30 October 2009

New members who have joined us recently:

Barry Tappenden, Bedford, UK
Mick Day, Carterton, UK
Gary Farndale, Torpoint, UK "Working with the Royal Navy in the submarine simulators down in Cornwall. Miss the social side of service life but not the work! Happy days though!"
Steve Harpum, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia  
Hammy Thompson, Sunderland, UK "Having to work for a living now, don`t we all?"
John Calver, Fairford, UK "Love this site, especially the photos! Still working away as a whitevanman doing property maintenance."
Wayne Laidlaw, Loja, Spain "Recently moved to Spain. Life is great out here and any mover in search of a short break is welcome."

Welcome to the OBA!


From: Basil Hughes, Pattaya
Sent: 15 October 2009 21:38
Subject: Re: UKMAMS OBA OBB #101609

Seeing Arthur Rowland's name as joining stirred questions in my memory.

I was there on Charlie Team with Dan Archer and Mich Mitchell when Gordon Spears was i/c flight. I remember my bachelor party down in Abingdon in May 1965 and I feel sure Sqn Ldr Jacobs was at that party. I later went to ATDU and then in 1967 to Changi Air Movements. What date did the MAMS Sqn Abingdon get formed?

Basil H J Hughes

Thanks for the query Basil - UKMAMS gained squadron status at Abingdon on May 1st, 1966.

One 75-watt bulb gives more light than three 25-watt bulbs.

From: Allan Walker, Burnley
Sent: 16 October 2009 01:50
Subject: RAF Mystery Photo 101609


What a great Photo. Not sure of the date but it was taken at the Air Movements School. Has this been "doctored" as all seem to have larger than life ears?

I definitely recognise 4 in the photo with a possible 5th. They are:

Back Row from Left
No 2 Keith Simmonds

Front Row from Left
No 2 Bob Husband
No 3 Dave Stevens
No 4 David Harries OC AMTS

Possible 5th I think is Dick Castle at the RH end of front row.

Left click for a larger image - backspace to return

Dave Stevens was in Saudi whilst I was there and I occasionally saw him as he was on the Western side whilst I was on the Eastern side. We did have quite a few work related telephone conversations.

Bob Husband was initially on the MoD Team as a Squadron Leader and then had many visits to Saudi after his departure as a Member of the UK Training Team.

In addition, regarding the WO Convention Photo F 04 is Mike Yule who was at one time OC the School. Also Paul Crotty in the Centre of the front row ended up as an Air Commodore. I last saw him in the mid 80's when he was at MOD Harrogate.

It s good to see these old photos as it brings back quite a few memories and tasks the little grey cells.

Keep up the good work

Yours aye

Allan Walker

Good effort Allan, but a little short of the mark for the prize. To my knowledge the photo has not been doctored, although I will agree that the longer you stare at it the bigger the ears become - it must be an auricular illusion!

From: Andrew Kay, Stafford, VA
Sent: 16 October 2009 10:13
Subject: RAF Mystery Photo 101609

Hi Tony

Well time to jump in on the Oct 16 mystery photo as I recognize some very fresh faced young men that constituted No. 8 Mov Ops Course.  It's hard to believe any of us were that young but it was 1973  - a staggering 36 years ago.

I can't take all the credit as I did double check my numbers and dates from the picture library on the UKMAMS Association website, but I recognized a couple of the guys straight away (and of course at the risk of being accused of being sexist, those were the good old days when the movements trade was restricted to males only!). 



Strangely enough the instructing staff were the most familiar - Chas Cormack, Sgt Husband, Sgt Potts and my old mate the late Dennis Harthill. 

Although I may have my dates a little wrong I am pretty certain that Course No. 8 was the one I started off on but never finished.  I believe I still hold the record for the number of basic movements operators courses attended by a student as I finally passed out of the Movements School on Course No. 10 after an unscheduled stay in Wroughton Hospital and a couple of months on crutches with my leg in plaster following an accident on one of the mock-ups in the hangar during a loading exercise.  For those that remember it, an arrester cable drum fell on my leg and broke it pretty horribly (I still have restricted movement and pain in it after all these years) but the subsequent board of inquiry decided I had been punished enough (and learned my lesson) and took no further action. However I seem to recall the words "stupid" and "inexperienced" were used by the board a lot. 

Good to see a couple of familiar names in this weeks OBA Brief one of which was Phil Horton, an old mate from my Northolt days.  Also I always had trouble connecting Derek Barron with being a copper and I am more comfortable in the knowledge he is now running market stalls in Swindon! 

I did promise you photos of one or two pieces of RAF memorabilia I have on my office wall and I will bring my camera in to work and get those to you.  One of them dates back to when I left Brize and the RAF and is an etching of a VC10 which was  signed by members of the pax shift I was on at the time.  I should submit a picture of the signatures as a mystery picture in the hope of getting them deciphered!

Cheers and thanks for the OBB.  It's nice to keep in touch with the past.

Andy Kay

From: Charles Collier, Devizes
Sent: 18 October 2009 15:38
Subject: RAF Mystery Photo 101609

Tony, I recognise Sqn Ldr Harries - the OC - and his side-kick Flt Cox in this photo



From: Douglas Russell, Carlilse
Sent: 16 October 2009 02:00
Subject: RAF Mystery Photo 091809


(Left click on image for larger view - use backspace to return)

I believe C02 is Ted Leath.


Dougie Russell

From: Richard Castle, York
Sent: 16 October 2009 05:40
Subject: RE: UKMAMS OBA OBB #101609


A few names for you from the photo of the 1993 WO’s conference:

F04 is Mike Yule
F07 is Duncan Grant
F10 is Don Cannon

I am in regular contact with Duncan – he is still running Logistics and Training Services and it is through him that Rod Elliott and I are working under contract at QinetiQ in Farnborough on the Defence Training Rationalisation project for the Metrix Consortium.

Kind regards,

Richard Castle

From: Charles Collier, Devizes
Sent: 16 October 2009 08:28
Subject: RAF Mystery Photo 091809


I can fill in two more names for the mystery photo. At FO4 is Sqn Ldr Mike Yule, one time OC the Movements School , and at FO7 is Wing Commander Duncan Grant who was in the 99th Entry of RAF Aircraft Apprentices (I was in the 90th). As was AVM Kurth who was at the presentation of the Flight Safety award to Cpl Fish. AVM Kurth was in the 231st Entry! (rapid promotion).



From: Tim Newstead, Cheltenham
Sent: 16 October 2009 11:59
Subject: Re: UKMAMS OBA OBB #101609

Hi Tony,

Another great OBB - I echo Jack Riley's comment - Thank you!

R01 Dave Wall?

Now then, the missing names from RAF Mystery Photo 091809 - the WOs' Conference - R01: has to be Dave Wall, surely? F04 is Mike Yule, F07 is Duncan Grant, F10 is Don Canon, 'fraid I cannot recall the names of C02 and F11.

Keep up the good work!

Best regards

From: Mike Stepney, La Nucia
Sent: 17 October 2009 18:54
Subject: Chas Cormack's WO's conference Photo #101609 - some missing names

Hi Tony

I believe that the missing names of the ossifors in the front row of Chas’s photo are as follows:

F04 is Mike Yule – probably Wg Cdr at this time

F07 is Duncan Grant – probably Gp Capt at this time

Recognize a couple of the other un-named, but the old grey matter just won’t give up the information!

When I get the opportunity (sometime in the next 2 or 3 months), I hope to pen you an article about UKMAMS and their part in winning the Volant Rodeo competition in the late 80’s.



Trust you will now have some names to place against faces Mike - we'll all be looking forward to seeing your rodeo item.

From: David Powell, Princes Risborough
Sent: 19 October 2009 16:02
Subject: Odds and Bods

Hi Tony

Photos: WO Conference 1993 Lyneham – I can add to the front row: FO4 – Mike Yule, FO6 I can confirm is Paul Crotty. Next to him and balancing the brace of GCs either side his air-worthiness Crotty is, I suspect, Gp Capt Duncan Grant (ex TSW).

Delighted to see Arthur Rowland checking in, one of the real MAMS founders at Abingdon. Arthur and I shared an office in Main Building in the fuels deputy directorate. Arthur was on Plans (mainly NATO) while I had to enjoy the hospitality of the oil companies as the provisioner. ‘Bottle and 200 meets Rollo Free Lunch’ . Happy Days.

Finally, the other weekend, Sue and I were enjoying watching the celebratory re-runs of the Kop Hill Climb at Princes Risborough with some chums when the conversation turned to Australia, as you do. That turned to ‘do you know an ex-mover John Bell?’ At which I brought big tall Geoff Clark (ex TACEVAL) and Sheila up to date with Old Bods in general and JB in particular. Small world.

Out of interest, in the 1920's hill climbs on public roads (usually little more than dirt tracks) were a popular sport. The 1km Kop Hill which ends on a spectacular 1 in 4 was one such. However, in 1927 one of the Kop Hill cars went off the road, clipped a spectator and broke his leg. Racing was stopped.

But, the more serious consequence was that this led directly to the Act of Parliament banning timed motor racing on English Roads to this day. In this year’s celebrations, with about 300 vintage, veteran and classic cars and motor bikes, the participants did ‘celebration’ runs.’ Any stop watches and times remained strictly between the driver and the car! Which is also why you have to go to the Isle of Man to watch the TT races to see racing on public roads.

Best wishes to every one.

David Powell

Cellophane is not made of plastic. It is made from a plant fiber, cellulose

From: Rod Elliott, Brinkworth
Sent: 16 October 2009 06:28
Subject: Re: UKMAMS OBA OBB #101609

Another good read Tony.

Re the School photo, CO4 has already been identified as Mick Jennings and RO2 was my admin corporal whose name is Eddy ???? his surname is driving me round the bend! I'll let you know.

(a long three days later....)

(Left click on image for larger view - use backspace to return)
Got it! - RO2 is Cpl Eddy Edmunds - our admin clerk.



From: Joseph Gallant, Trenton, ON
Sent: 16 October 2009 11:59
Subject: RE: UKMAMS OBA OBB #101609

Thank u so much for your hard work Tony. You deserve a good quart of P.E.I. moonshine (no less than 85% proof) for all you do for this site.

Joe Gallant

Forensic scientists can determine a person's sex, age, and race by examining a single strand of hair

Wellington Airport Turns Fifty

Fifty years old and still 'Wild at Heart', Wellington Airport is celebrating with a public open day this Sunday 1 November. Check out the displays, activities and entertainment from 10.00am - 2.00pm and learn about the history of our airport - and just how much it has 'taken off' since opening its doors back in 1959.

There will be a unique opportunity to see what happens behind the scenes of the International Terminal, plus be the first to get a sneak peak at the progress of new International Terminal development, 'The Rock'.

1959 check-in area

1959 Wellington Airport open day

Aircraft enthusiasts will be beside themselves as they check out The Vintage Aviator aircraft, Royal New Zealand Air Force planes and an Air New Zealand A320. Also - see the Life Flight Trust and Airport Fire Service in action.

Be in to win Jetstar travel vouchers in the Wild at Heart Dress Up Competition and other spot prizes, get your own limited edition Anniversary passport stamped and listen to bands all day on the Pacific Blue Entertainment Stage. There'll also be lots of children's activities.

Free bus transport will be provided on the Airport Flyer bus from 9.00am - 3.00pm, as well as 'park and ride' options. And for a gold-coin donation, you can park at Rongotai College and Miramar South School.

Wellington Airport 50 Years


From: John Guy
Sent: 17 October 2009 08:34
Subject: RE: UKMAMS OBA OBB #101609

Hello Tony,

Would you be able to give me Arthur Rowland’s e-mail address, or could you pass him mine Please?

He was my boss at RAF Gatow (OC Logs. Sqn) well over 20 years ago when I was The Movs. WO., & we still exchange Christmas Cards.

I would love to make a proper contact as we got on well together.



Happy to share John – you can access any member’s e-mail address from the member pages… the e-mail address is “hidden” under their name in the column just before their telephone number. Arthur’s listing is on this page:

Most people who read the word 'yawning' will yawn!

From: Steve Richardson, Trenton, ON
Sent: 17 October 2009 17:27
Subject: CAF Mystery Photo#091809

(Left click on image for larger view - use backspace to return)
Picture of Cargo Personnel- 2 Air Movements Sqn- 1991

Back Row: Gary Keir, Steve Fedorchuk, Al Roy, Dave Easton, Barry Philp (loadplanner), Mark Kelly, Bob Weinber, Norm Rees, Dave Baker,Glen Glendenning,Terry Bullen, and Marv Howard

Front Row: Bill Day, Nelson Gill, Barry Martin, Bill Warwick, Gary Foster, Rick Smith, Frank Terry, Alanna Weinber and Darren Sangollo

As a footnote, Bob Weinber, Norm Rees, Bill Day, Nelson Gill and Bill Warwick have all passed away. I submitted this photo prior to the Logistics Movers Reunion in Trenton, to honour them and their long service to 2 Air Movements Squadron.

Steve Richardson

Thanks Steve - regrettably there wasn't enough detail available to show the individual faces with names


From: Jeff Thomas, Llandrindod Wells
Sent: 18 October 2009 15:05
Subject: Re: UKMAMS OBA OBB #101609

Many thanks Tony

I very much enjoyed the news. Sending out the mag electronically is an excellent system. Congratulations on the site.


Jeff Thomas

Hands up all those people who just yawned!

From: Andrew Hine, Somewhere Sandy
Sent: 20 October 2009 12:18
Subject: Combi CAF and RNZAF Mystery Photo 101609

Hello from Camp Mirage! (Where this picture is taken)

Left side front to back are the CC-177 Loadmasters: Sgt Steve Makarchuk, Sgt Don Sharma, Sgt Lori Moore, and WO Dave Daily. Two Canadian MAMS on the right are Steve Longworth and Guillaume Fortier.

The "cluster" of Kiwis in the center are WO Steve McCutcheon, F/S Digby Bently, Cpl Chris Watts, LAC Jo Gwynne, LAC Natasha Cameron and Cpl Roz Sutton.

The Kiwi names were provided by Kiwi Chris Watts embedded with us here in Mirage.

(Left click on image for larger view - use backspace to return)
Cheers for now!



Heavy lifting at Brize Norton lands RAF prize

A Photograph of a helicopter being loaded onto a transport plane at RAF Brize Norton has been named one of the best of the year in an RAF contest.

Senior Aircraftman Neil Chapman took the picture of the Merlin helicopter, from RAF Benson, near Wallingford, being loaded on to a Boeing C-17 Globemaster at the west Oxfordshire air station.

The RAF’s six-strong fleet of C-17s is based at Brize Norton and operated by 99 Squadron.

SAC Chapman’s picture took first place in the equipment category of the annual RAF Photographic Competition, which is now in its 20th year.

Oxford Mail

Clocks made before 1660 had only one hand - an hour hand

From: Paul Dolan, Sydney, NSW
Sent: 22 October 2009 08:29
Cc: John Belcher; Colin Allen
Subject: Re: Squadron Plaque

Thanks for following up with me Tony.

With the help of you, John and Colin, C H Munday can create a plaque for me - will take 6 to 8 weeks.

Will forward their communication if anyone else in Assoc may be interested.

Kind regards,



From: Kevin Briggs, Edenbridge
Sent: 23 October 2009 20:10
Subject: Change of e-mail

Hi Tony

Just to let you know my e-mail address has changed (new e-mail here) I am sending a donation to you as well, I really am appreciative what you do to keep us "ex movers" in the loop and this site does just that.

A little about myself; after leaving Lyneham in 1978 I spent 10 years working back on a farm (my first love after being born and raised on a farm) before working at Gatwick for a company called Gatwick Handling for 20 years in various roles before being made redundant in 2008 (it downsized before pulling out of Gatwick completely).

I now work for Southeastern Trains as a conductor, but it is not quite the same as pushing back jumbo's or running a cargo shift.

I still live in Kent but the only ex-mover I am in contact with on a regular basis is Willie Crossley.

Anyway, just want to say keep up the good work and there are a lot of us out here that that appreciate what you do Tony.

All the best,

Kevin Briggs

Southeastern's 140 mph Javelin trains

Many thanks for the kind words and much-needed donation Kevin

Linen can absorb up to 20 times its weight in moisture before it feels damp

From: John Holloway, Shrewsbury
Sent: 24 October 2009 16:47
To: Chas Cormack, Lyneham, UK
Subject: Looking for Joe Gray

Hi Chas

Looking for Joe Gray? One of the newspapers might be able to help you. The Saturday morning Daily Mail has the corner of one of it's many pages dedicated to people looking for long lost family and friends.

As an example for you, I e-mailed a Sydney newspaper in 2001 asking if they has the same search and asked could they find two old mates that I worked with at British Standard Machinery in Sydney in 1964-67, namely Mike Tindale and Pete Riley, and hey-presto in about a week I received an e-mail from Mike, still living in Sydney, and a few weeks later one from Pete who was now living 1000k away up in Queensland; we've kept in contact since.

In 2003 Mike came to the UK on an organised tour and we met up in Wetherspoons in Aberystwyth which was the nearest point where he would be staying for a couple of nights to where I live where we wined and dined whilst jawing over old memories.

E-mail address for the Saturday Daily Mail is and if you have a photo it would help.

Hope that the foregoing might be of use.



RAAF undertakes airlift operation for Sumatra quake victims

Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) personnel are undertaking a massive air lift operation to ensure essential relief workers and supplies reach the earthquake-affected regions of West Sumatra.

According to an Australian embassy media release on Thursday, around 111 RAAF personnel are involved in the operation. This includes air load teams, pilots and load masters, as well as two C-130 aircraft based in Jakarta and one in Darwin. The C-130s have flown more than 50 sorties between Jakarta and Padang, carrying more than 230 tonnes of cargo. Additionally, the RAAF air load team has assisted in unloading nearly all foreign military and chartered civilian aircraft that have flown emergency aid to the earthquake affected area. Initially, the air load team had the only heavy forklift in Padang.

Flight Lieutenant Paul Kretschmann, officer in charge of one of the air load teams, said it had been hard work but they had achieved a lot. "In the first week, we`ve unloaded in the vicinity of 250 tonnes of cargo from over 100 ADF, foreign military and charter aircraft," Flight Lieutenant Kretschmann said. He said the team had supported RAAF operations plus aircraft from Indonesia, the United States, the United Kingdom, Malaysia, Japan, Thailand, and Singapore.

A representative from AusAID greets an Indonesian military
official with Colonel Mark Brewer on the beach of Pariaman.

Meanwhile, Sergeant Mathew Warnock, a load master from one of the RAAF C-130 Hercules involved in the airlift operation, said everything from vehicles and equipment through to basic essentials such as food, water and blankets have been flown in by the aircrew and unloaded by the teams. "We`ve been flying two sorties a day into the airfields at max capacity, so the aircraft have pretty much been max weight or bulked out with the pallets," Warnock said. He said they had been taking about 25,000 lbs (11,300kg) a trip into Padang.

Commander of the Australian Joint Task Force, Colonel Mark Brewer, said the team had provided a mission critical role at the airport. "Our mission could not have proceeded without the tireless work of the small RAAF air load teams in Padang and Jakarta, as well as the pilots and loadmasters, that have worked around the clock flying in and unloading not just our equipment, but the large amount of aid that has been essential to other aid agencies that have arrived in Padang," Brewer said.

Antara News, Indonesia

Before 1941, fingerprints were not accepted as evidence in court

From: Gerry Davis, Bedminster
Sent: 25 October 2009 07:00
Subject: Benson, the Argosy's and Geordie Laidlaw

Hi again Tony,

I thought that I would take the opportunity to give you some input to one of the RAF stations and one of the aircraft not often mentioned on the web site.

As I previously stated, I served at Benson on Air Movements during the 1960's (62/65).  I was there whilst the 4 squadrons of Argosy's were formed with new aircraft, before three of the squadrons were dispatched to their respective destinations out East.

No wonder that this type of aircraft didn't last long in service. Apart from it being the noisiest whining ear shattering aircraft in service, its payload between Benson and Wildenrath (Germany) wasn't too bad, but any further and the payload was often taken up by the weight of the chains, strainers and winch.  If rollers and side-guidance was fitted, the payload was severely affected.

Of course this was in the days when the powers that be formulated the Strategic and Tactical divisions of Transport Command. Later it was discovered that one type of aircraft could do the lot and take off and land just about anywhere with a fantastic payload and long range. That was of course the C130 Hercules

Nevertheless, at Benson, there was lots to do and the Argosy’s kept us movers busy with regular schedules and all sorts of odd shaped loads.  Typically, about half an hour before take off, the AQM (Air Quartermaster as they were then called – later re designated Air Loadmaster)  would spoil our day by panicking and demanding all sorts of adjustments to the load, you know as they do all the time,  This situation happened at all the stations that I served on much to the annoyance of all the Movers that I know. Gosh, does this still happen?

I am enclosing some photos of typical Benson loads, complete with the great lads of my team whose names are long since lost to my memory cells. I star in all of them. It was a relatively easy aircraft to load, and during my three years there we didn't see many other types to mess with. 

I can't remember how often, but every now and then we had to practice a special procedure. Hidden under tarpaulins in the cargo shed, we had a
"coffin" shaped box and lashing straps, all painted in matt black. We had to take this out to an empty a/c and practice loading and offloading all the items onto a hearse.  Quite often we would be watched by senior brass and we wondered why?

Occasionally other a/c would arrive,VC10's, Britannias etc., and we would go through the same procedure. At that time a brand new church was under construction and speculation was rife as to why this was happening. We eventually guessed the answer and later it was proved right. It was practice for the bringing home of the Duke of Windsor. He eventually died on 28 May 1972 at his home in Paris and was brought back to the UK via Benson.

Now to the present time...

It was about 1530, I was dozing in my chair, with the telly on, thinking as you do about naughty things, when I was startled by the noise of the phone ringing. So I quickly pumped the blood back into my head and got up to answer it. I said Hello! When a foreign accented voice said , “Is that Gerry Davis?” I thought,Oh no! not another sodding call from India, asking stupid questions about something or other.

Then this voice said, It's Geordie Laidlaw (in his very distinguishable proud Geordie accent) How are you my old mate? Well, I recognised who it was immediately. Unfortunately, for the past 6 weeks or so I have been suffering from loss of voice, so it was very hard to hold a conversation,

Geordie and I last spoke in Cyprus in 1968, whilst we were on NEAF MAMS, He told me that he was phoning from Granada, Espania, where he is now living, and enjoying life to the full, especially with his new partner. He told me that he had got my contact details off the website, after reading all my other bumph, He, incidentally, is the fifth old bod to make contact through the UKMAMS Old Bods!

I tried unsuccessfully to try and talk to him because of my lack of vocal cords, but did manage to get his e-mail address , and now we are able to continue reminiscing about old times. We also hope to meet up when he next visits dear old Blighty.

Obviously the name Bo Diddly has arisen again, and we have both been wondering why nobody else had suffered, or dared to mention any of this wondrous Flight Sergeant's trudge through life in the RAF together with the dangers of being anywhere in his vicinity. Gosh, we used to say to each other, nobody is ever going to believe that this person reached the exalted rank that he held or indeed how his mindset actually ground into gear. When he was mad, which actually was quite easy to instigate, we used to put up an umbrella to avoid the spit that emerged from him.

I made the mistake of asking Geordie if he remembered him. His reply was that he remembered his daughter better. Randy little blighter! I recall that particular liaison made Bo see red constantly.

I only wish that we knew about the log books that you often refer to. We didn’t know they existed. If only I had written down some of the tales at the time. Honestly I could take up more space than Chas and Ian. Only trouble is, bet you wouldn’t publish half of it!

Hay-Ho isn’t life wonderful?



From: Alex Masson, Chelmsford
Sent: 25 October 2009 18:18
Subject: Back on the plot!

Hello each!

Just to let you know that I am still in the land of the living, and now back on the plot!

September was a very busy time for me collecting during ‘Battle of Britain Week’; pleased to say we achieved our target of £10K plus a bit more, but only because, having made £15K last year, I held £4K over to this year as a hedge against the recession. Good job I did, because we only actually raised £8K this year. The recession is really biting, and despite what our acclaimed leader boasted last year, “that Britain is best placed to ride this recession” we really are in the midst of it with no real turn around yet, while France and Germany are now showing positive growth.

We have also been away – short breaks only – but the main reason for not corresponding is because I encountered a computer problem. Each time I tried to raise an e-mail I got an error message “Microsoft Word has encountered a problem and has to close down.” Microsoft Word is used as my e-mail editor, so I was just a little way ‘up the creek’.

Fearing I had a virus I refrained from sending any messages to you guys until I was satisfied I had resolved the problem. I first noticed the problem when I tried to forward an attachment from a neighbour to another friend. So after much scanning of the system and using numerous debugging devices with the help of my ‘computer adviser’ I was getting nowhere. Nothing showed up as a virus!

Finally I decided to delete the attachment which I had tried to forward – and bingo! – with that out of the way my Microsoft Word ran perfectly. No more error messages.

I was always able to receive messages – thanks Jack for your last jokes – and thanks Tony for the last OB.

I have had my local messages checked out by friends here, including the ‘computer wizards’ and all have confirmed – No problems!

Great to be back – with quite a bit of catching up to do!

Cheers each


Thanks Alex - appreciate you not wanting to infect us

28.1% of people pee in the pool

New Air Mobility Training Centre at CFB Trenton

An Ottawa company will build the new Air Mobility Training Centre at CFB Trenton.

Defence Construction Canada says the job went to Pomerleau Incorporated, for 40-and-a-half-million dollars. The 17-thousand square-metre facility will house the equipment and personnel needed to train operators and maintenance personnel for the new fleet of C-130J Hercules, which will begin arriving next year.

The project is the latest in hundreds of millions of dollars in infrastructure work at Eight Wing.



From: Charles Collier, Devizes
Sent: 26 October 2009 08:08
Subject: Op Agila

Whilst on my tour as Air Movs 1 at HQ 38 Gp RAF Upavon (1978-81) I was despatched to Salisbury Rhodesia – as it was then – for the recovery of Operation Agila.

My job, with an ops Sqn Ldr, was to make sure that the recovery airlift went according to plan. UKMAMS teams under Sqn Ldr John Macdonald were operating the airhead turnarounds and everything seemed alright. However it was suggested that a possible unknown extra load might be accruing at Government House.

So we went to Lord Soames’ residence to ascertain what exactly was to be returned by RAF airlift. We were welcomed into the entrance hall and waited for the military attaché to arrive. Major Iain Duncan-Smith of the Scots Guards walked in and assured us that the load from Government House was very modest only 6 or so suitcase sized boxes. We thanked him and asked about collection /delivery to the airhead and this was arranged to our mutual satisfaction.

At the time we did not know that our meeting with the military attaché was with a future leader – although short-term – of the Conservative Party. But there you can never tell who is going to be what in years to come.



You inhale about 700,000 of your own skin flakes each day

From: Charles Cormack, Roaming
Sent: 27 October 2009 08:28
Subject: New Members

Hi Tony

It's great to see all the new members and I know most of them.

Regarding UKMAMS plaques, Nige Robinson has got some 11 by 11 wooden framed ones with the Squadron badge hand stitched on a back background so I let Paul Dolan know.

I picked up your last brief in Sonora, California, after leaving Las Vegas to find Alan Potts' phone number in Vegas, pity it had not been the day before as we go back to the school when your last photo was taken and also Hong Kong.

Keep up the great work, I won't name the people in the mystery photo to give the others a chance.



Reunion for airmen after 50 years

Airmen have been reunited after 50 years apart. Jim Ryan, John Forbes, John Baskerville, John Carey and Hugh Curran all enlisted for a career in the Royal Air Force in the 1950s and were trained at RAF Hereford.

They met for the first time since they passed out of training at RAF Lyneham last Friday. Mr Forbes said: “It was great the way they made us feel so welcome and were actually just as interested in how we ‘old boys’ did the job all those years ago as we were interested in how it is done today."

The men joined up for 18 months trade training as boy entrants, some as young as 15 years of age. They were five of 70 entrants joining up at that time for the supply trade. After passing out on March 24 1961, they were all posted to various operational units around the UK and lost contact.

During the visit the men got to see various departments in action. All of the group, with the exception of John Forbes, served at RAF Lyneham during their careers. Although some of the men left the RAF after 12 years service while some stayed in service until the age of 55, all agreed it was a time they would never forget.

They also said it was sad that in a couple of years the home of the Hercules is set to close and move to RAF Brize Norton. Mr Ryan added: “I am pleased that John Carey has come from Lincolnshire and John Baskerville from Ireland. “Sadly many were unable to attend this reunion and some are still yet to be found. “It is hoped that by launching our own web site for the 38th entrants many more can be found for the 50th anniversary of the passing out day.”

This is Wiltshire

Tablecloths were originally meant to serve as towels with which guests could wipe their hands and faces after dinner

First A400M fitted with flight worthy engines

Airbus Military has released this image of the first A400M fitted with four flight worthy engines and propellers. This marks another step forward in the development of the long-awaited transport aircraft, which had its formal roll-out in June 2008.

Louis Gallois, chief executive of EADS, Airbus’ parent company, said yesterday that it was looking increasingly likely that the A400M would make its debut flight in December. He also expressed confidence that the countries involved in the project will all commit to continuing it when they meet for negotiations in October. “Our hope is to fully convince them" by the end of this year, he said.



Resources Limit RAF Ops for Years

Britain's Royal Air Force (RAF) will be unable to conduct operations on the scale of the 2003 invasion of Iraq for years because the resources aren't available to mount such a mission, according to the assistant chief of the Air Staff, Air Vice Marshal Timo Anderson.

The RAF's second-in-command also urged Britain to adopt a balanced list of military capabilities when it emerges from the other side of the coming Strategic Defence Review. Some of the rhetoric now starting to be voiced ahead of the review was self-serving and tribal, he said.

Constant operations overseas, equipment program slippage, financial resources and pilots losing vital skills in order to focus on counterinsurgency missions are among the issues that have taken their toll on Air Force capabilities to mount a large-scale deployment, Anderson said "The ability to do an Op Telic [the name the British gave their Iraq mission] tomorrow just isn't there anymore, and it's going to be a considerable period
of time before it is regenerated," he told reporters Oct 22.

"Some of it's to do with the state of resources in public finances. Some of it's to do with the way programs are being implemented or slipped, etc., and some of it's because we have been engaged in enduring operations for nearly 20 years and we are paying a penalty for that," he said.

Britain committed the major part of its air power resources to the Iraq conflict, including transport aircraft, fast jets, refueling tankers, helicopters,
and surveillance and intelligence platforms. Those aircraft not involved were either in a high state of readiness or engaged in other key tasks such as defense of U.K. airspace.

Military planning assumptions call for British forces to be able to conduct one large-scale operation or two medium-sized missions at any one time. The RAF's second-in-command said the impact of 20 years of operations on aircraft, spares and support couldn't be underestimated. Focus on Afghanistan and Iraq operations meant pilot skills such as the ability to fly night, electro-optical, low-level operations would have to be relearned.

Now it is heavily embroiled in the campaign to fight the Taliban. But it's a war where the British Army has dominated the headlines, in part because it has suffered most from the rising list of casualties. Some Air Force officers say the vital work of their pilots and ground crews has gone largely unheralded. Why is that important? Whichever political party wins the general election scheduled for the first half of next year will immediately conduct a Strategic Defence Review. The scramble for a fair share, or more, of the scarce resources likely to be available to the military is already underway.

Anderson admitted there was a level of frustration in the RAF over how the role of air power in Afghanistan is being presented to taxpayers and others at a time when some critics were questioning its relevance in an era of counterinsurgency operations.  "The counterinsurgency is a partnership of equals. It's about boots on the ground and, equally essentially, boots in the cockpit. Take either of those components away and you don't have a campaign," he said.

The RAF has eight Tornado strike aircraft based at Kandahar, Afghanistan, along with significant numbers of helicopters, air transport, ISTAR, Reaper UAVs, force protection and other assets. The British also have Apache attack helicopters, but they are operated by the Army.  Anderson said that, although the Apaches were quite successful, the Tornados were a very cost-effective way of projecting force across the whole of Afghanistan.

The strike aircraft's reach and speed of response means that from sitting on  the ground at Kandahar Air Base, the fighter can get as far as the borders of Pakistan and Iran within 30 minutes. To replicate the Tornado capability would require 60 to 70 times the number of Apaches, he said.

One RAF officer, recently returned from Afghanistan as Britain's Harrier force was replaced with Tornados after a five-year deployment, outlined the contribution the fast jets had made to the operation.  "Joint Force Harrier [which includes Air Force and Royal Navy jets] flew 8,557 sorties and 22,771 flying hours. On average, one in 10 of the missions had resulted in weapons release," he said.

With the defense review looming, and the current Labour administration already set to produce a green paper on the subject early next year, the RAF and the other services are positioning themselves for what Anderson said would be some "really rather painful decisions on how we deliver
defense in the future."

"If the target were just the RAF, I would be very concerned. What I would be more prepared to accept is that if we are looking at what the nation can afford, we are looking at delivering for as much money as the taxpayer can offer a balanced capability on the far side of the Strategic Defence Review.  … Then, OK, I will live with that.

"What makes some hairs twitch on the back of my neck is when I hear some of the rhetoric going around, whether it is positioning or posturing or
shaping for the review. This is not confined to the genuinely naïve or ignorant; there are some who really should know better making statements
bordering on the disingenuous and self-serving.

"This is not the time or the climate to do that sort of thing in the defense of this nation, and the ability for us to get a balanced defense capability is of much greater importance than some self-serving tribal objective," he said.

Anderson said there would have to be trades done.  "But convincing ourselves that because we can buy Reapers and not put people in them, and because they carry bombs they do the same job as the Harrier, Tornado and other fast jets, there is absolutely no way that's the case and not likely to be for many years."  The air chief said Reaper was fine in a benign air environment, but when there was an air–to-air or ground-to-air-threat, it would be "toast."

"Trading things like Joint Strike Fighter in terms of overall capability doesn't seem a sensible option. Numbers, yes. There is going to be a discussion about everything. Numbers of troops, numbers of ships, numbers of aircraft. We have to be prepared to take our place in that."

Critics have condemned the RAF for continuing to purchase Cold War aircraft like the Typhoon to operate alongside legacy fighters such as the

Anderson said that far from being legacy aircraft, they had transferred from the Cold War to the Gulf War to counterinsurgency operations and in all cases made an essential contribution to the British effort.  "If you have got something that flexible, that adaptable and robust ... and with all the unexpected things that are expected to be thrown at you, that is the last club to throw out of the tool bag. You want something that can take just about anything that comes your way," he said.

Defense News

On average, a hedgehog's heart beats 300 times a minute

From: Gerry Davis, Bedminster
Sent: 28 October 2009 14:06
Subject: Movers Poem

The thoughts of an old Mover...

In times gone by, I spent my time
With Movers old and new
We humped and dumped in sand and snow
And jungles where we flew

Those ancient airplanes, large and small,
Sadly are no more
(But nowadays, the movers new
Still have freight loads on the floor)

The chains are taught, the loads are spread
(will we ever get to bed?)
there's more, there's more, the Chiefy swore
With lots more cargo at the door.

The job was done, or so we thought
The Quartermaster said we ought
To change that there, and move this here
Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear

The load had changed, the trim re-written
The airplane sitting ready
Then cough and splutter, the engine broke
'aint going nowhere, the techie spoke

When engines fail, the techs prevail
This aircraft isn't going
We swear and moan and think of home
(Will I get the longed-for loan?)

It's off with load and aircraft change
And do it all again
No matter that we're feeling low
There's nowhere else that we can go.

We miss a meal, that's no big thing
We'll have to do without some
Likely all the cooks have left
Is nothing but a mere crumb

We all ponder what to do
Thinking of a NAAFI brew
Or even get some warmed up stew
That's what we'll have to do.

On every continent near and far
The Movers find the nearest bar,
They always arrive on airplane 1
And leave when all the work is done.

The thanks we give for those of us
Whose lives are full and varied,
The day will come when all look back
To thoughts of past - that's scary!

Enjoy the moments, treasure the pictures
The dates, the times, the places
With age the memory fails a bit,
Along with fading faces

Cherish those memories with pride.



8-WING TRENTON MAKEOVER BEGINS - Work on C-17 hangar valued at over $122M

Reconstruction of 8 Wing CFB Trenton’s flight line has started. Construction crews are preparing one of the two, 2 Air Movements Squadron buildings to make room for a material distribution centre addition valued at $4.8 million. It’s part of the $334 million massive federal infrastructure investment announced in September by National Defence Minister Peter MacKay. The material distribution centre is being constructed by Ontario based Gay Company Ltd.

Six major projects were announced at the press conference. In the coming weeks, four of the six will be underway. 8 Wing Construction Engineering Officer Maj. Phil Baker said Wednesday next on the list is the demolition of 5 and 6 Hangars. They are being torn down to make room for a 16,630 square-metre, two-bay maintenance hangar for the C-17 Globemaster valued at $122.6 million.

Construction crews demolish part of an existing 2 Air Movements building
That project alone is expected to create well over 600 direct jobs. Demolition should start in the coming weeks. Construction of the new hangar has been awarded to Toronto based Bird Construction Co.

Construction of a new $40.5 million air mobility training centre should also start soon. The contract has been awarded to Quebec based Pomerleau Construction Incorp. The facility will house the equipment and personnel required to train operators and maintenance personnel for the new fleet C-130J Hercules. The first planes start arriving early next year. “Shovels should be in the ground in the next couple of weeks,’’ said Baker.

Baker added a second hangar for the new fleet of C-17s will also begin within the year. Construction costs were part of the $560 million announced by the federal investment last year.

Baker said an estimated 1,800 direct employment opportunities will be created in the Quinte region as a result of the construction. “It will add about $28 million in direct economic spinoff,’’ he said. It will take about two years to construct the first of the two C-17 hangars. “If you look at that project alone, about $180,000 a day – if you do the quick math – will be spent on the building. That includes many local subcontractors,’’ said Baker. “This is great news for the local economy.’’

He described the hectic construction pace as challenging. “Keeping everything going in one direction is also exciting...and challenging,’’ he said.

Construction of a 17,452 square-metre electrical/mechanic engineering and transportation garage valued at $75 million – an aerospace and telecommunications engineering support squadron refinishing facility valued at $30.9 million – will also begin later this fall.


One punishment for an adulterous wife in medieval France was to make her chase a chicken through town naked


Nylon is made from coal and petroleum



That's it for this issue

Have a great weekend!


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