The New Zealand Government has confirmed that five Lockheed Martin C-130J-30 Super Hercules transport aircraft will be purchased to replace the Royal New Zealand Air Force’s existing C-130H Hercules fleet, Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today, June 5, 2020.
“Last year, Cabinet selected these aircraft as the preferred option to replace the current Hercules fleet. Procurement of the Super Hercules has been my highest capability priority as Minister of Defence,” Ron Mark said.
“Along with the new fleet, the $1.521 billion project will deliver a full mission flight simulator and other supporting infrastructure. This fleet will ensure the Defence Force can continue to support New Zealand’s community resilience, our national security, our contribution to our Pacific neighbours and the wider global community.”
“This decision ensures tactical airlift will remain available to undertake operations in New Zealand’s immediate region, as well as support our interests in Antarctica, often in support of other government agencies,” the Minister added.
The new C-130J Super Hercules aircraft can carry a greater payload, is faster, and can travel further than the current Hercules aircraft. The variant being procured by New Zealand is the C-130J-30, the stretched version of the C-130J which adds 15 feet to the fuselage.
Each RNZAF aircraft will be fitted with additional specialist capabilities, including a wide bandwidth, high-speed satellite communications (SATCOM) system, and an electro-optical/infra-red (EO/IR) camera. The SATCOM system will allow imagery, video, and data to be streamed in real-time, and the camera allows for aerial surveillance, including at the same time as the aircraft is undertaking transport tasks, particularly useful on humanitarian and disaster relief operations (HADR) and search and rescue (SAR) missions.
The first of the new Super Hercules will be delivered in 2024, with the full fleet operating from 2025, allowing for a phased retirement of the current C-130 Hercules fleet.
Wg Cdr Tom Walker, current OC 1 AMW, placed the following request in the last newsletter: “1 Air Mobility Wing are in the process of constructing a history room to celebrate 50+ years of movements, UKMAMS and 1AMW. We know the history but we currently lack the photos, artefacts, and stories that bring it all to life – can you help us?”
I was able to put Andy in touch with Wg Cdr Walker
Chris Owen, Taff Allen, Al Hart, Robbie Robinson, Viv Neary-Phillips,
Yorkie Arundal, Chris Austin, John Belcher, Derek Read
Before the unpleasantness kicked off...
Viv Neary-Phillips’ top-table took place back on 5 March, in WO’s and Sgt’s Mess RAF Brize Norton. Excellent send off for Viv, after 36 years’ service. Some old faces and blasts from the past. Picture attached of retired movers who attended.
A Royal Air Force A400M was damaged following a bird strike while operating at Getafe Air Base, Spain. You might ask what kind of bird it was? I believe it was a dead one!
Greetings from a wet and cold Neston, what a change from the 8 weeks or so of continuous warmth and sunshine! Still my pond is now full and the strawberries are abundant; I have to be up early to beat the blackbirds to them.
Hopefully, now that we are allowed to, I will be having a couple of friends and Val round for a few drinks and nibbles this afternoon.
For my locked-down birthday in April, Val bought me a bottle of Bell's whisky. It came with it's own Corona mask!
Best wishes to all Movers.
Many Cheers, Harold.
Well we are still here alive and kicking. Restrictions are being eased quite a bit but not for us as we are in shielding due to Darrelle's heart problem and me with COPD.
Still things could be worse. At least here we have our neighbours (landlady & landlord), who are only 75 yards away so we can have a chat from a distance. Our shopping is still being done very kindly by Ann's daughter so we rarely end up short of anything and if we do we eat something else.
You asked for photo's of haircut or lack thereof so please find one attached. Hair referred to as the lawn and beard as the hedge. I must admit that it will be nice to get them both trimmed again once we are released from lockup.
I have managed to make a space in a couple of the cases of duty free bottles that I had gathered while on MAMS which have been stored away in the loft for years. The Bacardi does need a drop more coke now but still hits the spot.
Very best wishes to all.
I was fortunate that my neighbour Amanda offered to do all my shopping, even getting me my daily paper. I sent you a photo of her. A lovely lump of a girl, who will get a big hug (a "cwtch" in Wales) when this is all over!
My other photo is myself on my patio on VE day, beer, cake and baccy to hand. The whole street was out celebrating, it was a very pleasant evening.
In the morning four of us members of the local branch of the Royal British Legion laid a wreath for the fallen at the town war memorial. I was only five when the war ended, but I remember two of my school pals who lost their fathers in that war.
We do go out a bit now, but in Wales we still have to be six feet apart. We can only drive five miles max, but if we want to we can cycle forty miles; strange rules!
Cheers, Taff Price (Foxtrot Team 66/70)
Mark Bagnall, Huddersfield
Chris Clarke, Burlington, ON
Gaetan Chasles, Gatineau, QC
Richard Lloyd, Dunfermline, Fife
(Before and after - thanks Sue!)
The UK Royal Air Force (RAF) has revealed the RAF Voyager “Vespina” aircraft, which will provide transport for Government Ministers and the Royal Family, in a new paint job.
The aircraft recently completed its refurbishment and now proudly displays the Union Flag alongside RAF markings. According to RAF, the new paint scheme will promote the UK around the world while transporting Ministers, senior members of the Royal Family and their delegations on trade, diplomatic and other missions.
After weeks of work, the Voyager “Vespina” returned to RAF Brize Norton where it will operate alongside the rest of the RAF Voyager fleet. [In addition to] its VIP Role, the aircraft remains certified for its original use, including Air-to-Air Refuelling (AAR) and personnel transport. It can fly from and to almost any airport across the world that can take an Airbus A330, and its range allows it to reach much of the world without costly and time-consuming refuelling.
“This project was a privilege to have been involved in and I am delighted to have seen it delivered so quickly and efficiently, together with our industry partners. The aircraft’s new paint scheme will better reflect its prestige role which we are proud to undertake,” said Air Commodore Simon Edwards, the Senior Responsible officer for the project.
The aircraft, known as Vespina and also often referred to as ‘ZZ336’ which is its military registration number, was previously visually indistinguishable from the rest of the Operational Voyager Fleet which has a grey military livery. This external paint scheme will better reflect its VIP mission and contribution to ‘Global Britain’. The paintwork concludes a refurbishment stemming from the 2015 SDSR.
The Project first created and agreed an outline design before being modified to account for commercial, legal, operational and design needs. This process was not only about the visual design, this was a complex engineering project requiring detailed drawings which were developed by AIRBUS. Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group were then chosen to deliver the project on time and within budget.
(One media source said the paint job looks like something "from Austin Powers". The revelation triggered a barrage of aircraft-linked jokes on social media about the hit comedy starring Mike Myers as a British spy and his arch enemy Dr Evil.)
The first of a series of Royal Air Force flights taking medical supplies to Africa to help fight the coronavirus pandemic departed today - Saturday, June 27th 2020.
The RAF C-17 took off from RAF Brize Norton, Oxfordshire, on a journey funded by the Department For International Development. The transport aircraft was carrying a field hospital, which will be used for frontline aid workers in Africa. Aid workers are playing a crucial role in West Africa working to improve health systems, prevent the spread of coronavirus and save lives.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: “The RAF and NATO are always here to help our Allies, friends and those in need around the world. I’m proud that while dealing with COVID-19 we have the generosity of spirit to provide such support to Ghana and other countries.”
The field hospital, which weighs approximately 130 tonnes, the equivalent of seven buses, will be transported to Accra in up to five flights. WFP will then arrange for it to be built to support the coronavirus response where the need is most.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said: "NATO Allies are working together to address the COVID-19 pandemic, and to support our partners. Last month, NATO agreed to support the UN's global call for airlift assistance. I warmly welcome that the United Kingdom is the first NATO Ally to come forward with an aid flight, delivering supplies to build a field hospital in Ghana. This is a concrete demonstration of solidarity in action – NATO Allies stepping up to save lives."
Operated by 99 Squadron, the C-17 Globemaster is the RAF’s long-range, heavy-lift strategic transport aircraft that can operate close to a potential area of operations for combat, peacekeeping or humanitarian missions worldwide. Assisting the loading process were personnel from 4624 Royal Auxillary Air Force Squadron, providing a valuable contribution to the RAF global humanitarian effort at the end of Armed Forces Week that celebrated Reserves Day on Wednesday.
Royal Air Force
Sadly, and again like many other places, Tallinn is now suffering from the after effects, particularly in the tourist sector. The photo is of the old town square which would, in normal times, now be buzzing with large numbers of tourists, open air restaurant and bar terraces, stalls etc. One of the local hotel companies, that has three very nice hotels in Tallinn have just gone bankrupt, the Hilton will not re-open its doors here and so it goes on. Still there are signs of life elsewhere as others slowly get back to business and we are going to do our bit to support the local economy.
I was due to retire in August and take up employment with the Baltic Defence College in Tartu but have now been asked to extend in post until my very last day of service in January 2021 since my relief simply cannot get organised from the UK in time. Fortunately the College have been very understanding and will be keeping the post available for me until I can extricate myself from the RAF in an orderly fashion. My Royal Canadian Navy work colleague, who also served with me in Norway, is in the same boat (pardon the pun) and has been extended for a full year so its affecting very many people and will continue to do so for some time to come, I fear.
Anyway, Stay Safe wherever you are.
Two BAe146 Mk.3 aircraft operated by 32 (The Royal) Squadron have been adapted to transport critically ill patients and RAF medical staff for the first time, say the Royal Air Force in a news release.
Wing Commander Jo Bland is Officer Commanding Tactical Medical Wing, she was quoted as saying: “This has been an amazing achievement in all areas bringing together 32 (TR) Sqn residual capacity, Tactical Medical Wing’s aeromedical evacuation (aeromed) capability and the design, production and engineering skills of Joint Air Delivery Test & Evaluation Unit. This project embodies the very spirit of Astra; using existing military aircraft in a dual-hatted role and optimising use of key Defence assets. TMW have never delivered aeromed on the BAe146 in this manner before and it has been achieved at zero cost and in record time by smart use of pre-existing, available assets.”
The RAF also say that the Astra Programme aims to encourage innovation across the RAF. Personnel from TMW and 32 (TR) Sqn looked at the options for using the BAe146 on the 1st of April and concluded that stretcher stanchions already in use on Voyager could potentially be affixed to pallet flooring inside the aircraft.
“The engineering task was passed to the Joint Air Delivery Test & Evaluation Unit (JADTEU) at RAF Brize Norton who swiftly designed and produced a cleared and serviceable solution. Within a fortnight the adaptation was ready for prototype trials which determined the adaptations were suitable for all types of aeromed, including use by the Critical Care Air Support Team. Following some crew training the BAe146 was declared available for use in its new role some two months after the initial request.”
In addition, Atlas, Hercules, Globemaster and Voyager are all able to transport patients and medical personnel, similarly Puma and Chinook helicopters.
The addition of the BAe146 allows greater flexibility as Wing Commander Bland explained: “The advantage of the BAe146 is that it can land at airports where Voyager can’t due to its smaller size and footprint. It suits our purposes brilliantly for short hops which can be completed at less cost and with less impact on the environment.”
UK Defence Journal
Hi Tony and all the Old Bods,
Thought I'd try a few lines and a pic or three
Hair has gone haywire. Would be okay but its all grey-ish
Toenails - usually have a nice lady in the beauty parlour do them for me - had to do them myself last week - took me two days to stand up again
Faceless - with a face like mine... (no comment!)
Stay safe keep smiling and keep on drinking in the shed - oops, I mean summerhouse!
My best to you all
John Anderson, Darlington
Dave Elliott, Skelmersdale
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Paul, son of Allan & Kay Mitchley (RAF)
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