21 September 2001


Joining us this week is:

Kev Skinner from Akrotiri, Cyprus

Welcome to the OBA!

From:          Scott Innes
Subject:      Mystery Photograph Suggestions
Date:           Fri, 14 Sep 2001 16:02:13 +0100

Not a chance on this one, give us one with more airplanes in it!   Mind you, saying that looks like a Gnome engine from a Wessex/Whirlwind, don't know the story though I close?

Awaiting call up (only 9 months left in the RAF reserve!!) Anyone been called up yet? Rumours of?


[Ed:  Close enough!  Ian Berry, who provided the Mystery, tells us:  "Offloading a Whirlwind HAR10 from a Herc at RAF Akrotiri, December 1979.  I was based at Akrotiri but flew to the UK to travel on the task to Leconfield with the UKMAMS team which included Sam Heaphy and George Lynes. Once I knew how to get it on I flew back to Akrotiri with it and took it off. L to R: WO Paul Vincent, Cpl Jim Buchanan, Sgt Ian Berry, SAC Dave Eccles, Sgt Jim Cunningham."]

From:          Bob Dixon
To:               Jack Riley
Subject:       UKMAMS Assoc
Date:           Sat, 15 Sep 2001 09:02:27 EDT

Hello Jack

Thanks for your offer of support for the Association.  A very kind thought.   We are currently taking a radical re-look at the Association now that it is about 8 years old and we will be asking opinions of members and non-members in the near future,
including via the OBA Website.

Again thanks for your interest.


Bob Dixon


From:         Bob Dixon
To:              Merfyn Phillips
Subject:      UKMAMS Assoc Meet and Greet
Date:          Sat, 15 Sep 2001 09:07:23 EDT


Thanks for your comments on the OBA site.  We are taking a long look at the way the Association does things and will be asking for views of members and non-members.  Watch out for the opportunity to comment on the OBA Website.

By the way, our next Meet and Greet is on Friday, 19 October in the RAFA Club (We have not been able to get the RAFA Club on Fridays before)  If you want to drop in and tell us more about your views, you would be most welcome.  Bring some other lapsed members with you!


Bob Dixon


[Ed:  The following exchange took place last weekend, and is self-explanatory  - I wanted to get some interesting reaction...]

From:        UKMAMS-OBA
To:            Chris Clarke
Subject:     A little birdie just told me....
Date:          Sat, 15 Sep 2001 16:49:06 -0400

Hi Pig,

You wanna pull up yer soapbox?

I just heard from a reliable source that the C17 Lease is limited to 20 hours flying per month per aircraft, and with regular currently planned use this year's allocation will be up in January!  This is not even taking into consideration the upcoming "Afghani Whammy"!

Also, on a recent flight with a load of 16 pallets to Oman, they could not offload the aircraft as it had ramp problems and had to return the load to the UK.  It is rumoured that all of the aircraft will have to be returned to the USA to get fixed!

What's the telephone number for HeavyLift?




From:            Chris Clarke
Subject:         Re: A little birdie just told me....
Date:             Mon, 17 Sep 2001 11:29:50 -0400

It gets worse eh?  So much for a strategic airlift capability, 20 hrs? That would be maybe 2 tasks?  Wow, what a quantum leap forward in the effectiveness of the British Military...  I wonder how many times we have to learn the same lesson before the bosses get the end user, (in this case Movers) involved in a meaningful way in the procurement process, or will the Whitehall mandarins and well meaning Rodney's and Old Age Fighter Pilots who run the RAF just carry on wasting our tax pounds?

Mmmm, I wonder which it will be?
Here's holding my breath in Canada

Angry of Ontario

[Ed: Thanks Angry of Ontario - Rebuff anyone?]


From:            Ian Newlands
Subject:         Re: Welcome!
Date:             Tue, 18 Sep 2001 14:04:12 +0100 (BST)

Hi Tony

Many thanks for the info and thanks for the welcome to the OBA. Yes I was a member of the UKMAMS Assoc but I let it lapse about a year ago. I have not been able to attend any of the meets at Swindon as I work every Sat with a 0400 start so it makes the social life a trifle difficult.

Anyway all the best to the Squadron past and present and I cant say that I wish I was there as I am well used to civvies now!

Well all the best and let's hope this New York business does not put the lads in deep!

Yours Foddy N

[Ed:  Foddy - hang on to your friends - it took me 30 years to catch up with some of mine!]


From:          Ian Berry
Date:           Wed, 19 Sep 2001 14:31:54 +0100

Dear Tony,

I have not joined the debate so far concerning the Association and those who 'knock it'. I am grateful to you for your sensible and diplomatic replies you have made so far.

I read Merv Phillips e-mail and obviously everyone has their own opinion. It's a shame he never made these feelings known to us by writing to us, if we don't know there's a problem we can't solve it. Using the net to communicate is the way ahead but we must remember that only between 10-15% have a computer or know how to use it. The older one's amongst us especially rely on a printed newsletter for information. To produce this we need funds (subscriptions) and this money also goes towards wreaths when required and the odd assistance we can make to our members who are in ill health. For example we purchased a reading table for Ian Thompson who now suffers from multiple sclerosis. The money is also put to other uses to which all Association members benefit. We need an Association and a Committee to run it. If we didn't have one how could we organise events and reunions? One of my greatest tasks is keeping track of retired members, without maintaining contact and just talking to each other we would quickly lose track of people and slip back from what we presently have.

As Bob Dixon may have mentioned, the Association is going through a crisis at the moment with a lot of members not renewing their subscriptions. We will be sending out a questionnaire with the December issue to hopefully find out what people want. There are a lot of defaulters amongst the ranks of those who have put their names to the OBA list and even though I have been tempted to contact them I would prefer they make the effort. As you said yourself I feel the two organisations OBA/Assn complement each other and are not in competition.

Thanks again for your continued support and excellent website. Hopefully my response will provoke some of the 'quiet' majority to get tapping the keyboard - all suggestions as long as they are physically possible will be considered.

Yours faithfully,

Ian Berry

[Ed: Thanks Ian]


Well, that's it for this week.  Oh if anyone wants a special 5-day weather forecast for Afghanistan just let me know and I will copy it to you (70k file size).

Have a great weekend

Best regards