From: Jack Riley, Urangan, Qld
Sent: Monday, December 03, 2012 19:50
Subject: Christmas Newsletter

Good grief!    Christmas already?     Where did that year go?

Once again I find myself writing to our family; Movers are a family you know.  We all seem to have so much in common… the ability to make the best of things… to improvise… to work until the job’s finished… to look after one another.

Nothing much has changed since my day (Noah was launching the Ark just about then).  When trouble brewed it was always the same people one met at the pointy end.

To those of you enjoying Christmas with your families this year… make the most of every second… the years get shorter.  To those of you at the sharp end… take extra care.  To all of you... peace, love, and happiness.

And to Tony... thank you for another great year despite all the difficulties and heartbreaks you have had to overcome. You are much appreciated by us all.

Jack and Jude

RAF Agrees Transit Deal with Uzbekistan

The Uzbek Senate has approved a deal allowing Britain's Royal Air Force to to use the country's airpsace to move its equipment out of Afghanistan north through Central Asia and Russia.

The agreement stops short of allowing RAF aircraft to land on Uzbek territory. If they need to make an emergency landing, the British authorities must notify the Uzbek side about the need to land on the republic’s territory.

This deal cements Central Asia's strategic importance to NATO which can avoid Pakistan, previously its transit route of choice.

NATO’s agreement with Uzbekistan, accused of using child labor to pick cotton harvest, has been heavily criticized in the West.

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen earlier said the agreements with the Central Asian republics “will give us a range of new options and the robust and flexible transport network we need.”

The reverse transit agreement between NATO and three Central Asian countries - Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan - is for “non-lethal goods” only.

Britain has an estimated £3 billion pounds worth of equipment to bring home from Afghanistan. Some of the armored vehicles will have a long-term role in the Army.

RIA Novosti
From: Bruce Oram, Alicante
Sent: Friday, November 23, 2012 12:14
Subject: Xmas edition

Hi Tony,

Shirley and I would like to wish all movers past and present a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year. To all who are serving overseas and in difficult and dangerous locations, keep your heads down, be safe and return to your loved ones very soon.

Cheers the noo

Bruce & Shirley Oram
From: Woody Wood, Pembroke, ON 
Sent: Thursday, November 29, 2012 22:32
Subject: RCAF Mystery Photo 113012

CWO Tom Walker receiving a bravery medal recently for his actions when he pulled a quadriplegic man out of a burning vehicle saving his life.



From: Steve Richardson, Trenton, ON
Sent: Friday, November 30, 2012 21:42
Subject: RCAF Mystery Photo 113012


Chief  Warrant Officer Tom Walker receives the Ontario Provincial Citation for Bravery from Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Commissioner Chris D. Lewis.

The citation recognized CWO Walker  for putting himself at risk to rescue a man from a burning car on 1st August last year.   

He also received a lifesaving commendation for the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem for the same rescue.

CWO Walker has served in the RCAF and Reserves for over 40 years as a Traffic Technician.

The presentation took place on 26 October 2012 in Kemptville, Ontario.

Take care,

Steve Richardson
From: Chas Clark, Alabama
Sent: Saturday, December 01, 2012 19:15
Subject: Early Years

Hi Tony,
Thought you might be interested in this picture which contains some of the early movers on UKMAMS including a very young me.

This was taken outside the Movements School at RAF Abingdon in the days of Beverleys, Andovers, VC10s, Hastings and Argosies.

I am in Alabama at the moment getting in some rays and golf before I return to Ontario in a weeks time. Will send you a Christmas message when I get back.

Thanks for all your efforts in producing the UKMAMS OBA, it is greatly appreciated.

From: Syd Avery, Guardamar, Alicante
Sent: Monday, December 03, 2012 05:10
Subject: RAF Mystery Photo 113012.

Hi, Tony,

Thanks for the time, energy etc., that you put into the OBA, it gives many people a great deal of pleasure.
The airframe in the photo, Schedar, XM497, PVR'd one year later in April 1976 to a Belgian company, and was used as a spares source. It was broken up and used at Southampton by the Fire School;  its remains had disappeared by 1981.

Just as an added bonus, I have attached two more mysterious pictures - who can guess W5 (Who, What, Where, When and Why) ?

Regards to all,

From: Babs Sugg, Swindon
Sent: Thursday, December 06, 2012 07:51
Subject: Christmas.

Tony could you please pass on my sincere "Christmas  Greetings" to all who remember me plus Christmas Greetings to Kenneth & Evelyn Mckinstry - long lost friends from the early sixties.

Thanks to your website, long may it continue.

From: Paddy Gallaugher
Sent: Thursday, December 06, 2012 06:53
Subject: Re: The next OBA Newsletter - Holiday Edition

Hi Tony,

In the days when logisticians were simply “Movers” I remember people like Dave Eggleton, Charles Collier, Chas Dagliesh, Hughie Curran and John (wassisname) Smith making UKMAMS a fantastic place to work. I wish them and their successors in 1 AMW a very happy and peaceful Christmas!

Paddy Gallaugher D Team.
From: David Stevens, Bangor
Sent: Sunday, December 09, 2012 16:26
Subject: RAF Mystery Photo 113012

Hiya Tony 

I always (like most of us who read this news letter) have a look at the mystery photos - in my case, the RAF one of course!! It is usually more in hope than anticipation - that I might recognize the event, person(s) or whatever!

In this last issue, I had no difficulty recognizing this particualr RAF mystery photo - 113012 -  and the 'Whispering Giant' tail no. 497. It was the Zambian Oil Lift operation that ran from December 1965 to March/April 1966. I and Echo team were part of that operation. We started in Dar-Es-Salaam - invited to leave by President Nyere - and then worked in Lusaka as part of 'Mushroom Airways'.....

I am going to suggest Lusaka January/February 1966. We had to backload the 'triple' after we had off loaded the oil drums and I imagine that that is what is happening here.

Hope I am not too wide of the mark! 

Best regards  


From: Tony Gale, Gatineau, QC
To: David Stevens, Bangor, Wales
Date: Sun, 9 Dec 2012 18:19:40 -0500
Subject: Re: RAF Mystery Photo 113012

Hi David,
Regarding the Mystery Photo… you have the aircraft correct but alas, wrong continent!  Be sure to read the rest of the story in the next exciting edition of the Old Bods Briefs…  coming to a computer near you very soon!

Best regards


From: David Stevens, Bangor
Sent:  Monday, December 10, 2012 04:03
Subject: RAF Mystery Photo 113012

Any smartie points for naming one of the infamous but great character captains of 497 - Flying Officer Joyce ("I refuse to take the 'B' exam cos I'm happy doing what I'm doing")?

To be brutally honest I did have my doubts as there was no evidence of drums!  Not to mention that the workers did not look all that African!

So, I won't bother with my second guess - Kathmandu and the Ghurka airlift - circa 1978. I took over from UKMAMS in Nepal as the newly appointed RAF GCCO in 1979. Then, I ask myself did they deploy the BFLP to Kathmandu? - I have no idea...

Meanwhile, I do look forward to the correct solution. Keep well my friend. 

Regards, David

The RAF Mystery Photo in the last issue. I would hazard a guess (?) that it was taken by Brian Hunt, in Kathmandu between 04 Feb and 08 Apr. 1975. To pin it down a bit more, about two weeks before the coronation of King Birendra in Nepal.  The guy in the doorway is Sgt Mac Bernhardt.

We would be offloading the freighter Britannia on arrival from Kai Tak, Hong Kong, using the Britannia Freight Lift Platform, or BFLP. We would have two or three Britannias in full pax role with Ghurkas, followed by a freighter with all their extra baggage; fridges, TVs and that type of small item. Customs at KTM gave them a hard time, as the Ghurkas are hill people, and Kathmandu people are valley people. After the trauma of Customs all the items had to be initially trucked and then carried by Sherpa to their destinations! 

Inbound with full pax, about 110 if memory is correct (plus 5 crew seats), the aeroplane’s bellies were stuffed with baggage. Outbound airframes with the same number of pax would generate only about ten suitcases!

Usually, we had one airframe which arrived in the afternoon and left the following morning, then back to us the following afternoon. During the time I had the pleasure of being there, our departures were delayed by fog. During the run up to the Coronation, we had two aeroplanes on the shuttle, mornings out and afternoons in.

I've been back several times since those days with the AN124. One morning we were all fogged in and the Captain was not a happy bunny back in the hotel. I told him not to worry, we would be airborne round about 11:00 local time. Sydney’s credibility soared when we were airborne as I had predicted. The Milky Bars or equivalent were on him after that!
From: Peter and Kim Cheverie, London, ON 
Sent: Friday, November 30, 2012 09:59
Subject: RCAF Mystery Photo #113012

Morning Tony,

If I recall that's CWO Tom Walker, a Royal Canadian Air Force traffic technician, receiving a citation for bravery from the commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP)

From: Nigel McCann, Canterbury
Sent: Thursday, December 06, 2012 06:42
Subject: Season's Greetings

Hi Tony

I would just like to send my season's wishes to all movers with a special mention for the families of those who will be away serving over the festive period.

Kind regards

Nigel McCann
From: Bob Robinson, Finedon, Northants
Sent: Thursday, December 06, 2012 09:07
Subject: Photo memories


I have been thinking of sending you this photo, Akrotiri, Cyprus 1965/6.  This was D Shift, the DAMO was Harry Binns. I know all the names, I wonder if our readers would like to guess who they are?

Also included is a snap of a 1983 course which includes my eldest son Stephen

Bob Robinson
From: David Stevens, Bangor 
Sent: Thursday, December 06, 2012 11:03
Subject: Season's Wish and Greetings

Hi Tony,

My wish/greetings at this time is that we all spare a thought for those who are less fortunate than we are, and for those who are suffering, for whatever reason, and whomsoever they are across the globe.

Seasons Greetings to you and all the family  



Countdown to Christmas

As billions of people around the World tuck into Christmas dinner, it will be business as usual for RAF personnel, deployed on Operations overseas, or on shift at RAF stations across the UK.

We take a closer look at how RAF Brize Norton, in Oxfordshire prepares for the festive season.
RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire is the largest Station in the RAF and has approximately 6000 service personnel and 1400 MOD civil servants and contractors. It is the home of the Air Mobility Squadrons and is the ‘gateway to operations’, as the main airport used for deploying UK troops Worldwide. The Station never sleeps and supports Operations around the World 24/7, 365 days a year. Station Commander, Gp Capt Steve Lushington, 44, and his family will be serving Christmas dinner to the junior ranks on the big day:

“As the festive season gets into full swing, for personnel at RAF Brize Norton work continues as normal. The support to operations is paramount even during the festive period; personnel are still required to be on duty. Pilots and engineers on 216 and 99 Sqns maintain their high readiness state; personnel continue to control from the tower; operations staff continue to plan missions and taskings, all supporting tri-service personnel across the globe.“
The C-17 Globemaster is a huge, heavy-lift transport aircraft. It can carry troops and all types of cargo around the world, including transporting Merlin and Chinook helicopters direct to the front line in Afghanistan to provide support to ground troops. Wg Cdr Stuart Lindsell, 39, is the Officer Commanding 99 Sqn and has volunteered to cover Christmas duties:

“The Sqn is 300 plus strong and moves an immense amount of personal mail and parcels from families and loved ones: “It’s rewarding for us to know that we are helping to play a part in connecting service families who are separated over the Christmas period.”

“Its very much, ‘business as usual’ for 99 Sqn; we have crews covering aeromed standby, a crew based in the Middle East ready for normal tasking, the Sqn engineers stand ready to generate an aircraft at short notice should an aeromed mission be called and they will also be manning the engineer control desks as normal.”
“The best way to look at it is hopefully Christmas day itself will be quiet but Christmas eve, Boxing Day and to that extent the New Year period are no different to any other time of year.”

The festive season brings wintery conditions and a few years ago, the UK was gripped by sub-zero temperatures and heavy snowfalls hit the UK. In the thick of it were 99 Sqn who were battling to get troops home for Christmas:

“Snow and ice are certainly not ideal flying conditions to say the least but as a Station we are better off than we were when the wintery conditions of 2010 hit. We did manage to get everyone home but it was certainly a challenge!”

Personnel are fully trained and prepared for snow and ice operations, with some new equipment recently arrived….

Corporal John Oliver, 27, will be on standby during Christmas and works at the Complete Equipment Schedule store at Airfield Support Mechanical Transport that, amongst other duties, looks after the maintenance of vehicles:

“We’ve spent the last 2 months preparing, and bringing online all the snow and ice prevention vehicles as they are not used during the summer months; we inflate their tyres, fill the vehicle up with whatever fluid it needs, test it and carry out daily inspections to make sure they are ready to go. If it was horrendous snow the main vehicle we would use is the Airfield Snow Clearing Vehicle or the Compact Jet Sweeper.”

The vehicles are equipped to plough snow, break up compact ice and blow snow, broken ice or other debris to the side:

“My job is to make sure we have a serviceable fleet of vehicles to meet the minimum required to clear the airfield. It’s a priority to clear the runway and certain bays. Getting the airfield cleared is very important for the ‘airbridge’, especially for those personnel that want to get home in the last couple of days before Christmas.”

“It’s like a civilian airport. The difference is, if I went for a job in a civilian airport I would only just be either a check-in girl, departures or elsewhere in the building, whereas here at Brize we have to multi-task and do everything; one minute I could be behind the check-in desk then I could be on the check-through or departures. We see the whole process through and make sure that nobody is left behind!”

When asked what it’s like checking in troops knowing they will be away for Christmas, Emma said: “My job is no different at Christmas, the process is still the same, it’s the personalities and how people are with you, and how you are with them – I try and be a bit more jolly! I’ve done Iraq, Afghanistan and Ascension Islands at Christmas, so I know what it’s like being away at this time.”

Emma will be on shift during the Christmas period and sets aside a day in the new year to have a ‘Christmas day’ with her family:

“I remember one year my mum bought a second turkey and it stayed in the freezer until February! I go to college and have met a lot of people and they are surprised I’m working Christmas eve and Christmas day – they ask, ‘are you open?’ and I say yes!, it’s a 24/7 camp – and it’s the same for new year.”
Corporal Emma Hopkinson, 32, works on the passenger check-in desk in the Air Terminal for the Air Movements Squadron:

From: Dave Moss, Clitheroe 
Sent: Thursday, December 06, 2012 12:25
Subject: Christmas Greetings!

Hi Tony,

Darrelle and I wish you and all readers a very a Merry Christmas and a Happy and prosperous New Year.

To those of you who will sadly be unable to spend time with your loved ones due to the call of duty, may we wish you all a quiet and as peaceful a Christmas as possible; and remind you that the rest of us will be thinking of you, and hoping you will be home safely and soon.

Dave and Darrelle Moss

From: Fred Hebb, Gold River, NS
Sent: Thursday, December 06, 2012 12:29
Subject: Very Merry Christmas

Hi Tony:

I just want to wish you and all of the movers and shakers of the world a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and all the best in 2013.

Per Adua Ad Astra!

Fred Hebb

From: Vaughan Jones, Woodbourne
Sent: Thursday, December 06, 2012 13:39
Subject: Pictures and Greetings

Hi Tony,

Here are some pictures from a recent RNZAF Air Load Team (ALT) trip.

Have a Merry Christmas!


Vaughan Jones

From: Graham Flanagan, Stafford
Sent: Thursday, December 06, 2012 16:58
Subject: Christmas Greetings

Hi Tony

Could you please pass on my best wishes for Christmas and New Year to all the members of the OBA and I hope this next year is a good one for all.


Graham (Geordie) Flanagan

From: Jacques Leclerc, Saint-Alexandre-de-Kamouraska, QC
Sent: Thursday, December 06, 2012 18:34
Subject: Merry Christmas

On this note, I would like to wish you Tony and your family a very merry Christmas and Happy 2013.

Keep doing an excellent work with the newsletter.

From: Don Lloyd, Calgary, AB
Sent: Thursday, December 06, 2012 22:51
Subject: Season's Greetings

Good Evening Tony, 

To everyone connected to the OBA,  myself and my wife Judy would like to wish you all a very "MERRY CHRISTMAS and a "HAPPY NEW YEAR".

Also in your prayer before Christmas Dinner a few words for those who, for whatever reason, will not be able to join us this year. 

Thanks and cheers...

Don Lloyd
Sgt. ret'd. RCAF.
From: Howard Thomas, Cairns, QLD
Sent: Thursday, December 06, 2012 22:30
Subject: Holiday greetings - and a special request
From: Dean Zimmer, Haverfordwest
Sent: Friday, December 07, 2012 07:52
Subject: Best Wishes

Season's greetings to all fellow movers and families a merry Christmas and healthy and prosperous New year.

Best wishes from Andy Zimmer

Season’s Greetings to all serving and ex Movers wherever you are. Have a wonderful and safe time and remember the work of those now and those who have gone before you is invaluable in keeping the world a safer place.

Tony, I wonder if you wouldn’t mind spreading the word on this to our boys - they are our Australian brothers after all...  There's a local project that I'm very passionate about, "The Avenue of Honour" is a community project to recognise and honour the Australians who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in Afghanistan.  Please visit the Facebook page to learn all about this very worthwhile cause and if you can help by making a donation it would be greatly appreciated:  Avenue of Honour

Howard Thomas
From: Karl Watson, Beverley
Sent: Friday, December 07, 2012 08:59
Subject: Christmas Greetings

Best wishes across the globe for Christmas and New Year to all “Movers”.

Karl Watson

RAF Movements 1966/1973
Akrotiri, Brize Norton x 2,
Masirah and Salalah

From: Alan Potts, Temecula, CA
Sent: Friday, December 07, 2012 13:52
Subject: Christmas Greetings

Hi Tony,  

Like many others I heartily endorse all the good work you do in managing the site and news updates for the rest of us, many thanks.

As we come to the end of yet another year I hope and wish all those away from home have a peaceful time and at least have a holiday full of good food and good company. To all the friends I made during my time and all those I worked with and played basketball with, a special thanks and seasons greetings to you and your families.   I look back now with very fond memories of all the people I met and my time in Movements. 

Alan Potts
(Now in Temecula, CA having left Las Vegas)

From: Steve Harpum, Shrivenham, Wilts  
Sent: Saturday, December 08, 2012 05:09
Subject: Re: Holiday Greetings

Hi Tony,

I'd like to send Season's greetings to all movers everywhere and in particular those I've had the pleasure of serving with - Merry Christmas everyone, and a Happy New Year!

On a personal note, I'd like to say thanks to you for keeping this going - I do enjoy the OBA newsletters, not least because they bring back such happy memories.

Best wishes,

From: Kumar Mohindra, Tuffley, Glos
Sent: Sunday, December 09, 2012 05:51
Subject: Holiday Greetings




From: John Calver, Kempsford, Glos 
Sent: Sunday, December 09, 2012 05:00
Subject: Season's Greetings

Have a peaceful Christmas, best wishes to all.

John Calver

From: Barrie Wilson, Weymouth
Sent: Sunday, December 09, 2012 14:08
Subject: Re: The next OBA Newsletter - Holiday Edition

Hi Tony

The very best seasons greetings to you and yours.

A very Merry Christmas and a Happy (safe) New Year to all UKMAMS (1AMW) members and all Movers past and present.

Barrie (Tug) Wilson
From: Chris Radziun-Woodham, Didcot, Oxon
Sent: Monday, December 10, 2012 04:44
Subject: Next Newsletter

Hi Tony

A big thank you for the UKMAMS OBA web site, I had almost given up trying to find colleagues from the 50th Entry RAF Hereford until I found
your web site. Now I have retired I look forward to renewing old friendships including those who attended No22 JAMS course and all the movers who served with me at RAF Khormaksar and RAF Lyneham.

Looking forward to a possible C Flight 50th Entry reunion next year.

May I take this opportunity to wish all Air Movers especially old friends and colleagues a Happy Christmas and best wishes for 2013.

Best regards


From: Norman Munslow, Sutton Coldfield
Sent: Wednesday, December 12, 2012 14:43
Subject: Christmas Memories

Hello Tony,

Good to hear from you; keeping all of us old-timers up to date with events, thinking of all the good times we had while we were in the "mob" and still regretting all these years later that we've never been able to replace the comradeship we had in those days.

I spent Christmas 1960 - 62  in Nicosia Cyprus working part of the time on NFN (Nicosia Forces Network) as a DJ & announcer along with other dedicated bods. 

I'm sending some pictures of the Air Movements lads & officers during our Christmas celebrations; it would be wonderful if anyone saw themselves after all these years! 

Kind regards and season's greetings to all.

Norman Munslow
From: Charles Cormack, On the Oggin
Sent: Monday, December 10, 2012 06:26
Subject: Christmas Wishes

Just to wish all our friends on UKMAMS OBA all the very best for Christmas and the New Year.

Pam and I will be spending both holidays afloat on our way to and from the Caribbean as we are away for 25 days getting back to UK on 10th January hopefully with NO kids for a change.

We are active members of the SKI club (Spending Kid's Inheritance).

Hope everyone is keeping well and has a happy and prosperous 2013.

Chas & Pam Cormack

From: Charlie Gibson, Dundee
Sent: Wednesday, December 12, 2012 09:11
Subject: Xmas Greetings

Christmas Greetings to all Air Movers & MAMS past and present. 

May you be with your loved ones or return safe to them very soon

Chas Gibson

From:  Len Bowen, Chisholm ACT 
Sent: Thursday, December 13, 2012 20:04
Subject: RE: UKMAMS OBA OBB #113012


Many thanks for the latest OBA OBB. Excellent work as always.
I would like to thank Bill Girdwood for his kind thoughts and reminiscences, particularly about me being slim - that was a long time ago!  Had also almost forgotten making my TR available when I was 'down route'.

Unfortunately the TR (TR3A actually) was later written off one night when, returning to Seletar in the early hours of the morning from a private sin with one of the (female) RAF civilian school teachers, I made the mistake of swerving to avoid a tri-shaw that suddenly appeared out of an alleyway, and hit a traffic island.  Fortunately I wasn't hurt apart from a bloody nose, but the 9" high concrete island removed the sump, c/w crank shaft, gear box and back axle dif (admittedly I was in overdrive top at the time).  Definitely Cat 5.  Would have been much cheaper to hit the tri-shaw!

Replaced the TR with a Mk VII Jag with the view that (a) it was much bigger with which to hit tri-shaws and (b) it also had better ground clearance over traffic islands.  The Jag, too, was available for general use, but more usually to carry all the gear for the pop group I suddenly found myself  'road managering'. ' T.H.A.T. S.E.T.' - The Helicopter And Transport Social Entertainment Team - was made up of seven of my mates from Seletar, all either Whirlwind helicopter pilots or Beverley aircrew, and they decided that having a Movements Officer - especially one with a Mk VII Jaguar with a huge boot - was a good idea, so I was co-opted. Will leave the ' T.H.A.T. S.E.T.' story for some other time.

Back to the old TR, however.  She was the reason I gave up smoking.  I used to smoke a pipe ("Good for the young RAF officer image, don't'cher know; what what!"), but found out the hard way that whatever British B Movies and Hollywood in the 1950s may have shown, an open sports car and a pipe is not a good combination.  The slipstream from the open top converts the pipe into a miniature blast furnace, so that when one grasps the bowl of the pipe - especially if it is a stone meerschaum (£5 10/6d duty free from a NAAFI near you) - it is damned near red hot. 
When this happens one's immediate reaction is to drop the pipe.  The smoking hot pipe then lands in your lap, complete with flaming tobacco dottle which sprays everywhere.  Remember this is Singapore, so you are in shorts, and now have what feels like a small napalm weapon detonating between your legs and - more worryingly - up your shorts. 

This, of course, happens in Orchard Road in rush hour, so the general Singapore public is treated to the sight of a TR3A doing an emergency stop in the middle of the busiest traffic on the island, and the driver leaping out and beating at his smoking crotch. Now I know that back in the '60s, the Singapore girls were hot, but even by 'Swinging Sixties' (which hadn't actually reached Singapore by then, anyway) this is just a bit OTT!

I arrived back at the Seletar Mess with little of my dignity intact*, charred holes in my shorts and, worse, some charred holes in the TR's seat.  Immediate decision time.  Pipe or TR?  No contest; a red TR3A is better for a young officer's image than any damned evil smelling incendiary device masquerading as a smoking aid - and the rest, as they say, is history. (*Mine was the only red TR3A on Singapore at the time, and I just knew that word of the incident would soon get back to my mates.  It did - and cost me a lot of Tiger beers!)
Tony Mullen is long out of the RAAF.  He actually was the reason that I was short-toured on MATU ALT1 to take up the SMOVO job at Richmond.  Tony was posted in to replace Jimmy Halloran, another name that many Aussie movers will know well, but declined to leave his cushy billet at No 7 Stores Depot, Toowoomba, in Queensland.  Various altercations ensued between Tony and the RAAF flesh peddlers - sorry, Personnel Branch - but the upshot of it was I moved up to the SMOVO slot as an Acting Squadron Leader and Tony stayed in Queensland - albeit shortly thereafter in a civilian capacity....but I'll leave Tony to tell that tale.

Again, best wishes to all; Bill and Eileen, you and yours, and indeed all the movers round the world at this festive season.

Len Bowen

From: Richard Lloyd, Dalgety Bay, Fife
Sent: Friday, December 14, 2012 13:57
Subject: Xmas


Please wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a peaceful and fulfilling 2013 from me. That includes yourself, matey!



From: Budgie Baigent, Takaka, Tasman
Sent: Saturday, December 15, 2012 17:44
Subject: RE: The next OBA Newsletter - Holiday Edition

Hi Tony,

I trust you'll have a relaxing break and treat yourself to some festive cheer over the next couple of weeks.  Many, many thanks for the awesome job you do with OBA, you're a legend.

Here's wishing all Movers & Ex Movers a very Merry Xmas and prosperity in 2013.

All is well in Godzone, although retirement is a myth... busier now than I've ever been.  All those home jobs I put off for years are now in my face, but every day is Saturday!

In fact, it is Saturday today and here's the view from my window after another busy day :o)

Take care out there.

Kindest regards,


From: Harold Jones, Neston, Cheshire
Sent: Sunday, December 16, 2012 15:40
Subject: Re: The next OBA Newsletter - Holiday Edition

Cheers Tony,

I didn’t delay - 'cos I done it today!  (That rhymes as well.)

Saude, Jamas, A Votre Sante, Salute, Siveli, Scol, Skal, Na Stratauje, Yum Sing, Prosit or just CHEERS.

Christmas greetings to all Movers everywhere, with a special thought for Bob Thacker.

Harold, Val, Hounds and CAT
Wendy James, Mark Watson and Shaun Anderson
From: Peter Clayton, Wroughton
Sent: Tuesday, December 18, 2012 08:31
Subject: Re: The next OBA Newsletter - Holiday Edition

Hi Tony

First of all a big thank you for producing the newsletters again, I am sure that everyone enjoys reading them, keep up the great work.

I would like to send Season's Greetings to all serving members especially if they are away from home over Christmas, stay safe.  Also to the many retired members, the ranks of which I have now joined!  It is true that I have never been so busy, but loving it away from work.

A special hello to Steve Broadhurst in Australia, send me a mail Steve, not heard from you since you left to visit these shores in the summer (if you can call it a summer).  Looking forward to the next Meet & Greet in Swindon this week, when no doubt the usual suspects will be recalling a tale or two over a pint.

Happy Christmas and All the Best for 2013 to MAMS across the world and UK.


From: Alex Masson, Chelmsford
Sent: Tuesday, December 18, 2012 18:29
Subject: Christmas

Hello Tony,

Another year has almost gone and I am beginning to realise it is true what they say! The older one gets the faster time flies by!
I find nowadays I am just running to stand still!  The truth of course is that as one gets older one slows down. In my youth I ran around like a headless chicken - usually in circles and was in danger of disappearing up my own orifice. Now it seems my orifice is catching me up – not a pleasant thought!

Congratulations on another year of magnificent work producing the UKMAMSOBA ‘briefs’. You have achieved a great deal. Your site has grown and is ever more popular. We now have steady input from all the four corners of the earth and it is a joy to read all the articles put forward, including the banter between friends. I wish you a very Happy Christmas with the hope that 2013 will bring you all the best in health, wealth and happiness.

I also wish all the Movers and their families everywhere a very Happy Christmas and a Peaceful and Contented New Year.

From one of the dinosaurs who served at Lyneham 1955/56 and 57/58, Christmas Island 1956/57 and ‘Moved’ before Movers became Mobile!

From: Steve Richardson, Trenton, ON 
Sent: Tuesday, December 18, 2012 18:40
Subject: Season's Greetings- OBA Holiday Edition


We are wishing a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all the Canadian Movers stationed in USA, Afghanistan, England, Germany,
and Canada.   Hope you have a good one!

Steve  and  Vickie  Richardson

From: Ron Turley, Davao
Sent: Wednesday, December 19, 2012 02:51
Subject: Re: The next OBA Newsletter - Holiday Edition

A very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all readers of the OBA Newsletter from the Philippines.

Ron Turley

First RAAF C-27J enters final assembly

The RAAF’s first C-27J Spartan tactical transport has entered final assembly at Alenia Aermacchi’s Turin plant.
The fuselage for the future A34-001 was manufactured at Alenia Aermacchi’s Capodichino, Naples site before being transported to Turin via road and sea freight for final assembly.

Australia has ordered 10 Spartans to replace the Caribou retired three years ago, with the first C-27J scheduled to arrive in Australia in early 2015.  To be operated by the re-forming 35SQN at RAAF Richmond, the C-27J will provide airlift capability between the Army’s CH-47 Chinooks and RAAF 37SQN C-130J Hercules.

As reported in the November issue of Australian Aviation, the C-27J has seen active service with the USAF’s 135th airlift group in Afghanistan.  During its operation there, Colonel Thomas Hans was enthusiastic about the aircraft’s performance, saying: “On a scale of one to 10, I’d rate it a 10.  It has some great capabilities and seems to be suited for the tactical airlift mission.  If you want efficiency with small loads very frequently in a dynamic battlefield or natural disaster, the C-27J is the right fit for that job.”
Australian Aviation
From: Kevin Stanger, Calgary, AB
Sent: Wednesday, December 19, 2012 18:06
Subject: Season's Greetings!

Hi Tony,

Wishing all movers, past present a very safe Christmas and prosperous New Year.  I guess if you’re reading this the Mayan’s were wrong!

Kev “ Geordie” Stanger

From: Don Stewart, Lincoln
Sent: Thursday, December 20, 2012 05:41
Subject: Holiday Edition

A Merry Christmas and a Happy, Prosperous, and most of all, Healthy New Year to all.

I am still  playing at being a logistics and planning manager for the largest sandwich factory in the world.  Although  we've gone down to a 3 day week we still manage to get out about 1.5 million units over the 3 days; keeps me entertained and stops me getting bored! 

Best wishes to you all!

Don Stewart

End of an era for Lyneham RAF base

Residents and councillors gave three cheers for military staff at the former RAF Lyneham base when they said a final goodbye.

Around 2,500 staff made the move from Lyneham to Brize Norton in Oxfordshire last year, making space for a new Defence Technical Training College. Only a handful of staff stayed at the base to take charge of a final clear-out and, on Monday, they spent their last day there.

Squadron leader Rob Connolley, Master Aircrew Chris Bogg, Flight Sergeant Peter Willbraham and Senior Aircraftman Steve Kingdon, were the final four military members stationed at the base. They took part in flag lowering ceremony signalling the end of an RAF presence there. The short ceremony was watched by local civilians, including pupils from Lyneham Primary School.

Sqn Ldr Connolley also gave a speech reflecting on changes at the base since the final four Hercules planes left in July 2011.  He said: “Lyneham opened on May 18, 1940, with four officers, one other rank, 15 civilians, nine vehicles and no aircraft, which is quite similar to what we have today – there’s not many left behind.

“The occasion is a thank you to all the people who have supported us over the years and a thank you to all those who have turned up today. A lot of the people who have come today are ex-RAF and it’s a sad time for them as the village’s association with the unit goes.”

Although the flag has been lowered, the unit will still be owned by the RAF until December 31. After this it will be handed over the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO), which manages all grounds on behalf of the Ministry of Defence.
The new Defence Technical Training College will be fully established by 2020, with 1,950 students and staff there by 2015, rising to 4,300 when training is fully established.

Demolition work at the air base will start this month, beginning with some of the most derelict buildings on the site.

Coun Ron Glover, chairman of Lyneham and Bradenstoke Parish Council, was in the RAF for 30 years and worked at Lyneham for four years as a Corporal at the start of his career.

He said: “The community of Lyneham have come together today to say a fond farewell to our friend and neighbour, the Royal Air Force.

“As neighbours do, they are moving to a new home and we in Lyneham and Bradenstoke will be wondering, just as Brize Norton have done, about the new people moving in.Will they be better or worse than the neighbours before?

“Most probably, as with any neighbour, they will be much the same. The friendships will only develop over time when we feel comfortable in each other’s company.

“For now, Lyneham and Bradenstoke will be vigilant and watch over this empty base until our new neighbours are ready to move in.”

This is Wiltshire

That's it for this issue and this year!

Have a safe holiday.