RAF A400M Operationally Refueled For The First Time
A Royal Air Force (RAF) Atlas C1 (A400M) transport aircraft has been operationally refueled for the first time. RAF announced this on August 11 and stated that the operation was conducted from a RAF Voyager aircraft flying from the Falklands Islands. The refueling forms part of RAF’s effort at rolling out of new capabilities of the A400M.

The Airbus A400M was flown from RAF Brize Norton to Ascension Island, before proceeding to the Falklands. During the flight the A400M was met by a RAF Voyager over the South Atlantic, that had earlier taken off from Mount Pleasant Complex, the main principal military base on the Falklands.

Flight Lieutenant James, Captain of the Airbus Voyager KC3 aircraft which conducted the probe and drogue refueling via the centerline hose stated, “It was a great privilege to Captain the Voyager on the first operational re-fuel of an Atlas, after successfully meeting them some 900 nautical miles southwest of Ascension Island and 2600 nautical miles northeast of Mount Pleasant Airfield. The Voyager’s capability to extend the global reach of our aircraft is remarkable.”

The operation required the A400M to maintain close formation with the tanker for the duration of the activity while fuel was transferred by the Mission Systems Operator, flying in the Voyager. Sergeant Juerschik from 101 Squadron, the Mission Systems Operator who controlled the refueling from the Voyager stated, “This is the first time the Atlas has been refuelled operationally and by any of the crew, which provided a new exciting opportunity. Whilst I have refuelled the Atlas in the simulator, it had no comparison to the operational pressures of being over the sea with more than 900 nautical miles to nearest land. As a crew, we delivered more than 20 tonnes of fuel to the Atlas. This enabled members of 30 Squadron to deliver the aircraft and essential parts to the Typhoon Force in the Falklands.”

The A400M entered operational service with the RAF in 2004. 22 aircraft were ordered initially with more expected to be ordered in the coming years. It is capable of transporting troops, armoured vehicles and helicopters with a total payload capacity of 37 tons. It is designed to undertake tactical airlift missions with strategic reach using air to air refueling. The successful operation improves the capability of the Air Mobility Force to deliver essential cargo to the South Atlantic when required.


From: Len Bowen, Chisholm, ACT 
Subject: Re: UKMAMS OBA OBB #073122

G'Day Tony,

Thanks for the latest OBA OBB, excellent as always... until I came to "This Newsletter is Dedicated to the Memory of Group Captain Jock Drysdale".

OMG. Jock & I went through OCTU at RAF Feltewell in 1964.  In fact Jock was 'Sword of Honour' on our Course (see photos). 

We later did the Equipment Officers' Course at RAF Upwood (1964) and the Senior Air Movements Course at RAF Abingdon (1965) together.  At the end of the Air Movs Course all the graduates were asked to nominate our preferred first AMS posting.  I asked for Borneo and Jock asked for Aden.  We were the only two on the Course who got our first choice (RAF Labuan & RAF Khormaksar respectively); all the rest got Lyneham, Colerne or Abingdon. 

If I recall correctly, Jock was one of the very last members of the RAF out of Aden. I remember him telling me that as he boarded the last Herc out of Khormaksar, he was advised by a large gentleman in a sandy coloured beret that even if he (Jock) had forgotten anything he was NOT to go back into the AMS building.  SAS had left a few little 'presents' in all the major buildings on the Station for the FLN rebels already clamouring at the perimeter fence, and the rebel take-over of the place "went with a bang" .... or two ... or three.

Jock and his wife Mary, who was also on our OCTU Course, later met up with Penny and I at a number of places round UK, before we emigrated to Australia in 1977, after which we rather lost touch.  The notice of his death in OBB 073122 came as more than a shock to Penny & I, as Jock would be about the same age as myself; mid 70s.

I will go through my scrap books and old photos and see if I can find any more relevant photos of my old mate.  RIP Jock, my good old friend.



From: Ian Envis, Crowborough, East Sussex  
Subject: Re: UKMAMS OBA OBB #073122

Hi Tony,

Another excellent newsletter and delighted to see Simon Baxter recognised the oldies from Jerry Babington's submission back in June.

Some of the stories - especially about trophies were superb and most enjoyable.

The gathering at the RAF Club was Don Hunter's idea and the line-up proved that our sense of humour and banter had not collapsed with age - perhaps we need to follow the new SAS Rules to prevent offending somebody with our ''non-woke'' behaviour?

Shame Mike Perks was not available as we may have heard from the famous author writing in the Akrotiri Station Mag prefixing Movers antics as ''All flap no fly'' hence, ''Penguins.''

Cheers, Ian
Ex-Delta Team and other Movements' posts.

From: Fred Martin, Godalming, Surrey 
Subject: Re: OBA OBB #073122

Hi Tony,

I just read the item about the SAS in the latest newsletter. It bought another story to mind about SAS troopers coming back from an up-country mission in Aden and getting very lairy in the Air Movements passenger lounge at Khormaksar.

In September 1962, a coup took place over the border in Yemen. The new regime were backed by Egypt. One of their intentions was to destabilise British rule in the Aden protectorate. To this end, Egypt sent some 20,000 troops into the Yemen. As this was only six years after the Suez crisis, the British Government had no desire to be involved in a major military conflict in the area. It was therefore decided that small Special Forces (SAS) teams be engaged in covert missions in the Yemen to cause maximum disruption to the Egyptian forces.

We first became aware of this in Air Movements at Khormaksar when several fearsome looking fellows wearing Arab headdress were frequently turning up to board flights to various up country airstrips; very rarely more than six at a time. This was my first encounter with the SAS.

One evening we had an up-country flight in and half a dozen of these fellows, looking quite dishevelled, disembarked and went into the passenger lounge to await their transport back to barracks. It happened that the bar was still open and the troopers made the most of it, ordering loads of cans of beer and swallowing it as quickly as they ordered. They began to get quite vocal and were piling cans up in pyramids on the table.

The DAMO asked me to call the RAF Police. The guardroom was just 3 minutes drive away. After about 15 minutes an Army lorry turned up and in marched a short stocky fellow. The troopers immediately jumped up and stood to attention. The short stocky chap was their RSM. He went along the line of soldiers absolutely going mad at them and telling them they were all a f*****g disgrace to their regiment. These huge fearsome warriors, the elite of the British Army were literally quaking in their boots. They filed out quietly, boarded their lorry and disappeared into the night.

Ten minutes later an RAF policeman turned up, peered around the door and said, “Have they gone yet?" I told him that they had and he replied, “Thank goodness for that, I didn’t fancy taking on that lot!"

Best regards,


Royal Canadian Air Force Welcomes New Commander
August 12, 2022 - This morning, Lieutenant-General Eric Kenny assumed command of the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) from Lieutenant-General Al Meinzinger. The ceremony was presided over by General Wayne Eyre, Chief of the Defence Staff, at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum in Ottawa, Ontario.

Lieutenant-General Kenny takes command as the 21st Commander of the RCAF. He has served in a myriad of roles throughout his career, on the flight line, in staff and command roles, and while deployed on operations. He most recently served as the Commander of 1 Canadian Air Division and Canadian NORAD region.

The outgoing commander, Lieutenant-General Meinzinger, has served as Commander of the RCAF since 2018, and will retire from the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) after 37 years of distinguished service.

The RCAF defends and protects Canadian and North American airspace in partnership with the United States, supports military operations at home and abroad, is responsible for the National Search and Rescue Program, force generates air and space-related capabilities for military operations, and delivers training and education to members of the RCAF.

Canadian Aviation News

From: Syd Avery, Guardamar del Segura, Alicante 
Subject: A Funny Thing Happened...


Tehran in 1972. Staying in the Elizabeth Hotel (at least I think that was it's name). Woke up in the morning, hearing a drip, drip, drip. Saw water running down the wall and an ominous patch on the ceiling. On the way to breakfast, mentioned this to reception. "Thank you Sir, we will look into it."

Back from brekkies, finished packing, dripping water transformed to a steady trickle, ceiling patch bigger. Exit room and closed door.

B A N G! Opened room door, the ceiling was on the bed. On the way out, mentioned this to reception. "Thank you Sir, we will look into it."

Cheers the noo,


From: John Scott, Waterloo, ON
Subject: A happening


Over the many years of C130 flights from Trenton, Lahr and Gatwick many ’things’ have ’slipped the surly bonds of Transport Command rules’. In fact it can be said that ‘adherence to regulation is directly proportionate to the distance from headquarters’.

The story begins: In about April of a given year, whilst I was preparing for my repatriation to Canada from Lahr, SWMBO (she who must be obeyed) had been informed by a friend in Wales that a brood of Corgis had been born, and that should we wish to have one, a pup would be ok to travel near the end of June. The contents of our residence had been packed and picked up for onward transport to Toronto.

The family hopped on a flight to Gatwick, rented a car and drove to Talgarth, Wales. The next day a pup was selected (named Bischen Bauren of Trewalkin = Little Welsh baron) aka Taffy.

All proper shots were applied, drove back to Gatwick and left said Taffy with dear friend (name withheld to protect the guilty). We all returned to Lahr and the next day Boeing'd to YTR.

It took a couple of days, but said Taffy, surreptitiously in a suitable transport cage,  arrived by C130 at YTR. Aircraft parked. Customs entered rear of aircraft while Taffy exited via the crew door covered with a cloth and was transported onto the crew bus. I picked him up in Ops and he became a member of our family for 17 years.

John R. Scott Major (ret’d)
Ex 436 Sqn

RCAF, Quebec drilling company help in rescue of trapped miners
The Royal Canadian Air Force and a Quebec drilling company teamed up to help rescue two miners in the Dominican Republic that were trapped underground.

Master Cpl. Shane Dich, a traffic technician with the air force, says 8 Wing Trenton snapped into action quickly to transport crucial excavation equipment from a drilling company in Val D'Or down to the island nation to get the miners out. "Finding out the miners were safely removed was probably the single most relief I've ever had," said Dich. "This is what we've trained for."

Dich said he got a call on Aug. 4 telling him to be ready within 24 hours. His job was to go to Val D'Or and see if the giant drill was deployable to the Dominican Republic. The drill weighed thousands of pounds and had to be transported on a C-17 aircraft. "It's a situation or something that had never been done before,"  said Dich, "and time was of the essence to get all this stuff there all at once."

Christian St-Amour, the operations manager at Machine Roger, the company that provided the drill, said they have a special drill head that is wider than many others on the market — about 76 centimetres in diameter — and it can drill a hole wide enough to pull a person through. St-Amour and four other staff flew to the Dominican Republic in the C-17 with the drill. He said that despite the work they put into planning the shipment, there were a lot of unknowns about the conditions on the ground that made the task daunting.

"That was a lot of pressure," said St-Amour. He said he saw when the rock in between the miners and freedom broke, and heard the miners call out to the rescuers. St-Amour said the two miners looked to be "in pretty good shape" as they drove back to the surface. "The party started right after that. Everybody was happy," said St-Amour.

The two miners with the Dominican Mining Corporation, Gregores Mendez and Carlos Yepez, were trapped in the underground Cerro de Maimon mine from July 31 to Aug. 9.


From: Vern (Mike) Lefebvre, Burton, NB
Subject: A funny thing happened...

Hi Tony,

In the 70’s, we used to do training exercises on a one-way move by airlifting a regiment or a specific unit.  Example:  The R 22 Regiment  from Quebec to Rimouski just across the St Lawrence River, under 100 km, where they stayed for a week or so then drove home.  As did the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI) from Victoria to Abbotsford, set up camp, train and identify the order or advantage of prioritizing some groups over others at the air base.

One of those took place at Earlton-Témiscamingue Airport, Ontario, where we were on the receiving end of a group who offloaded a bulldozer among the first loads where it made roads in fields covered with snow for the rest of the equipment to be gathered.

On our way back to work from a B&B one morning, we were travelling in our Ford Econoline van and our centre of gravity was definitely out of kilts. It was basically a cargo van that had 2 folding benches, one on each side.  So, with a full load the driver took a corner abruptly at low speed in the village and the van laid down on its side.

We crawled out, flipped it back on its wheels, got in, put our feet against the caved-in side and together, on the count of 3, made it like new.

We all had a great laugh and kept it a secret!

One more... In the mid 60’s, when beer was 10¢ a glass, we had the habit of every one putting $1 on the table and the waitresses would keep the beer coming and take the money from the table. One day, we had a newbie lieutenant with us and he decided to take control of the funds. We had no objections, we all threw in our $1 and drank beer.

The next morning someone heard the lieutenant saying it was an expensive night last night!

I’ll drink to that!



From: Andy State, Melbourne, VIC 
Subject: A funny thing happened...

Hi Everyone,

As RAFLO Nairobi 97-99, I have many stories from Africa, most not printable here, but I do have a cute one from a Royal Cocktails party at the British High Commission.

Princess Anne and Commodore Tim Lawrence were visiting and as the only RAF rep, my wife, family and I were invited. Ultimate name drop, but I was sipping cocktails with HRH and CMDRE Tim, when my son (aged 3) crashed into Tim knocking him to the ground, I somewhat embarrassingly turned back to HRH who smiled knowingly. Reassured, I told her that we'd been telling my one year old daughter, who at that point was balanced on my hip, that she would be meeting the Queen. HRH raised her eyebrows and simply said "Ooo, promotion"... I've been a fan ever since...

Stay safe out there everyone.

Andy State (Somewhere in Australia)

Ever wondered what Armed Forces personnel get in their ration packs?
Fancy a chocolate flavour cake, some tutti fruity drink powder or raspberry toasted muesli? They are all tasty items on the menu in the current UK military personnel ration packs. A Freedom of Information (FOI) request has revealed what foods are on offer for the nine main rations packs provided to personnel.

All of the ration packs (apart from the Cold Rations pack) include 10 different menus with an assortment of different food items. Energy drink powders are crucial and occur frequently on all of the menus in a bunch of interesting flavours, from grapefruit and pineapple to tutti fruity.

To give an idea of some of the kinds of foods on offer in the menus, the types of ration packs that are currently provided could include the following:

24-hour General Purpose pack – meals include chicken sausages and beans, chicken curry with potato and rice, and Indonesian-style spicy rice with pork. Among the packs are a range of sweet treats too such as exotic fruit nougat, cola bottles and several different flavoured cakes.

24-hour Vegetarian pack – some examples of the meals are raspberry toasted muesli with milk, frittatas and Kashmiri potato curry.

24-hour Kosher pack – among the menus are an assortment of different food items to best suit the Kosher diet such as Kosher chicken with dhal, Kosher beef bolognese pasta and Kosher beef with kale and rice.

24-hour Halal pack – included in the rations pack are food items including Halal chicken jalfrezi, chickpea and rice, halal steak and vegetables, and mac and cheese to best suit the religious and cultural requirements.

The 24-hour Sikh/Hindu pack - includes vegetarian sausage and beans, raspberry toasted muesli with milk as well as more foods to best suit the religious and cultural requirements.

24-hour Enhanced pack – similar menu items to the general purpose but full of more energy drink powders in a number of flavours, like apple, cola, and pear.

The 24-hour Cold Climate pack - includes eight menus of food items such as lime and pepper tuna pouches, salt-crusted peanuts, BBQ peanuts, cheese biscuits, dark chocolate and strawberry jam.

8-hour Single Meal pack – included are more condensed 10 menus with a range of food items such as steak, vegetables and dumplings, halal chicken jalfrezi, chickpea and rice.

The 10-Man pack - includes five different menus with an assortment of different food items, including minced beef in gravy, instant mashed potato powder, chocolate chip and orange flapjack biscuits, canned cheese and corned beef.

Survival Rations are also part of the portfolio of rations provided but there are no menus available.

What can be seen in the menus is a wide range of variants which are designed to meet the religious and cultural requirements of the modern, diverse nature of the British military and the climate in which they operate.

All menus have been developed to ensure maximum choice for the end user and to prevent menu fatigue.

Watch: NATO troops compared their army ration packs last year.
From: Bryan Morgan, Abingdon, Oxon 
Subject: A funny thing happened...


As the boss of UKMAMS, the C Mov O detailed me to accompany Chris Twyman and his team on an eastbound worldwide Belfast trainer. One particular load we were tasked with, a Sabre Jet flight simulator, was to accompany the squadron of aircraft the RAAF had sold to the Indonesian Air Force; it was deemed to be a touch difficult even for a Belfast.

We duly loaded the beast at Williamtown, NSW and deposited it at Iswahyudi Indonesian Air Force Base, East Java, having been followed by an Aussie C130 carrying the necessary Condec for offload.

On recovery, we night stopped at Darwin and partook beverages in the hotel bar. One local who introduced himself, turned out to be an expat Brummie who was chief of the Darwin Fire Service. He asked the Sheila behind the bar for a round of drinks so I took the opportunity to ask him how the nickname "Sheila" became applied to all Aussie women.

He took great delight in telling me she was an expat as well and her actual name was indeed Sheila!



March 23, 1973 in Williamtown, N.S.W., Australia.  A Sabre Jet flight simulator was loaded on board a Belfast freighter for delivery to Iswahjudi in Indonesia.  The team, left to right:  Sqn Ldr Bryan Morgan, C/T Roger Neate (Ground Engineer), Flt Lt Chris Twyman, Cpl George Lynes, SAC Tony Gale, SAC Tony Moore and Flt Sgt John Evans.
From: David Powell, Princes Risborough, Bucks 
Subject: A funny thing happened...

Hi Tony,

I didn't think it was very funny at the time but the team thought it was a hoot in Hawaii watching me dispatching my obligatory postcard to mum in the red litter bin rather than the blue post box!

There was a similar lack of sympathy on the Herc home from Kenya watching me trying on my new safari boots, purchased in a bit of a rush from the Nairobi market, only to discover that I appeared to have acquired two boots size 10 right! 

Then there was the time they found out that while heading directly across the grass to the Headquarters' building at Lossiemouth, this hairy matelot chucks a lifebelt at me shouting, "Sir! You is drowning!" when the unit was HMS Fulmar!

Best wishes,

David Powell
F Team UK MAMS Abingdon (once a nice RAF Airfield near Oxford) 1967-69

    From Backpacking to Baggage Handling
When FLGOFF Elosegui Guerra first came to Australia in 2015, he never expected that he would become an aviator in the Air Force. Born and educated in Spain,  FLGOFF Guerra grew up in Madrid where he completed a Bachelor degree in Airports Management and Construction.

He went on to complete a Master  of Logistics Management. After graduation, he applied for the ‘Working Holiday Program’, which permits a number of young citizens from European countries to work in Australia for a year.

As a participant in the Working Holiday Program, FLGOFF Elosegui Guerra said he performed all sorts of jobs.  “I pressure-washed buildings, delivered pizzas, worked as a kitchen hand and I still like to rideshare drive in my free time,” FLGOFF Guerra said.

In 2020, FLGOFF Guerra became an Australian citizen. He was living in Melbourne at the time and under lockdown during COVID when he began exploring jobs in the ADF. The full package that the ADF offered appealed to him, and in particular being a logistics officer in the Air Force. A brief conversation with an Army officer during a rideshare drive gave him the courage and conviction he needed to apply – and he has not looked back since.

Now at RAAF Base Amberley and posted as the officer in charge of Air Movements section with 23SQN, FLGOFF Guerra is enjoying all the challenges that come with the role.  “Being a logistics officer within Air Movements is challenging yet very rewarding,” he said. “It’s a very busy role and every day is different. “One day we are handling passengers and cargo onto flights, the next we are responding to  humanitarian assistance and disaster relief missions. “I am constantly impressed at how strong the teamwork is and how we adjust and adapt within relatively short periods.”

He added that he looks forward to  a long time serving in the ADF and  to the opportunities that lie ahead.


From: George Graves, Carlisle, Cumbria 
Subject: A funny thing happened...

Hi Tony,

Whilst on my tour of FEAF MAMS 67/69, we went several times to Kathmandu with supplies for the Gurkha camps. One evening we were in the restaurant enjoying our meal and a few drinks and there, on a small stage in the restaurant, was a very nice looking Indian girl singing.  Her real name was Gloria but she was billed as Petula. I had spoken to her on a previous visit, in fact I had brought her something from Singapore that they couldn't get in Nepal.

I was sitting with a member of the servicing crew and fellow mover Bill Young. After several drinks they bet me a bottle of whiskey that I wouldn't dare propose marriage to Gloria.

When she came over to us during a break I proposed. She replied, "Oh George, what a nice surprise!"

That was it until the following evening, when she came over and asked me if I'd like to come and meet her mother! Well maybe they just wanted more things from Singapore, but I panicked a bit and said we had to have an early night as we were departing at first light - I chickened out!



From: Don Lloyd, Calgary, Alberta 
Subject: A funny thing happened...

Hi Tony, 

I had a similar situation with Harvey Wallbanger.  Quite a few years back we were in Lyneham on a crosscheck exercise with our counterparts and decided to host a party  in the Sergeants' Mess along with ample amounts of "Harvey" in a very large punchbowl. 

The ladies of the guys we were hosting were in an adjoining room playing Tombola and a few of them wanted to try what was in our huge punchbowl.  One glass led to another (so smooth) and soon all the ladies had one or more glasses full. 

Several hours later the guys went to pick up the ladies and found them all in various states of the "giggles".  It was really funny to see! 



HM  Armed Forces Veterans' ID Card - Update
Dear Mr Gale,

Thank you for your E-mail dated 19th August 2022.

The Veterans’ recognition scheme (also known as the Veterans ID Card) has a two-phase rollout. Phase one is complete, with Service leavers receiving a recognition card as part of the discharge process since 2019. If you have discharged and not received your card within your service leavers pack, please contact 0800 085 3600 or your old unit directly. Unfortunately, if you have already received your recognition card and since lost it, changed name or need to change any details on it there is no current process in place to replicate or reproduce cards at this stage.

Phase two will enable existing veterans to more quickly, easily, and securely prove they served in our Armed Forces so they can access the services they need, through digital means. However, due to the need for future-proofing and safeguarding against fraudulent use, the process for phase two rollout will take longer than anticipated. This Government is committed to making the UK the best place to be a veteran in the world, and we need to ensure this isn’t abused. Please be assured that the absence of a recognition card should not impact a person’s ability to access the services they need as there is a range of documentation that can be used to prove veteran status. No government service, nor any major charity partner that we are aware of, is refusing services to veterans without this form of ID.

The Ministry Of Defence (MOD), including Veterans UK, is working with the Office for Veterans’ Affairs (OVA) within the Cabinet Office to develop an online digital verification tool so that people can prove they served. We are beginning to move this work forward but are unable to announce a delivery date at this point. Information will be released closer to the launch date on the gov.uk website.


Veterans UK Helpline
Norcross, Thornton-Cleveleys,
Lancashire, England, FY5 3WP

Freephone: 0808 1914 2 18  // 
Overseas: +44 1253 866043
(08:00 am – 16:00 pm Mon-Fri)



From: Clive Price, Brecon
Subject: Things that made me chuckle!

Hi Tony,

My sense of humour was tickled by the story of Flt Sgt Gus Walker, an old hand on our squadron. We were staying in an hotel (I forget where) and were chatting to the older ladies. One of them was a little bit stuck-up/toffee-nosed and had a small Pekinese dog. Gus praised the dog and then said of course it would be no good to him as he wouldn't know how to cook it.

The lady scooped up her dog, lit her afterburners and fled, leaving Gus with a wide grin on his face!

Your old mate,

Taff Price

From: Tony Street, Buffalo, NY 
Subject: Harvies

Hi Tony,

It’s funny that you mentioned Harvey Wallbangers (HW) as it brings back fun yet fuzzy memories.

Back in time when the universe was unfolding, I was a Loadie on C130s at 435 Sqn, Namao (probably the best time of my life).  One of the perks was the annual exchange visit with a C130 Sqn at RAF Lyneham. Part of these visits was a traditional night where the visiting troops hosted a night in the Sgt's mess and provided their choice of liquid entertainment to the many participants involved in our/their visits.

During my participation, the HW was the current fad, consequently, for our visit, we had a pallet load of supplies to make the world's largest HW. (The Guinness record folks showed no interest in participating).

On HW night, we gathered in the stag part of the mess and started assembling the potion until its alcohol level was as high as the human body could handle, just short of departing this mortal coil.

During this process, we could hear the sounds of a Bingo game across the hall where most of the players were of an older vintage, and most were of the female persuasion.

At the opening ceremony, the HW was eating at the lining of a huge metal bowl borrowed from the mixing machine in the kitchen.

The assembled starting drinking the concoction as they would beer, and quickly became more gregarious than usual with much back-slapping, emotional expressions of bon-homme and long due apologies. 

During the breaks between the Bingo games, the players came across the hall to replenish their refreshments, and were invited to join us, they did, and many packed up the Bingo.

By closing time there wasn't a sensible person to be found and most of those among us were baffled as to what was making them so carefree, after all, it was only heavy orange juice.

The problem of getting the more affected participants rides to their homes was very confusing and amusing to watch. Eventually someone called the Motor Transport (MT) folks who, somehow at that time of night, came up with a couple of small busses.

The next evening when the bar opened, the usual quorum met and discussed what they thought had happened the previous evening. There were no two among us who could agree on a single version of the event. (The bartender said he did, and told us a few anecdotes but, you know how they lie).



Royal Air Force Extends C-130J Life

LONDON–The UK Royal Air Force has extended the life of its Lockheed Martin C-130J Hercules airlifters for another three months as it attempts to overcome shortfalls in availability of its Airbus A400M fleet.

Aerospace Daily understands that RAF commanders have elected to retain the type in service until the end of June 2023, as the air force transfers the C-130Js’ capabilities over to the A400M and deals with an increased demand in airlift capability. The RAF chose to retire the 14-strong fleet of C-130Js as part of last year’s Integrated Review of Security, Defense, Development and Foreign Policy in a bid to consolidate the air transport fleet around the A400M and Boeing C-17 and make cost savings. The Integrated Review Command Paper called for the C-130J fleet to be removed from service by 2023. 

But the retirement decision has been widely criticized by observers who say that the A400M will not be able to undertake all the tasks of the C-130J. They also say that the loss of 14 Hercules aircraft represents a significant cut in air transport capacity. The point has been proven by events in Eastern Europe, which have seen RAF airlifters delivering military aid for subsequent transfer to Ukraine for its war with Russia.

The RAF was the launch customer for the C-130J, and its fleet is among the leaders in terms of flying hours after heavy use in Iraq and Afghanistan. Several aircraft were undergoing the installation of a new wing box when the decision was made to bring forward the fleet’s retirement.

Sources say that part of the decision to extend the fleet has been driven by ongoing availability issues with the A400M. This means that making aircraft available for flight testing to enable the Airbus-built aircraft to take on more of the Hercules’ tasks is not being fulfilled.

Several A400Ms are on the ground at RAF Brize Norton without propellers due to shortages. Others are undergoing a retrofit process. The level of availability changes on a daily and weekly basis.

The RAF would not confirm the aircraft’s new retirement date, but said in a statement that the Integrated Review had announced the C-130J’s retirement in 2023.  “We will conduct a phased drawdown within this preannounced window,” an RAF spokesman told Aerospace Daily. 

But defense officials note that the Hercules fleet’s retirement date within 2023 is subject to continuous refinement.

The RAF has announced that the A400M has recently completed successful aerial refueling trials from its A330 Voyager tankers, proven the air dropping of light stores and demonstrated landing on natural surfaces such as sand airstrips.

Officials insist that a special high-altitude parachuting capability will be available before the C-130J is retired, along with low-level parachuting. The latter process was accelerated from 2028 to 2023, with trials due to begin soon.

The RAF has 22 A400Ms on order and has taken delivery of 20 so far.

Some £750 million ($903 million) has been set aside for the procurement of several more aircraft the British defense ministry’s Defense Equipment Plan for 2021-2031 revealed in February. 

Aviation Week Network

From: Ian Berry, Eastleaze, Swindon, Wilts  
Subject: A funny thing happened...

Hi Tony,

In 1994 I did a task along with a team to Gaborone in Botswana. (Exercise Diamond Cutter). We were there for several days and this included a 24hr break. Over a few beers the night before we agreed to hire a vehicle and go to Sun City in South Africa as we were very close to the border.

The next morning, two of the team cried off with hangovers! The remaining four of us decided to go for it. As soon as the car rental office was open we hired a minibus, got some rough directions and off we set.

Gaborone is very close to the South African border and we arrived at the Pioneer Border Post. The actual border was akin to a set of park gates. The Border Control Post itself was a bungalow with people entering and leaving the country queuing on opposite sides.

We were disheartened to see that there was a queue of humanity stretching back nearly a 100yds and we were on a tight schedule. I told the guys to sit tight whilst I meandered up to the Bungalow to see what the hold up was.
The problem was typically African! Inside the bungalow was a counter with six customs officers behind it, none of them busy. Opposite the counter were some desks stacked with immigration cards where you took one and completed and then handed to the Customs with your documents.

What was the problem? There was only ONE pen for everyone to use!

I quickly went back to the minibus and explained the problem, at the same time digging out some pens from my haversack. We then walked to the front of the queue, completed our forms and were processed. I then left on the counter a good dozen pens of all descriptions. the smiles from the locals was priceless. This would also explain why pens bearing names such as "Holiday Inn Seattle", "Sheraton Bari", OHMS etc., appeared in an African Customs Post.

We made it to Sun City and had a great day, however, the journey each way was over three hours.


Rompers Green
Chas Finn-Kelcey MBE, a one-time RAF C-130 driver, produced a series of cartoons for the Lyneham Globe magazine back in the 70's and 80's which reflected the more humorous side of life on a C-130 squadron at that time. 

Chas tragically died in April of 2004 following a heart attack at the tender age of 52.

His legacy lives on though and with the kind permission of his son, Mark, we are able to reproduce the series of cartoons in the Old Bods Briefs. Mark said, "I'm sure Chas would enjoy the continued readership!"

The following was written by Chas to introduce the cartoons - enjoy:

ROMPERS GREEN was born in the spring of 1977 when final plans were under way for the re-shaping of the Lyneham Globe. Dave Marlow, who was then running the Globe, suggested that the magazine could do with a cartoon strip and I, unwittingly, volunteered to produce it.  My original concept was to follow the adventures of a typical squadron crew, as they battled their way around The Route and, from time to time, introduce various members of the station's support elements to make the scope of the cartoon as wide as possible.

The central characters were born on the back of a 413L (Scandinavia South) en-route chart, which I still possess, and which must have been to some extent inspirational in the content of Episode One. Drawn on the business side of the chart is the southern sector of a flight to Tromsø and back. My log book reveals a round trip time of 8 hours 15 minutes of which one hour was day flying! Popular legend has it that I came under heavy fire when the first episode appeared but this is not, in fact, quite true. There were only two opponents who made their feelings known, and one of them subsequently changed his opinion and became an avid reader. The other, so members of his squadron and various senior officers told me, was merely following the orders of his wife! It did, however, make life a bit difficult for me. But my own Squadron Commander fended off the abolitionists until the Station Commander, Gp. Capt. 'Crash' Amos commissioned a special 'Naceval' edition, which became Episode Six. and to me has always marked the point at which Rompers Green really arrived.

I never expected to see various words from Rompers Green find their way into people's everyday vocabulary, but I still smile to myself whenever I hear someone refer to 'Selpest', 'Naceval', or 'Beereaze' (or even 'UK BAGS'!). It somehow makes all those midnight-oil sessions seem worthwhile!

Equally satisfying has been the spread of readership to units outside Rompers Green. (Even certain Air-Officers count among its readers !) It has even been reproduced in different publications, from time to time, including the annual 'Naceval Report' and Akronelli's own magazine. When I announced my intention to publish the Collection, there were just over 120 orders from off-camp, of which nearly 80 were from overseas. I was highly surprised, not to mention delighted at this response, especially as so much of the content revolves around in-jokes.

The spirit in which those at the sharp end of my satire have taken it all has been marvellous. It proves that most people, at any rate, can tell the difference between mickey-taking and criticism. There have been so many come-backs over the last two-and-a-half years that it would almost take another book to recount them. One of my favourite memories, however, is of a quick turnaround, one night in Belize, during the last part of 1977. We had just disgorged our cargo. It had been a hard day's night, with the usual batch of problems and frustrations and I was about to start engines for the last leg back to the delights of Nassau, and a good day's kip. Suddenly, one of the UK MAMS detachment officers lept on to the flight deck.

"Sorry about this, Chas," he said. "But we're going to have to delay you a bit I'm afraid. There's an urgent item of late freight to go back to UK."

I was livid. "It had bloody well better be important," I said to him. "And I hope you've got the damn paperwork ready, we're late enough as it is!"

"You bet!" he replied, thrusting a completed Air Waybill and manifest into my hand. I started to read. It was made out for some sort of vehicle. The axle-weights and dimensions were carefully entered on the forms-and so was the description. 'U/S. For return to UK for servicing. One by Rolls Royce UK BAGS Staff Car.'

The actual production of the cartoon has been almost as international as the adventures it has depicted. Two episodes were drawn in Cyprus, whilst awaiting spares or slip-patterns. Episode Seven was produced, bit by bit, during the course of a Hong Kong schedule. I drew the last two frames, early one morning in the empty dining room of the Mess at Kai Tak, just in time to hand the completed page to a departing 10 Sqn. VC-10 crew, who kindly delivered it to the printers for me (thanks fellers!). Other episodes have been produced 'on location' variously in Glander, Seasau and Beereaze, which does not necessarily mean that I have been a Route Hog!

This volume contains every episode from June 1977, when it all began, up to and including December, 1979, when Ascart 4321 finally reached base from Akronelli. For those of you who missed the early episodes, it will be a chance for you to see how it all started. For those of you who were around at that time, I hope you will enjoy looking through it all again. It may revive some memories. This is, after all, not just a cartoon book, but also a chronicle of events that we lived through, not all of which were necessarily amusing at the time! The second volume will probably appear in the summer of 1982 when the last-ever episode will have been drawn, prior to my departure for the cold world outside.

No foreword would be complete without a few words of thanks. Firstly to my wife for tolerating my unsuccessful attempts to creep upstairs quietly at 3 in the morning, after starting work on half the episodes far too late. I would like to thank and apologise to Carol Drew and Pauline Waterson who, during their terms as editor of the Globe have fretted over the possibility of an empty page where Rompers Green should be. My thanks to Robin Walker, of Taylor and Sons the printers, for patiently tolerating my rushing in with almost every episode just before or, in some cases, after the rest of the magazine has gone for processing. Thanks indeed to those who, in the early months, kept the wolf from the door and allowed the cartoon to survive. And finally my thanks to all of you who read my efforts every month in the Globe, for it is after all, your experiences, efforts and frustrations which are subsequently re-lived by the heroes of ROMPERS GREEN.

Chas Finn-Kelcey

From: Alex Masson, Tunbridge Wells, Kent
Subject: An Old Man - Very Happy!

Hello Tony,

I would like to show you an old man - very happy!  We attended an air-show at Headcorn, in Kent on the 22nd June. It was billed as The Battle of Britain Air-Show.

I saw the resident Dakota on the ground and I enquired as to who the owner was. I was told, and I asked the owner if I could allow my daughter and grand-daughter to go on his aircraft, because they had never seen a Douglas DC3 Dakota on the ground, and I flew in the last three Dakotas as Load Master and Air Depatcher in the Pacific, during the Hydrogen Bomb Test in 1957.

I was very well received by the owner who said, it is going up now and forming up with the Sally B (Flying Fortress B17) and when it comes back you can go on it, and I will let my photographer take some photos. So, on a date to be fixed, my daughter, Claire and Amy can see the aircraft which I flew on in the Pacific.

Headcorn, is a light aircraft landing field, which was known as Lashingden during WWII (the namewas changed to stop confusing it with Lashing which in near Odiham in Hampshire).

The airshow opened at 1:00pm with the Red Arrows who gave a magnificent show lasting for nearly half an hour. Then the four Tiger-moths flew in formation giving a wonderful display.  This was followed by the “Sally B” The Flying Fortress B17, from Duxford.  And the resident Douglas DC3 Dakota went up to meet it and they gave us a good display.

Meanwhile, the air show was still going on, with six Spitfires (three of them were two seaters) and four Hurricanes and a Messerschmitt 109. There were a dozen racing monoplanes, four Harvards and three Boeing Stearmans.

Aero Legends operate from Headcorn in Kent and North Weald in Essex and they specialise in offering flights in a two-seater Spitfire, which will cost you about £3,000 pounds for half an hour’s flight.

The last time I stood on the steps of DC3 was in 1957, I was a twenty year old Corporal, and then I  was up
those steps in a flash.  I could hardly get in the aircraft today, but I did!   Look what 65 years has done to me!
This aircraft was originally owned by Air Atlantique, based in the Channel Islands, it had the registration G-ANAR  and it was used to carry sky-divers up to some height and let them all go.   After they had fallen some distance holding hands in a ring, they would pull their chutes, and make a perfect landing.  I last saw the aircraft in 1960 at Luton.
Here’s another photo of us, Heather and I and our chauffeur, Roger, our next door neighbour  who drove us to Headcorn in his Porche 4x4.  He was a Sea Capitan in the Mercantile Marine, he went around the world a few times, and he keeps me informed of the tales of the sea.
Old Bod Jim Aitken said, “You have not got her legs in this photo?  What ever would the late Jack Riley say?”    I mention this because Jack always referred to my wife as, “Her with the legs!” 

All the best to you and yours, and keep up the monthly OBB.  You really have made a name for yourself.  I think it is the best site by far.

Alex and Heather
BREAKING NEWS (No pun intended)
Red Arrows Display Halted as Cockpit Shattered by Bird Strike
A Red Arrows air show above thousands of people was dramatically halted when the cockpit of a £5 million jet was smashed in a bird strike. One of the jets, called Red 6, was forced to break off from the rest of the team as its glass cockpit was shattered.

Eyewitnesses heard a "loud pop" before Red 6 broke off from the rest of the formation. Pilot Gregor Ogston gave an "emergency 7700 squawk transponder code" to signal an emergency.

The renowned air display team was the star attraction of Rhyl Air Show 2022 in North Wales.  Red 6's team-mates were then left over the seaside town until they received permission to return back to the Hawarden airport.

The disappointed crowd were puzzled before it was later announced that Red 6 had been the victim of a "bird strike", in which a bird had collided with the jet mid-air.

It struck the section of the cockpit just inches from the pilot. It shattered the glass pane, leaving the cockpit with a gaping hole and its pilot exposed to the elements.

One witness said: "That pilot is lucky to be alive. Anything could have happened in that moment."

The Telegraph

From: Steve Perry, Royal Wootton Bassett, Wilts
Subject: Mick Day

Dear Readers,

As you may be aware Mick Day sadly passed away on the 15th August after a long illness.  Mick had been ill for some time and bore his illness with great dignity and courage. He will be sadly missed.

Rosemary has informed me that his funeral will be held at St. John the Evangelist Church in Carterton on the 16Th September at 13.30. There will be a get together afterwards at Burford Golf Club.

It is family flowers only but donations can be made to either Pancreatic Cancer Charity or Sobel House Hospice in Oxford.  I do not yet have full details but when known I will publish on Facebook on the RAF Movers and RAF Movements Association pages. Please feel free to contact me if you do not have access.

If you wish to attend the funeral, please can you let me know so Rosemary will have some idea of numbers.

The Carterton RAFA Branch will be parading their standard in Mick's honour at the funeral.


Steve Perry
RAF Movements Association

This Newsletter is Dedicated
to the Memories of:
Mick Day (RAF)
Fred Ring (RCAF)
Ronny Wood (RNZAF)
Thomas Leyden (RAF)
Roger John Hammer (RAAF)
Tony Gale

If you wish to make a donation,
you may use the above e-mail
through PayPal.