05 June 2009

New members joining us recently are:


Tony Mullen, Brisbane, Qld., Australia  


Rick Holland, London, ON, Canada

"Great site and your hard work is much appreciated."
Ken Whitby, Penticton, BC, Canada

Paul Vincent, Rockland, ON, Canada


Welcome to the OBA!


From: David Jones, Wellington
Sent: 14 May 2009 22:32
Subject: RE: UKMAMS OBA OBB #051509

Ooooo....reading through the news letter – talking about putting all your eggs in one basket ! Lyneham to close a former drafter and one who was involved in NATO lateral dispersal management – i.e. moving your eggs (or ac in my case) out of one basket into several in case of attack or whatever...closing Lyneham is just madness. Suppose they will move everything to Lyneham (assuming they haven’t built another housing estate on the real estate?) when they want to resurface the runways at Brize?!

We all remember when the RAF was larger than it is today...and even when I joined in the mid 70’s it was a reasonable size – by 1990-93 we closed heaven knows how many units and went down from almost 100,000 personnel to 55,000 give or take – closing Wroughton, RAFG, Ely, Halton Hospital, Neatishead, etc, we seen the demise of Coltishall, Innsworth, Lyneham and many other stations with significant history and the further down sizing of the many ways the world is more unstable than it was in the 70’s through to the 90’s – I hope someone has a contingency plan? Of course, as the down sizing goes on the work loads go up.

I remember the paper I submitted to my boss in the final six months of my service (in fact 22 Dec 99 it was dated) on the sustainability of OOA and ad hoc tasking for Movs personnel when I had only 66 personnel to review for selection for an urgent deployment out of a trade of around 900! The mere pressure placed on Air Movs personnel and families was untenable and with more closures I suspect more of the same to come. I do not envy those in the trade today.

Sorry Tony et al – had to have a moan – we all know those currently in can’t! - and even an ex TG17 knows that's not a Herc!


From: Terry Mulqueen, Hastings
Sent: 15 May 2009 05:06
Subject: Deliberate Mistake

Dear Tony

Ref.the piece about R.A.F.Lyneham and photo of a "Supposed Herc" landing, I think it's obivous what the deliberate mistake is!

In the light of the latest scandal concerning our "honourable" Members of Parliament, should the word "CLAIMS" be mentioned in the same breath as M.P.? Has this news reached the "outbacks" of Canada yet ?


Terry Mulqueen.


Ingrown toenails are hereditary

From: Vic Smith,
Sent: 14 May 2009 23:25
Subject: RE: UKMAMS OBA OBB #051509


Back on the nomad trail at the moment. Flew in to South Australia yesterday to do some Non Technical Duty Crew assessments and am off to Western Australia tomorrow for some of the same plus relief manning. Return to Queensland on the 23rd.



Good grief Vic - seems to me that you're busier now that you've retired than you were on active service!


Pilots at 8 Wing Trenton, Ontario, will now be seeing more time in the air. A new 5 year project was announced at CFB Trenton yesterday involving 2 new planes.

For 11.5 million dollars they leased 2-six seat Hawker Beechcraft King Air B200's from a private company.

Lieutenant General Angus Watts hopes the project will become popular all over the country. 8 Wing Pilots will use the planes to train and to move small groups of people and light amount of equipment at a very cheap cost.

Online Pioneer Plus

It takes up to four hours to hard boil an ostrich egg.

From: Ian Berry, West Swindon
Sent: 15 May 2009 10:16
Subject: RAF Mystery Photo 051509

Hi Tony,

Just a guess this one.

As there are yellow ear defenders down the walls I would suggest it is an early 1980's Falklands Airbridge.

The guy is a Mover (not sure about the blue shirt!) and I suspect the "lumpy jumper" is an ALM.

Harrier GR3 rotation at RAF Stanley.



From: Steve Tomlinson, Brisbane, Qld
Sent: 19 May 2009 05:58
Subject: RAF Mystery Photo 051509

Hey Tony,

With ref to the photo, having taken it during my tenure as OC AMF Port Stanley in 1984, I can only name Taff Moyle.

The young lady was a member of the Postal & Courier Troop, Royal Engineers, who used to help us load/offload the all important mail from the Airbridge. As can be seen, this particular load was a Harrier GR3 fuselage heading north. Keep smiling.

I keep meaning to write it all down before the memory fades but I seem to be getting busier and busier! June is fully booked, instructing for a week in Brisbane and again in Melbourne, a 4 day Radioactive security course in Brisbane and then down to Newcastle (NSW) where we are loading 400 containers of dangerous goods waste to a ship for export to Italy.

I haven’t spoken with DC for quite a while, I must buy him an ale soon, time is becoming tight as I’m also planning to visit Blighty for 6 weeks in Aug/Sep. Talk soon.

Best regards


Thanks Steve and kudo's to Ian for his powers of observation!


From: Don Stewart, Lincoln
Sent: 15 May 2009 12:23
Subject: Re: UKMAMS OBA OBB #051509

Glad to hear you're recovering and hope your progress continues apace.

Still making 2.5 million sandwiches a week for the great British Public; luckily, even in recession, they are mostly too idle to make their own. Still it keeps me out of trouble most of the time.

Best wishes


Thanks Don. As anyone who has had back surgery knows, it's a long healing process, but I am sensing changes for the better each day.

Under extreme stress, some octopuses will eat their own arms

From: Fred Hebb, Gold River, NS
Sent: 17 May 2009 09:17
Subject: Does anyone know Andy Jack?

Hi Tony,

I sort of chuckled to myself when I read the item from Andrea-Jack Strang, I think it should have read, "does anyone not know Andy Jack?"

I first met Andy jack in Namao in 1961 when Andy was a Safety Systems Tech and really wanted to be a Trans Tech. He became one while I was there and he soon became pretty well known throughout the RCAF and the Canadian Forces and other forces as well.

I hope Andrea has lots of time because she could easily write a book. Isn't it just like him to name his daughter so that the the name Andy Jack will live on? Ha Ha.

Good luck Andrea, I am sure lots of people will have stories for you.

Fred Hebb


From: Andy Jack, Sarasota, FL
Sent: 17 May 2009 12:43
Subject: Guestbook Notification

Hi Tony,

I've enjoyed your site for a while now.

I understand my daughter, Andrea, got in touch with you to invite Movers to my 70th birthday. I would like to thank you for your efforts.

I am on my way to the U.K. from the 19th May to the 24th June visiting a freind who is a neighbour in Florida. He visited me a few times and found the winters so nice he bought a place here!

I was wondering if it is possible to attend one of these meetings the RAF movers have? I am planning on moving around England, Scotland, Ireland
and Wales and would like to know if people on this site could let me know what bed and breakfast costs in their area and the name and telephone number of the a recommended B&B?

Also is there anyone out there with room to put us up for a night or two in the UK? We can reciprocate and put you up in Florida.

My friend has 2 bedrooms and an extra sofa that turns into a queen size bed. I have 2 bedrooms plus a Florida room that coverts into a bedroom and a couch that turns into a queen size bed. Both places are empty from May until October each year.

We have a large pool, hot tub, shuffleboard, horse shoe pit and we are 20 minutes from the Gulf of Mexico.

Average temperature is about 82ºF in the summer and around 68º to 75º in the winter.

We are 30 minutes from Siesta Key and the white sand on this beach is just like sugar and never gets hot.

We are 45 minutes from Tampa and 1.5. hours from Orlando and Disney World.

We have five retired Canadian Air Force and one ex-RAF in our gated community in Sarasota. All have come for a visit and then decided to buy a place for themselves.

If you would like to come to Florida and want any kind of information at all please feel free to contact me - by e-mail at: or (until the 23rd June) UK Phone Number 01624-494350 just ask for Andy or Don Robertson.



All clams start out as males; some decide to become females at some point in their lives.

From: David Stevens, Bangor
Sent: 17 May 2009 14:46
Subject: Guestbook Notification

My bi-monthly look at the guest book!!

Spoke to Charlie Cormack on Skype the other day -well there was a distinguished looking white haired 'gentleman' on the other end.
Keep meaning to ask him what team were we? - I was only team leader for 2 and a half years!!!

I really must get into the attic and find that log book.



From: Charles Collier, Devizes
Sent: 17 May 2009 16:09
Subject: Reponsibilities in later life

Hi Tony, Sorry to hear that you have got back problems - I hope the medics managed to give some relief from the effects that you have obviously experienced.

Anyway, I'm glad to see that my old friend Alan Walker has joined the fold and noticed that I was still around!

But there again I still have a mother living in a residential home. - She will be 97 on June 14th - She's enjoying herself and looking forward to the postcard from the Queen in 3 years time! I have power of attorney to deal with her day to day affairs.

 I would recommend everyone to consider their own circumstances when they have parents still living when they are well into middle age for they won't be able to look after themselves forever. Go to a solicitor and take what is now called a "Lasting Power of Attorney."

You will then be in charge of your parent's bank account when they became unable to cope. Of course, the parents have to agree this action. In our case we have made these arrangements in law naming our two children as receivers in our case. So everything is taken care of when the world moves on and you can't cope anymore.

Kind regards


Thanks for the reality check Charles - it bears consideration

A volcano has enough power to shoot ash as high as 50 km into the atmosphere

Women in the Air Force

The RAF Museum Hendon highlights the role that women have played in the modern RAF and its forebears, in an exhibition, Women in the Air Force, which opened on May 13.

For many, the image of women in the air force is enshrined in those film scenes of WAAF radar plotters from Battle of Britain movies, silently going about their business in Fighter Command HQ, where the progress of the Luftwaffe’s onslaughts graphically unfold minute by minute.

When the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force was founded on June 28, 1939, it was imagined that women’s roles would be those of supporting the “front line” — catering, manual labour and such like — rather than at the very centre of operations. But soon the performance of WAAFs (as the women were known) in the Ops Room was to dispel male scepticism about the ability of women to cope under high pressure. Long before the Battle of Britain was over many RAF officers were radically revising their assumptions, as these female
operators daily performed with analytical coolness and courage.

Within a year of the founding of the WAAF tens of thousands of women were serving alongside the RAF, exposed to the same dangers as their male counterparts as they manned airfields, radar stations and barrage balloon positions, all of which were prime targets for the Luftwaffe.

Yet women in the air forces of Britain go back farther than the Second World War. The first women’s branch of the RAF was the Women’s Royal Air Force (the WRAF — which was to have a second incarnation in the late 1940s). WRAF Mk I was formed in April 1918, at the same time as the RAF itself.

The original intent was that its members should become mechanics, thereby freeing men for active service. But with the huge enrolment to the new service, women were soon attracted to other duties.

The WRAF’s last surviving veteran from the Great War era, Gladys Powers, who died last year in Canada aged 109, had started as a barrack waitress in the Women’s Auxiliary Army Corps at 15, and she was among the first volunteers for the WRAF. In 1920, when the WRAF was first disbanded, she emigrated with her Canadian soldier husband. By that time more than 32,000 women had served with the WRAF, an astonishing growth in the fewer than two years of its existence.

The figures for the wartime WAAF — assisted by a compulsory call-up — are even more remarkable. By 1945 more than a quarter of a million women had served, supporting RAF operations. Although the WAAF was disbanded in 1945 it was thought a pity that this war-acquired expertise should be lost in peacetime, and in 1949 the WRAF was reformed, this time as a permanent force. By the 1960s opportunities had been created for its members to qualify as aircrew.

By the 1990s the idea of a separate force for women had come to seem a patronising anachronism and in 1994 the WRAF was absorbed into the RAF. By the early 1990s the first operational woman pilot, Flight Lieutenant Julie Gibson, was flying Hercules transports. A long journey has been travelled since the barrack waitressing days of Gladys Powers.

Women in the Air Force continues until December 31 at RAF Museum Hendon, London NW9 5LL; Tel: 020 8205 2266;

Times Online


From: Steve Broadhurst, Melbourne, Vic.
Sent: 20 May 2009 00:28
Subject: More Pension Instalments


Just a note to thank you for the latest brief, seems we are getting a excellent representation from ex CAF movers. I remember trips to Goose Bay and Cold Lake where their company was a memorable feature of the ‘after hours’ relaxation. Especially when we brought over the McEwans and Teachers!!

I also wanted to let folks know that I received my first pension cheque from the HM Gov’t via the outsourced service provider. Interestingly, the form I completed clearly indicated my preference, and banking details, in which to deposit the monies in local currency. Alas, this was ignored and on presentation of the cheque at my local branch was told it will take 6-8 weeks to clear (longer than the first fleet to reach these shores) Ah, well it’s only the 21st century and maybe the Australian banks don’t think there’s any money left over there.

Again I want to prompt any of our lads out here who have/are reaching 60 and have a preserved pension to get going to make sure they collect their winnings. Well, with the budget just handed down it seems we will be working longer/harder to make life after retirement in any ways affordable.

Trust your recovery is still on track

To Ian Berry; I remember Sahel Cascade as my very first MAMS job. We were in the second wave to go down there. It’s when I met “Troop” Smith and learned to play bridge (endlessly). Geoff Simpson was also in the make-up team and was our bridge scorer for the whole time. Ivan Gervais was our (Flight) sergeant?. We were there for a month and, at the end, I think Troop and I had a lead of a handful of points which, considering if you weren’t sleeping or loading an aircraft you were made to play bridge, was an amazing fact.

Thanks & Regards

Steve Broadhurst

Nearly 80 percent of all sudden cardiac arrests happen at home

From: Ian Berry, West Swindon
Sent: 19 May 2009 12:22
Cc: Gordon Gourdie, Chorley, UK

Oh Dear, Shagger had to go and get personal!

Ok - It's all from memory but here's what I remember...

Flood relief Algeria 1973 - Distinctly remember Ian moaning about moving 1000s of plastic buckets.

Cyclone Tracy Dec/Jan 74/75 - He was one of a 6 man Christmas Standby team providing cover at RAF Gan when they were tasked to RAF Tengah to assist with relief efforts (Pat Mackenzie was Team Leader)

And finally.. Earthquake Relief Nicaragua Dec 1972 - Flt Lt Bill Wellman, Sgt Dave Barton and myself were called out Christmas Eve for this task to Managua. On leaving the hotel in Bermuda I met Ian and George Lynes in the lift! they were part of a 6 man team supporting two further Hercs. Ian arrived back in UK on New Years Eve and we decided to travel to the North East to see in the New Year. We got as far as Chesterfield on the M1 when my VW Beetle engine blew up! After being towed into a nearby garage we were dropped off at the railway station and travelled on to Durham by rail and collection by my father. feeling so dejected at this stage we both broached our duty frees and literally fell off the train at Durham but in time to see in the New Year. Unless Ian remembers this it is he with Alzheimers/Old Timers!!



From: Andy Noel, Edmonton, AB
Sent: 19 May 2009 18:17
Subject: Email Issue

I've received a couple of phone calls mentioning that you were unable to reach me. You can contact me at the address on this email or here.

Your site is very well done and quite impressive. Only a mover could have such a masterpiece

Thanks for letting us be part of it

Andy Noel

Thanks for the update and kind words Andy

Tug of War was an Olympic event between 1900 and 1920

RAF's VC10 aircraft- 18 years of Middle Eastern operations

There can be few RAF units with a finer operational record than No 101 Squadron. In service from the Somme to Suez, Berlin to Baghdad, in Malaya, the Falklands, Iraq and Afghanistan, 101 Squadron has endured tragedy and sacrifice while carving more than its fair share of glory.

Originally a night bomber squadron, formed on the 12 July 1917 at South Farnborough, the Squadron it was reformed on 1 May 1984 as an Air to Air Refuelling (AAR) Squadron at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire, flying the VC10 K2 AAR tanker aircraft.

In August 1990 Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait saw 101 Squadron VC10 tankers rapidly deploy in support of RAF combat aircraft to the Gulf.

By January 1991 all nine 101 Squadron VC10 tankers were based in Saudi Arabia. Op DESERT STORM commenced at 16 Jan 1991 and five VC10s launched from King Khalid Airport (Riyadh) in Saudi Arabia that night in support of RAF Tornado GR Mk1s.

Today some of those who served on the squadron during Op DESERT STORM are still there or have returned

The Allied Air Offensive against Iraqi targets commenced at around midnight with substantial RAF participation. It continued throughout the day with Tornado GR1 and Jaguar aircraft flying attack missions against Iraqi targets. Tornado F3 aircraft mounted a continuous combat air patrol close to the Saudi/Iraqi/Kuwait borders. Victor and VC10 aircraft provided air to air refuelling facilities. Nimrod aircraft flew sorties in support of naval operations in the Persian Gulf. All the aircraft returned safely with the exception of two Tornado GR1s. The Tornado GR1s successfully delivered JP233, 1000lb bombs and ALARM missiles for the suppression of enemy air defences. The Jaguars delivered 1000lb bombs.

The scene was set for the start of 101 Squadron's support to nearly 19 years of operations

In total 101 Squadron flew 381 AAR missions during the DESERT STORM Gulf War air campaign, refuelling British, French, Australian, Canadian and American aircraft.

Between 1992 and 1997, it flew over 1200 sorties supporting Operation WARDEN missions over Northern Iraq. In May 1997 the Operation WARDEN detachment was redeployed from Incirlik in Turkey to Muharraq in Bahrain in support of Operation JURAL (later Operation BOLTON) missions over Southern Iraq. Tensions began to build in the Gulf as Saddam Hussein tested the will of the allied coalition and in December 1998 101 Squadron crews supported the Operation DESERT FOX air strikes on Iraqi air defence targets.

The new Millennium brought new threats, and the crisis shifted back to Iraq in 2003 and 101 Squadron crews were heavily involved in the Operation TELIC invasion and final overthrow of Saddam Hussein's regime. The considerable AAR experience of 101 Squadron crews at this time, gained over 12 years of continuous deployment in the Middle East, paid dividends with a 100% sortie success rate.

Despite sandstorms and damage from hostile fire, 101 Squadron crews also helped evacuate over 1000 casualties to hospitals in Cyprus.

The then Air Commodore (now Air Vice Marshall (AVM)) Mike Harwood summarised people's feelings well:

"As an airman you always want to do more if you can but all the time you're trying to find better ways to do things. We've learned to innovate because if you don't, you will lose. Even with a small amount you eek it out, and its terrific watching what all the characters do with what they have."

"Each role that we perform, from command and control to Intelligence gathering, air transport, the tankers, strike forces, all sorts of different types of aeroplanes, its one hell of a challenge. I think we contribute enough; if we could do more we would, but we do what we must."

The successful conclusion of the Coalition efforts in Iraq in 2003 did not mean an end to the tanker force's contribution in the Middle East. Indeed, 101 Squadron would continue to maintain a footprint in the Middle East, providing AAR support for missions over Iraq (Operation TELIC) and over Afghanistan (Operation HERRICK). Two VC10 aircraft were left in the Gulf and, by 2005, those aircraft and crews had moved to Al Udeid Air Base to continue their mission. With Tornado GR4s and other Coalition would-be receivers in daily action over the skies of Iraq, demand for refuelling remained understandably high.

The more recent tempo of operations and role of the VC10 in the Middle East are explained by one of the many VC10 Detachment Commanders that have undertaken the role at Al Udeid. Squadron Leader Andy Scott, a flight engineer by trade and a man who took part in the very first 101 Squadron missions in Operation GRANBY gives an insight into the current 101 Squadron role in theatre.

He said: "We're here primarily to support the Tornado GR4s but we also refuel US Navy aircraft from the carrier ships - it's an important job because without the air to air refuelling the (Tornado) guys couldn't stay on station for very long, which means they would have to keep landing and refuelling and that would give them a lot less time to carry out their tasks supporting the guys on the ground."

Sqn Ldr Scott said: "101 Squadron have actually had aircraft in the Gulf since 1990, either supporting the northern and southern no fly zones when we were involved in that, and since the conflict in 2003 we've been out here continuously supporting coalition aircraft."

The recent draw down of British forces in Iraq has posed a question mark over whether the VC10 will continue to maintain a presence in the Middle East. The view of 101 Squadron is best summarised by that of its present Commanding Officer, Wing Commander Steve Lushington.

He said: "The last 18 years have shown the incredible capability and versatility of the VC10 force. Circumstances naturally change; we stand ready to provide our world renowned service and go to wherever it is required. We look forward to the future and hope to further contribute to the illustrious and enviable record of 101 Squadron."



From: Tony Street, Buffalo, NY
Sent: 21 May 2009 20:47
Subject: Gibraltar Airport

Back in the day (24 Sep,1967), we arrived at Gibraltar on a Yukon training trip.

The runway is short and begins and ends at the sea. Also, back then, there were white lines across the runway at both ends. The idea being no matter which way you landed you must touch down prior to the first white line or you couldn't stop before over-running the second white line and turning your aircraft into an ocean liner.

The Aircraft Commander, F/L Bob Wagner, was a Canadian and in the left seat. The Co-Pilot was an RAF F/L exchange officer. I was standing up behind the A/C to watch the proceedings and enjoy a new view. As we flew toward and made a right bank around the rock the runway came into sight. A sight it was, albeit a very short sight!

The intercom conversation follows:

A/C: "Holy Moly!" [or words to that effect]
C/P: "No problem, Bob, I've landed here many times."
A/C: "You have control!"

A perfect landing, as was the party that night!

The first condoms were made of linen.

From: Robert Atcheson, London
Sent: 01 June 2009 05:14
Subject: RE: UKMAMS OBA OBB #051509

Hi Tony,

I'm glad to hear you're well on the road to recovery. I couldn't respond to this earlier as I've just got back to work after a month in Oz .... the A380-800 is an amazing aircraft!

Here's a pic of me at Bondi Beach a couple of weeks ago ..... thinking of going in to catch a few waves ... NOT! .... too many things with big teeth in there for my liking.

All the best my old friend,


Thanks Bobby!


A Test for TRIOS

The current RAF fixed wing air transport (AT) fleet consists of six C-17 Globemasters, nine L-1011 TriStars, 10 VC-10C1Ks (with very limited passenger carrying capability) and 38 C-130 Hercules (14 C-130Ks/24 C- 130Js). Available aircraft from this fleet are offered up daily by 2 Group, RAF Air Command, on a tri-service basis.

The nine Lockheed TriStars are operated by No. 216 Squadron based at RAF Brize Norton, Oxfordshire. These aircraft, previously owned by British Airways and Pan Am, were bought by the RAF in the early 1980s.

The six ex-British Airways aircraft were modified by Marshall of Cambridge (Engineering) into Air-to-Air Refuelling (AAR) tanker aircraft, with a twin, centreline hose-and-drogue configuration. The installation of underfloor fuel tanks enabled a total fuel load of 139,700kg to be carried, to be used by the TriStar itself or given away to receivers. AAR operations are monitored by a CCTV system added under the rear of the fuselage. Four aircraft are designated KC1 and two are designated K1.

Although these six TriStars have two hosedrum refuelling units, only one can be used at a time, thus restricting AAR to single point refuelling. On a typical AAR flight from the UK to Gander in Canada, the KC1 can refuel up to four fast jet aircraft and simultaneously carry up to 31 tonnes of passengers and/or palletised cargo by virtue of a large, fuselage freight-door and a roller-conveyor system. Although the TriStar K1 does not have the freight door, it can carry 187 passengers in the rear cabin, with baggage carried in the forward cabin.

The British Strategic Defence Review (SDR) of 1998 brought the term 'expeditionary warfare' into public prominence. The ability to bestride the globe became a prime feature of air power and by the time of Operation Veritas in 2001-02, the RAF was deploying VC10 and TriStar tankers over Afghanistan, not only on behalf of RAF aircraft but also in support of US Navy and US Marine Corps F-14 Tomcats and F/A-18 Hornets.
During 2005, RAF TriStars contributed to the 12,500 tanker sorties flown by CentCom aircraft in southwest Asia. Today an RAF TriStar tanker sits on the pan in Oman to support Nimrod MR2 intelligence gathering and communications relay duties in support of ground troops operating against the Taliban in Afghanistan.

The three ex-Pan Am TriStars are largely unchanged from their airline days and can carry up to 266 passengers. These aircraft are designated C2 and C2A and are used extensively for transporting troops to worldwide destinations in support of exercises and operations. All versions of the TriStar aircraft can operate in the aeromedical evacuation role, including a full stretcher fit, if required, for the repatriation of casualties.

The RAF TriStar fleet is most in the public eye as a crucial element in the trooping air bridge from the UK out East. However, the TriStars are currently operating at around 82% reliability against 96% for civil AT chartered by the MoD. Adverse press reports of tired troops waiting forlornly for a TriStar that has failed to arrive to take them on well-deserved leave do little for morale. The TriStars are getting rather long in the tooth and the defensive aid equipment they carry into airfields such as Basra adds another potential point of failure not found on their commercial equivalent. So some TriStars have been updated with improved navigation systems, including a Litton 92 laser ring gyro and a partial-glass cockpit, to comply with the latest communication, navigation, surveillance and air traffic management regulations. As part of this modernisation programme, TriStars were fitted to enable them to operate as a JTIDS (Joint Tactical Information Distribution System) station and a radio relay station in areas of intensive military operations.

However, there was insufficient funding to fit defensive aid suites across all nine TriStars, so if an aircraft went unserviceable, the essential black boxes might have to be moved to a less endowed TriStar with all that implied for passengers stuck forlornly in the departure terminal.

Keeping the TriStar fleet serviceable has become a top priority. On 27th March 2008, it was announced that the UK MoD had signed a £13bn ($26bn) contract with the AirTanker consortium to provide 14 Airbus A330- 200 aircraft with hoses and drogues to replace the AAR and AT work undertaken by the current VC-10 and TriStar fleet. These new FSTA tankers will begin entering full service in 2014, so current aircraft have to be kept going until then. This is not just a question of spare part availability. In January 2007, it was stated in parliament that the RAF had 'not experienced any significant problems in meeting spare demands from the front line to support the RAF's TriStar aircraft. Current spare part availability for the TriStar fleet is sufficient to meet operational and training commitments.' Rather, this is a question of TriStar logistic support across the board.

The MoD Defence Industrial Strategy (DIS) proclaimed that: 'Air power continues to offer the ability to transform the battlespace, utilising its inherent attributes of reach and speed to enable strategic operational and tactical agility.... The focus must shift to through-life support and upgrade and what is required to sustain this critical capability.... We intend to explore how a long-term partnering arrangement for the through life
availability of a significant proportion of the fixed-wing fleet might be delivered to sustain these capabilities and deliver improved value for money.' Subsequently, the Defence Logistics Organisation engaged with industry to develop the TriStar Integrated Operational Support (TRIOS) programme. TRIOS, which is consistent with the principles set out in the DIS, sets out to move the focus from spares availability towards
guaranteed aircraft availability, and to bring together all aspects of TriStar logistic support. On 29th October 2008, the MoD signed a £97m, seven-year contract with Marshall Aerospace of Cambridge to provide maintenance, and engineering and logistic support for the RAF's TriStar fleet out to 2015. The TRIOS contract brings together Marshall Aerospace, Flight Support Services (FSS) of Fergus, Ontario, Canada, and Abu
Dhabi Aircraft Technologies (ADAT) of the UAE. The partners will operate under new incentivised subcontracting arrangements, to reward the achievement of key performance targets on behalf of the UK MoD.

Marshall of Cambridge will act as the hub for TRIOS, linking engineering, supply, maintenance and programme management to provide a truly integrated support solution. Flight Support Services, which works out of an office and warehouse on St. Andrew Street West in Fergus, is a premier aircraft component supplier for major international and domestic airliners. The company finds, supplies, and ships aircraft parts around the world, and it has a history of supplying the RAF and in particular its L-1011 TriStars. While FSS acts as the Prime Spares Supplier, ADAT will deliver aircraft 'Availability-from-Depth' covering heavy maintenance and modification work from its facility in Abu Dhabi. In essence, the TriStar fleet will be under a full 'future contracting for availability' arrangement, which pays for available aircraft rather than hours or spares

The TRIOS contract aims to improve technical support arrangements for the TriStar fleet at Brize Norton while strengthening the supply chain presence. TRIOS will assure future TriStar availability and is expected to deliver around £10m in savings to the MoD over the life of the contract. The Air Refuelling & Communications (ARC) IPT Leader, Group Captain Adam Northcote-Wright, said: "The signing of the TRIOS contract marks the successful conclusion of many months' hard work by the ARC IPT and Marshall of Cambridge. It is an excellent achievement, which has been made possible only by the efforts and focus of those in our team and our industry partners. They have worked tirelessly towards an innovative and cost-effective solution, and I am confident that all parties will benefit from this contract. TriStar aircraft provide crucial airlift capability, which
enable current operations. The TRIOS contract provides a better support solution, which will enhance our ability to deliver TriStar aircraft at the front line."

Minister for Defence Equipment and Support Quentin Davies MP said that: "This is good news for industry and good news for our airbridge support to troops in theatre. The TriStar aircraft play a vital role in air transport, and it is important that we ensure that they are well maintained and serviced, with a good supply of spares. This contract will do just that, and I am delighted that we can support British jobs at the same time."
How will TRIOS be judged? The three industrial partners have certainly offered up hostages to fortune.

Marshall Aerospace's Chief Executive is committed to working in partnership with the MoD "to deliver sustainable availability for the TriStar fleet through to its out of service date." The President and Director of Sales at FSS said that the "partnership can only enhance the ongoing reliability of the L-1011 platform and the theatre missions that the aircraft are consistently called upon to perform." Finally, the Chief Executive of ADAT has stated that their involvement in the partnership "will ensure timely aircraft availability for the RAF's operational requirements." Phrases such as 'sustainable availability', 'ongoing reliability' and 'timely availability' are the core features of a modern AT fleet, and they will be much appreciated by British military passengers and logisticians around the world. The success or otherwise of these bold claims and aspirations will determine the extent to which TRIOS is the template for the future.

Halle Berry’s stunt double, in the movie “Catwoman”, is a man.

UKMAMS OBA congratulates John Belcher in Lyneham who has been burning the midnight oil reinventing the website of the UKMAMS Association in the UK to coincide with their relaunch as of June 1st. The UKMAMS OBA will continue to support and act in concert with the official association.

The Aim and Objects of the UKMAMS Association are: to maintain contact between past members of UKMAMS, fostering mutual friendship between them and providing for social gatherings for them as well as fostering esprit de corps, comradeship and the preservation of the traditions of those serving in RAF Movements world-wide in general and with No 1 Air Mobility Wing (No 1 AMW) in particular.

Membership is open to:

  • Current members of UKMAMS Association since reformation in June 2009

  • Those current or past members of the Royal Air Force who have served with UKMAMS, 44 MAMS and 45 MAMS including the HQ Sqn (within the current No 1 AMW) or with NEAF, FEAF, Gulf and AFME Mobile Air Movements Squadrons and Sections.

  • All current or past members of the Royal Air Force Trade Group 18 Movements

  • All past members of the Royal Air Force Supply Trade who held the Qualified Equipment Air Movements (Q-EQ-AM) Annotation.

  • All current or past Royal Air Force Officers of the Supply Branch who have the Movements Specialisation Annotation

  • All current or past members of No 4624 (County of Oxford) Royal Auxiliary Air Force, Movements Squadron.


Membership to the association is now free, please click on the link below to access the site:


Gibraltar Airport

The only road between Gibraltar and Spain, Winston Churchill Avenue, crosses the main runway


There are no clocks in Las Vegas gambling casinos.

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When you walk down a steep hill, the pressure on your knees is equal to three times your body weight.

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That's it for this issue

Have a great weekend!