Craftsman Magazine - April 2022

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THE CRAFTSMAN

Magazine of the Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers

April 2022


The importance of Professional Registration in the Armed Forces By incoming IET President, Air Marshal Sir Julian Young KBE CB FREng CEng FIET Professional Registration is increasingly important in the Armed Forces and plays a significant part in creating a competent and skilled work force across the UK. Qualifications and associated Continued Professional Development should help bridge the gap between military and civilian trades. Although simply being registered doesn’t guarantee ex-military engineers a job, it could level the playing field and get someone an interview. After a 40-year career in the Royal Air Force (RAF), I’ve always supported people developing themselves further through additional qualifications. The route often is through distance learning, which is hard work in a busy job. However, when you’re dipping into academia and then back into the workplace, the first time you answer a question or write an essay, you are better in your role because you are instantly applying that new knowledge and thinking. I led the team with the MOD and HM Treasury that helped the roll out of the Defence Engineer Registration Scheme (DERS) across different branches within the Armed Forces; the scheme demonstrates clear value in people. The streamlined application process is excellent, and the Professional Engineering Institutions (PEIs) that step forward and take on the work to translate military skills and experience into qualifications will benefit greatly from doing so. I’m proud to be a member of the IET, because when I started campaigning on professionalisation within the RAF some 15 years ago, it was the first PEI to offer a streamlined route to Chartered Engineer (CEng). The IET for me was the RAF’s PEI of choice. Anything that can help streamline both the route of people into a PEI and the payment of fees is a positive. As well as the DERS agreements, the IET is working hard to implement Central Payment Schemes in the Armed Forces. Having been successful with the RAF, with over 1,000 members Professionally Registered, we should be looking to roll Central Payment Schemes out for the other Services as widely as we can, including more companies in industry that already have had a lot of success with it. The IET welcomes engineers and technicians from all backgrounds; if you care about engineering in any or multiple sectors, the IET can be your professional home and has a unique position to fill. We need to be engaging with seniors and Fellows in all engineering organisations to promote the value in their people being Professionally Registered. I’m looking forward to my term as IET President (2021-2022) and follow in the successful steps of all past Presidents. My specific area of focus will be to champion technicians and seek to facilitate the continued growth in their membership. I believe the majority of the ‘missing 3 million’ mentioned in Professor Uff ’s 2017 review of our engineering profession are technicians. We need to understand better what technicians are, what it means to be a technician and then offer them more through membership of the IET.

Find out more about becoming professionally registered by attending our latest webinar: What you will learn: – Benefits of membership and professional registration – Professional registration categories and application process – Our guidance and support

Register here:

theiet.org/craftsman-magazine The Institution of Engineering and Technology is registered as a Charity in England and Wales (No. 211014) and Scotland (No. SC038698). The Institution of Engineering and Technology, Michael Faraday House, Six Hills Way, Stevenage, Hertfordshire SG1 2AY, United Kingdom.

Eat, sleep, engineer, repeat Julian’s President’s Address will be broadcast live on 14 October 2021 at 1pm BST

Sign up to watch at:

theiet.org/presidents-address


Corps Formation: 1 October 1942 Corps Motto: Arte et Marte Corps Patron Saint: St Eligius (Celebrated 1st Sunday in December)

APRIL 2022

Contents Volume 78 No. 4

FEATURES Letters to the Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 Corps News . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 3 RIFLES LAD: Ex TERMINUS STRIKE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9 3 RHA WKSP: Ex ARIES STORM 21 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12 HQ Officers’ Mess Summer Function . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15 The Expeditionary Light Forces Exposition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16 Ex NORDIC BLUEBELL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .19 Falklands Stories . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22 Falklands 40 Commemoration Invitation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .23 102 FS Bn REME: Ex IRON VIPER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .24 People’s Stories: Dave Elson . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .26 Cyprus News . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .29 TSS Reunion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .29 REME Association: Lincolnshire Branch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .30 REME Sporting Fixtures 2022 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .32 Festival of Sport 2022 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .33 REME Boxing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .34 Lifting the Decks-Article . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .37 Lifting the Decks Mental Health Self-Help . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .38 Falklands Museum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .39 Beating Retreat 2022 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .45 REGULARS Guest Editorial: Colonel Paul Cummings: VST . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 From the Museum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .40 Corps Notices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .42 Corps Calendar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .46

Editor: SSgt Andy Chammings + Corporate Communications Officer RHQ REME, The Prince Philip Barracks, Lyneham, CHIPPENHAM, SN15 4XX  craftsmaneditor@reme-rhq.org.uk (preferred method)  subscriptions@reme-rhq.org.uk (for changes of address) ( Mil: 95481 4529 Civ: 01249 894529 SUBMITTING ARTICLES TEXT: should be submitted in MS Word and name saved as per the article. No formatting, columns, power point etc. Articles to be cleared by CO/OC/EME or appropriate REME CoC, or nominated substitute and should be submitted as soon as possible. PHOTOGRAPHS: MUST be submitted separately, in jpeg format and be at least 500kb preferably 1mb or more. Only photos over 3mb can be considered for the front/back covers and please remember captions. FILESHARE: websites, such as dropbox are ideal for submitting larger files. EMAIL: The ONLY email address which should be used is: craftsmaneditor@reme-rhq.org.uk. Not MODnet. Please use the article title not ‘Craftsman Article’ as the email title. TIMINGS: The latest submission date is the first day of the month prior to publication. This does not guarantee the article will be published in that specific edition. Births, Engagements, Marriages and Deaths: These will be inserted free to all past and present members of the Corps. Contents: The contents of The Craftsman are strictly copyright and all rights are expressly reserved. The views expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the policy and views, official or otherwise, of the Editor, the Corps or the MOD, therefore no responsibility for these will be accepted. Whilst including an advertisement we are not necessarily endorsing the product and as a result, the publisher and its agents do not accept responsibility for any transaction between the reader and the advertiser. Whilst we take all precautions with regard to advertising, readers are advised to take professional advice before entering into any commitments. Letters concerning reproduction, contributions or any other matter should be addressed to the Editor. © Published by RHQ REME. Funded by The REME Charity. www.remecharity.org. Advertising All communications regarding commercial advertising rates should be made direct to the Editor. Sustainably produced on paper sourced from responsible sources using vegetable based inks. Jamprint Design & Printing Ltd www.jamprint.co.uk info@jamprint.co.uk 01249 823 950

Front Cover: Op NEWCOMBE ROTO 3, photo taken by SSgt Shinn. Full article will appear in the May magazine.

© Crown Copyright General Handling: This publication contains official information and should be treated with discretion.

Before submitting an article you are requested to read the guidelines on the inside front cover 3


Guest Editorial

Vehicle Support Team (VST) Intro to VST – Col Paul Cummings – Acting Head VST

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he Vehicle Support Team (VST) support nearly all of the current in-service fleet of land platforms. From Quad Bikes to Challenger 2, Foxhound to Bulldog and everything in-between. We are the people behind the platform, managing upgrades, safety, supply chains, technical through life support, as well as repair and deep overhaul; to the tune of around £400M a year. We are a large team, all of whom focus on meeting the needs of the Front-Line Commands (FLCs) and predominantly the Field Army. With a mix of military personnel (from Sgt to WO1 and Capt to Brig) and Civil Servants, numbering around 400 people, some have been with us for over 40 years whilst some arrived only this month! We are made up of many sub-teams, but the largest REME contingents are within Operations and Operations Support and, in this article, we’ll give you a feel for where our REME personnel are, what they do and why they love it.

Maj Wayne K Burnard MBE – Operations Team COS The Operations Team provide ‘best in class’ support to the FLCs; the Royal Navy, the Royal Marines, the British Army, and the Royal Air Force. HQ Field Army under the new Army Operating Model set the activity profile and demand signal to baseline the level of support that the Operations Team must deliver. Our mission is keeping safe, reliable and fit equipment in the hands of the user. The team’s ethos is that no matter what happens we must always support the user as best we can. The Operations Team is split into 12 sub-teams, which we call Order Book Items (OBIs), focusing on specific platform groups that contain a total of 35 in-service platform types amounting to circa 26,000 platforms. Within each of the OBIs sits the project teams led by an Operations Manager who is supported by functional staff (Commercial Officers, Cost Controllers, Technical Through Life Support personnel, Supply Chain Managers and Engineers) to tackle platform specific issues, such as safety, finance, risk and engineering. The Operations team directly support the platforms in barracks and deployed on exercise & operations. Next you will read about REME Officers and Artificers who contribute to the Operations Team in various roles. The roles develop

SQEP in engineering, safety, risk, finance, supply chain and commercial activities up to Cap & Acq practitioner level. It is challenging and rewarding in equal measure; supporting the platforms no matter what they are being asked to do. The benefits of working in a diverse environment that is a mix of civilian and military personnel are clear, and it is great to see how passionate the civilian staff are in delivering an effect for the user groups they support. My personal experience has been outstanding, I have learnt a lot and it has been a real privilege to be part of this team.

Lt Col Tim Turner – Senior Operations Manager Being a Senior Operations Manager (SOM) is akin to a Command appointment in a Battalion and it certainly has all the benefits and challenges. Supporting the troops is the focus of all teams in DE&S so having military staff officers and Warrant Officers in selected appointments enables that whilst complementing the expertise of our civilian colleagues. Having been in a SOM role since completing ACSC, I have been managing a portfolio of various armoured vehicles including Warrior, Challenger, CRARRV, Titan and Trojan, I am responsible for their ongoing safety, availability and improvement. Working with my team of 25 Civil Servants and 4 military personnel, I manage a budget of

VST, just some of the Team

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Colonel Paul Cummings (Deputy Head Vehicle Support Team)


c.£40m to ensure the equipment remains safe to use and has all necessary improvements implemented to ensure conformance with contemporary requirements and legislation. This requires collaborative working with major defence firms and close liaison with Army Headquarters and Field Army to ensure the needs of the users are represented. Understanding contractual nuances and exploiting them to ensure major programmes such as CR3 are adequately supported provide the challenge and therefore satisfaction of this busy role. Daily application of hard-won engineering knowledge to make decisions and ensure the vehicles remain safe gives a sense of empowerment and purpose. Working for me are the Operations Managers (OM), who focus in great detail on one vehicle only, and are the experts for that vehicle. A military OM will typically have completed Sub-Unit Command.

Life as an Operations Manager Maj Ed McCann – Operations Manager Having joined as the OM for Mastiff and Ridgeback towards the end of the first ROTO of Op NEWCOMBE, I was immediately faced with several challenges. The pace of preparing bespoke Urgent Operational Requirements (UORs) for theatre meant there was no time to work through the Concept, Assessment and Demonstration phases in detail and some issues being encountered in theatre. I therefore deployed to Mali with WO2 (AQMS) Ross Adamson, the Cougar Subject Matter Expert, to investigate. Assessing the fleet, speaking to crews, maintainers, and the operational planning teams, we were able to improve user confidence in the equipment and understand previously unreported issues. For example, while we had understood that tyre degradation in theatre was high, we were unaware that 65% of failure came from sidewall penetration. To overcome this, we were able to adapt an off-the-shelf item already in use with the Swedish Army to provide a solution.

Foxhound, pic supplied by www.Joint-Forces.com

Maj Barry Codd – Operations Manager As the OM for Bulldog, I manage a vehicle which has seen 60 years in service; almost as long as myself! The vintage of the vehicle tends to mean that its management is less (rather than more) predictable; demanding that I juggle a myriad of different tasks and rapidly switching between them. Some recent safety issues on Bulldog include: asbestos, final drives, noise and vibration, mortar firing, crew heaters, peer to peer recovery, mini pipe fascines,

JACKAL

In Gibraltar, A400M being loaded with supplies (Photo taken by Maj Ed McCann) Before submitting an article you are requested to read the guidelines on the inside front cover 5


Col Tim Allison – Operations Support Head

Bulldog sprocket rings and exhaust extraction. Having a methodical approach to the resolution of safety issues is key to taking a problem from identification, through the issuance of a Safety Notice, to a trialled and endorsed solution issued to the Field Force. The drive and ability to keep equipment in the hands of the user has earned appreciation and praise from CFA; demonstrating the key role that the OMs perform.

Maj Charlotte Hayes – Operations Manager With previous experience in Cap & Acq, I am now the OM for Pinzgauer and Quad. I work collaboratively with large contractors and ensure they perform well. Reading into the detail of the contracts I manage, and having a full appreciation of the nuances, has enabled me to work collaboratively with the contractors to ensure they hit their milestones, which has paid dividends. This approach helps if/when you need to have tough conversations about performance and potentially withholding payments; all of which is within the remit of an OM. DE&S takes professional and personal development seriously, and so has developed a pathway for each career stream from Aware, through to Practitioner and onto Expert. I have been able to demonstrate the opportunities available for wider personal development. While managing the REME Women’s Cross-Country teams and competing in the Swimming Teams, I have also gained a MSc in Defence Acquisition Management, a Post-Graduate Diploma in Strategic Leadership, Chartered Engineer and Associate Project Management Professional (APMP) qualifications. Education and personal development has been met with similar success and many of the Warrant Officers are working to achieve degree-level qualifications.

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Where the Operations Team is structured to manage each platform separately, Operations Support (as the name suggests) support our whole fleet of vehicles with teams of experts. We provide pan-platform support in many specialist areas including: Data Support, Technical Through Life Support, Post-Design Services, Repairs, Supply Chain Management, Scheduling, Cost Control and more. This allows us to apply our expertise across several areas while developing centres of excellence within our teams. The team is ~113 strong with around 90% of the team being Civil Servants with the remainder being military personnel. We also have a thriving ex-military community, from some who left the REME 20 years ago, to one (who you will hear from next) who left last year. There are lots of opportunities to broaden or deepen your KSE in Ops Sp, and to get engaged with some really important pan-platform activity. We are the team that fix the pan-platform issues, take on the ‘brain function’ for VST by improved use of data and expertise, and seek to add value across the entire Vehicle Support Team.

Paul Simpson MBE IEng – Post Design Services Sceptical of the future but full of positivity and optimism, I drew stumps from life as a REME Late Entry officer on the 1st October 2021. With several operational tours under my belt and a broad range of engineering experience, I applied, was successful, and started a role within VST Ops Support as a Post Design Service Operations Manager within the Protected Mobility Engineering Technical Solutions (PMETS) team. The transition from Military service to private sector was somewhat seamless through the Equinox contract, and was certainly no more problematic than moving assignment in my opinion. It was made very easy by my employer knowing the military way of life and what we offer. I have done a considerable amount of reflection since deciding to leave. Everyone has their reasons, mine was to devote more time to my wife and young family. On starting a new career, initially it felt daunting like any new job. The handover was completed without any face-to-face interaction and was probably what I found most difficult. Moreover, there was no-one sitting beside you to answer the simple questions, particularly when dealing with multi-millionpound contracts when you just want to ‘do the right thing’ and ‘get it right first time’. Post Design Services is a critical role within the Protected Mobility fleet. We are an extremely small team managing a plethora of modification tasks at any one time. My role primarily involves forecasting and planning, keeping tasks on track to meet target dates, while dealing with contractual issues and resolving them quickly, and at the lowest level before escalation. Within the myriad of ongoing tasks, PMETS deal directly with Safety, Routine Modifications and Urgent Operational Requirements across the protected mobility fleet which prioritises them within the resources available to the contractor for completion on time. On more than one occasion, I’ve realised the importance of our tradesmen


Protective Mobility (PM) vehicles on Operations completing JAMES Component Reports and Form 10s. It is this information that justifies why changes are made. As a young tradesman (a few years ago now!), I didn’t appreciate the importance of passing this information to the Delivery Teams; it was about getting the job done well, however this is just as important and should be a reminder to all REME tradesman. Joining VST and Ops Sp has given me stability and a good worklife balance while working with like-minded people; albeit not always wearing green kit. In addition, it gives an insight into the huge amount of opportunities DE&S has to offer for a further career within the MoD as a professional Engineer.

step forward when looking at alternative employers. Not only does DE&S provide a great work/life balance, but the organisation provides familiar equipments and working cultures. It is a chance to make a real difference, to use lessons and skill sets learnt to develop changes and challenge best practice within a team that matters and are vital to Operations. You don’t even have to leave Service now to join DE&S, you can transfer across under the new Military Transition Scheme initiatives.

Murray Reilly – Head of Technical Through Life Support (TTLS) to In-Service Fleets

Currently serving in the REME and based at DE&S I have an insight into both Military and civilian aspects of Technical Through Life Support and Engineering, the benefits on offer and the work-life balance. From my experience I can honestly say that the job is both fulfilling and rewarding; continuing to contribute to the current Operational requirement without the “sometimes” disadvantages of everyday unit business enabling a constant focus and unwavering support to be offered. My current role involves bridging the gap between the demonstrating and manufacture phase of new platforms to transitioning into service, and the user. Engaging with units daily, resolving issues and managing all technical documentation relevant to platform portfolios. Presently I am contributing to supporting the AJAX project; the next generation of Armoured Vehicles that are fully digital and integrated. The AJAX family consists of Ares, a troop-carrying reconnaissance vehicle, Ajax with a 40mm cannon, support variants Apollo and Atlas, a Command & Control variant Athena, and a Royal Engineer variant – Argus. This is a fleet of 589 medium-weight armoured vehicles to replace the existing Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance Tracked (CVR(T)) fleet, in addition to introducing new vehicle roles. Vehicles are being introduced in capability drops, with numbers and variants differing. How do we measure success? By providing a capability that is Fit, Form and Function, and supported throughout its In-service life, this is exactly what “we” Military and Civil Servant within MOD Abbeywood strive to achieve. Transitioning from front line unit Equipment Support, to appointments at the heart of Defence Acquisition would be an ideal step for someone who wants to support equipment that is familiar, vital to Operations and work for an employer that understands and encourages a good worklife balance.

Before joining DE&S, I served 26-years in REME and latterly 15-years as an Integrated Logistics Support Manager within the Defence Industry. From my experience the job is both fulfilling and rewarding, and allows me to contribute not only to the everyday Through Life Support needs within the Land Environment, but also ongoing Operation Requirements. My current role involves the management of my Technical Through Life Support (TTLS) In-Service Support Team, covering Wheeled and Tracked vehicles within DE&S; with added interests in the Logistic Support requirements of new equipments entering service. For personnel considering a transition from front line unit Equipment Support to appointments at the heart of Defence Acquisition, or those considering leaving the Forces, DE&S is an ideal

AJAX

WO1 (ASM) Weekes – Technical Through Life Support (TTLS) to Future Fleets

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LETTERS to the EDITOR

Send your letters/emails to: FAO Craftsman Editor, RHQ REME, The Prince Philip Barracks, MOD Lyneham, Wiltshire, SN15 4XX Or email: craftsmaneditor@reme-rhq.org.uk

Junior Leaders Unit Memorabilia (Jan 2022)

REME WO1 Query (REME Women’s Network article, Mar 2022)

The article in January’s edition was really great, I did not expect such a large coverage, thanks so much. I have had a few responses regarding the JLU memorabilia but not as much as I would of like, but I think the word is going around. However, the email address I gave you regarding the reunion had a typo, so I would be very grateful if you could possibly publish a correction in your next edition. Details are: REME JLU Reunion Friday 14th October 2022 Falmouth Hotel Falmouth Cornwall Contact: Stuart McClean Stuart.Mcclean@homecall.co.uk

Hi Editor, in the March magazine on page 8, there is a photo of WO1 (Command Sgt Major) Maz Hoer. Since when is Command Sergeant Major a rank for a REME WO1?? or any other Corps or Regt. From Ian Tilson (Ex VMB Sgt 1962-86). Editor: Good question Ian, in the Army Officer Terms of Service – Command Sergeant Major Career Structure, it states the following; “Applicants provisionally selected for a LE commission can be employed in a Comd SM capacity, they will be employed wearing the rank of Comd SM, remunerated on Officers Commissioned from the Ranks (OCFR) pay increments and employed in a 2 Tier soldier focused career model which incorporates 2* and Corps RSM command appointments at Tier 1 and 3* command appointments and the Army SM at Tier 2’’. As an example, the Corps ASM, Command Sergeant Major posts and Corps RSM (other capbadges), would come under this category. It is worth noting, although the rank of WO1 is worn, they demonstrate the status of the Other Ranks representative for Senior Commanders. Comd SM are still part of the Warrant Officers’ and Sergeants’ Mess and will ‘pay the correct compliments to all Commissioned Officers and be every part the senior soldier’.

Corps News

End of Colour Service Presentation & Certificate (SNCOs & JNCOs) Corps Instruction C3 ‘The REME Corps Sergeants’ Mess’

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NCOs and JNCOs who have just finished their End of Colour Service or about to finish their End of Colour Service, are entitled to an End of Colour Service Presentation Piece and Certificate from the Corps. To qualify, individuals must have paid into the REME Charity through the Service Days Pay scheme for a minimum of 10 years. Anyone Commissioning will receive an End of Service Presentation; however, their Certificate will be issued upon completion of Colour Service. If the individual has not paid into the REME Charity or is leaving before the completion of their Colour Service, they can still purchase a

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Presentation Piece at £52.50 from RHQ REME. All successful applications will be processed and can either be posted or collected from RHQ REME (MOD Lyneham). Please allow for up to two months, for the full process to be completed. For more details, visit Corps Instruction C3 on the Regimental Headquarters REME SharePoint page. All enquiries, should be directed to the following personalities; Andrew.Chammings583@mod.gov.uk and Kirsty.Bateman100@learn.gov.uk


Exercise

3 RIFLES LAD – Ex TERMINUS STRIKE OC LAD: Capt Sean Hunter ASM: WO1 Michael Foster AQMS: WO2 Tom Ashton

Introduction

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n the 27 Sept 21, 3 Rifles LAD deployed on Ex TERMINUS STRIKE (TS) a Heavy Mechanised Strike exercise, utilising the Bn’s Mastiff, Wolfhound and Ridgeback (MRW) fleet. The exercise was conducted across Otterburn, Kielder Forest, RAF Spadeadam and Galloway Forest training areas; with tactical road moves between each. A, B and C Company each completed a 2-week rotation supported by BHQ and G4 enablers including an FRT from 6 Bn REME. The ES challenges faced by such a complex exercise were the perfect opportunity for the LAD to develop its soldiers and complete Battlecraft Syllabus (BCS) training in a realistic and technically challenging environment. Stretching the C2, spares chain and critical ES timelines across the country. Including the preparation and closedown phases, Ex TS consumed 3 Rifles LAD from 27 Sep 21 to 3 Dec 21 and many valuable lessons were learnt. We quickly realised the main theme of the exercise was going to be recovery. The Bn MRW Drivers and Commanders were tested to their limits, attempting to tactically manoeuvre the 30T vehicles X-country

through boggy terrain, around tight logging tracks in the forests and on road moves utilising both A and B roads; to varying degrees of success. In true British fashion the northern weather was not kind, throwing rain, sleet, and snow at us from all angles

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and ensuring the boggy bits were nice and deep. Throughout Ex TS, the LAD provided imbedded exercising ES and an RLS function by means of a Fitter Section rotation. Each Section transitioning between exercising troops, 2nd line support and ROG to support each phase of the exercise. Just to make this slightly more complicated, 3 Rifles LAD also had to complete a HOTO the week before deploying, of our own MRW fleet that had been on loan to an external unit.

Scribe: Cfn Cross (C Coy Fitters) – Pre-Deployment On the 27 Sept 21, C Company Fitter Section led by SSgt Fitzsimons deployed to Catterick in conjunction with FSp Coy Fitter Section, to conduct a HOTO of our MRW fleet with 4 SCOTS. Working alongside 4 SCOTS LAD to service, inspect and repair the fleet ready for deployment, was a great experience. Although we worked long hours, we knew it was key to setting the conditions for the Ex. The work involved major assembly changes, including suspension leaf springs and complete axle assemblies to name but a few. Our new Class 3’s quickly gained valuable experience, learning how to diagnose and repair faults and the reality of working long hours to get the job done. This phase allowed them to complete a large amount of their 3-2 Trade Proficiency Development Booklet (TPDB) and gave me the opportunity to mentor the new members of the Section. After two weeks of hard graft, C Coy facilitated the relocation of 19 MRWs to Otterburn training area, ready to commence the RSOI.

MRW spring replacement

Scribe: Cfn Baker (B Coy Fitters) – Exercise Phase As a Class 2 Vehicle Mechanic, I deployed forward as a Wolfhound driver as part of B Coy Fitter Section led by SSgt Bibby. Due to the poor terrain, coupled with inexperienced drivers, we spent most of our days inspecting and forward repairing vehicles once they had been recovered from bogs and ditches. My highlight of the exercise despite becoming temporarily

Mastiff recovery

3 Rifles LAD ECP 10 craftsmaneditor@reme-rhq.org.uk


constrained by mud several times, we always managed to selfrecover, preventing us from having to furnish a handsome Recovery Mechanic with some Cadbury Celebrations. With the exception of mud, the biggest challenge was operating across such a large area and transiting on civilian roads. I found the exercise a very valuable experience; demonstrating our ability to work at reach with stretched supply chains.

Scribe: LCpl Mitchell (A Coy Fitters) – Real Life Support A Coy Fitter Section led by SSgt Staples initially deployed to Otterburn in Oct 21 to conduct RLS for B Coy’s rotation. From the moment we arrived, we found ourselves working long days to ensure B Coy could meet their start state and were sustained throughout. A major learning experience for us was the options we had to procure ES MAT, as well as utilising the correct demand priorities and stores processes. During the RLS phase we utilised both the DRS and local purchase avenues and learned a lot about how the stores systems worked; which will inevitably benefit us on future deployments. My highlight of the exercise was WO2 Ashton’s ES MAT BCS lesson which ensured a good night’s sleep was had by all that evening.

Scribe: LCpl Parkes (Recovery Section) – Endless Recovery taskings

fast and often when we were called out, we generally didn’t see your bed until the early hours of the morning. By the time the first rotation was completed, we had conducted 15 complex Jib and Winch jobs and it seemed like they would never end. It was safe to say that “Mac”, “Parky” and I missed the warm comforts of camp routine. Midway through the second rotation, we began to have mechanical problems with one of the SVRs, which had to return to contractors for a complex fuel problem. Reduced to one SVR at the end of the second rotation, B Coy just managed to pip C Coy in the race for most recovery tasks, including the temporary closure of the A75. Lulled into a false sense of security on the third rotation, everything started off so quiet, until A Coy arrived in RAF Spadeadam. Vehicle after vehicle came off the tracks with no sign of stopping. 8 Jib and Winch jobs later, a new record had been set for the most jobs in one day. The exercise will live long in the memory due to it being my first as a Recovery Mechanic, and how much of a steep learning curve it was. I have managed to pick up some vital tips and experience along the way, which will set me up for my future in the recovery world. I certainly look forward to the next deployment.

Summary

With the first recovery task coming on day one during a routine occupation of a Coy Hide, the Recovery Section lead by Sgt “Scotty” Creighton consisted of LCpl “Mac” McDonald, LCpl “Parky” Parkes and LCpl “Russell” Farthing knew we were in for a tough time. Despite operating 2 crews with 2 SVRs, the workload at periods was intense. Kielder and Galloway Forest often proved to be the most difficult terrain for the MRW fleet with tight narrow tracks, even the slightest deviation off the gravel would end up with the vehicle taking a nosedive into a ditch. Taskings came thick and

Ex TS was a very valuable experience for 3 Rifles LAD to test its abilities in the field. Having only recently restructured to Coy Fitter Sections, it was the first opportunity for the LAD to deploy on mass in support of each other and the Bn. The ES challenges we faced, highlighted several areas for development, but also demonstrated the organic capabilities available to support the Bn if tasked with a large-scale deployment. These lessons learnt will underpin how we operate as a Heavy Mechanised LAD in the future and will shape future training for 3 Rifles LAD in 2022.

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Exercise

3rd Regiment Royal Horse Artillery Workshop on

Ex ARIES STORM 21 Scribe: LCpl Hughes, Class 2 Vehicle Mechanic 3RHA

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x ARIES STORM (Ex AS) was a 3-week, Brigade level exercise on Salisbury Plain Training Area (SPTA) in September 2021, designed to test the effectiveness and manoeuvrability of Close Support Regiments within 1 Artillery Brigade. This would be the first time that our Workshop had deployed in its entirety for over a year. Being a relatively new concept, no one fully knew what to expect. We understood that our workshop, as well as supporting 3rd Regiment Royal Horse Artillery (3RHA), would be the main force supporting three other units deployed within the Arty Light Gun Gp; 4th Regiment Royal Artillery (4RA), 104th Regiment Royal Artillery (104RA) and 105th Regiment Royal Artillery (105RA). Each of these units would have an attached Fitter Section of 3-4 tradespeople provided by us and a small contingent from 4RA Wksp. The exercise was to be broken down into two main phases, a validation phase to prove our capability operating at sub-unit level as well as being part of the wider Brigade, and an experimental phase. This would give 1 Arty Brigade and the subunits more freedom from the constraints of normal doctrine to try something different and ‘outside of the box’ without the

worry of failing. With the prospect of working on a variety of different platforms; Land Rover to Pinzgauer, Enhanced Pallet Loading System (EPLS), Unit Support Tanker (UST), MAN SV and Light Gun, a total of 130 vehicles in all, it would be a fantastic opportunity to enhance our trade knowledge in a field environment, as well as organise our own house, so we were ready for future training or deployments under this construct. Preparation for Ex AS commenced 6 weeks prior to deployment. This was an intense period for the Workshop. With a 285-mile journey before a 3-week exercise and then the return trip home to Newcastle, we knew we had to build resilience into 3RHA’s 36 vehicle fleet. With C Bty Ftrs deployed on Op CABRIT 8 and D Bty Ftrs in pre-deployment training to relieve them, the workshops manning was limited to MHQ Ftrs. Thankfully we had some external support from Babcock Defence Support Group (BDSG) and 6Bn REME. This helped boost our workforce on camp enough to be able to deal with the required workload. To build the resilience into our fleet, we were overly strict with our pre-exercise inspections and would identify all areas of concern on a vehicle and repair or replace them before they became a fault. For example; if the No1 ball-joint had a little play

Cpl James Class 1VM and LCpl Jinks Class 2 VM replacing rear shock absorbers on a Land Rover

LCpl Hughes Class 2 VM investigating an oil leak on a Land Rover in the A2 location

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but would normally pass a Mandatory Equipment Inspection (MEI), knowing the mileage and type of use the vehicle was about to be exposed to, then the No1 ball-joint was replaced. Likewise, if an oil seepage or leak was found, this was investigated and repaired, even if it would normally pass the limits for a leak within a MEI. We managed to complete the Regiments vehicles within 5 weeks, leaving us with the week before summer leave to prep our own Workshop vehicles and conduct some low-level training, ready for deployment straight after our 3 weeks summer stand down. Upon arrival at SPTA, we leaguered up just outside Westdown Camp. This separated and organised every Regiment involved into straight lines so we could easily establish which platforms belonged to what Regiment during the exercise phase. We utilised this opportunity to inspect and repair any faults that may have occurred during the long road move the previous day. This also allowed the Fitter Sections attached to 104RA and 105RA a first chance to get eyes on the vehicles that they would be responsible for. We worked as a collective during these first few days. Ensuring

every piece of equipment was in the best state possible before commencing the exercise. We had 5 days of validation exercising and 4 final days of experimental scenarios. This involved night movements of transporting and holding ammunition, utilising the EPLS equipment in the A1 location, whilst the other gun groups would be moving around Salisbury Plain fighting the enemy closely followed by the attached Fitter Sections. We also had the assistance of level 3 support from 4 Armoured (Close Support) Battalion. The Bn was crucial during the 3 weeks, as they completed tasks such as engine and clutch replacements. This gave our Fitter Sections the ability to repair forward. When ‘End Ex’ was called for the exercising troops, our work wasn’t quite finished. We had to rehab the 130 vehicles that had been on the area to ensure they could get on the road safely and get back to there respective units. This was another intense few days, especially off the back of an exercise. But with the clever mixture of Vehicle Mechanics, Armourers and Electronic Technicians that we were made up of, and a couple of late-night pizzas, we effectively worked together and got the job done.

105 Regiment Royal Artillery Fitter Section Scribe: LCpl Hope, Class 2 Vehicle Mechanic 3RHA We found out which Fitter Sections we would be part of and who we would be supporting a couple of weeks before we stood down for summer leave. I would be attached to 105RA along with three others from our Workshop. This gave us the time to familiarise ourselves with our fitter trucks and prepare them to a high standard to make our lives easier when we were on the area. As well as establishing what Special Tools and Test Equipment (STTE) or equipment we might need, we also had to think about expense, rations, personal equipment and cam nets. These vehicles would be our homes for a couple of weeks. At Westdown Camp, we split down in a leaguer area to start

preparing 105RA vehicles for the exercise. It soon became apparent that these vehicles hadn’t had the same level of predeployment work carried out that was done with the 3RHA fleet. Our inspections identified many faults with the fleet, this delayed their start of the exercise by 6 days. It wasn’t ideal as it would push us behind the deployment date of everyone else but through utilising an efficient RLC Stores Section all spares where demanded and delivered, with all faults rectified in good time for 105RA to deploy. During Ex AS we managed to keep a high Mission Ready availability which was testament to our hard work whilst inspecting and rectifying the fleet when we were initially delayed. Once 105RA had complete their validation exercise, we returned to Westdown Camp to complete the rehab phase of the vehicles before they returned home (Scotland/NI). The rehab lasted 2 days and went very smoothly. We had a system that worked well, with platforms being driven into designated lines of Regiment and spares priority. The Land Rovers had priority as they’re more prone to needing maintenance and the spares would be purchased locally to get them repaired in time to be driven back to their given Regiments.

104 Regiment Royal Artillery Fitter Section Scribe: Cpl Rafferty, Class 2 Electronic Technician 3RHA

LCpl Hope replacing a Land Rover fan belt during the rehab phase

Ex AIRES STORM was to be my first experience of working in the field with 3RHA and the wider 1 Artillery Brigade. Having come from a heavy armour background, I was keen to see how the Artillery and in particular Regiments who use the Light Gun operated. I was the Tech Elect in a small Fitter Section attached to 104RA. On arrival to SPTA, our first job was to form up with 104RA and get eyes on their vehicles and equipment. These first few days were at a relatively slow pace. The inspections were carried out within a day, and we were able to demand and fit the spares required so that the vehicles were in the best state possible to roll out onto the tactical phase. These initial days also presented a now all too familiar challenge in the form of COVID. FHP had to be adhered to strictly given that we were attached to 104RA for only a couple of weeks and would be re-joining our parent unit for the rehab at the end of the exercise phase. We eventually received our orders and deployed out onto the tactical phase. There was a noticeable change of pace. A lot of movement in and out of woodblocks, particularly at night and

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Cpl Rafferty Class 2 Electronic Technician repairing electrical wiring from his fitter truck

daunting task ahead. Once we liaised with their command team and set out our intentions, 104RA were on board to help us wherever necessary. As most of the Reservists have never had a Regular Fitter section working with them, they were amazed with the level of service they were receiving. Throughout the exercise we struggled to get all Drivers taking control of level 1 tasks and 1st parades, this led to difficulties at the end. During the rehab phase when they could see the level of professionalism displayed by my team, they realized the benefits of maintaining their vehicles which will benefit them in future. The next couple of months for 3RHA Wksp involves conducting a rehab of all the 3RHA vehicles that took part in Ex AS following the road move from Salisbury Plain training area (SPTA) to Albemarle Barracks. This involved a post exercise inspection which gave a full picture of the state of our fleet. Alongside this, the TAC/MHQ Battery Fitter Sections had been preparing the CVRT fleet to allow the Regiment to conduct Cat H license training for their personnel, in preparation for a potential move to MLRS. This also helped in boosting the workshop SQEP on CVRT which we have been lacking until recent. Vehicle Mechanics from TAC Battery Fitter Section have also been preparing the JACKAL/COYOTE fleet to be used for predeployment training at Castle Martin ranges in November. Although there is a lot of hard work ahead of us these coming months, we do have some great Adventure Training opportunities lined up. At the end of November, a Section of Workshop members will be travelling down to Wales to take part in numerous outdoor activities. In February, we have also been gifted the opportunity to go skiing in France with the Regiment; which will be a great way to start 2022 for the 3rd Royal Horse Artillery Workshop.

almost radio silence for the week and a half that we were out. This presented a new challenge that I hadn’t yet experienced on exercise. I felt that we were sometimes too far detached from the guns and the CP. Fault reporting was difficult and we could only diagnose and repair if/when we were close to them. This normally happened at night as 104RA adhered to no movement during the day. After 12 days of being tactical ‘End Ex’ was called and we made our way back to Westdown Camp to prepare for the rehab. Here we linked up with the rest of the Workshop and began the process of inspecting and repairing vehicles from 104 RA, 105 RA, 4RA and 3RHA. As with any rehab, it involved hard work and a couple of late nights. But there was a good work ethos between us, and we successfully managed to get all the vehicles back to their parent units. The highlight of Ex ARIES STORM for me was working so closely with a Reserve unit. I’ve also developed a better understanding of how the Artillery Regiments operate, some of the challenges that will arise in the future and how best to combat them.

104 Regiment Royal Artillery Fitter Section Scribe: Sgt Veitch, Class 1 Vehicle Mechanic 3RHA During Ex AS, I was in command of 104RA Fitter Section. Due to the strength of my team, I found it easy to direct tasks and could rely on all tasks being completed without worries. The drive and eagerness to develop trade and professional knowledge impressed me from the start and as a new SNCO within the Workshop this has set me in good stead for the future. Before the exercise started, we didn’t know what to expect and on first inspection of the vehicles, we had a 14 craftsmaneditor@reme-rhq.org.uk

Cpl James Class 1 VM and LCpl Hope Class 2 VM inspecting a MAN SV EPLS during the final rehab phase



Innovation Exposition

The Expeditionary Light Forces Exposition Scribe: Lt Harriet Burns (1 CS Bn REME)

All attendees seated and awaiting the opening brief delivered by GOC 1(UK) Division, Maj Gen Collins DSO OBE

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n Wed 10 Nov 21, 1 CS Bn REME hosted an Expeditionary Light Forces Exposition in Catterick Garrison. The Expeditionary Light Forces Exposition, delivered by 102 Log Brigade on behalf of 1(UK) Division, aimed to draw together ongoing innovation projects and the latest technology from industry with Light Forces innovation leads and members of the Field Army in a mini-Defence & Security Equipment International format that promoted discussion and enabled attendees to understand the capabilities available and already being trialled. For the Army, innovation is defined as ‘generating ideas and

1 CS Bn REME’s innovative modular white fleet 16 craftsmaneditor@reme-rhq.org.uk

putting them into practice to overcome challenges and exploit opportunities’. The concept of the Expo sought to share innovation ideas and identify the opportunities, potential commitments in 2022, where ideas could be trialled. The exposition was delivered in three phases: An Innovation Symposium, Circulation of the exposition (including capability demonstrations) and finishing with an innovation back brief which gave attendees the chance to ask questions to specialists from military and civilian backgrounds. The day began with an opening brief delivered by GOC 1(UK) Division, Maj Gen Collins

Demonstrating the potential use of solar power


2nd Medical Brigade showing a pop up medical tent, with realistic teaching dummies inside, with 1 CS Bn REME deployable HQ hidden within the camnet

DSO OBE, with Brig FaithfulDavies CBE Comd 102 Logistic Brigade closing the exposition. The Expo was sub-divided into 7 key themes, with exhibitors drawn from across Defence, Defence industry and other companies that may not have worked with the MOD previously. Whilst each theme delivered innovation ideas or products aligned to their respective field, the Expo highlighted the cross-cutting of innovation across multiple areas. Energy Generation, Storage & Consumption made an important contribution across most of the innovation areas and represents an innovation field where industry have already developed Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) solutions that could be delivered rapidly to mutually support ongoing projects or capability gaps across the remainder of the innovation themes. One of the largest themes was ‘Delivery of ES’ which highlighted some of the incredible work being conducted throughout the REME. 5 FS Bn brought their impressive Additive Manufacturing capability, showcased a collaborative robot which could be utilised in the future to help soldiers with ES tasks and demonstrated how augmented reality can be used to help train soldiers and deliver remote ES through virtual means. The Combat Service Support Training and

Level Peaks demonstrating a new scope with attendees able to view through

Light Weight Recovery vehicle presented by CSS TDU (Trial Development Unit)

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GRC Ltd showcased their 6SAT fleet, a variety portable satellite solutions

Jenkel showcased two tactical military vehicles

3 Commando Logistic Regiment with their MRZR high mobility vehicle

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Development Unit (CSS TDU) presented the new and highly capable lightweight recovery vehicle, significantly smaller than the SV(R), affording greater flexibility on the battlefield and more appropriate when supporting Light Forces. Multiple units and firms contributed to the theme of power, demonstrating how to generate power in remote locations using technologies in both solar and wind. These examples were shown both combined with platforms and as standalone power sources. Sustaining the force was highlighted by 3 Commando Logistic Regiment who demonstrated their MRZR high mobility vehicle and equally impressive SharkCage racking solution. This combination of military and civilian exhibitors allowed Commanders from across the Army including the heads of both 1 (UK) Division and 102 Logistic Brigade to be exposed to new, emerging technologies. In total there was 48 separate stands showing off innovative products to over 380 guests with a live link up with the Army Warfighting Experiment. A wellexecuted event concluded with the seven themes being summarised by representatives across the Division to take forward the key findings into future light forces capability development. Photos supplied by Bob Morrison from Joint-Forces.com


Exercise

Ex NORDIC BLUEBELL, 103 Bn REME Scribe: Cfn Pickles

The Road Trip

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he aims of Nordic skiing were explained as developing team cohesion by challenging service personnel in an accessible but profoundly unfamiliar environment of uncompromising climate and terrain, so to develop tough, resilient, and highly motivated officers and soldiers, capable of adapting to extremes of environment. It also about raising military standards, under competitive pressure and endurance at the same time reintroduced the fun factor into it.

Ex NORDIC BLUEBELL is an adventure training exercise which utilises Nordic skiing to develop multiple skills and competencies in a way which are not directly targeted but are needed to be an effective soldier. The exercise started out at the unit’s Derby Army Reserve Centre (ARC) on a Friday, which consisted of checking kit, loading the van, and making sure that all the Team Pictured with Maj Gen Simon Hamilton and WO1 Don Donaldson (103 Bn REME) dreaded Covid paperwork and passport were all in order before our travel. Five of us, all of different ranks from Cfn to WO2, set off for the Euro Tunnel, which was booked for the next day. That night we stopped at St Martin’s Plain Training Camp to enable us to catch an early crossing, which was advantageous for us getting to Germany early. It was my first time on the tunnel, and I was amazed at how quick it was! 35 minutes and we were in France. The plan from there was to swap drivers every couple of hours to make good time to Sennelager, Germany. When we finally reached Sennelager (Normandy Barracks), after 8 hours of driving, we dropped off our bags and headed straight out; opting for some German street food, and experiencing the social side of Paderborn. The next phase was Sennelager to Kiel, a relatively short 4-hour drive before boarding the Color Line ferry to Oslo. On the ferry we met a lot of guys from other units heading out too and all had an enjoyable crossing. The next morning quickly came around as we docked at 1000hrs. The final leg was from Oslo to Sjusjoen which was where we called home for the next few weeks.

The Skiing I had a little experience in Alpine skiing from school and college but never experienced Nordic before and boy was it a shock! I remembered ski lifts, fast downhills and lots of mountain cafes and bars. What I got however, were dead legs, burning lungs and

Team photo

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freezing hands, but I loved it. The hard work was part of the fun and a bonus was picking it up quite quickly; whereas some of the seniors spent quite a bit of time ‘playing’ in the snow. It was amazing to see how all of us progressed from the first day, many of us never having done Nordic before and some never having been on snow previously ready to partake on race day, four days later. The race was a 5k loop which was an absolute lick. It was a great moment after we all finished and went to the awards evening that night prior to having an expensive cohesion night in Lillehammer. The second week we changed from skate technique to classic, which, for me, was much harder as it was more about technique and felt a lot less natural. This brought challenges in the form of international athletes racing in Norway as Austria had closed its borders, meaning we had to relocate to a different training area, The Meadows. Lack of snow made the area difficult, which saw the classic race get cancelled. However, an alternative was introduced, supposedly going at your own pace for a long as you can starting at the Pellestova Hotel, which I regretfully took for let’s see how far I can get in 45 minutes then turn back around and come back…what a mistake that was. Overall, it was a fantastic exercise and experience and some of the best parts weren’t even the skiing. Being in a cabin with a load of different ranks was great as we all took it in turns to cook, clean, prep skis and sitting down together for meals which was always entertaining. One of the best or at least funniest times was when the CSM & I had to cook a curry and we spent all of it laughing, needless to say no one had seconds that night. I will definitely be going again if I get the chance and would encourage anyone who hasn’t been too.

ski sessions twice a day. The Meadows presented a new challenge as although there was snow on the ground there wasn’t quite enough meaning the grass in some places was still visible. This created an increase in grip on the skis when you went over the grass sticking out of the snow making it harder to gather any speed. The Bn are here for another week conducting skate skiing again, but for me, my time skiing is now over. I have really enjoyed my time in Norway and would recommend it to anyone. Norway is a beautiful country and as someone who has never skied before I can now ski relatively comfortably around the slopes and look forward to hopefully coming back next year and staying for a longer spell.

Scribe: LCpl Sharman This was my third season doing Nordic skiing with 103 Bn REME, each time better than the last. It always is an eye-opener when you are watching various ability levels from complete novices to ex GB racers, all helping one another out, trying out various drills

Scribe: LCpl Croucher I joined the rest of 103 Bn REME a week into the exercise. They had already done a week of skate skiing and were getting ready to do classic. Having never skied before, I was quite nervous about what to expect and whether I had the correct kit with me to keep warm. I found Norway itself to be cold but very beautiful. After arriving at Oslo Airport, we were straight back to our cabin to prepare our skis. I learnt how to apply glide and grip wax to the skies and where they needed to go to allow us to both glide on the snow while also having the grip to move. We also had an important safety brief so by the end of day one, we were all set to hit the snow the next day. There were 9 of us sharing an apartment taking turns to cook and all chipping in to help clean and keep the fire going. The first day of classic skiing took place at Sjusjoen Ski Centre where we had a two-hour ski session in the morning then another two hours in the evening. When I first started, I could not get up any slight inclines and by the end of the day I was confidently progressing up the slopes. The instructors were good and knowledgeable and would explain what they wanted us to do followed by a demonstration. They would then give us plenty of opportunities to practice, which also kept us warm. We learnt how to herringbone, double poll, diagonal stride, and double poll with kick. After day one our skiing plans were disrupted due to the Ski Centre being taken over by international athletes practicing for a race. Day three onwards the ski sessions were moved to a ski centre known as The ‘Meadows’ where we finished the rest of the week completing two-hour 20 craftsmaneditor@reme-rhq.org.uk

Under instruction


and techniques to bring each other along for a relaxed race scenario at the end of the week in both classic and skate disciplines to see where you are placed amongst your peers. Being my third season, I got back into it easily but made the most of the 4 hours of skiing each day to greatly improve efficiency, tweak my technique and erase any bad habits. I’m now looking at NORDIC SUMMER BLUEBELL at Lyneham to get more experience and potentially go on to an instructor course in the future. The accommodation was fit for purpose for ski preparation and hosting several guests throughout, it enabled us to have a place to prepare our kit in a relaxed environment at the end of each day and we couldn’t have asked for more. The road trip back had to change slightly due to the UK PM’s announcement about having either an LFD or PCR Covid test, with a certificate, before arriving back in the UK. A sight deviation meant that we now had to get our test conducted at Kiel Uni Test station, Germany after our ferry from Oslo, Norway. The test saw the five of us go through with ease, which only consumed 40 mins of our travel time. Once again, the driving was shared by all whilst maintaining drivers’ hours. Our next hurdle was the Euro Tunnel in Calais where we had to produce our Covid Pass, Negative certificate from Kiel Uni (which was emailed to us after 20 mins of our tests) and our Passenger Locator Form. The whole process to get us all through took less than 10 mins so we went to inquire about jumping on an earlier train, which was a success. The trip back to the ARC was plain sailing and we had booked a PCR test at East Midlands Airport the following morning. We remain isolated at Derby ARC until we received our negative test results before all returning home. A brilliant experience if anyone has not been and I would volunteer year after year. It is an enjoyable event, if you don’t let it get the better of you, but it also gets you out of your comfort zone at times.

LCpl Sharman and Cfn Pickles, two of the team’s brightest prospect for their instructor course

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People’s Stories

Call Out For Stories Of The Falklands Conflict Falklands 40

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he Royal British Legion is looking for individuals who would be willing to share their stories and experiences of serving in the Falklands during the conflict. These could be used in the media as well as on the RBL’s digital channels, such as our website and social media accounts. As part of our commemorative activity we plan to share content on our channels from April onwards, culminating in coverage of the 40th Anniversary event at the National Memorial Arboretum in June. In addition to this, we are anticipating significant interest from national and regional media and are looking for people willing to share their stories in a range of broadcast, print and online media outlets. The RBL’s Press Office would be grateful if you could take a moment to respond with answers to the following:  The names and contact details of individuals willing to be contacted about sharing their stories.  A brief summary of their service during the Falklands and any notable memories they are particularly keen to share (a sentence or two will suffice).  Whether they have a link to the Royal British Legion – have

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they ever been supported by the RBL, are they a RBL member etc.  Any other interesting points – do they have a generational link to the military, do they have any interesting memorabilia from the time, are they looking to be reunited with anyone from the conflict as part of the commemorations? We would be grateful to receive all information as soon as possible as the earlier we receive stories the more likely they are to feature. Interested individuals should forward the requested information to: Major (Retired) Geordie Wright-Rivers at association@reme charity.org who will forward relevant detail to the RBL Press Office. Once we have received the information those concerned may be contacted by a member of the Legion’s PR or wider marketing team. Please don’t be humble, we know many of you and your members will have many poignant and extraordinary stories in which there could be wide public interest, and we are keen to share as many of these as possible. We are very grateful for your help with this matter and look forward to hearing from you.


History

Falklands 40 Commemoration Invitation, Tues 14th June 2022

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n 2022 we mark the 40th anniversary of the end of the Falklands Conflict. The Royal British Legion will be commemorating this important milestone with a special event held at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire on Tuesday 14th June. Falklands 40 will recognise the service of the 30,000 sailors, marines, soldiers, airmen and merchant mariners who served in the Falklands War, along with the many civilians who supported the Task Force and remember the sacrifice of those 255 British personnel who lost their lives. In the afternoon, there will be a commemorative event centred around the Armed Forces Memorial. This will feature veteran testimony from key points in the conflict as well as the Act of Remembrance. On the morning of the event there will be an opportunity for unit associations to conduct intimate commemorations at their

respective memorials within the Arboretum. The RBL’s Falklands 40 is set to be a very special occasion, commemorating the conflict that ended 40 years ago. Veterans of the Falklands Conflict, their families and participating civilian organisations are invited to attend the event of the 14th of June at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire. All those wishing to attend must register through their appropriate association. Registration will open now and if you wish to attend please email your association lead. Doors will open at the NMA from 0900 with the central Act of Remembrance Service taking place at 1330. Any REME Veterans wishing to attend should please contact Major (Retired) Geordie Wright-Rivers at association@remecharity.org in the first instance.

WHERE ARE THEY NOW? Are you ex-serving REME? Did you have a partner or family who were in REME? Where Are They Now? is a new feature, giving you the chance to share your stories with the wider REME Family. If you have a story to share, email it to craftsmaneditor@reme-rhq.org.uk # T h e R E M E Fa m i l y

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Exercise

102 Force Support Bn REME on Ex IRON VIPER 21 Scribe: SSgt Ruvino

102 FS Bn REME deployed on Ex IRON VIPER 21

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n the 12 Nov 21, 102 FS Bn REME deployed on its annual two-week exercise, but this time it felt a little different due to the fact we would be feeding into Ex IRON VIPER and would see Bn personnel operating out of different locations as part of an evolving “battle picture”.

Ex IRON VIPER was the primary training opportunity for 3 Regiment RLC and 27 Regiment RLC, delivering their biennial DELTA validation. It is in preparation for their certification to be held at readiness as the Close Support Logistic Regiment to the Armoured Infantry Brigade and Divisional Logistic Regiment respectively. The ES Gp involved was an integrated REME Bn, led by 4 Bn REME and incorporating formed Company’s from both 102 and 103 Bn REME along with Babcock DSG support. The composite Coy(-), led by 146 Div Sp Coy HQ personnel, was made up of 5 + 33 personnel from across all four companies and supported by Bn Permanent Staff. For the start of the two-week period, we all made our way to Warcop for an RSOI package and in-depth Voice Procedure (VP) training for a couple of days – which proved to be invaluable for the next stage of our exercise. Before departing Warcop we had a small remembrance parade then made our way in convoy down to Driffield, another piece of valuable rehearsal training that would pay dividends later. We were lucky enough to be accommodated in the cadet camp for the Unit Based Virtual Trainer (UBVT) stage - which I was really not looking forward to as a previous experience had made me very apprehensive. The team were great and surprisingly I actually enjoyed it. It really is a very valuable training tool and they managed to incorporate some live skills to run alongside it, which worked very well. The UBVT consists of a screen, laptop, games controller and a headset. It was brilliant for practicing VP, Tactics, Techniques and Procedures (TTPs), as well as some key Reports and Returns (R2). We were given REME specific repair and recovery tasks with a real-life OCpl Elliot, second from the left, using his civilian experience from working Gp. The missions always had a curveball though at Jaguar Land Rover to teach both Reserve and Regular tradesmen

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and we were forced to react to small arms ambushes, Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and route blockages. It was a great learning experience for sending R2 and reacting to a contact as we were able to work through more scenarios than would have been possible to replicate in that time on the ground. This first week was a great tool to fail and learn, reinstilling and practicing core skills before deploying on the ground to do it for real on Ex IRON VIPER during the second week. We broke up the week’s activities by heading out to the training area for some further vehicle manoeuvre drills and rehearsal of the Command Post (CP) establishment plan to facilitate a slick setup at our final location. The convoy to Abingdon went well and the rehearsals paid off. The first day in work was pretty quiet but this Composite Coy CP hard at work whilst deployed on Ex IRON VIPER 21 proved to be an advantage as it gave us chance to get our bearings and we were all set up military capabilities. This exercise was no different and it was a Sunday to hit the ground running with the rest of the exercising great opportunity and experience for 102 Bn soldiers – for many troops involved in Ex IRON VIPER. Everyone was happy to finally of whom this would have been their first. For myself it was the get stuck into some work and settled into their role. This was my first time that I’ve been involved in a split camp like this and at first camp as a SSgt and instead of being on the tools I had to get first appearance you would think it would be disjointed, but used to being sat in front of a laptop. This is not at all in my actually it functioned logically and fluidly, working out very well comfort zone, but after a couple of days I started to feel more for everyone involved. A great experience and training confident on JAMES, production stats and Technical Documents opportunity that has laid a strong foundation for the next On-Line (TDOL). We had a great team and I loved how everyone exciting training progression where we look forward to doing the in the unit and wider Corps just helps each other and are always same again in Germany as part of Ex CERBERUS! keen for work. We relished the fact that we were supporting a Regular Army unit and swapped a couple of the junior VMs with 4 Bn. They were very accommodating to us and the Whole Force integration worked very well. Having served with Regulars on a couple of tours, this came as no surprise. By the end of Ex IRON VIPER we had completed 39 repair activities across a multitude of platforms including Mastiff, Ridgeback, EPLS and TUM FFR; this included Engine replacements, electrical fault finding, windscreen replacements and multiple timing belt changes. I am, and have always been, proud of the part Reserve personnel can have in the delivery of superb WO2 (CSM) Sapsford from 146 Coy (102 FS Bn REME)

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Peoples Stories

24307885 DJP Elson Served 1974-1999 BATUS 1999-2021 Scribe: SSgt 'Mac' McLuskey

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Cadets decided on my Career Path, in 1973

In 1978 in Northern Ireland with the 14/20 Hussars, pictured on the left with the broom

thought it only fitting to write an article to highlight the long and exciting career of Mr Dave Elson, and to highlight the dedication and contribution made to the Corps both as a serving soldier and civilian over the period of 47 years. Mr Dave Elson started basic training at the Army Apprentice Collage Arborfield 22 August 1974 only just having turned 16. Dave spent 2 years in training completing what he refers to as a proper apprenticeship and learning how to fix vehicles properly. Whilst there he would choose the trade that would define the next 47 years of his life and spark a passion for Armoured vehicles. Dave’s transition from phase 1 to phase 2 training was far from smooth. Dave’s explosive arrival at SEME was met with a night in a guardroom jail cell and an attempted murder charge from civil authorities. I’m glad to say all charges were thrown out and Dave continued with his basic Vehicle Mechanic course. By February 1977 Dave had finished phase 2 training and arrived at his first unit 13/18 Hussars LAD in Hohne as a newly qualified VM A. Within a short period, the 13/18 were

1980 in Berlin, the tank wouldn’t stop, thankfully the wall helped, Dave was the driver

In 1981 Mr Elson (right) and Mr Eld thought 75km was enough on the Unna 100km run 26 craftsmaneditor@reme-rhq.org.uk

In February 1977, upon completion of Phase 2 training (JMC Fallingbostal)

BATUS in 1983 as Safety ARV Crew


1984 BATUS FIE pump room operator

On leave in 1985, in Hawaii

In 1986, enjoying a Mess function during his Artificer Course.

replaced by the 14/20 Hussars (now A and B Sqn KRH). Whilst at the unit Dave deployed to Northern Ireland as part of the first armoured unit to conduct an unmounted tour. After the tour Dave moved to the Berlin Armoured Sqn whose job it was to hold off an invasion force for long enough for the British Army of the Rhine to mobilise. He also promoted to LCpl. Dave loves being a Mechanic and has always pottered with vehicles outside of work. Dave’s project when serving in Berlin was to take 2 broken Ford Escort mk 1 and try and make a good one. He was also sent back to SEME to conduct class one training. Just like Dave’s previous experience with the REME school this visit was just as dramatic. 1 week into training Dave rolled his functioning Mk 1 Escort losing most of 2 fingers in the process and resulting in a return journey to Berlin for recovery. Dave completed his class one course in September 1981 and posted to 12 Armd WKSP in

1985 Ex ARTIC ROLLER, 10 days from BATUS to the Arctic Ocean Osnabruck. He has very fond memories of this unit and still maintains the guys you serve with are what make a place special. Dave was then posted to BATUS and this is the unit that gave a significant increase in career trajectory. In 3 years, Dave moved from LCpl to Sgt and was loaded onto his tiffy course. He also grew to love Canada as a country. As an Artificer he served with the Life Guards, 1 Wessex in Devizes and 3 Fd WKSP. 3 Fd WKSP did not go well for Dave, he is still of the opinion it is the only job he was ever sacked from, after a disagreement with his new OC Dave received a new posting order within a week. On promotion to ASM Dave was sent back to SEME as part of the training development team. Luckily without any of the dramatics he had at previous exposures to the school. In 1999 and after 25 years in the REME Dave left the military. During his military service WO1 (ASM) Dave Elson had been awarded the Long Service and Good Conduct Medal and the General Service Medal with Northern Ireland Clasp. It is from BATUS that most of us still serving will remember Dave. After leaving the military Dave moved with his family to Canada and started working for BATUS in August 1999. Dave rapidly gained himself the reputation as a no-nonsense line lead who had notoriously high standards during the end of season vehicle handback. In fact, the first time I met Dave I was a young LCpl handing back my Warrior at the end of Exercise MEDICINE MAN in 2004. I was flat washer, spring washered (If you know you know) and it resulted in me handing back the cleanest Warrior the world has ever seen 2 days later. Dave started in BATUS as the Warrior line lead and held this job

In 1987 The South Downs Way Race, 80-mile Trail Run

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SSgt Elson pictured in 1990 as a Permanent Staff Instructor (PSI) with 1 Wessex Bde

Completing the John Muir trail 217 miles in 15 days. Adventurous Training in California (1989)

Completing a 3-month tour of Ghana as an instructor, in 1997

Dave enjoying some family time until 2014 when he decided his life had been to easy and he wanted to try and keep the AS90 and AVRE trailer fleets running. I didn’t see Dave again until a posting to AVSG many years later. Like all the civilian staff in AVSG Dave has his own way of doing things and despite the fact they have to get used to it THEY DO NOT LIKE CHANGE. My favourite memory was during the 2018 hand back of Ex IRON STRIKE. When all BATUS 117 CVR(T) are handed back in a 4-day period it is all hands-on deck and Dave kindly volunteered to help. About halfway through the inspection of the fleet I heard a commotion a few vehicles down. On Investigation I found a 5’ nothing Dave going toe to toe with a Col from the RAMC, Dave explaining to him that he had done a terrible job of fitting a generator belt (or words to that effect) and that he would have to do it again. Unsurprisingly OC BATUS WKSP also got to feel this pain. Needless to say, the generator belt was changed, and the vehicle successfully handed back to BATUS. Working with Dave for 2 years was enlightening. The training received by Dave all those years ago was blatantly far superior to the training received today. I learnt that Dave is renowned for being awkward,

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ridged and to be fair “a bit of a knob”. This is not the case; Dave is one of the best Mechanics I have ever met and what is perceived as ridged is merely a refusal to accept anything substandard or not completed properly. It was an honour working with Dave and I wish him all the best in retirement, he deserves it after 47 years in service to REME.

Dave Elson receives Citation from Base Commander

Dave Elson receives a Presentation Piece from BATUS WKSP after 22 Years’ Service


Corps News

Remembering fallen comrades, from Cyprus 1955-1959 Scribe: Les Smith (Cyprus Veteran)

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ew people know that we lost a total of 372 men during the 1955 to 1959 Cyprus Emergency, 11 of them died while serving with The REME. We will be holding our next Service of Remembrance at The National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire, commencing at 1200hrs on Sunday the 14th of August 2022. I know that it is a long time off and no one can commit so far ahead, but if you have any comrades that you haven’t seen for years, or you have never been to The Arboretum, there will be no better time or place to meet up with them and remember your fallen comrades. If you think without commitment that you may attend, please let me know so that I can keep everyone updated to cyprusveterans@ gmail.com I have contact with about 600 Cyprus Veterans from all Regiments and Services.

TSS Seminar & Reunion 2022 22nd – 23rd July Scan QR code to complete survey/return

Seminar with guest speakers and presenters, Pub night in the Harris MM WOs’ & Sgts’ Mess, Golf or Clay Target Shooting, Dinner Night (Mess members only).

The Prince Philip Barracks MOD Lyneham Chippenham SN15 4XX

Open to all serving TSS and retired SNCO TSS Tickets accessed through the REME Connect website at £35pp For any further info please contact WO1 (SSM) Bell on 01249 894544 or 95481 4544 or email: colin.bell279@mod.gov.uk

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REME Association

Lincolnshire Branch Scribe: Graham A Matthews, (Secretary) Lincolnshire Branch

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dapt, evolve and soldier on! Relocation of the Lincs Branch meeting venue. Since before its formation in 2001, the Lincolnshire Branch had the use the Boston Drill Hall; the place we called “home” for over 20 years. Sadly, due to service requirements the branch has been required to vacate the Drill Hall and remove all fixtures and fittings with effect 1st December 2021, leaving the Branch “homeless”. The story starts when I started work with the then East Midlands Territorial Auxiliary and Volunteer Reserve Association ‘TAVRA’ (soon to be East Midlands Reserve Forces and Cadets Association (EMRFCA)). In 1996 as a Crown Servant (CAA) based in the Drill

Members in the Drill Hall Bar

Games Night in the Drill Hall

Branch at the Dedication of the REME Association Memorial Plinth

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Hall BOSTON, I was also required to join the Lincolnshire Army Cadet Force (ACF) as a uniformed RQMS and was granted permission to retain REME dress allowing me to record 40 years in REME uniform. I held the Boston post for 18 years followed by a further 9 years as a RFCA pensioner key holder for the Boston Drill Hall. After 22 years’ service in REME I was keen to join a local REME Association Branch, however, this being Lincolnshire there were no Branches within travelling distance and after numerous advertisements, phone calls and visits to other Ex service clubs I made contact with a small number of Ex REME Vets with whom we formed a friendship and held planning meetings in the Drill Hall, and as the requirements back then was a minimum of 20 to form a new Branch we continued in this way recruiting new potential members for some 4 years when in 2000 we had 22 founder members. The Lincolnshire Branch was formally formed in 2001 located in the Boston Drill Hall, with the Branch Standard dedicated in 2002 numbers slowly increased to a maximum number of 48 in 2012 since then our numbers have receded to the present 32. Our President Lt Col (Retd) David Skaife accepted the presidency in 2000 and still presides today; having


supported the Branch for 22 years. The Branch Secretary, Ex RSM Graham A Matthews was joined by another Ex RSM Phil Exley who was Treasurer, however, Phil Escaped to Cyprus and Graham took over as Secretary and Treasurer a post he has held for 22 years. The Branch has had several Chairmen and Vice Chairmen and committees over the years all have shown great loyalty and commitment to the Branch. During the branches time in the Drill Hall we enjoyed the monthly meetings in the comfort of the Bar and lounge and the RBL, Normandy, Dunkirk, Forester’s and RBL ladies also used the drill hall facilities. Graham was the Administrator of the Drill Hall responsible for hirings and resources and during this time we had many successful annual Regt Dinners, Summer Balls, Annual Christmas Dinners, BBQs, and numerous other functions as well as visits to various locations of interest. These were supported by the Resident REME Recruiter in the Army Careers Office situated in the Drill Hall, initially the Drill Hall Was occupied by a Coy of Lincs Regt TA, a Recruiting Office, Lincs ACF3 Coy HQ, an ACF Cadet Detachment, a 25M indoor Range, armoury, RFCA stores, Classrooms, kitchen, Bar & Lounge and the Office of the Boston Cadet Administration Assistant (CAA), as well as garaging for ACF minibuses and trailers, The Drill Hall had a full time Cleaner and a full time Caretaker with many outside organisations using the facilities. The TA were first to go (drawdown) then the HQ (cutbacks) followed by the ARMY Recruiting Office (outsourced to SERCO) as well as the Caretaker/Cleaner (Not Funded). The other Ex services Associations slowly folded and by 2014 the Drill Hall was left with the CAAs office and a small ACF cadet detachment parading two nights a week and the REME Branch meeting once a month (the sole users of a large bar/lounge and kitchen) a huge building underused and costly to maintain, the writing was on the wall! The Branch had over the years acquired a large amount of equipment, cash register, indoor bowls kit, new age curling kit, fridges, bar fittings/glasses, raffle drum, 60 place settings of cutlery and crockery, Burco’s, flags/bunting, shields/plaques and more so much that on vacating the Drill Hall we had to “borrow” a lock up until arrangements can be made for disposal. EMRFCA (MOD) conceived a project to consolidate all 3 cadet organisations (Army, Air, Sea Cadets) in one location cutting costs and utilising the large underused Drill Hall in Boston. Consequently, it was decided reallocate the space and in doing so a bar and lounge were no longer required in the new Tri -Service Cadet establishment. We like many organisations found it difficult to endure the 18 months of lockdowns and restrictions; last meeting March 2020 only to restart our Branch meetings in September 2021 and again cease meetings in November 2021 now we start again in 2022 with a new chapter being written for the Lincolnshire Branch. On Tuesday 1st February 2022, we held our first Branch meeting, in its new home, the Boston Conservative Club. Our new home is situated next door to the Drill Hall and our regular meetings will take place on the first Tuesday of each month at 1900hrs. Anyone wishing to join the Branch, please email: remelincs@gmail.com or follow our Facebook page ‘REME Association-Lincolnshire Branch’.

Table ready for the Annual Regimental Dinner in the Drill Hall

Members at the Annual Christmas Dinner

Last Branch meeting in the Boston Drill Hall

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REME Sporting Fixtures 2021/22

FOOTBALL: Men’s 01 Apr REME* vs Royal Artillery, at Calne, KO 1030hrs. 13 May RE vs REME, at Chatham, KO 1030hrs. *all Men’s Home games are played at the Beversbrook Sports Complex, Calne, SN11 9FL.

RUGBY UNION: Men’s 18 May Corps Union Finals, REME vs Royal Engineers at the Army Stadium, Aldershot. KO (PM-TBC) CROSS COUNTRY: Michael.Lovell534@mod.gov.uk 29 Jun REME Road Relay Championships (MOD Lyneham) 04-10 Sep Ex Cfn Runner, inc REME Short Course XC Champs (Keswick/Scafell Pike) 2 Nov REME Corps Cross Country Championships (Tidworth) CLAY TARGET SHOOTING: Peter.Meager849@mod.gov.uk 04 May Taster Session, Catterick 22 Jun Women in Sport, Barbury Shooting School, Swindon. 06 Jul Corps Championship, Bramley 21 Sep Competition Training, Barbury Shooting School, Swindon 09-10 Nov AGM Bramley & Bisley BOXING: Liam.Jones176@mod.gov.uk 18-22 Apr Training Camp 17-19 May Corps Boxing Championships LIFTING THE DECKS: Gary.Hooson683@mod.gov.uk 09-15 May Virtual 10km, register through the REME Connect website, entry £15

Advertise your sporting fixtures and results here, contact:

craftsmaneditor@reme-rhq.org.uk


REME Sports Association Fes val of Sport ‐ 29 & 30 June 2022 Sports Awards Dinner ‐ 30 June 2022

Festival of Sport 2022 (FoS 22) will be held at MOD Lyneham and will be open to all REME personnel serving Corps wide (attached arms on unit strength may be counted in team sports)

Sports Award Dinner by invitation only via Corps Sports Secretaries

Save the dates Full details to follow


REME Sport

REME Boxing is back with a bang! Scribe: Cpl Liam Jones (REME Boxing Head Coach)

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EME Boxing conducted a two-week training camp in Tidworth for Boxers across the Corps during February. The response was phenomenal as a total of 32 Boxers with varied experience from across the Units & Battalions attended. The training camp was aimed at developing personal boxing abilities and for those who were new to Boxing, to give them the fundamentals of boxing to take back to their units to practice further. This wouldn’t have been possible without having 6 Boxing Coaches who attended, who provided a wide range of knowledge and experience. The Boxers and Coaching staff had the privilege of attending the ‘Home of Army Boxing’ where they had the opportunity to be coached by the Army Head Coach, Sgt James Allen (REME). It was a great insight for the Boxers & Coaches to learn and understanding the scoring system within a contest and how they can implement certain skills into their style to get the win. Sgt James Allen (Army Head Coach) giving advice to the Boxers The first week of the training camp was for the technical session they are about to conduct focused on developing the Boxers within their own styles and develop team cohesion within REME Boxing. We towards the development and discipline that boxing demands. worked on the fundamentals through the delivery of an intense but The coaching staff were pleasantly surprised with the talent of the structured training programme. All participants had the opportunity Boxers who had never undertaken a boxing contest before, LCpl to have ‘one-to-one’ coaching with the REME Boxing Coaches which Abraham (12 Regt RA LAD) and LCpl Wolfendale (1 Yorks LAD) were was a great way to monitor their progression over the two weeks and two Boxers who have never entered a boxing contest. They both give them work on points to take away with them. impressed the coaching staff with their skills and abilities in the During the final week of the training camp the REME Boxers sessions and will be ones to watch out for in the future. 8 Field Para enjoyed the experience of ‘Engineers Hill’; especially those Boxers Coy also brought a strong team of Boxers which is a team to look out not based within the Tidworth area. It wouldn’t be a Tidworth for in the Corps Championships. training camp without running up and down a hill. The training camp The Boxers had time to give their feedback with regards to the was concluded with an evening at the First Fusiliers Boxing Gym for training camp and what they would like to see for the future of REME sparring. This was the time to put everything they have worked on Boxing. Lt Waters of 8 Para Field Coy who was the sole officer to over the training camp into practice. Within this final week all the attend the camp as a Boxer sat down with the Boxers and Coaches to Boxers showed great progress; making many improvements within gather their points for continuous improvement. These are detailed their own style. This was due to all the Boxers having a great attitude below.

The Boxers enjoying a refreshing run up Engineers hill

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Accessibility

The majority of Boxers feel that the opportunity to box for their home unit is extremely limited. With many not knowing a POC they can easily access; they struggle to conduct any training and feel that this is why people who may have a spark of interest for the sport lose it. Response: All units should have a unit Boxing Officer who is responsible to the CO for the safe delivery of boxing within unit. If unfortunately, this is not the case then I would recommend approaching a local unit who may offer the sport on a Wednesday sports afternoon/evening. A civilian club is also a viable option.

Some soldiers within REME Bns feel that the lack of Bn Boxing gyms do not allow them to establish themselves as legitimate teams. Real estate for a Corps gym should be considered, with Unit Boxing Officers made responsible for resourcing a suitable training area for potential Boxers. Response: With the current Army structure seeing multiple units located on a single camp it comes as no surprise that Real Estate has become sought after. The


Good evening of sparring with the First Fusiliers Boxing Team Corps committee has aspirations for the Corps gym to be based at Lyneham where we can capture the majority of REME soldiers.

The Corps needs more Level 1 and 2 Coaches spread around it. This will allow as many LADs/Wksps/Units to at the very least conduct in-house training and allow every REME SP the opportunity to train for boxing and be taught the proper techniques. It would be highly beneficial to run a Level 1/2 Boxing Coach course every 3-6 months at either Lyneham or Tidworth; preferably wherever the REME Boxing Coach is located to oversee and network. It could potentially run straight after the end of the training camps. Response: Agreed. The Army School of Physical Training routinely hosts coaching courses. Link via MODNet is https://modgovuk.sharepoint.com/teams/7259/CAV/SitePages/Boxi ng.aspx. As part of our strategy the Corps will look to host coaching courses in the near future.

More REME Boxing Camps! All attendees for the Feb 22 camp thoroughly enjoyed it and it facilitated SP from across the Corps to network with one another. It also gave the Head Coach a look at his potential team for future competitions. Running 3 to 4 REME Boxing Camps a year would be ideal with different camps being run for experienced and novice fighters – it would be down to Unit/LAD/Wksp Coaches to send who they feel is most suitable for each camp. Response: Prior to CV-19 the Corps routinely hosted Boxing Camps and our aim is to get back to this. The next training camp is scheduled to take place on 18-22 Apr with details to follow shortly. We will look to run additional training camps around the UK so that the burden of travel is equally shared across the Corps.

All Boxers would be interested in competing to earn their place in a “REME Boxing Team”, this would be the team that fights directly under the Corps Head Coach and competes in major competitions. The team would ideally be allowed to attend training camps (2-6 weeks) in preparation for competitions and would be treated like their Football/Rugby counterparts. Response: With the current operations and commitments, we would struggle as a Corps to conduct lengthy training camps. Our model is proven where we must continue to rely on inter Sqn/Coy championships across our units, 1 to 2 weekly Corps training camps, civilian/inter Corps Boxing nights, and annual Corps Championships to develop our pool of REME Boxers.

The Boxers would all be very interested in training at civilian gyms around the country. During training camps, there could be opportunity to travel to different regions around the country and perhaps train at famous civilian gyms in Manchester, London, Sheffield etc. This would not only provide a great training opportunity but would also be beneficial in building up the PR of REME Boxing within the wider Corps. Response: Our training camps usually incorporate civilian gyms where we find the best value for training and development. Historically we have had success in Liverpool and Scotland with previous REME Coach’s SSgt’s Craig McEvoy and Scouse Richardson. We still have those links and will look to exploit them in the future.

The Boxers are very interested in competing abroad. Whether in Europe or in another continent, the chance to represent the

Opportunity

LCpl Abraham showing why it’s important to have a good defence

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Corps and even the British Army overseas would be a great opportunity which all would relish. This would also spark interest across the Corps for individuals to get involved in the sport and encourage the team to perform to its maximum potential. Response: For some time REME Boxing has had the aspiration to undertake an overseas Boxing tour and the Corps Committee is weighing up options as this goes to press.

Desirability/PR/Reach

The Boxers felt that most people in the Corps were put off from Boxing due to the way it is perceived by PTIs and the CoC. They feel that most soldiers are intimidated by the prospect of being beaten up and therefore do not give the sport a chance. More should be done to educate all within the Corps about the benefits and reality of boxing training. There are certain levels of ability in boxing – as there are in all sports – and each person should know that they are going to be appropriately challenged at their own level; nobody is there to be seriously hurt in the early stages of their boxing journey and all practice is conducted safely in a controlled environment. Response: The duty of the Coach is to always protect the welfare of the Boxer. I’m pleased to say that the approach to boxing across both the military and civilian domain is a lot more regulated and mature than maybe 10-15 years ago. Coaches provide a structured pathway for Boxers to learn and develop in line with their abilities. Primacy is given to the safety of the environment and we take this very seriously in REME Boxing.

Boxing Officers should encourage the CoC to throw a “Boxing themed” PT session maybe once a quarter in order to spark the interest of potential Boxers within Units. Response: Agreed and this is the approach that I have sometimes adopted. Boxercise provides a strong cardio workout, focus and of course releases the frustrations of a busy schedule.

More should be done on social media to spread the influence of Corps Boxing across the wider Corps. The existence of a Facebook page is a good start but to keep up with social trends, an Instagram page, Twitter, Snapchat etc must also be created in order to reach out to all on the social media sphere. A “Day-in-the-life” takeover by a Boxer would perhaps also be beneficial. Response: Facebook has seen some successes in the past but to ensure we are compliant with current policies for Boxers, Coaches, latest news and the release of Notices/Admin Instructions we have devised a ‘REME Boxing’ Defence Connect Page which can be found by the QR code below. This was the first training camp I have run since taking over the

LCpl Cook providing 1-1 coaching with Sgt Moore, look closely for the Rocky facial expression REME Head Coach position. I look forward to the future of REME Boxing and getting the Corps back to the top where we belong. I want to keep building on the momentum off the back of this training camp and have another one already scheduled for 18-22 April (Admin Instr to follow). This will be perfect preparation for the Corps Boxing Championships being held on 17-19 May. I urge all unit Coaches within the Corps to get their Boxers civilian registered to allow more opportunity for bouts, whilst developing wider relationships with other civilian clubs. If you are a Boxer or qualified Coach within the Corps, please don’t hesitate to get in touch; we look forward to hearing from you. REME Boxing Chairman: Col T Lambert REME Boxing Officer: Maj Gordy Bromidge REME Boxing Secretary: WO1(RSM) Ben Robinson (8 Trg Bn REME) REME Boxing Head Coach: Cpl Liam Jones (QRH LAD)

The Boxers and Coaches after a great days training in Aldershot

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REME Charity

Lifting the Decks 2022 Virtual 10km – Registration Now Open! Scribe WO2 (AQMS) Gaz Hooson

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fter the tremendous success of the 10k in 2021, where over 1,400 competitors participated to raise over £12,500 for The REME Charity, we are back with the 2022 event! This year we are going bigger and want to break the records of the inaugural challenge, with both monies raised and participants involved. The money raised will help The REME Charity fund the Corps mental health initiative ‘Lifting the Decks’; providing timely support and respite for all members of the REME Family. Please encourage your family and friends to participate. No matter where you live, who you are, your connection to the REME Family or your level of fitness - join in! Last year people joined us on kayaks, horseback, with bergen’s and pulling vehicles from locations such as Brunei, the Falkland Islands, Iraq, Estonia and Canada. This event is taking place during mental health awareness week between 09-15 May 2022, which this year is focussed on loneliness - so make it a team event if you can. Enter now by following the link below or by scanning the QR

Code on your handheld device. Visit the ‘REME Connect’ website and click on ‘Donate’ (top right corner) and click on ‘The REME Charity ‘Lifting the Decks’ virtual 10km’ event REME Connect: The REME Charity ‘ Lifting the Decks’ virtual 10k (enthuse.com) Visit the website now! • Register and create a profile • Link your own personal fundraising page to your profile • Link your STRAVA and view the live leaderboard • There is a fundraising leadership board for the event • An option to purchase merchandise All race fees are inclusive of postage and packaging, everyone will get a new 2022 bespoke medal! All proceeds go direct to the REME Charity. Any event questions or queries can be directed to either gary.hooson683@mod.gov.uk or Jonathan.Payne708@mod.gov.uk

Before submitting an article you are requested to read the guidelines on the inside front cover 37


USEFUL FREE APPS ON ANDROID & IPHONE (SEARCH USING THE TERMS BELOW ON THE APP STORES) • AIMS FOR ANGER MANAGEMENT • CBT I-COACH (SLEEP) • CURABLE (PAIN RELIEF)

• PTSD COACH • CBT THOUGHT RECORD DIARY



Museum

4 Base Workshop Special Devices – Part 1: Deception Scribe: Zoe Tolman, Assistant Archivist

A variety of dummies (A1967.0810.02)

L

ast year, we looked at 4 Base Workshop and their extraordinary output of spares and equipment. Within these were various new pattern items, those things created to try and solve a problem or fill a gap, and the inclusion of ‘General Manufactures’ in 10 Sub Workshop’s capabilities ‘was largely influenced by the ever-changing nature and magnitude of the

orders for “Special Devices”.’ (A:1960.0299) This article will focus on deception devices with a further article to follow on anti-mine tank rollers and mine detectors. Deception was used widely throughout the war, and indeed long before that, and took many formats. Disinformation could be achieved through false reports about movements or strengths (for example, opening up leave availability to make it seem like an Operation would not be imminent), entire false Divisions raised in the ORBAT and supported by associated HQ radio chatter and promotions, and of course reports from spies turned double agent. Depending on the theatre, these deceptions could not exist for too long without some form of physical evidence to back them up however - this could be in the form of dummy vehicles, changing one vehicle to look like another, or setting out lights to simulate an airfield. Even less tangible were the Light Scout Car Company’s which could get quickly into position and project audio of a Dummy Dakota Fuselage (E09.0498.044) larger tank Division, by cover of

40 craftsmaneditor@reme-rhq.org.uk


night or sandstorms, and could be further reinforced with smoke machines aimed to simulate the smell of diesel engines and cookhouses, and ‘mess-making equipment [… used to] represent general scarring from the passage of numerous men and vehicles.’ The Middle East was particularly reliant on these physical deceptions due to the proximity of lines and the 8th Army became quite famous for their effective use of them. For example, at one point a ‘force of three hundred tanks’ was called to be created in order to stall Rommel and give the 8th Army time to regroup at Tobruk. This no doubt contributed to 4 Base Workshop’s report that ‘manufacture of new pattern eqpt[sic] and “strange devices”[…] threw a great load on Wksps[sic] and exercised the inventiveness and ingenuity of pers[sic].’ (E:08.0415.07). One interesting device produced by 10 Sub Workshop, referred to as a Sunshield in the Middle East but a Houseboat in Britain, proved ‘invaluable in the desert and contributed greatly to victory at El Alamein.’ The Sunshield was a canvas cover and frame which went over a tank in order to disguise it as a truck and could take as little as ‘four men in five minutes’ to fit. Similar concepts existed to make field guns and their trailers also look like trucks, as well as the inverse used to make B vehicles look like tanks. This, combined with the dummy tanks, allowed Divisional movements to be disguised and make it appear as if the armoured attack was coming from a completely different location. There’s no doubt that deception tactics and these devices contributed greatly to Allied success (although of course it is impossible to fully assess their impact when a frequent consequence is the inaction of the opponent) and by the end of the war, dummies had been used and produced to such an extent that examples could be found for ‘every major type of tank, both British and American,’ as well as a variety of trucks, artillery, and even aircraft. The manufacture and complexity also developed throughout the war – where early dummies were made of wood and canvas, later models were inflatable and much quicker to assemble, although this did have problems of its own! References, unless otherwise stated, are from Holt, T., The Deceivers: Allied Military Deception in the Second World War, Simon and Schuster, 2010.

Sunshield on Cruiser Tank Mk VI (E15.0824)

Sunshield on Churchill Tank (E015.0824)

A slightly deflated Sherman tank decoy in Canada, 1948 (E06.0561.176)

Before submitting an article you are requested to read the guidelines on the inside front cover 41


Obituaries Former Warrant Officer Class 1 (ASM) Basil Ainsworth 1932-2022 Scribe: Daughter Lyn Francis It is with regret that we inform the Corps of the death of our dad, Basil Ainsworth, who died suddenly following a short illness on 13 January 2022 aged 89. Born in Leek, Staffordshire, Basil enlisted as a Craftsman in the REME in February 1950 and undertook basic training at Blandford. A posting to Berlin as part of BAOR took place in 1951 and it was whilst in Berlin that Basil received a penfriend letter from the daughter of a family friend. On returning home to the UK, Basil met his penfriend who became our mum, Shirley Ainsworth, with the couple marrying in July of 1954. Basil left the service for several months in February of 1955 but re-enlisted in July 1955 with uninterrupted service. This was followed by a tour to Cyprus from June 1958 to February 1959 and a return to the UK. Basil completed a further tour for BAOR from 1962 to 1965 and was based in Paderbor n and Detmold before returning to the UK. In 1969 Basil was posted to Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates for a year-long tour and the photo of him riding a camel is still a family favourite. Basil went on to complete fur ther tours in Cyprus (1971), Northern Ireland (1971-1972) and completed his 23 years’ service in September 1972. As part of his service Basil completed his Vehicle Mechanic (A) i n M a r c h 1 9 5 2 a n d we n t o n t o complete his Artificer Vehicle course in 1962 at Bordon and subsequent promotion to Staff Sergeant. Basil enjoyed a number of hobbies including fishing – his favourite spot was Chesil Beach in Dorset. An avid music lover Basil joined the Abertillery Orpheus Male Voice Choir when he moved to Abertillery, Blaenau Gwent, and went on to sing for the Pope in 1982. Basil was a top tenor, music master and publicist during his 32 years in the choir. Choir practice was often followed by a pint in the pub and a singsong. Basil also enjoyed painting and drawing landscapes and always signed his pictures B Ainsworth. It was a family joke that we all had a Bainsworth on the wall. Basil also enjoyed his German classes to improve his fluency and the social aspect of the weekly get together. Post Army life Basil worked as a supervisor at Michelin in Newcastle-under-Lyme and a Plant Manager at Seddon Plant Hire, Stoke-on-Trent, before deciding to buy a shop in the South Wales Valleys. The latter part of his working life was spent as an instructor at a local skills centre in Blaenau Gwent where he passed on his k n ow l e d ge r e g a r d i n g b r i c k l ay i n g, m o t o r m e c h a n i c s a n d literacy/numeracy skills. Basil was extremely proud of his REME service and enjoyed talking to people about his time in the military and the places he had served. Basil was a hardworking, loyal, dedicated soldier and strived to be the best at everything he undertook. As well as being a soldier, Basil was a husband, dad, Son, Brother, Grandad and great Grandad extraordinaire whose values of honesty, reliability, respect and commitment have been passed down through the family and will continue to do so. Basil also had a great sense of humour and loved a family party or get together. You were always greeted with a twinkle in his eye and a broad smile often accompanied by the words What do you know? Basil is survived by his Wife, Shirley, and Daughters, Lyn, Julie, Helen, nine grandchildren and fifteen great grandchildren and will be very much missed by all of us.

42 craftsmaneditor@reme-rhq.org.uk

The funeral was held at The Heart of England Crematorium followed by a wake at Weston Hall. As a veteran, funeral rites were provided by Richard Marsh, Corps of REME, Standard Bearer; L.Cpl. Brendan O’Neill, RE 66Wks, GP RE Bugler and Warrant Officer Class 2 Kelvin Redshaw, Corps Welfare Warrant Officer, RHQ REME. Basil’s ashes will be dispersed at his favourite fishing spot on Chesil Beach on what would have been his 90th birthday with the family present. Donations in lieu of flowers will be sent to the REME Charity.

Former Warrant Officer Class 1 (ASM) Jeff Phillips Scribe: SSgt Steven Phillips Sadly, my Father passed away at the age of 76 on the 6th December 2021. 23847768 WO1 (ASM) Jeff Phillips joined the REME in 1960 as an Apprentice at the age of 15. A 3-year a p p r e n t i c e s h i p a s a Ve h i c l e Mechanic, then specializing in A Vehicles (Track) at Bordon. He married my mum; April in 1966 who followed him throughout his 22-year career in the Army. Most of his career was spent in Germany with his last few years in Hong Kong opening up a new workshop in Kowloon Tong (Osborne Barracks). He retired at 40 as an ASM which he had been for over 6 years. He then joined the Civil Service at Andover working his next 20 years supporting REME. Finally retiring as an SPTO in EME 11b (Tools and Test Equipment Manager) in 2005.

Former SSgt David Charles Giles BEM Scribes: Col (Retd) Mike Crabbe and Maj (Retd) John Plumb We both served with David at different times, came together as members of Art Avionics 17 and kept in touch with David and Sylvia up to his untimely passing near his home in France in November last year. David joined the Army Apprentices School in January 1964 and was allocated to ’B’ squad for training in the aircraft trade. This was the second intake of Apprentices to have the Aviation trades as an option. At this early time in training for Aviation, Apprentices were not assigned to Aircraft or Electrics, Instruments and Radio (E, I & R) until they reached the third term and had been assessed for their suitability for a particular trade. David was selected for E, I & R. We were never sure if it was the training or David’s innovative nature that led to the David Giles Mouse Trap – an upside-down cardboard box with an access hole, either side of which was connected to the mains! – sadly no mice were caught. As a talented runner, David competed in Cross Country and in 1965, whilst attending military training in Brecon, he completed the retrieval of the safety flag from the top of the mountain on the Cym Gwdi ranges in record time – a record that stood for some time. On passing out from the then renamed Army Apprentices College in December 1966 he moved to Aircraft Engineering Training Wing at Middle Wallop to complete his training before


his initial posting to 70 Aircraft Workshop for continuation training in April 1967. After his continuation training David was posted to Development and Trials Sqn AAC which was in many respects “a match made in heaven” as it required the installation for trials purposes of equipment new to the Army Aircraft in existing helicopters. Proof of David’s problem-solving ability and acceptance of new ideas resulted in the award of the BEM in the 1969 Queens New Year’s Honours List. David was selected for Artificer training and attended Artificer Aircraft (EI&R) 17 from November 1971 to July 1973. This course was renamed to Artificer Avionics in January 1972. When we returned to SEE for a period of revision for the HNC examinations in 1973, it coincided with the national power strikes called “the winter of discontent”. Fortunately, to beat the power cuts, we discovered that the “Old Leathern Bottle” on the Wokingham road was on the hospital circuit and thus immune from outages – a great place to revise! On completion of his Artificer course David was posted to 652 Sqn AAC in Bunde, Germany where he served from 1973 -75 and managed to include a tour in Northern Ireland. On his return to the UK, he joined the UK Standards Team based at Middle Wallop, which took him to all the UK based AAC units as well as Jamaica and Belize. After 13 years of Army life, David decided to try life in Civvy Street. By this time, he had married Sylvia, and they were bringing up their 4 children. He acknowledged that his Army career had given him a great deal, but it was time to move on. Computing was just coming to the forefront, so, with his electronics background, he chose to work in a fledgling American computer company, which took the family to Dublin, and he was soon promoted to Operations Director. The family became somewhat travellers, moving house on average every 3 years because David was frequently offered lucrative and interesting job offers. From Ireland, David worked for Mitel Telecom in South Wales, then for an American company making blood analysers, based in Luton. As time went on and the children were reasonably settled in careers or University, David was head-hunted by a major international company based in Singapore. This opened up a whole new era for him. He and Sylvia became world travellers in their 40s, visiting Sri Lanka, India, Malaysia, Australia, Canada, Africa and the USA, wherever David’s work took him. David progressed to high management, and eventually ran his own company. In the late 90s he fulfilled a dream and bought a second home in SW France intending it just for holidays, where the expanding family could gather in the sunshine. However, he found that he enjoyed life so much in France, that he made the decision to retire early and move there permanently. As the family grew to include 10 grandchildren, he adored them all. He would organise treasure hunts for them, spoiling them and treating them, and generally being the ideal Grandfather. He was well known for his love of renovating houses and could often be seen outside the local ‘Brico’ in shorts and sandals or wellies all year round. He was a very generous, fun-loving man, always whistling and optimistic. The morning he died, he left the house after bringing Sylvia a cup of tea in bed, went off to meet a man about a digger, had a heart attack in his parked car, and died instantly. David was an extraordinary man and will be missed by his Wife, Sylvia, children, Andrew, Sarah, Louise and Claire and all his family and many friends.

Death Notices AINSWORTH – Former WO1 Basil Ainsworth passed away 13 January 2022 aged 89. Dates of service 1950-1972.

Officer Assignments NAME ASSIGNED TO Lieutenant Colonel BURDEN WDH OP HALLEX – HALLEXPAK001 Hd Pakistan Conflict Sec and Stabil Fund EDWARDS MJ BDS US – ASST UK STRATCOM ATTACHE BDS (US) GRAINGER AR PJHQ (UK) – SO1 J4 ESS Project Officer SEKHON TS DIRECTOR CAPABILITY – SO1 Log & Eqpt SOANE GS HQ 102 LOG BDE – SO1 ES WATTERS EG JFD – DEFAC TECH SCHOOL – SO1 LETHALITY Major BURCHELL DS ISS DEVELOP LOG ABW – BATCIS ENGINEERING ASSURANCE SO2 McNAMEE OP JOINT ENGINEERING SQUADRON – OC Captain BARRACLOUGH WJ 1 RHA WKSP REME – OC BROWNLIE AS 6 ARMD CS BN REME – OPS OFFR BURDON G 7 AVN SP BN REME – UWO BURKE K 2 CS BN REME – RCMO DALEY J 6 ARMD CS BN REME QM DEPT – QUARTERMASTER HARDMAN AK 4 ARMD CS BN REME – ADJT MARENGO J 103 BN REME 118 COY – COY COMD MURPHY RB D CAP HOC AM DELIVERY – SO3 MATCHA TT Avn ES SHAW W LEAT CHILWELL – SO3 LEA SIMPSON PG 16 REGT RA WKSP REME – 2IC WEBBER CS 101 BN REME – ADJT WHITTAKER G 1 CS BN REME – ADJT Second Lieutenant DEOSO K DSEME REME ARMS SCHOOL - REME YO Course HARRIS T DSEME REME ARMS SCHOOL – REME YO Course HILL J DSEME REME ARMS SCHOOL – REME YO Course HIRST C DSEME REME ARMS SCHOOL – REME YO Course HUTCHINSON J DSEME REME ARMS SCHOOL – REME YO Course McMILLAN H DSEME REME ARMS SCHOOL – REME YO Course THETFORD J DSEME REME ARMS SCHOOL – REME YO Course TYRIE S DSEME REME ARMS SCHOOL – REME YO Course WESTON PA DSEME REME ARMS SCHOOL – REME YO Course WOODYEAR A DSEME REME ARMS SCHOOL – REME YO Course

DATE 04 Apr 22 01 Apr 22 01 Apr 22 01 Apr 22 01 Apr 22 18 Apr 22 13 Apr 22 19 Apr 22 11 Apr 22 25 Apr 22 04 Apr 22 18 Apr 22 04 Apr 22 25 Apr 22 25 Apr 22 01 Apr 22 18 Apr 22 11 Apr 22 25 Apr 22 25 Apr 22 26 Apr 22 26 Apr 22 26 Apr 22 26 Apr 22 26 Apr 22 26 Apr 22 26 Apr 22 26 Apr 22 26 Apr 22 26 Apr 22

Want to read The Craftsman Magazine from your phone? Ever wondered if you could be posted closer to home? Unsure where to find out what the next Corps function is? Applying for a grant from The REME Charity? Looking for your nearest Association Branch or group?

The answer you are looking for is on...

The Online Home of The REME Family Features include: A digital version of The Craftsman Magazine A map of units where REME serve Information on the Corps Sgts & WOs’ Mess and Corps Officers’ Mess

Death Notice Requirements In order to publish a death notice we require the following information: Surname, first name, rank, full date of death, ages and dates of service. An obituary with additional career and life information is welcome. To inform us of the death, please contact Ms Bev Bate, Corps Welfare Manager on ( 01249 894523 or  benevolence@reme-rhq.org.uk

Details about Association Branches and groups Applications for REME Charity grants Visit remeconnect.org today

Before submitting an article you are requested to read the guidelines on the inside front cover 43


Extracts from the London Gazette 15 February 2022 The following have been awarded the 1st Clasp to the Long Service and Good Conduct Medal (Military) WO1, D. A. BENTON, REME, 25056799 WO1, B. D. HOUGHTON, REME, 25057833 WO2, N. R. HULME, REME, 25044839 CAPT, S. C. HUNT, REME, 25056810 CAPT, D. O’BRIEN, REME, 24957366 SGT, D. A. SMILES, REME, 24934627 The following have been awarded the Long Service and Good Conduct Medal (Military) SSGT, M. S. BLACKMORE, REME, 25223295 CPL, J. BUDDEN, REME, 25228022 WO2, C. J. CARLIN, REME, 25179263 MAJ, C. L. COWARD, REME, W1056862 MAJ, D. DALRYMPLE, REME, 25003848 CPL, C. W. DOW, REME, 25227745 SGT, G. J. EVANS, REME, 25091254 CFN, C. A. FLUDE, REME, 25221387 SGT, S. J. MACKENZIE, REME, 25226695 CPL, A. M. MILLS, REME, 25230796 CPL, B. M. S. PATEL, REME, 25229675 SGT, C. E. R. POPPLE, REME, 25221708 SGT, C. A. B. ROBERTS, REME, W1061869 SGT, O. N. RUDKIN, REME, 25224530 SSGT, A. SKINNER, REME, 24875686 WO2, A. R. SOETENDAL, REME, 25223616 SGT, S. A. SUTHERLAND, REME, 25022810 CPL, K. A. SUTTON, REME, 25230810

22 February 2022 No Entries

01 March 2022 REGULAR ARMY Regular Commissions Lieutenant Colonel J. F. WATT 539060 retires 28 November 2021 Major J. R. LENG 562200 from Intermediate Regular Commission 4 November 2021 to be Major with seniority 31 July 2013 Regular Commissions (Late Entry) Captain S. M. S. BATTISHILL 25023558 from Intermediate Regular Commission (Late Entry) 4 November 2021 to be Captain with seniority 3 May 2016 Captain P. A. BROWN 25047128 from Intermediate Regular Commission (Late Entry) 4 November 2021 to be Captain with seniority 3 May 2016 Captain (Acting Major) L. S. CHERRINGTON 24896502 from Intermediate Regular Commission (Late Entry) 4 November 2021 to be Captain with seniority 3 May 2016 Captain J. R. DOCHERTY 25080069 from Intermediate Regular Commission (Late Entry) 4 November 2021 to be Captain with seniority 8 May 2017 Captain (Acting Major) P. K. HODGSON 25044093 from Intermediate Regular Commission (Late Entry) 4 November 2021 to be Captain with seniority 3 May 2016 Captain S. D. JACKSON 25065524 from Intermediate Regular Commission (Late Entry) 4 November 2021 to be Captain with seniority 4 September 2017 Captain (Acting Major) S. I. KITCHEN 25018060 from Intermediate Regular Commission (Late Entry) 4 November 2021 to be Captain with seniority 5 September 2016 Captain R. E. V. MATAITINI 25113841 from Intermediate Regular Commission (Late Entry) 4 November 2021 to be Captain with seniority 5 September 2016 Intermediate Regular Commissions Major P. W. WARD 25174573 retires 14 November 2021 44 craftsmaneditor@reme-rhq.org.uk

Captain R. J. MURPHY 30187378 retires 21 November 2021 Short Service Commissions Captain S. WILKINSON 30202686 retires 21 November 2021 Captain F. T. W. JONES 30221593 retires 25 November 2021 ARMY RESERVE The following have been awarded the 2nd Clasp to the Long Service and Good Conduct Medal (Military) LT COL, J. P. LOCKWOOD, REME, 565053 The following have been awarded the 1st Clasp to the Long Service and Good Conduct Medal (Military) WO1, N. S. B. KNIGHT, REME, 25058080 The following have been awarded the Long Service and Good Conduct Medal (Military) SSGT, C. R. I. BARON, REME, 25224090 CPL, A. S. HALLIDAY, REME, 25235020 MAJ, C. J. MAITLAND, REME, 559006 CPL, T. C. PAINE, REME, 25229608 CPL, D. G. STEGGALL, REME, 25230745 SGT, J. G. STOKES, REME, 25229762

The REME Charity The Trustees of The REME Charity acknowledge with sincere thanks the donations received during the month of FEBRUARY 2022. They also wish to acknowledge the regular subscriptions received from the Officers and Soldiers of the Corps and retired members of the REME Institution:

Donations Feb-22 01/02/2022 01/02/2022 09/02/2022 15/02/2022 23/02/2022 23/02/2023 23/02/2022 25/02/2022 25/02/2022 25/02/2022 25/02/2022 25/02/2022 25/02/2022

From Amount In memory of Valentine Frank Cross . . . . . . . .£25.00 In memory of Albert James Self . . . . . . . . . . . .£50.00 In memory of Mrs Peggy Lee . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£25.00 Much Loved . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£228.43 Thetford & District Branch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£100.00 Keith Potter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£200.00 Amazon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£659.03 Liz & John Wright . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£25.00 Mr Nicholas Brock . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£15.00 Mr Gerald Newton . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£18.00 Mr Alistair Grant . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£120.00 Raised by Sgt Paul Adams . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£303.60 Daniel Johnstone 32 RA LAD Craftsman Cup Minors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£19.20 Date sent to Craftsman . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .28/02/2022 Total Donations (Feb) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£1,788.26 Total £’s paid in Grants (Feb) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£22,178.00 No. Grants (in Feb) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .36 Average Grant (Feb) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£616.05

If you would like to see how your money is spent, we welcome one or two observers at The REME Charity meetings. The meetings are held midweek, approximately every three weeks. If you would like to observe a meeting, please contact The REME Charity Secretary on ( Mil: 95481 4527 or Civ: 01249 894527 in the first instance. The REME Charity is here for both veterans and serving personnel in times of hardship or need. Contact via SSAFA ( 0800 731 4880 www.ssafa.org.uk or The Royal British Legion ( 0808 802 8080  www.britishlegion.org.uk or your Unit Welfare if serving. All enquiries and information is dealt with in the strictest confidence. If you wish to discuss any benevolence need you can contact us on ( 01249 894523.

Anyone wishing to leave a legacy to The REME Charity, which is exempt from inheritance tax, can add a codicil to their will. Our registered charity number is 1165868


REME Institution

Beating Retreat 2022 Thursday 23 June 2022

Beating Retreat and Buffet Supper

Where: The Princess Marina Officers’ Mess, Lyneham When: Thursday 23 June 2022 1830 to 2200hrs What: After the Beating Retreat has concluded, supper will be served in the mess. Attendance is open to Regular, Reserve and Retired Officers who are members of the REME Institution and their guests. Dress: Lounge suits or equivalent Application and Payment Tickets are only available from the REME Connect webpage: https://remeconnect.org/product/beatingretreat/ under the REME Institution link. Please scan the QR code below using your mobile phone to register for a REME Connect login and subsequently gain access to tickets. As a member of the REME Institution, it is free to attend, each member may apply for one guest ticket at a cost of £25. For any additional information please email Geoff Beaumont on geoffrey.beaumont982@mod.gov.uk Before submitting an article you are requested to read the guidelines on the inside front cover 45


Corps Calendar 2022 More information regarding Corps Mess Functions can found by scanning the QR Code, or by accessing the ‘REME Connect’ website or alternatively email; REMERHQ-0Mailbox@mod.gov.uk for all general enquiries. Corps Conference South (04 April): To attend use the following QR Code to fill in the registration form attached. Aimed at Warrant Officer to Major cohorts on key developments across the RHQ, Army HQ, Field Army HQ and APC. SSgts in independent commands are also invited to attend as are Lt Cols and Comds ES. Administration Instructions planned for release NLT 18 Mar 2022.

APRIL 2022

30

REME Sports Association Awards Dinner Night Corps Council Meeting

04

Corps Conference (South), Tidworth Regimental Sergeant Majors Forum at MOD Lyneham (Moved to 27 April)

TBC

06-07 22-25

REME Reunion Weekend (Nottingham), see back pages for more details

09

HQ Officers’ Mess Corps Ball

09

REME Reserve Management Board

23

REME Reserves Management Board (Lyneham)

10

Regimental Sunday at Royal Hospital Chelsea

23

Broxhead Dinner Night (Postponed)

27

Engineering Awards Lunch (Moved to 15 June)

27-28

Regimental Sergeant Major Forum at MOD Lyneham (New Date)

J U LY 2 0 2 2

AU G U S T 2 0 2 2 – NO SEPTEMBER 2022

ORGANISED EVENTS

03

Broxhead Dinner Night (New Date)

15

REME Colonels Command Group

15

HQ Officers’ Mess Corps Dinner Night

05

HQ Officers’ Mess Corps Spring Guest Dinner Night

23

REME Institution Dinner (Formerly Retired Officers’ Dinner)

12

REME Junior Officers Seminar and Dinner Night

27

REME Institution and Corps HQ Officers Mess Executive Meeting

29

National Memorial Arboretum

18

STEM UTCs Craftsman Cup Final (MOD Lyneham)

19

Corps Colonels Command Group

19

HQ Officers’ Mess Corps Dinner Night

M AY 2 0 2 2

JUNE 2022

OCTOBER 2022 01

Corps 80th Birthday

TBC

Airborne Officers’ Dinner Night

TBC

Commando Officers’ Dinner Night

TBC

REME QM Dinner Night

20

MG REME Conference HQ Officers’ Mess Corps Autumn Guest Night

02-05

Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee (Bank Holiday weekend)

02

The Queen’s Birthday Parade (Trooping the Colour) and Platinum Jubilee Beacons

20

03

Service of Thanksgiving

N OV E M B E R 2 0 2 2

04

BBC Platinum Party at the Palace

TBC

Corps WOs’ and Sgts’ Mess Dinner Night

TBC

Corps Council Meeting

05

The Big Jubilee Lunch, The Platinum Jubilee Pageant, The Royal Collection and The Queen’s Private Estates

05

Ex SUPREME GLACIER (to 10 Dec 22)

11

Field of Remembrance

22-25

REME Reserve Conference (Shrivenham TBC)

09

Founders Day at Royal Hospital Chelsea

15

Engineering Awards Lunch (New Date)

23

Beating the Retreat and Cocktail Party

DECEMBER 2022

28

Institution AGM and Corps Officers’ Mess AGM

01

St Eligius Day

10

Ex SUPREME GLACIER Finishes

29-30

REME Festival of Sport (FoS)

TBC

Artificers SM Forum

46 craftsmaneditor@reme-rhq.org.uk


REME Reunion Weekend 2022 To be held ld at: t: 4* Ea Eastw twood Hallll Hote tel, l, Mans nsfie ield ld Road,, Eastw twood,, Notti tting ngham,, NG16 3SS

Friday 22nd to Monday 25th Aprill 2022 Either Eith er 1, 2 or 3 nig nights ts Hal alf Bo Boar ard,, en suite ite ac acco commodatio ation A 15% reduction in normal bar prices will apply all weekend Pre-Dinner Drinks receptions Friday and Saturday Gala Night Dinner and Port for the loyal toast Live entertainment each evening Free use of swimming pool and gymnasium facilities

Saturday coach shuttle service to and from Nottingham city centre Numerous daytime fun activities throughout the weekend

Optio tion n 1 - 3 nig nights ts package £224 per person Optio tion n 2 - 2 nig nights ts package £174 per person Optio tion n 3 - 1 nig nightt package £95 per person n (S (Satu turdayy nig nightt only nly

- inc inclu ludes Gala Din inne ner - Limite imited availa labilility ity) BOOKING FORM Package Choice(s (s) (Please indicate quantity required) Option 1 ________ Option 2 ________ Option 3 ________ Persona nall Details ils

REME Assn Branch (if applicable) ______________________________ Name ________________________________________________________ Address______________________________________________________ Post Code____________________________________________________ Mobile/Telephone Number _____________________________________

In 26 acres of landscaped gardens, this hotel is 15 minutes’ walk from central Eastwood, the birthplace of DH Lawrence. It has a fitness centre, outdoor tennis court, indoor swimming pool and sauna.

Itinerary It Fr Friday 13:00 from14:00 17:30 18:30 20:00 Satur turday 07:30

Additional names included in this booking: ______________________________________________________________

Lounge bar in the foyer opens Check-in Welcome Drinks Dinner Fun Casino and entertainment

Breakfast Coach Shuttle to Nottingham City

*** V a r i o u s d a y t i m e a c t i v i t i e s ***

______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ tall nu number of guests ts in inclu luded d in th this is booking ing _____ Tota

16:15 18:15 19:15

Standards Rehearsal Standards Parade Gala Dinner and entertainment

07:30 09:00 09:30 10:15 10:30 18:30 Mond nday

Breakfast Padre & Standards Rehearsal Church Service with Standards Tea/Coffee and Biscuits REME Association Conference Dinner

ired Double ____ Twin ____ Single ____ Number of Rooms requir Whilst every effort will be made to accommodate all special requests this can only be done on a first come first served basis and cannot be guaranteed. A limited

number of disabled rooms are available.

Specia iall Requir irements nts (dietary/walking/hearing difficulties etc) ______________________________________________________________ All prices are inc nclus usive off VAT att the cur urrentt rate. Book Now to avoid disappointment, places are limited. Cheque ues to o be made paya yabl ble to o IOW Tour urs Please return this form with your remittance to: Moun untt Pleasantt (I (IOW)) Ltd td trading tr ng as IOW Tou ours 51 High Str treet,, Shankl klin,, Isle off Wight.. PO37 6JJ *** Book oking ngs can n also o be made by credit/debi bit card att th the number below *** Telephone (01983) (0 ) 405116 www.i .iowto tour urs.c .com

nday Sund

07:00 11:00

Breakfast Final Departures

ALL HOLIDAYS ARE SUBJECT TO AVAILABILITY AT THE TIME OF BOOKING. SPACE IS NOT GUARANTEED UNTIL THE DEPOSIT IS PAID. Our Trading ng Charter (our (our T&Cs)) can n be viewed on n ou our website www.i .iow owtou ours.com