Illegal immigrants discovered in top-security RAF Base after stowing away on military truck
Staff at Britain’s biggest RAF base were stunned when they found two illegal immigrants stowed away on board a military truck.
The pair sneaked into the UK in a trailer attached to the vehicle in France - and were only discovered once inside top-security RAF Brize Norton, Oxfordshire.
An urgent investigation has been launched into the embarrassing lapse of security at the site, which has recently been visited by Princes William and Harry and David Cameron.
A source said: “People should be shocked. It’s a severe breach - if illegal immigrants can get in, anyone can. They could have been terrorists.”
It is believed the migrants hid in the trailer, which was carrying a Military Police dog kennel, in Calais. They travelled across the Channel and 160 miles to the base before being found on Saturday [October 18]. Officials handed them to the police who are thought to have taken the pair to an immigration centre.
A spokeswoman for RAF Brize Norton said it was unlikely the pair targeted the base as the truck and two drivers were not marked as military.
From: Jack Cross, Moralet, Alicante Sent: Friday, September 26, 2014 3:54 AM Subject: Welfare
I've just read the latest edition of OBB and noticed that there are a few articles devoted to "Welfare". You may like to publish in the next OBB that the work the Royal British Legion (RBL) does is not confined to the UK. It is worldwide. Welfare help for the Mediterranean countries is coordinated here in Spain (my wife supervises "District North" in Spain), and the rest of the world is done from the HQ in London. The RBL liaises with all of the other Service charities, and many more besides. Requests for assistance can be made to:
From: Howard Firth, Mossel Bay Sent: Friday, September 26, 2014 10:07 AM To: Sam Mold, Brighton & Hove, UK Subject: RAAF Maralinga - Operation Brumbie
I saw your letter in the UKMAMS Old Bods Brief. I too was a Supplier on my first overseas tour at Maralinga in the Nullabar Desert in 1966. We flew out from Heathrow on a British Eagle Britannia, via the Gulf, Colombo, Singapore and Darwin. An engine fire on the Colombo/Singapore leg meant an extended 3-day stay in Singapore. Exciting for an 18 year old who had only been to Belgium before.
I went to Maralinga to work in the Supply Sqn but myself and 3 others were given jobs with the AWRE Team from Aldermaston, who were there to clean up the land in preparation for its return to the Australian Government and then back to the Aborigines. The tour was not as hard as yours and we had many good facilities; cinema, swimming pool, lovely sports facilities and really good food. Our team of 4 was also blessed, in that we travelled away from the base to the outlying blast sights, every Monday to do the radioactive monitoring of the ground and personnel working on the cleanup operation. I still glow in the dark! It was great fun as we pretty much ran ourselves, much to the disgust and ire of the Supply Squadron F/Sgt Supplier.
This is a pic of 3/4 of our Team at Maralinga. SAC Adrian Darter, SAC Jimmy Gardner and SAC 'H' Firth
We had our own personal Land Rover and used to sleep under the stars on away trips. One day of every week was dedicated to doing the cold ration pick up from a railway depot, when most of the Suppliers had to drive an assortment of vehicles to collect the fresh fruit, vegetables and other cold stuffs, stopping on the way back to sample the ice cold milk. Every so often we had a 4 day break in Adelaide. As the end approached we knocked down buildings and buried mostly everything. Finally, we were all given 6 weeks leave to be taken anywhere in Oz. Thanks for setting everything up for us.
Now that’s what I call a tour!
‘H’ Firth Sqn Ldr (rtd)
Australia's first MH-60R arrives by C-17
A Royal Australian Air Force Boeing C-17 strategic transport delivered the MH-60R back to HMAS Albatross in Nowra, New South Wales on 14 October, ahead of air trials that are set to take place from the base over the next month.
The A$3 billion ($2.7 billion) US Foreign Military Sales acquisition of 24 of the shipborne helicopters saw the first two accepted in the USA by Australia in December 2013. The new fleet will replace Australia’s existing Sikorsky S-70 Seahawks, and the entire fleet is expected to be delivered by 2017.
The first of the Royal Australian Navy’s Lockheed Martin/Sikorsky MH-60R combat helicopters has been delivered in-country from NAS Jacksonville, Florida, where squadron personnel have been training.
The photograph shows Commander of the Fleet Air Arm Commodore Vince Di Pietro with the first MH-60R Seahawk Romeo helicopter.
Training in the USA by the navy's ‘NUSQN725’ pilots, aviation warfare officers and maintainers has been underway since the first acceptance, and the squadron is scheduled to return to Australia in December to be formally commissioned as 725 Sqn. The service received its fifth MH-60R from Lockheed in mid-October, which was delivered to NAS Jacksonville.
The "Romeos" will provide anti-surface warfare and anti-submarine capability. The aircraft will carry Raytheon Mk54 torpedoes and Lockheed AGM-114 Hellfire air-to-surface missiles, operating from the navy’s Anzac-class frigates and Hobart-class destroyers.
Flight Global and South Coast Register
From: Sam Mold, Brighton & Hove Sent: Tuesday, September 30, 2014 2:52 PM To: Howard Firth, Mossel Bay, South Africa Subject: Maralinga
Hi Howard : Just a quickie to send many kind thanks for your email of 26th inst, and also for the photo I received the next day. The former was such a memory-jogger that it has put my own grey matter back into gear, and as such, it would be remiss of me if I didn't jog your own memory-box. Of course, you will already know most of the stories that my addled, lesion-infected brain is still able to recall and write about, but I can't help sharing them with someone who has 'survived' similar experiences, despite them not having any resonance with Tony's UKMAMSOBA. My promise (with an added rider: God willing!) is, I will be emailing your good self at a later date, so until then, I will now sign-off.
Best regards, Sam.
From: Michael Cocker, Swindon Sent: Tuesday, September 30, 2014 3:03 PM Subject: Movers
Hi Tony, First of all can I just say what a great job you do with the newsletter. As one of the former editors of the UKMAMS Association "Team Brief" I understand how difficult it can be to get 3 or 4 issues a year out, let alone the volume that you produce. Always good to read. In the meantime, I have reached that age where you sit and reflect on what has gone by, and the twists and turns that take us to where we are. As a 17 year old I walked into an Army careers office in the North East of England, firmly convinced that I wanted to be an Army Engineer. I left there wondering why I had ever considered it! But I also saw that upstairs was an RAF careers office. As an 18 year old I walked into that RAF careers office with no idea what I wanted to do, and was told in no uncertain terms by a chap who I came to know as Sgt Butterworth, that I would like to be a Mover. He freely admitted he had never done a tour south of Catterick and had never met a Mover, but the blurb said they loaded aircraft and travelled the world. I was sold on that, and embarked on a nearly 30 year career as a mover, and as he said I would, travelled the world, many times over. But far more importantly, I met along the way a group of people, of many nationalities, that really can't have been thrown together by accident. All of like mind, with a sense of humour and the ability to work and play equally as hard. And it mattered not whether it was a 4 star hotel, a sweaty jungle or a ditch in a desert. Some of the best times were in the most adverse conditions. A group of people I have been proud to be associated with, many of which I still count amongst my closest friends.
While still clinging to the memories of the great times I enjoyed with some fantastic people, and a couple of years contract work in Afghanistan and the Middle East, I have now embarked on an extension of what has been a hobby for many years, and opened a fishing tackle shop, specialising in game angling equipment, and particularly vintage fishing tackle.
Anyone that knows me feel free to contact me through the website or at email@example.com. Time permitting I will start digging through my photo albums and get some scanning done - I know there's some stuff worth sharing.
Once again Tony, thanks for the website and newsletter, it keeps us all in touch.
Regards to all
From: Keith Parker, Bowerhill, Wilts Sent: Friday, October 03, 2014 12:01 PM Subject: RAF Movments Association visit to RAF Brize Norton 27 Nov 2014
After the success of our last visit, Wg Cdr OC 1AMW has kindly invited us back. I am therefore again asking if anyone would like to come along. It will be on Thurs 27 Nov 2014 and will be much the same formula as before the only difference being it will start around 1100 and finish around 1730.
As an added bonus the Wg Cdr has kindly extended an invitation that evening to the 1AMW Annual Reception due to be held, I believe, in the Movements School.
What I need to know is how many people would like to come and whether they would like to go to the evening reception as well. The rest I can firm up later. The number has been capped at 12 so it will be first come first served.
28 October 2014 - A day after the end of operations in South West Afghanistan, the final Royal Air Force aircraft took off from Camp Bastion marking the end of the biggest UK airlift in recent history.
Seventeen waves of two C130 Hercules transport aircraft and a final wave of two Chinook helicopters worked tirelessly alongside United States Marine Corps aircraft to ensure the final coalition troops were able to safely leave the one time home of up to 40,000 troops.
On board the final Hercules to leave Camp Bastion was Officer Commanding 903 Expeditionary Air Wing (EAW), Group Captain Justin Reuter. He said, last night the last twelve men of my Air Wing gathered at sunset to lower the RAF Ensign and prepare ourselves for our own redeployment from the airfield. The recovery from Bastion was a remarkable achievement demonstrating the flexibility, capability and planning skills of the British military, especially the RAF.
When the time came to leave we boarded an RAF C130 and left ahead of schedule, defended as we did so by the RAF Regiment before they themselves handed the perimeter to the Afghans. I’m immensely proud to have worked with such an industrious, enthusiastic and talented group of people. The drawdown of troops and equipment has been taking place since October 2012 and with overland transport seen as high risk, almost everything has had to be flown out of Camp Bastion. Wing Commander Andrew Garbutt commands the tactical air transport aircraft crucial to the operation. He said, Working hand-in hand with the USMC, this has been a meticulously planned and well executed operation where the tactical air transport capability provided by the RAF C130J Force has been absolutely vital to success.
As well as contributing to the airlift, RAF personnel were pivotal to other aspects of this milestone operation; from air traffic controllers managing the airspace to RAF Regiment gunners protecting the airfield, watched over by Tornado GR4s and Reaper remotely piloted aircraft for the whole operation.
Group Captain Andrew Martin is the Commanding Officer of 904 EAW at Kandahar Airfield where troops landed before moving onto C17 Globemasters to continue their journey home. He said, "Transferring control of Bastion is a significant milestone in the transition to Afghan leadership for Afghan security. I am immensely proud of the essential part the force elements under my command at Kandahar have played in ensuring a safe and successful redeployment of UK forces today."
The desert base has now been handed over to the Afghan National Security Forces and the airfield has been taken over by the Afghan Civil Aviation Authority.
We have all heard the haunting tune, 'The Last Post." It's the tune that gives us the lump in our throats and usually tears in our eyes. But, do you know the story behind the tune and the words? If not, I think you will be interested to find out about its humble beginnings.
Reportedly, it all began in 1862 during the American Civil War, when Union Army Captain Robert Ellicombe was with his men near Harrison's Landing in Virginia. The Confederate Army was on the other side of the narrow strip of land.
During the night, Captain Ellicombe heard the moans of a soldier who lay severely wounded on the field. Not knowing if it was a Union or a Confederate soldier, the Captain decided to risk his life and bring the stricken man back for medical attention. Crawling on his stomach through the gunfire, the Captain reached the stricken soldier and began pulling him toward his encampment. When the Captain finally reached his own lines, he discovered it was actually a Confederate soldier, but the soldier was dead..
The Captain lit a lantern and suddenly caught his breath and went numb with shock. In the dim light, he saw the face of the soldier... It was his own son. The boy had been studying music in the South when the war broke out. Without telling his father, the boy enlisted in the Confederate Army.
The following morning, heartbroken, the father asked permission of his superiors to give his son a full military burial, despite his enemy status. His request was only partially granted. The Captain had asked if he could have a group of Army band members play a funeral dirge for his son at the funeral. The request was turned down since the soldier was a Confederate. But, out of respect for the father, they did say they could give him only one musician.
The Captain chose a bugler. He asked the bugler to play a series of musical notes he had found on a piece of paper in the pocket of the dead youth's uniform. This wish was granted. The haunting melody, we now know as 'The Last Post' used at military funerals was born.
Day is done
Gone the sun
From the lakes
From the hills
From the sky
All is well
God is nigh
Dims the sight
And a star
Gems the sky
Falls the night
Thanks and praise
For our days
Neath the sun
Neath the stars
Neath the sky
As we go
This we know
God is nigh
(With thanks to OBA member the Reverend Keri Eynon)
From: John Holloway, Shrewsbury Sent: Thursday, October 16, 2014 10:26 AM Subject: Fw: NSRAFA Cosford branch
Our Cosford meeting this week was well attended; forty two members and six guests. Our speaker was John Mobberly whose topic was "Do you remember when." He reminisced over events and showed us artifacts from the period 1939 to 1945. I was born in 1936 and probably one of the youngest in the room and we could all recall this time when we were just kids and judging from the response from the members a lot had been forgotten but soon remembered.
He concentrated on food rationing at that time and the food that we had on ration, the small amounts of butter and margarine, meat and sugar, bacon and lots of other items which was a meagre amount supposed to last a week and get this just ONE EGG! Of course the thing that we as kids wanted was sweets and chocolate, all of which we could devour in a day but was supposed to last a whole week!
When the Americans arrived there were a number of bases around Shrewsbury and they would come into town. They could buy whatever they liked and I remember being with my mother in the sweet queue at Woolworths and a couple of Americans came to the front of the queue and purchased a load of sweets but then instead of walking away with them came down the queue and gave all us kids a handful of sweets. God bless the Americans! Sweets and chocolate remained on ration until the early fifties. Of course fruit that had to be shipped into the country was rare and I think we got one orange a week and I never saw a banana until the late forties.
John talked for over an hour and he had enough to remind us of those wartime days for the whole afternoon but it was time for lunch. He will be returning another day to continue to remind us all of what we went through in those hard times.
From: Stephen Smith, Reading, Berkshire Sent: Tuesday, October 21, 2014 9:38 AM Subject: A Secundo Curriculo
After leaving the RAF in 1988, I initially found work in the freight forwarding industry for a few months. I swiftly moved on to be a Load Control Officer / Aircraft Dispatcher for Middle East Airlines. After nearly 5years of working for MEA, I moved on to work for Serco for 18 months. Serco were kind enough to allow me to travel to Tunis and Luanda to help set up and install departure control systems for the national airlines of Tunisia and Angola. Serco very kindly made me redundant in 1995 and it was at this time I decided to go back to 'school' and I enrolled in an undergraduate degree programme at Thames Valley University.
I then worked in IT for Prudential for 14 years until they made me redundant (with a nice payoff). After 6 weeks off, I formed my own limited company and started working as an IT Consultant specialising in the development of applications for the Microsoft Windows Platform. I have now expanded my portfolio into creating websites for small to medium sized enterprises
I'm currently working in the Satellite and Digital Broadcast industry, developing and maintaining an Intranet based asset and project management website. If people are interested in my services, they can have a look at my website: www.spsconsultantsolutions.co.uk
Being an independent makes things so much more enjoyable for me, especially when I don't have to get involved in business politics.
Merlins handover ceremony at RAF Benson
A ceremony to mark the handover of the RAF's Oxfordshire-based Merlin helicopter force to the Royal Navy has been held.
Twenty five aircraft will transfer from RAF Benson to the 846 Naval Air Squadron in Somerset over two years.
Senior officers were joined by the Duke of York and Prince Michael of Kent at a ceremonial parade and air display.
Station commander Nigel Colman said there was an "emotional attachment" to the aircraft at the base. "The Merlins' role will continue - they are on extremely high readiness to deploy just as they have been over the past 10 years, but operated by the Royal Navy," he added.
The aircraft have served in Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan where they were used to transport troops, supplies and civilians.
As part of the government's Strategic Defence Review, they are due to replace the Navy's Sea King fleet which goes out of service in 2016. Staff from 78 and 28 Squadrons which are being disbanded, have been reallocated to other posts within the RAF.
From: Andrew Kay, Colorado Springs, CO Sent: Monday, September 29, 2014 4:00 PM Subject: Re: UKMAMS OBA OBB #092614
Thanks as always for the latest newsletter, all your work is much appreciated and maybe you don't get the thanks you deserve.
I read the note from Chas Collier about the demise of the Britain's Small Wars website and was disappointed to hear it had stopped publication (as it were) as it really was an interesting site with a lot of good first-person accounts of the British Forces in those far-flung places that no longer exist. The good news is that thanks to the the internet, stuff like this always exists somewhere, and that is the case for the small wars site.
If you go to http://web.archive.org/web/20140917004907/http://britains-smallwars.com/ you will find a complete archive (or almost complete I would think) on a site known as the "wayback machine" which holds archived versions of old websites on its servers. Chas Collier's article can be found on the Aden page, along with many other submitted stories. An oral history such as this should really be kept somewhere, and it's a pity it can't be gathered and published as a book - any takers?
From: Stephen Bird, Chester Sent: Tuesday, October 21, 2014 9:39 AM Subject: A Secundo Curriculo
Apart from the first 6 months after leaving the Royal Air Force, I have been with the University of Chester for 11 years in the role of Head Porter, within the Facilities Department.
The role of the job is too varied to go into detail, but in short it’s like running a guardroom without weapons, we are everything to everybody after 1700 until 0900 and at weekends.
I also hold the title of The Esq Bedell, within the University which in simple English translates to: “Ceremonial Officer”.
This role dictates me to lead all processions at University Graduations and other events I have lead in members of the Royal Family and other high ranking VIP’s. And that’s what I am up to now and cannot see myself moving on to another career.
From: Charles Gibson, Monifieth, Angus Sent: Tuesday, October 21, 2014 10:13 AM Subject: A Secundo Curriculo
When I left the RAF I joined the Civil Service Dept of Employment Unemployment Benefits. I was the punter who as part of my duties looked after 500 claims. I quickly realized that it was a case of dead mans shoes ie promotion was very slow.
A post came up as a number two on a fraud investigation team which suited me just fine. After a couple of years I was promoted, joined a regional fraud team then returned to my home area where I ran a team of investigators. I had a stroke in 1992 and retired on health grounds in 1994.
From: Richard Lloyd, Dalgety Bay Sent: Tuesday, October 21, 2014 12:47 PM Subject: Secundo Curriculo
After I left the RAF in 1979, I joined British Aerospace as one of the first salespeople for the BAe 146 (now Raytheon RJ 100). Because I was a French Interpreter, my territory was French-speaking Africa. This was an interesting job in itself, requiring working with Governments, banks and airlines simultaneously to effect a sale. The 146 at that time sold for $10m a copy, so it wasn't peanuts.
I eventually got tired of being away from home and my wife and children, and of finding my hotel reservation not made, or being subject to me providing 'inducements' in exchange for a bed. Not to mention battling the numerous 'night fighters' who seemed to inhabit the hotels I got booked into. While some of the countries I visited were apparently pretty civilised, all were corrupt, and many desperately poor. Looking back it was very interesting and educational. So far from being the democracy I sought, BAe Hatfield had at that time 6 levels of messing, reflecting a Byzantine eating status, which did not necessarily reflect job responsibility. Think air miles and tier points and you may come some way to understanding!
I suppose my frequent job moves were because I wanted to pack as much in as possible, and because that's how it had been in the RAF, but maybe I'm just rationalising.
Next I set up in business as Richard Lloyd Associates and was fortunate to get good work with AMM again, with an American friend running a project management business called LCMS, and with various smaller clients.
In 2008, I was approached to join Saville and Holdsworth (SHL), where my role was to work with the majors (SAP, Oracle, PeopleSoft, Microsoft) to sell the idea of embedding psychometrics into their HR modules. This was a great time for me. I had a super boss, a great job, with global responsibility and influence. I learned a huge amount about psychometrics and testing generally. SHL eventually reorganised and the time came in 2001 for me to move on.
Next I joined a small business consultancy in my home village of Aberdour in Fife. ForthRoad specialised in meeting facilitation, and to some extent, training, and many of the skills I learned there, I use today. We moved to Dalgety Bay, where I now live. Most clients were in Oil & Gas and that's the sector where I mainly operate today. ForthRoad took me to the USA to run project management courses, implement change and to facilitate meetings for BP, to Aberdeen for work with Shell on a meetings improvement project, and to Baku in Azerbaijan to train young BP people in soft skills.
The job of 'Rest of the World' trainer came up with Metier (ie not the USA!) and I applied and got it. This meant a sad leave-taking from AMM, and a return to UK after 3 very happy years in Gouda. Working for Metier as an employee was easy for me as I had trained many of their people, and their offices in Hayes Middx were easily accessible from our new home in Great Kingshill, Bucks. My new job involved a lot of travel to a lot of new places, especially the Middle and Far East, and Australasia. I undertook a senior management survey to do with succession planning, and interviewed the top management. Shortly after this, the MD of UK and Middle East announced his retirement, and it struck me that I might do his job. I applied and was appointed. Over the next 2.5 years I reorganised the company, took us into new markets, ramped up revenues from $18.3m to $24.1m and got fired!
I took on a one year contract as General Manager of an unlikely joint venture between PA Consulting and Carlson Marketing, selling and developing large scale distance learning projects for people like Lloyds Bank and the Rover Group. I reorganised this company too.
I was headhunted to join some former Metier colleagues who were developing a new project cost control software product, as Operations Director. I thought I might make my fortune, but having plunged everything into it, eventually realised it wasn't going to happen. By now we had moved to the village of Weald in Kent, where we settled for about 15 years, where our children really grew up, and where we made lifelong friends.
I joined another company started by ex Metier people as European Sales Manager and spent the next 3 years successfully building up, training and motivating a distributor network from Finland to Spain, with everything in between. Some weeks I'd be in a different country every day.
Our sales training had been done by a small training consultancy called AMM, based in Welwyn village, and I applied to them for a job and was accepted. This was the start of a long career as a trainer and facilitator which I follow today, but much was to happen in between. Our clients at AMM were pretty diverse and included Airbus Industrie, BAe at Hatfield and Chadderton, ICL, Hewlett Packard, Perkin-Elmer, Honeywell and Metier (first company to supply man-sized project management software). Helena Rubenstein, Wilkinson Transport and National Carriers were also clients. After 3 or 4 years of this, I suggested we might open an office in the Netherlands to support our increasing work in Continental Europe, and offered my services which were accepted. For a year I commuted weekly to Amsterdam and built up some new clients including Amdahl (Computing) and Aeroformation (training arm of Airbus), meanwhile back in the UK I had sold our services to BAe Kingston and we trained the Hawk and Harrier sales teams. Running a class at Dunsfold while a Harrier hovered outside 500 feet away was distracting to say the least! We moved house from Bedfordshire to Gouda, took on some staff and shared an office with the Dutch arm of Metier. We loved living in Holland and were made so welcome there.
Guess what next? ForthRoad reorganised and realised they did not want to be in the training business, so very kindly made me redundant and gave me the business in Baku off which I lived for the first 3 years of the existence of the company I'm proud to have created with the great name of Transforming People. It's a great name, because people tell me so!
I'm a one man business with a bunch of associates and see no reason to change that. I work in Oil and Gas, and through my association with a company called W2, have spent the last 8 years helping to facilitate courses with their client Schlumberger. I help them with HSE, Leadership, coaching and other skills. I have done this in Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, UAE, Norway, France, Algeria, Libya, Tunisia, South Africa and Aberdeen, to name but a few. I completely love what I do. I can tell war stories, but also deal with people's day to day realities as managers. I get to see some great places. This article was written in Stavanger!
Next month I shall be at the Movers Reunion with some old RAF pals - I'm a very fortunate guy, but then, you make your own luck don't you?
What did the RAF teach me that's been important and is still today? The following. Work hard but don't forget to play hard. Make sure the troops get their ground sheets first. Do things in the right order, and communicate in the right order. Integrity's important. Leaders need vision, communication, trust, consistency, enthusiasm and flexibility and humanity to succeed. I'm unfailingly proud to have been in the RAF. Work can be fun. Work should be fun. I had fun & I think I mostly did a good job.
Abbott Government to spend $500 million on two new Boeing C-17 heavy-lift transport jets
The United States Congress has approved the sale under the Foreign Military Sales program - an essential requirement for purchase - and the huge new planes will roll off the production line at Long Beach in California within a few months. This will bring the total number of the $250 million strategic heavy lift jets in service with the RAAF’s Number 36 Squadron at Amberley near Brisbane to eight.
Defence Minister David Johnston will announce the plan today (FRI) and while a final decision has not been taken by Cabinet that appears to be a formality.
“Since the first delivery in 2006, we have seen the C-17A Globemaster perform exceptionally well at the forefront of Australia’s military operations and humanitarian work,” Senator Johnston said yesterday. “Recent global events have seen Australia’s national capabilities like the C-17A come to the fore to assist our friends and allies.”
The RAAF was in danger of missing out on the additional heavy lifters with just 10 so-called “white tail” aircraft available before Boeing’s Long Beach plant shuts down permanently next year. “White tail” means an aircraft with no buyer.
It is understood that several countries, including some oil rich Middle Eastern nations, have expressed strong interest in purchasing the last of what is fast becoming a legend of the skies.
“Australia has requested pricing information but no order has been received,” a well-placed industry source said. “There is a lot of interest in the aircraft and the RAAF could miss out.”
The RAAF and the government have been impressed by the variety of missions the aircraft have flown from ferrying the prime minister to war zones, delivering aid to tsunami hit Japan, carrying the victims of the MH-17 tragedy to delivering weapons to Kurdish forces in northern Iraq and resupplying forces in Afghanistan.
The air force operates six of the huge planes with 36 Squadron at Amberley near Brisbane. They were purchased under a rapid acquisition scheme from a US air force production run.
The 53-metre long aircraft can carry 77-tonnes of cargo in its 26-metre long cargo hold up to an including an Abrams main battle tank and can operate from short, unsealed runways.
It can also lift Black Hawk, Seahawk or Chinook helicopters, three Tiger armed reconnaissance helicopters, five Bushmaster armoured infantry vehicles or 130 fully equipped troops.
“The ability to rapidly react and move large elements of Australia’s support systems over long distances during these times has highlighted the need for us to have a good sized fleet,” Senator Johnston said.
From: Bryan Morgan, Abingdon Sent: Tuesday, October 21, 2014 3:12 PM Subject: Re: The next OBA newsletter - A Secundo Curriculo
I have two bits for your next newsletter.
The first is in response to Mick Craner's mention of Frank Murray in your last newsletter. I knew Frank at Abingdon in the early sixties when I was on No 1 Parachute School as an instructor and Frank was a staff officer on JATE (for those with dwindling memories like mine the Joint Air Transport Establishment). I was posted to Changi as a Movements Officer on secondment from parachute duties and Frank followed shortly after to become a fellow DAMO. On return to the UK I transferred to the Supply Branch and Frank was posted to HQ 38 Group. We kept in touch, though never served together again, but I know Frank and Mary retired to Pelynt, just north of Looe in Cornwall, and we kept in touch for a long time mainly through the medium of Christmas cards. Sadly, Mary died some ten years ago and the exchange of Christmas cards halted and we have been out of touch for some time now.
My second piece is to take you up on your invitation for free advertising. In 1984 I was responsible, with John Morley a C130 Hercules captain, in setting up Operation Bushell in Ethopia. As this involvement was famine relief I became aware of the work of Save the Children and have been involved with the charity ever since - the last fifteen years as Chairman of the Abingdon Branch. I am sure all of your readers will be aware of the tremendous work that Save the Children does in helping the millions of children who suffer from ill health, malnutrition, abuse and lack of education. In recent years the Fund has been working in over fifty countries and, more memorably, been at the forefront in disaster relief such as the Tsunami in Indonesia, the horrific earthquake in Haiti and Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. At the present time Save the Children is helping the tens of thousands of refugees made homeless in the wake of the current conflict in Iraq and Syria and is providing much needed support in West Africa for the Ebola crisis.
May I take this opportunity to ask any Old Bod who would like to support the work of Save the Children to let me have his or her donation, by cheque and made payable to Save the Children, by sending it to me at:
87 Radley Road Abingdon OX14 3PR
I promise you that all donations will be put to immediate and good use.
Bryan Morgan OC UKMAMS 1971-74
From: David Powell, Princes Risborough Sent: Tuesday, October 21, 2014 6:14 PM Subject: Re: The next OBA newsletter - A Secundo Curriculo
I had a very satisfying 29-year RAF career as a specialist non specialist, and that’s really how I have carried on. Of particular note to post-RAF adventures was an OU degree studied while commuting by train to MoD in the 1980s followed by an incredible year’s (1986/87) sabbatical as a Research Fellow of Nuffield College, Oxford.
When I took early retirement at 50 from the RAF in the 1993 redundancy scheme it was a bit of a scramble at the end. With only 2-weeks resettlement leave, after which I promised myself a 3-month break doing nothing to decide what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. Instead of which I got a phone call after 48 hours inviting me to do some work for a BAE Systems outfit. This was fun and included having to interview my successor who, when I turned up at Main Building said ‘I thought it was you, I’ve got to go to a meeting. As you know more about this job than I do, just leave some notes of what I said’. So I interviewed myself.
Thus I became a self-employed expensive odd-job man, aka a consultant/sub-contractor. This involved me with support to organisations of all sizes in a variety of industrial sectors. Projects have included: reviewing and preparing business and marketing plans, lecturing on strategic management, developing supply chain concepts, a study into contracting-out MOD freight distribution, developing and facilitating work-place focused management improvement courses. BAE Systems work included two long spells working on the Nimrod replacement bid and then developing the supply-chain IT system and procedures for the RAAF Hawk trainer support project at Newcastle Airport, NSW Australia. This sounds exotic, but most of the work was done at Warton and Salmsbury. However, I did get two extended trips to NSW to bed down the processes. I also got involved (can’t remember quite how) with middle management coaching for Vodaphone during its great expansion phase in the late 1990s. Running these executive workshops led to adding academia to the portfolio in 2003 as a part-time lecturer at Bucks New University (then Buckinghamshire Chiltern University College) Business School.
Just before leaving the RAF, I went on a career advice course. Apparently, the RAF was a mistake and I should have been a research assistant. During the debrief I admitted that my real ambition to be a video narrator specialising on railway programmes. I was told to forget it as the voice-over world was full of out of work actors. Anyway, a couple of months after leaving the RAF and I was chatting to friend who was then running a model railway shop at Aston Clinton, as you do. He happened to mention that he had just been on the phone ordering some railway videos from Transport Video Publishing where the owner was having the vapours as the ‘voice’ booked for the following day, along with studio time, had gone down with a sore throat. MAMS BS training swung into play and one phone call, and one day later and I am in Chris Timpson’s Duck Lane studios in Soho. Next week I will be off to TVP to record my 180th voice over narration. I normally do one every 6 weeks or so. In addition to the voice work, I now also do some script preparation and sound editing. Amazing - having fun and getting paid for it!
Life has also had its unwanted diversions, in 1998 I had heart failure, got better, got worse and in September 2000 was referred to Harefield Hospital for a heart transplant. Meanwhile, earlier that year I had witnessed our cat have a stroke and being cured by a complementary form of healing - Reiki. If it had worked for the cat, I would give it a go. Five one-hour sessions and five weeks later I arrived at Harefield for my transplant suitability tests. At the end of which I was told that according my referral notes I really needed at transplant to live, but the current me wasn’t quite ready and would I wait over there. I have been ‘waiting over there’ ever since.
In turn this adventure led to another parallel career path, along with the consulting, the lecturing and the voice overs, I trained as a Reiki practitioner. Although now a Reiki Master I have eased off practising in this area. But, I still do occasional lectures to Women’s Institutes about Reiki. That certainly was not on the radar in 1993!
Over the years I have also got involved with one of the professional institutes, the Association for Project Management. This has led to another income stream: undertaking the occasional academic accreditation of university courses on project management leading to the award the APM stamp of approval. Here is a tip to all those soon to leave the RAF: for 30 years in the RAF I had been involved in planning and executing projects but did not know it. That was because they were labelled exercises, deployments, operations, tasks etc. Every time you execute a successful flight departure, it’s a project!
So here I am, 21 years after hanging up the uniform, 71 years on the clock, still married to the same long suffering Sue, still living at Princes Risborough and still not properly retired. Still doing a bit of academia - currently supervising a post-grad dissertation of grain transportation in Kazakhstan! Just signed off an academic accreditation report on an Irish university. There is a TVP script waiting final polishing. We have also, at last, become grandparents - these professional career off-spring do seem to take their time over these things!
Also, possibly as an amber warning to speed up the slowing down campaign, my slightly knackered heart stopped in August. I thought I had fainted and I woke up surrounded by potatoes and onions as I had demolished the vegetable rack on the way down. However, a phone call from the labs at Harefield Hospital advised me that, fortunately for me, my on-board Implanted Cardiac Defibrillator (ICD) had fired off while I was unconscious and successfully executed an in-flight relight. I forgot to mention that I had been fitted with an ICD in 2005. They are like a high-tech proactive passive pacemaker with a kick. I am now on my second which has a wi-fi connection to a modem which is linked by phone-line to the hospital. Big brother is keeping an eye on you! The downside is that when these things fire-off, you have to surrender your driving licence, until the medics give you the green light. This will be my 3rd grounding, usually for 6 months. The previous ‘events’ were to kick the heart back on line after it started to go too fast. So no driving for now. Long live the bus-pass and rail card!
What next? Sue spends Friday afternoons as a volunteer exercising the dogs at the local centre which trains dogs to help the hard of hearing. Three weeks ago, Sue came home with a ‘fallen angel’, a lovely 2 year old black spaniel called Bronte who had failed her ‘finals’; gone on for a career as a police sniffer dog; passed her training but had been freaked out when exposed to the high activity of an airport, and was now looking for a permanent home. So lots of ‘walkies’ for the dog and for me to exercise my slightly dodgy ticker, and at last a chance to get round to thinking about how we wanted us to spend the rest of our lives.
David Powell Princes Risborough 21 Oct 2014
From: Victor Smith, Brassall, QLD Sent: Tuesday, October 21, 2014 9:31 PM Subject: RE:The next OBA newsletter - A Secundo Curriculo
Not much interesting in my non RAAF career. I started my working life as a woodcutter (firewood). I then joined the RAAF as an Airfield Defence Guard (ADG) for 6 years.
After I discharged, I had jobs that included powder monkeying for a blasting contractor in the Kalamunda area of Western Australia. Then came a builder's labourer job also in Kalamunda. That was on a job which was converting a former grocery store into an olde English styled wine bar and restaurant named "The Last Drop". When it opened, I worked for a week or so as a wine waiter but was not great at that. A further job saw me on the sub assembly line at LA-Z-BOY International in Welshpool. That entailed adding parts to the backs of various models of recliner rockers.
When I got itchy feet, I rejoined the RAAF in the Supply mustering and down the track did an Air Loaders course. Wound up doing a fair bit with Air Movements. My second stint in the RAAF ended when I reached the then PAF retirement age and I transferred to the active Reserve. I wound up doing a further 7 years as a Reservist which included one deployment. I was trying for one last deployment 4 years ago when I found out that combat body armour and a 61 year old body did not mix.
These days I do some voluntary work at the display hangars of Amberley Aviation Heritage Centre www.raafamberleyheritage.gov.au and also with Legacy www.legacy.com.au/. Legacy is an Australian group set up to help the families of current and former servicemen and women when the serviceman or woman has become incapacitated or has passed away.
From: Graham Leman, Poole, Dorset Sent: Wednesday, October 22, 2014 4:48 AM Subject: RE: The next OBA newsletter - A Secundo Curriculo
Where do I start. A short resume - Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy... Mover
Having been the inaugural mover with the Special Boat Service (UK Special Forces) for my last 9 years of 22 in the RAF, I thought I had been exposed to every danger known to man when leaving in 2000. How wrong can a man be.
Leaving the Air Force on the Friday and joining the International Committee of the Red Cross on the Monday, I was unemployed for the weekend and as I started my new job I had little idea what I was entering and where it would take me.
Joining as a Logistic Co-ordinator, I was sent to Macedonia and Kosovo for 12 months. In what would become a familiar tale for me the country (Macedonia) descended in to a small but nasty internal conflict with ex KLA fighters from Kosovo. Finding myself in a very small team of young Swiss graduates not knowing their arse from their elbows but on a big adventure, I ended up running field security operations and security risk assessments. Also, and God knows how, I ended up as a human shield and hostage release negotiator. Conducting several successful operations saving many lives. Taking a convoy from Skopje to Amman in Jordan was another highlight, as the security and bag man. Traveling through Bulgaria, Turkey, and Syria it was amazing but a little unnerving carrying several hundred thousand German Marks on my person. My Imprest training did come in handy I must say.
My next posting was to Jerusalem for 18 months and as hinted on earlier not long after my arrival the second intifada erupted and 9/11 happened. I worked now as security and logistics coordinator all over the West Bank and Gaza. This was without doubt the most dangerous job I had ever conducted so far and we seemed to attract the attention of warring sides who would regularly shoot at us. There are so many tales to tell but for my book (pending and with the publisher) but one highlight was picking up and taking to Jordan from Gaza, Yasser Arafat's brother for medical treatment. Plus being heavily involved in the Nativity Church siege in Bethlehem, negotiating access for aid and the safe release of those being held captive inside by several hundred Palestinian Gunmen.
Angola followed Jerusalem for a year. Different country, same crap. Dodging several million legacy mines and old Russian transport planes and helicopters falling from the sky, I survived intact, minus a bout of Dengue fever. Doing an early morning recce of a new convoy route I was asked to call in our ICRC hospital specialising in the rehabilitation of the thousands of amputees in Angola. It was run by a mad Norwegian doctor. Hearing I was going on a new route recce, he promptly measured me up for new legs and asked me how tall I would like to be!
Change of track after nearly 4 years with the ICRC I was asked to join the UK Foreign Office (tap on the shoulder) as a security specialist(!), which I spent almost 9 years doing. Working in Afghanistan for two years, Iraq, Pakistan, Sudan and South Sudan (leaving with Malaria), and Moscow for 18 months to name but a few.
Too many highlights to mention (more chapters for the book) but sitting in the Kremlin discussing David Cameron's visit to Russia as head of regional security for Western Russia. Regularly sleeping with a loaded pistol under my pillow in the wilds of Afghanistan (just like Liverpool) and advising the Red Arrows on counter intelligence issues prior and during their trip to Moscow, and being followed, bugged and harassed by the FSB (KGB in old money) most days do stick out.
Now working as a security consultant specialising in advising industries working in Russia and China in countering corporate, national and industrial espionage activities...
Graham (Scouse) Leman
From: John Bell, Desborough, Northants Sent: Wednesday, October 22, 2014 6:08 AM Subject: Second Career
Hi Tony, The RAF was my second career in a way. Before joining as an Admin Apprentice I had left school early (Illegally) and found a job with a firm of confectionary makers in Abergavenny. At 15 I was a truck driver’s mate. We spent Monday to Friday delivering sweets and chocolates in bulk to wholesale warehouses throughout England and Wales, 4 nights a week away from home. On Saturdays it was my job to go in to the factory and help my driver, an old guy just coming up for retirement, to clean the pantech and load the product for early morning departure on Mondays. I joined the RAF after about a year of this. However, you asked for post-RAF careers… When I left the RAF at 55 I emigrated to Australia and settled in Cairns. There were jobs available with Qantas so I applied and was just about to start the interview process when the second largest airline in Australia, Ansett, went bust. In Cairns alone it threw over 1,200 airline workers onto the job market. What jobs there were with Qantas quickly went to the guys from Ansett. What other jobs were available in Cairns were also picked up by these guys. I was still in the process of buying a house etc., and missed the opportunities.
This is where my true second career started and it is the one I am still involved in today. I applied to a charitable organization called Lifeline to work as a volunteer. Initially, this was not intended to be a long term thing, but that is how it panned out. I worked in their main warehouse for several years before moving to the Salvation Army (as a volunteer, I was not a member). I worked in one of their warehouses near my home until, after 17 years, my wife Jean and I returned to the UK. I now work for a charitable Trust in my village, Desborough, in their fund-raising shop.
Throughout my time with the various charities I have been with I have found the work interesting and varied. I have learned to repair watches, fix a multitude of broken toys, bicycles, furniture and more. I have set up safe homes for battered wives and cleared deceased estates. Stood in for paid management on occasion, (with pay), supervised community service offenders, sent containers of clothing and other items to tsunami and cyclone victims and carried out health and safety audits in various shops and warehouses.
My Logistics and Movements experience in the RAF all came in very handy and I recommend anyone looking for a good way to keep active in retirement to consider volunteer work
From: David Stevens, Bangor Sent: Wednesday, October 22, 2014 5:08 PM Subject: A Secundo Curriculo
A most interesting topic. Some of my friends will know what I will tell you, and some will not. Without wishing to bore your readers and in summaryIenjoyed two quite different careers after I left the RAF in 1984:
Firstly, with British Aerospace as a 'supplier' in Nigeria with the Nigerian Air Force in Makurdi, Benue State after they purchased Jaguars from BAe. Quite interesting because we shared the base with Russian Mig 19s and 21s. In fact both aircraft shared the same 'apron' space and they were lined up facing each other; an interesting contrast in both style and technology!! I spent 4 years on that project with the last year in Lagos.
And then, still with BAe I spent 11 years from 1989 to 2000 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia - the Saudi Air Force C130 operating base, and main servicing and supply depot. I lead a small team of ten ex-pats recruiting and training some 50 Saudi civilians covering all aspects of supply depot storage and accounting procedures.
Secondly, from 2002 - 2014 with the British Red Cross Society (BRCS) formerly as a member of a 4 person Logistics Emergency Response Unit (ERU)Team and then taking over as team leader.
I did some 13 missions all over the world including earthquakes, tsunami, hurricanes, typhoons, cyclones and floods. I retired (aged 72) from the BRCS ERU roster earlier this year when I returned from the typhoon disaster that struck the Philippines at the end of 2013.
Then latterly, and for the past 5 years, I have been a volunteer working in our local Red Cross retail shop in Bangor, North Wales. I shall continue with this work - good health and god willing....
I can tell you that the last 12 years working with the BRCS in emergency response has been the most fulfilling career I could possibly have wished for - quite outstanding, humbling and amazing....
From: Mick Craner, Yeovil, Somerset Sent: Friday, October 24, 2014 4:26 PM Subject: Ex Crayon
Recently returned from retracing steps in Gibraltar.
Your last newsletter brought back even more memories, in my log book it says I was engaged on crayon from April 24th to May 9th 1968. On 24th April I flew to El Adem from Lyneham with 62 paratroops, the intention was to group together with other Hercules over Luqa and fly low level to airdrop at El Adem, but the wind was out of limits, so all troops were landed, it was organised chaos on the ground. I slept that night on a snooker table in the Sergeants Mess. The rest of the time was spent flying between El Adem, Luqa, Afrag, and one trip into KingsField in Cyprus.
The Argosy crash on the 7th of May, was an act of sheer stupidity, the aircraft struck a 45 gallon drum on a wooden frame that had been set up as a shower, it was no more than 20 feet high.
It is unfortunate that there were, a small number of foolish pilots who had the inclination to do a beat up of the airfield after a supply or paratroop drop, this was of course not clever or skilful and in the case of XR 133 tragic.
A boy in Khaki Blue!
p.s. Regarding the title of the photo - Many moons ago I was talking with an Indian shop keeper in Changi Village, when he said “You boys in Khaki Blue all cock and no bloody money, and always want to pay with UK cheque!" - Happy Days!
On one occasion in a Hercules after dropping 10 one ton containers, the army despatch crew and myself were tidying up the aircraft when we were all thrown across the freight bay all of us bruised and pissed off with the actions of a pilot who didn’t have the thought to inform us to strap in, instead he just flew the seat he was sitting in.
Some things remain sharp in the memory even after 45 years.
How Changi has transformed over the years
From: Richard Castle, Sutton-upon-Derwent, Yorks Sent: Monday, October 27, 2014 1:02 PM Subject: Second Careers
You sought information on second careers - here goes…
Having spent 16 of my 18 years as a mover, I retired from the RAF in 1987. Many a mover will remember that I bought a disused farm on the North York Moors and turned it into a holiday complex comprising 8 cottages and swimming pool. Why will they remember? Because the farm was named Bell End Farm! I am frequently asked by old Service colleagues “whether or not I still live at Bell End Farm?” I just cannot understand it! Soon after opening in 1988 I saw a couple on the road outside laughing at the sign; nothing surprised me at that, but I was surprised when Tony Harris appeared in the car park. I am not sure who was most surprised - him or me. Tony had been my instructor when I went through the Officers’ Movements Course in 1972. In the time that my wife and I had the cottages we were awarded 9 tourism and business awards and this led to The Holiday Property Bond buying the complex in 1995.
Having joined the Territorial Army in 1989 I was mobilised in 1995/96 for service in the Former Yugoslavia where I held the post of SO1 Transport and Movements within the ARRC. On return from operations I joined Ryder as Special Projects Manager within their Defence division, until 1998 when I joined Healthcall as Director of Government Contracts. Being responsible for medical assessments for ex-coal miners suffering from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease I needed a good operations manager and so, needless to say, looked for a mover!
John Gardiner joined me in Enfield, although we both had a nationwide role. Both John and I became Nestor Healthcare staff when Healthcall was bought out. Following a year or so with Nestor I set up my own consultancy business specialising in defence medical care and logistics. For 10 years I worked as a consultant for various companies, but primarily for QinetiQ, involved in the Defence Training Rationalisation programme. This was alongside fellow movers Rod Elliott and Duncan Grant, whilst representing the MOD on the project at that time was Dick Leonard. Rod and I frequently sat across the table from Dick at various contractor meetings! Dick then joined Babcock International and for a while I worked with him also. However, I am now fully retired and have closed down my consultancy business.
I soldiered on within the Territorial Army until 2012, finally retiring from uniform aged 63! For the last 9 years of my Service I was Deputy Joint Regional Liaison Officer within the North of England. This involved working alongside the 7 police forces throughout the north east, Yorkshire and Humberside. This was a fascinating Joint Service role, making use of my RAF and Army experience, leading to me being involved in the planning and running of the Grand Depart, the first two stages of this year’s Tour de France. Fortunately there was no requirement for the ops staff to wear lycra!
Having retired from both my civilian and military careers I can now relax and enjoy retirement - it’s just a shame that you can’t retire some 30 years earlier!!
Best wishes to all,
From: John Guy, Northampton Sent: Tuesday, October 28, 2014 9:46 AM Subject: Life after the RAF
WELCOME TO SOME ASPECTS IN THE LIFE OF TANGO WHISKY 6
Aged 55 yrs. I applied for a job with a large insurance company. At my interview the manager remarked that I was the smartest applicant he had interviewed. Turned out I was the only applicant! I worked for a week with the man I was to replace during which time he revealed that he was also ex RAF, having been a Bomber Aimer. So now we had something else in common as my late father had been a WOP/AG on 218 Sterling Bomber Squadron. Eventually this 100 year old company succumbed to a takeover, & John, now aged 60 yrs. was out on his ear.
Still with a mortgage to pay the local police were looking for 6 part-time Traffic Wardens. At my interview in front of 4/5 panelists I was asked what I would do if I came across a relative/friend parked on double lines. After much thought I said that since I had not currently received any training I was unable to answer the question. I got the job anyway.
Whilst on patrol in Northampton town centre I came upon a car parked in a disabled bay. I politely asked the driver to move the vehicle which he did. Some 20/30 minutes later I found the same vehicle parked on double lines, once again I asked the driver to move, which he did. Later I found the said vehicle parked illegally elsewhere on my patch. This time I produced my ticket pad, but first the driver & I had a polite (honest) in depth discussion. At this point the lady suggested to the driver that I might be ex Army, to which I said how dare you! The driver suggested that I was more likely to be ex RAF. Turns out that he was an ex Flt.Lt, once a Cargo Officer at Brize. Having listened to why he was in Northampton I produced a blue card, signed it thus giving him permission to remain in situ for the next hour without fear of further onslaught from my colleagues.
At the Police Station some days later I received a memo from the OC with a letter attached from the ex Cargo Officer in which he said some very nice things about me, & enclosed a £10 note. In my memo from the Superintendant he said well done, you’re not getting it, as the money had already been put into a police fund!
On one occasion whilst plodding the beat a 40 ton truck with trailer pulled over. The driver, a young lad asked for directions. It was a hot day, I was heading back to the Police Station, and since the suggested route took the vehicle past my location, I asked if I could hitch a ride during which emerged that the driver had previously been a coffee jockey on 10 Sqn at Brize...
In closing there you have the ramblings of an 80+ ex-Mover.
From: Dave Jarvis, Palmoli, Abruzzo Sent: Tuesday, October 28, 2014 12:59 PM Subject: Re: The next OBA newsletter - A Secundo Curriculo
Not so much a second career as we earn cock all, however it is a lifestyle change. After leaving in 2007 I decided to stay in Italy and live as simply as possible. I met my K in 2005 and we decided to make a life in Italy which gradually evolved into seeking a self-sufficient lifestyle and after 7 years we are getting very close.
We do what I would describe as back garden self-sufficiency; we have pigs, goats, chickens and land that enables us to pick something every week and we are very happy and can survive for at least 3 months at any time. The challenge was learning how to take care of animals, make cheese, store produce and preserve what we get. We are now 95% self sufficient and we brew our own beer, wine and spirits. If you happen to be in central Italy please drop in and get shit-faced on our decidedly dodgy homebrew!
From: Eddie Mottram, Woodley, Berkshire Sent: Wednesday, October 29, 2014 11:49 AM Subject: Second Career
In 1973 I decided to leave the RAF, although I could have signed on for a further 10 years. My initial application to sign on was turned down but, following an intervention by Squadron Leader Morgan, I was accepted. However, in the meantime, I had changed my mind and decided to leave.
In March 1973 I started work for Olympic Airways as a Cargo Officer operating out of Heathrow Airport. In 1978 I was appointed to the position of Personnel Manager UK and Ireland and moved to an office in New Bond Street, London.
I left Olympic Airways in 1980 following an approach from the MD to form a Personnel Department for Dobbs International UK Ltd, part of Dobbs International Services in America; at the time we were the worlds 2nd largest Airline Catering Company. Dobbs International UK Ltd, when I joined them, had two catering units both at Heathrow. My first job was to close down the smaller of the two units. Over the next few years Dobbs UK grew in size - we took over a small catering company with a unit in Glasgow, followed another company with units in Glasgow, Gatwick, Newcastle, Bristol and Dublin. I was tasked with merging the Glasgow units into one and standardising, over the years, employment terms and conditions for all units. In 1995 I was promoted to the position of Human Resources Director UK & Ireland.
In 1999 Dobbs International Services were taken over by Gate Gourmet, a Swiss based company, part of the Swiss Air Group. I was appointed Human Resources Director UK & Ireland. We now had 4 units at Heathrow, 2 each at Glasgow and Gatwick and 1 each at Bristol, Newcastle and Dublin.
In 2001, following the appointment of a new MD, I decided to take early retirement and leave Gate Gourmet. I was persuaded by the Vice President Human Resources to take on a consultancy role and agreed a contract until my 60th birthday. I was asked to write and implement a training packaged for all UK management and supervisory personnel on “Discrimination in the Workplace”. I worked 2 days a week and trained over 300 management and supervisory staff. I also produced a training package to cover all hourly paid employees on the same subject but, because of the numbers of employees involved, implementation was left to individual unit training departments.
Without going into too much detail the new MD left the Company after 6 months. I was asked by the new MD to return to full time employment but I declined. I did however work full time as an HR Manager in Catering Centre South Heathrow for 5 weeks to help out the Company and finally left on 28th August 2003
Since taking up full time retirement I have involved myself in evening classes in photography and have taken and passed Level’s 1 & 2 City and Guilds.
Eddie Mottram (Happily retired)
From: John Wickham, Basrah Sent: Wednesday, October 29, 2014 3:11 AM Subject: Job listings
From: Pete Kettell, Chudleigh, Devon Sent: Monday, September 29, 2014 2:08 PM Subject: Re: Invitation to join the UKMAMS Old Bods Association
Long time no speak. I wasn’t aware of the Old Bods Assoc and will happily register. I was lucky enough to visit and stay for a few days with Chris ‘pig’ Clarke in the summer when we were holidaying in the States. He hasn’t changed a bit and we had a great time reliving old times.
1992 Gulf War - remote landing strip in Kuwait: Julian Harrington was the team leader and was renowned for his workshy approach and ensuring that his team made all the brews. However, one day Julian decided to surprise his men and make the teas. The tea tasted absolutely foul and when asked 'how and from where he had filled the kettle?' morale sank. Julian pointed to a plastic container and stated that he had emptied the contents from that; the container had been flown out the previous day for the team's private consumption and had contained Blue Label Vodka!
(Reprinted from OBB #013103)
This newsletter is dedicated to the memory of Terry Mulqueen