10 April 2009


New members joining us recently are:

Ade Ryan, Saint John, NB, Canada

"I left the Movs Trade in April 2008 after 25 years of service and now live in Saint John with my family starting a new life."

Carl King, Ayr, Scotland

Wayne Harker, Edmonton, AB, Canada

"I have been sitting back and watching for some time. Your site solved a question I have had for many years: Where on earth did the "Brits" come up with the cadence "Two - Six" when needing to put their backs into something. A recent issue finally came up with an answer for me."

Troy Lee, Ottawa, ON, Canada "Served MAMS 3 AMU Ottawa 1985-1989, MAMS 2 AMU Trenton 1996-2001 and TAMS 2001-2005 1 SVC Bn Edmonton. Thanks Tony for the great website."
Melinda Cotton, Penang, Malaysia "Currently posted to RMAF Butterworth as the Movements officer"

Welcome to the OBA!


From: Brian Lay, Wellington
Sent: 26 March 2009 20:15
Subject: RNZAF Mystery Photo 032709



Kiwi movers loading a howitzer gun for RAAF Townsville. Closest is Cpl Lani Varu from Ohakea Air Movements and ALM Pele Tanuvarsia on the C-130f



From: Budgie Baigent, Auckland
Sent: 26 March 2009 23:55
Subject: RNZAF Mystery Photo 032709

The RNZAF mystery photo depicts the loading of 4 x 105MM L119 light field guns onto Kiwi C130 heading from RNZAF Ohakea to RAAF Townsville in Nov 08 (for NZ Army participating in Exercise 'Long Guns')

Cheers, Budgie

One model of a Swiss Army knife offers 141 different tool functions (It weighs two pounds)

From: Jack Riley, Urangan, Qld.
Sent: 26 March 2009 22:38
Subject: Briefs

Hi Tony

Another great Briefs !

David Powell's mention of Henry VIII's wine cellar stirred a memory of my penance. In those days, of course, the building was the Air Ministry.

The story had it that during construction the whole cellar shooting match was put on rollers, shunted sideways while construction went on underneath and then shunted back into place.

It was surrounded by the red benches salvaged from the old House of Commons when it was bombed during the war.

Anyone know if they're still there ?




From: Steve Richardson, Trenton, ON
Sent: 26 March 2009 23:51
Subject: CAF Mystery Photo 032709


Here we go on this photo from the TAL School, CFB Edmonton, Alberta:

Top Row- (L-R) - Dave (Ducky) Donaldson, Art Little, Chris Benninger, Bill
Nangle, Kim Marshall, Andy Lacoste

Middle Row- (L-R) - Tammy Guay, Dave Figures, Archie Archambault, Bam-Bam
Beaulieu, Giselle Lessard

Front Row - (L-R) - Jess Sanford, Wayne O-Toole, Al Veilleux,  Francois St. Cyr

Just a note, this takes me back about 25 years !!!

Take care,

Steve Richardson


From: Troy Lee, Ottawa, ON
Sent: 27 March 2009 11:14
Subject: CAF Mystery Photo 032709

I recognise three people in the photo, the folks look so young.

Front row second from left Wayne O'Toole, middle row 4th from the left can't remember his real name but we called him Bam Bam 1 AMU Edmonton. Had some great trips with him at Thule AFB.

Back row 4th from left is Bill Nangle probably of 447 Sqn Edmonton. He used to fly with 450 Sqn in Ottawa.

I did a tasking with the chaps in the last CAF mystery photo. The exercise was Autumn Ramble fall 1986 with 450 Tac Hel.

I just started to read the UKMAMS website and it's great to see some old faces. Thanks Tony for a great web site.


Troy Lee


From: William Nangle, Kingston, ON
Sent: 27 March 2009 11:38
Cc: Steve Richardson, Trenton, ON, Canada
Subject: Re: CAF Mystery Photo 032709

Well, now I know who those guys were !!! Of course now that I've read from the names from Steve, all comes flooding back! Lots of great people in that photo.

That was TAL Support Initial Course 8303, finishing on 24 September 1983, nearly 26 years ago. I've no idea where the time has gone at all since those days, life is traveling at light speed it seems!

Thanks for adding to my memory bank!



From: Mike Gerigk, Port Alberni, BC
Sent: 27 March 2009 12:19
Subject: CAF Mystery Photo 032709

Hello Tony,

The CAF mystery photo was taken during a TAL or LAPES ground course at CFB Edmonton, at 435 Sqn TAL School back in l985.

Front row instructors (3) left to right, Jess Sanford, Wayne O'Toole and Al Lapage. I was an instructor at the school during this time frame. I cannot name the students, but they all look familiar.

I worked with Al at the Nose Dock, which is the TAL build up centre along with the LAPES build up center of the TAL School.

By the way Tammy Guay was the first female CDN Forces Loadmaster on the C130's. She's pictured first in the middle row.



The sound you hear when you put a seashell to your ear is actually blood flowing through your head

From: Steve Broadhurst, Melbourne, Vic.
Sent: 27 March 2009 01:40
Subject: UKMAMS OBA OBB #032709


Thanks for another of your great briefs.

I must take the time to thank Pete Clayton for his concerns regarding the Victorian bush fires. With over 200 fatalities, Black Saturday has again raised the spectre of just what living in, and with, the bush can mean. To the many, many people who have given in whatever form I know the people of Victoria will be forever grateful.

Also, Pete has been a great support and aide in getting me “sorted” in terms of my preserved pension. As Pete has told us, you have to make the running yourself as our beloved bureaucracy will not come looking for you to give you your well earned loot. I was pleasantly surprised to see how my tiniest of nest eggs has grown. Certainly worth the bother to follow up if you believe you qualify. Remember, it kicks in at 60 as well and you won’t/don’t get back what you missed out on.

Good to see DC in glowing health and free of medications (other than beer, of course).

Greetings to all movers, everywhere.


Steve Broadhurst


From: Keri Eynon, Newbury
Sent: 27 March 2009 03:00
Subject: RAF Mystery Photo 032709

This is Alan Douglas Pratt (he will kill me for that information!), known by everyone as "Boot". He was in "G" flight 305th Entry at Hereford in 1966 when I was in "B" flight. Met him again at Abingdon in June 1971 when I first went on MAMS. Then we were together at Gutersloh 1974-77 and at Lyneham in 1977 before he left the RAF in 1978.

At least that is who I think it is. Do not know much about where the photo was taken or under what circumstances.


Keri (Taff) Eynon


From: Dougie Betambeau, Swindon
Sent: 27 March 2009 07:43
Subject: RAF Mystery Photo 032709

That good looking intellectual would be Mr "Boot" Pratt, one of my many mentors when I first joined up. Is he auditioning for "Castaway"?

Dougie B


From: Gordon Gourdie, Chorley
Sent: 28 March 2009 03:29
Subject: RAF Mystery Photo 032709

Greetings Tony,

Looks like Alan " Boot " Pratt from the Abingdon era.




From: Clive Price, Brecon
Sent: 28 March 2009 09:43
Subject: RAF Mystery Photo 032709

Hi, Tony,

Hiding under the hair is one time SAC Boot Pratt of UKMAMS RAF Abingdon. The haggard early morning look is a dead giveaway.




From: Tim Newstead, Cheltenham
Sent: 27 March 2009 17:22
Subject: RAF Mystery Photo 032709

Hi Tony,

Another great Newsletter - thanks again! Now then, that just has to be Alan "Boot" Pratt strutting his stuff for the Rotherham branch of the International Plastic Modellers' Society (thank the Lord for Google!!).

Sad news indeed to hear of Andy Wilson's untimely death - we served together on the Movements School in the late 80's. Many thanks to IB for letting us know. After that, how very heartening it is to see DC back in form!

Keep up the good work!

Very best regards



From: Syd Avery, Torrevieja
Sent: 30 March 2009 06:34
Subject: Misery Photo.

Looks like a very young Alan (Boot) Pratt. The best looking model there!

My first long overseas trip to Antigua, Boot achieved sunburn on his... feet.



From: James Marchant, Carterton
Sent: 31 March 2009 06:40
Subject: RAF Mystery Photo #032709


That's no mystery, its the one and only Alan Douglas (Boot) Pratt, my old team mate from A team at Abingdon.

He obviously hasn't had a visit from Harry Jones recently otherwise he would not have any models to display!



From: David Howley, Melton Mowbray
Sent: 02 April 2009 06:04
Subject: RE: UKMAMS OBA OBB #032709

Hi Tony,

The mystery bearded figure, well known in northern IPMS (International Plastic Modellers Society) circles for his ability with the beer glass is Alan (Al) Pratt.

I had to consult another “Northern” modeller and magazine editor Neil Robinson and then the name did strike a chord.

I suppose I shall have to buy him a pint next November at Telford – I did not recognise him, despite having seen him at the Rotherham stand countless times – it’s the beard.



From: Bob Turner, Swindon
Sent: 03 April 2009 06:19
Subject: RAF Mystery Photo 032709

BOOT Pratt, Alpha team, MAMS UK, Abingdon


Bob Turner

Pickled ginger and minced mutton are popular pizza toppings in India

Britannia at Kemble marks 50th anniversary of RAF service

AIRCREW who flew the historic Bristol Britannia have marked the 50th anniversary of delivery of the first aircraft to RAF Lyneham. The forebear of the Hercules, which supplied British outposts in the furthest flung parts of the world, was eventually retired by the military in the defence cuts of 1975. But the only remaining complete example out of the 23 that served in the RAF, Regulus, has been preserved at Kemble Airport.

Sqn Ldr David Berry, who is often called on by the preservation society that looks after the plane to conduct tours, said: "It was the best time of our lives." He piloted Britannias including Regulus on long haul flights to the Arctic and Aden as well as regular 24-hour journeys to Singapore. The routes were often complicated to avoid causing diplomatic rows with hostile countries.

He was in Tanzania at the start of a massive 10-month "oil lift" to keep supply routes open to landlocked Zambia when UN sanctions were imposed on Rhodesia in the 1960s. The turbo prop airliners were also used to fly troops and equipment to newly-independent
Kuwait when it was threatened by neighbouring Iraq back in 1961. David, a member of the Britannia Association, which held a reunion at Lyneham on Thursday, said the long missions built a strong sense of comradeship among the crews. "We used to spend a tremendous amount of time away from home. Each time you started it was with a different crew, but at the end of two to three weeks you were good friends," he explained.

Fellow crew member Ian Partridge was a signaler and radio operator in the days when morse was still used as a means of long range communication. He said: "I just love coming back. I never miss an opportunity. Even the smell of it brings back memories."

More information about the planes are available from the Bristol Britannia Preservation Society online at

Wilts & Gloucestershire Standard


One of our members was missing. Don Hunter's last known address was in Macao PRC... and then he was gone. I feared that he had come afoul of a speeding rickshaw or tripped over a pile of discarded chopsticks. After several minutes of exhaustive searching I was finally able to track him down via his brother, Stuart. Here then is the rest of the story:

From: Don Hunter, Dubai
Sent: 27 March 2009 16:04
Subject: Re: Don...

Aaah, young Tony!

The truth is that I am in Dubai, having fallen for a lovely camel with fluttering eyelashes and the breath of a 6 week old bacon sarnie! Too good to pass up.

I have been in DXB for 6 months, working with the Emirates Group as a VP. I got my posting notice yesterday, and am going to be CEO of a company they are buying in the Philippines - move date 14 Apr, and based in Manila.

Very excited about it, and although its a dodgy place to work, it's a great job. 6000 in the team, and scope is ground handling, air cargo, catering, travel agencies, engineering and loads of non airline stuff. That movers training certainly was useful! Full contact/other details when I get there in a few weeks.

Thanks for thinking of me.

All the best


Once acre of wheat can produce enough bread to feed a family of four for about ten years

From: Graham Cotton, Peterborough
Date: 3/27/2009, 4:50 pm, EDT
Subject: Guestbook Entry

Looking for Geordie Patterson, last heard of at East Dereham 1978. We served together at RAF Masirah 72/73 and RAF Gatow 75/78.

Rgds to all


Air-to-Air refuelling by the VC10 tankers of 101 Squadron

It is a grey Thursday morning in March at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire. A four-jet VC10 flown by a crew from 101 Squadron speeds deafeningly down the runway and climbs into the clouds en route to its rendezvous at 20,000ft over the North Sea, somewhere between Scotland and the Norwegian coast. There, amid a maze of contrails, it trails its refuelling hoses and circles as pairs of jets, Typhoons and Tornados, approach cautiously from astern and plug into the baskets to receive fuel. An air-to-air refuelling (AAR) mission is a skilful and risky business for the 101 Squadron crews and the jet pilots. Both can be travelling at 450mph while refuelling. Recently one jet had to make an emergency landing at Newcastle airport after shattering its canopy during an attempt to refuel from a VC10 over the North Sea. The hose was damaged, and the VC10 had to continue refuelling with just one hose.

The tankers do not have limitless fuel and need to keep enough on board for their own return journey. The crews try to make sure that the jets finish receiving their fuel at the right time in the right place in the sky so as not to use fuel unnecessarily

Over the skies of Iraq AAR becomes even more dangerous. “There is no air-to-air threat but there is a threat from the ground,” says Squadron Leader David Currie, who has flown VC10s for five years. For its work the VC10 has earned the regal nickname of Queen of the Skies. In Iraq US jet pilots declared the VC10 tankers of 101 Squadron a godsend. While US tankers are restricted to prearranged areas of operations, the VC10 crews are more flexible. They cover large distances, carrying more than 70 tonnes of fuel, to refuel jets that are directly supporting troops on the ground. “We go where we are needed,” says Currie. “And we constantly listen to the radio to find out who else we can assist.” In a typical day over Iraq, they might refuel British jets or US Navy aircraft. The crews will spend eight or nine hours in the sky, and new recruits quickly build up their flying hours. The VC10s are also often used to fly wounded servicemen and women out of conflict areas. When the seats are stripped out there is space for 68 stretchers and medical equipment. In Basra the crews lifted the wounded out of the field often under heavy mortar. In one week they carried out three medical evacuations. But the work was deemed too risky for the VC10s and they now pick up patients from other Middle East nations before flying them back to the UK and Selly Oak Hospital in Birmingham.

But all things come to an end. In 2014, after nearly 50 years in military service, 19 of them in the Gulf, the fleet of 15 VC10s will go into retirement. The Ministry of Defence will replace the tanker fleet with its new future strategic tanker aircraft, the Airbus A330. The VC10s are in many ways a piece of history. It shows from their well-worn interiors and equipment, which is in constant need of servicing — and is increasingly expensive and hard to replace. It is one of few aircraft that still flies with a flight engineer on board. They started life as commercial airliners with BOAC in the 1960s and were capable of flying from hot and high airfields such as Nairobi. Today’s VC10, ZA149, is a pure “tanker” aircraft that once flew for East African Airways. The VC10s have operated from the Falkland Islands to Afghanistan. The passenger aircraft are used to carry the military and their families.

Until 2003 they also flew countless VIPs. They were favoured by Margaret Thatcher — it was in the cabin of a VC10 that she declared that she would go “on and on and on”. Tony Blair flew on the VC10s so often that he had his own sofa-beds installed.

As Britain pulls out of Iraq this year the VC10s will lose one of their key theatres of work. “Is there another job for the VC10 to do? Possibly. If not in the Middle East, it is ready to go wherever it might be needed next,” says Group Captain Jon Ager, the station commander of RAF Brize Norton. As yet no one is sure what the immediate fate of the fleet will be over the next couple of years.

It is still grey and overcast when ZA149 lands back in Brize Norton at lunchtime. The aircraft is checked over by engineers while the crew go for a debriefing. Group Captain Ager concludes: “Across the globe, the VC10 has delivered time and again, where and when it was needed. It has been and remains a versatile and potent beast.” With such a long career, stretching far beyond the simple passenger flights it was intended for, the VC10s’ retirement will be a well-deserved one.


The word "aftermath"was originally "aftermowth" referring to the new growth of grass after mowing

From: Charles Cormack, Lyneham
Sent: 28 March 2009 19:24
Subject: Forces Pensions


This is well worth a shot..

Follow the link and complete the petition.... You never know, it might just work given the current high profile of the UK Armed Forces these days.

Please circulate to other serving and retired UK Armed Forces contacts...



Please follow the link to petition No 10 to make all Military Pensions Tax Free.


From: Syd Avery, Torrevieja
Sent: 30 March 2009 06:31
Subject: Kathmandu

Antonio, Ciao Bello,

Gus, my cat's blacker than yours... Haul up a sandbag and set the lantern swinging... Long ago and far, far away... great for a song title!

Further to the missive from Augustus Turney, I was privileged to spend just under three months in Kathmandu in 1975 on the Ghurka rotations from Hong Kong and Brunei.

Brian Hunt was the officer i/c the massive detachment. Two of us. As there was to be a two week break in the flights due to the Coronation of King Bihendra, we were reinforced by another SNCO, Mac Bernhardt.

The three of us were invited to dinner one evening at the Ghurka camp, to which we duly presented ourselves. Mac and I were informed that we would be required to assist in the culinary preparations. No sweat.. .until we were advised of our duties..... Refer to Gus' photo.

Mac was the leg man, and I was the head man. I was told to pull on the lead as soon as the kukri went down. Not told why. Two muppets in position, with a Ghurka alongside the head with a bowl. Ceremonial kukri unsheathed, no need for the ceremonial pricking of the thumb, blessings, whooshthump, as the razor honed blade descended and separated the head from the body (of the goat, that is). I pulled the lead as requested, and the smaller part of the goat disappeared behind me, it's flight stopped by a hedge. I was told to retrieve the head, which I dutifully did. At this stage, the goat did not know what had happened to it. The eyes blinked and it was still chewing the grass in it's mouth.

As the goat's head parted company with the major part of the rest of itself, Ghurka Bowl leapt into action and thrust the bowl under the open (front) end of the larger part of the goat. (I've no idea what happened at the open (rear) end of the goat, Mac was looking after that). Anyway, back to Ghurka Bowl, his duty was to catch the goat's blood. I don´t know what the volume of blood there is in a goat, but it was far in excess of the capacity of Ghurka Bowl's bowl. Nevertheless, enough was collected for the intended purpose. The curry had a beautiful, rich, sauce...

Prince Charles was the Queen's representative at the Coronation, and Brian, Mac and myself received invitations to attend a Garden Party at the Embassy which was held in his honour. A group of about five of us, expats., a huge stranger et moi were chatting when Charles walked onto our part of the lawn. One of the expats. remarked "Short arsed little bugger, isn't he?" Huge Stranger says "You know, a lot of people say that." Expat: "Oh do you know him then, what do you do?" Huge Stranger: "Oh, just the Captain of the Queen's Flight." This feather hit the grass with a thunderous roar.

Sad to leave such a wonderful place and people, I thought I wouldn't see a Ghurka for quite a long time. I think it was Dixie Dean at Kai Tak who took me to the VC10 which I was travelling to the UK on. Walked through the door to see... 134 Ghurka faces with all relevant ancilliary parts attached!

Been back to Kathmandu with the Antonovs many times, but "progress" has changed it.

Stop the lantern, put the sandbags away.

Come on, guys, someone must have a blacker cat....

Keep on truckin'


Thanks Syd - let's see if anyone can "top" this one!

Leather doesn't have a smell - the scent comes from the chemicals used in the tanning process

From: Charles Collier, Devizes
Sent: 30 March 2009 16:55
Subject: Lack of Moral Fibre (LMF)

Hi Tony,

This is a rather sad affair; but one can never tell how one is going to react to circumstances presented in an operational situation.

With the current strategic political situation in Iraq and Afghanistan where our armed forces are actively engaged fighting a ferocious determined enemy - the Taliban. It’s rather surprising that we haven’t heard any mention of "Lack of Moral Fibre" (LMF). It was such a label that had been put upon some poor unfortunates who served in previous operational situations, as they had perhaps metaphorically failed in their primary duty to serve the Queen and Country.

I met one of these when I arrived back from Aden and was posted to RAF Marham. I was replacing a Flight Lieutenant (I’ll call him Roger as this is his story and not mine) who was Supply 2 overseeing local contracts, domestic supply and the clothing store. During the course of the handover I got to know Roger’s story.

He was commissioned into the RAF as a helicopter pilot and his first task was the Borneo Confrontation with the Indonesians in the period 1962 - 66. His job was ferrying out armed troops to the forward areas. The Whirlwind helicopter he flew could only carry some 6-8 armed troops so many airlift movements were needed to provide a force necessary to counter any potential Indonesian invasion.

It was during this course of events that he began to have second thoughts as to whether he was capable, with a dwindling lack of confidence, of carrying out his duties without loss of life due to an accident caused by him!

This all came to a head one morning when he reported to his squadron commander that he was not able to carry on his duties with the confidence necessary for safe operations and refused to fly the mission.

Being in an operational theatre - on a war footing - the authorities put the label of LMF on him and literally stripped his pilot's wings from his tunic.

He was returned to the UK and put through retraining as an equipment officer. He then arrived at RAF Marham on his first posting as such. There is a better result to this story: his case came up in front of a very notable, at the time, RAF psychiatrist who backed him up by saying that this officer showed more courage owning up to his shortfall to his squadron commander in a theatre of operations, rather than hiding it with perhaps a tragic result. The Air Force board accepted the medical officer’s finding and pilot’s wings were restored to his tunic. This happened whilst he was at Marham but I understand that even so he felt that he had been badly treated and he resigned his commission forthwith.

As a postscript to this story some 10 years later I was posted to the RAF Staff College unit staff as OC Supply Flight. I was taking lunch one day in the officer’s mess and sitting opposite was an Indonesian Air Force Lieutenant Colonel. I got talking to him. He was most affable and he wanted to know what postings I’d had up to that point. When I said that in 1970 I was posted to RAF Changi, Singapore his eyes lit up! He said that when the confrontation in the 1960’s was on he was a B28 bomber pilot and his allocated task was a suicide mission to crash his bomber on the operations block at RAF Changi! There was glee in his face and he explained that that was the last thing he would have chosen to do but with god’s grace he was spared from doing it.

Keep smiling



UK Veterans win fight for cards

Four million former servicemen and women are to be given veterans' cards to ensure they get priority treatment for NHS healthcare and housing, and discounts for services such as transport.

The Ministry of Defence plans to introduce the cards at the beginning of 2010, The Independent has learnt, in an attempt to begin repairing the damage done to the military covenant between nation and armed forces under New Labour.

The launch is expected to be formally announced this autumn with the first veterans' cards handed to new armed forces leavers in spring next year, before being rolled out to the country's four million former service personnel.

The aim is to ensure that those who have risked their lives in combat get front-of-the-queue treatment and financial benefits. Similar systems in the US and France offer veterans subsidised travel and discounts from private companies.

At a time when the armed forces have been stretched to breaking point in two bloody conflicts, there has been mounting anger that the priority treatment promised by the Government 18 months ago has failed to materialise. "We now need to make it happen," the Defence minister Kevan Jones told this newspaper. "We will provide veterans' ID cards so the person can say 'I have served in the services' and get priority access to treatment." Mr Jones spoke in response to this newspaper's campaign to get better mental health treatment for traumatised troops, launched after the Victoria Cross winner Johnson Beharry – the country's most decorated serving soldier – revealed his own combat-related trauma and urged the Government to stop failing his fellow soldiers with sub-standard or non-existent care.

Lieutenant General Sir Freddie Viggers, who until last year was Adjutant-General in charge of personnel, welcomed the veterans' card. "It is about value and self worth, not about a piece of plastic," he said. "We carry these cards for the whole of our service and when we leave we are required to hand them in. Psychologically, it is a bad thing. It is a little bit of plastic but it represents who you are and what you did."

The Conservative MP Patrick Mercer, former commanding officer with the Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment, said: "It is about bloody time. At last, a reasonable, sensible minister [Mr Jones] who listens to ideas from across the political spectrum."

The categories in the Forces Discount Scheme currently include some retraining, sports clubs, childcare, insurance, holidays and travel.

Veterans and senior soldiers have called on the Government to acknowledge a predicted "explosion" of traumatised troops from recent conflicts and provide specialist mental healthcare. "No one is suggesting there is not a problem," Mr Jones said, "but we need a grounded debate to understand it."

He admitted that many former servicemen were "lost" in the NHS system and vowed to ensure every GP was made to record whether or not a patient had served in the forces.

However, he refused to concede that former service personnel needed separate, dedicated care and risked the wrath of charities by suggesting they should fund provision of military health advisers. "Combat Stress [the charity] gets £3m of taxpayers' money. I don't think the Government should do it all. It is not about money. It is about the system working better."

The Independent.

Fossilized termite farts have been found preserved in amber

Whenuapai to be kept as air force base

Whenuapai airfield will have $60 million spent to upgrade it over the next three years as the Government decides to keep it as an active air force base.

Defence Minister Wayne Mapp said the Government had decided to overturn the previous Labour administration's intention to consolidate the country's Air Force operations at Ohakea in the Manawatu.

Because the base was allowed to run down over the last few years $60 million is needed to make it fully operational again - about $44 million of the programme will be spent on the 70 year old runways and the rest on workshop reconstruction and planning for new fuel storage will be put in place.

"Whenuapai suffered a decade of neglect under Labour," Dr Mapp said.

He was also quick to point out the upgrade will be a further work fillip for the region, safe guarding around 1000 existing workers and providing building work for local contractors.

"About a thousand people work at Whenuapai. This means their jobs are safe."

"Contractors in the region will welcome the work," he said. "Investing in quality infrastructure creates jobs, helps take the sharp edges off the current recession and prepares the economy for future growth once conditions improve.

The work sits alongside its Jobs and Growth plan, such as the $484 million to fast-track several roading, schooling and housing projects.

The decision brings to an end a long running series of proposals to turn the airbase into a civil aviation airport of some form if the air force had left.

The prospect of using the base was raised in 2002 and was pushed by Economic Development Minister Jim Anderton.

In 2007 Air New Zealand said it had a working party looking at basing some operations at Whenuapai saying it had possibilities as a dual use domestic airport which would have included Air New Zealand building and owning its own terminal.

Infrastructure investor Infratil, the majority owner of Wellington International Airport, also considered plans to lease part of Whenuapai in a joint venture with Waitakere City Council.

Dr Mapp says the reason for deciding against centralising the air force on Ohakea was to give greater flexibility to operations and keep the air force alongside the Navy, based at Devonport.

"Having two bases provides greater long-term flexibility. It makes sense for the Air Force's maritime capabilities (the Orions and Seasprite helicopters) to stay close to the Navy's Devonport base.

"The Cabinet decision also reaffirmed National Party policy, that Whenuapai would be used for Defence purposes. There will not be any scheduled civil air services at Whenuapai," he said.


RNZAF Celebrates Its 72nd Birthday

1 April 2009 - Today the Royal New Zealand Air Force celebrates 72 years of service to New Zealand.

Chief of Air Force, Air Vice-Marshal Graham Lintott says the RNZAF has a proud history of service to New Zealand that has ranged from defending the Pacific and fighting alongside the Royal Air Force during World War II, to assisting with peace-building in countries such as Timor-Leste and Afghanistan.

"As an organisation the RNZAF is one I am immensely proud of, both in terms of its history, where we are today, and as it looks forward to the future.

"Our history and tradition mean our people have the core values and competencies which, combined with our flexibility and innovation, mean we have the skills and knowledge to meet any future challenges

"Today we have personnel serving on operations around the world, in countries as diverse as Afghanistan, Timor-Leste and the Sudan. Our people are professional, highly skilled and motivated who work hard to ensure we are an Air Force that is the best in all we do and a valued partner at home and abroad.

"As the RNZAF looks to the future, it is entering an exciting time. In the coming decade we will introduce into service more than thirty new or significantly upgraded aircraft across six different fleets. The arrival of the first of the upgraded aircraft, the Boeing 757, signals the start of what will be a modern and versatile Air Force," said Air Vice-Marshal Lintott.

Members of the public are welcome to attend the official church service at 2.00pm on Sunday 5 April at St Paul's Cathedral, Wellington. The RNZAF Queen's Colour and the Standards of Numbers 3,5,40 and 42 Squadrons will be paraded; with music from the Central Band of the RNZAF.



The 2009 Air Movements Trade Golf Championship


China Fleet Club, Saltash, Cornwall, PL12 6LJ


3rd – 6th June 2009

This year's Dave Wall Memorial Golf Tournament will take place at The China Fleet Club between the 3rd and the 6th of June. Details of the event and application form are in the attached pdf file which you can view and save to your desktop. Click on the China Fleet link to access their website.



Beer Call - Meet & Greet


Tawny Owl Pub, Taw Hill, Swindon SN25 1WR


1900 Hrs Friday 17 July 2009

Don't miss this chance to pull up a sandbag and tell a few tall tales with fellow Movers.

"Pinky" Salmon will be back in the UK for the week on his way back from Oman to the States. If he owes you money then this is the time to catch him!

Pants with elastic waists were first introduced during World War II, when metal zippers were in short supply

From: Mohamed Awadh, Nisab
To: Jack Riley, Urangan, Qld., Australia
Subject: Asking


My name is Mohammed Awadh Al-aulaqi from Nisab,

I just saw this Aden Days made me so gald to see my grandfarhers photos,

May I ask you that, If you have more photos, Can we have copy of them?

We wanted to see any photos, because We have not seen them in our life.

I am waiting for you.



From: Jack Riley, Urangan, Qld.
Sent: 02 April 2009 23:30
To: Mohamed Awadh, Nisab, Yemen
Subject: Asking

Dear Mohammed,

Thank you for your email. I, too, was in Aden, in the RAF, working at HQ MEC at Steamer Point and living first in Ma'alla and later in  Khormaksar.

I have copied your email to Tony Gale who is our Webmaster to see if he can help.


Jack Riley


From: Tony Gale, Gatineau/Ottawa
Sent: 03 April 2009 05:04
To: Charles Collier, Devizes, UK
Subject: Aden Days

Hello Charles,

Have just received this enquiry from the Grandson of one of the people in your Aden Days article, and am not quite sure who that might have been; although he mentioned no one in particular I suspect it was possibly the Naib of the Upper Aulaqi tribe.

If you can help in any way it would be greatly appreciated. I believe he would like to see more photographs from your time as the escort to Alan D'Arcy. Now that you have that nice new scanner you can put it to good use!

Best regards



Ian & Christine Berry enjoying a Norwegian cruise last November

The O' prefix in Irish surnames means "grandson of"

From: Graham Flanagan, Stafford
Sent: 07 April 2009 11:03
Subject: Preserved Pension Rights


Just thought I would pass on a bit of info about Preserved Pension Rights.

I rang the number, 08000853600, that I noted from a previous newsletter and they said that you have to apply in writing to

Pensions Division
Kentigern House
65 Brown Street
G2 8EX


Graham (Geordie) Flanagan

Thanks for the heads up Graham - appreciated.


Royal Australian Air Force makes history

For the first time in history a Royal Australian Air Force Ensign was flown from the Canadian Flagpole at Regatta Point in the Australian Capital Territory on 31st March 2009.

Only the Australian National Flag, Canadian National Flag and the United Nations Flag have ever had the honour of being flown from the Canadian Flagpole in the National Capital. However on the 31st March 2009, history will be made when the Royal Australian Air Force Ensign is proudly hoisted above the National Capital to celebrate the 88th anniversary of the Air Force’s formation.

Airmen from Australia’s Federation Guard raised the Ensign at 07:00am. Air Force’s most senior enlisted airman, Warrant Officer of the Air Force JJ Millar will took the salute, as the Ensign was hoisted 40 metres above Regatta Point on this momentous occasion for the Royal Australian Air Force. The actual Ensign has been specially hand sewn and measures a substantial 7.3 by 3.6 metres.

Two F/A-18 Hornets belonging to Air Combat Group at RAAF Base Williamtown performed a flypast of the National Capital as part of Air Force’s celebrations. At 11:05am they ‘buzzed’ the Canadian Flagpole as a sign of respect and honour of the Ensign under which they proudly serve the people of Australia.

The Royal Australian Air Force Ensign was approved in its current form by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in 1981 and proclaimed an Australian Flag by His Excellency the Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia in 1982. This effectively made the Ensign the Battle Ensign of the Air Force. It is light-blue with a RAAF Roundel in the lower fly and the Southern Cross on the fly. The RAAF Roundel has a red kangaroo in motion at its centre.

As part of Air Force’s celebrations, RAAF Roundel flags also flew along King’s Avenue and the Russell roundabout from 23rd March until 03rd April.

The Canadian Flag Pole was erected in 1957 as a gift to Australia from Canada. It is located in a prominent position on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin at Regatta Point. Its erection was one of the catalysts leading to the eventual development of a significant central park – Commonwealth Park – for the national capital.

Air Force hopes to make the Ensign raising ceremony an annual event to mark the start of its birthday celebrations. The RAAF will celebrate its 90th anniversary in 2011.

Air Force News

27 percent of female lottery winners hid their winning ticket in their bra

Did you know that by left-clicking on...

Will take you to the Navigator page of the OBA website where you'll discover a wealth of articles and information keeping you entertained and amused for quite some time. If, when you hover over it, it glows, then it's ready to transport you! It is strongly recommended that you leave a note for your family and friends telling them where you'll be going and bring sufficient rations and liquids to sustain yourself for several days.
Opens up the archival treasure chest to not 10, not 20, not even 100, but over 175 (yes, that's right - one hundred seventy-five!) previous OBA Briefs going back as far as the beginning of the century. Be amazed and delighted - tell all your friends!

Any one of the different air force crests will give you access to that air force's member listings including where they are in the world, their e-mail addresses and their telephone numbers. If you're fortunate enough to come across a member's listing that has a secret clicking on that will reveal even more info!


Are you amazed and delighted yet? Wait! There's more!

The country flag next to a name at the header of an e-mail will open up an e-mail composing screen for you with that person's e-mail address conveniently already filled in. No more fiddling with confusing addresses and getting frustrated when everything goes wrong - it's all been done for you - automatically!

Hmmmm - there are no ads to click on - no tacky flashy thingies either - that's different - what a real pleasure it is to visit a site that has no advertising! How can that be?

The biggest secret is revealed - less than 3% of members have contributed with voluntary donations to keep the OBA running so far. Other than that it all comes out of my pocket.

You can help by clicking on the link at the bottom of this page. It takes just a few moments of your time and it will make a huge difference for all of us.



Komodo Island in Indonesia has more poisonous snakes per square foot than any other place on Earth

(Click on title bar if you know the answer)


(Click on title bar if you know the answer)

According to experts, there is a systematic lull in conversation every seven minutes

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(Click on title bar if you know the answer)

That's it for this issue - please note that the OBA uses only recycled bytes and electrons in the production of this newsletter.

Have a great weekend!