From: Derek Barron, Calne
Sent: Friday, May 20, 2011 7:10 PM
Subject: RAF Mystery Photo 05201
Myself and Gerry Muffett (and others unseen) loading an earth scraper in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in 1985 during Op Bushel
From: Bruce Oram, Alicante
Sent: Friday, May 20, 2011 9:26 AM
Subject: Re: UKMAMS OBA OBB #052011
First of all thank you for the email about the sad passing of Bob Turner. The people in the mystery photo are Gerry Muffet and Derek Barron, loading an earthmover
From: Clive Hall, Swindon
Sent: Saturday, May 21, 2011 3:41 AM
Subject: RAF Mystery Photo 052011
Try Derek Barron and Big Gerry standing alongside a road grader at Addis Ababa in 1984 during our sojourn in providing relief supplies to all points in Ethiopia. The two local guys are unknown. This was one of the many wierd and wonderful items that had to be transported around - no tie down schemes available !!
Libya's war from above: on board the RAF's E-3D spy plane
The RAF is using its E-3D spy plane to help protect Libya's civilians as the war rages between Mumamaar Gaddafi's forces and rebel fighters. This is Magic 52, the RAF E-3D spy plane which is in charge of the effort to protect Libya's civilians from the dictator.
From the airborne command, control and communication centre, a crew of highly-trained specialists direct every part of the bombing campaign. In the course of a nine-hour sortie, they can direct 100 aircraft to carry out strike after strike against the Libyan dictator's forces.
Much of what we witnessed was classified but Government spy chiefs have allowed us to report on some of the events which took place last Tuesday [24 May].
From its Forward Operating Base at Trapani in Sicily, Magic 52 flew to a position 80 miles off the Libyan coastline where it remained for the next seven hours, flying in an orbit close to Sirte, Colonel Gaddafi's home town. On board its team of intelligence analysts and weapons experts sat glued to computer screens searching for signs of enemy activity in the air, at sea and on land.
All three jets needed to refuel from one of the air-to-air tankers also being coordinated by the Sentry before the attack could take place. By 5pm, 30 minutes after the vehicles had first been identified, the attack was under way.
Two Tornados, each carrying two Paveway 4 laser-guided bombs armed with fuses designed to detonate the explosive once the weapon had penetrated the tank's armour, prepared to attack.
The Libyan soldiers must have watched in terror as one tank after the other exploded in a ball of flame and burning metal as the bombs struck. Escape was impossible and no survivors were reported. The attack's success was greeted with muted satisfaction by the RAF crew - there were no high fives, no cheering, no back-slapping, just professional pride in a job well done.
The three RAF jets refuelled for a second time before heading for their next target close to the town of Brega, where some days earlier a Libyan radar station had made the fatal mistake of emitting a radar signal. It was now in the "kill chain". Minutes later an RAF GR4 fired a highly sophisticated Brimstone missile which locked onto its target destroying it seconds later.
The mission teams are responsible for controlling the air battle and enforcing the no fly zone. They must be able to identify every aircraft and ship in the battle space and differentiate between friend and foe. In a fast-moving, three-dimensional air war, coordination is key.
All air sorties are planned by NATO’s Combined Air Operation Centre (CAOC) at Poggia, near Venice, but the missions are coordinated by the team on board the Sentry.
The responsibility for refuelling fell to 25-year-old Flight Lieutenant Mike Clarkson, one of the mission team's weapons controllers. Operating the refuelling programme demands total concentration and a large amount of what the RAF calls "capacity" - the ability to evaluate many different pieces of information at the same time.
"It's mentally exhausting and the time passes very quickly," said Flt Lt Clarkson. "In a typical seven hour mission we can be responsible for coordinating the movements of up to 100 aircraft. I will usually have nine different people speaking to me at the same time through my head set, four from within the aircraft and five from outside. There is a plan but it must remain fluid and it always changes. If the refuelling programme fails then everything else will fail so you can't afford to have any mistakes."
"The enforcement of the no-fly zone is all about protecting life," said Flight Lieutenant Vaughan Arnall, the aircraft s tactical director and the officer responsible for controlling the combat phase of the mission. "No attack is ever approved if there is any risk of killing civilians. A collateral damage assessment is always conducted and the aircraft will only attack if it is carrying the appropriate weapons."
The aircraft s brain is contained within a circular shaped radar dome which sits above the aircraft. The dome contains more than five tonnes of equipment but being shaped like a wing it achieves "zero weight" when airborne and can scan the horizon six times a minute.
The radar is so vast that it requires its own mini power station which generates 83,000 volts to keep it operational - the rest of the equipment on board is powered by the four jet engines. Almost every piece of electronic surveillance equipment on board the Sentry is categorised as top secret but none more so than the sensors operated by Flight Sergeant Phil Thornton, 43. Flt Sgt Thornton operates "Yellow Gate", one of the most secret pieces of equipment on the aircraft. The equipment searches for the electronic signals emitted by enemy radar which can identify the location of surface-to-air missiles. Even our allies cannot see it in operation: it is marked "UK Secret. UK Eyes Only". Most of my questions about Yellow Gate received the answer: "Sorry that's classified."
When I asked what his work entailed, Flt Sgt Thornton said: "It is like playing a computer game. You can't just view it as a flat screen I have to be able to see into the battle space and develop a situational awareness so that I can relay the information to whoever needs it. It is a very important job and you have to be able to multi-task, have a lot of capacity and be very flexible. Things can change very quickly."
With the vast array of sensors on board the mission team can identify an enemy target, relay the information back to the COAC at Poggia and call in a strike operation in minutes.
Flt Sgt Thornton continued: "Our job is to speed up the ‘kill chain’. We have managed to do that in under a minute. Speed is vital. If you had a main battle tank attacking civilians you want to be able to destroy it pretty quickly."
Thirty thousand feet above Libya, the war against Mumamaar Gaddafi is directed against the roar of aircraft noise by men hunched over banks of computer screens.
On board highly-trained RAF personnel with access to Britain s most sensitive military secrets co-ordinate reconnaissance, refuelling and finding and attacking Gaddafi s military. We were given unprecedented access to the secret war when we joined "Magic 52", the call sign of Zulu Hotel 101 - one of three E-3D Sentries committed to Operation Unified Protector, the NATO mission enforcing United Nations Security Council resolution 1973.
In the sky below dozens of NATO jets began filling the "battle space", ready to strike at any enemy forces entering the "kill chain" - the process by which targets are identified, evaluated and destroyed.
After three hours "on station", an RAF strike patrol composed of two Tornado GR4s and a Typhoon, informed Magic 52 that they had identified four armoured vehicles near to the rebel held town of Misrata. The vehicles were Russian-made T-55 main battle tanks - one of the major weapons in Gaddafi armoury. The aircraft requested permission to engage the tanks and the Sentry s mission team immediately swung into action.
There are seven Boeing E-3D Sentries in service as part of 8 Squadron based at RAF Waddington near Lincoln. Since they came into service in 1991, the aircraft have served around the world and on operations in the Balkans, Iraq and Afghanistan. Each aircraft is named after one of the Seven Dwarfs - Magic 52 is "Doc" a comically inappropriate name for the RAF s premier spy in the sky.
The aircraft is manned by a crew of 18; four flight deck crew, three technicians and an 11-man mission crew, which comprises a tactical director, a fighter allocator, three weapons controllers, a surveillance controller, two surveillance operators, a data-link manager, a communications operator and an electronic support measures operator.
Fast jets must be able to fly their missions safely without fear of collision, targets must be prioritorised and crucially the E-3D Sentry must coordinate the inflight refuelling operation.
During the mission the team controlled more than 100 aircraft, 20 of which were air to air refuelling tankers. During the mission s busiest period, the crew were simultaneously controlling the operations of 30 combat aircraft, while coordinating a complex refuelling programme and searching the Libyan desert for hostile radar activity.
As the sun begins to set over the Mediterranean, the mission draws to a close, arriving back at Trapani airbase shortly after 10pm. Some members of the mission team have not left their seats such has been the intensity of the workload.
The crew disembarked, all tired, some exhausted and in 24 hours’ time they will do it all again, working one day on one day off 30,000 feet above the battlefield - until the war in Libya is over.
From: David Powell, Princes Risborough
Sent: Friday, May 20, 2011 9:57 AM
Subject: OBA Brief - Cummerbunds
Re Jack’s comments on MAMS cummerbunds, nice to see that they are catching on! We had a bulk order made for all the horficers (3) of Gulf MAMF back in 1971. They were similar in style, except ours had the garter blue top and bottom for the air and the sea and yellow in the middle for the sand. I still have mine but sadly strictly for viewing; obviously our order was not bulk enough!
Back to carry on reading what looks like another cracking Brief, thank you Tony.
Regards to all
F Team UKMAMS 1967-69
A story about 617 Squadron RAF and the Avro Lancaster...
created with Microsoft's Flight Simulator X (FSX)
From: Rod Elliott, Brinkworth
Sent: Friday, May 20, 2011 10:25 AM
Subject: Re: UKMAMS OBA OBB #052011
Though not a regular contributor I just wanted to say that I thoroughly enjoy the newsletter and you are doing a fantastic job. Well done.
From: Steve Richardson, Trenton, ON
Sent: Monday, May 23, 2011 3:49 PM
Subject: CAF Mystery Photo 052011
Here are some names that I can remember from that photo...
Fourth Row- (L-R) Second left from Squadron Crest- Sgt Andy Anderson, next to him is MCpl Rejean Donaldson first left, third right of Squadron Crest is Rob Gearns
Third Row - (L-R) Unknown, Unknown, WO Dave Stubbert, underneath Squadron Crest Cpl France Menard- Barnhill,next to her unknown, Ed Forrestall, Derek Brown, Steve Roach, Don Maclean, Jesse Grimmer
Second Row (L-R)- Unknown Lady, unknown, Capt Theresa Dunn, unknown, Major Brook Bangsboll, HCol Ron Maclean, CWO Gaetan Chasles, Capt Aaron Spott, MWO Phil Berry, Unknown Lady
First Row Sitting- (L-R) first left of Squadron Crest Sherri Forward, next to her Natalie Mallete, next to her Laurie Moore..
This unit photo is 1 Air Movements Squadron- 2001 CFB Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Sidenote - Honorary Colonel Ron Maclean is a presenter from TV's "Hockey Night in Canada".
His mother used to work at 1 Air Movements Unit in Namao, Alberta. That is the connection for being the Honorary Colonel of the squadron in Winnipeg.
A400M on track for early 2013 delivery, says Airbus Military
Deliveries of the A400M transport are on track to start in the first quarter of 2013, with Airbus Military expecting the type to reach its final operating standard around five years later.
It will make its flight debut by the third quarter of next year, before being delivered to the French air force in an initial operating capability standard.
MSN7 is the first of 170 A400Ms to have entered production for partner nations Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Spain, Turkey and the UK. Ten others originally set for acceptance by Germany and the UK will be offered for sale once an export strategy has been finalised for the delayed type. "I would prefer to have an aircraft certified and with proven capabilities before going to export," said Airbus Military managing director Domingo Ureña.
We have achieved all of the [programme] milestones for almost two years and are very confident that we will achieve civil certification before the end of this year," said A400M programme head Cédric Gautier. The company plans to demonstrate the aircraft's capabilities to its customers next year, although some of these will only become available operationally through five subsequent capability standards scheduled to run between 2013 and 2018.
Gautier said all aircraft handed over before the A400M's final SOC3 standard will be retrofitted to the configuration as part of a renewed contract earlier this year. "This philosophy allows us to de-risk the programme and deliver at the right time to meet the customers' requirements."
While the programme's current main emphasis is on supporting civil certification activities involving the European Aviation Safety Agency, Airbus Military's chief test pilot military Ed Strongman says the test team is already supporting development work in areas such as paratroop delivery and the use of night vision goggles.
Roughly 500 sorties and 1,600 flight hours have been recorded so far using four "Grizzly" test aircraft. A fifth, production-standard MSN6, will be flown for the first time in October. The expanded fleet must log a combined total of 1,000 additional hours before the declaration of initial operating capability.
Airbus Military plans to hand over its first four production A400Ms to France and Turkey in 2013, with deliveries to Germany, the UK and international buyer Malaysia to start the following year. The company is in the process of discussing in-service support and training arrangements with its customers.
Major assemblies for the programme s initial production aircraft, MSN7, will arrive at the company s final assembly site at San Pablo near Seville late this year.
On the 20th and 21st May a celebration was held to mark the 20th anniversary of the (official) UKMAMS Association based at Lyneham. A Meet & Greet was held on the Friday night followed by a Dinner Dance on Saturday. Here are some pictures of a few of the attendees:
From: Jack Riley, Urangan, QLD
Sent: Friday, May 27, 2011 2:09 AM
Many moons ago in the very early days of the Association Tony not only did all the work but also bore the costs himself. In those days we had a (not very successful) whip round.
Although we have the contribution arrangements at the end of each newsletter I have the feeling that nothing much may have changed.
Thanks to Tony we have a great Association and a great newsletter and yet we pay no form of membership fee. No doubt our individual circumstances range from "comfortable" to "not much left". If you can afford to throw a dollar or two in the sock please do so.
n/k - 05/66
From: Ian Berry, West Swindon
Sent: Sunday, May 29, 2011 8:12 AM
Subject: Robert (Bob) Turner
Bob Turner was an approachable, easy-going, intelligent and proud Scotsman who would do anyone a favour and nothing was too much trouble. He was a workaholic. He always worked hard and played just as hard! He loved his family and his many friends. He also epitomised the MAMS quote - “If it ain’t nailed down, it’s mine… and if I can pry it loose it ain’t nailed down!” What a lovely man; taken before his time.
1. El Adem 1969 - First met Bob who was a Cpl on NEAF MAMS Akrotiri at the time. Several visits to Libya with his Team including Fg Off Robbie James, FS Rocky Hudson, SAC Graham Husband.
After the “Gadaffi Coup” in September 1970 the two NEAF MAMS teams rotated a week about until the final pull-out in March 1971. We had the opportunity of buying any type of barrack furniture for “knock down” prices. Bob and team managed to clear out Barrack Stores of all electric kettles, clocks, bedside lamps and tables etc and took all their booty back to Cyprus on the weekly Argosy and no doubt made a huge profit!
2. In March 71 one of the last tasks was to remove and pack the wall mirror from the VIP Lounge which covered the whole wall. Robbie James said he wanted the mirror for his bedroom ceiling. Bob supervised its removal and crating and we flew it on to Akrotiri on the ramp of a Belfast. Sadly it was cracked on arrival
3. I was posted myself to Nicosia once El Adem was closed and for a while Bob had his feathers “clipped”. The reason being his Boss Robbie grounded him till he had passed his education, a pre-req for promotion… If this drastic action had not been taken he may have never made Sgt!
4. In June-Sept 1970 a Civil War began in Jordan and the UK offered Red Cross Aid as well as an Army Field Hospital. The RAF wanted to fly in the supplies but someone decided the aircraft must first be sprayed white and display red crosses. Whilst this was happening CL44 aircraft of Cargolux and Tradewinds were chartered to operate out of Nicosia to Amman. NEAF MAMS were tasked to assist load the aircraft and fly with them. Several times throughout the lift several catering size tins of soup and the like were discovered after the aircraft departed and I was tasked with their safekeeping until the thoughtful MAMS Team took them back to Akrotiri for local disposal… n.b. Some months later the two teams were awarded a single medal to share awarded by King Hussein for their efforts.
The inscription reads: NEAF MAMS - The People of Jordan’s Medal presented to the Near East Air Force Mobile Air Movements Flight in October 1970. It was given in gratitude for the NEAF MAMS handling of the relief airlift utilising Hercules and Argosy aircraft of No 70 Sqn and CL44 aircraft owned by Tradewinds into Amman resulting from a Palestine Liberation Organisations plot to oust King Hussein of Jordan.
The plaque includes the names of the NEAF MAMS personnel
Flt Lt James
5. In June 1972 I again met Bob when he arrived back on UKMAMS at Abingdon as a Sgt and myself as a Cpl. We then had an entertaining month undergoing Mobile Training together. On the Field Deployment especially, Bob came into his own and showed both the rest of the Students and Instructors many tips and techniques of how to survive in the field. I always remember him cooking a three-course lunch for everyone, including the Boss, from Compo rations and his starter was called “Soup a’la MacNasty…..”
6. Bob then joined Alpha Team who were known as the “Flying Gypsies” and their dayglo Team Zap was in the form of a clothes peg which also looked like an A.
The picture shows Alpha Team in Kathmandu in March 1973:
Jim Marchant, Alan (Boot) Pratt, Tony Barrell, Bob Turner, Gerry Keyworth and Colin Hughes.
7. Whilst in married quarters at Abingdon Bob become good friends with a SAS chap called Andy (not McNab!) and they cooked up an idea of stealing a cow from a local field and butchering and then distributing the meat amongst other MAMS meat eaters. Their ploy was only foiled when they could not find enough people able to offer “Freezer Space!”
8. In 1973 he was deployed to Pakistan with Hugh Curran to oversee the relocation of Hindus and Muslims between Bangladesh and Pakistan. They discovered that onyx lampshades and ash trays were very cheap and block booked all production from a Factory and appointed Frank Holmes (Team Leader NEAF MAMS) as their Marketing Director.
9. During our time at Abingdon we developed a fantastic rapport and relationship with 5 MAPS USAF (Mobile Aerial Port Unit) and Bob was selected to be one of the guys representing the Sqn. I suspect they selected the hardest players as he won their admiration by winning the crush a beer can against your brow competition etc. He also got into an altercation with a rather large dog and lots of crashing and smashing was heard from the room where the dog was… He emerged rather torn and bleeding but good friends with the dog!
10. I was in Sharjah/Dubai with Bob in June 1973. Whilst at Dubai Old Airport we noticed that every night a freighter would arrive and pallets would be offloaded containing ingots of solid silver. They were always guarded by a couple of Arab soldiers who were armed. This was oil payment in lieu of Dollars. Much to our alarm Bob told us he had cooked up a plan to purloin one of the ingots and needed us to create a diversion whilst he would pick one up and put inside our tea urn… Fortunately for us it didn’t happen and I am still alive to tell the tale!
11. We moved on to Lyneham in 1974 and were allocated rooms next door to each other. I used to be scared of a knock at the door following one occasion on opening Bob stood there with the fire hose and promptly turned it on soaking me and my room contents…
12. I also did a stint as Mess Barman and Bob was quite often on the other side to keep me company. He had many party tricks but amazed all present one afternoon when he showed off his prowess at climbing by traversing all across the room using just hand holds without touching the floor.
13. Forever up to mischief, he once produced a small phial of very very hot Jamaican sauce he had procured in the Caribbean. Before the queue built up at the Mess Servery he promptly produced an eye dropper and put two drops in the soup tureen. The results were amazing and sadly I think the Chef did not get promoted that year!
14. At the end of 1974 Bob was posted to the RAF Movs Unit at Sydenham in Belfast. When we both arrived at Abingdon 30 months earlier we had to go to Innsworth to be measured up for Prestige KD - A rarely used uniform which had red eagles on the shoulders and Sgt stripes for Cpls and Airmen.
During his packing and with both room doors open Bob shouted “Had I ever worn my Prestige KD?” I advise negative and he said “Try on the jacket!” I then discovered the sleeves went down to my fingers and the chest was rather large.
Bob appeared at the door and his jacket was too tight to button and the sleeves finished below the elbows… he then pulled out a chit from the pocket with my name on it!
We had been carrying around eachother's uniforms for nearly 3 years…
15. In early 1975 I caught up with Bob again when I was detached to Aldergrove for several weeks. He hadn’t changed his behaviour at all and still very much worked hard and played hard. I got sucked in to a few of his antics and remember being introduced to hot whiskies in some isolated pubs on Loch Neigh. One very blurred weekend I remember him taking me to Lisburn Barracks for breakfast with the SAS (they all lived in the Mess car park in tents!), HMS Maidstone, the Prison Ship for lunch and Moscow Barracks for dinner with the 47AD Detachment from Lyneham!
16. During this time the BBC had made a documentary about the last deployment of HMS Ark Royal (ironic!) and in one episode they mentioned the fact that a Buccaneer aircraft had diverted to Puerto Rico u/s and would have to be left behind. Little did I know that whilst in Northern Ireland Bob got me sucked into a unique task… The very same Buccaneer from the Ark was going to arrive at Belfast Docks on a freighter but needed to be transferred to BAe at Sydenham. So it was that at 6am on a Sunday morning I walked as wingman through the streets of Belfast as the aircraft was towed by tractor to the other side of the Port!
There are many many more tales and our paths have crossed ever since as well as our families and living so close.
Bob returned to Lyneham as a Loadmaster with Anglo Cargo during the first Gulf War and once again reinforced his reputation. From Anglo to United African in Italy and the Royal Flight in Oman. I have met him all over the world and shared a few beers! Sadly we have also lost a few friends along the way.
Keith Parker wrote: Bob's Funerals were well attended as you would expect; the Requeim Mass had over one hundred people and the wake was well attended. The Cremation was attended by about 50 and was very quiet and quick. I'm sure that Bob would have approved of it all
Australia's first KC-30A lands in Amberley
The first KC-30A tanker to have been delivered to the Royal Australian Air Force has touched down at the service's Amberley air base in Queensland, following its transfer from Airbus Military's Getafe site near Madrid, Spain.
Carrying the temporary registration MRTT003, the aircraft is the third of five modified Airbus A330-200s on order for the RAAF. It is also the first of three to be converted for air-to-air refuelling tasks by local contractor Qantas Defence Services.
The aircraft landed at Amberley on 30 May, three days after leaving Getafe. Its delivery flight included stops in the mainland USA and Hawaii.
Airbus Military in mid-May said that Australia could receive two of its delayed multi-role tanker/transports during June, with two more to follow late this year. The programme's fifth aircraft should be accepted during 2012.
The RAAF's new KC-30As are being delivered in a 270-seat, two-class configuration, in addition to their two under-wing hose and drogue refuelling pods and air refuelling boom system. The aircraft has a maximum fuel capacity of 111t.
From: Peter Clayton, Wroughton
Sent: Friday, May 20, 2011 12:40 PM
Subject: Newsletter 290411
Thanks for another great newsletter, had a quick scan before going off to Lyneham for twofers & curry at the reunion weekend.
Saw the reply re Mick Bedford testing the spring water, it is him to be sure.
Also on the canal boat is Kevin McCullough, another former MAMS guy who went on to Loadmaster duties, retired now though I believe but could be wrong.
Very sad news about the loss of Bob Turner, I am still in shock having taken the photos of him at the last RAFA Club Meet & Greet in March this year. Very special condolences to his family.
Cheers for now, beers are warming!
IFE Services flies for RAF
In-flight entertainment specialist IFE Services has won a contract to supply the Royal Air Force. It was chosen by contractor AirTanker, which moves RAF personnel and equipment to operations across the globe. The deal will see Knutsford-based IFE’s content shown on AirTanker’s fleet of 14 planes. IFE will also produce a safety film to be shown before take-off.
Manchester Evening News
AirTanker flight operations director James Scott said: “We chose IFE Services as our supplier because they understood our exact requirements and they offered a wide range of entertainment for our customers.
From: Paul English, Swindon
Sent: Sunday, May 22, 2011 5:34 AM
Subject: RE: UKMAMS OBA OBB #052011
Firstly, thoughts with those who are sadly no longer with us... I'm sure at the UKMAMS 20th there were a few raised glasses to our departed friends and colleagues.
Didn't anticipate seeing a pic of Taff Weale, Joe Hubbard, Brent Keenan & myself in the newsletter; was 30 years ago that we all met on "A" shift at Brize! Where has the time gone?
Brent is working for Royal Mail in Derby, in his spare time he is heavily involved in football. One of his lads plays for Hednesford Town.
Taff Weale is self employed selling tools, Joe works in IT and yours truly is driving trucks delivering everything from windscreens to clothing and anything in between.
In answer to Jon Felton: Dougie Betambeau is still around… I see him occasionally in Swindon.
Paul, aka Arfur English
We were all due to meet up in December last year, weather changed that plan. Picture was taken at Cirencester FC ground last month.
Carnival Australia Gives Back to the Defence Force
Carnival Australia has introduced a new program onboard its fleet to pay tribute to serving and former members of the Australian and New Zealand Defence Forces.
Under the program, all Defence Force personnel including discharged and retired servicemen will receive an onboard credit of up to $250 when booking a cruise with P&O Cruises Australia, Princess Cruises or Cunard.
The program is eligible to all three branches of the Defence Force, including the Royal Australian Navy, Air Force and Army.
Carnival Australia Senior Vice President Jenny Lourey said the company was extremely proud to introduce the program.
“We think it’s a great way of acknowledging the men and women who give so much for their countries,” Ms Lourey said.
To receive the benefit, servicemen simply need to provide documentation at the time of booking, demonstrating their service in the Australian or New Zealand Defence Force.
From: Charles Collier, Devizes
Sent: Friday, May 27, 2011 12:47 PM
Subject: RAF Marham 1967-70 - A Runway Incident
It was in September of 1967 that I was posted from the stifling heat of Aden to the windswept prairies of RAF Marham. I settled myself into the job I'd been given which was not number one on my list of what I wanted to do! So, I looked around and very soon found that the Fenland Gliding Club operated from the far edge of the airfield mainly at weekends when operational flying was minimal.
At Marham during this time 3 sqns of Victor tankers operated so air operational activity was frequent. This extended to weekends when the tankers returned from ops and exercises so gliding was interrupted.
This meant that at certain months of the year weekend returns were a frequent activity. Also, the Americans, at Lakenheath, would send in Sabres and such like to do practice landing and take-offs and then depart back to their home base.
Whilst all this was going on we at the Fenland Gliding Club had a prime view of the proceedings. On one eventful day two Americans in Super Sabres were doing landing and takeoffs after the Victor tankers had cleared the runway.
We saw this happen and watched the progress of the pilotless Sabre as it slewed to the right towards the tankers on the peri-track - it passed cleanly between two tanker aircraft and proceeded towards the OMQs back gardens where it finally came to a rest before doing too much damage.
That was not the end of the story! We heard the noise of twin rotor helicopters and two US Kaman Helicopters' zoomed in, one of which landed to pick up the pilot and whisk him away back to home ground at Lakenheath We suspect the other was photographing the downed Sabre.
Quite what the reasons for the aborted takeoff were we never found out and also why the Americans were so keen to collect their airman before we could question him was suspicious; but they left the Sabre as evidence. Anyway, it's all water under the bridge now. If anyone was at Marham at this time and remembers this incident I would like to hear from them in this medium of Tony's website
As I had experience of gliding in the ATC and at RAF Halton during my time there, I decided to join - which I did. It wasn t long before I found that I could handle the glider in a safe attitude so I went solo fairly quickly again.
When Air Traffic warned us that operational aircraft were arriving gliding would be grounded until they'd landed and taxied away.
The first Sabre approached wheels down to do a bump landing and then to accelerate for takeoff; but on this occasion something happened and the pilot decided to abort and bang out with his ejector seat!
A royal farewell to squadrons at RAF Lyneham
Flying Squadrons 24, 30 and 47 were on parade at the base as well as 47 Air Dispatch Royal Logistic Corps Standard.
The Princess Royal, in her role as the base’s Honorary Air Commodore, inspected the parade and was accompanied by Vice Admiral Timothy Laurence. More than 100 airmen and women marched alongside the RAF Central Band. There were also three fly-pasts, one of which featured the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Dakota.
A number of former station commanders and members of the RAF Lyneham Old Boys’ Association attended the event.
The base is due to close next year and staff have already begun moving out to RAF Brize Norton.
It is expected that most Squadrons will be gone by October this year, with civilian workers and equipment being withdrawn in 2012.
RAF Lyneham has been open since 1943 and has long been home to the iconic Hercules fleet.
British Forces News
Princess Anne attended, in her role as Honorary Air Commodore, a parade at RAF Lyneham to mark the beginning of the end of the base.
From: John Bell, Cairns, QLD
Sent: Sunday, May 29, 2011 5:47 AM
Subject: Bob Turner
Thanks for your efforts on the production of your truly great OBA newsletters. It is a long time since I served on a MAMS team and the regular 'Blasts from the past' are always welcome, as are the snippets on what is currently happening in the movements world.
In the 15 years I have lived in Australia I have returned to the UK a few times but never made it when there was a reunion or function on. Jean and I arrived back (in the UK) last week just in time to miss out on the Lyneham UKMAMS dining evening. Another 'near miss'!
On a more serious and sadder note, once I settled into my son's house in Brum I opened my E mails to learn the news about Bob Turner. We served on the same team for a couple of years in the 60s at Abingdon and again on the same team at Lyneham in the 70s. Bob was one of the most dedicated guys I have worked with. He is on my list of top 5 all time profesional movers. My last task on UK MAMS was with Bob and my memories will be of a hard working, hard playing, sportsloving guy who always went the extra yards.
I have a previous commitment this Thursday that may prevent my getting to his funeral but I will try and do something about that. If I am unable to attend I will be thinking of him. RIP Bob.
I saw Howard Thomas's letter in the recent newsletter and I will be contacting him when I return to Cairns at the end of July. I do not think we ever met but we can work out who we know etc.
RAF freedom parade last tour of town
Servicemen from RAF Lyneham have carried standards through the town every two years since the base was granted the Freedom of Entry to the borough in 1964.
However, yesterday’s parade was the station’s last because it is closing next year and moving operations to RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire. Hundreds of people, including veterans and local dignitaries, lined the streets to watch the spectacle, which included a fly-over by a Hercules.
Flt Lt John Hook, a parade adjudant, said: “The parade went really, really well. It’s always a nice thing and we don’t get that many opportunities to march through a town or a city. I think with what’s going on in Afghanistan and throughout the world there’s a lot of support for the armed forces which is good but it’s always good to see it first hand. There were hundreds of people out to support us today all the way around the roads, and the odd person stood on their front doorstep and applauded us and cheered when we went by. We have been supported by the town for such a long time and it’s sad the fact the base is closing and that the ties with Swindon are reduced.”
The Freedom of the Borough dates back to the days when most of England’s towns and cities were walled. Yesterday’s parade started at 1pm when the band and two flights of about 30 personnel gathered in the car park outside of the Civic Centre. Under the command of Wing Commander Jon Hough, standard drills were carried out and the standards of the three squadrons based at Lyneham, 24, 30 and 47, were paraded.
After an inspection by Swindon’s mayor, Coun Ray Ballman, the parade marched down Euclid Street and Clarence Street, before looping around onto Commercial Road and past the Wyvern Theatre, before returning to the Civic Offices. Swindon Sea Cadets also took part in the parade. Outside the town hall, the airmen saluted Coun Ballman, who was standing on a podium, and the crowd watched a Hercules fly past.
Coun Ballman said: “I think it went very well. I think it’s one of the things the armed forces do very well and I think it was very well organised which you would expect. I think they were very, very smart and marched beautifully, and the band played well for us. I think it’s sad it’s the last parade. It’s sad to see the last Hercules go and I think it’s sad to know they will not be marching again and we will not have this close association with Lyneham.”
Among those in the crowd were David Ockenden, 69, of Old Town, who was a standard escort in the first Freedom Parade when he was a sergeant based at Lyneham. He said: “It’s a shame it’s closing. They have done a fantastic job, they have got a worldwide reputation for the way they do things.”
Triumphant airmen filled the town centre with colour and music as the RAF Freedom Parade marched through Swindon for the last time yesterday.
From: Paul Amies, Mount Pleasant
Sent: Wednesday, June 01, 2011 6:29 PM
Subject: Re: Landing Day 29th Anniversay San Carlos Water
Please find attached a photo of members of Air Movs Flt RAF Mount Pleasant attending the 29th anniversary commemoration of British troops landing at San Carlos Water.
The short commemoration service, at the military cemetery, was very moving with refreshments laid on by the locals afterwards. We'll all be attending the Liberation Day celebration in Port Stanley on 14 June.
All the best to Movers world-wide,
From: Pippa Lang
Sent: Wednesday, June 01, 2011 6:20 AM
Subject: Mike Yule
I hope you can help.
I'm trying to get in touch with ex-Wing Commander Mike Yule about his half-brother Steve Field.
It's extremely urgent, I don't have any contact numbers for him at all.
I would be grateful if you could let me know please.
e-mail Pippa Lang
From: Rick Loveridge, Brough
Sent: Tuesday, June 07, 2011 6:22 PM
Just to let you know, I finished with the Police today, after 19 years. With unused leave still to take, my final day will be 30th June when I hand my warrant card in.
Retired on health grounds, officially degenerative spondylosis in my lower back, so I get the full pension. I wonder what caused that! Hopefully, at only 50 years old, I'll have plenty of time left in me to enjoy myself.
No plans for the future as yet, I'll take life as it comes.
Rick "Dibs" Loveridge
And so begins the next chapter in your life Dibs... look after that back!
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