A second Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) C-130H Hercules flight will take more supplies tomorrow to cyclone-struck Vanuatu, including tarpaulins and other equipment to build temporary shelters. The flight to Vanuatu follows one last weekend, as well as a flight this morning to Fiji, which was also hard hit by Category 5 Tropical Cyclone Harold.
Today’s Hercules flight to Nadi, Fiji, is delivering more than 2000 tarpaulins, 94 water containers, five diesel generators, 10 chainsaw packs, satellite phones and 550 packs of hygiene products for families such as soap and sanitary items as part of New Zealand’s support to the relief efforts.
An RNZAF Hercules will fly to Port Vila tomorrow to deliver 2500 tarpaulins, 150 tool kits, and more than 350 kilograms of hygiene products for families in Vanuatu.
The flight to Vanuatu last weekend delivered water cans, chainsaw kits, agricultural tool kits and some satellite phones, while also on board was a privately owned Robinson R66 helicopter to be used in the relief efforts. To prevent any potential spread of COVID-19, all the cargo is sanitised before loading and again on off-loading.
Air Component Commander Air Commodore Tim Walshe said the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) had been working with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade to deliver the emergency supplies following the Category 5 cyclone, which caused extensive damage in the Pacific. With the Ministry’s assistance, people wanting to repatriate to New Zealand from Vanuatu and Fiji have also been able to come to New Zealand on the return flights by the Hercules aircraft.
The NZDF has a medical team on the aircraft to Fiji today to assist with the repatriation of people to New Zealand from Fiji and to provide guidance around COVID-19 safety precautions.
Air Commodore Walshe said the NZDF was pleased to be able to provide assistance to Pacific neighbours in their time of need.
New Zealand Defence Force
Well, not really, but this wonderful picture is believed to have been taken at RIAT Fairford some years ago. Actual date and photographer unknown.
From: Gerald Blaquire, Hunter River PE
Subject: How the OBA impacted my life
The OBA has given me the opportunity to stay in touch with the guys. The most notable was when I met Tom Bayliss - a one in a kazillion chance. It was good to be able to connect you two. I had him on my bus for a shore excursion, and was able to establish that he was a mover, thus an interesting conversation only to find he knew you. Had I not been part of this association we would have never made the connection. Amazing! A Small world! Stay healthy "ALL MOVERS"
From: Brian Canfer, Shrewsbury
Subject: Message of Appreciation
Just a note of appreciation from the RAF Mountain Rescue Association. I thoroughly enjoyed your article on RAF Masirah especially the mention of the DMRT callout in 1972 that I was unaware of. Having served on Canberras in Cyprus 1968-69 I think your mention of Vulcans from Akrotiri in 1968 should be 1969.
From: Richard (Taff) Allen, Llanmartin, Newport, Monmouthshire
I hope everyone is staying safe, locking down and keeping out if trouble! Doing fine here in South East Wales, gardening and out walking locally which we are lucky enough to be able to do down here! fantastic weather so lots of photo opportunities!
From: Richard Lloyd, Dunfermline, Fife
We are well here, although surroundings tend to be a bit samey. Missing direct human contact. Wishing all movers safety and sanity as the long days pass.
From: Roger Whittington, Prescot, Merseyside
I keep myself busy with Zen Gardening and it’s brilliant. What you do is, the evening before, put four bottles of wine in the fridge so they get nice and cold. The following day when the sun comes out, sit in the garden and drink the wine and get as contemplative as a newt. It must be good because I can’t remember the last three weeks of lockdown at all! Here’s hoping everyone is staying safe and keeping well. Cheers from a rather blurry northwest of England.
From: Axel Jinadu, Mallorca
Hope fellow OBA members and your loved ones are all managing to keep safe and well of body, and strong and positive of spirit! Lockdown Day 34 (17 April) here in the Balearics (Spain). And with no outside leisure activities permitted, indoor cycling on a turbo trainer in the ‘mancave’ is one of the many ways Shirley and I keep active and positive... Stay safe everyone! Regards as ever, Axel Jinadu (MAMS 95-97, RAFLO Bahrain 98-00)
From: Mike McCann, Harrogate
Tony and all movers young and old. Sandra and I are well here in Harrogate. Both our kids, their spouses and our grandkids are all well too. I pass the time ass a DJ on Veterans Radio, an online music station for us oldies. I knew that my Radio Gan training would kick in eventually. I’m on Tuesday and Thursdays 1600-1800 and Saturdays 1200-1400 UK time. You can listen in here: www.veteransradionet.co.uk Hope you and yours are all well too, Mike & Sandra McCann
From: Nigel Moore, Devauden, Monmouthshire
Lockdown: Shed immaculate, not a blade of grass out of place and cars gleaming. Now dreaming of another self-drive holiday in Namibia. Keep safe and regards to all.
From: Andy Kime, Secret Hideout (Llangollen)
Hi Tony, hope this finds you and yours well and coping with this strange turn of events? All well in my secret hideout in North Wales. Working from home 5 days a week helps keep me busy and the weeks of lockdown just fly by. When not working I am helping Sue out in the garden and working on clearing my backlog of aircraft kits started then put aside pending renewed interest. Wishing everybody good health and retained sanity. See you on the other side!
From: Charlie Marlow, Freshwater, Isle of Wight
I’m in great form Tony, out daily walking and keeping in touch with many friends by social media. Yesterday I cycled down to Harewoods store in Yarmouth to buy an extra bottle of gin to see me through the lockdown. Got outside and thought I was a bit wobbly coming down here, what if I fall and break the bottle? I thought "bugger it!" and I sat on the harbour wall and drank it all. Just as well I did - I fell off the bike 8 times on the way home!
From: Allan Mitchley, Rhyl, Denbighshire
We have just moved from an 8 bedroom ex-guesthouse to a 2 bedroom bungalow. Now in lockdown with 80 boxes in the shed. Unable to make my retirement man cave. It's like being at Brize Norton on Tacevals. Stay safe Tony, best regards, Allan and Kay Mitchley.
From: James Cunningham, Fareham, Hants
Hi Tony, hope you and yours are keeping well during this horrific pandemic.We should have been heading to Texas in two weeks time but like many others we have to accept the situation. Jo and I are in good spirits, we only go out for exercise. Our lovely daughters are looking after us. Best wishes to all members, keep strong, keep safe, see you all on the other side. Regards, Jim Cunningham.
From: Don Hatton, Liscomb, NS
My wife Fern and I are doing well, we’ve imposed self-isolation upon ourselves fo well over a month now. Fern says we’ve been isolated for the past thirty years, living at the dead end of a pulp road which has made the transition seamless. I keep busy in my woodworking shop and Fern is cleaning where no one has cleaned before. We’re anxiously awaiting for warm temperatures so we can dig in the dirt. All the best to all the movers and their families, keep well and “negative”. Through the grace of God and following the advice of our health professionals we will get through this!
From: Barry Tappenden, Shortstown, Beds
Hi Tony, firstly I hope you and your family are well and staying safe. Lockdown for me is busy as we are still broadcasting on Hospital Radio Bedford, albeit from the comfort of my bedroom. I've been banned anywhere else in the house because of the constant swearing when the WiFi drops out. The radio station is reaching all parts of the globe on the web: www.hospitalradiobedford.org.uk so the offer to all members if you want me to send a message then send it to my email address email@example.com. I go out live on Tuesday between 5 - 7pm (BST) and Saturday morning between 10 - 12noon (BST). Please mark the subject "Lockdown Special Request". From my family to yours, stay safe.
From: John Leek, 79380 La Ronde, Deux Serves
Lynne and I escaped from Portugal on 15th March with a 1250 km/11-hour drive through Spain into SW France. Night stopped in Bayonne in an hotel that was closing the next day. Home on 16th, emergency shop then complete lockdown. Been shopping once since then. Next venture out will be early May! Hope and trust that all group members are safe and well.
From: Arthur Rowland, St Ives, Cambs
Trust you are well during this turbulent period. Still fit enough to keep the dog exercised. Best wishes to all Movers, stay safe and, as my Movements staff said to me (it is inscribed on the redundant 5000 lb tensioner which they presented to me), "In times of tension, screw weekly"
From: John Tudor, Stevenston, Ayrshire
During this lockdown period I have been using my time to track my relations on various ancestry sites and have found quite a few skeletons in the cupboard that should probably stay in the cupboard! The garden is looking good but it needs bedding plants which we cannot get. Stay safe everybody; it will end eventually.
From: Keith Hubbard, Kilgetty, Pembroke
Everything fine with me in Pembrokeshire. 4 weeks in lockdown and never spent so much time on the lathe!
From: John Bell, Desborough, Northants
With this great spell of warm weather we have had, and are still having, it has been good to get out into the garden and get our hands dirty. We are both well and hope that all movers everywhere are staying safe; those we know, those we have never met and all their families.
Regards, John and Jean Bell.
From: Jim Abbott, St Albert, AB
My wife, Maureen, and I are trying to stay safe in an apartment in St Albert, Alberta. Trying to keep busy in the bad weather by walking in the parking garage of our building. Probably better off than a lot of folks... Everyone stay safe! Have a "Great Air Force Day"... Eh!
From: Paul Stanford, Chelmsford, Essex
All is well with me and the family. In splendid isolation in my pub-shed whenever I get the chance - life can be tough! Still working 3 days a week from home (the shed) and getting though all those garden jobs I didn’t know existed. Stay safe everyone.
From: Jerry Allen, Cheltenham, Glos
All is well here in the Cotswolds. Three little-mentioned advantages of lock-down: (1) Improving bakery skills (2) The word ‘Brexit’ no longer features on the news (3) Petrol is really cheap. Three little-mentioned disadvantages of lock-down: (1) My wife is home (2) She thinks I should work harder on the garden (3) She thinks I should decorate. Our very best wishes to everyone, Kim and Jerry Allen
From: Peter Clayton, Wroughton, Wilts
I am keeping well and staying safe in these very strange days, I hope that is the case for everyone. The weather has been really good for being outside and I have taken advantage by sorting out the sheds and tackling the garden. I have also been doing my permitted exercise on my bike, I attach a photo near the village of Compton Bassett that some families may remember from their time at Lyneham. Stay safe and keep well. Best wishes, Peter
From: Ian Berry, West Swindon
I hope everyone is surviving this lock down, smiling at their wives and obediently working through the list they have been given? Special wishes to those who are at risk more so due to illness or ongoing treatments. Fortunately the panic buying is subsiding although there still seems a fetish for toilet rolls? I have become "Gin Critical" but Christine, my nominated shopper, just smiles and said "Tough!" So, in my garage I have found many rare bottles... one stamped "NAAFI STORES - HM FORCES" and another (Apfelkorn) with an 8.99 Deutschemarks tag on it! Stay safe.
From: Harold Jones, Neston, Cheshire
As a lifelong railway modeller, this "confined to camp" has its good points. Like most modellers, I have a large collection of bits and bobs and unstarted projects and quite a few that need completing. I am spending lots of time in my workshops, starting and completing many jobs. I have also carried out some non-essential tasks - my window cleaning has come on by leaps and bounds! Val is self isolating at her home, to be near her family, as a result we have now joined the mobile telephone set and video call each other daily. One of the tasks I had, was to paint and decorate some railway freight comprising assorted wicker baskets, beer crates and casks and mail bags (remember how the rough canvas bags took the skin off your knuckles when loading them?). When I came to do the crates of lemonade I just could not resist the temptation! Greetings to all fellow movers and thanks to you,Tony, for keeping us all together.
From: Peter Chappell, Honiton, Devon
Hi all, still doing OK during lock down, in fact it's not much different, still doing 12 hour shifts for Capital Air Ambulance. Getting exercise through walking my dog, and spending time in the garden. Photo of me just about to start a night shift from my home office. Keep it up guys we have all been through a lot worse than this, and come out smiling (or is that smelling?).
From: Alan Power, Lyneham, Wilts
Hi everyone, between sitting in the garden and walking around the perimeter fence at Lyneham, Aileen and I are both fit and well. Keep smiling, things can only get better. Stay safe, Paddy and Aileen Power.
From: Ian Place, Meanwood, West Yorks
Hi Tony hope everyone is well and keeping safe. Strange times these. In this photo April and I are outside our flat after our allowed walk--- Ian
From: Paul Newman, Peterborough, Cambs
I am currently volunteering with Team Rubicon UK, a Veterans' organisation, receiving and distributing PPE to everywhere, other than Hospitals, in Cambridgeshire. I spent my 65th on Saturday being a blanket stacker doing a huge order for care homes. I’ve even got a NHS email address so can get 20% off a curry. The best thing is I get to fly a forklift again, last time being on the Antonovs with Heavylift. Stay safe all.
Welcome to the OBA!
Dave Gillinder, Lowestoft, Suffolk
Gary Basterfield, Calgary, AB
Nige Cameron, Mansfield, Derbyshire
Phil Beese, Royal Wootton Bassett, Wilts
Crucial supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE) for medical staff have been delivered into a Royal Air Force base for distribution around the country.
Following an agreement between the UK and Turkey, 250,000 items of PPE equipment to the UK, including 50,000 N-95 face masks; 100,000 surgical masks; and 100,000 protective suits, arrived at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire on Friday. The supplies will be taken to a regional NHS distribution hub to be delivered to medical centres across the country.
RAF bases have been a vital resource during the coronavirus pandemic, with military and chartered civilian flights utilising them to deliver resources and repatriate Britons stranded across the globe.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: "The delivery of this vital equipment will bring protection and relief to thousands of critical workers across the UK, as they bravely and tirelessly work to keep us safe. It is also a tribute to the strong bilateral ties with our ally Turkey, and I am immensely grateful for their kind gesture. As NATO Allies we can always depend on each other, whatever the threats we face.”
This is just one way the UK’s Armed Forces are helping, in addition to helping to establish temporary hospitals, delivering supplies and assisting with a variety of tasks to support the NHS and other public bodies.
The delivery by Turkey comes after 37 tonnes of UK aid was supplied by an RAF C-17 last month to those affected by the crisis on its border with Syria. The UK has also received 60 ventilator units from the German army, as it continues to strengthen its resources to fight coronavirus.
Royal Air Force
The UK Armed Forces have delivered essential equipment to the Falkland Islands to enable the construction of an oxygen generation plant to increase the supply of oxygen to King Edward Memorial Hospital. A Royal Air Force A400M Atlas along with a C-17 Globemaster delivered the equipment to British Forces South Atlantic Islands as part of the UK Government’s support to the Overseas Territories during the coronavirus pandemic.
Thanks to the tireless work of Armed Forces personnel and Ministry of Defence civilians and contractors, the hospital will now have increased capacity to treat patients with breathing difficulties. A team from 5001 Sqn RAF Wittering will shortly deploy to assist in the installation and maintenance of the oxygen generation plant.
Air Force Globemasters have carried critical supplies to Vanuatu and Fiji in the wake of Tropical Cyclone Harold, which hit the island countries on April 6. The flights were part of the ADF’s contribution to Australia’s whole-of-government response to the humanitarian crisis.
A C-17A Globemaster, from 36SQN at RAAF Base Amberley, delivered pallets of humanitarian supplies to support the disaster relief efforts of the governments of Vanuatu and Fiji.
Air Movements personnel from 23SQN prepared and loaded the first aircraft with stores from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade on April 9 and the mission departed for Vanuatu on April 12.
OC 86WG GPCAPT Anthony Bull said the C-17A also transported Australians and permanent residents back to Australia via Brisbane International Airport. “Despite these challenging times it is rewarding to be able to deliver assistance to our Pacific neighbours,” GPCAPT Bull said. “Flying in Australian aid is professionally very satisfying. The Air Force is a proven partner in times of crisis and our personnel are ready to move at short notice.”
23SQN prepared two more C-17A loads for Fiji that arrived in Nadi in the third week of April. C-17A captain FLTLT Chris Moore said the loads contained critical humanitarian relief supplies including kitchen kits, hygiene and shelter kits and critical medical supplies.
This Newsletter is Dedicated
To the Memories of:
David Taylor (RAF)
Linda Angus - wife of Alec (RAF)
If you wish to help support the OBA:
In Canada, via bank e-mail transfer to
Overseas (including the UK), you may send Cheque or Money Order to:
602-60 Rue Cormier,
Gatineau, Quebec, J9H 6B4