces being overstretched, why overstretch them needlessly? The Royal Air Force remain the Royal AIR Force because we are here to support the aircraft and aircrew, we are not the "Tactical 'I'm important' Wing" or "Joint Services 'I'm more important than you' Unit". You don't need to know what we do or do not do, you just need to know that the length of sideburns don't matter in the big scheme of things and that "it's easy for some, lying in the sun all day" is not valid if you're only here to stitch people with you're merry "no, put your ID in my hand" *****.

I've enjoyed being in the RAF, but now, well what can I say, the emphasis is all wrong. This is not a bitter and twisted FS, this is a FS who wants to stay in the RAF, A FS who is keen to do the job, but a FS who has had enough. I fear I'm not alone. Someone turn the lights out. Adios


[Ed:  Here's that response I mentioned...]

"Cpl Plod" (Just another number):  Are you tired? (brings hands up to face and rubs eyes). Nice rant, someone has obviously wound you up, but do you really think the pointy things could do their job without ground support? Don’t want to start the aircrew -v- the rest discussion again, I think it’s been covered enough and most trades acknowledge that their job is to assist in keeping the planes in the air.

I totally agree with you, blunties are a total waste of time on Det’s and should all be sent home ASAP (PMA please note). They leave their families and friends and swan off to foreign lands for 4 months (or longer) at a time and their sole intention is to p!$$ off aircrew. In my experience of  Det’s the following blunties had no reason for being there:

Adminers (everyone’s favourite on these pages) – All they do is sort out pay, allowances, aircrew in flight catering (some Det’s), travel arrangements, compassionate cases, make local currency available.

Cooks (you can’t chef an egg can you!) – All they do is cook food, what a waste of time.

MT – Swan about all day, sorting out hire vehicles, making sure people have the required local driving paperwork, get vehicles repaired, driving bowsers, driving big trucks full of stuff from place to place.

Movers – Keep jumping on and off nice clean transport aircraft unloading / loading freight, passengers.

Techies (general – non aircraft related) – so many different trades fixing things you don’t need on Det, generators, computers, air conditioners, anything electrical, the list goes on.

Medics – Why on earth do we need medical support on Det? The local Doc’s all speak perfect English, are really friendly, know all of the vagaries of aircrew medicine and their equipment is all clean.

Rock’s – Bumbling around carrying their various weapons, NBC sentry equipment, Rapier, never had a Det attacked, why bother.

Posties – Getting the post through (personal and official), can’t be that hard (Bloody Army for Gods sake, who invited them to our Det).

Suppliers – Surely if we need anything on Det we could just use the Amex card, obviously you can buy jet engines, flying suits, wiggly amps etc in the local market

PTI’s – They provided people with things to do on their down time, mini-expeds, never have any secondary duties.

Coppers (a personal favourite) – Physical security of Det (with Rocks - it’s that teamwork thingy), Computer Security, Document Security, liaison with other policing agencies (V V useful for getting aircrew assets out of pokey so they can man the pointy things), ensuring off base places (if any) are safe to visit. Oh and they also do police work (making sure Det personnel don’t beat the crap out of each other or steal everything in sight (do not even think that aircrew don’t do these things – I know you would be wrong)).

As for the other branches of the military, why are they there at all? I remember the pride I felt in ’82 watching the Nimrod crew yomping into Stanley, the elation of watching the ALM’s raising the Union Flag over the embassy in Kuwait in ’91 and the satisfaction of seeing ** Sqn aircrew marching into Kosovo. Do your job and let us do ours, we’re there to support you so let us. Remember that if the rules & regs seem petty, we don’t make them, they come down from on high (must be AVM PTI’s, AM Suppliers and ACM Cooks).

PS. If the crews didn’t have enough vehicles, do you not think the UK based planners or sqn recce / advance party should take some of the blame?


From:     Mo Mohindra, Andover,
Date:      04 April 2002 10:33
Subject:  New IT System

I am at present involved in procuring a new computer system for the 'Movers' to do their  IT business on. It will replace the existing Air Movements IT systems which are dying in Dec 03. We (Andy Hawker and me) have christened the new system 'RAMIS' Replacement Air Movements Information System. In search of 'RAMIS'  we have to come into contact with senior management and consultants. I found the attached whimsical ditty which sort of captures my frustrations as I charge and fight 'windmills' in my quest for RAMIS. It might cause a little titter among the OBA.

The Boat Race

The MOD and the Japanese decided to have a competition boat race on the river Thames. Both teams practised long and hard to reach their peak performance and on the big day they were as ready as they could be.

The Japanese won by a mile!

Afterwards the MOD team became very discouraged by the result and morale sagged. Senior management decided that the reason for the crushing defeat had to be found and a special Integrated Project Team was set up to investigate the problem and recommend appropriate action.

Their conclusions: the problem was the Japanese had eight people rowing and one steering. MOD had one person rowing and 8 people steering.

Senior management immediately hired an expensive consultancy company to do a study of the team structure. Millions of pounds and several months later, the consultancy company concluded that; too many people were steering and not enough were rowing. 

To prevent losing to the Japanese again the next year, a Regional Organisation Review (ROR) was undertaken and the team structure was changed to Four Steering Managers, Three Senior Steering Managers and one Executive Steering Manager.

A new  'Quality Performance' system was set up for the person rowing the boat to give him more incentive to work harder and become a 'key performer'.  Mission statement -  "We must give him empowerment and enrichment”.  That ought to do it.

The next year the Japanese won by two miles!

MOD laid off the rower for poor performance, sold off the paddles, cancelled all capital investment for new equipment, halted the development of a new canoe, awarded high performance awards to the consultants and distributed the money saved to Senior Management.

Regards Kumar (MO) Mohindra 

[Ed:  Thanks Mo, you'll have to keep us all updated on your "Quest for RAMIS"]


New on the site this week?  20 Photographs have been added to the site – just check the Notice Board for a complete listing.


Well, that's it for this week.

Have a great weekend

Best regards