I sent your note on to Karl. I believe he still has the same e-mail address in any case but I will leave him to update the OBA on his adventures in SE Asia. I can tell you that the house was finished and we had a few great parties there a number of years ago before I remarried. I would send photos but … well, you are running a family publication!
It is strange that Karl and I never met in the RAF. I did around 12 years in Movements annotated posts around the world including nearly 4 years on MAMS and - somehow - we never met. That in itself is probably unusual in the Movements World.
You are right. We have become great friends and stay in touch one way or the other.
You have reminded me that I have to pull out a box of slides I have hidden away somewhere and get someone to digitize some of them. There is a fairly good series of photos amongst them of my last job on UK MAMS: Rhodesia. I recall I was about the only person with a camera there.
From: Howard Firth, Mossel Bay
Sent: August-20-10 3:50
Subject: Overseas Posting
Just to update the record, I have moved back to South Africa.
I am living in the small town of Mossel Bay, which is located on the Garden Route, mid-way between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth. I live on a golf estate which fits in well with one of my sports.
It is a fantastic area with beaches, golf courses galore, amazing wild life, mountain bike trails and the cost of living is very sympathetic towards the pension.
Visitors welcome, especially golfers!
Regards to all The Movers.
Thanks for the update H
From: Gerry Davis, Bedminster
Sent: August-20-10 9:51
Subject: The Oil Lift 1966
From: John Bell, Cairns, Qld.
Sent: August-19-10 22:44
Subject: RE: UKMAMS OBA OBB #082010
Seeing Terry’s letter on Kai Tak certainly brings back memories of time in Hong Kong. Some are a bit vague but some not. Shortly after I arrived in HK in June '74 Mr Mac, the Shamrock Hotel's proprietor, threw a party for the Movers to thank us for using his hotel for delayed flights etc., (plus getting a few brownie points in to ensure we continued to use him).
As a new guy I was given the royal treatment. This worked out to be a bit of a disaster. Wife Jean was a bit shaky on her pins after being plied with numerous glasses of some unknown Chinese concoction. I was not familiar with oriental protocol and served myself a good sized buffet, only to discover that good manners dictated that I should have gone back to the buffet table several times. The more visits, the higher the praise for the host. My second and subsequent visits to the hotel and buffet table resulted in Chinese cuisine overload, despite tiny portions!
Great days indeed John!
PO Box 2720,
Mossel Bay 6500,
Tel No: +27 (0) 44 6904659
New members joining us recently are:
Mark Davies, Auckland, New Zealand:
Welcome to the OBA!
What if... ?
No, you're not seeing things, the Royal Air Force did not have the Douglas C-133 Cargomaster on its inventory.
The type went directly into production as the C-133A; no prototypes were built. The first Cargomaster flew on 23 April 1956.
The first C-133As were delivered to the USAF Military Air Transport Service (MATS) in August 1957 and began
flying MATS air routes throughout the world. Two C-133s established transatlantic speed records for transport aircraft on their first flights to Europe.
The fleet of 50 aircraft proved itself invaluable during the Vietnam War. The Cargomaster soldiered on until the Lockheed C-5 Galaxy entered service in the early 1970s. The C-133 was then retired and most airplanes were cut up as soon as they were delivered to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Tucson, Arizona, on their final flight in 1971.
The Douglas C-133 appeared, at first glance, to be a “stretch” Lockheed C-130 with a lengthened fuselage, but seen side-by-side it was apparent that the C-133 was vastly larger in every dimension.
The C-133 Cargomaster was a large and elegant design. Its wing was mounted high in order to keep the spars above the cargo compartment, and at a slight positive angle of attack to help the long fuselage during takeoffs.
Side-mounted landing gear also cleared the cargo bay and provided for low ground clearance as well. With its rear-loading and side-loading doors, the C-133 was capable of handling a wide variety of military cargo.
Most significant was its ability to transport ballistic missiles, such as the Atlas, cheaper and more quickly than by trailer over highways. The payload area was designed around the dimensions of the Atlas, which meant that it could transport the intermediate-range Thor and Jupiter missiles as well.
The Cargomaster normally operates between 15,000 and 30,000 feet, cruising at nearly 300 mph. With a 20-ton pay load, its range is more than 3,700 miles. It carries a basic crew of five and is powered by four Pratt and Whitney T-34 turboprop engines developing 6,500 equivalent shaft horsepower each. These aircraft were assigned to Dover Air Force Base, Delaware, and to Travis Air Force Base, California.
"Immigrated to NZ in 2006 after 17 years in the RAF. Now in the RNZAF, based in Auckland as OC Logistics Support Squadron. Loving every minute of it!"
Tony Randerson, Erbil, Iraq:
"I retired as a Sqn Ldr from RAF Waddington in 2008. I am currently the Airport Operations Manager for DNATA, opening the new Airport in Erbil, Iraq."
From: Brian Lay, Wellington
Sent: August-20-10 21:16
Subject: RNZAF Mystery Photo 082010
This is the first RNZAF B757 trial flight to Antartica, and was such a success that we are planning 8 more flights this summer season for passegers only.
Aircraft Boeing 757-200
Manufacturer Boeing (USA)
Power plant 2 x Rolls Royce RB211535E4/4B turbofans
Basic weight 57,180kgs
Gross weight 115,680kgs
Max payload 22,460 kgs
Max fuel 43,490L
Range 4000 nm (7400 km)
Cruising speed Mach 0.8 (850km/h at 10,675m)
40 Squadron RNZAF currently operates two Boeing 757 200 aircraft. The fleet undertakes operations to many points around the globe and flies a varied mission profile. The Boeing 757 provides a very flexible and reliable air transport capability that enables the NZDF to achieve its objectives. Commencing in 2007 both aircraft were fitted with an upper deck cargo door to facilitate an 11-pallet cargo capability, internal air stairs, upgraded engines and flight deck enhancements including full compliance with current global air navigation specifications and standards.
Thanks Brian! Thanks also to Arfur English who came up with the correct answer.
56 x 44 gallon drums was the standard load
We worked 12-hour shifts, loading 56 x 44 gallon drums of aviation gasoline into Britannia’s. Well that’s what it eventually settled down to be. Initially all sorts of aircraft were conscripted, both service and civilian, some offering very poor payloads. The RCAF were also involved with flights to the Zambian airfields of Lusaka and Ndola.
If I remember correctly there were 6 Britannias on station. The first sorties were operated from Dar es Salaam. All personnel had to wear civilian clothes whist there, although the sides of the our aircraft were painted, with ‘RAF Transport Command’. I understand that politics came into being in a big way, which resulted in our withdrawal from Tanzania.
Both of my 3 months detachments from Cyprus (NEAF MAMS), were spent in Embakasi, Nairobi Airport, which is now called Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. At first we were billeted at KAF Eastleigh, but as a result of a large recruiting campaign by the Kenyan Air force, who naturally wanted their billets back, we were kicked off-site and found ourselves dossing down at ‘The Spread Eagle Hotel’* somewhere on the outskirts of Nairobi. [*Originally at this locale was an Officers’ Club established by the British Army during colonial times. Later on a simple hotel was constructed on the site known as the Spread Eagle Hotel which was replaced in 1974 by the Safari Park Hotel and Casino ]
We had two shifts of 12 local Kenyan lads helping with all the humping and dumping and I got to know some of them very well. They had very harsh lives and were overjoyed to have employment, although one or two did get the push for various reasons. They got paid fortnightly and after getting their hands on the dosh; most of them promptly spent it on booze or paying off loans and were skint the next day; their ladies never saw any of it.
The whole detachment upset the newly appointed Airport Security Officer, a Kenyan gentleman. He objected to our apparel, in that we were mostly scruffy as hell and didn’t take any notice of him when he came strutting around. He didn’t like us eating in the terminal restaurant and hanging around the terminal building, ogling all the hostesses and female passengers. As a result of his intervention we had to dine in a cordoned-off area of the staff eating place (I nearly called it a restaurant!).
I also remember that a squadron of Javelins, based in Akrotiri, was dispatched to Lusaka. Before they left Cyprus they all had to be repainted as no two looked alike.
There was an attempt to use another form of fuel container on the Brits; it was a large rubber ball type thing with ‘D’ rings at its centre which were, of course, used for chaining them down. They were eventually abandoned because when applying tension on the strainers they leaked the fuel. They also had to have load spreaders underneath.
I’ll let you imagine the verbal exchanges that took place between the Movers and the Air Quartermasters about the tightness of the chains on the loads
and the leakers which were found whenever, bless him, he decided to turn up and check our hard-sweating-stressful-tiring, wasted efforts. Even the local labourers soon learnt all the best swear words.
Time off was spent exploring the pleasures of the Kenyan capital. Those of us who had a taste for some ale soon developed a liking for a bottle or two of ‘Tusker’. You honestly had to down gallons of the stuff to dull the effects of all those barrels of oil and get rid of the stink of fuel.
I could go on and on, but who’s listening?
One thing worth a mention, three of us NEAF MAMS buddies were on a mission to find an Italian nosh house. Well, I fancied a spaghetti bolagnaise.
So there we were ambling down Jomo Kenyatta Avenue with our sergeant in the middle, when a young English ‘gorgeous lady’ stopped right in front of our already red-faced SNCO.
Placing her hand on his chest, she said, ‘Would you like to come to my flat and listen to some music for the afternoon?" The look on his face was the nearest thing that I have ever seen for a bloke to have a heart attack. He mumbled something to the effect that he was in a hurry and had to get back to work… Well I never! Yep, he was single!
C-17 Globemaster gets the job done
CFS ALERT - The C-17 Globemaster that transported 600,000 lbs. of construction supplies and dry food to Arctic Canadian station CFS Alert this week from U.S. Air Base Thule, Greenland was a big improvement over the old Herc.
Capt. Lorraine vanderKamp, from CFB Trenton's Mobile Air Movements section, was among the team of 18 that built all the pallets of material in Thule's Hangar 10, where the Canadian Forces have their headquarters for this year's first leg of Operation Boxtop.
"Everything went really fast and well," said vanderKamp. "We all got here in Thule (Greenland) a few days before the ship came in, so we could get started building our palettes as soon as possible. This week was our first time using the C-17 Globemaster for the Op. It made our life easier I think.
"We ended up flying all that cargo over six flights. That s considerably less than with the Herc. And they already left 10,000 litres of fuel behind in Alert ."
The last flight for this part of Operation Boxtop landed in Alert Thursday. The pilots and air crew mostly delivered fuel to the northern station, but from Trenton this time. vanderKamp said the "wet" part of the Op will take off Sept. 9. Two million litres of fuel will be flown to the station that week. "So we should be done on Thursday or Friday," said vanderKamp. "We don't have to be here in Thule for the wet part of the Op."
CFS Alert's commanding officer Maj. Brent Hoddinott said the September operation will bring the station's capacity of fuel to 70 percent. "Our current capacity in diesel is 25 per cent, and so is our jet fuel reserve," said the Trenton Major. "The wet part of Boxtop will bring us up to date. We use a great quantity of fuel on the station to heat the buildings, to run generators, and to drive all the trucks.
"With the heat recovery system, I believe we will see significant savings in fuel, which might cut a couple more flights to our Operation Boxtop in a near future."
Wednesday morning as he was driving down the main road leading to the runway at CFS Alert, CO Hoddinott said he was satisfied and pleased with the way the re-supply operation was conducted this week. "It went faster than we anticipated with the C-17," said Hoddinott. "All the crew here did a great job and we are looking forward to conclude our Boxtop season in a couple of weeks."
From: John Holloway, Shrewsbury
Sent: August-23-10 12:11
Subject: Salalah Cook House
A chap recently found me on the internet and one of the photos he sent me was of the cookhouse at Salalah. Another Salalah photo that was sent to me which reminded me of the Mystery Photo solved in last weeks Brief was of this Bedford truck in 1956. All we had were the old QL's and wartime Bedford buses. Just thought these would bring back some memories.
The others he sent me were of bods stationed there with him and one of them was at Khormaksar with me in Air Movements.
The cookhouse brings back some memories for me John... it was just 9 years after that photograph was taken that I found myself eating three meals a day for a whole year in that place. At breakfast we got the usual cooked affair with bacon or sausage, fried bread and powdered eggs and at the same time we picked up our bowl of cereal; cornflakes or shredded wheat... with powdered milk. We ate our hot breakfast first and every minute or so it was necessary to tap the side of the cereal bowl with our knife or fork. The reason for this constant tapping became obvious after a few minutes... the weavils in the cereal would start floating to the top and by the time the hot breakfast was finished we could scrape the insects off and eat the cereal!
From: Charles Collier, Devizes
Sent: August-25-10 5:29
Subject: Trip To Berlin 1958
This is a tale about when I was an ATC cadet. Looking at my 1958 diary I find that on Monday 3rd February I departed on a trip to Berlin by an RAF Hastings aircraft.
I was 16 years old and I had a warrant by train from Manchester to London Euston; transfer to Paddington for Maidenhead arriving at 1500 hrs. I was met by an RAF driver who took me to RAF White Waltham transit for a night-stop. The next morning the same driver took me to RAF Northolt where I went through HM Customs. Then I was introduced to the Air Quartermaster (AQM ) who told me that I would be assisting him to serve the meals on the Hastings, which was waiting on the tarmac. The AQM took me to the aircraft and showed me his galley. Shortly after this the passengers arrived; were seated, strapped in and we were on our way
The first stop was RAF Wildenrath to let off some passengers and then carried on to the destination RAF Gatow where we arrived in the early afternoon. I reported to collect my bedding as I was in transit then went for tea. The next day I was taken to the general office to change some money into BAFFS used by all allied armed forces in Berlin at that time. After lunch I was taken to Spandau and shown around by a Gatow based airman. We returned to Gatow where we had tea. I then went to the camp Astra cinema to see some film which I don’t recall the title of. So, the next day, Wednesday 5th February, we retraced the route back to Northolt via Wildenrath and I returned home by train to Manchester.
At 16 years of age I was thrilled to be on such a trip by a modern RAF Hastings 4 engine transport plane; especially as I then knew I was only 6 months away from joining on an initial 12 year engagement as an RAF Halton aircraft apprentice.
Thanks Charles. You'll recall that the Handley Page Hastings was used extensively during the Berlin Airlift, mainly for carrying coal to the beleaguered population.
RAF faces tough choices over future air transport fleet
If the UK's Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) is all about "tough choices", then the Royal Air Force's transport aircraft fleet provides a striking example of the dilemma now facing the nation.
With its objective being to deliver massive departmental savings, the Ministry of Defence says: "Work has been set in hand to review all major equipment and support contracts to ensure the future programme is coherent with defence needs and can be afforded."
Chief of the air staff Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Dalton has voiced his desire to emerge from the process with a more balanced service, and warns that platform-level cuts will be a likely consequence of government-enforced cost savings. "My aim is to come out of the SDSR with two fast-jet, two helicopter and two transport types," he says, referring to the project's expected 10- to 15-year period of regard.
While public attention has so far been focused on the likely effect of such a strategy on the UK's manned combat aircraft inventory, through the rumoured retirement of its BAE Systems Harrier GR7/9 or Panavia Tornado GR4 fleets, the possible implications for its air transport assets have not been aired widely.
But with the Boeing C-17 strategic airlifter and Lockheed Martin C-130J tactical transport already in use and Airbus Military's A400M due to enter operational service in 2015, one must fall casualty of the budgetary bloodletting if Dalton's vision is to be realised.
Totalling more than 70 airframes, the RAF's current air transport and tanker inventory spans seven platform types, also including the older C-130K, Lockheed TriStar and Vickers VC10, plus BAe 125s and BAe 146s flown by its 32 (The Royal) Sqn.
Under current plans, the service's K-model Hercules will be replaced by the delayed A400M, and its TriStars and VC10s succeeded by modified Airbus A330-200s via the Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft (FSTA) programme.
These processes should replace 36 aircraft with the same number - 22 and 14, respectively - and reduce the type-count by only one.
Four of the UK's remaining 14 C-130Ks will be retired in the 2011-12 financial year, with the rest to go in 2012, when their home base at RAF Lyneham in Wiltshire will also close. Its 24 C-130Js will be relocated at its air transport super-base at Brize Norton in Oxfordshire.
Set to remain in use until 2030, the C-130J fleet has been a workhorse in Afghanistan, where it performs short-haul transport tasks - typically moving around 2,000 coalition personnel and supplies each week, predominantly from Kandahar airfield. Combined with having made regular rough field landings, also during the UK's involvement in Iraq, the type, although younger than 15 years old, is already showing worrying signs of premature ageing.
A report published by the UK National Audit Office in June 2008 warned that the effects of deployed operations were so severe that wing replacement work could be required on some of the RAF's C-130Js from 2012 - one year before a bilateral fatigue study being conducted with Australia was due to conclude.
With other upgrade activities required in 2011-12, retirement of the last C-130Ks and the late arrival of the A400M, the RAF would be "unlikely to be able to sustain the current tactical capability", the audit office's June report said.
Unlike several of its partner nations on the A400M, the UK has so far made no interim arrangement to cover for the programme's roughly three-year delay. Indeed, its commitment to continue with the programme, as outlined in a March heads of agreement document, will see its original 25-aircraft purchase cut to 22 to compensate for increased costs.
Although suggestions persist that the UK could withdraw from the project entirely, Dalton and several senior politicians have backed the A400M, which made its first visit to Brize Norton on the eve of the Farnborough air show in July. The UK had already spent more than £850 million ($1.3 billion) on the A400M by early this year, according to figures released by its Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S) organisation.
Plans for the A400M's arrival are already gaining traction, with discussions having been held with Airbus Military over a proposed joint support model for the planned 72 transports to be acquired by France and the UK. The latter also in mid-July issued an invitation to negotiate to Airbus Military and its partner Thales Training and Simulation for a proposed synthetic training service worth more than £400 million.
New training facilities will be built at Brize Norton under the proposed deal, which will support the instruction of pilots, loadmasters, maintainers and other personnel until at least 2030. Contract signature is expected in October 2011.
Another Airbus Military product, the A330-200 multi-role tanker/transport, is also approaching a key milestone before the first delivery in 2011 under the FSTA programme.
The first of two aircraft to have undergone modification at EADS's Getafe site near Madrid will make its flight debut in tanker guise during September. The first aircraft is on track to arrive at Brize Norton in October 2011, and the EADS UK-led AirTanker Services consortium has completed major construction work on a new two-bay hangar and training building at the site.
The first two, Airbus-modified, aircraft will be used to support certification tasks, including from Qinetiq's Boscombe Down site in Wiltshire. Work to bring the A330 to the military configuration includes modifying 10 of its 25 civil-standard computers, and adding 31 new ones. New communications, navigation and datalink equipment is also introduced, with the tanker conversion process adding 10.9t to its empty weight, Airbus says.
Contracted only in March 2008, the private finance initiative FSTA deal has been the subject of considerable scrutiny, due to its estimated £13 billion cost over 24 years. With the project mentioned frequently as a potential casualty of the SDSR process, the MoD and industry have been pursuing possible ways of safeguarding the strategically vital air-to-air refuelling mission.
One suggestion to have been explored involves a potential bilateral arrangement with France, which has for several years been investigating ways of acquiring its own fleet of A330-based tankers. With a possible reduction in fast jet numbers on the horizon, the UK could require fewer tankers, potentially freeing up contracted airframes for French use.
This could prove an attractive proposition for both parties, although it would entail complex contractual renegotiation on issues such as the French air force's need to acquire aircraft with refuelling booms: equipment not selected for the RAF. An agreement would also further strengthen the proposed joint support model to be put in place for the nations' A400Ms.
The last of the RAF's TriStars - six tankers and three transports - are due to leave use in 2016, as the FSTA fleet should reach full operational capability. Now providing vital personnel lift via the UK's "airbridge" with Afghanistan, the ex-British Airways and Pan Am aircraft are the subject of a modernisation package being performed by Marshall Aerospace. Intended to tackle obsolescence issues and ensure compliance with civil operating regulations, the work introduces new communication and navigation equipment and cockpit avionics.
Providing support for operations in Afghanistan remains a massive undertaking for the air transport fleet, which must support the movement of around 230,000 passengers a year from Brize Norton. Despite the age of its assets and the limited number of airframes that are available, the RAF says 83% of flights typically leave on time.
One type which appears certain to be safe through the defence review and subsequent cuts is the C-17, six of which are in use with the RAF's 99 Sqn. The UK is the leading international operator of the Boeing product, and will in December take delivery of its seventh example, three months ahead of schedule. The aircraft, UK7, recently underwent major join at the company's Long Beach manufacturing site in California, and is now moving along the assembly line.
Elsewhere, although the RAF's six BAe 125s and two BAe 146s have over the last few years expanded their duties from providing Royal and VIP transport services to also operating in Iraq and Afghanistan, their 2022 out-of-service dates could again come under review.
But Air Vice Marshal Steven Hillier, air officer commanding the RAF's 2 Group organisation, argues that the 32 Sqn aircraft have delivered "strategic-level effect" by having been adapted to non-traditional tasks. "Flying a regional commander to a meeting in a 125 with three crew can cut six weeks of relationship-building" in Afghanistan, he noted earlier this year.
The outcome of the SDSR process is likely to emerge around October, and only at this point will the future mix of the RAF's air transport fleet be confirmed.
A decision to cancel outright either the A400M or FSTA programmes is hard to imagine, or would indicate an acceptance by the UK government that the nation will have to significantly downgrade its ability to deploy and support its military forces on a global scale. Tough choices indeed.
ROYAL AIR FORCE TRANSPORT/TANKER FLEET
Out of Service Date
Source UK Ministry of Defence
The RAF now expects to receive its first example in 2014, and the type should enter operational use the following year, before achieving full capability from around 2018.
Cobham Aviation Services will modify the UK's remaining 12 aircraft at its Bournemouth airport site in Dorset over a five-year period from the end of 2011. By earlier this year it had 35 employees working on the programme in Getafe in preparation for the activity.
Powered by two Roll-Royce Trent 772Bs, the aircraft will have a single-class cabin configuration with 291 seats. This will enable the A330 to initially be concentrated on air transport tasks, with its air-to-air refuelling capability not due to be used before late 2014.
Full service provision is scheduled for mid-2016, AirTanker says, with around 500 military and civilian staff and sponsored reservists to eventually operate and support the types. Half of the FSTA fleet will be two-point tankers equipped with Cobham 905E wing pods, while the remainder will also have a centreline hose drum unit to support larger aircraft, such as the A400M. The type will arrive with a 111t fuel capacity, achieved using the A330's existing fuel tanks.
The RAF's 101 Sqn retired two of its VC10s in April, after they had amassed a combined 81,500 flying hours. The 13 that remain in use will undergo a phased drawdown until the type's retirement in December 2013, some 47 years after the service placed the Rolls-Royce Conway-powered airliner into use.
VC10s are now deployed to the Gulf region and to the Falkland Islands, and also support quick reaction alert duties in the UK. However, new operating guidelines introduced earlier this year as a result of the Haddon-Cave review have severely restricted its ability to carry passengers.
The RAF's C-17s provide the backbone for the delivery of essential equipment such as support helicopters to and from Afghanistan, and also support tasks such as the evacuation of wounded personnel. The fleet has also been used to support humanitarian missions, for example delivering supplies in response to the earthquake in Haiti earlier this year, and tents following the recent devastating floods in Pakistan.
"Given the very weak state of our worn-out C-130J fleet and the delay before the delivery of the first A400Ms, no matter what SDSR provides, the RAF should have more C-17s," says Howard Wheeldon, senior strategist at London-based BGC Partners. The service has previously expressed a wish to field more of the type, which can carry more than three times the payload of a C-130J and over twice that of the A400M. However, this must be traded against its comparatively high per-hour operating cost, detailed by DE&S as £42,000, versus £12,000 for the C-130J.
It'll work with
but there are some line spacing issues
RAF band CD dedicated to Battle of Britain personnel
The album features classic tunes such as Spitfire Prelude, 633 Squadron and the Dambusters March as well as a contemporary new ballad 'It's A Long Way To Go' written by band members Chief Technician Rob Jordan and Senior Aircraftman James Lawrence.
The Central Band of the Royal Air Force has recorded a new CD called 'Reach For The Skies' which is dedicated to all those who took part in the Battle of Britain.
The release of the album is one of the many events taking place this year to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain.
As well as being dedicated to personnel involved in the Battle of Britain, the 'Reach For The Skies' album also pays tribute to those currently serving overseas on operations and who are also being called on to make the supreme sacrifice.
The central focus of the Decca album is a brand new version of Churchill's history-changing speech 'The Few'. For the first time this will be enriched by music from the Central Band and his 'Finest Hour' speech is also on the album, another great homage to the RAF.
Chief Technician Jordan said: "We wanted to bring the album right up to date and appeal to a new audience, but still reflect the sacrifices made during the Battle of Britain. The ballad reflects on the separation that all servicemen and women feel while serving overseas on operations and the love from their partners and families that carries them through those times."
General Manager for Decca records, Mark Wilkinson, added: "With 'Reach For The Skies', and with a little help from Winston Churchill himself, we have produced an album of which we're all immensely proud, and one that we hope will continue to showcase the excellence of musicianship for which the RAF have always been known. Dedicated to all the men and women who fought in the Battle of Britain, we hope that it can play some part in keeping alive great music, great musical traditions, and the spirit of The Few."
Defence News / Sky News
This meant that our paths would inevitably cross as he would often escape from the base and enjoy a ‘few beers’ at my place. The children were even calling him ‘Uncle Karl’. I visited him at his house on the island of Mindoro in the Philippines on one memorable occasion which also involved a night or two exploring Manila.
Our latest reunion was at my home in Davao, Mindanao in the Philippines when I was on leave from the Sandpit. Karl had been there before but this time he was on a visa run from Thailand where he now seems to be settling down with a lovely young lady called Sai. Sai came along with Karl just to make sure that he and I did not get up to any mischief!
Many beers were drunk and some good food eaten as both Karl and Sai relaxed in the peace and calm of the Provinces after a few days visiting Manila.
The photo shows Karl, Sai, me, my wife Elsie and our two children taking the ferry out to Samal Island which is about 10 minutes from our house.
Plans were made to meet up again at Karl’s place in Chiang Rai, Thailand.
You may recall that I placed a Situations Vacant ad on the old OBA site about nine years ago (heck, was it really that far back?) and, as a result, hired Karl Hibbert to work with me here in Qatar.
Karl stayed with us for around a year and did a very good job before moving on to Kuwait and then returning to Qatar (twice) to work with Halliburton at the Al Udeid air base here. I stayed on with Chevron Phillips.
From: Ron Turley, Doha
Sent: August-26-10 1:51
Subject: Update on Karl Hibbert and Ron Turley
From: Tony Gale, Gatineau, QC
To: Ron Turley, Doha, Qatar
Sent: 26 August 2010 13:07
Subject: RE: Update on Karl Hibbert and Ron Turley
Yes, I do recall the advertisement and your hiring Karl… seeing the picture of you all on the ferry and learning of how you have obviously become firm friends gives me a real warm feeling, and we do need warm feelings here in Canada - especially with the prospect of the cold weather looming up!
The last time I had any correspondance from Karl was when we were following his (photographic) progress whilst he was building a house in the Philippines… and then nothing. You mentioned that he is now in Thailand… would you ask him to place finger to keyboard and send me an update on his contact details please?
From: Ron Turley, Doha
Sent: August-26-10 6:37
Subject: Update on Karl Hibbert and Ron Turley
Optimized for viewing with:
From: Alex Masson, Chelmsford
Sent: August-28-10 18:43
Subject: Report on our Event.
Thought you might like to see what the local paper reported on our ‘Event’
Terry and Marie Marshall were our hosts and the guests were the veterans of WW2 including our president Ralph Tyrrell, a Lancaster Bomber Navigator (85 years). The total amount raised worked out at £1,662 for our ‘Wings Charity’.
I was dragged into the picture as organiser of the event!
Bomber Boys recall their stories of war
War veterans, including the famous Bomber Boys, attended an art exhibition at a retirement complex in Braintree.
Five RAF Veterans, plus supporters of the Royal Air Forces Association, attended a Sunday lunch and art exhibition hosted by staff and residents of The Hawthorns.
The Bomber Boys were involved in the campaign over the Ruhr, Dortmund Elms Canal and Dresden during the Second World War.
An art exhibition in the foyer by RAF artist Tony Carey of Chelmsford featured paintings of Second World War aircraft and battles.
Geraldine Channon, activities organiser at the Tortoiseshell Way complex, said: “It was a great day and a privilege to host these brave veterans at The Hawthorns and hear their fascinating stories.”
The Event raised £1,662 for the Royal Air Forces Association.
RAF's first A330 tanker nears flight test
One of 14 adapted A330-200s scheduled for use under the RAF's Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft project, the platform has recently completed indoor system trials and will soon be handed over to Airbus Military's flight-test team, the company says.
Equipped with underwing hose and drogue refuelling pods and a centreline fuselage refuelling unit, the aircraft is one of two to have been modified for RAF use since July 2009 by Airbus Military. The service's remaining examples will be prepared by Cobham Aviation Services at its Bournemouth airport facilities in Dorset from late next year.
EADS UK-led AirTanker Services is on track to hand over the RAF's first new tanker/transport in October 2011, under a private finance initiative deal worth an estimated £13 billion ($20 billion).
The UK Royal Air Force's first A330 multi-role tanker/transport has emerged from a modification hangar at Airbus Military's Getafe site near Madrid, Spain, ahead of flight-testing from later this month.
Meanwhile, Airbus is still awaiting the approval of military type certification for the A330 MRTT from Spain's INTA body. The milestone - expected “very shortly” - is required before the company can deliver its first two of five boom-equipped aircraft to the Royal Australian Air Force late this year.
New RNZAF Air Ambulance
The Royal New Zealand Air Force is developing an Aero-medical Evacuation (AME)-air ambulance-capability to enable patients to be transferred safely around the world in its Boeing 757 aircraft.
A unique multi-role aircraft, the 757 is capable of being used for many different tasks, including:
The AME platform will provide care for a wide range of situations, from minor illness and injury to critical care. Due to its unique set up, it has the ability to complete a bed-to-bed (hospital-to-hospital) transfer on one single stretcher. It is designed as a roll-on roll-off palletised system and includes a:
Wing Commander Steve Hunt, AME Project Manager said, “The recent Antarctic operations to the Ross Sea ice shelf and the AME capability are examples of the huge utility and versatility of the B757. The AME capability is a national asset and provides choice and flexibility to the New Zealand government.
“It contributes greatly to New Zealand’s range of defence outputs, which could include the need to provide:
Using the Air Force Boeing 757 gives New Zealand modern economic airline running costs while delivering military multi-role capabilities. It is expected to be between 12-18 months before the AME capability is fully realised within the Defence Force.
• passenger only
• freight only
• combination of passengers and freight, and
The AME pallets were installed inside the Boeing 757 and test flown on Monday 14 June 2010. The medical systems were tested in flight and, with the exception of minor alterations to equipment and procedures, it was very successful.
• High Dependency pallet for a critical care patient
• Work Station pallet, and
• Medium Dependency pallet that cares for two patients.
The RNZAF Aero-medical Evacuation Staff Officer, Squadron Leader Jude Telford said, “It’s been a long time in the planning and a huge milestone has been achieved to get to this stage. We had several health professionals-two doctors from Middlemore Hospital Auckland and one from Bay of Plenty DHB Tauranga, plus an ICU flight nurse from Care flight-aboard with us and they were very impressed with what we have achieved.”
• disaster relief
• contribution to a military coalition
• evacuation of injured New Zealand citizens in an area of sudden conflict (e.g. Thailand), or
• response to a terrorist attack whether or not New Zealand nationals were involved.”
RAF Deliver Aid to Pakistan
The C17 and Hercules aircraft were loaded with temporary shelters and the first flight took off on Saturday.
Forces News travelled with the teams from RAF Brize Norton and RAF Lyneham for an exclusive insight into what they're doing.
At 3am, a team from 1 Air Mobility Wing, and a crew from 99 Squadron began loading the aid onto a C17. They took 14 palettes carrying plastic sheeting, tarpaulins, and poles, for building temporary shelters.
The kits were all supplied by Britain’s department for international development from stores they keep in the United Arab Emirates
The RAF has been helping the victims of the floods in Pakistan with two aid flights over the bank holiday weekend.
The 48 tonnes of aid they left, should provide enough shelter for 15-thousand people. The shelter kits will go to Multan in Southern Pakistan.
Across the country, more than six million people have been left homeless by this disaster. It’s been described as a slow moving tsunami - a month since it began, it’s still affecting new communities
The RAF movements team was flown out specially to support the aid effort. The journey to Pakistan took just under three hours. The movers then had around three hours to get all the supplies offloaded from the plane.
99 Squadron have helped with other recent disaster relief operations - but this plane and its crew are usually found flying cargo and troops to and from Afghanistan.
The plane now has to return to the UAE straight away, where the crew will prepare for flights to Afghanistan, while the movers will prepare their next aid flight.
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