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Friday November 3 2017 No 1430 70p


Hurricane heroes of Operation RUMAN

See p18p19

Football Kentish Cup UKAF triumph

RAF recruiters Power up STARS: June Sarpong and Denise Lewis

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Rugby Union Wales call-ups for two SACs RAF AMBASSADORS: Olympian Denise Lewis is pictured with (l-r) SAC Ben Wai, Fg Off William Wambiru, Cpl Sony Campbell, SAC Bernice Dzekashu, Cpl Pascal Zgambo and Flt Lt Ifeoma Modu  PHOTOS: shaRron wallace

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THE RAF has honoured the brave policeman who saved lives during the London Bridge terror attack. Air Force recruitment chief Air Cdre Adrian Burns presented an award to PC Wayne Marques (inset, right) at the annual Powerlist Influencers dinner in central London. The event recognises high achievers in the UK of African and African Caribbean heritage. Also present was Flt Lt Kyle Roachford, chair of the RAF’s Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Network and other RAF ambassadors. They

were joined by celebrities including presenter June Sarpong, Olympian Denise Lewis, MPs Chuka Umunna and Dawn Butler and former footballer Garth Brooks. Presenting an award, Flt Lt Roachford, from RAF Northolt, said: “The RAF is taking great steps in tackling BAME issues. We are really moving forward to make real change. The RAF gives everyone an opportunity. It allowed me to move from being in the ranks to becoming an officer, having started out in the Caribbean. When you talk about social mobility, the RAF is one of the best employers.” n See p23 for the full story

Fit for heroes – the Forces’ favourite newspaper



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With the fall of Raqqa the head of the Daesh snake has now been cut off

” Defence Secretary Sir Michael

Fallon after the recapture of the Syrian city from the terror group – p5

Green as he tests his hypercar ahead of his world record bid – p7

on his latest drug awareness fundraiser with ferret Bwandit – p9

It was a real hard workout for the brakes. It got near to 1000˚C

” Bloodhound’s Wg Cdr Andy

We’re planning to skateboard from Richmond to the Isle of Dogs

” Former SAC Charlie Hammerton

I was very tired but pumped, knowing I had to finish in the top three

We have earned the right to be the best and we are the best

PTI Cpl Peter Todd on his success in the gruelling Cyprus Throwdown fitness event – p15

FS Nick De-Long after his charges from the UKAF football team retain the Kentish Cup – p30-p31

The sky is no longer the limit, insists CAS RAF 100

RAF must look to next 100 years as it celebrates landmark Tracey Allen Mayfair

The legacy of the RAF’s centenary must be ‘a springboard into our next century,’ Chief of the Air Staff, ACM Sir Stephen Hillier said at the launch of the RAF 100 programme. He added: “The RAF’s focus has always been on the future. The RAF centenary programme will propel us into a new era where even the sky is no longer the limit for those who join our family. “Our success will build the foundations for a next generation Royal Air Force that is better and more capable than ever before.” Sir Stephen announced that the Service’s Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Design and Mathematics (STEAM) programme aims to reach more than 300,000 students from all backgrounds, particularly those with a special interest in aerospace and engineering. The RAF100 campaign will commemorate the past 100 years of the Service, formed on April 1, 1918, celebrate the professionalism and dedication of today’s RAF and inspire future generations. It will launch officially on March 31 next year with an opening concert at the Royal Albert Hall and run for approximately six months with

a programme of national and regional events. Highlights CAS cited include a national tour of real and replica aircraft in six major city centres across the UK and the presentation of a new Queen’s Colour for the RAF at Buckingham Palace on July 10 with an anniversary parade in The Mall and a mass flypast. Sir Stephen said: “RAF 100 is important to the country as a whole. The Royal Air Force remains one of Britain’s most highly recognised, cherished and respected organisations. It is only right that we give the people in whose name we serve opportunities to celebrate our centenary with us.” He added that being open to all remained at the heart of what the RAF does. He said: “Every job in the RAF is open to everyone. We aren’t interested in background, only in merits, potential and aspirations.” T h e RAF100 Ap p e a l supports four

Next issue on sale November 17, 2017 Royal Air Force News Room 68 Lancaster Building HQ Air Command High Wycombe Buckinghamshire HP14 4UE Email: Tel: 01494 497412 Editor: Simon Williams Sports Editor: Dan Abrahams Features Editor: Tracey Allen News Editor: Simon Mander Sport: Tel: 01494 497563

NEW GENERATION: Cadet WO Yolanda Costa with Air Mshl Sir Baz North PHOTOS: SAC Nicholas Egan and SAC Edward Wright

major charities: the RAF Association, the RAF Benevolent Fund, the RAF Charitable Trust and the RAF Museum. Speaking at the centenary launch Air Marshal Sir Baz North, the Royal Air Forces Association president, said: “The resource raised from this appeal will benefit hundreds of thousands of individuals: the youngest children and the oldest veterans; those currently serving our country; and their incredibly supportive families at home. PAST TRIUMPHS: Former Mosquito pilot Colin Bell with CAS at the launch

“The aims of the appeal are two-fold: to honour and to support current and past generations and to inspire those of the future. “We hope the appeal will provide a fitting way for people and organisations in the UK – and further afield – to show both their gratitude to the RAF for the past 100 years and to help make the next century equally outstanding.” The centenary programme launch featured contributions from Battle of Britain veteran Flt Lt Colin Bell DFC, a former Mosquito pilot; currently-serving Sgt Claire Coulson, a communications technician based at HQ Air Command; and Cadet WO Yolanda Costa, from 12F (Walthamstow & Leyton) Squadron Air Training Corps, each talking about what the RAF means to them.

All advertising: Edwin Rodrigues, Tel: 07482 571535 Email: edwin.rodrigues@ Subscriptions: Adelle Johnson Sheffield Web Caxton Way Dinnington Sheffield S25 3QE Tel: 01909 517331 RAF News accepts no responsibility for unsolicited features, pictures, products or other materials submitted. Views expressed are not necessarily those of the RAF or the MoD.

Royal Air Force News Friday, November 3, 2017 P5


Daesh death blow UK Top Guns closing in as terror group capital falls

Staff Reporter RAF crews spearheading the fight against Daesh across Iraq and Syria will continue to target the terror group after the fall of its last stronghold and de facto capital Raqqa. Syrian democratic forces supported by UK combat air power finally liberated the city after four months of intense street by street fighting. Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon, pictured left, described the recapture of the Syrian city as a ‘devastating blow’ to the Islamist terrorists’ ‘fake caliphate’ but vowed

to continue to strike the group across the Gulf. He said: “With the fall of Raqqa the head of the snake has been cut off and Daesh has now lost its twin capitals in Iraq and Syria. “But the fight against Daesh’s reign of terror is not over. “We will continue to hit the terrorists hard in both Syria and Iraq while supporting efforts to rebuild. “Only by defeating Daesh for good will we reduce the threat to us here at home.” Since joining the Coalition fight against Daesh in 2015, RAF Typhoons, Tornados and Reapers have launched 1600 strikes in Iraq and Syria. The UK also provides crucial intelligence, surveillance refuelling

liberation day: Syrian Democratic Forces scour a district of Raqqa after driving out the last Daesh fighters, below, troops watch as Coalition airstrike hits its target PHOTOS PA

and transport capability across the Coalition. Britain remains the second largest contributor to the international mission to drive the terror group from both countries and has played a leading role in the liberation of both Mosul and Raqqa in the decisive phase of the campaign. RAF Tornados and Typhoons are continuing to fly daily sorties

from Akrotiri in Cyprus, armed with a range of precision weapons including Paveway IV bombs, Brimstone missiles and Storm Shadow cruise missiles. Air Commodore Johnny Stringer, Air Component Commander, paid tribute to the UK crews supporting the fight against terror. He said: “While our aircraft have been impressive it is our people who are magnificent and have been

for over three years. “They are the difference and if anything has registered with the British public and others it is the selflessness and commitment of the airmen and women who have served on this campaign.” Initial strikes across Iraq were launched by RAF Tornados, with Typhoon joining the fight as United Kingdom operations expanded to include Syria.

Reds tour keeping UK plc in the black Tony Durrant THE RED ARROWS have returned home after an 8000-mile tour of 11 countries, supporting a government-backed bid to boost British businesses. Reds commander, Wg Cdr Andrew Keith, said: “We were privileged to fly to a range of countries across Europe and the Middle East with hundreds of thousands of people either seeing these performances live or learning more about the team and the UK through the resulting media coverage.” The team performed their first-ever display in Saudi Arabia and a flypast over eight national landmarks in Jordan before

showcasing their skills at airshows in Karachi, Pakistan and Qatar. Away from the airshow circuit the Reds gave British trade delegations a platform to showcase UK innovation. Mr Ajay Sharma, Her Majesty’s Ambassador to the State of Qatar, said: “It is hard to capture comprehensively the impact of the Reds’ visit. “But it is very clear to me that it gave most people in Qatar – both Qataris and expats – a lot of pleasure and made them feel very positively about the UK. “The fact that this was the RAF underlined to many the strong defence cooperation between the UK and Qatar and the excellence of UK-Qatar relations.

business boost: Left, Red Arrows pilots and engineers pose for a selfie with hundreds of ecstatic fans, main, Sqn Ldr Mike Ling and Flt Lt Emmet Cox after a display in Bahrain PHOTO: SAC ROSE BUCHANHAN

This couldn’t have come at a better time for the Qataris given recent developments, including

the decision in September to buy Typhoon.” Preparations are now underway

for the Red Arrows’ 54th season in 2018 – the RAF’s 100th anniversary year.

Royal Air Force News Friday, November 3, 2017 P7


First Blood for Air Force rocket man Andy Royal Air Force speed king Andy Green fired up his Bloodhound supersonic car for the first time, hitting 200 mph in under 10 seconds. Watched by more than 3000 fans and supporters Wg Cdr Green blasted off down the twomile runway at Newquay Airport to test the hypercar’s EJ200 Typhoon jet engine. The Bloodhound team are bidding to smash Andy’s own world land speed record of 761 mph set in 1997 by hitting 1050mph across the Hakskeen Pan, a dry river bed in South Africa, in two years’ time.

Speaking after completing two runs at Newquay, Wg Cdr Green (right) said: “It was a real hard work-out for the brakes which got close to a thousand degrees. The front brakes were smoking furiously after the second run. The car is ready, we are ready and we will be going much faster next year.” Bloodhound (left) will be powered by the EJ200 jet engine and a hybrid rocket developed by the European Space Agency, producing an estimated 135,000 horsepower.

Careers drive puts Forces families first Staff Reporter

RAF chiefs say they are putting family life first in a bid to encourage personnel to serve for longer and encourage more women to join up. Among a range of measures being launched to make the military more attractive to recruits is the new junior ranks career management scheme bosses say will help personnel balance their work and family lives better. The new programme which will affect more than 17,000 personnel working in ground trades, will replace the current ‘list based’ approach and give all serving personnel access to a dedicated career advisor. AVM Chris Elliot, Chief of Staff Personnel, said: “Family life today is so complex whether you are a Group Captain or an SAC at the start of your career. We want to ensure we are rank-agnostic and that everyone in the RAF can have a conversation about where they are in career terms and the opportunity to do more planning. “The RAF has more women serving than any other Service and we want to push that even further and we have to be flexible to do that.” According to recent research 80 per cent of women of child bearing age in the military have children at some point in their career. AVM Elliot (pictured) added: “Being a modern employer is about valuing people and giving them more of a voice. We have to have a career structure that recognises this and is more family friendly.” The new scheme will provide 40 fulltime advisors and is one of a number of

measures being launched to boost recruitment and encourage those who sign up to serve for longer. The RAF will be revealing details of a

new package of pay and allowances to new recruits from 2020. Forces housing is also undergoing a major revamp with plans to extend the help to buy scheme and offer private rental agreements. AVM Elliot added: “We need to

manage our talent better – we are now a smaller organisation with fewer people doing more highly specialised work. We need to be better at managing our talent and know the high value of the skills our junior ranks have. These changes have been driven

from the shop floor by our own people.” Suppliers and Movers in Trade Group 18 will be the first to be included in a phased roll-out of the scheme which will cover all ranks from LAC to WO in every trade by 2018.

TOGETHER WE REMEMBER. This Remembrance Day we honour the dedication of servicemen and women and their families. We remember all they have achieved and sacrificed. Together.

Royal Air Force News Friday, November 3, 2017 P9


Bandit’s getting his skates on Tracey Allen Wildlife Correspondent THEY’RE BACK – and this time they’re tackling the Thames, by skateboard. Fundraising phenomenon former SAC Charlie Hammerton and his pet ferret Bandit will be skateboarding alongside the famous river to raise money for two charities. Charlie, 23, said: “We’re planning to skateboard from Richmond to the Isle of Dogs and, hopefully, back again, in December, to raise funds for teenage drug awareness charities in memory of my friend Will Moss who died last year aged just 22.” Will collapsed and died outside a Southend nightclub after possibly taking the drug ecstasy during a night out. Charlie added: “He wasn’t a habitual druguser, it was a one-off. We’re fundraising for Hope UK, a small charity that provides drug education and training for children and young people and for The Loop, which is really unusual and quite revolutionary. “It provides drug safety testing,

welfare and harm deduction services at nightclubs and festivals.” He said Bandit will probably be sitting on his shoulders during the skateboarding stunt, which he hopes to complete within a day. Charlie added: “I would love to get a skateboard small enough for Bandit to use – if someone could make him one that would be great.” The duo’s previous money raising

efforts include making more than £4000 for Motor Neurone Disease charities after walking Hadrian’s Wall in record time and more than £1000 for Combat Stress with a trek in Arnhem wearing full World War II Parachute Regiment uniform. Last month Charlie, who worked in MT at RAF Coningsby and is now a consultant to the construction industry, was presented with the Nottingham Post Heroes Award Armed Forces award for his charity work. He said: “It was a really humbling experience. I have only been fundraising since April and to be recognised already for such a prestigious award was amazing. “I took Charlie to the awards ceremony and he loved it. “He loves a crowd, he’s not at all shy and he really poses for the camera. “We’re looking forward to meeting lots of people alongside the Thames in December, I want everyone in London to come and see us. “Bandit’s the famous one people want to meet – I just do his admin.”

BANDIT BAGS CHARITY GONG: Fundraising ferret and owner Charlie Hammerton receive their regional Armed Forces Award PHOTOS: NOTTINGHAM POST/JOSEPH RAYNOR

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Flanders Fields come to Britain ROYAL AIR Force, Army and Navy personnel joined Forces veterans at the Royal Chelsea Hospital in London for the launch of the annual Poppy Appeal. This year organisers have planted poppies at locations across the UK spelling out lines from the famous WWI poem

‘Flanders Fields’ by John McCrae. The floral tribute appeared at the Royal Hospital Chelsea in London, on Dunkirk Beach, on the White Cliffs of Dover, at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire, in Cardiff Bay, at Salford Quays in Manchester and outside the Sage concert hall in Newcastle.

Royal Air Force News Friday, November 3, 2017 P10


£90m for Benson’s Sim City

Funding lift for chopper training RAF Benevolent Fund Christmas cards are on sale now!

ROTARY REVOLUTION: Chinook simulators at RAF Benson, above, in the virtual cockpit

Staff Reporter

Help us to support the RAF Family. Order online at or call 0300 770 1350 The RAFBF is a registered charity in England and Wales (1081009) and Scotland (SC038109).

DEFENCE CHIEFS have signed a £90 million deal to extend synthetic helicopter training at RAF Benson for an extra eight years. The new contract is expected to safeguard 70 jobs at frontline helicopter station, home to the RAF’s Puma II squadrons and the Chinook operational conversion unit. Under the latest agreement with CAE Aircrew Training Services, the RAF and Navy will extend their use of the company’s six simulators, housed at the Medium Support Helicopter Aircrew Training Centre at Benson in Oxfordshire. The contract will deliver training until the planned out of service date of the RAF’s Puma fleet. Crews using the synthetic training pods can replicate extreme

weather conditions, mechanical and electrical failures and missile attacks in real locations. The Benson complex also includes four computer-based ground training rooms and a control centre for operational mission training. Defence equipment director Adrian Baguley said: “The importance of effective synthetic training cannot be underestimated and continues to play an increasingly important role in our overall training curriculum. “The Medium Support Helicopter Aircrew Training Facility has consistently delivered a high standard of quality training to the operators of our frontline helicopter capabilities. “This agreement continues to maintain the world-leading ground school and simulator training facility for our helicopter aircrews.”

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Royal Air Force News Friday, November 3, 2017 P12

News Stealth fighter development

Vertical reality:The take off ramp on board HMS Queen Elizabeth, below, testing short take offs on the ramp in the US

Family: Staying in touch reduces risks of developing mental health problems

Losing touch with comrades can put veterans at risk

UK crews ramp up Lightning tests The UK’s F-35 fighter jet is now cleared for take-off from HMS Queen Elizabeth following successful trials using the ski-ramp design fitted to the Royal Navy’s flagship aircraft carrier. The UK currently has 12 F-35 jets in the United States where they are being tested ahead of flight trials from the 65,000 tonne vessel next year. Two more aircraft are set to be delivered by the end of the year. Defence Minister Harriett Baldwin

said: “Successful ski-ramp trials mean the F-35 is cleared to fly from the carrier as the momentum continues for this game-changing jet. “This milestone comes as our pilots and planes prepare to return from the States, ready for next year’s unforgettable flight trials from the deck of the nation’s new flagship.” There are 150 UK personnel in the US working on the F-35 programme, including four pilots now ready to fly the stealth fighter in South Carolina

following training at RAF Valley. The Royal Air Force’s famous 617 Squadron will be the first unit to operate the aircraft from RAF Marham where resurfacing work on the station’s runway has been completed. In other developments new ‘Block 3F’ software upgrades have also been installed giving the F-35 full warfighting capability. UK Defence chiefs expect to announce the aircraft’s Initial Operating Capability by

December 2018. Sqn Ldr Andy Edgell, part of the Integrated Test Force, added: “The launch of the F35s from the HMS Queen Elizabeth is a once in a generation historical event. “To be the first to fly off the carrier, to have a front row seat, would be an absolute privilege. “There are hundreds of people who have been working tirelessly behind the scenes to make this happen and the honour will be theirs too.”

rotary benchmark

Hurricane mission Pumas hit 20,000 Rebecca Hunt RAF Benson Puma II combat choppers which took part in the recent UK mercy mission to the storm-hit Caribbean have completed 20,000 hours since entering service. The upgraded helicopter was first deployed to Afghanistan supporting the NATO mission to train the country’s fledgling Army after Coalition forces withdrew at the end of the 13-year conflict. Since then the aircraft has taken part in a number of UK combat and humanitarian missions with 33 Sqn and 230 Sqn, based at RAF Benson. Puma II is also operated by the Operational Conversion Unit on 28 Sqn, the Rotary Wing Test and Evaluation Squadron at Boscombe Down and the Trials and Standards Evaluation units. Puma Force Commander Gp Capt Hamish Cormack said: “The milestone of 20,000 flying hours on the Puma II includes many hours flown on operations

in Afghanistan, where 3 Pumas remain today providing vital support to the NATO mission, most recently in the Caribbean providing relief following the devastating hurricanes. “This achievement is a testament to the outstanding teamwork and dedication of RAF Benson personnel, the Delivery Team and industry.” During the recent relief operation to British Territories in the Caribbean, Puma II crews flew in Royal Marines and civilian aid workers to restore basic amenities in some of the worst hit areas. The crews also carried out air drops delivering emergency supplies across the region. Puma II is the UK’s only midsized lift helicopter and is designed to be deployed at short notice. The helicopter can be quickly taken apart, loaded onboard the RAF’s heavyweight C17 Globemaster transporters and rapidly reassembled for combat and humanitarian duties.

Upgraded: A Puma II rehearsing combat moves, left, in action during the recent hurricane relief mission in the Caribbean

One in four British military veterans have admitted having suicidal thoughts after quitting the Services, according to a survey by a Forces charity. The YouGov poll commissioned by SSAFA also revealed that more than 40 per cent of Service leavers have felt lonely or isolated. Losing touch with pals in the military is one of the major causes of depression, according to the survey, along with difficulty relating to civilians. SSAFA chief executive Sir Andrew Gregory said: “Isolation and loneliness is a growing issue across society that affects young and old alike. “A great strength of military service is the team ethos, sense of comradeship and belonging that flows from being part of a group with a common purpose and shared values. “Our research shows just how many veterans can become isolated as they struggle to adjust to life after the Forces. “We are already seeing a growing number of younger veterans in need who are benefiting from our personal faceto-face advice through our trained volunteer network.”

Wyt-on time WG CDR Rachael Dixon has taken over command at RAF Wyton. She was presented with the station emblem – a propeller drive shaft from a World War II Lancaster from the Pathfinder Force which crashed at the Cambridgeshire site in 1945 – by outgoing chief Wg Cdr Phil Owen

Royal Air Force News Friday, Novermber 3, 2017 P13


Help shell out for Cpl Phreddie’s new home TURTLE RECALL: 12-year-old amphibian mascot Cpl Phreddie has outgrown his tank

Tony Durrant The Gulf

AN APPEAL is being launched to upgrade the living accommodation of 902 Expeditionary Air Wing’s latest NCO. Newly-promoted Corporal Phreddie celebrated his new stripes with a prawn cocktail and a dip in his personal heated pool – which he is outgrowing. Phreddie is a Red-eared Snapper Turtle and is the mascot of 902 EAW, based on a desert airbase near the Persian Gulf. He has a 225-litre tank in the C4i office but really needs more leg room, ideally in a 350l tank. “He is 12 years old now and he needs more space,” said SAC Andy Thompson. “His SLAM accommodation has a sun-bathing ramp beneath a UV lamp and 5mm thick glass but he needs extra depth. His specialised diet needs subsidising, too.” It has taken 12 years for Phreddie, spotless as usual in his MTP, to make

the grade but his latest insert slip is proof that he deserves his new rank. “Cpl Phreddie never leaves the office and is a popular and well-liked member of C4i,” it states. “It took him some time to come out of his shell but he now works wonders for morale.” Phreddie joined 902 EAW when it was at its previous location and moved with the detachment in 2011 when it moved to its new home. SAC Thompson, (pictured, inset left) who kept two Musk Turtles in his room at RAF Henlow, added: “Phreddie is a popular member of the team and new

personnel who come to us to set up their IT accounts all drop by to meet him on arrival. “He splashes when he wants to get out then does a patrol of the room, visiting the same spots every time. He has never taken an interest in heading out of the office.” Detachment Admin Officer Flt Lt James Farrington said: “The RAF loves tradition and Cpl Phreddie is part of it.” It isn’t known if Phreddie originally came from Raf Masirah, a former RAF base on an island off the Oman coast which is famous for its turtle nesting beaches.

CAKE THAT: L-r, Luka Waycott, Kate Rutherford and Chris Yarrow

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Bigwigs take off bake-off HALTON PHOTOGRAPHERS Luka Waycott, Kate Rutherford and Chris Yarrow staged their own bake-off challenge to raise funds for breast cancer campaign Wear It Pink. The trio gave their charity drive a head start – by donning fancy dress wigs. The charity is close to Luka’s heart – she

is currently helping to support her best pal, 30-year-old Gemma Roberts, who was diagnosed with the disease 18 months ago. Luka said: “Gemma is fighting through chemo and refuses to give in to this terrible disease. I wanted to raise money for her and all women suffering and fighting.”

Royal Air Force News Friday, Novermber 3, 2017 P15


Throwdown showdown for PTI Pete Tim Carpenter Akrotiri SUPERFIT PT instructor Peter Todd is celebrating a spectacular podium finish after completing a gruelling work out challenge. The RAF Akrotiri-based Corporal rocketed up the rankings to THIRD in this year’s Cyprus Throwdown event, from 27th in 2016, after completing a Crossfit coaching course enabling him to train harder. The two-day test of strength, now in its fourth year, took place on the island’s Dasoudi Beach putting finalists through eight workouts for a chance of a top spot. Cpl Todd said: “Going into workout seven, although the body

was feeling tired from the previous six, I was feeling pumped knowing I had to finish in the top three to give

In brief

World re-card THE NATIONAL Memorial Armoretum has won a place in the Guinness Book of World Records – for the most signatures on a greetings card. More than 13,000 people added their names and personal messages of support to the two metre high Christmas card which was presented to UK Defence chief Lt Gen Richard Nugee.

SQUADRON COMMAND & UNIT WALL SHIELDS 6” x 7” £49.50 including UK Post and Packing REDUCED PRICES given for orders of 3 or more SPECIAL PRICES given for quantities 5,10, 25, 50 and 100



PODIUM PLACE: Air Force fitness instructor Cpl Todd finished third

myself a chance of moving up the leader board and making the podium. “Workout seven had me and another three athletes out in front pushing each other hard, and by the end of it I wasn’t sure if I was in the top three and I knew I had to go into workout eight with the same attitude.” The final leader board showed Cpl Todd tying for third place, but because he had achieved three first place finishes, he won an overall third place. He said: “Long term I would like to see Akrotiri affiliated as a Crossfit Gym, running regular classes with the goal of entering a bigger number of athletes in the 2018 Throwdown.”

Benson all-stars take a bow at awards night Staff Reporter RAF Benson AIRMAN ROB Causer scooped a top award as frontline helicopter station RAF Benson honoured its highest achievers at its annual prize- giving event. The 28 Squadron high flyer was presented with the Spirit of Benson award in recognition of his welfare work and role as an ambassador for the RAF Cadets. Station chiefs also paid tribute to civilian Janine Ansty Bridges who received the Benson Loyalty Award for stepping up and taking on extra duties during a staffing shake-up. Welfare worker Debbie Wise military environment’. was presented with the award for Benson duo Cpl Alex Clements Professional Excellence and Cpl Gavin Colbourne for supporting family received the Innovation Award members hit by personal for introducing a pioneering road problems. safety driving simulator. Debbie, who works The station’s Teamwork Award for Forces charity SSAFA, was presented to Sgt’s Mess deputy won praise from station manager Cpl Lee Simpson just chiefs for ‘ navigating months before he retires through ‘complex from the Service. Cpl issues and dealing Simpson was nominated with the unique for his leadership skills. ROB CAUSER challengers of the In a break with

INNOVATION: Cpl Alex Clements and Cpl Gavin Colbourne

tradition, Station Commander Gp Capt Hamish Cormack paid special tribute to nominee FS Rob Calverley who narrowly lost out in the coveted Spirit of Benson award A station spokesman added: “Rob’s skill and positive atitude have been exceptional. “His ability to motivate his shift is amazing considering he has been battling antisocial shift patterns and constant deployments to Afghanistan and recently to the Caribbean as part of the UK’s relief mission.”

NEED NEED NE DT TO O T A AL LK K? TALK? SSAFA S SAFA P Personal ersonal S Support upport and and Social Social Work Work Service Service provides em otional a nd p ractical ssupport u p por t provides emotional and practical to Regulars, Regulars, Reserves Reserves and and their their families. families. to Contact C ontact our c confidential, onfidential, independent servic s service e on:

Call Ca all 0 03000 300 00 111 7 723 23 Available A vailable 24-hours 24-hours a day, day, 365 da days ys a y year ear

Email ps sws sR RA k Our offi offices fices are are also open Monday-Friday Monday-Friday 08.30-17.00 08.30-17.00

Registered as a charity in England and Wales N umber 210760 in Scotland Number SCO38056 S and in Republic of Ireland Number 20006082. Established 18 885. S208.0817

Royal Air Force News Friday, November 3, 2017 P17

News WO-ver and out: Mark Thorogood retires, inset right, as a new recruit in 1980

Paradise regained

WO Mark’s a brolly good fellow

A 33 Sqn Puma II takes off from Oil Nut Island in the Caribbean after flying in Royal Marines to restore telephone networks

destroyed in recent storms. More than 1200 British military personnel have returned to the UK after

spearheading the relief mission to UK territories devastated by a series of hurricanes. PHOTO: LT JOEL ROUSE

Wittering Warrant Officer Mark Thorogood has taken a bow from the RAF after clocking up 38 years of service. Air Force engineer Mark, who joined up when he was just 16, was given the traditional bowler and brolly send off and escorted to the gates on board a station vehicle by colleagues. He has worked around the world during his career and finished his last tour with Wittering’s 5001 Engineering Sqn.

Civvy St now tougher for Forces leavers The UK public has less understanding of the stresses of military life than ever before making it harder for Service leavers to thrive on Civvy Street, researchers claim. A report by the Forces in Mind Trust and the Officers Association also warns that military support groups face a deluge of requests for help as veterans struggle to cope outside the military family. The survey says the passing of the ageing World War II generation and the diminished size of the modern Armed Forces has reduced public awareness of military life. Changes in pension schemes forcing military vets to keep working longer plus tighter social care and benefits budgets are also likely to escalate the problems. And the probe warns a predicted rise in the number of PTSD cases caused by the recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan and a proven

reluctance by military personnel to seek help is fuelling the crisis. Chief Executive of the Forces in Mind Trust Air Vice-Marshal Ray Lock, said: “Forces charities are likely to face an increasing requirement to provide individually tailored support packages to Service leavers in order to enable their successful transition to civilian life. “The findings of this report challenge us to identify, as the sector plans for the years ahead, what the optimum way is in which we can deliver the necessary support to our ex-Service personnel.” A higher turnover of Armed Forces numbers and increased life expectancy is creating more complex needs for Great Britain’s 2.56 million veteran community, the report claims. Lee Holloway, Chief Executive of the Officers’ Association, added: “The needs of our veterans have long been the focus of our

News bulletin

Maria’s wall walk worth the weight

established and varied family of Forces charities in this country. “However, it is clear from our research that the needs of veterans are becoming more complex, with no two individuals facing the same

challenges, irrespective of rank. “This report will help us to continue to ensure that future military leavers receive appropriate career support and are able to fulfil their potential.”

Big-hearted Henry’s charity birthday bonus KIND-HEARTED youngster Henry Conway was so moved by an RAF charity’s television advert that he decided to give away his birthday money. Henry, six, was watching the RAF Benevolent Fund’s latest TV ad, called Show Your Pride, with his mum and dad, Leo and Elizabeth. The ad features former Gunner, double amputee Stuart Robinson,

widow Jacqui Thompson and Battle of Britain veteran Stan Hartill. Leo said: “We’d been talking to Henry about what he wanted for his birthday. When he saw the ad, he said ‘Daddy I think I should give them some money’. “I asked if he wanted it as part of his birthday present and he said ‘yes’ straight away.” Leo went online and made a

Squadron pal FS Martin Kenworthy said: “You might think that an engineer as meticulous as Mark would be a nightmare to work for, but honestly you couldn’t wish for a nicer bloke.” Wittering engineering chief Wg Cdr Craig Watson added: “Thirtyeight years is a lifetime. Mark leaves the RAF knowing that he has earned the respect of his peers, the chain of command and the station. It is an outstanding achievement.”

generous donation on Henry’s behalf. The proud dad added: “Henry’s always been such a caring child that always wants to share. “At only six it surprises me how socially conscious he is and how comfortable he is around adults, especially the older generation, he naturally gravitates towards them. This might be why he was

so inspired to make a contribution after seeing Stan on television. “When Henry received his thank you card from the Benevolent Fund in the post he was chuffed.” The birthday boy celebrated his special day in his hometown of Redditch with a family meal and a bowling party with friends. HELPFUL HENRY: The birthday boy, right, gave his present money to the RAFBF

Fundraiser Maria Gordon has netted more than £6000 for good causes and lost nearly five stones in weight walking the Great Wall of China. Defence contractor Maria completes a charity event every year in memory of her father Graham Handley, who lost his fight against cancer the day after her birthday, in 2012. Since then Digby-based Maria has completed a list of charity events, including skydiving with the Red Devils. She said: “I feel guilty celebrating my birthday as Dad died the day after but it is comforting to be able to complete these challenges in his memory.”

Royal Air Force News Friday, November 3, 2017 P18


Royal Air Force News Friday, November 3, 2017 P19


Hurricane heroes honoured

n 147 RAF personnel n 346 sorties flown n 13 airstrips used n 12 islands helped n 1.5m kgs of aid n 4000 passengers n 1000 nautical miles

CHINOOK: Invaluable for moving personnel and aid between the ravaged islands

AID: A400M. Below, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson arrives in the Caribbean on a C-130J

Tribute: Sir Stephen speaking at Brize Norton, home to the RAF’s transport fleet which spearheaded the UK’s relief mission MISSIONS: From top, Puma and arriving on a C-17 ABOVE: CAS, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier chats to crew members at Brize

Simon Mander


OP BRASS have paid tribute to the RAF’s Hurricane Heroes at a ceremony at Brize Norton. At its peak 147 airmen and women were deployed to the disaster zone after Hurricanes Irma and Marie tore a swathe of devastation across the British Virgin Islands, Turks & Caicos Islands and Aguilla, causing damage to property and livelihoods, likened by one Serviceman to the aftermath

of a nuclear bomb. Co-ordinating the RAF part of the relief effort was Brize-based 38 Expeditionary Air Wing – which was mobilised for the first time and deployed to Grantley Adams International Airport in Barbados within 24 hours. 38 EAW Commander Wing Commander Gareth Burdett said: “What the EAW achieved was remarkable, from a standing start, with just 12 hours’ notice, we enabled a complex air transport mission in a very dynamic

environment which shows the complete professionalism of the Air Mobility Force and the high calibre of its personnel.” He said the challenges of landing a 150-tonne C-17 Globemaster aircraft on small, narrow, remote airstrips – normally used by small executive jets and no larger than the runway at the former RAF Church Fenton (now Leeds East Airport) – whose vital air traffic control and fire services had been smashed to pieces by two Hurricanes, were immense. And he praised Brize-based tactical

air controllers Flight Lieutenant Tim Clayton and Sergeant Martin O’Rourke – who were diverted from an exercise in America to the devastated Beef Island Airport in the British Virgin Islands three days after the disaster – as the unsung heroes of the operation. “Working alongside people who had lost everything, within three hours of arriving, they had reopened the airport to air traffic,” said Wg Cdr Burdett. “When you consider that every one of the 346 sorties the RAF and

our Canadian allies flew out there was getting vital relief somewhere and that civilian aircraft were unable to operate for four weeks in the disaster zone, and that the only way to keep air flowing was by military aircraft, they did a great job of making that happen.” 38 EAW Chief of Staff (Operations) Squadron Leader Gareth Edwards said: “This was probably the biggest air mobility deployment since Operation Herrick in Afghanistan. At one point we were handling a total of 15 aircraft a day involved in the

relief effort, including those of our American and Canadian allies.”


ver the mission two A400M Atlas aircraft of LXX Sqn carried out 47 sorties, while a C-130J crewed by 47 and XXIV Sqn personnel conducted 34. In total, RAF aircraft including 99 Sqn C-17s, Voyagers of 10 and 101 Sqns, Chinook and Puma helicopters delivered 1,542,284kgs of aid and transported 4,032 passengers across an area of around 1,000 nautical miles flying into 13 airstrips on 12

different islands. “Operation RUMAN was a baptism of fire for the A400M and it performed superbly,” said Sqn Ldr Edwards “It was the aircraft’s first operational deployment and it was able to operate faster and carry three times as much material and equipment into the British Virgin Islands as the C-130 could,” he said. Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier, praised personnel from across the Service who battled between September 8

and October 11 to save victims of the Caribbean catastrophe. He said: “No one can deny that the RAF has had another extremely busy year. We have been taking the fight to Daesh in Iraq and Syria, we have continued to protect UK airspace, we have supported many vital NATO missions, including deploying our Typhoons to Romania and Estonia, we have Puma helicopters in Afghanistan, and we have also kept the throttle fully open developing our future capabilities, including F35 and the P8 Poseidon.

“But on top of all that, when the call came, we did what the RAF does so well – responded and deployed rapidly and at range and with all the air and groundenabling capabilities we have. “Op RUMAN, our response to the devastation caused by Hurricanes Irma and Maria, was the biggest Air Mobility Force deployment since the end of Op HERRICK. “With extraordinary professionalism and commitment, you enabled the delivery of

thousands of people and more than 800 tonnes of vital relief aid, ensuring that equipment, freight, food and water got to where it was needed, quickly and effectively. “It is because of your combined efforts that the lives of all those affected by Hurricane Irma and Maria are now able to start on the long road to recovery. I am hugely proud of what you have achieved, and I’m sure that I also speak on behalf of all those that you helped when I say a most sincere ‘thank you’.”


Regulars Announcements l P6-7 Prize Crossword and Su Doku l P8


BBMF official history l P8

Paloma Faith's grand design l P4-5

Royal Air Force News Friday, November 3, 2017 R'n'R 3

R'n'R UK Box Office Top 10

Film review

The Killing Of A Sacred Deer Certificate 15 On general release November 3

Haunted by a dark past


TEVEN Murphy is a successful heart surgeon, admired by his peers and loved by his family, but all that is about to come apart when demons from his past come back to haunt him. Murphy has been meeting a young boy, Martin (Barry Keoghan) to give occasional gifts and fatherly advice, but his wife and kids are unaware of this relationship. Murphy

feels indebted to Martin for some reason, things getting substantially more serious when it seems a hex has been placed on his family that will end in a lot of people dying if nothing is done about it. It sounds absurd but stranger things have happened in Yorgos Lanthimos's films – like turning people into animals in The Lobster. The style is unmistakable; the flat matter-of-fact dialogue and delivery that can find humour in the darkest ideas. It has a wonky realism that makes you think the hex could be real and so the stakes are as high as they can be. Murphy has to confront superstition and contemplate an unthinkable sacrifice. Colin Farrell, having starred in strange success The Lobster, looks at home with this mechanical direction, and Nicole Kidman dovetails in with a bit more soul as wife Anna but is enough Stepford Wife to keep things off kilter, especially in the bedroom. The young actors are excellent, making the blunt and sometimes bizarre dialogue sound natural.


2 Geostorm 3

The Lego Ninjago Movie

4 Happy Death Day 5 The Death of Stalin 6 My Little Pony 7

Kingsman: The Golden Circle (pictured below)

8 The Snowman 9 Mersal 10 Secret Superstar WONKY REALISM: Nicole Kidman and Colin Farrell, above, star with Barry Keoghan in Yorgos Lanthimos's new film

Once again Lanthimos has created a beautifully strange piece of work that is uniquely his own. It is a horror revenge film that has a tone that flits between tragic and slapstick. It uses real drama but in such a false way that it's hard to connect to anyone, but this feels beside

The LaFontaines – Common Problem

1 Blade Runner 2049


the point. What is clear is that this film knows how to challenge expectations, create suspense and get a laugh – even if it is a nervous one. Review by Sam Cooney R'n'R Rating:



The Darkness – Pinewood Smile

The truth is in here Loud and proud WITH 2015’s debut album Class charting in the UK Top 100 and Scottish Top 10, reaching number one in the UK Indie Breakers chart, and receiving over three million plays on Spotify, The LaFontaines are ready to top that success with their second album Common Problem, out now via A Wolf At Your Door Records. Frontman Kerr Okan said: “Common Problem is a much darker record than our debut release. We’re not as young and naïve as we were in our early twenties. We’ve been around the world as a band, seen a lot of things and discovered our one big Common Problem… There is a lot of angst, truth and reality held within this album.” Common Problem combines an


BEEN AROUND: Scottish rockers The LaFontaines are on tour in November

eclectic mix of influences, and at their core The LaFontaines are a true rock band. Having built a reputation as one of Scotland’s most exciting live bands, The LaFontaines have sold out headline shows at Glasgow’s Barrowlands and ABC, played London’s Koko and the main stage at T In The Park. The band are touring the UK this month, from November 13, starting in Leeds, taking in Cardiff, Manchester, Milton Keynes, Glasgow, Newcastle, Birmingham,

Sheffield and London and finishing in Nottingham on November 23. We have a copy of Common Problem to win. For your chance to own it simply answer this question correctly: On which record label is Common Problem released? Email your answer, marked Common Problem CD competition, to: or post it to: RAF News, Room 68, Lancaster Building, HQ Air Command, High Wycombe, HP14 4UE, to arrive by November 17.

THEY'RE BACK – loud and proud. Rock gods The Darkness have just released their fifth album, Pinewood Smile, and we have a copy to win. It opens with All The Pretty Girls – a hard-rocking autobiographical anthem that examines the fact that when you’re a rock star you get a lot of attention from ladies. It also boasts the swashbuckling Buccaneers of Hispaniola, the expletive-strewn howl of frustration Southern Trains, the hugely emotional Why Don’t The Beautiful Cry? the globally anthemic Japanese Prisoner of Love and the ode to pumping out smash hit after smash hit Solid Gold. Pinewood Smile was produced by Grammy Award-winning producer Adrian Bushby (Foo Fighters,


Muse). It features the drumming and vocal talents of new band member Rufus Tiger Taylor (below), son of Queen legend Roger Taylor, who shares vocal duties with flamboyant frontman Justin Hawkins on two of the track. For your chance to win the CD, answer this question correctly: What is the name of The Darkness’s new drummer? Email your answer, marked Pinewood Smile CD competition, to: or post it to: RAF News, Room 68, Lancaster Building, HQ Air Command, High Wycombe, HP14 4UE, to arrive by November 17.

Royal Air Force News Friday, November 3, 2017 R'n'R 4

Royal Air Force News Friday, November 3, 2017 R'n'R 5



Edited by Tracey Allen




Titan Books

Our Girl


March of War

The Big Interview Paloma Faith

Battle to save Earth in new sci-fi smash M

ON LOCATION: Keegan shot Our Girl in Nepal, South Africa & Malaysia

A bruising tour of duty


ichelle Keegan is on her third tour with 2 Company in the BBC hit Forces drama Our Girl. Her character Georgie and her regular crew Elvis, Monk, Brains, Kingy, Spanner, Peanut and Dyno have been joined by a new trio – Maisie, Milan and Rab. 2 Company take on three missions in the new series, kicking off with a disaster relief operation following an earthquake in Nepal. Michelle spoke to R'n'R about coping with military bootcamp:

What was the shooting schedule like for a commission of 12 episodes? "We were filming from the end of April and we had bootcamp the week before that. We filmed in Nepal for two weeks, then South Africa until the end of July. Then we flew to Malaysia for the next mission so it's a long shooting schedule."

Do you think you and Georgie would be friends in real life? "I think so. I think she's a girl's girl. She's not afraid to speak her mind and I love her attitude. She looks after number one but also looks after everyone else."

We left Georgie in Somalia at the end of season two. What's happened since and has anything changed? "This season we picked up with Georgie at home with her friends and family, and she gets a call from Captain James asking her to come out to Nepal for a NGO relief mission. She's still independent, not with Elvis, putting her career first and loving being in the Army."

What have been the challenges from this block? Have you had any injuries from any of the stunts this mission? "It's been a lot more physically demanding than the first one, definitely. There are a lot more stunts involved, more Army-based scenes and a lot more running – which I'm not very good at. I've had to learn how to run like I'm in the Army – nightmare!"

What about jilted love Jamie? "Unfortunately there's no news of Jamie! He's probably settled down, got married and still a doctor!" Have you had to go to Bootcamp for this series? "Yes we did bootcamp just like last year and we did it in Sandhurst and South Africa. We work alongside people who are in the Army and it's about getting us in the mind-set of being back in the Army, running drills, how to hold a weapon, discipline, all about your kit and a lot of medical skills. I've learnt so much. I know how to use a tourniquet, a bandage, I know how to stitch, how to do CPR and a lot of technical bits too."

There's a new member of 2-Section, Maisie. What can you tell us about her? "Maisie is very strong-natured and it's very challenging for Georgie as she's her mentor. She has to look after her and keep her in check but Maisie is a bit of a rebel. At the end of the last episode they do come together as a team and it's a bit of girl power. They are a strong force to be reckoned with."

Did you pick up any bruises from filming? "I certainly did. I was absolutely covered in bruises." What's been your favourite scene to shoot in the new series? "My favourite scene so far has been a bust up with Georgie and Elvis; we have a row where there's a lot of frustration and a lot of jealousy but the love is still there. It was a great scene to film."

Finally, did you take any comfort items with you from home for the long shoots? "I took Yorkshire Tea Bags in my suitcase, as well as my slippers." n Our Girl continues on BBC One at 9pm on Tuesdays.

arch of War is the gripping, action-packed third novel in the acclaimed Virtues of War series, by Canadian Naval officer Bennett R. Coles. The Centauri Attack may have been contained, but not before widespread death and destruction crippled Earth. Now Terra is in all-out war with Centauria and the colonies. Jack Mallory is on the front lines, leading a flight of Hawks into the battle zone. His mission is a desperate, lastditch attempt to rescue Thomas Kane, whose Astral forces are being overrun under heavy fire. Meanwhile, Katja Emmes works behind the scenes to secure Terra’s flank from the most dangerous of Centauria’s attacks. The Astral Force must establish a bridgehead in Centauri territory, in preparation for a daring mission which could end the war. Emmes and Mallory find themselves an unlikely duo on the

advance force, while Kane must grapple with his loyalty to Terra when he discovers what the true cost of war may be. The ultimate showdown between Terra and Centauria looms, and with it the fate of all humanity. Coles wields his knowledge from service in the Canadian Navy to create a taut and tangible atmosphere in this military science fiction epic. Sweeping the reader into battle alongside his protagonists in an escalating war between Earth and Centauri, March of War is an intense, emotionally-charged and engrossing read. We have copies of March of War (published by Titan Books) to be won. To enter, just tell us which Navy Coles served with. Email your answer, marked March of War book competition, to: or post it to our address on page 3, to arrive by November 17. Remember to include your full postal address.

DVD/BLU-RAY box sets

Richard Pryor/Steve Martin


Fabulous Films Ltd/Fremantle Media Enterprises

Madcap comedy capers from Pryor and Martin


here are madcap laughs aplenty with the release of a new four-DVD Richard Pryor gift set. The compilation features 1976 comedy musical Car Wash, also starring The Pointer Sisters; the 1978 fantasy musical adventure The Wiz – based on the classic Wizard of Oz, also starring Michael Jackson and Diana Ross; the 1978 farcical comedy Which Way is Up? which sees Pryor acting in three roles; and finally the 1985 smash hit comedy Brewster’s Millions, also starring John Candy. Also from Fabulous Films is another comedy classic offering, Steve Martin, The Movie Collection. A four Blu-Ray set, it features his 1982 black and white comedy crime mystery Dead Men Don’t

Wear Plaid; the 1989 Ron Howard-directed smash hit Parenthood; the 1996 film version of the classic Phil Silver’s series Sgt. Bilko, also starring Dan Aykroyd; and the 1999 comedy about a low-budget film director Bowfinger, also starring Eddie Murphy. We've got copies of each of these ribticklers to be won. To enter, just tell us the name of the movie distribution company responsible for the compilations. Email your answer, marked Comedy Compilations competition, to: competitions@rafnews. or post it to our address on page 3, to arrive by November 17. Entrants must be over 15. Please specify which compilation you'd prefer to win.

NEW MUM: Paloma Faith

Baby steps of Faith


ecoming a parent is one of the biggest events in anyone’s life, bringing with it a raft of challenges. For songstress Paloma Faith, the experience of being a new mum may have left her wondering where her next night’s sleep might be coming from, but it’s also brought a renewed sense of purpose and focus to her music. “I’m trying to juggle being a mother and a singer. I have no idea how I am managing, but I am somehow,” she laughs, recounting her whirlwind existence recording her fourth studio album. The 36-year old Londoner has already amassed an enviable career over the past decade that has seen her become the only female artist beyond Adele to have three double platinum recordings to her name. While it’s been a road requiring plenty of hard graft, her artfully soulful sound and quirky style have undoubtedly played their part in propelling the Hackney-born star to success. The singer’s latest offering, The Architect, follows boldly in its predecessors’ footsteps, showcasing her distinctive powerful vocals that have earned comparisons with everyone from Sixties icons such as Etta James and Billie Holiday, through to the late Amy Winehouse. As she admits, she’s hoping her latest work, partly recorded in America, might yet crack the elusive holy grail of top slot in the album charts. If the slick, yet lyrically reflective lead single Crybaby is anything to go by, then the signs are indeed looking promising. It seems the singer is enjoying a comparatively settled phase of her life living with French boyfriend Leyman Lahcine, and

it’s apparent that starting a family has directly influenced her music. “I do feel my approach to music has changed since I’ve become a parent – which does have an impact. With difficult things that are happening in the world, you feel protective and want to make things comfortable for your family. “I think things are changing in our history and maybe not for the better, which is

something I’m concerned about. I feel there’s a sense of duty to talk about events.” Much like any other artist in the limelight, her rise has come with the perhaps inevitable burden of being followed around by the everhungry paparazzi. Everyone from Hello magazine through to the national red-top national papers has been waiting to secure pictures of her new

youngster, whom she is keen to shield from unnecessary public attention. “I value my privacy more so than ever now, as it’s a real responsibility being a parent, and I want my child to know itself first rather than everyone else feeling that they know all about them.” Such determination to do things on her own terms has proved a consistent theme throughout her career, and something that has helped her stand out from the crowd. As she recalls of her childhood in East London, the half-Spanish artist says that she always had something of a creative streak. However, it was far from obvious that she was destined to become a singer, with her initial studies being at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance.    “Growing up in Hackney, I was surrounded by lots of different types of music – from my mum, I remember listening to plenty of revolutionary music from the Sixties such as Bob Dylan, while my dad was really into jazz, which is where my interest in all that comes from. “Later, when I was studying, I got into R and B dancehall as well, and originally I wanted to be dancer. Then I did my musical theatre, and I think that music just chose me." From her early CV that spanned everything from being a life model, cabaret dancer and bartender, to a gig as a magician’s assistant, her rich experiences have offered plenty of tales and adventures to fuel her inventive songwriting. As if to underline her determination, she famously walked out on a deal for a record contract when the agent watching her refused to stop texting on his phone. Needless to say,

it was very much his loss, and the wider music industry’s gain, for Paloma then secured a major deal that set in motion her strikingly memorable debut album. To her credit, Do You Want The Truth or Something Beautiful? blazed a trail into the top 10, and proceeded to lodge in the album charts for the next 100 weeks. Her down-to-earth manner is a breath of fresh air in an industry awash with egos, and her willingness to give something back was seen with her time on The Voice series. Beyond being a vocal mentor, she was determined to help those under her wing with additional songwriting classes. As for her own career, having been nominated several times for a Brit Award, persistence paid off two years ago as she claimed a long-awaited win in the best female solo artist category. “It was amazing to win the Brit Award and to finally gain some acknowledgement," she said. With a major award to her name, there has been plenty of hype surrounding her latest release, bolstered by notable additions including an appearance from Samuel L Jackson and a duet with singer songwriter John Legend in the mix. Besides the album, fans will have to wait a little longer for her next UK tour, which kicks off next March. It’s destined to feature some of Paloma’s trademark self-designed sets to spark the tone for a hit-packed series of shows. “The only reason I do what I’m doing is because I love touring – as when I’m out there I am excited and feel that I’m in the right place,” she said. Interview by Neill Barston n The Architect is due out on November 17.

Royal Air Force News Friday, November 3, 2017 R'n'R 6

R'n'R Your Announcements

You can email photos for announcements on this page. Send small jpg files (less than 1MB) to


SWAN Archibald (Archie). On October 11, aged 85, peacefully at Holyrood House Care Home, Knottingley. Dearly loved husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. He joined the 'Brats' in 1949 and left as an Aircraft Fitter Electrical (Sergeant) in 1972. He served at (at least) Halton, Melksham, Lindholme, Boscombe Down, Goose Bay, Gaydon and Scampton.

Seeking CONRAD Peter (19282017). Died peacefully on September 19 after a period of failing health. A family cremation has already taken place. Father and loved grandfather. Keen Fighter Command sportsman. Rest in peace.

SEEKING information about number 2771 Squadron RAF Regiment personnel who served between April 1942 and June 1946. My late father William David Alderman, served with 2771 Sqn from formation to disbandment. During that time he made many notes about his and the squadron’s activities. With regards to 2771 Squadron history, any helpful information will be most gratefully received. For first contact email David Alderman: dvaldrmn5@aol. com. I AM trying to arrange the erection of a memorial

for seven fallen RAF personel who were killed in an air accident at RAF Locking in North Somerset in November 1946. Any information would be greatly appreaciated, especially with links to any surviving family members that I could speak to. Please contact Jonathan Gould via email: Ethanjee@ SeekinG RAF Hospital Wegberg Germany, 19651966. Were you medical staff there? Need information on remains of WWII airman recovered from Rotterdam Harbour and brought to Wegberg. Any information appreciated. Contact Roger Braga: Planeman@hotmail. com/call: 01621 786290. In November 2017 the Chairman and Committee of the 607 (County of Durham) Squadron Association will hand over to new members of the recently re-formed squadron, now based at RAF Leeming. The incoming committee are trying to trace anyone who has served (or whose family served) with the squadron from 1930 up to disbandment in 1957. For further information contact

How to use our service There is no charge for conventionally-worded birth, engagement, marriage, anniversary, death, in memoriam seeking and reunion notices. For commercial small ads contact Ten Alps: 020 7878 2319. Help us to avoid errors by typing your announcement or using block capitals. We cannot, under any circumstances, take announcements over the telephone. They can be sent by post to: RAF News, Room 68, Lancaster Building, HQ Air Command, RAF High Wycombe, Naphill, Buckinghamshire, HP14 4UE or by email to:

Important Notice The publishers of RAF News cannot accept responsibility for the quality, safe delivery or operation of any products advertised or mentioned in this publication. Reasonable precautions are taken before advertisements are accepted but such acceptance does not imply any form of approval or recommendation. Advertisements (or other inserted material) are accepted subject to the approval of the publishers and their current terms and conditions. The publishers will accept an advertisement or other inserted material only on the condition that the advertiser warrants that such advertisement does not in any way contravene the provisions of the Trade Descriptions Act. All copy is subject to the approval of the publishers, who reserve the right to refuse, amend, withdraw or otherwise deal with advertisements submitted to them at their absolute discretion and without explanation. All advertisements must comply with the British Code of Advertising Practice. Mail order advertisers are required to state in advertisements their true surname or full company name, together with an address from which the business is managed.

Use the coupon for RAF News announcements Name........................................................................................................................................................... Address....................................................................................................................................................... ..................................................................................................................................................................... ..................................................................................................................................................................... Please send to: RAF News, Room 68, Lancaster Building, HQ Air Command, RAF High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, HP14 4UE.

Sqn Ldr Alfie Hall, XO 607 (CD) Squadron, RAF Leeming, Northallerton. DL7 9NJ or email: 607AUXXO RAF Administrative Apprentice Association: did you train as an Apprentice Supplier or Clerk at RAF Ruislip, St Athan, Bircham Newton, Halton or Hereford? Please contact w w w. r a f a d ap p a s s n . o r g or call: 01425 511378 for details of your association. SEEKING WAAFS from Hut 5 RAF Kirkham 101 PDC from 1947-50. Was Demob Centre where you got those lovely demob suits. Please contact: Mrs R KyneJones, Somerford, Ashleigh Close, Teignmouth, Devon TQ14 8RA. Ideas about work and death of Major Glenn Miller USAF to Father Keith Sawyer, 29 Fieldgate Road, Luton LU4 9TA, call: 01582 848459. SEEKING any members of 2035 ATC Squadron at South East London Technical Institute between 19471950. Contact J Randall via email: randaswift@hotmail. or call: 01986 893310. SEEKING Corporal Bill Roche RAF Regiment, stationed Wroughton, near Swindon, Wiltshire, 195657. Please contact Doreen Freegard, 7 Glevum Close, Purton, Nr Swindon, Wiltshire SN5 4HA, call: 01793 770178. Seeking information on Flt Lt Frank Herbert Townsend MBE AE RAFVR. Served 1951 to 1992. Possibly Intelligence Branch. Some connection to RAF Waddington. Contact Seeking ex TG11 personnel, Telephonists, WOPSs, TPOs, Tels, TCos, TCCs. Join your association for free at: tg11assocaition. org.

Reunions 115 Squadron 100th anniversary dinner will be held at RAF Wittering on November 24. Please contact Andrew Sell on: 01780 417135 or email: uk for details. 205TH Entry RAF Halton 50th graduation anniversary reunion will be held at the Halfway House, Dunstable on December 5. For any

former members who are interested in attending please contact Dave Ellis via email: dave.ellis49@btinternet. com or you can call: 07881 620889. To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the formation of the RAF next year Trade Group 6 MT are combining their annual reunion weekend with an Anniversary Dinner and Ball in Blackpool over the weekend of April 2018 – a real occasion where members of the trade both serving – past and present get together – pull up the old sand bag, enjoy a few sociable beers with old friends and new – a right good weekend – to wind down and catch up with people from all generations of the MT Trades History. Tickets are strictly limited this year and selling rather fast – for more details or to attend the weekend email: Everyone welcome from the wonderful bizarre world of MT, all ranks. RAF Regiment Association Somerset/Dorset Branch Social May 18-21, 2018. Warners Cricket St Thomas, Somerset. Join the Social Club. Please contact Alec

Hunt, Co-ordinator: 01793 704629.

Catering Association Serving and Retired Catering Warrant Officers and Flight Sergeants plus former Catering Officers are welcome to full membership of the RAF Catering WOs and Seniors Association. For information and an application form please contact: Eddie Jones via email: janedjones6@tiscali. or call: 01487 823480 for details. RAFCWO&SA website: rafcwoa.moonfruit. com.

RAF Changi Assoc RAF Changi Association (inc. HQFEAF). We are always looking for new members and are open to all ranks; ex RAF/ WRAF/WAAF and civilian personnel who served there during 1946-72. Please contact our Membership Secretary: Malcolm Flack on: 01494 728562 or email: or visit the website: www. for more details.

Trust's busy year

DINNER GUESTS: From left, Linda Martin (Wg Cdr Farne's daughter), Colin Smith (the Trust’s Advisor on Collectables), Wg Cdr Farnes and The Venerable Ray Pentland

HRH PRINCE Michael of Kent was joined on the top table by one of the Few, Wg Cdr Paul Farnes DFM, at the Battle of Britain Memorial Trust’s annual End of The Battle gala dinner. The event, at the RAF Club, Piccadilly, raised more than £28,000 towards Trust funds. Prince Michael, the Trust’s patron, outlined the charity’s work over the year and noted it had continued to develop its site at Capel-le-Ferne, Kent, since its new visitor centre was opened in 2015 by The Queen. The Trust is turning its original visitor centre, Hunting Lodge, into a library

and resource centre. Funds are needed to improve car parking and restore the stonework on the national memorial to the Few. Dinner guests were welcomed by ACM Sir Stephen Dalton, President of the Trust, then The Venerable Ray Pentland, Honorary Chaplain to the Trust and the Battle of Britain Fighter Association, read the poem High Flight. Chairman Richard Hunting said: “We were delighted with the support shown by our guests on this special occasion. It costs £100,000 a year to run the Capel-le-Ferne site and we are dependent on donations.”

Royal Air Force News Friday, November 3, 2017 R'n'R 7

R'n'R Your Announcements You can email photos for announcements on this page. Send small jpg files (less than 1MB) to

Loadmasters database ''. FORMER AQM John M Ward is compiling a ‘living’ database of former and serving Air Loadmaster crewmen. The data includes information on those who served during World War II, post-war pre-brevet quartermasters, breveted QMs from 1962, LMs from 1969 and current WSOps and Mission Systems Operators (MS). Any former or current LM [Generic], WSOp, MS who would like to be recorded in this historic document should contact John via email on: c130@

RAF Church concert THE Friends of St Clement Danes Church Annual Concert featuring the Central Band of the RAF supported by the Choir of St Clement Danes will take place at 7pm on Thursday, November 30. Tickets available at the door or from RAF Charitable Trust Enterprises, RAF Fairford, telephone number 01285 713456 or via email to

CWO&SA AGM THE RAFCWO&SA 2017 AGM and Reunion Luncheon will take place at RAF Wittering October 25 – 27. Members should contact the following for information and application form: FS John Roberts, email: john. rob er ts440@mo or call: 01780 417282; FS Dom Owen, email: dominic. or call: 01780 417150; Eddie Jones, email: janedjones6@ or call: 01487 823480.St Mawgan heritage.

Thanksgiving Service

A THANKSGIVING Service for Mr Douglas Radcliffe MBE, Secretary, Bomber Command Association (pictured above), will be held on Wednesday, November 22, at 11am, St Clement Danes Church, Strand, London, WC2R 1DH. Dress will be: serving officers – ceremonial day dress with medals, civilians – lounge suit/ladies the equivalent. Following the Service a Reception will be held in Australia House, Strand, London, WC2B 4LA. Should you wish to attend the Thanksgiving Service and Reception you should inform Mrs Vivienne Hammer at the Bomber Command Association on: 01908 282337.

St Mawgan heritage HAVE you ever served at RAF St Mawgan? If so, then you may be able to contribute to an ongoing project to improve the station's heritage. If you served in the RAF at St Mawgan from 1951 (or earlier) to the present, please get in touch and tell us how you contributed to the station's history. If you have any interesting items or photos of station life, people and aircraft (please include captions on the reverse), we would especially like to hear from you. Please contact The Station Heritage Group, Building 657, RAF St Mawgan, Newquay, Cornwall, TR8 4HP; or email: or call: 01637 857113/7264.

Aircrew Association ARE you former military aircrew? If you live near Edinburgh or Glasgow contact the Hon Sec of the Saltire Aircrew Association on: robair@orangehome. or visit the website:

Taste of RAF life

GOOD TEAM: The student group with their Northolt ATC hosts

URBAN SYNERGY, an award-winning early intervention mentoring charity that helps young people aged 11 to 18, visited RAF Northolt recently for a 'Look At Life' day. The trip to the Middlesex base, hosted by the RAF’s Specialist Recruitment Team for London and the South East, included a station tour and team building activities. Sgt Shevonne Bramley, from Recruiting & Selection’s Regional Engagement Team, said: “The students went from a group of individuals to a tight-knit team; learning each other’s strengths; using

them to complete each task. “After lunch they saw how the team building skills they had learnt that morning translated to the workplace, with a visit to Air Traffic Control. “Here they witnessed first-hand the relationship with the controllers and pilots as a BAe 146 aircraft took to the sky. “The students also visited the Approach Control Room, filled with electronic equipment, where a Flight Operations Assistant answered lots of questions from the incredibly enthusiastic group.”

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Royal Air Force News Friday, November 3, 2017 R'n'R 8

R'n'R Prize Crossword No. 214

Solve the crossword, then re-arrange the nine letters in yellow squares to find an aviation word 1. A police force becomes bitter (4) 8. Broken heart will convulse after destructive event (10) 9. RAF station bearing Oslo’s first lieutenant (8) 10. We leave Andrew producing foreign capital (4) 12. Late for the sea in France (6) 14. And 22 Across. Hasty journey before pack reaches part of aircraft carrier (6,4) 15. Tramp almost snapped at Bilbo, say (6) 17. Feeble south-eastern river (6) 18. The man will end up here…if he’s been bad enough (4) 19. And 13 Down, 6 Down. High-stakes combat drill involving 20 nations recently (8,8,8) 21. He sells lots (10) 22. See 14 Across

Solutions should be sent in a sealed envelope marked 'Su Doku' with the number in the top left-hand corner to RAF News, to arrive by November 17.


Name.................................................................................................................... Address................................................................................................................ .............................................................................................................................. .............................................................................................................................. Aviation word:................................................................. Crossword No. 214

No. 224 Fill in all the squares in the grid above so that each row, each column and each 3x3 square contains all the digits from 1 to 9.


2. Or American mother chose to split biological structure (10) 3. First dance effortless for the nimble (4) 4. Protection for weapon belonging to us (6) 5. Conjecture about thaw inside drifts? (4,2) 6. See 19 Across 7. Turpin died with crook (4) 11. Chili tins I open with little hope (10) 13. See 19 Across 16. Moving sign of 8 Across (6) 17. Be angry when lights change (3,3) 18. Get better in The Alps (4) 20. Joker ties banger to backboard (4)

Prize Su Doku

Solutions should be sent in a sealed envelope marked 'Prize Crossword' with the number in the top left-hand corner to RAF News, Room 68, Lancaster Building, HQ Air Command, High Wycombe, Bucks, HP14 4UE to arrive by November 17.

The winner of Crossword No. 211 is Trev Barnes from RAF Cranwell who wins a copy of WK275 The Restoration and Preservation of the last Supermarine Swift F4 by Guy Ellis ( Solution to crossword No. 211

Su Doku No. 222 winner J Guite from Lincolnshire wins a copy of Instruments of Darkness by Alfred Price (

Name.................................................................... .............................................................................. Address................................................................ .............................................................................. .................................................Su Doku No. 224

Solution to Su Doku No: 222

Across – 6. Sorties 7. Lower 9. Seine 10. Johnson 12. The Princess 14. Eurofighter 18. Hillier 19. Royal 21. Perth 22. Typhoon. Down – 1. Rodeo 2. Stench 3. Leo 4. Cognac 5. Remorse 8. Tonight 11. Sprite 13. Jupiter 15. Of Late 16. Epochs 17. Taboo 20. Rye RAF station – Honington



The Flight by John Dibbs & Clive Rowley

Celebrating famous flying warbirds


HE Battle of Britain Memorial Flight marks its 60th anniversary this year and a new book celebrates the landmark with a photographic commemoration of what is arguably the world’s most famous collection of flying warbirds. Written by former Sqn Ldr Clive Rowley with stunning shots by award-winning photographer John Dibbs, the book has forewords by HRH Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Sqn Ldr George

'Johnny’ Johnson, the last surviving members of the famous 617 ‘Dam busters’ Squadron and BBMF Commanding Officer Sqn Ldr Andy Millikin. Featuring exclusive contemporary and historical imagery, The Flight celebrates the work and ethos of the BBMF, based at RAF Coningsby The specially commissioned imagery is supported by fascinating interviews and quotes from veteran aircrew complied by Rowley, the BBMF’s former OC and unit historian. In his foreward the Duke of Cambridge pays tribute to the BBMF and their dedication in keeping the veteran aircraft of the Flight airworthy. He also reminds us to recognise the tribute offered to all those who have died serving in the RAF and those who continue to serve today. We have copies of this magnificent book, rrp £19.99, to win. For your chance to own one, send us the correct answer to the following question: Where is the Battle of Britain


TRIBUTE: New book commemorates the famous BBMF, and left, Gp Capt Peter D Thompson the 'founding father' of the BBMF

Memorial Flight based? Email your answer, marked BBMF book competition, to:

or post it to: RAF News, Room 68, Lancaster Building, HQ Air Command, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, HP14 4UE, to

arrive by November 17. Please remember to include your full postal address with all competition entries.

Y O U TA K E C A R E O F U S . W E TA K E C A R E O F Y O U . T O G E T H E R W E G O F U R T H ER. C U R R E N T O R F O R M E R M I L I TA R Y P E R S O N N E L C A N S A V E U P T O 2 0%* O N A N E W F O R D .



C U S T O M E R S AV I N G .

TO FIND OUT MORE, VISIT FORD.CO.UK/MILITARYSALES Official fuel consumption figures in mpg (l/100km) for the Ford Focus ST-Line range: urban 33.2-67.3 (8.5 - 4.2), extra urban 60.1 - 83.1 (4.7 - 3.4), combined 46.3 -74.3 (6.1 - 3.8). Official CO2 emissions 140-99g/km. The mpg figures quoted are sourced from official EU-regulated test results (EU Directive and Regulation 692/2008), are provided for comparability purposes and may not reflect your actual driving experience. *Military Saving programme available to current and ex-Service Personnel. Including veterans and retired members of the UK Armed Forces. Customer savings of 5% to 20% off the Recommended on the Road price available across the Ford range (excluding KA+, Mustang and Focus RS) on vehicles contracted from 1st October 2017 and 31st December 2017 and registered between 1st October 2017 and 30th June 2018. Retail customers only. This promotion cannot be used in conjunction with other manufacturer promotions or incentives. At participating Ford dealers – for terms and conditions, including the eligibility criteria, eligible models and customer savings visit:

Royal Air Force News Friday, November 3, 2017 P21 n Please note letters must be a maximum of 300 words and any accompanying pictures sent as attached, hi-res jpeg files

Post: RAF News, Room 68, Lancaster Building, HQ Air Command, High Wycombe, Bucks, HP14 4UE Email:


Sqn Ldr spots the difference Star letter

Chance to win bottle of spirits

REVIEWING OFFICER: This was AVM Gerry Mayhew, not AVM Richard Broadridge as stated. AVM Broadridge was pictured with winners

I think that I’ve done rather well in your ‘Keen eye’ competition on p27 of RAF News 1429. In the left-hand picture the AVM tests us by wearing a CBE, a pilot brevet but no Order of St John. In the right hand picture the Honourable gentlemen has

added his aiguillette to his uniform, removed his CBE and brevet and replaced his Order of St John. There doesn’t seem to be any mention of a prize? Sqn Ldr Craig Gall HQ Air Command

The writer of our star letter or email of the month wins their choice of either a bottle of Spitfire Heritage Gin or Supermarine Vodka ‘built to be the best’ from www. spitfireheritagegin. com. Spitfire Heritage Distillers has followed the successful launch of its single-estate, small-batch botanical gin with artisan vodka. Also created by the world

award-winning master distiller John Walters, in Cambridgeshire, Supermarine Vodka, named after the company that created the iconic World War II Spitfire aircraft, has a smooth, creamy finish with a slight vanilla hint. It is 54% proof and is so smooth it can be enjoyed neat. Spitfire Heritage Distillers support the Spitfire Heritage Trust.

Dad, Franciszek Kornicki: Lyon might The People’s Spitfire Pilot have known Marcinkus

Congratulations to the ‘Great Escape’ veteran Flt Lt Jack Lyon on reaching his 100th birthday (RAF News No 1427). Some years ago I won a book in an RAF competition, the title was The Hurricane by Grazina Suiderskyte, The Story of Romualdas Marcinkus in the Second World War. He was a member of the Great Escape and was one of the 50 executed on Hitler’s orders. He served in the Lithuanian Air Force, French Air Force and Royal Air Force. I’m sure Jack Lyon would have known Romualdas Marcinkus. I would recommend this book to anyone who can get hold of it. GG Green Ex-Cpl RAF 1954-57, 1958-67 Royal Observer Corps 1974-91 Telford, Shropshire

MILLER: Killed in WWII

Miller case: US should splash cash

Re: your story in RAF News No 1427 ‘Crews cleared in Miller mystery’ about the disappearance of Glenn Miller – at the end of the story it says that ‘beyond any reasonable doubt’ his aircraft crashed because of mechanical failure caused by pilot error and weather conditions. For Glenn Miller Declassified author Dennis Spragg to make this statement is somewhat confusing. The reason I say this is, as you say (the aircraft has never been found). Pilots, after crashes, always get the blame, until it is shown to be their fault (no evidence, no factual statement). To say that it crashed for the reasons given is illogical. The logic required as to why it crashed is quite simple – what was the flight path to be taken? Put down on a computer the known as expected flight path and then show what this possibility of a crash happening is. Follow up using today’s technology as to where the aircraft could possibly be. In the archaeology of today it is possible to track items under the ground. Using the technology for finding the remains of ships under the sea, it could be used to look for Major Miller’s aircraft. Okay, the cost is going to be very expensive, Americans have this sort of money – think about it! Roger Parker Ex-Vulcan Ground crew Worcester


What a nice piece about my father, Franciszek Kornicki (the People’s Spitfire Pilot) – RAF News No. 1428, October 6. I am delighted you used the photo (above) of him

surrounded by adoring Polish Air Force Officer cadets from 2016: he looked delighted and absolutely at home. Richard Kornicki Chairman, Polish Air Force Memorial Committee

I cannot be the only RAF News reader who is disturbed by the ‘Storm front – RAF batters Jamaica in Bermuda showdown’ and ‘RAF boxers faced down Hurricane Irma...’ headlines in the Sport section of the 1428 issue. In the same edition, on page 5, you have (rightly) covered the RAF boxers saving a tourist from drowning, and RAF C-17 humanitarian relief missions. Ian Maxwell, by email

‘Mickey Mouse’ was a hero too Book gave a lift Greetings from the Philippines! It was very nice to read, on page 9 of RAF News No. 1428, the article on Franciszek Kornicki, who was a Polish contemporary of my late OC at RAF Gaydon – Ft Lt Mickey Manson. Mickey, whose original Polish name was Michal Maciejowski, had arrived in England by the same route as Franciszek, and was nicknamed Mickey Mouse

in the RAF, because his name was unpronounceable to the English tongue. Mickey fought in the Battle of Britain as an RAF Sergeant Pilot with Treble-One and 249 Squadrons. He won the DFC, DFM, Polish Cross of Valour** and the Virtuti Militari, which is Poland’s highest military honour, thereby ranking it alongside the Victoria Cross. He was the subject

of Chapter 6 in Paul Brickhill’s book The Great Escape. Chris Weeks, by email

Got it covered

I’ve just read your splendid article about the People’s Spitfire Pilot in RAF News. Really nice coverage! Peter Devitt Curator, RAF Museum

Thank you most sincerely for the most interesting book on the Berlin Airlift, which you sent me as a prize recently. I could not have been more delighted as my much-revered uncle, Wg Cdr Harold Grimsey, played a not insignificant part in its planning during his long career in the Royal Air Force. Mary Barnes Ipswich

Royal Air Force News Friday, November 3, 2017 P22


Former DC-in-C Strike Command Air Mshl Peter Bairsto KBE, CBE, AFC, QCVS

Air Marshal Sir Peter Bairsto has died aged 91. He was a skilful Cold War fighter pilot and formation leader who rose to fill numerous senior operational appointments. Aged 18 he volunteered for flying duties with the Fleet Air Arm. He started his training in Canada but before he could complete the course World War II ended. With no further demand for pilots in the immediate post-war era he transferred to the RAF and was commissioned into the RAF Regiment. Initially he served in Aden before being transferred to Palestine at the height of the Jewish uprising. Operating in armoured cars, he commanded a troop of Arab Levies. On one occasion he was injured when a Molotov cocktail was thrown into his car, killing his driver and gunner. Bairsto’s ambition to be a pilot was finally realised in 1952. On graduation he was selected to be a flying instructor and for two years he instructed pilots on the Meteor jet. In 1954 he joined No. 43 Squadron to fly Hunter fighters, based at Leuchars in Fife. Appointed as a flight commander, he was involved in developing

FIGHTING COCKS: Leuchars, June 1956. Bairsto circled

fighter tactics, for which he was awarded a Queen’s Commendation for Valuable Service in the Air. He led the squadron’s aerobatic formation team – The Fighting Cocks – at many displays, including the Farnborough Air Show. At the end of his tour of duty he was awarded the AFC. In 1957 he assumed command of No. 66 Squadron, also flying Hunters, a unit he found with low morale following a number of losses. His strong leadership and demanding standards reinvigorated the squadron and by the end of his tour it was judged to be the most efficient in Fighter Command. He was awarded a second Queen’s

Become a RAF News regular Watchmen gunners on the Bastion beat


Train your Dragon goodies

First Blood Airman Andy’s set for blast off

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Dawn talks about going it alone, hot pants and eating

Hard-hitting Commando DVDs

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Friday August 15 2014 No 1353 70p

Friday July 4 2014 No 1350 70p



The Fifth Element

THIS STunnIng shot of a Typhoon flying at low level over a lake in the Baltic was captured by airman Sqn Ldr Dylan Eklund. It is one of the top flight selection of shots bidding for the title of the RAF’s Photograph of the Year. Sqn Ldr Eklund said: “The Typhoon appears like


Showing the Will to win

Name Address

l See p5 to vote for your favourite



Riders get their wings in Sibiu

Abi nails World title in Spain



RAF marks 100 years of sacrifice THE RAF’S largest deployed operational unit marked the centenary of the outbreak of World War I with a series of ceremonies throughout the Middle East and Afghanistan. At the desert base of 83 Expeditionary Air Group (EAG) the RAF Ensign was lowered at sunset during a parade attended by guests representing six coalition forces.

l Exclusive report and interviews - p6

a shark from the depths so I called it Shark Attacks. It was taken from the back of a transport plane over a lake in the Baltic region where the Typhoons are deployed on nATO’s air policing mission.”


RAF’s fifth generation stealth fighter unleashed

Commendation. After his time with No. 66 Squadron he was later promoted to be the Wing Commander flying at RAF Nicosia, a flying environment far removed from his previous experience; but he mastered the Belvedere helicopter and the fourengine Hastings transport aircraft. His tour came to a sudden end on December 21, 1963, when violence erupted between the Greek and Turkish communities and he and his family witnessed a gun battle close to their married quarter. After a tour in the MoD in the operational requirements branch, where he was responsible for staffing the new Harrier aircraft, he

The ceremony was led by Air Commodore Al Gillespie, the Air Officer Commanding 83 EAG, and the UK’s Air Component Commander, (pictured right), whose forces include five wings stationed across the region and Afghanistan; an area of eight million square miles. Air Cdre Gillespie said: “This is a poignant day and we are proud to stand by the same coalition

partners who stood with us throughout World War I. Together, we hold dear the same values now as we did in August, 1914, and today’s commemoration reminds us of the sacrifices made to secure the freedom that we enjoy today.” He was joined by senior officers from the air forces of Canada, Australia, France, Belgium and the US, whose personnel paraded alongside their RAF allies.


SAC’s a pasta master RAF Leeming chefs clean up in Service cooking competition


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Your face on a bottle of Spitfire beer

I enclose a Sterling Cheque/Postal Order/Money Order payable to Portsmouth Publishing and Printing Ltd

Friday July 18 2014 No 1351 70p




By Credit Card. Visa/Mastercard (please indicate which)


“It is embarrassing to be a normal human being when you meet people in the Forces. Our admiration is unending”

Typhoon’s Turkish delight UK Typhoon crews launched a series of combat training sorties against Turkish Air Force top guns in a major exercise with nATo’s most eastern member state. More than 130 RAF personnel deployed to the Konya Air Base in central Turkey to take part in the multi-national Anatolian Eagle training exercise. RAF crews flew alongside Spanish, Qatari and Jordanian

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McNally is fired up over signing

without operational commitments, to the reality of the Cold War that he turned his attention. He changed his annual inspections from a traditional parade and a good lunch into a melee of impromptu emergency and response situations. The whole attitude of the Command and its stations was altered to anticipate and prepare for contingency operations, an initiative that was to pay dividends in the years ahead. In 1979 Bairsto became the Air Commander of the Northern Maritime Region, based near Edinburgh, an appointment where he enjoyed close cooperation with the Royal Navy. Expecting to retire, he suddenly found himself promoted to be the Deputy Commander-in-Chief of Strike Command. During the Falklands War he was responsible for providing the right RAF forces for the operational commander. He retired from the RAF in April 1984 having been appointed CB (1980) and advanced to KBE (1981). He married Kathie, a serving WAAF whom he had met whilst serving in Palestine, and who was an immense support throughout his RAF service. Lady Bairsto died in 2008. Their two sons, one an engineer and the second a navigator, both reached air rank before they retired.

Make sure of your copy of RAF News by taking out an Annual Subscription. Just fill in the form below and you will receive the best coverage of the RAF every fortnight. Payment by Credit Card and Direct Debit is now available and we offer a special rate to members of the Royal Air Forces Association in the UK.

Win! Win!

French connection

PHOTO: Air historical branch

joined the directing staff of the RAF Staff College. In 1971 he headed for RAF Honington in Suffolk, the home of three Buccaneer squadrons, including one of the Fleet Air Arm. His aggressive reputation had preceded him and he was given the apt nickname of ‘The Bear’, which was to remain with him for the rest of his life. The maritime strike/attack role had only recently been reintroduced as an operational capability in the RAF and it was new to Bairsto. He immediately immersed himself in understanding its demands and in the development of the operational efficiency of his squadrons. He flew the Buccaneer regularly and tackled the most challenging sorties; and the best of his crews quickly embraced his operational philosophy and attitude. He created a specialist course for selected aircrew, which was modelled on his earlier experiences as a fighter pilot attack instructor, and the Buccaneer force benefited greatly from this innovation. When he left Honington after two years he was promoted to Air Commodore and appointed CBE. In 1977 he became Air Officer Training at RAF Support Command. This appointment enabled him to fly many aircraft types but it was the need to gear up his stations, not in the frontline and

air crews in combat scenarios featuring up to 50 aircraft at a time. The exercise is designed to hone pilots’ combat skills alongside nATo and international allies. Typhoon Force Commander Air Cdre phil Beach said: “We aim to enhance our interoperability with allies and maintain the highest levels of readiness for operations.”

They’re back – and this time they’re serious.

The personnel touch at SW19

Card number (enter in boxes below) l SPORT P34-35

Cross Fit

The real pain game for RAF

l Armstrong & miller’s

comedy pilots: p7

Card expiry date

New £300m rehab centre

lFull report page 13

PlENTy IN RESERVE IN AFgHANISTAN SEE PAgES 22-23 HEADLEY COURT: To be replaced by Stanford Hall, in Leicestershire

INJURED Armed Forces personnel needing rehabilitation will soon be cared for in a new state-of-theart £300 million facility in the Midlands. Headley Court, in Surrey, is to wind down its operations by 2018, at which time services should be under way in the new purposebuilt unit at Stanford Hall, near Loughborough. The money for the new Defence

and National Rehabilitation Centre will all come from charities and donors – led by the Duke of Westminster, who owns the Leicestershire stately home. Many Royal Air Force personnel have been cared for at Headley Court in the past, including RAF Regiment Gunner Cpl Stuart Robinson, who lost both his legs after being hit by an IED. l See p9 for the full story

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Royal Air Force News Friday, November 3, 2017 P23


RAF honours hero PC who battled terrorists BAME AWARDS

Award for London Bridge bravery Tracey Allen Central London

THE HERO policeman who fought off three London Bridge terrorists armed only with his baton has received a prestigious award from the RAF. PC Wayne Marques was presented with the Powerlist Community Award by Air Cdre Adrian Burns, Assistant Chief of Staff Manpower Requirement and Recruiting, and Flt Lt Kyle Roachford, chair of the RAF’s Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Network, at the Powerlist Influencers Dinner that honours high achievers in the UK of African and African Caribbean heritage. The British Transport Police officer was stabbed multiple times by the terrorists, who mowed down pedestrians on London Bridge before attacking people in Borough Market in June. Eight were killed and 48 injured.

That night I had only one thought in my mind – to try to save as many people as possible, it was my job and my duty as a police officer and as a human being

PC Marques, who thought he would die in the attack, was temporarily blinded in one eye and suffered wounds to his leg and hands. Accepting the award, he said: “This is a great honour. That night I had only one thought in my mind – to try to save as many people as possible, it was my job and my duty as a police officer and as a human being.” Event organisers arranged a special surprise for PC

HERO: PC Wayne Marques (left) was injured fighting with armed terrorists who attacked people on London Bridge in June

Marques, a huge Liverpool FC fan. Former Reds’ striker Ian Rush presented him with an autographed jersey from Liverpool’s first team. “What this man did was absolutely incredible,” Rush added. The Birmingham-born police officer was also due to be presented with the Daily Mirror’s Pride of Britain Award for Outstanding Bravery as RAF News went to press. Presenting the award Flt Lt Roachford, from RAF Northolt, said: “The RAF is taking great steps in tackling BAME issues. We are really moving forward to make real change. The RAF gives everyone an opportunity. “It allowed me to move from being in the ranks to becoming an officer, having started out in the Caribbean. When you talk about social mobility the RAF is one of the best employers.” The annual black tie gala dinner, organised by Powerful Media, brings together some of the UK’s most talented and influential people of African, African Caribbean and African American heritage. Also present were RAF BAME ambassadors, members of special engagement teams who visit local communities and CELEBRITIES: June Sarpong (left) and Denise Lewis


RAF AMBASSADORS: Olympian Denise Lewis is pictured with (l-r) SAC Ben Wai (RAF Northolt), Fg Off William Wambiru (RAF Brize Norton), Cpl Sony Campbell (RAF Scampton), SAC Bernice Dzekashu (RAF Brize Norton), Cpl Pascal Zgambo (Defence Logistics School), and Flt Lt Ifeoma Modu (RAF Coningsby) PHOTOS: SHARRON WALLACE

schools, and Wg Cdr Bob Bamford, specialist recruiter from RAF Recruiting and Selection. He said: “The RAF Network has grown from its inception a year and a half ago to 140 members. It is the biggest BAME Network in the Armed Forces.” Hosted by presenter June Sarpong, and attended by VIPs

including Labour MPs Chuka Umunna and Dawn Butler, Olympic athlete Denise Lewis and former footballer Garth Brooks, the event saw antiBrexit campaigner Gina Miller named as Britain’s most influential black person, topping the 2018

Powerlist of 100 people in the country of African and African Caribbean heritage with the ‘ability to change lives and influence events.’ ‘MOST INFLUENTIAL’: Controversial anti-Brexit campaigner Gina Miller

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 Your parental termly contribution is only ÂŁ925. This extremely low, termly, parental contribution of ÂŁ925 means we rank as one of the most competitively priced schools for UK Forces. Childcare Vouchers also accepted.  Queen Ethelburgaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s College is league table ranked as the 5rd best UK independent school for academic results and our Faculty is 8th. We accept a broad range of abilities. As one parent said: â&#x20AC;&#x153;QE has the ability to turn the average youngster into well above average academically and have them also turn out as happy and well-rounded.â&#x20AC;? 95% of Year 13 students go to university with majority to Oxbridge, Ivy League or Russell Group universities.  Our boarding facilities are the best in Europe. No one else even comes close. Every bedroom has its own private shower and toilet plus telephone, voice mail, large plasma TV/DVD player + gaming port (on timer), a Sony PS3, fridge, microwave, trouser press and hot drinks facilities. House staff are friendly and caring.  A vast amount of fun-filled activities and trips out. Each week we run 150+ non-sports and sports extra-curricular activities. Fun-packed weekends.  ÂŁ30m Sports Village with 7 Astro-Turfs + 250,000 sq feet of indoor facilities. QE is Regional Performance Coaching Centre for: England Basketball, England Hockey, England Netball, and Regional Centre Developing Player Programme England Rugby, plus QE Cricket Academy is in association with Yorkshire County Cricket Club. In 2015 QE won the British Colleges Rugby National Cup Final.  More British Forces children than any other boarding school - because we care. We understand the needs of Service families with staff who are married to serving members of the Forces. With years of experience in ensuring our 300 + Forces children settle well, are confident and successful. Easy to get to by road, rail and air. Dedicated, professional, friendly and helpful staff go the â&#x20AC;&#x153;extra mileâ&#x20AC;? to ensure your child is happy and doing well. We have Forces families from all over the UK.  Over ÂŁ100m invested in new facilities in the last 8 years. Why choose an independent school education for your child if you qualify for CEA? If you made a list, the same reasons would keep appearing. We think the list might include: happy children, academic results, a personalised approach, top quality teachers with specialised expertise, good discipline, latest technology and superb facilities, excellent pastoral care, excellent sport, first class boarding accommodation, diverse experience, small classes, university success, excellent career prospects, first class confidence and self assurance. If you want the best for your child, and to stand a chance of achieving most of this list, we believe you would need to pick one of the top 10 UK Independent boarding schools as ranked by the Telegraph. BUT, most importantly of all, we unashamedly also offer TLC - tender, loving care!

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Royal Air Force News Friday, November 3, 2017 P25



‘For the friends I’ve lost’ Bomber hero salutes his WWII comrades at new IX Sqn memorial Simon Mander A WORLD WAR II Lancaster veteran joined RAF Marham personnel to dedicate a new memorial to those who have served on IX (Bomber) Squadron since it was formed in December 1914. Former Air Gunner 93-yearold Yorkshireman Warrant Officer Ken Johnson represented 10 other surviving members of the Squadron Association who were unable to attend the dedication ceremony at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire. He said:“I was honoured to be

IN MEMORY: WO Johnson and the memorial, above; inset, top, during the ceremony, left, before the unveiling PHOTO: Cpl Sarah Jones

asked to say a few words at the service and I did it in memory of all the friends I lost in the Second World War.”

More than 150 veterans who served on Lancasters, Lincolns, Canberras, and Vulcans with the unit saw a flypast by two current IX (B) Sqn Tornados and the unveiling of the memorial, in the shape of a pyramid, designed by Association Honorary member John Fox in sandstone and green and brown granite.

Lossie Mossie man is on a high Tracey Allen WORLD WAR II Mosquito pilot George Harvey made an emotional return to the skies at RAF Lossiemouth after nurses at the hospice which cares for him contacted the station with a special request. The 96-year-old war hero told carers that his last ambition in life was to fly again with the RAF. They contacted their local station in Moray who made the arrangements to give George a flight in a Cessna, owned by the Moray Flying Club. Flt Lt Iain Bright, a member of Moray Fluyd organise the flight, said: “Once airborne George became quite teary-eyed. “It was clear that lots of memories were rushing back to him – some good and some not so good. Back on the ground he had a smile from ear to ear. “His favourite nurse was able to join him for the flight, although he

Association chairman Air Cdre Nick Hay said: “It has been a real team effort to get to where we are today. his unique and wonderful memorial has taken three years to design, procure and mount”. Current Commanding Officer, Wg Cdr James Heeps, pictured left, added: “It was an extraordinary honour for me to represent serving Officers and Airmen of IX (B) Squadron.

In brief

Himalayan team’s peak top tribute STAFF from the Defence College of Airspace Control at RAF Shawbury travel to Nepal next month to climb the 6476-metre Mera Peak in the Himalayas. Climbers will take part in the challenging 18-day trek which starts from Lukla in the heart of the Everest region. Organiser Flt Lt Charlie Gawne said: “We intend to reach the summit on Armistice Day and observe a two-minute silence in one of the most testing environments on the planet.”

LAST AMBITION: George Harvey, above, second from left, and in the cockpit, inset left, with, l-r, Fg Off Chloe McFarlane, nurse Clare Nias and Flt Lt Iain Bright PHOTO: SAC Charlotte Hopkins

did complain that there wasn’t a Mosquito waiting on the pan for him when he arrived.” After a short flight the battling

war hero was able to join serving Typhoon crews, who police the UK’s skies from the RAF’s most northerly station.

The memorial represents our proud history and the very special relationship between the squadron and its Association.” The memorial’s cost was met by donations from Association members and sponsorship from tech company CGI. IX (B) Squadrpn has been based at RAF Marham since 2001, and has been involved in combat operations over Iraq, Syria, Libya and Afghanistan.

Maltese return for Spitfire ace Spitfire ace Sqn Ldr Allan Scott, pictured above, returned to Malta for the first time since the end of World War II as the island celebrated the 75th anniversary of the nation receiving the George Cross for heroism. Sqn Ldr Scott, who was awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal, joined Prince Charles, the Maltese Prime Minister and veterans of the conflict to mark the landmark date. Mr Scott said: “It was pretty tough, there was no food and we were being scrambled up to four times a day. I lost about four stone in the six months I was posted here.”

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Royal Air Force News Friday, November 3, 2017 P27


Flying into chaos

This stunning photograph of a Hercules lit up against the stormy night sky in Barbados was captured by RAF photographer Cpl Jimmy Wise during the recent humanitarian mission to ease the plight of islanders hit by a series of hurricanes. The aircraft took off from RAF Brize Norton, carrying more than six tonnes of rations and water to support the relief effort. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson also joined the flight for a fact-finding tour of British Territories hit by the storms.


Top cadet Iva’s fit for purpose High flying Cadet Iva Magpantay has revealed she has her heart set on a career with the RAF – as a physical training instructor. The superfit 17-year-old scooped the prestigious post as the Station Commander’s Cadet at RAF Waddington last year. Since then she has become a familiar figure in Lincolnshire, attending events as an ambassador for the station and the ATC. She recently took part in the Freedom of Lincoln parade alongside Regulars and Reserves from Waddington, home to the RAF’s fleet of surveillance aircraft currently supporting operations in Iraq and Syria. She has also taken on an ambassadorial role alongside Station Commander Gp Capt Al Marshall at the recent Battle of Britain parade marking the anniversary of the epic fight for the UK’s skies. Iva says working at one of the RAF’s operational stations has helped her decide on her career path.

She said: “Being the CO’s cadet has given me fantastic opportunities as it allows you to see a side of the RAF that cadets would not normally get a chance to see. “When I accompany the Station Commander to events it makes me proud as I’m representing my squadron and the Air Cadet Organisation as a whole. “I was stuck between applying to be a Medic or a Physical Training Instructor. Having spent a week here on work experience earlier in the year, spending time with the medics and the PTIs, I have made the decision to apply as PTI.”


up and away: Cadet Iva Magpantay chats to an airman at Waddington, left training with RAF PTIs

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Royal Air Force News Friday, November 3, 2017 P29


Email: Telephone: 01494 497563


6 pages of RAF Sport starts here l UKAF retain Kentish Cup: pages 30-31

Something to carp on about for RAF anglers fishing

Sgt Greenshields stamps authority on Inter-Services

BOXing ON THE RISE: Cpl George Westpfel (in red) against Jamie Smith PHOTO: SBS

Westpfel on verge of national honours

Cpl George Westpfel, under the tutelage of coach Flt Lt Andy Parker, made it to the semi-finals of the England Boxing Development competition in Worcester. In the pre-quarter finals Westpfel boxed at Springwest Academy in Feltham, west London, where he outboxed his opponent Tomiwa Magbagbeola, from the Fisher Boxing Club in South East London. Because of a shortage of Senior Class B boxers at U91Kg, Westpfel was given a bye to the semis. This was a rematch from the 2017 RAF Henlow Boxing show, where Westpfel fought Jamie Smith from the Evolve Boxing Academy in Amersham – losing on a unanimous decision. Smith started quickly, catching Westpfel with a strong right cross in

the first 20 seconds of round one. It was obvious Smith had come to spoil the RAF PTI’s party, staying close and boxing on the inside – not allowing the airman to box at range. Westpfel’s corner of Sgt Russ Turnbull and Sqn Ldr Karl Whalley went to work explaining that the RAF Odiham man had to be first on the offensive in the second round. Unfortunately, Smith had the same idea coming out with more of the same and only allowing Westpfel bodyshots at best. As Westpfel emerged for the 3rd round the highly tipped Smith looked like he was beginning to tire. Westpfel seized his opportunity and started to punish his adversary with solid shots to the head and body. Smith was rocked and started to

evade the RAF corporal’s shots. Too little too late for Westpfel, the result went the way of a unanimous decision for Smith, who goes on to box at the finals in Birmingham. UKAFBA chairman and Cpl Westpfel’s boxing mentor Sqn Ldr Karl Whalley highlighted the success that the likeable JNCO has achieved in only a couple of seasons: a gold medal in the Haringey Box Cup, a silver in the Totana Box Cup and two UKAFBA Class B titles. Whalley said: “Tonight George’s better technique failed to outclass the tenacity and incredible power of the highly-rated Smith. “Westpfel is an ambassador for his sport and, more importantly, for his Service. His time for national honours will come in the very near future.”

After another successful year pitting their wits against carp all over the country, the RAF team finished off the 2017 season as Inter-Service Champions. Brasenose 2 on the Linear Complex in Oxford was the setting as the best of the Air Force, Army and Navy came together to battle it out for the prestigious trophy, Woody. The RAF team, coming first out of the bag, had primary choice of swims and opted for the 3s – having pegs A3, B3, C3 and D3 in each section. With the anglers in position the horn sounded and the anglers sprang into action with their minds on the next 48 hours ahead. It soon became clear the favoured ‘bowl’ area of the lake was not the place to be. A combination of high pressure and very little wind had seen the fish move to the narrow and more shallow end of the lake in D section. RAF pairing Sgt Steve Greenshields and Chf Tech Ian Coleman made the most of this, wasting no time to open up a commanding lead over the Army and Navy topped of by a new PB mirror of 33lb 2oz for Greenshields. At the opposite end the often prolific bowl section had the anglers chopping and changing tactics to find the magic formula, with only three fish coming out in the first half of the match. The second half of the competition finally saw the fish starting to move down the lake, mainly to C section. The Navy pairing soon took advantage, building a substantive section lead of 140lb over their service counterparts. If they thought their work was done though, they were in for a surprise. The RAF Carp Twins – Sgt Matt Whittaker and Cpl Martin Emery – sticking to their game plan, started to reel the Navy in, closing the gap to just 2lb on the final morning. They were denied by the hooter as they hooked in what would have been a section-winning fish just seconds after the match ended. As the fish continued to move on the second day, A-section finally came to life. The ever-consistent RAF Regiment duo of FS Reg Verney and Sgt Glenn Beardsall took control, producing some top quality angling to put 160lb of fish on the bank – nearly 140lb clear of their nearest competitors. The most tense and frustrated anglers on the venue were to be found in D section. Despite everyone’s best efforts, bites were proving very difficult to come across. Representing the RAF, Sgt Lee Hasbury and SAC Adam Spiller were eventually rewarded for their hard work with a 22lb mirror carp that provided the team with vital points. Finally, the sound of the horn ringing through the air signalled the end of a very close and hard-fought match. When all the scores had been taken into account, the RAF were announced the winners, closely followed by the Navy in second and Army in third.

Royal Air Force News Friday, November 3, 2017 P30


UKAF retain the FOOTBALL

Draw with Dutch is enough after victory over French UK Armed Forces Dutch Forces

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FS NICK DE-LONG’S UKAF charges were given two options in their bid for Kentish Cup glory as they took to the field at HMS Temeraire in Portsmouth. A win or a draw over the Dutch Forces side would secure a historic hat-trick of cup wins for the Brits. Having won their opening game over the French 2-1 (see report opposite), De-Long’s men were buoyed following the 2-2 midweek draw between the French and Dutch teams. With a handful of changes to counter the unusual Dutch semilong ball approach and height advantage of their midfield, the UKAF manager watched a slow but positive start to the game as the hosts hassled and harried the men in orange in slippery conditions. Airman Cpl Tom Claisse, team captain, said: “I missed out on the first game due to family commitments, but the lads have been brilliant. “We have some massive characters in the squad, so it’s a pleasure to be involved. This is what we work for: the backroom staff, players and unknown people who have been grafting for us.” The usual Dutch passing game wasn’t present from the off and great work from L/Cpl Peter Williams and AET Danny Earle led to a good opening chance from L/Cpl Danny Stoneman, whose 20-yard jinking run on the right saw him shoot from the edge of the area, forcing a good save from Dutch keeper Vendrig. A minute later and Cpl Callum Wilkinson rose highest but his backward header bounced narrowly away from his team-mates. By the 20-minute mark the UKAF men were slowly getting to grips as the Dutch team went into their shell, with Pte Josh Hughes

KEEPER’S BALL: UKAF denied in the box

causing havoc out wide. On the half-hour Earle received a yellow after going for the ball and connecting with Vendrig in the visitors’ goal and, 10 minutes later, a powerful run from stand-in captain C/Cpl Rob Farkins from inside his own half began the best move of the game and subsequent opening goal. Powering through the inside right position, shadowed by Dutch midfielders, he found Hughes with a perfectly timed one-two before sending a second pass out wide, which the Navy man shot across the box for AET Danny Kerr, who fired home beautifully. A chance for a second came from a Cpl Alex Woodhouse (RAF) 42ndminute free kick that was headed over by Farkins, while on the stroke of half-time Dutch defender Schur nearly headed into his own net, with Vendrig somehow pushing the ball to safety. The second half saw the hosts produce a comfortable display, with some promising attacks that were not put away and would come back to haunt them late on. On 54 minutes Wilkinson weakly hit a gilt-edged chance straight to the keeper from 12 yards, minutes later Woodhouse put Todd, on for

Wilkinson, through with a defence -splitting forward pass, but the ball became stuck under his feet and the chance was gone. On the hour some fabulous passing from Stoneman, Woodhouse and Todd had the Dutch chasing shadows, while Kerr then shot instead of passing to better placed team-mates, as team captain Cpl Tom Claisse entered the fray for the first time instead of Kerr. Woodhouse then floated in another great free kick before the Dutch nearly found their own net again with Todd poised to strike. The game turned in a 30-second window on 70 minutes as a superb break from the hosts saw Stoneman shoot instead of passing to the wellplaced Todd. The Dutch countered quickly and Sgt Carl Evans was harshly adjudged to have handled and the men in Orange levelled from the spot – 1-1. A different-looking Dutch team now bombarded the UKAF half, with resolute defending being the order of the day from the hosts. Having made it to the 90-minute mark, it was down to keeper L/Cpl Luke Cairney to save the day with two brilliant moments with the gloves, tipping one volleyed effort over acrobatically. Manager De-Long was then sent to the stands as the atmosphere became fraught, and there was still time for a diving header from Farkes to clear a bullet shot from 10 yards to keep the scoreline level and to bring the cup home again. UKAF chairman Air Cdre Simon Harper said: “I am delighted for Nick and the team, they have worked so hard to reach this point. Now we have to retain in France next year.” FS De-Long, who described himself as emotional after the final whistle, said: “We defended well, we had to be careful, and we got the victory, it was more squeezing than pleasing, but we have earned the right to be the best and we are the best.”

Serving/R Serving/Reservist Reservist or fformer ormer o se erving i RA AF? serving RAF? Be part of of the ga game ame & help gene generate erate vital ffunding unding ffor o or ac access cess e tto o sport acrosss the RAF at Sign up online a www..raffcf.o Download D Do wnload the RAF Sports Lottery Lotter e y now website app no w via our w ebsite

Royal Air Force News Friday, November 3, 2017 P31

e Kentish Cup UK Armed Forces French Air Force

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James Bairstow A SECOND-HALF strike from substitute CPO Andrew Todd proved decisive as defending champions UKAF kept their Kentish Cup 2017 dreams alive with a hard-fought 2-1 win over the French Air Force in a game that saw two RAF players play the full 90 minutes. RAF Senior Representative Team regulars SAC Danny Dixon and Cpl Alex Woodhouse played the full 90 minutes of a tense and sometimes bitter clash, where strikes from Army man Cpl Callum Wilkinson and the Navy’s CPO Todd sealed the win either side of a thumping French half-volley from SDT Mareval Remi. UKAF manager FS Nick DeLong said: “That was some game. There was plenty of spice and needle in that one. They came to win. We got the result today and we still have a few more gears to go through. “We need to be a bit more composed on the ball and we will be working on that. “The French were no mugs and they pushed us all the way today but we got over the line. We go into the Dutch game in confident mood.” Midfielder Cpl Woodhouse remained level-headed afterwards, and said that the team realise that there is still work to do. “Well that’s one down, one to go. We still have to get a result against the Dutch to make sure and we will be fired up for that one,” he said. “The French gave it a real go today and it was a close game but we just about got over the line.” The early exchanges in the first half saw the French Air Force dominate possession without really creating too many gilt-edge chances – thanks to some excellent defensive work from captain L/Cpl Rob Farkins, who was skippering the side for the first time. The first real chance of the match came after six minutes when

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HALF-WAY THERE: UKAF players celebrate victory against the French, ahead of their fixture with the Dutch Forces

the French Air Force had a chance headed off the line by Farkins. UKAF then seemed to up their game and broke the deadlock after 26 minutes through front man Wilkinson. The goal came after a Wilkinson free-kick was saved by the French Air Force goal-keeper, who then saved a rebound effort from Pte Josh Hughes. The ball found its way back to Hughes who crossed it to the back post and Wilkinson made no mistake from six yards out – much to the delight of the home crowd. The home side then looked to double their lead, with RAET Danny Earle and Pte Hughes looking dangerous on the counterattack. On the stroke of half-time, the visitors won a free-kick from 25 yards out which SDT Mareval Remi


struck beautifully with his left foot onto the UKAF crossbar and then out for a goal-kick – with L/Cpl Luke Cairney well beaten. Remi was causing the home side all sorts of problems with his creativity and movement, and it was no surprise to anyone in the crowd when he levelled matters after 55 minutes. SDT Alexis whipped in an inch-perfect left-wing corner that was met on the volley by Remi, and his left-foot strike whistled past L/ Cpl Cairney. The French Air Force then upped the ante but failed to go in front, thanks to some resolute UKAF defence work that was backed up by goal-keeper Cairney, who commanded his box exquisitely and made several telling saves to keep his side level. UKAF manager De-Long gave


a rousing half-time team-talk, mentioning the important role that his substitutes would have in the game – and his prediction bore fruit. He brought off his goal-scorer and talisman Cpl Wilkinson and replaced him with CPO Todd on 70 minutes and the change paid dividends when he found the back of the net two minutes later with what proved to be the winning goal. UKAF won a free kick midway through the French Air Force half. Cpl Woodhouse played it quickly out wide to Pte Hughes, who was on the left flank. Hughes cut inside onto his trusty right foot and floated an excellent cross to the back post. The ball was headed on by manof-the-match L/Cpl Paddock, and CPO Todd forced the ball home from close range, despite the best efforts of French Air Force centre-

back SDT Sabo. The game then got a bit heated and scrappy as the French pressed for an equaliser, and UKAF were doing all they could to slow it down. Cpl Woodhouse was booked for time-wasting as a result. With the end of the game looming, the away side won a freekick 30 yards from goal and their playmaker Remi grabbed the ball. He struck a beautiful left-foot free kick that sailed over the UKAF wall and was heading towards the top corner, but L/Cpl Cairney tipped it over the cross bar. The referee ordered the free-kick to be taken again after he penalised the UKAF wall for encroaching. Remi stood over the ball once again and the crowd held its breath, but this time his effort sailed over the bar, and moments later the final whistle blew.

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Royal Air Force News Friday, November 3, 2017 P32

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Sport debut season: Jake Dixon (27)


Down the Hatch Shocker at Brands but Dixon can motorsport

still raise a glass to debut season IT WAS a day to forget at Brands Hatch after a season to remember for battling RAF Regular and Reserve Kawasaki rider Jake Dixon, who came sixth in his debut MCE British Superbike Championship. Having secured an amazing Super Six slot, the season came to its exciting end at the famous Kent track. Dixon has produced some incredible moments in the Championship, the undoubted highlights being his double victory at Knockhill and further podiums at Thruxton, Cadwell Park and Silverstone. But in the final round at Brands he was beset with crashes, resulting in a solitary 12th place from the three races. Dixon said: “From a weekend that started so brightly, it’s turned out to be the opposite. The team did a great job, as they have all year, in preparing the bike, which took another beating. “It wasn’t ideal, I wasn’t able to show what I could do so it’s a real shame our year ended in this fashion. “We’ve shown what we can do this

year and we’re going to come back in 2018 and firmly challenge for the title.” The weekend started strongly for the 21-year-old, posting the secondfastest time in the opening free practice session, but a heavy, high-speed crash at Hawthorn put both rider and team on the back foot.

It wasn’t ideal, I wasn’t able to show what I could do

With his rebuilt Kawasaki ZX-10R, Dixon posted the eighth-fastest time in qualifying to line up in the middle of the third row, however his race was only three laps old when he crashed out at Clearways, after water leaked from another rider’s machine – causing no fewer than five riders to go down. With considerable damage to the bike and a quick restart, there wasn’t time for the team to make the necessary repairs and the youngster was a non-starter.

As a result, he started the next day’s first 20-lap race from 22nd place on the grid. Working his way up to 16th, he was forced to retire after half distance. That just left one race to go, with Dixon lining up on this occasion in 14th and in the middle of the fifth row. He held station in 14th for the first five laps before jumping up to 11th on lap six and it looked like this would be where he finished his 2017 season but former World Superbike Champion Sylvain Guintoli got the better of him in the closing stages to leave him in 12th. Team-mate Jordan Weaving was also having his final outing of the year in the Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Championship race, where he qualified in 16th place on the Briggs Equipment Kawasaki. Completing the first lap in a fine 10th place, Adam Jenkinson pushed him back a spot on lap six but he held on to 11th to pick up five more points. The result sees him complete his maiden year in the class in an excellent 12th overall.

sUperstock 1000: Jordan Weaving finished the season in 12th overall

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Royal Air Force News Friday, November 3, 2017 P33



Moore the merrier Flt Lt Carrie Moore helped the UK to a team win in the international Challenge Saumur. The Reserve Forces Association event is for the top military riders from Britain, France, Belgium and the Netherlands. Participants must be capable of tackling one-metre show jumping and cross-country courses on an unknown horse. Challenge Saumur 2017 was the 46th anniversary of the competition and was held at the Ecoles Saint-Cyr Coetquidan Military Academy in Brittany, France. Flt Lt Moore (pictured) was the sole RAF representative and had not jumped a course of this size for almost two years. Despite this she managed a clear in the show jumping phase and with the partnership of horse and rider now starting to gel she again went clear in the cross country. Her teammates, Pte EmmaJane Powne and LBdr Gillian Gallagher, also jumped clear, meaning the UK B team took first place. Adding icing to the cake, Flt Lt Moore was also winner of the individual placings.

sea fishing


Record lift

catch of the day: (l-r) Flt Lt Gareth Pickard with a thornback ray, SAC James Newton with a blonde ray and Cpl Neil Syrett with a 14.5lb turbot

Sea-ing is believing for Service’s anglers IT’S been an incredible season for RAF Sea Fishing – a sport that features matches on shore and from boats. Here are 2017’s highlights so far: n The RAF Shore team can boast the top Inter-Service (IS) individual angler for the last three years, currently held by Sgt Mal Hore (Marham). n The annual RAF Sea Angling Developmental Championship. SAC Jon Mobey (Benson) won best newcomer. n The RAF Boat team won the InterServices for an unprecedented 11th year in a row, with top individual angler going to WO Daz Rose (Wittering). n The UK Armed Forces (UKAF) Boat

champs saw eight RAF anglers selected for the UK Armed Forces Team. Fishing against the Police, the UKAF team won for a second successive year with best individual UKAF angler going to Sgt Scott Rennie (Benson). n The RAF Boat team can boast four National anglers this year after Sgt Curt Hohmann (Benson) made selection for Wales in April. Of the other three National anglers, WO Daz Rose (Wittering) and Sgt Scott Rennie (Benson) compete for Scotland, whilst FS Mark ‘Taff ’ East (Brize) represents Wales. These three represented their countries at this year’s Home Nations Boat Championships.

n The Inter Units (IU) Champs was won by RAF Odiham for Shore and RAF Benson for Boat. Individual winners were Flt Lt Sy Smith (SHAPE) for Boat, and C/T Andy Ogilvie (Cosford) for Shore and overall Inter-Unit individual Champion. Most RAF Units now have an active Sea Angling Club for personnel interested in taking up the sport competitively. RAF Sea Angling’s chairman, Flt Lt Gareth Pickard, said: “I am very proud to be the chairman of a discipline of angling which is growing in popularity. Taking it from a sport in decline in 2008 to today, where we have up to 60 anglers turning up for events, is extremely heartening.”

A Flying Officer from RAF Marham really raised the bar at the first ever Military, Police and Fire (MPF) Powerlifting World Championships. Fg Off Victoria Radcliffe not only won her weight category at the event on the sun-kissed island of Malta, she also set a new MPF world record. The UK team also included Sgt Ann Thomas (RAF Henlow) and Cpl Georgina Smith (RAF Brize Norton). Thomas also won her weight class in the Ladies’ Full Power event. Cpl Smith was part of the sports recovery team and participated in the deadlift.  The competition included lifters from the UK, Malta, Italy, Russia, Ukraine, Ireland and Canada. World Drug-Free Powerlifting Federation President Wim Backelant said: “The WDFPF were proud to host this event to recognise the dedication and sacrifice made by individuals employed within the Military, Police or Fire services who are part of the affiliated nations.” Radcliffe was also named the event’s top female lifter.

THOMAS: Also won her class at the MPF World Championships



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Royal Air Force News Friday, November 3, 2017 P35


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Sport National glory not far away for boxer

Dixon debut Super sixth

Moore flies the flag for Great Britain

l Sport P29

l Sport P32

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SACs in Wales call-ups rugby UNION

Williams and Murray get the nod

WILLIAMS: Back to international duty after being dropped

MURRAY: Another chance to be selected for the full Wales team

DYNAMIC RAF duo SACs Sian Williams and Charlie Murray are back in the international fold after being selected for the Wales Women’s Rugby Union squad for the 2017/18 season. The news is a huge pat on the back for Murray, who has earned her second year in a row in the squad. Williams was omitted from the Wales set-up last season but shone brightly in her captaincy role for her country’s sevens team – leading them to their highest ever finish in the Rugby Europe 7s event. Williams said: “I’m honoured once again to be involved in the programme and look to kick on again with the 7s squad from our success from last season. “It’s such a huge and exciting year ahead for us as a 7s squad with the Commonwealth Games next year. “We have been together as a squad for a few weeks now putting in the foundations and hard work ready for one of the most exciting seasons ahead of us.” Williams’ work in the Europe tournament, which saw Wales finish fifth in the event’s final stage in Kazan, Russia, saw them qualify for the Commonwealth Games. Murray told RAF News: “I’m delighted to be selected for the Wales Women 2017/18 training squad. The squad has a new influx of young talent, where most were involved in the U18 Commonwealth Games. “The squad has a new buzz and with supporting both 15s and 7s aspects, it’s an environment to really push yourself. Making the training squads for 7s and 15s last year but falling short of selection, I am now more determined than ever to earn my shirt.” Head coach Rowland Phillips has kept an experienced core of players to take Wales through to the next World Cup in four years’ time, while adding a smattering of young blood. He said: “We’ve been keeping a keen eye on the next generation of players coming through the system, whilst also being in a good situation where we have a lot of young but experienced international players. “The achievement of the team in the Commonwealth Youth Games was fantastic, giving many of these girls invaluable competition experience. “The Women’s Six Nations and the Commonwealth Games will be with us before we know it, so there is a lot of work to do and a lot to look forward to as well.” The two RAF girls will once again be caught between two stools as they will surely be part of the UKAF team set to play a Wales Women’s Development side at Cardiff Arms Park on November 8 for the annual Remembrance Game.

UK Armed Forces win Kentish Cup UK Armed Forces footballers are celebrating retaining the prestigious Kentish Cup. The international military trophy stays in Britain after

victory against a determined French Air Force and a hardfought draw with the Dutch. n See pages 30-31 for full reports on both games.


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