From: Alex Masson, Chelmsford
Sent: Thursday, October 25, 2012 12:35  [Just missed the publication deadline for October's issue]
Subject: Wrapping it up...

Hello Tony,

I am almost back to normal after weeks of collecting for our ‘Wings Appeal’ charity. Still more money coming in – Dinner Dance last weekend raised £500 so we now have more than £12,000.

I find I don’t have enough hours in a day to do all that I need to do. I am still in the middle of my thank you letters to all those who supported us by allowing us to use their premises or who made substantial donations or helped us out in so many other ways like providing us with display boards, posters transport and the like. I feel that I just have to keep them in the picture and send them a personal letter. My colleagues say, ‘Just send a circular and copy it to them!’ but I don’t think that’s the way because “one size does not fit all!”

On top of that, I have made contact with the guy I went through all my RAF Service with – or rather he made contact with me having seen the photo of me in the door of the Hasting on Christmas Island. (photo attached) Catching up with his news is going to take some time I can tell you! He sent me a photo which he took of me when he came down on the plane from his base at Hickam Airfield (Honolulu, Hawaii) and we were together on Christmas Island for a few days. (8th to the 11th February 1957) (photo attached)
Then, I have been to a local school giving my talk to five classes on ‘life as a schoolboy during the war’ (WW2) Five classes of 18 ten year olds!

And yesterday I joined them for a school outing to the Imperial War Museum at Duxford (the Aircraft Museum) where they run lessons for children on WW2. I enjoyed the day and was pleased to find that the little talk I give them fits in nicely with what Duxford show them.

I was also presented with more than 40 letters of thanks written to me by the children. It’s amazing what detail they remember – they all loved the “Dustbin Song” which we used to sing while in the Air Raid Shelters – they all thought recycling was a modern idea – so they were amazed when I told them we did it during the war, hence the “Dustbin Song”.

Cheers, Alex.
From: Woody Wood, Pembroke, ON
Sent: Thursday, October 25, 2012 23:4
Subject: RCAF Mystery Photo #102612

Hercules makes final flypast over Sydney

Two Hercules aircraft ended more than 30 years of service with a final low level flight over Sydney.  The Hercules C-130H planes flew over Sydney on Monday morning, 19th November, before retiring from the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF).

It marks 34 years of service by the aircraft, which took off from the RAAF Richmond base at 10.20am (AEDT) before flying over Cronulla and the southern beaches.  The planes then orbited Sydney Harbour for  20 minutes before heading west to the Blue Mountains.

One of the Hercules carried a bright yellow sunset tail to commemorate its years of service in the RAAF. The C-130H has provided tactical and strategic airlift for Australian Defence Force personnel around the world since 1987, including operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and East Timor.  In addition, they were used in the aftermath of the Bali bombings in 2002 to carry the injured from Bali to Darwin and also to drop hay to stranded cattle in regional NSW.

Air Commodore Gary Martin said, "They leave behind a considerable record of accomplishment, one which all men and women who have worked on this aircraft can take great pride in."

After their final flight, the C-130Hs were retired to RAAF Base Richmond as the latest generation C-130J 'Super Hercules' takes over its role with the Air Force.

Sydney Morning Herald
From: Thomas Iredale, Heidelberg  
Sent: Friday, October 26, 2012 02:48
Subject: RAF Mystery Photo 102612

XP 413 RAF Khormaksar 1964

Thomas P. Iredale
Hi Tony,

The Mover's name is Mike Hill, 2 Air Mov Sqn, 8 Wg Trenton. 

When I was MWO I/C MAMS, Mike was on one of the MAMS teams under my control.  He was an extremely skilled reliable MAMS type.  His experience was invaluable for any any Ops missions in the world.  I would have him on my team any time. 

He was a young Trapper with lots of great potentional... not sure what he is up to nowadays.  Probably still in YTR doing Movements. 



From: Al Allcroft, Southampton
Sent: Friday, October 26, 2012 09:27
Subject: RAF Mystery Photo 102612
This is a picture of 'The Argy in the Oggy' at Khormaksar.

An incident, which occurred on 23 March 1964, when the crew of 105 Squadron Argosy XP413 managed to shut down three engines on final approach during a training sortie causing it to ditch in the sea short of the Khormaksar runway!

Doing asymetric practice approaches rumour has it the crew were shutting down various engines in turn. At the pilot's call an engine would be closed down by the engineer and then restarted.

Picture the calls:

'Shut down one'.....No1 engine shut down............restarted 
'Shut down two' ...No 2 engine shut down............restarted
'Shut down three'......3 engines shut down.......    sploosh!

The only other one like this was the Britannia at K'sar where the pilot thought he had selected reverse thrust on the props.
What he did have was forward thrust and, as he increased power, the aircraft shot off the runway onto the mud flats.  I think that was in 1967?
Another sploosh.
Best wishes

From: Charles Collier, Albury 
Sent: Friday, October 26, 2012 11:01
Subject: RAF Mystery Photo 102612

Hi Tony,

For those of us who served in Aden all will recognise the skyline.  This Argosy undershooting took place just before I arrived in 1964.

It was doing a poor imitation of a sea plane and was a 105 Sqn Argosy, XP413, during a training sortie on 23-03-64 which went wrong. If I remember correctly Ron Meredith was a passenger onboard at the time.

Being only 18 months old the aircraft was stripped down and shipped back to the UK for rebuilding and re-entry into RAF service

All the best


From: Mark Stephenson, Dieppe, NB  
Sent: Friday, October 26, 2012 12:06
Subject: RAF Mystery photo #102612

Hello Tony,

I appreciate the great work that you are investing in the OBA newsletter, it is always full of interesting stories. Keep up the great work.

The RAF mystery photo #102612 brought back a vivid childhood memory (I was almost 5 years old!) of seeing this Argosy of 105 Sqn sitting in the water just short of a runway at Khormaksar airfield. The aircraft ditched on 23 Mar 1964. I was there because my father (“Steve” Stephenson) was an air signaller with 37 Sqn (Shackeltons). Living in Aden I also remember spending a lot of time with OBA member Ken Browne’s family who were our “cousins”.

I contacted my father in Spain and he shared this with me: “105 Sqn had a Categorisation Team visit who were checking out one of the pilots. The Argosy lost three engines on the approach. It was said at the time that the checker indicated to the engineer that he was to cut no 3 engine to simulate an engine failure on the approach phase. The engineer did just that, cut three engines! Caused a lot of mirth around the bars on Khormaksar. 105 Squadron were always contrasting how advanced their aircraft were when compared to the Shackleton. I remember saying in a very loud voice to Ernie Wooley a Chief Tech who was always ribbing us, "105 Squadron has a new roll, antisubmarine, and they take it seriously, they go in to the sea after them!" Ernie was very quiet for at least ten minutes

Google search link: (  23rd of March 1964 ditched in Aden harbour while on crew training. Due to the prompt action of the engineering team it was recovered, dismantled and returned to Hawker Siddley Aviation in the UK on the 20th of June 1964 by surface transport. In the UK it was totally refurbished and transferred to 242 Operational Conversion Unit (OCU) on the 5th of May 1966.


In praise of flying beasts of burden

I once flew from Townsville to the troubled and steamy island of Bougainville in a Toyota Landcruiser. The chunky four-wheel-drive was riding aboard a Royal Australian Air Force Hercules C-130, a lumbering warhorse of the sky. If you were going to fly comfortably within the belly of a Hercules, you needed to be creative. The seats slung along the walls of the fuselage were fashioned from criss-crossed webbing attached to metal tubing, and there was no way to lounge in any form of ease. The webbing cut circulation, there was never enough light within the plane to allow you to read, the bellowing motors made it difficult to hold a conversation and if you managed to nod off, you'd be guaranteed cramps and a sore bum on awakening. The Hercules, however, had a cavernous interior and its four big motors driving giant propellers were powerful enough to lift astonishing loads.
Surreptitiously eyeing my fellow passengers, I inched over to the vehicle and discovered it was unlocked. I slid in, laid the passenger's seat back as far as it would go and promptly fell asleep. 

It seemed ever after a splendid idea, never exploited, to sell this small triumph to Toyota as an advertising campaign. Travelling off-road? Why, this was off the planet!

Recollection of the flight, and many others, came this week when the RAAF began bidding farewell to the last of its trusty old Hercules C-130H planes. They're being pensioned off and handed to Indonesia for use in disaster relief. There would be a few sentimental tears shed in RAAF mess halls over the last few days, though the air force retains a fleet of larger and newer Hercules, the C-130J.
Quite a few old journos would share the sentiment of the C-130H crews. There was a time when quite a lot of us hitched rides all over the place on these planes.

In 1992, a few colleagues and I cadged a ride aboard a Hercules from Phnom Penh in Cambodia, where we'd been reporting on the UN force trying to put back together that fractured land, to Sydney. It took two days with a stopover in Darwin. A mate, the photographer Michael Bowers, was canny enough to pack hammocks. We slung them in the cargo bay and swung and snoozed our way home - the first time I'd experienced creative comfort on one of these beasts of burden.

The Hercules was never the most beautiful aircraft. It had none of the sleek lines of a fighter jet. But it was loved for plenty of other good reasons. It was all muscle and could land and take off from messed-up airstrips that would leave the pilots of lesser planes desperately looking elsewhere.

It has safely ferried prime ministers, the governor-general and troops into and out of trouble-zones from Iraq to Afghanistan and has flown aid to disasters across the Asia-Pacific and Africa. The medical airlift from Bali following the 2002 bombings was essentially a Hercules operation. John Howard went into shaky Aceh after the 2004 Boxing Day earthquake and tsunami aboard a Hercules.

I once hitched a ride on a Canadian Air Force Hercules flying emergency medical equipment from Nairobi in Kenya to the hilltop capital of Kigali in Rwanda.

It was 1994, Rwanda was a spooky open graveyard and Kigali's airport tower was all shot up. A ragtag bunch of international media correspondents had piled aboard and another Land Rover was chained in the loading bay right behind us.

The Canadian pilots seemed a bit edgy about landing at Kigali and employed a technique known as a ''corkscrew landing'' that dates at least from the Vietnam War. From about 5500 metres, directly above the airport, the pilot dropped the big plane into a shrieking downward spiral.
The idea, employed in conflict zones everywhere, is to avoid missiles that might be fired from the ground. Only a few months before, the Rwandan president's own plane had been brought down in Kigali by a missile.

The Land Rover appeared to have been shackled too loosely, and began bouncing alarmingly on its springs. Because we were in something approaching a dive, the vehicle teetered above us. For a few minutes, we correspondents confronted the irony of being crushed in the sky by a runaway four-wheel-drive inside a plane bringing aid to a disaster. But the Hercules landed safely, its passengers and load were expelled onto the hot tarmac in a rush, and it was gone.

Apart from the pilots high up in the nose, the most important member of the Hercules crew has always been the Loadmaster. He - and increasingly, she - is in charge of getting the load down the back balanced and lashed tight.

It's skilled work. Complex calculations have to be done about weight and centre of gravity, the number of passengers and crew and and even how the plane's balance will change as fuel is burnt off in flight. A loadmaster's figuring makes it possible for a transport plane to actually fly.

In the long history of Hercs in Australian skies, no period was more unusual than late 1989. Labour prime minister Bob Hawke, the former ACTU president, decided to crush a strike using the military. Commercial airline pilots were refusing to fly, and Hawke ordered the RAAF into the breach. More than 170,000 stranded passengers were flown around the country by ''Air Force Airlines'', and a lot of them found themselves loaded into the bellies of the C-130H Hercules fleet.

The sheer novelty of flying in a warhorse made the big noisy Hercules the most popular form of strike-breaking transport, despite the discomfort. Hawke got away with it by painting the striking airline pilots as spoilt and overpaid, and hundreds of them remain embittered. Warplanes, in short, had been recruited for class warfare.

Now the old Hercs are gone, it is unlikely there will be a military aircraft quite as fondly regarded - and as well-known to the posteriors of so many ordinary Australians - as the C-130H. And I rather doubt I'll get another opportunity to fly above the ocean in a Landcruiser.

Tony Wright - The Sydney Morning Herald

Prince lays wreath at cenotaph

10th November 2012 - Prince Charles has laid a wreath to commemorate Armistice Day at the Auckland War Memorial Museum's cenotaph.

A crowd of about 100 greeted Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, this morning.

Charles, the Prince of Wales, was wearing the uniform of the Air Commander in Chief of the Royal New Zealand Air Force.

It is the first full day in the country for Their Royal Highnesses, who are on the last leg of their Pacific tour for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

The couple were welcomed by the local tribe, Ngati Whatua, before the wreath-laying ceremony to commemorate Armistice Day.

Prince Charles, who laid the wreath on behalf of the Queen, said ''kia ora'' to New Zealand, addressing a welcoming this morning in Maori.
Auckland Now
From: Mark Stephenson, Dieppe, NB 
Sent: Friday, October 26, 2012 12:23
Subject: Veterans web site


In the recently published OBA newsletter (#102612)  you included some correspondence with Andrew Kay about pension information. There is an italicised paragraph in Andrew’s e-mail which refers to the address to write to in order to get a pension forecast.

My last pension information is 20 years old & I still have 7 years to go until I can start drawing my military pension. Would it be possible for you to forward my e-mail to Andrew with a request to send me the address so that I can obtain a pension forecast?


Mark Stephenson
Tel: 1-506-382-6550

From: Thomas Iredale, Heidelberg 
Sent: Friday, October 26, 2012 11:10
Subject: WG: Defence Website Enquiry

Hi Tony,

The pension stuff has to be done by regular mail and might be worth mentioning in the next newsletter; see below.

Many thanks for bringing up the subject.

Cheers Tom

Von: JPACEnquiryCentre []
Gesendet: Freitag, 26. Oktober 2012 16:25
Betreff: Defence Website Enquiry

Good afternoon,

Thank you for your enquiry.

Unfortunately we are unable to release financial information via email due to security concerns and the Data Protection Act. To request a pension forecast please apply in writing to the address below with your service number, dates of service and date of birth. We will then despatch the forecast to your home address within 20 workings days of receipt of your letter.

Pensions Division
Mailpoint 480
Kentigern House
65 Brown Street
G2 8EX

If you have any further queries please do not hesitate to contact us.


From: International Consortium of British Pensioners (ICBP), London 
Sent: Friday, October 26, 2012 07:43
Subject: Can you help us get the message out?

Unfreeze Pensions

We are asking you to participate in an ICBP survey that is designed to evaluate how and why you moved overseas, how “British” you still feel, etc. It does this through questions on a number of topics and we do hope that you will participate.

Your feedback will provide us with information that will be invaluable in helping to present our case to the government and the UK media. Please be assured that your personal information will be handled strictly in accordance with international privacy rules.

Your first action is to click on the link below which will take you to a registration page on the Pension Justice website. Follow the instructions on that page to begin the process.

Once more, my sincere thanks to all of you for your continued support of the ICBP’s pension justice campaign.


Tony Bockman
Chairman, ICBP
From: Bill Girdwood, Carlilse 
Sent: Saturday, November 10, 2012 03:40
Subject: Re: UKMAMS OBA OBB #102612

Dear Tony,

How splendid to read the letter from Len Bowen in the latest newsletter!! Len vanished from my life when I left Seletar in 1967. He had joined my team on FEAFMAMS as a Pilot Officer, (Yes! They really did have such animals in those days) in 1965/1966 time, together with his red Triumph TR2 - a wonderful team buggy! At that time, memory suggests, Len was so slim that in jungle greens he resembled a bunch of twigs tied up with lashing tape! Look at the old boy now, fighting fit and still serving at the age of 67! Eileen and I send him our fondest best wishes.

He was very kind to us and lent me his pride and joy car whenever he was on detachment. An all-round good guy, who we would love to meet up with again.

In passing, any word from Tony Mullen who also emigrated down under?

Many thanks Tony for all your hard work keeping the OBA going. The newsletter is a joy and I look forward to continue reading it even further into my dotage!

Very best wishes,

Bill Girdwood

From: Tony Gale, Gatineau, QC 
Sent: Saturday, November 10, 2012 07:21
To: Bill Girdwood, Carlilse, UK
Subject: Newsletter

Hi Bill,

Thanks for your e-mail regarding Len Bowen – he’s written into the newsletter quite a few times and always manages to intrigue and delight!

There is a search engine dedicated to the OBA site, at the bottom of the home page (or Navigator)  It works in the same manner as Google, but all the results, with the exception of the first one, will only be from within the pages of the website (there are over 300 pages).  If you type in Len Bowen you should get lots of results.

You can search for Tony Mullen from that same place, but I can tell you that he’s living in Brisbane, Tel No. 61 7 3630-1500, e-mail

Have fun!

Best regards


Canada's Sons and Daughters Remembered

Canadians gathered to honour soldiers who died in Afghanistan during the unveiling of the Afghanistan Repatriation Memorial in Trenton, Ont., Saturday 10th November.

Dignitaries and government officials including Afghan Ambassador to Canada Barna Karimi and Minister of Veteran Affairs Steven Blaney were in attendance.

During the ceremony, Blaney spoke of the importance of the memorial. “Why we are here today is to tell you that we have not forgotten,” he said.

The memorial, situated on the banks of the Bay of Quinte in Bain Park, is close to the country’s largest air force base, Canadian Forces Base Trenton.

It features two large granite maple leaves. The first maple leaf, in red, is inscribed with the Canadian Forces emblem and provincial shields. The second maple leaf, in black, is inscribed with the names of the 158 soldiers who have died in Afghanistan. The maple leaves are flanked by two Canadian flags and two granite benches where visitors may sit.

The motorcade for all returning soldiers who’ve been killed in action starts at CFB Trenton, continues on Highway 401 and ends in Toronto.  Thousands of Canadians salute the passing motorcades from overpasses along the stretch of Highway 401 dubbed “Highway of Heroes.”

CTV News and Trentonian
From: John Holloway, Shrewsbury
Sent: Tuesday, November 13, 2012 17:38
Subject: NSRAF Cosford

Hi Tony.

This weeks meeting at Cosford had the usual good turnout.  Our speaker was Terry Herrington of the Boulton Paul Museum which is located just down the road in Wolverhampton; he gave us a talk on their history and products.

William Staples Boulton joined the Norfolk ironworks firm of Moore & Barnard in 1844. By 1870 Boulton had been elevated to a partner and the firm was renamed to Barnard & Boulton, later becoming Boulton & Paul, which started its construction engineering division in 1905.

At the start of World War 1 the company was located in Wolverhampton and was requested to manufacture aircraft; in all they produced over 1,500 Sopwith Camels, a great deal more than any other manufacturer of the type.

At the end of the war they produced a number of both military and civil aircraft as well as manufacturing miles of wire fencing for Australia in their efforts to stop the spread of rabbits!

At the start of World War 2 they produced the Defiant fighter which, as we know, had a gun turret.  They went on to specialise in turrets for the Halifax, Liberator and Hudson bombers.

After the war they made experimental jets with little success and so they concentrated on developing control systems and went on to produce 'fly by wire' systems for many aircraft such as the Brabazon, the Princess Flying Boat, the Valiant, Vulcan, VC-10 and Blackburn Buccaneer just to mention a few. They are now involved with the Airbus 320 and 380 and even with the new F35.

The company has achieved all this whilst being taken over by Dowty, Smiths and G.E.,  but the locals still refer to them as Boulton Paul.  G.E. have told them now that the museum has to close by March of next year as they want to close the factory down. Terry told us that they don't know yet where they are going to place all of the museum contents but Cosford is being considered.

If you take a look at the Boulton Paul Museum website you can see all the equipment and aircraft they have and the huge task ahead of them.


From: Philip Clarke, Vienna  
Sent: Monday, November 12, 2012 08:26
Subject: Re: UKMAMS OBA OBB #102612

Hi Tony,

Your Central European Correspondent calling from Vienna, and at last able to contribute a little to your current excellent, as usual, newsletter.

Firstly Nick Price's Ugandan Asian piece:-

When I first read it, I thought daft blighters have the year wrong; in '72 I'd left the mob.  So a little check on t'interweb and lo and behold you were of course correct.  So a little more research and bingo, I wasn't losing my marbles.
In '68, a full 4 years before Idi Amin's fun and games, I was with the Gatwick detachment of the JSATC.  At that time there was a different exodus of East African Asians, from Kenya.  Not quite as nasty as the Ugandan expulsions, but with a similar effect.  The Kenyan Government of the day simply stopped issuing or renewing work and resident permits to those Asians who had elected to take British citizenship at the time of independence, in spite of those Asians having lived there for generations, and as in Uganda later were lynch-pins of the economy.

So in effect, they were expelled and came to the UK in their thousands.  They apparently could get charter flights to the UK for about £50.00 (half price), and lots came through Gatwick.

A largish pavilion manned by Social Services was installed in the centre of the Gatwick concourse to help and assist the arrivals, and it was a very sad sight indeed, bedraggled families carrying what they could. not knowing what the hell was going on, arriving in a strange country, that due to our colonial (mis)adventures were legitimate citizens of that strange country.

I recall that all of us on the detachment (RN, RCT and RAF), plus the guys from the RMP detachment went and offered our assistance.  Not a lot we could do, probably just helped them with their bags and kids to the coach and railway stations.

So Nick, movers did give some assistance to some of those unfortunate people, at what was a very traumatic time for them, and yes like the Ugandan Asians of later years lots went on to become successful citizens of the UK, in spite of the then recent Enoch Powell 'Rivers of Blood' speech.
So onto Lindsay Campbell's Woomera/Maralinga piece:-

When British United decided not to renew their trooping contract out of Gatwick, Britannia Airways at Luton took over, and although the main trooping check in was at Britannia's town terminal at Mabledon Place, Euston, a small permanent Mover presence was required ar the Airport.  Two shifts, one comprising me and my boss a RN Master at Arms (we became life long friends, he passed away 2 years ago, ironically lung cancer got him, which as you know is what I now have). 
The other shift was a RCT WO2 and a Driver (RCT private). During my time there I became very friendly with lots of people, and discovered that Monarch Airlines occasionally had ad-hoc MoD charters to Maralinga, but not handled by JSATC.

My next posting was back to Muharraq (70-71), whilst there got a letter from a Monarch friend, a Britannia in PCF role was staging through Muharraq on it's way to Maralinga, and night-stopping. 

A superb room party at the Gulf Hotel was the upshot.  The passengers were MoD civil servants, including ladies, but let's not go there, but no idea what the freight load was.

I also  seem to remember that we had Britannias staging through for Maralinga, but unlike normal flights no pax or freight off or on-loaded.

That's it for now.

Take care,  Phil
From: Graham Lockwood, Leyland 
Sent: Saturday, October 27, 2012 08:24
Subject: Re: Welcome!

Hi Tony

Thank you very much for the welcome .... I'm looking forward to keeping tabs on things.

As a matter of fact last year through your website I got in touch with Phil Smith in Exmouth... I have not seen him for 35 years but we have started chatting regularly...  the magic of the internet!

OBA Earth was a great idea and I'm sure that it is very popular.


From: Brook Bangsboll, Ottawa, ON
Sent: Saturday, November 17, 2012 08:26
Subject: Re: The next OBA Newsletter

Hey Tony,

Tks for keeping the OBA Newsletter going. I think I might have an article for you...  our British Exchange officer (Maj Carl Thompson) recently organized a very unique and sucessful fundraising event for Help for Heroes and Soldier On programs...  I'll have Carl contact you next week to discuss and see if you think it might work for you (lots of Movers were involved).


Brook Bangsboll

From: Carl Thompson, Ottawa, ON 
Sent: Wednesday, November 21, 2012 10:21
Subject: 24-hour Treadmill Challenge


By way of introduction to the Canadian Joint Operational Command (CJOC)...

The newly-formed CJOC is the amalgamation of a number of separate operational commands which included Canada Command, Canadian Operational Support Command and The Canadian Expeditionary Command.

Focussed on operations within the continent of North America, the support to all Canadian operations and operations around the rest of the World respectively, they could, in theory, all work in isolation.

The CJOC brings the joint capabilities together in a single organisation which is better able to observe defence requirements and resources and then make the appropriate operational decisions more quickly.

From a Movements perspective, the CJOC is a strategic headquarters. The Movements element of the HQ is focussed on providing strategic support to any operation, both domestic and international.

The formation of the CJOC now allows Strategic Movements assets to be correctly prioritised and tasked to meet the best interests of Canada. It is from within this CJOC Movements Staff that, separate from providing this strategic support, we took it upon ourselves to do something for charity.


24-Hour Treadmill Challenge

From 11am Friday 26th October to 11am Saturday 27th October, members of the Canadian Joint Operations Command (CJOC) completed a 24-hour treadmill challenge in Ottawa's Byward Market. 

The challenge was organised to raise money in support of two charities; Soldier On - a Canadian foundation, and Help for Heroes - a British foundation.

Both programmes are aimed at improving the quality of life for sick and injured military personnel and their families and the defence community as a whole by inspiring and encouraging a healthy and active lifestyle. 

The event was first envisioned by a British Exchange Officer, Major Carl Thompson, who works in J4 Movements in CJOC.  Supported by a committee of volunteers, he developed a concept which involved 24 participants, both Canadian and British Exchange Officers, who would run a combined 24 hours to raise money and awareness within the local population. 

Pictured at left: Participants in the 24-hour treadmill challenge solicit donations on William Street in the Byward Market.  Photo by Capt Tahir Malik

Leading up to the event, each volunteer raised a minimum of $60 in order to participate. Many of the volunteers also donated their time, taking on a shift or two to canvass the local public for donations, or answer questions of passing pedestrians, helping to raise awareness for both Soldier On and Help for Heroes.
Each member ran 30 minutes in running attire and then marched 30 minutes in full fighting order, which included the fragment vest, tactical vest, helmet, rucksack and C7 rifle.

From 1100hrs on Friday, 26 October 2012 until 1100hrs on Saturday, 27 October 2012 the treadmills ran continuously and the total distance travelled was over 200kms - the equivalent distance between the Byward Market and downtown Kingston, Ontario. 

Spectators and local media came by in support of the event and were extremely generous with both their support to cheer on the participants and with their money which will go to such a worthy cause.  Spectators were also given an opportunity to don the full fighting order worn by our soldiers to give them a small sense of the challenges experienced by our troops deployed on operations. 

Colonel Mathé, J4, led off the event while Lieutenant General Beare, Commander of CJOC ran to finish the fundraiser on Saturday morning. 

Pictured at right: Col Chuck Mathé and Maj Carl Thompson (UK) prepare for their next leg on the treadmill. Photo by Capt Tahir Malik
The 24 Hour Treadmill Challenge was also made possible by several local organizations, who went out of their way to help make the day a success:

  • GoodLife Fitness, for donating and delivering the treadmills.
  • The Byward Market, for allowing us to use such an excellent location.
  • Scotia Bank employees for helping with the coin counting.
  • The Highlander Pub for some free food and use of their facilities.

Their contributions were critical in helping us achieve the intent. 

The fundraiser was a huge success and over $5,800 was raised, beating the $5,000 goal that was originally set by the committee. All proceeds will be split evenly between both charities.

Pictured at left: Capt Jason Radmore (left) and Brigadier Barry race each other on the treadmill during their leg of the 24-hour treadmill challenge.  Photo by: Maj Véronique Morin
From: Robert Thacker, Nottingham
Sent: Thursday, November 22, 2012 00:50
Subject: Many thanks

Hi Tony

Many thanks for forwarding all the messages of support and I would be grateful if you could circulate my thanks to everyone who has e-mailed me in the next newsletter.

I have certainly found all the messages heartening and very supportive,  I have an in-box full, many from friends from 40 years ago and some from those I have never met - so all my thanks to all.  Hopefully, I will be able to reply to everyone individually but please give me a bit of time!

I have been in hospital for 4 weeks and am in the third week of chemo - with no ill effects so far for which I'm grateful.  But we'll see what’s round the corner.  I think I'll be in for a second 4 week cycle when this one’s finished.

At present I'm still alive and kicking so I guess that counts as a plus!

Many thanks

Bob Thacker

New Air Movements Terminal for Ohakea

The Minister of Defence, Hon Dr Jonathan Coleman, recently announced that the next key infrastructure project for RNZAF Base Ohakea is to go ahead.  "The Government has called for expressions of interest for construction of the new terminal and a call for tenders took place in November."

The Air Movements Terminal will process up to 250 passengers and cargo, including MAF, Customs and Immigration processes and in-flight meals capability for international military flights.

The gross floor area is approximately 5,750 square metres, comprising baggage carousels, freight/cargo hall and check-in desk area.  There is also a 750-person multifunction centre with kitchen facilities, arrival and departure lounges, a separate annex building for aircraft catering provisioning, office accommodation and ablutions.
"This is part of our five-year programme of essential infrastructure projects for the RNZAF to provide the critical facilities required by the air force for the future," the Minister said. He commented that he work carried out to-date as part of the Air Force infrastructure work programme (Project Takitini) has been on time and slightly below budget and positions the RNZAF strongly to carry out its role for the next 50 years. 

The new passenger terminal can be made available for use by civilian aircraft and passengers in emergencies.

In addition, the NZDF has a commercial relationship with the Board of Airlines Representatives of NZ (BARNZ) group of airlines which allows them to nominate Ohakea as a planned alternate airfield for international flights in the event of the temporary unavailability of Auckland or Christchurch due to weather or other reasons.

At present, Ohakea has limited infrastructure and facilities to process international passengers on a commercial scale.  However, with the new terminal, the responsibility for customs, biosecurity and immigration formalities on arrival remains with those agencies and the airlines carrying the passenger. 

Construction of the Air Movements Terminal facility is intended to start early next year and to be completed by the end of 2013.  The competitive tender process will ensure the NZDF gets the best value for the taxpayer; it is anticipated this project will cost between $10 million and $15 million to complete.

Air Force News

RAF Lyneham: MoD reveals details of training centre plan

More details have been revealed about Ministry of Defence (MoD) plans to turn RAF Lyneham in Wiltshire into a defence training centre.

An online questionnaire has also been set up for people to have their say on the plans.

The planning application is expected to be submitted in the middle of next year, with training beginning at the end of 2015.

The MoD's decision to close RAF Lyneham in 2002 was part of a strategic review of military bases.

The Hercules transporter planes, which were the heart of RAF Lyneham, left last year for RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire.

Lyneham Village will once again benefit from a military presence
Many of the 4,500 military and civilian personnel have since moved to Brize Norton, with only 15 still based in Lyneham.

Training in maintaining machinery and military equipment which currently takes place at Bordon, in Hampshire, and Arborfield, in Berkshire, will be transferred to the new college at Lyneham in 2015.

The college will comprise three main training schools; electronic and mechanical engineering, aeronautical engineering, and communications and information systems.

The plans include workshops, classrooms and laboratories, as well as sports and welfare facilities and some refurbished military accommodation.

There will also be an outdoor training area to simulate scenarios such as recovering overturned vehicles.

The questionnaire, which asks what impact people think the college will have on the area, must be submitted by 21 December.

Building work is expected to start in January 2014.

BBC News
From: John Holloway, Shrewsbury
Sent: Sunday, November 25, 2012 10:31
Subject: Mauripur Reunion

Hi Tony

We had our 17th Reunion at the Falcon Hotel at Stratford-on-Avon which went well, altho' when we sat down to dine on Friday there were just 48 whereas in 1996, for our first reunion, over 150 were there.

We were treated to a film taken by Chris Morris, chairman and webmaster of the RAF Habbaniya Association, of the events at the Cenotaph in September and the rescue of the WAAF nurse in 1953 in the mountains of Northern Iraq (which I had already seen and reported on earlier in the year at the monthly get-together of the NSRAF Cosford branch).

We had our usual business meeting on Saturday morning when it was agreed to come back next year. It appears that we still have over a 100 members out there alive and kicking so hopefully we will get a few more to attend next year.

As we prepared to depart, as has been usual, the Aden Association were arriving to attend their annual reunion.


A new member joining us recently (one of the chaps I joined up with back in '63) is:
Chris Radziun-Woodham, from Didcot, UK
Welcome to the OBA!
The holiday edition of the Old Bods Briefs is scheduled to be published on Friday 21st December with a cut-off for submissions on Wednesday 19th December.

Now is your chance to pass greetings on to fellow OBA members - if you have an appropriate picture you would like inserted then please feel free to send that along also.

That's it for this issue

Have a great weekend!