An RAF C-17 Globemaster transport aircraft has taken off from RAF Brize Norton bound for the Philippines disaster zone.
It is delivering emergency supplies from the Department for International Development, including four-wheel drive vehicles to help distribute aid, as well as JCB’s to clear debris and much needed emergency medical supplies.
The C-17 has a range of more than 4,500 nautical miles, meaning it can fly directly to the Middle East before making a brief stop before the last leg of its journey to the Far East.
Gp Capt Stephen Lushington, RAF Brize Norton Station Commander said: “Since being brought into service the C-17 has provided a step change in the Royal Air Force’s Air Mobility capability.
“As well as being deployed around the world supporting UK operations it continues to demonstrate its utility in providing swift humanitarian and disaster relied assistance, demonstrating speed, reach and flexibility in getting what is needed to where it is needed.
“I am immensely proud of the contribution that Royal Air Force Brize Norton personnel are making to the relief effort in the Far East; the RAF will remain on call to support UK relief efforts whenever required.”
The Secretary of State for International Development Justine Greening said: “Britain’s deployment of the RAF Boeing C-17 is a huge boost in our ability to get large amounts of kit and aid over to the people of the Philippines almost 7,000 miles away.
“Its first flight from RAF Brize Norton is a vital part of our efforts there, delivering JCB fork lifts and diggers, 4x4 Land Rovers, cutting and other equipment to help reopen roads and clear the way to hard-to-reach areas.
“This C-17 flight is one of a raft of shipments this week delivering DFID-funded food, water, shelter, medicine and other bare essentials to where they are needed.”
From: Glen Falardeau, Devon, AB Sent: Thursday, October 24, 2013 5:44 PM Subject: Re: UKMAMS OBA OBB #102513
I just wanted to take the time to thank you for yet another, and as always, very entertaining issue of the UKMAMS OBA.
Keep up the excellent work and thanks again for continuing the tradition, the memories live long indeed because of people like you.
As a side note, a UK Supply Tech with whom I got very well acquainted, along with his family, found me via your website. Our short but secure friendship was sealed early on at RAF Akrotiri during the first Gulf War. Then, being busy that were, we went our own ways and lost contact for all these years. That was until about 3 months ago while he was searching for me, and what better place to find me than on the OBA!
New Zealand aid arrives in Philippines
New Zealand's humanitarian mission has touched down in the Philippines with the arrival of an RNZAF Hercules aircraft.
The C-130 landed in the Philippines carrying 5.6 tonnes of aid and disaster relief supplies to help victims of Typhoon Haiyan.
"We have brought 1,500 collapsible water bottles, 12 chainsaw packs, four generators and 800 tarpaulins for shelter to people who have their homes damaged or destroyed,'' said Squadron Leader Steve Thornley, who heads the 24-member detachment from 40 Squadron.
"Our priority is to support the efforts by the Philippines Government and international community to provide aid and shelter to those hardest hit by the typhoon.''
The aircraft is scheduled to return to Darwin to pick up a further four tonnes of emergency supplies including tents, tarpaulins, water containers and face masks, before continuing to assist with internal aid distribution.
The C-130 will form part of a multi-national pool of transport aircraft that will help deliver aid to the typhoon-ravaged areas of the Philippines, Squadron Leader Thornley said. It will operate out of the logistics hub that has been set up at the Cebu international airport in the central Philippines.
The island provinces of Leyte and Samar bore the brunt of the storm and its aftermath. Many of the roads have been blocked by fallen trees and debris, hampering distribution of aid.
The New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade is co-ordinating the Government's response to the devastation. Earlier this week, the New Zealand Government pledged $2.15 million for disaster relief efforts.
From: Jack Riley, Hervey Bay, QLD Sent: Thursday, October 24, 2013 7:55 PM Subject: Briefs
I have just finished enjoying another great Brief. I don’t know where you collect all the goodies from but you do us all proud.
Once again Sam Mold comes up with some interesting stuff. My doesn’t he look young and sparky …. must be the sea air !
Just to clear up a few odds and ends ( although why anyone else would be mildly interested escapes me ) in 1949 I was a shift officer at Passenger and Freight Section Changi having got back to UK after my wartime and post war tour in Burma in mid-1947.At the end of the Changi tour I was sent back to Burma and did another tour there as Air Movements Adviser to the Burma Air Force with the British Services Mission to Burma. The late fifties saw me back in Changi, this time at HQ FEAF. My fifth and final tour was spent in Aden on the Joint Movement Planning Staff which oversaw MAMS operations in the Middle East and down into East Africa.
The second GSM to which Sam refers is Radfan and South Arabia. He will be pleased to know that the Malaysian Consulate duly came up with a PJM which the “enlightened “ Australian and New Zealand Governments have always allowed to be worn in its proper place. I just haven’t got around to tacking it onto the bar yet !
Go well all
Canadian Aid to Philippines Continues
A Royal Canadian Air Force CC-150 Polaris aircraft with members of the Canadian Armed Forces Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) onboard arrives in Iloilo city airport during Operation RENAISSANCE, in Iloilo city, Philippines on November 16, 2013.
Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) will deploy three CH-146 Griffon helicopters and aircrew to further support the Government of Canada’s humanitarian assistance and relief efforts in the Philippines.
Two of the three aircraft are scheduled to deploy from Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Trenton aboard a CC-177 Globemaster III.
"The Government of Canada and all Canadians are committed to helping relief and stabilization efforts in the Philippines," said Minister of National Defence Rob Nicholson. "These helicopters will provide the Disaster Assistance Response Team with additional means to reach and help those who desperately need our assistance."
Two of three CH-146 Griffon search and rescue tactical helicopters destined for Roxas, Philippines, took off for the typhoon-devastated region aboard a C-17 Globemaster cargo aircraft Sunday afternoon.
Maj. Richard Langlois, public affairs officer with 1st Canadian Air Division at CFB Kingston, said two choppers came from 3 Wing/CFB Bagotville, Que., and the other is from CFB Borden, Ont.
"The air crew that will be flying them in the Philippines are from 408 Tactical Helicopter Squadron at CFB Edmonton," he said, while crews from Trenton's 2 Air Movements Squadron CFB Borden's and 400 Squadron hitched and secured the first army-coloured helicopter in the cargo aircraft.
"The third helicopter will be shipped out sometime during this week. It depends on what priority we're receiving every day from the theatre (in Philippines)," he said.
Langlois noted the C-17 with its two choppers and 49 helicopter air crew and maintenance personnel on board left Trenton around 3 p.m. "They are heading to the Philippines right away, but there will be two layovers, likely in Alaska and then in Hawaii," he said.
Once in theatre, the three helicopters will be used to reach remotes areas throughout the country's numerous islands hit by Typhoon Haiyan in order to assess "immediate" needs.
"These will be used to conduct reconnaissance flights so we can evaluate our activities over there. We are also going to start doing basic medical aid in those areas, up until we can actually travel by road," Langlois said.
Sunday's cargo flight occurred on the sixth day of Canada's relief mission, Operation Renaissance 13-1, in the Philippines.
NetNewsLedger & TorontoSun
From: Fred Hebb, Gold River, NS Sent: Thursday, October 24, 2013 8:48 PM Subject: RCAF Mystery Photo #102513
The mystery photo in the last newsletter was that of a reunion for the Western part of Canada's Traffic Techs. I recognized quite a few of the old folk in the picture but not all. Thanks again and have a wonderful week. Fred Hebb
From: Don Lloyd, Calgary, AB
Sent: Thursday, October 24, 2013 11:08 PM
Subject: RCAF Mystery Photo #102513
Good Evening Tony,
In ref. to the RCAF mystery photo, I am the guy in the
green 435 Sqn ball cap.
I'll let someone who was not there maybe take a guess at
Cheers for now
Royal Australian Air Force Delivers the Goods
Following a request for support from the Philippines Government and commitment from the Australian Government to provide assistance, Defence has established OPERATION PHILIPPINES ASSIST to support international Humanitarian and Disaster Relief (HADR) operations in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan.
A Royal Australian Air Force C-17A Globemaster along with a C-130J Hercules departed Darwin on Wednesday 13 November to support the deployment of a civilian Australian Medical Assistance Team (AusMAT), provided by the Department of Health.
The two heavy lift aircraft transported the 36 strong civilian AusMAT and some 22 tonnes of associated equipment.
OPERATION PHILIPPINES ASSIST has also been supported by a RAAF Mobile Air Load Team (MALT), and an Aircraft Security Operations Team. These personnel were responsible for enabling the delivery of the medical specialists and their equipment to the Philippines.
Thanks for the latest - always good to receive. The RNZAF photo is of one of two HN90s arriving and being off loaded from an Antonov AN124 in July this year at RNZAF Base Ohakea... and if I didn't get this right I'd be shot!!
Take care all
Davey (Ex Trade Group 18b Movers Career Manager)
David Jones Director Coordination Office of Deputy Chief of Air Force Royal New Zealand Air Force
RAF delivers more supplies to the Philippines
RAF aircraft are continuing to fly missions to deliver much-needed humanitarian aid from the Department for International Development around the islands, with the C-17 landing at Cebu Airport at 5pm local time (9am GMT) on Saturday, 23 November 2013.
The UK’s International Development Secretary, Justine Greening, flew from Malaysia to Cebu with the C-17 crew and was on-hand to observe the delivery of the vital equipment to enable relief efforts.
The loads delivered so far by the C-17 and the C-130 Hercules aircraft include 4x4 vehicles, forklift trucks and diggers, as well as life-saving supplies such as temporary shelters, blankets and water purification tablets.
The C-17’s ability to fly long distances and land in remote regions makes it a premier transporter for military, humanitarian and peacekeeping missions, while the Hercules can use short runways and unload at locations without cargo-handling equipment. In the Philippines, this means it can move significant quantities of aid from Cebu to small, basic airfields.
From: Bruce Oram, Alicante Sent: Sunday, October 27, 2013 8:22 AM Subject: Who is this?
Can you help? The guy in the photo was at Fairford with me 1967 - 68, his surname was Gough.
The car was his pride and joy and it is seen parked in one of the hangars at South Cerney where we were accommodated.
Cheers the noo
From: Steve Richardson, Trenton, ON Sent: Sunday, October 27, 2013 9:03 PM Subject: RCAF Mystery Photo 102513
This photo depicts the Western Area Gathering of Traffic Techs and Movers. I am not sure if the photo was taken in Vernon, BC or Edmonton, Alberta. Anyways, here we go and it has been a long time since I seen these faces...
First Row Kneeling (left to right) - Fritz Von Kaitz, Shawn Larson
Second Row Standing (left to right)- Rick Grinham, Earle Dawson, Don Lloyd with old 435 Squadron ball cap, Unknown, Dan Varty with beer bottle, Ed Forrestall, Clay Leblanc with red "Remove before Flight" tee-shirt., Unknown
Alenia Aermacchi completes assembly of C-27J for Australia
The first of 10 C-27J tactical transport aircraft for the Royal Australian Air Force has been assembled by Italy's Alenia Aermacchi.
The twin-engine turboprop was built under contract to L-3 Communications of the United States for a U.S. Foreign Military Sales deal.
The C-27J Spartan is medium-sized airlifter with a range of 1,151 miles with a 22,000 pound payload. It has a service ceiling of 30,000 feet and a cruising speed of 362 mph.
Alenia Aermacchi said assembly of the aircraft involved joining wing structures to the fuselage and attaching engines, landing gear and other major components to the aircraft.
The work was performed at its Turin facility. Other equipment installations are now taking place and the aircraft will undergo functional testing prior to delivery.
The aircraft is scheduled to be delivered to L-3 Communications for Australia early next year.
Back row- 2nd left - Alan Warwick-Moore, 4th left "Skol" Scholfield and 4th right my footballing mate the late D.J.Cromb.
Dave and I spent two weeks backpacking round Israel in 1970, just before I left Akrotiri. When we hitched down to Eilat on the Red Sea, we got there late at night but in time for a jug (or three). By the time we got to the Youth(?) Hostel it was full so we spent an age walking round Eilat looking for somewhere to sleep.
Finally, about 1.00 a.m., Dave said "That's it I've had enough" and got his sleeping bag out and stretched out under a tree, so I did likewise. When we woke up we found we had been sleeping in the City tip, rats and all. I didn't let him forget it!
End of the road for the RAF's C-130K's
The UK's Royal Air Force recently retired the last of its 1960's vintage early C-130 models. Six of these found their way to Hixon airfield in
Staffordshire, where this week they formed part of an auction.
The auction attracted bidders from overseas and featured 30 Westland Lynx helicopters formerly with the UK's navy and army, as well as the C-
130s, an F-4 and a handful of Sea King helicopters.
From: Charles Collier, Ewhurst Sent: Wednesday, October 30, 2013 5:45 PM Subject: RAF Mystery Photo 102513
Al Stacey, who was kind enough to provide the picture, tells us it was taken at Mombasa during the Somalian airlift. He added, "It’s not often the Americans need to borrow off us Brits!"
Retirement - WO Ken Booth - Traffic Technician
WO Ken Booth is retiring from the Reserve Force in December 2013 after more than 38 years of loyal and dedicated service to Canada.
Ken joined the Canadian Forces in 1972 as a Traffic Technician. After completing basic training in Cornwallis he moved on to Borden to become QL 3 qualified.
He was then posted to 2 AMU Trenton where he performed functions such as Linecrew, Passenger Check-In and CMTT.
He was then posted to Vancouver for a year and decided to retire from the military and take a job with the BC Railway.
In 1978 Ken returned to the Canadian Forces again as a Traffic Technician back in Trenton. He was promoted to MCPL in 1983 and started his flying career as a Loadmaster at 436(T) Squadron.
In 1989 Ken was promoted to SGT and was posted to CFB Lahr as the Protocol Officer until 1992. He then did a year at Base Traffic in Lahr before getting promoted and going flying again at 429 Squadron in Trenton.
Recognizing his experience and dedication, he was then posted to the school of higher learning as the Deputy Check Loadmaster Instructor at 426 Squadron. In 2000 Ken was sent to the Standards Cell at 426 Squadron for two years where he completed his career in the regular force.
In 2002 Ken joined the Reserves and was able to mentor and share his experiences with all the young and upcoming Loadmasters.
In September 2007 Ken moved over to TRSET where once again he was able to share his expertise and opinions which proved to be invaluable.
Ken thanks all his colleagues and friends for their support and assistance over the years. Ken will be retiring in the local area, he plans to spend a lot of his time working around the house in Stirling with his wife Pam and to continue spoiling his grandchildren.
A retirement luncheon is planned for 1130 hrs on Friday,13 December at the Boathouse in Belleville. For final co-ord details, retirement wishes, anecdotes or congratulatory messages, please contact:
From: Charles Cormack, Lyneham Village Sent: Saturday, November 02, 2013 8:15 AM Subject: MAMS Early Years
Having read Jimmie Durkin’s letter in the last OBA reference the formation of MAMS at Abingdon, I can add a few bits from 1962 onwards.
My first encounter with MAMS was in 1962 whilst I was at JATNE Nicosia in Cyprus and a team came through on their way to India on Britannias on Operation Beleraphon, which I believe was related to the India/Pakistan confrontation.
Some of the team members were Bill Sheehan, Alan Martin, Percival Sandiford and Johnny Kelly and was headed by a Flt Lt Clarke (who, I believe, had a permanent bottle of whiskey in his nav bag!).
I was involved in the evacuation in 1964 when I was detached from Nicosia to Akrotiri to assist the MAMS team there and it was most of the aforementioned people again.
On posting to Abingdon in August 1964, I joined MAMS who were then located in two offices in the cargo hangar. The officers were Gordon Spiers, Pat Shrimpton and Dave Stevens with NCOs Paddy Guering, John O'Reagan and Baz Hughes. The only others I can remember from that time are Graeham Gibson and Tony Singleton and there was a total of 3 teams if we were lucky. We were often supplemented by Station Movers.
It was with the assistance of the Station Movers that we were able to start the oil lift to Zambia in December 1965 with such stalwarts as Bill Martin, Stan Brown and Mick Moffatt, to name but a few, and kept the lift going till the reforce came along. Stan, I remember, got a set of steps blown over on him by a Britannia in Dar-Es-Salaam.
Chas p.s. I forgot some names from ’64 - Arthur Rowland, Derek Clayton and the late Peter Underwood. I suppose it is nearly 50 years ago...
Russia’s Airbase Requests in Cyprus Causes Conflict with U.S.
The airbase “Andreas Papandreou” (PFO) has become the centre of a diplomatic conflict between the United States and Russia. The Cypriot government which is being pushed to provide a solution that will satisfy both sides, is in the middle of the conflict, and every decision is likely to create problems in its relationship with either the one country or the other.
According to Sigma Live, the conflict began when the Russian government asked the Cyprus military facilities to rent the airbase. The Cypriot government replied that it can concede facilities, but it will be difficult to satisfy the request of Russia to rent the airbase.
The American’s were informed of Russia’s request, and made it clear to the Cypriot government that they strongly disagree. When the Cypriot government reminded the U.S. that Russia constantly supports Cyprus in security and financial issues, the United States replied that “Cyprus is also under the American influence."
It is obvious that the Cypriot government is in the middle of a conflict that is likely to affect its relations with the two countries. Trying to keep the balance is difficult. The satisfaction of either the one country or the other can deprive Cyprus from political and economic support.
The Defence Minister of the Republic of Cyprus reported that he doesn’t want to go into detail about such serious and sensitive issues related to Cyprus foreign policy. He added that “Cyprus will make the right decision, always taking into account the national interest of the country.”
He said that “what is important is that Cyprus is emerging strategically and geopolitically and its stabilizing role is highlighted.”
As the Minister stated, Russia is always supporting the country on many issues. Cyprus has a good relationship with Russia, the U.S., as well as with other neighboring countries. However, only the Cypriot government can’t make a decision upon this matter.
From: Syd Avery, Guardamar, Alicante Sent: Thursday, November 14, 2013 5:52 AM Subject: Brit has aviation gas in his blood Hi, Tony,
Thought I’d share an article with the members that appeared in the Columbia Basin Herald back in 2001.
Regrettably I don’t have many pictures, Most of them were on a laptop I had stolen from me during an early morning attempted "armed" robbery outside my house in Luton. They thought they had the $250,000 I was carrying, but that was still inside the house. It was a set-up, someone in the company passed the info on, but we could never prove it although all the evidence pointed to the culprit. Nevertheless, enjoy...
Brit has aviation gas in his blood
The name is Avery. Syd Avery. And like the James Bond character created by the late Ian Fleming and made popular in the movies by actors Sean Connery, Roger Moore and Pierce Brosnan, Avery travels the globe visiting exotic, and sometimes not so exotic places.
His mode of travel, unlike Bond, is not an Aston Martin DB5, but rather one of the largest aircraft in the sky - the Antonov AN- 124.
For the past six years, Avery has served as flight manager for Air Foyle Limited and Antonov Design Bureau. Instead of a Walther PPK 9mm, Avery packs a wallet. “I’m responsible for making sure everything works” Avery said. “I pay the bills and most importantly I pay the allowances of the crew.”
The six member flight crew Avery referred to are all Ukranians who carefully navigate the four engine craft from airport to airport and continent to continent with loads of helicopters, satellites, engine armatures or the two GE10 combustion turbines they flew into Grant County International Airport with on Independence Day.
Avery is the only Brit on board. Though most of the time he’s able to maintain a stiff upper lip, Avery admits he was a bit disappointed recently when his company was underbid by another to fly the damaged USN surveillance plane from China back to the United States. “When that actually happened I was in Seoul” Avery said. We were told, “Wait there because you’re probably going down to Hainan to pick up this P-3”. “The Navy people at the Department of Defense said give us a feasibility study and a price. Unfortunately another company put in a cheaper price and they got it. It’s ironic that the former Soviet Union, one of their aeroplanes, came to the rescue of the United States Navy. We do a lot of work for the DoD anyway.”
The Antonov Avery flies on, incidentally numbered “007”, cruises at an altitude of approximately 35,000 feet and at an airspeed of about 409 knots. The maximum cruising speed is listed at 537 miles per hour and totally devoid of fuel and cargo, it weighs in at 385,000 pounds or 175,000 kilograms. Its gas tank is massive and the Antonov is not an economy plane. “It can hold about 215 tons of fuel. That’s 70,000 gallons”, Avery said. “ To get from here to Minneapolis, we used about 75 tons or 22,000 gallons. Aviation fuel costs about $290 a ton.” If you calculate that out, you’ll know just how deep Avery’s pockets are.
Antonov manufactures the jets in the Ukraine, along with busses. In between, the company manages a pig farm, Avery said. “They produce some of the sweetest pork I’ve tasted in my life”, Avery said, adding that one of the flight crew loves to cook, and for that the entire flight deck is happy and well fed.
Well, it seems pretty obvious what is going on here - its a prop change on a USAF C-130 parked at an RAF base but using the Movers FLT to take the weight of the prop.
Further than that I cannot add!
All the best
Avery said he’s not sure at this point where the Antonov will go next. “Its difficult to say once we leave,” Avery said, noting home is London’s Luton Airport. “We know what our first job is going to be when we leave base. “But after that, it’s the luck of the draw really. You can have a run of good trips like we have or you can end up with some real dog ones, like going down into Africa five or six times”.
The Antonov AN-124 has a larger brother, the AN-225 with six engines, Avery said. “We have one of those, it’s the only one in the World but there is one on the production line still. It should be operational in September or October.”
Though he is married and away from home 240 to 300 days of the year (when asked to name his home he replied, “Samsonite”).
Avery said he wouldn’t trade his job for anything and could not even think of life in another endeavour. “I honestly don’t know” Avery admitted. “I’ve been doing similar jobs since 1969.
I couldn’t go back to a nine to five regime. It would kill me. I’m 58 years old. I’m hoping I should be able to last out for the next five or seven years until its time for me to retire. I will be a happy man knowing that what I’ve done, I’ve enjoyed it."
Boeing Delivers C-17 Cargo Compartment Trainer to Royal Australian Air Force
BRISBANE, Australia, Nov. 26, 2013 -- Boeing has delivered a full-scale C-17 Globemaster III Cargo Compartment Trainer (CCT) to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), ensuring that RAAF loadmaster training can be cost-effectively completed in Australia instead of in the United States.
The CCT is a fully functional replica of a C-17 fuselage in a dedicated facility at RAAF Base Amberley. It can realistically simulate both day and night operating and loading conditions for loadmaster, aeromedical evacuation and aeromedical specialist training.
The facility at Amberley also includes classrooms, loading vehicles, simulated cargo and other training assets. It is the third operational Boeing C-17 CCT; the two others are located at Altus Air Force Base in the United States.
“Much like the real C-17A, the CCT can accommodate payloads ranging from 18 pallets of cargo to helicopters and an M1A1 Abrams tank,” said Warren King, CEO of the Defence Material Organisation, whose AIR 8000 project team was responsible for the trainer’s acquisition.
The CCT can also be used for load clearance and engineering assessment trials.
"The C-17 program has delivered a substantial capability to Australia; this CCT represents the final component of that program," said GPCAPT Warren Bishop, Air 8000 program director. "It will add significant value to the RAAF, providing the capability to train pilots and loadmasters in Australia."
The RAAF operates six Boeing-built C-17s that support military, humanitarian assistance and peacekeeping missions around the world.
aviation.ca / australianaviation.com
From: Keith Parker, Bowerhill Sent: Friday, November 15, 2013 1:46 PM Subject: Very Good News
Some good news for a change! I heard from Gus Cobb last night; he had just come back from hospital after seeing the Oncologist and they were very pleased to tell him the chemo has shrunk the cancer and is working well. Gus will be still receiving chemo but at least he knows it is helping. He sounded so relieved he knows it's not the end and it will help his life much more. He asked to thank all the guys who sent their best wishes -- it helped greatly.
Cheers for now
Auster Brought Home To Canada - Move Courtesy of RCAF C-130J
A vintage Auster Mark V, tail number TJ398, from the Second World War took to the skies for one last flight, only this time as cargo. The Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) and The Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery joined forces to bring an important part of Canada’s military history to Canadian soil, echoing a storied past.
While returning home from a mission in Italy, a CC-130J Hercules met the Auster Mark V at Royal Air Force Base Brize Norton in Oxfordshire, United Kingdom, where it was carefully loaded by RCAF traffic technicians for its final flight over the Atlantic Ocean to 8 Wing Trenton, Ontario, on September 30.
To complete the journey, the Auster Mark V was loaded in a Canadian Armed Forces transport truck for delivery to its final home at the National Artillery Museum at Canadian Forces Base Shilo, Manitoba, on October 5.
From: John Holloway, Shrewsbury Sent: Sunday, November 17, 2013 5:06 PM Subject: NSRAFA Cosford and RAF Mauripur re-union
Our meeting last Tuesday was our last one to be held this year and our last at our present venue; a pub just a few miles from RAF Cosford. Our first meeting to be held in January will be on the base at RAF Cosford.
Our guest speaker was John Parson, born in Liverpool, who spent his youth having been evacuated to Anglsea away from the German raids on Merseyside.
He received his call-up papers in May1949 and, after being kitted out at Padgate, went through basic training at Bridgnorth. At the end of his eight weeks at Bridgnorth he was posted to RAF Watton, described then as a Radio War Establishment, where he was involved in the calibration of our air defence system.
He had many flights in a Lincoln bomber trying to infiltrate our defences undetected. He said his favourite part of the flight was laying in the bomb aimers position in the nose whilst they were flying almost at sea level approaching the Norfolk coast.
Thursday, Friday and Saturday the RAF Mauripur Association annual get-together was held at Stratford on Avon. This was our eighteenth meeting and I was reminded of the fact that when we had our first meeting over a hundred members and partners would attend, but this year it was just thirty. I'm one of the youngest at 77, so you can guess what happened to the rest!
On Friday morning all the photos and other items from our archives were laid out to view and then in the afternoon, as he usually does, Dr Chris Morris of the RAF Habbaniya Assocation, entertained us with a film. This particular one was about the laying down of the oil pipeline from Kirkuk to Tripoli in Lebanon and Haifa in Palestine in the 1930's.
He showed us a map of the Mauripur area made in the 1950's then superinposed a Google map over it made in 2005 of Mauripur, Drigh Road and Korangi Creek.
You could see the landing strips and buildings all still there and the piers and slipways at Korangi. When I was there in 1955 half a dozen RNZAF Sunderlands staged thru.
One of my duties on Air Movements was to prepare a signal to be sent to all the staging posts between Lyneham, Kai Tak and Edinburgh Field of all the arrivals and departures. I would get it signed and take it up to the signals hut in the control tower. Why I am telling you this is because we had a new member attend coming all the way from Canberra. It was the same lad that I would give that signal to back in the 50's for onward transmission! He's lived in Aussie since 1969 and it was his first visit to the UK since then.
Hope the foregoing might be of interest
From: Charles Cormack, Lyneham Village Sent: Sunday, November 17, 2013 5:58 AM Subject: Gate Guardian
I just went past what was the main gate at RAF Lyneham to see if the Comet was still there, but they have got fencing up as I think it went for the CHOP during last week.
From what I can glean locally the only bit being saved is the flight deck which I believe has gone to Old Sarum. Chas
From: David Stevens, Bangor Sent: Sunday, November 24, 2013 9:51 AM Subject: Bangor calling
Not yet up to my neck in it but, yes, I will be taking my [Red Cross] team out to the Philippines on or about 10th December - hope to be back home towards the end of January.
All the best for now, David
Nose of RAF Lyneham's Comet Mk2 saved by volunteers
The front 10m (32ft) of a jet that stood outside the former RAF Lyneham airbase in Wiltshire for more than 25 years, has been rescued by volunteers. The nose of the Comet Mk2 was saved by the Boscombe Down Aviation Collection (BDAC) by using the "scrap value" of the back end to fund its removal.
According to former Sqn Ldr John Sharpe, BDAC's project director, it is the only Comet MK2 left in the world. He said: "To get something like this to add to our collection is fantastic."
The De Havilland Comet C2 XK699, named Sagittarius, was unveiled outside the Wiltshire airbase in June 1987 by HRH Princess Anne. But, unlike many of the aircraft used by the Royal Air force as gate guardians, the postwar 'Saggie' aircraft was the real thing.
After the Ministry of Defence closed RAF Lyneham last December, the 30m (98ft) airliner was destined for RAF Museum Cosford in Shropshire. But, according to an RAF spokesman, the tender to dismantle and relocate the jet was cancelled in 2012 as the "level of corrosion" in the fuselage would have made it too expensive. "It had to be moved by the 17 November," said Mr Sharpe. "But with the corrosion problem at the back - it would have been very, very unlikely to have saved the whole airframe. So, we saved as much as we could."
It took museum volunteers just two days to dismantle the historic aircraft and load its front section on to a lorry. But for the "job to be done" Mr Sharpe said part of the plane has "had to be recycled" to pay for the cost of taking it apart and transporting it to Old Sarum.
Now the nose section of the jet can be seen outside the aviation collection near Salisbury and, following "some internal work", will be opened to visitors. "It's such a big lump, it's sitting outside looking out over the airfield," said Mr Sharpe.
"But it is in a relatively good condition - a bit dirty, dusty and mucky but the inside will not give us too many problems. We'll refurbish it in the coming months so visitors can get back in the cockpit."
RAF crew saves crashed pilots in the Philippines
An RAF C-130 Hercules crew delivering aid in the Philippines have helped save 2 helicopter pilots who crashed into the sea off Manila.
Having already completed 2 humanitarian aid flights on Sunday, the Hercules crew from RAF Brize Norton were on their approach to Manila Airport to collect more aid equipment when they heard a Mayday distress call from the civilian pilots.
The RAF C-130 Hercules captain, Flight Lieutenant Jamie Knox, immediately broke off his landing and went to search for the helicopter in distress.
The aircraft’s other pilot, Flight Lieutenant Tom Arnold, said: "It was an instinctive response. When we heard that Mayday we knew we had to do something."
The downed helicopter had reportedly crashed into Manila Bay waters off Bulacan after delivering humanitarian relief goods to Typhoon Haiyan survivors in the Visayas. Its pilots were able to give the RAF Hercules their last known position over the radio, and the C-130 crew headed to that location to begin their search.
Almost as soon as the Hercules reached the crash site, an excited voice on the radio said ‘we can see you’, and the helicopter aircrew directed the search aircraft until the RAF crew spotted the life vests of the 2 helicopter crew members.
The RAF Hercules took on scene command of the rescue efforts, marking the location and flying above the crash scene. Flight Lieutenant Arnold then requested further assistance from Manila air traffic control and the Philippine Coast Guard, whilst reassuring his fellow pilots.
Eventually, a United States Marine Corps (USMC) C-130 Hercules arrived on the scene to assist and was able to drop a life raft for the downed pilots to scramble into.
Flight Lieutenant Arnold could hear over the radio that the aircrew were okay. The RAF C-130 Hercules, call sign ‘PAGASA 47’, which means ‘there is still hope’ in Filipino, remained above the life raft until it spotted a fishing vessel heading towards the 2 survivors. The crew then handed over control to the USMC aircraft and continued to Manila on their humanitarian mission.
Flight Lieutenant Knox said: "Stuff like this doesn’t happen every day. It is fantastic that we were able to help our fellow pilots at the same time as helping the people of the Philippines."
In addition to the C-130, an RAF C-17 Globemaster aircraft and the Royal Navy’s HMS Illustrious are in the Philippines providing aid to the typhoon-hit islands.
From: David Wilkin, Romford Sent: Monday, November 18, 2013 11:46 AM Subject: A Trip Down Memory Lane
I've been converting some of my slides taken in the early 70's. Some real memories here!
UK Shows Interest in Buying Another C17
DUBAI - Britain has added its name to the list of countries vying to get their hands on the last of the Boeing C-17 Globemaster IIIs being produced in Long Beach, Calif., ahead of its closure, according to Defence Ministry sources.
The case for buying what would be the Royal Air Force’s ninth C-17 are set to be discussed by UK defense acquisition approval chiefs in the next few days, they said. The UK has acquired the first eight in a piecemeal fashion since the first four aircraft became operational in 2001 under a lease arrangement.
The upcoming closure of the C-17 assembly line has forced the UK’s hand on deciding whether to buy, as a number of nations are scrambling to purchase machines as white tails and not yet assigned to customers. Until now, most of the nations with extra C-17s on their shopping list were reckoned to be in the Arabian Gulf region.
A purchase by the British would bring the Royal Air Force close to the 10 C-17s it originally said it needed for its airlift requirements.
Boeing didn’t deny the story, but said in a statement, “our customers prefer to make announcements regarding additional orders on their own time table.” The MoD did not respond to requests for comment.
The cash for the British purchase could come from defense budget underspend. At least one previous C-17 purchase has been funded that way.
The addition of a C-17 would boost Air Force airlift assets following the withdrawal from service last month of its C-130K special forces fleet, meaning some of the remaining C-130J aircraft will have to step in to bridge the capability gap. The UK will receive the first of 22 Airbus A400M airlifters next year.
The C-17 fleet has been stretched by the air bridge demands of Afghanistan and elsewhere. This year, two aircraft were diverted from Britain’s withdrawal effort in Afghanistan to provide assistance to French forces deploying to Mali; last week one of the aircraft was in the Philippines delivering aid to victims of the typhoon.
The British decision on whether to vie for another airlifter comes as Boeing executives hint that the eleventh hour demand for airframes may not be entirely met. “I’m concerned about which customer is going to get left out in the cold,” Paul Oliver, Boeing Defense Middle East and Africa regional vice president for business development, said at a briefing on the eve of the Dubai Airshow.
Boeing officials in September said that C-17 production would end in 2015. US Air Force production finished this year. The remaining aircraft are all for international customers. The company is building 13 of the 22 remaining planes on its own dime in anticipation of orders coming through.
The 13 aircraft are “earmarked for three customers,” Oliver said. Some of those aircraft are “being protected for a customer in the [Middle East].” Boeing officials would not say which countries want the aircraft. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates are all said to be interested.
Since Boeing announced it would close the line, existing customers have expressed interest in additional aircraft, Oliver said. That is in addition to the 13 that are earmarked.
Dennis Muilenburg, the president and CEO of Boeing Defense, Space & Security, said a final decision has been made to close the line and dismissed a proposal to buy back the US Air Force’s oldest 20 C-17s in exchange for 20 new, deeply discounted aircraft. “It’s a firm decision,” he said during a discussion with reporters at the Dubai Airshow. “In this environment, those are the kind of decisions we have to make.”
New members who have joined us recenty:
Peter Swallow, Bristol, UK
Colin Lemke, Seaford Rise, South Australia
Welcome to the OBA!
From: David Powell, Princes Risborough Sent: Monday, November 18, 2013 1:03 PM Subject: Re: Inside RAF Brize Norton
Thanks Tony, for the very useful tip about the RAF Brize Norton programmes [“Inside Brize Norton” Sky 1, Thursdays at 8pm], as I am due to take a small group of my Post Graduate Students round Air Cargo in December.
They are studying a Freight Transport Management Module as part of an MSc in Int'l Logistics. That's right - still haven't got round to being properly retired yet, so still wearing my part time university lecturer T-shirt, as well as the occasional railway voice overs and DVD sound editing.
Later this week I have an academic course assessors workshop up at Wolverhampton (with my Association for Project Management cap on!).
RAAF aims to be breastfeeding friendly
The air force is aspiring to become more welcoming to Australian service women by providing breastfeeding facilities.
Squadron Leader Kelley Stewart of Royal Australian Air Force headquarters says it's part of the air force's approach to encouraging and supporting diversity in the workforce. "We understand that supporting our women with this healthy behaviour when they return from maternity leave is a win-win-win situation for the mother, the baby and for the air force," she said in a statement on Thursday.
Breastfeeding Friendly Workplace consultant Virginia Millard said workplaces needed to change. "If we want women to be active participants in the workplace after they have had children, we have to be ready and willing to change the workplace to ensure they can combine their roles as mothers and employees," she said.
From: Andrew Downard, Ballarat, VIC Sent: Saturday, November 23, 2013 12:00 AM Subject: RAF Gan
I came across this Youtube video on RAF Gan recently. I know some of the UKMAMS Old Bods spent time there or passed through so it might be of interest. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JgBvHlrlX0c I and some others in the membership were there when Cyprus blew up [in ‘74] and we were cut off for a while until flights through alternatives to Akrotiri could resume. I don’t recall many tears as reported by the narrator, apart from Tiger Beer induced hangovers!
This issue is dedicated to the memories of Brenda Swaithes and Al Cox