British Prime Minister David Cameron is getting his own 'Air Force One'
Air Force One, the call-sign given to the President Obama's Boeing VC-25A jet draped in patriotic paint, is one of the most enduring symbols of American power. Now, British Prime Minister David Cameron will get his own ministerial plane and will no longer have to charter privately-owned aircraft. Prime Minister Cameron's new plane will be an Airbus A330MRTT Voyager, the BBC reported.
The aircraft, which belongs to the Royal Air Force, will be converted from its current fuel tanker configuration to ministerial transport. According to the BBC, the conversion will cost roughly $15 million and is expected to save $1.2 million a year for the next 20 years.
Currently, it costs the British Government roughly $10,000 per hour to charter planes for the Prime Minister, a source told the British news agency. With the new plane, that cost drops to around $3,000 per hour.
The conversion for ministerial duties would include the addition of 158 passenger seats and an advanced secure communications system. The British said that the aircraft will retain Royal Air Force livery and be used as a tanker when not deployed for official travel.
The Airbus A330 MRTT (MRTT stands for Multi Role Tanker Transport) is based on the Airbus A330-200 wide-body airliner. According to Airbus Defense, 52 of the aircraft have been sold to seven air forces around the world including the United Kingdom, France and Australia.
The A330 MRTT - valued at more than $200 million per plane - has a range of 8,000 nautical miles and can fly at 0.86 times the speed of sound.
From: Don Hunter, St Maximin Sent: 30 October 2015 14:11 Subject: Ivan and Wilma Gervais
I was so sorry to see Keith Parker's post regarding the passing of both Ivan and Wilma Gervais.
Ivan was my hero. I was notionally Kilo Team Leader, but as we all know, the team just kept the boss out of trouble and he ran the imprest!
Ivan had time for everyone; from the beggars on the streets of Nairobi, to the young Gurkha recruits taking their first flight from Kathmandu, he had a word of encouragement for everyone.
He was also a very wise man, and I often sought his advice on all sorts of things. You can imagine the banter down route with the others of Kilo Team - John Ilsley, Keith Parker, Tony Saw, Bob Ford - and Ivan, ever the rock of common sense and logic, as mediator in many a discussion.
One memorable event with Ivan. We were on the way to Nairobi in a Belfast and had made a night stop at Gibraltar. We had a brilliant time in Gib (can't remember the reasons!) and as we were waiting for the crew to do their flight planning, we sat under number 3 engine in the shade and ate the contents of our meal boxes, namely chicken legs etc. It may have been Tony Saw who persuaded Ivan to do a bit of "juju" and see if we could get another night stop in Gib, and Ivan, being a good sport collected all our chicken bones and put them in a pile under number 3 engine. A bit of dancing and mumbo jumbo followed and we got on board.
Damn me, number 3 wouldn't start! Ivan was so shocked and embarrassed and vowed never to do anything like that again! (We eventually departed a couple of hours late, but by that time we were ready to move on!)
So rest in peace, Ivan and Wilma. You both taught this young lad a lot.
Don Hunter Kilo Team 1974-76
67th RAF Movements Officers' Reunion
Thanks to Tom Iredale
The advance party (Tom Iredale, Dick Lloyd and Martin Henderson), rendezvous on the day at the King's Arms in Shepherd Market at 12:30 local time. Their mission was to assess the salubrious effects of IPA and similar liquids, prior to embarkation at 18:30 hrs.
The venue for the Reunion was the RAF Club in Piccadilly
There was no mistaking where it was being held
In all, 95 attended - 23 of whom were retired
Retired Movers: Martin Henderson, Jock Drysdale, Tom Iredale, Dick Lloyd and Bernard Thompson
Curry and rice instead of "nibbles" (went down very well)
Martin Henderson, Len Henry, Dick Lloyd and David Green
The evening progresses; animated discussions
The address given by Head of Branch, Air Commodore John Bessell, who mentioned among other things, that a Mover had landed that very morning in Sharm el Sheikh as part of the British delegation to speed up the processing and repatriation of the thousands of British tourists stranded there after the Metrojet incident.
The evening continues
Four very attractive senior officers: Sqn Ldr Liz Wheatley, Wg Cdr Vikki Atkinson, Wg Cdr Louise Hancock and Gp Capt Ange Baker
Andy Hilton (organiser of this year's reunion), Jock Drysdale, Peter Burch and Martin Henderson
The evening continues to progress and ended... When the bar closed!
From: Thomas Geoghegan, Folkestone, Kent Sent: 31 October 2015 12:55 Subject: RE: John Desmond O'Regan ex-UKMAMS
Just to let you know that I attended John Desmond O ' Regan's funeral; very nice little service and a very fitting eulogy by the gentleman's son.
Really lovely family, they showed their appreciation for our attendance, which was very nice. I also found out that John O' Regan and I had a few things in common, coming from almost the same area in Ireland and serving at RAF Seletar on 389 Maintenance Unit.
The other representative of the Air Movement's fraternity attending was James Buchanan who introduced himself.
Met another gentleman who happens to be a notoriety in these parts attending, Rob Davies whom I had wanted to meet after reading about his fantastic airmanship of late, bit of a hero in my book!
Iraqis seize Canadian Forces aircraft
Iraqi officials temporarily seized a military aircraft carrying weapons for Canadian special forces in Kurdistan, amid a wave of anti-western conspiracy theories rife in Iraqi politics. The seizure and the reasons for it raise questions for Canada’s new Liberal government, which has vowed to do more military training in the country. The Iraqis said they held the Canadian Forces Hercules transport aircraft, carrying supplies into Kurdistan without authorization, for four days. The Department of National Defence confirmed that there were problems with a Canadian Forces aircraft that landed in Baghdad on Oct. 28.
“While flying in support of Operation Impact, a CC-130 Hercules was denied onward movement to Erbil, Iraq, by authorities at Baghdad International Airport, due to an issue with customs documentation with respect to its cargo,” said Department of National Defence spokesman Evan Koronewski.
Both the Canadian Forces and the Department of Foreign Affairs discussed the issue with Iraqi officials. The transport plane was allowed to fly back to Kuwait four days later. “No equipment or cargo was confiscated by Iraqi authorities,” Koronewski added.
For security reasons, the Canadian Forces declined to describe the equipment being transported or the Canadian unit for which it was destined.
From: Richard Lloyd, Dalgety Bay, Fife Sent: 03 November 2015 17:40 Subject: Peter Donaldson
Thanks for your continuing success in making the Newsletter an absolute 'must read' for all of us in the Movers community.
In 1967, I was a station mover at RAF Khormaksar, about which I have written separately some while ago. To relieve the considerable boredom of off-shift time, I auditioned for, and was accepted as a broadcaster for AFBA, the all amateur Aden Forces Broadcasting Association. I did this at the suggestion of one Dave Welch whom I knew at Abingdon. I was not the only broadcaster among the movements fraternity, as John Damment, one of our DAMOs also took to the air. Initially I wrote and broadcast programmes for children, but eventually graduated (once the children had been evacuated to UK) to my own music programmes and to continuity announcing (the peak of jobs).
Meanwhile, our competition downtown came from BFBS, but as the security situation worsened, their studios in Ma'alla became untenable, and horror of horrors, they took over AFBA's studio out by the old civil airport. I quickly struck up a friendship with Peter Donaldson, a chap about my own age (then 22) and we put together a plan to broadcast a weekly news roundup programme, which depended on my contacts on all 4 Movers' shifts to salvage any and all newspapers from incoming aircraft from UK.
This programme went out as a double act about 10 times as I recall, and at least anecdotally, was well-received. Peter went on to become Chief Announcer on BBC Radio 4 and his voice became amazingly well-known to millions in UK. He and I met up for a drink or two and a reminisce in 1998, and it was with great sadness that we heard of his death today. A great guy, with a wonderful voice and a huge loss to everyone privileged to have known him.
Richard (Dick) Lloyd
New members joining us recently are:
Treve Walsh (nee Harris), Luton, Beds, United Kingdom
Bob Dickman, St Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex, United Kingdom
Steve (Mutley) Malia, Gibraltar
Nobby Clarke, Swaffam, Norfolk, United Kingdom
Graham Allen (Buckley) Nottingham, United Kingdom
Welcome to the OBA!
The Pentagon’s next Military Cargo Plane just received funding and it’s unlike anything you’ve ever seen!
But rather than just settle for small improvements over the current designs, the Pentagon wants massive improvements in all areas of the aircraft. Its teamed up with NASA and Lockheed Martin to develop a truly revolutionary plane that looks like something our of a movie yet is based on current technologies that are easy to produce.
The innovative design, which has been thoroughly wind tunnel tested, this week received funding from NASA and the DOD to build a prototype, meaning at least one of these wild looking, state of the art planes will be constructed. Check out these awesome pictures and details about this futuristic flying machine!
The Department of Defense (DOD) is looking for a new heavy lift cargo plane to replace its ageing fleet of Lockheed C-5 Galaxies and Boeing C-17 Globemasters.
The HWB design uses a blended wing and forebody to increase aerodynamic and structural efficiency. But the concept uses a conventional aft fuselage and tail, which means its not only compatibility with existing airlift infrastructure and operations, including airdropping paratroops, but its also easy to manufacture and already being built. This means it can be built quickly and cheaply while still delivering the performance the Pentagon wants.
The HWB still uses a traditional circular pressurized fuselage, and like the C-5 has an additional unpressurized cargo bay that is accessed from the main cargo hold. This hybrid design means all the procedures and equipment used by the military presently can be used on the HWB.
The huge over-wing engines were wind-tunnel tested to confirm they reduce drag by 5% compared with traditional under-wing engines. By keeping the rear fuselage and traditional tail from aircraft already in service, Lockheed’s HWB is more stable in flight compared with a pure blended wing-body design that has engines mounted inside of the wing. The Air Force’s B-2 bomber uses in-wing engines for increased stealth, but the design makes it tricky to fly.
The design is so flexible that Lockheed is studying an aerial refueling tanker variant of the HWB that would be 15% more fuel-efficient than the Boeing KC-46A, currently the mainstay of the military’s aerial refueling corps. This means a single design could replace today’s separate airlift and tanker fleets.
Wind tunnel tests of a 4%-scale model at the National Transonic Facility at NASA’s Langley Research Center have validated the aerodynamic efficiency of the HWB with over-wing nacelles. Lockheed also conducted low-speed testing of the high-lift system in preparation of moving to a full-scale prototype.
In early 2016 Lockheed plans to fly a 4%-scale unmanned version of the HWB and has already received funding from the Air Force Research Laboratory to study a large-scale manned demonstrator which would be scheduled to fly around 2020. In a clever move to reduce costs the company will likely use a business jet, possible a Gulfstream V, and fit it with a new front section and re-fit how the engines are mounted.
If given the green light by the Air Force, Lockheed Martin’s HWB airlifter would enter service around 2035. But this simple yet revolutionary concept isn’t just for the military. Under a NASA contract, the company is working hard on a HWB commercial freighter, in various sizes, that could enter service at about the same time. This dual use development would again help control costs and deliver big savings over current models. Passenger service would be the next logical step.
Lockheed Martin’s Hybrid Wing Body (HWB) concept, which has been under study for six years, is designed to transport all of the massive cargo now airlifted by the Lockheed C-5 Galaxy while consuming 70% less fuel than the efficient Boeing C-17. To accomplish this feat the design team had to install large-diameter, fuel-efficient engines over the wings instead of below them like most current heavy lift aircraft.
Royal Australian Air Force and Australian Army personnel conducted loading trials and training at RAAF Base Townsville from 10-14 November 2015, utilising the new C-27J Spartan battlefield airlifter aircraft operated by No 35 Squadron.
Engineers and aircrew from AMTDU (Air Movements Training and Development Unit) oversaw the trials, which involved the loading of Army personnel from Townsville's 3rd Brigade in different configurations.
Air Force Air Movements personnel also conducted load transfer trials between a Spartan and a CH-47 Chinook helicopter from Army's 5th Aviation Regiment.
These trials demonstrated the ability of the Spartan to bridge the battlefield airlift gap between Army's rotary-wing fleet and larger RAAF transports.
From: Chris Goss, Marlow, Bucks
Sent: 16 November 2015 11:48
Subject: The best in-flight catering
The best in-flight catering has to be the prawn/shrimp salad out of Gander!
RAF Changi, Singapore, in the 1960's
RAF Changi Airbase was part of the military outpost of the British who pulled out completely in 1970.
The entire British Military presence was 20% of the island's GDP at that time.
St Andrew's Road now is part of the F1 Night Race street circuit.
50 Years of Air Cargo Missions to Antarctica
A New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) C-130 Hercules aircraft marked the 50th year of New Zealand’s airlift support flights to Antarctica by delivering over 3,000 kilograms of freight to the icy continent yesterday, 23rd Nov. The mission was the first of eight airlift support flights to be carried out by a Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) C-130 aircraft that is planned for the summer season.
“Operation Antarctica is one of our major missions. The first RNZAF air cargo mission to Antarctica was in 1965, and 50 years on we continue to support Antarctica New Zealand and the US Antarctic programmes through the Joint Logistics Pool,” said Major General (MAJGEN) Tim Gall, Commander Joint Forces New Zealand.
The NZDF provides search and rescue support, air transport, terminal operations at Harewood Terminal in Christchurch and McMurdo Base, and support for the unloading of the annual container ship. Up to 220 NZDF personnel including engineers, heavy plant operators, cargo handlers, and communications specialists are deployed during the summer season to support the team at Scott Base.
Antarctica New Zealand manages Scott Base and supports scientific research in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean, particularly the Ross Sea region.
Operation Antarctica is one of our major missions. The first RNZAF air cargo mission to Antarctica was in 1965, and 50 years on we continue to support Antarctica New Zealand and the US Antarctic programmes through the Joint Logistics Pool,” said Major General (MAJGEN) Tim Gall, Commander Joint Forces New Zealand.
“Our support recognises the importance of the scientific research being conducted in Antarctica,” MAJGEN Gall said. “On a practical level, the airlift support flights are crucial because they ensure that science and operational personnel working on the continent have the necessary supplies to get through the season.”
From: Gerry Morrow, Morinville, AB Sent: 16 November 2015 12:34 Subject: In flight catering
We were on our way back to Canada from Lahr, West Germany around 1987. Our intinerary took us to Italy, and from there we were heading back to Canada. We over-nighted in Paris and ordered catering from our Air Canada handler for 6 crew; we had no pax.
Next day on departure catering showed up and I put it away on the aircraft with no thoughts whatsoever. Came time to serve up lunch I brought it to the galley and when I opened it and it was all on Air Canada’s "best china & silverware."
Lunch was chicken vegetable pies and supper came as steak & lobster, Black Forest cake, 2 bottles of wine (1 red, 1 white), really great meals.
When we got back to Edmonton no one wanted the dishes and cutlery (they work very well in my travel trailer!).
Four weeks later the bill came into the squadron for catering - was just shy of $3000.00! Not happy, but life goes on.
Gerry Morrow Sgt (Retired) 435 Sqn Edmonton, Alberta Canada
Embraer Promotes KC-390 for Canadian Search and Rescue
Embraer attended the 2015 Canadian Aerospace Summit, which took place November 17-18 at the Shaw Center, in Ottawa and is promoting the KC-390 tactical transport aircraft for search and rescue missions in Canada. The KC-390 is designed to set new standards in its category, while presenting the lowest life-cycle cost of the market and the ability to perform multiple missions such as transport and airdrop of troops and cargo, search and rescue (SAR), medical evacuation, aerial refueling and firefighting among others. Some of its features make the KC-390 the ideal aircraft for the scenario of SAR.
For this type of mission, the sooner you get to the search area, higher are the chances of success and the KC-390 is a turbofan aircraft what makes it the fastest fixed wing SAR aircraft in this category.
Having been developed to airdrop troops and cargo and also to refuel helicopters, the KC-390 wing design is very well suited to long endurance and low speed SAR missions.
Latest generation avionics, electro-optic/infrared and radar sensors, full compatibility with night vision goggles add to the aircraft's capability to perform SAR over land or sea.
State of the art full fly-by-wire technology makes the aircraft easy to fly allowing the crew to focus on the mission. Internal cabin space can fit all gear required for search mission and fast reconfiguration allows the plane to act as a fast transport for injured victims, with litters and life support equipment.
The KC-390 also takes advantage of Embraer´s proven experience on the commercial aircraft, with more than 85 airlines from over 50 countries, to bring to the military and SAR environments unprecedented reliability and availability numbers, while assuring the robustness that the military need.
Embraer Press Release
“The KC-390 was designed to perform search and rescue missions in the most demanding environments since its conceptual stage. Therefore we are confident that this aircraft fully meets the operational requirements of the Royal Canadian Air Force,” said Jackson Schneider, president and CEO of Embraer Defense and Security.
From: Eddie Hein Date: 11/14/2015, 9:39 pm, EST Subject: Guest Book Entry
I am looking for the pilot of Hercules XV176 who was flying the day it was hit by small arms fire during Operation Agila, Rhodesia. We might compare notes 35 years after the incident!
From: Murdo Macleod, Newport-on-Tay, Fife Sent: 16 November 2015 18:27 Subject: The Worst Food
The worst food I encountered would have to be while I was stationed at Muharraq, Bahrain. I don't know how I survived that experience, must have been the worst cooks the RAF had to offer, they could have burnt water.
Scrounged left-over in-flight meals were generally pretty good, didn't really have any bad experiences there, and in some cases they were a good source of unofficial food supply for the lads on static!
Somalia veterans reunite in the fight against Daesh
Three Air Force veterans of Australia’s assistance to Somalia in the early 1990s have reunited at the Australian Air Task Group’s main operating base in the Middle East twenty-one years after their first operational deployment.
Wing Commander Robert “Dubbo” Graham, Warrant Officer Geoff Bird (Mover) and Warrant Officer Andy Godwin (Mover) were all recently deployed together in support of Australia’s contribution to the US-led international coalition to disrupt and degrade Daesh in Iraq and Syria.
Following a clan war which turned into civil war in late 1990, Somalia could no longer function as a nation state, and widespread violence and starvation led to international intervention. In December 1992 the United Nation Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 794 to provide humanitarian assistance to the people of Somalia after expressing grave concerns for the deteriorating situation. Following this resolution, an Australian Defence Force Movement Control Unit deployed to Somalia as part of Operation Iguana to provide assistance to the United Nation led mission.
At the time, a young Flying Officer Graham was deployed to Somalia to provide Air Traffic Control support while Sergeant Bird and Corporal Andy provided Movements support to the second United Nations mission in Somalia (UNOSOM II) in 1993-4.
“Warrant Officer Bird and I were part of the third rotation of movers to go into Somalia,” Warrant Officer Godwin said. “Wing Commander (then Flying Officer) Graham arrived as part of the second air traffic control rotation towards the end of my deployment. Our role was to provide movement support to United Nation’s personnel and equipment by air, road and sea within Somalia and two locations in Kenya. It was interesting times as it was just after the shooting down and subsequent capture and release of US Army Black Hawk pilot Chief Warrant Officer Mike Durant during the Battle of Mogadishu which we now know from the book and movie called ‘Black Hawk Down’.”
Their deployments to Somalia were a first for all three and started a variety of operational deployments between them including locations such as East Timor, Sudan, Iraq, Afghanistan, and various other locations around the Middle East.
Wing Commander Graham and Warrant Officer Bird have now both completed their deployments on Operation ACCORDION as the Combat Support Unit 13 Commanding Officer and the Detachment Operations Warrant Officer respectively, while Warrant Officer Godwin is serving on Operation OKRA as the Air Task Group Warrant Officer.
The reunion took place at the Transfer of Authority parade as Combat Support Unit 14 took over from Combat Support Unit 13 at the completion of that rotation’s tour in the Middle East Region.
Warrant Officer Godwin said that it was only after deploying that they learnt they were all serving together at the same place and time. “It has been great to see some of my fellow Somalia veterans after so long,” Warrant Officer Godwin said. “We’ve been able to share many a memory from our first deployment together.”
RAF Museum Cosford's VC10 finally complete after months of work
It's taken months of hard work and dedication - but the VC10 aircraft being pieced together at RAF Museum Cosford has finally been completed. The striking aircraft will now go on display to the public. Final work to attach the starboard outer wing has been completed and the plane has been moved into its display position, according to those behind the project.
The giant aircraft arrived in pieces at the museum in June from Bruntingthorpe airfield in Leicestershire after a 70-mile trip along the M6 and M54 and through the middle of Shifnal. Since the arrival of the VC10, serial number XR808, the rear fuselage along with the outer wings, fin, tail plane and engines have all been carefully refitted onto the aircraft in the rebuild area directly outside the Museum’s Hangar 1
The plane, which saw 49 years of service, is now ready to go on display next to the Lockheed Hercules C130K Mk3 at the museum. The dismantling, transporting and rebuild process was carried out by GJD Services, a specialist maintenance and aircraft salvage company based at Bruntingthorpe.
Ian Thirsk, head of collections at RAF Museum Cosford, said: “The VC10 is an icon of the British aviation industry and one of the most significant aircraft types ever to serve with the Royal Air Force. We are delighted to have XR808 on public display at Cosford and indebted to GJD Services for all their dedication and professionalism in making this a reality. BAE Systems Heritage and the RAF Charitable Trust have also played a crucial part in making this project possible and we thank them for their continued support.”
The aircraft was originally designed and built by Vickers-Armstrong and then later by the British Aircraft Corporation. The aircraft’s first flight was recorded on June 9 1966, and its first ever overseas flight from RAF Lyneham to Hong Kong took place in August that year. It was renamed the Kenneth Campbell as part of a policy to call all 14 RAF VC10s after RFC and RAF holders of the Victorian Cross on November 1968.
The dual-role aircraft enabled the rapid deployment of troops and their weaponry and fast jet aircraft to many theatres of operations around the world and proved one of the RAF’s most significant assets for nearly 50 years.
For further information visit the museum’s website www.rafmuseum.org/cosford or call (01902) 376200. the museum is open daily from 10am and entry to the museum is free of charge.
From: David Powell, Princes Risborough Sent: 17 November 2015 6:36 Subject: SEALED ORDERS
Although not an F Team tale, the following forms part of the Abingdon story and may not be known to some of our newer members. Needless to say, because of the sensitivity of the tale, and the possibility of historical incident police interest, the names of team and its members have been redacted.
Late one afternoon, the duty high-readiness alert Abingdon team was deployed to an important Transport Command airfield for a classified operation. All they could be told was ‘Europe; one week, and take civilian kit.’
On arrival at a well-known airfield on a large island in the Eastern Med, the task was briefed. The operation was a humanitarian aid task delivering much needed supplies into Jordan. Their Hercules and its crew, including the MAMS team was being ‘borrowed’ by the Red Cross. The RAF markings were being over-painted with ‘Red Cross’ markings and the crew and support would wear civilian clothes.
It was at this point that the MAMS team leader realised that in the rush to deploy he had forgotten to pack any civilian kit. However, the base supply organisation sprang into action to meet the challenge.
Unfortunately all they could produce in the time available which was an approximation of civilian dress were Physical Training Instructor (PTI) plimsolls and black slacks and a cook’s white top.
David Powell F Team UK MAMS 1967-69
The MAMS team were sworn to secrecy over the ‘incident and its solution’. However, the cover was blown when the following evening’s BBC TV News included an item on the Red Cross Airlift and we were treated to the sight of the ramp of the Herc opening to reveal a group of Red Cross civilian operatives led by what appeared to be an individual dressed as a penguin on his way to a fancy dress ball!
From: Anthony Fowler, Barnard Castle, County Durham Sent: 23 November 2015 4:07 Subject: Movopoly Board
It’s clear the trade has a great imagination!
What I’m looking for is your input to create a Movers' Trade Monopoly board called MOVOPOLY, it’s just a bit of fun… some of you will know I have done this before and it's displayed on a particular mess wall.
With your help I’m looking for suggestions to make up the CHANCE cards, COMMUNITY CHEST (Portable scales) cards and rules of the game.
If I have missed any locations out that you want incorporated let me know. I hope I have covered ‘most’ places.
RAAF C-17A Globemaster III Mission to Antarctica
The Australian Antarctic Division and Royal Australian Air Force have successfully flown a joint operational mission to East Antarctica, with a C-17A Globemaster III delivering heavy lift cargo to Wilkins Aerodrome in support of the Australian Antarctic programme.
The C-17A flew the 3450km in about 5 hours, landing at Wilkins Aerodrome near Casey station at 3:00pm local time yesterday where it unloaded 12340 kg of cargo, including a brand new Hägglunds, a dual cab vehicle that operates over snow and ice terrain and is used to transport personnel and equipment in and around Antarctic stations.
The flight is one in a series of proof of concept flights being trialled by the Royal Australian Air Force and Australian Antarctic Division, with the remaining flights scheduled to take place between November 2015 and February 2016.
Minister for the Environment, Greg Hunt, said the use of the C-17A offers a significant enhancement to the Australian Antarctic Division’s logistical and scientific capabilities.
“The flights offer invaluable experience and capability enhancements to the Air Force, including the opportunity to further test the use of C-17As in challenging conditions, while also supporting Australia’s operations in Antarctica.”
“Whilst on the ground at Wilkins, the Royal Australian Air Force conducted a simulated aeromedical evacuation that could provide further options for the Royal Australian Air Force and the Australian Antarctic Division to work together in the future.”
Following the proof of concept flights, a full review will be undertaken by the Australian Antarctic Division and the Air Force.
“The C-17A is the largest aircraft to have flown to Wilkins Aerodrome in Antarctica, and it offers an unprecedented cargo capability that complements the Division’s existing transport options,” Minister Hut said. “It can fly at speeds of up to 830 kilometres per hour to a distance of up to 10,000 kilometres. The C-17A flew round trip to the ice from Hobart International Airport, further entrenching Tasmania’s role as a global gateway to Antarctica. Whilst this is a first for the Royal Australian Air Force, other countries including the United States regularly use military assets to assist with Antarctic logistics and I am confident Australia can do the same. The C-17A will supplement the Australian Antarctic Division’s current Airbus A319 operations, with a focus on heavy, oversized cargo.”
Minister for Defence Materiel and Science, Mal Brough, said the flights could benefit both the Air Force and Australian Antarctic Division in the future. “The Air Force has worked closely with Australian Antarctic Division on this concept, with a heavy-aviation capability identified as an important capability in the 20 Year Australian Antarctic Strategic Plan report, commissioned by Government in 2013” Minister Brough said. “The C-17A is able to transport loads weighing over 70 tonnes and combined with its ability to be able to land on short, semi prepared runways makes it exceptionally well suited to being able to support these kinds of operations.”
From: Ian Place, Meanwood, West Yorks Sent: 18 November 2015 5:21 Subject: Magical Mystery Tour
The only story I can recall is Hotel Team took a magical trip to Trinidad and Tobago Piarco Airport on the 22nd October 1975.
We set off on Belfast XR364, Task 9261, planned Brize-Lajes (the Azores) onwards direct Piarco with a frigate engine which was boxed and took up the whole of the cargo deck. After our night stop in the Azores, the captain (Flt Lt Bevan), announced we were diverted to Bermuda where we spent an agreeable night in the Holiday Inn.
When we arrived in Piarco the local handling agent told us they only had a small flatbed truck to load this huge engine on. After an hour of pushing and shoving the poor flatbed sank low onto the ground with the weight of the frigate engine. In true MAMS fashion we decided we had completed our task and departed downtown to the nearest bar.
On the return it took us 9 hrs and 35 mins Piarco to Lajes and after night stopping an additional 4 hrs 35 mins Lajes to Brize; no jet setting pace in those days especially on the good old Belslow.
From: John (Hoss) Wall, Fairford, Glos Sent: 21 November 2015 18:31 Subject: RAF Movements Top Table
The Annual Movers Top Table took place at Brize Norton on 20th November. There were 113 in attendance with the following being dined out:
1. SL Ken Felton
2. WO Steve Walke
3. WO Chez Cherry
4. FS Duncan Metcalfe
5. FS Kev Rockett
6. FS Steve Fiddes
7. Sgt Steve Wright
8. Sgt Phil Taylor
During the course of the evening a total of £710 was raised for the RAF Benevolent Fund.
Everybody I've spoken with says it was a great event. It's always good to catch up with so many Movers, both old and new.
This story is more to do with in-flight drinks. As you know smoking was alright on R.A.F. aircraft but alcohol was banned. Jack Murray and I were in the habit of having a small flask of brandy with us to improve the taste of the paper cup coffee that was served. We giggled when A.Q.M. Voss (who now lives in my home town) walked up and down his Britannia aisle with nose twitching trying to work out what the strange smell was.
My other story concerns an unnamed sergeant on UKMAMS who complained that his coffee had no sugar, only to be told that the coffee was in fact Mulligatawny soup (a/c then rocked with laughter). He was mechanically inept also,the chain came off his bike and he pushed it across the airfield to find someone to put it back on. Also,was he the one who lost a trailer off of his Landrover on the Bicester Road?
Taff Price (UKMAMS 66/70)
From: Mike Stepney, Glasgow Sent: 23 November 2015 12:29 Subject: Khormaksar, Aden
Have a look at Khormaksar, Aden, on Google Earth. Most old and bold movers spent some time in this theatre and it's interesting to see what the place looks like now.
Also looks like the West's military are back; I spot two Chinooks, four Black Hawks and four Apaches - so could be the US or Saudi using the base for strikes into Yemen.
(For those without the Google Earth application on their computer, you can get there via the OBA Earth at http://batchgeo.com/map/oba_earth click on the Map drop arrow at the top right and select "Satellite" as your view. Use your mouse wheel to zoom in and out.)
For comparison - circa 2011 - the unpacking of a UK 1 Day 10 Man Ration Pack Menu B
From: Len Bowen, Chisholm, ACT Sent: 24 November 2015 20:17 Subject: Inflight Catering
1) The Worst (Eventually). MAMS Team, late 1966, stuck on a hill-top in Borneo, lifting out a radar head at the end of Confrontation. Rations were the usual 10 man/24hr rat packs, some of which had good menus (all things are subjective, particularly when you are hungry), and some were... less good.
Favorite was Menu Y, which had chicken supreme as the main meal, so we were happy when Jock, our Glaswegian champion eater and therefor self-appointed cook, as he was unpacking the gear, including six days' rations, from the sling net that the Belvedere chopper had dropped to us called out "Hey youse, we're right, we ha' a Menu Y ..oh, no, great, we've got two Menu Y .... err, three Menu Y..." At this point his voice and his enthusiasm tailed off somewhat. Yep; six days, six Menu Y.
You would not believe how sick one can become of chicken supreme after just four days. By day five we were trying to curry it. By day Six we were washing off the supreme sauce and trying to fry the residual chicken. It was still chicken supreme.
It was about fifteen years, a change of country and a change of Air Force before I could come at chicken supreme again!
2) The Best. MATU ALT1. Deploying by RAAF B707 to Johannesburg for OP DAMON, the redeployment of the Commonwealth Cease Fire Monitoring Team from Rhodesia/Zimbabwe following Zimbabwe gaining independence.
The B707 had then been in RAAF service for less than a year, so we were operating out of Perth International Airport, rather than RAAF Base Pearce, which at that time had no GSE or other handling aids capable of supporting B707 ops.
Now I don't know how it was arranged, or who paid the bill, but on the 11 hr 20 Perth to Jo'berg leg we had the full QANTAS Silver Service in-flight catering for the whole crew and my MATU Team - the only PAX down the back. We had been pleasantly surprised the night before when the skipper, FLTLT Dick (?) Chenery, said that we could have Eric the Eski upstairs in the cabin, as long as we stuck to "...bottled wine only" - BYO was and still is normally unheard of on RAAF aircraft.
We found out why when the entre of West Australian Marron (for our overseas readers, that's Australia's prime top No 1 cray fish at its very very best) was served on china plates with a full avocado side-salad, and the meal improved thereafter. I can't recall the full 'entre to cheese plate & nut' menu, but by the time we reached Jo'berg even Macca McLaren, the team gastronome, was replete with great food and a couple or glasses - or three - of Margaret River wine.
One hell of a contrast with our five day return journey to Richmond in three Hercs, with fifty odd Fijian and 60 odd Kiwi troops fresh from six months in the bush ... but that's another story.
Keep up the good work,
This issue is dedicated to the memory of Rick Holland RCAF