Page 1

Big interview Punk's High Priest back with PiL tour l R’n’R p5

Win Win Copies of Dam raid book

Win Win Copies of war title First Light

l R'n'R p8

l R'n'R p4

Friday May 4 2018 No 1442 70p



Hoop stars hit new heights

Rugby champs take I-S crown

l Sport p29


SRT's Brownhill set for Wembley

l Sport p31


Dixon battles Brands weather

Daniel Abrahams The Stoop, Twickenham

l Sport p32

ON A milestone evening at The Stoop in Twickenham the Service’s rugby union stars bagged two InterService game wins and the

men’s side were crowned champions in front of a crowd of 4000 spectators. In sweltering conditions on one of the hottest days of the year, the women’s team blitzed their Royal Navy counterparts 53-3, while the

men produced a complete display to win 31-21 and become IS champions – after their dramatic one-point win over the Army at RAF Halton a week earlier. l Continued on page 9:

CUP KINGS: The senior men's team celebrate winning the Inter-Services, and (left) manager Wg Cdr Howard Parr and captain Flt Lt Stu Philpott show off the silverware PHOTOS: SBS

Fit for Heroes - The Forces' favourite newspaper






Royal Air Force News Friday, May 4, 2018 P3


I want to be able to hit some notes that are actually so high they rip my tonsils out

PIL front man and punk legend John Lydon on his stage return – Rn’R p4-5

This win is the result of five years’ hard work

I am proud to be part of this group of players and to play at Wembley

RAF men’s rugby union captain Flt Lt Stu Philpott – p34-35

Cpl Lewis Brownhill, who will star at Wembley for his league club – p31

AVM Mike Wigston on the changing nature of combat and hybrid warfare – p13

Our adversaries have not been idle – our advantage is under threat

Our new sqn will ensure the legend of world-leading air power lives on

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson on the revival of 617 ‘Dambusters’ Squadron p18-19

Back in Black Typhoons return to Romania to counter Russia threat along Nato’s Eastern borders

Next issue on sale May 18, 2018 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

Staff Reporter Constanta, Romania

Peace mission: Above, II Sqn Typhoons fly in PHOTOS: SAC CHARLOTTE HOPKINS

Four RAF Typhoons have landed in Romania to support the Nato mission to guard the air space over the Black Sea states. The II Sqn combat jets are on 24-hour standby to intercept any rogue Russian military aircraft closing in on the region. It is the second time the RAF has been brought in to maintain peace. UK Top Gun pilots will spend four months at the Mihail Kogalniceanu air base working alongside the Romanian Air Force. Britain is one of a number of Nato member states supporting the military air mission on a fourmonth rota. The deployment is part of large-scale international military operation along Russia’s borders with Estonia, Latvia, Poland and Lithuania. British Forces are also leading

an 800-strong battlegroup in Estonia and supporting operations in Poland. Royal Air Force jets are set to provide ther same ‘quick reaction alert’ role they do in the UK from Lossiemouth in Scotland, and Coningsby in the Midlands. The supersonic swing role combat jet will operate in partnership with Romanian MiG 21 and F-16 aircraft during the tour guarding the eastern front. Wg Cdr Chris Ball, who leads the RAF’s 135 Expeditionary Air Wing in Romania said: “This is an important role for us that will build upon the success of last year’s mission to help to secure Nato airspace in the Black Sea region. “These are interesting times but from the Black Sea to the Baltics, Nato’s resolve is steadfast to defend itself against any threat.”

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.

“As a boy, I picked up an extra paper round in Petersfield to save for flying lessons.” —Richard Pillans, Boeing UK Chief Test Pilot

“As a boy, I picked up an extra paper round in Petersfield to save for flying lessons. I managed to get my pilot’s licence before I could even drive a car. It’s freeing to get up in the air and see the world from that perspective. Even though I left the British military I still feel like I’m part of it as a civilian test pilot. The data we gather proves the Chinooks are safe before the frontline fly them. We feel good about supporting the team overseas.”


Royal Air Force News Friday, May 4, 2018 P5

News remembrance

Total stranger tends Oz war hero’s grave married six months: John Burrows died just six months after he wed Marjorie Preece

Wayne’s quarter century of devotion to memory of young Aussie airman By Lawrence McGowan A TOTAL STRANGER has spent more than a quarter of a century caring for a World War Two Australian airman’s grave in Cannock, Staffordshire. RAAF warrant officer John Benjamin Burrows was killed when his Whitley bomber crashed near Wheyhill railway station in Wiltshire. The aircraft had been damaged by flak while on a mission to drop propaganda leaflets over Germany on April 5, 1943. Fifty years later Wayne

Hartshorne, then aged 26, was tending his grandfather’s grave in the town cemetery when he spotted the lone Aussie’s Commonwealth War Graves marker. Since then he has made more than 650 fortnightly visits; cutting the grass, weeding, planting flowers and cleaning the gravestone. Wayne said: “I do this out of respect for a young man who died 10,000 miles from home while defending our democracy, who appeared to have no-one to care for his last resting place. “He was just 21 years old when he was killed and had been married

ACT OF KINDNESS: Wayne with the certificate of appreciation presented by RAF Association branch president John Allman, left

for just six months.” WO Burrows wed Cannock girl Marjorie Ruth, whose maiden name was Preece. She later remarried and emigrated to the USA. He was the son of Alexander and Ada Frances Burrows, of Middle Brighton, Victoria, southern Australia. He had two sisters.

Wayne’s efforts came to light when local Royal Air Forces Association veterans surveyed the seven RAF graves in the cemetery. Branch president John Allman, who recently presented Wayne with a framed certificate of appreciation, said: “It felt right to recognise a member of the public whose work

coincides with our core mission of providing friendship, help and support to the RAF family in times of need.” Wayne has been interviewed by an Australian radio station in a bid to find any Antipodean relatives of WO Burrows, but so far no-one has come forward.

cenotaph ceremony

Prince Harry and his fiancée pay respects at Anzac Day service PRINCE HARRY and his fiancée Meghan Markle attended a ceremony at the Cenotaph in London to mark the wartime service of Britain’s close allies Australia and New Zealand. Veterans from both countries gathered to mark Anzac Day, which honours the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War. The couple then attended a service of commemoration and thanksgiving alongside military personnel at Westminster Abbey. Defence Secretary Gavin

Williamson also paid his respects at the event. He said: “On Anzac Day, we remember the sacrifice and courage of troops from Australia and New Zealand. Almost a century has passed since the end of the First World War and Britain is proud to have served side by side with them in many conflicts over the last 100 years. “Our alliance is one of the most constant and enduring military partnerships in history, one which will continue to protect our shared values and commit to make the world a safer, more secure place.”

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 .

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Royal Air Force News Friday, May 4, 2018 P7


clean up: CBRN specialists from the RAF Regt get to work in Salisbury

Gunners combat Novichok threat

Jamie’s Juno jump Simon Mander A ROOKIE helicopter pilot has become the first trainee to fly one of the Defence’s latest state-of-theart training helicopters. Flt Lt Jamie Johnson made aviation history by taking the controls of a Juno Airbus H135 at Shawbury. He said: “It is a privilege to be the first trainee pilot to fly in the new Juno. “Having flown both Squirrel and Griffin helicopters, the Juno is a huge

step forward due to its similarity to a front line aircraft and I look forward to learning more on it.” Flt Johnson will hone his skills under the new UK training system which aims to transform rookie aviators from all three services into combat aircrew more quickly and in the most modern aircraft thereby reducing costs. Helicopter Instructor Lt Chris Suckling RN, said: “It was a great honour to instruct Flt Lt Johnson

on his first training sortie. “The Juno is very capable, which means trainees can learn everything they need on it, from hovering to multiple aircraft tactical manoeuvres, which provides great continuity.” As well as time airborne, students will practise emergencies and rehearse tactics on state-of-theart simulators Successful trainees will graduate to additional training for mountainous and maritime

operations on the Jupiter Airbus H145 aircraft. Shawbury Station Commander Gp Capt Rob Norris said: “This milestone is the culmination of 18 months of transition. “Our future rotary aircrew will benefit from the very latest training methods, enabling them to undertake operational roles on a range of front line aircraft types, including Apache, Chinook, Merlin and Wildcat.”

Chinook tour gives Berlin airshow a lift Peter Singlehurst An RAF Chinook launched a tour of Cold War military bases in Germany ahead of a show-stopping performance at the Berlin air show. The Odiham based combat chopper landed at the former RAF station at Geilenkirchen, now a Nato command base for the E-3D Sentry early warning aircraft, before performing a flypast over Wildenrath, Bruggen and Laarbruch. Chinook co-pilot Flt Lt Andy Donovan said: ““We are incredibly proud to be visiting Germany in the 100th year of the Royal Air Force. “A good proportion of our service operating Chinooks was spent here between 1981 and 1997 so this gives us an opportunity to reflect on a little bit of history as part of the Royal Air Force celebrations.”

The return of the distinctive RAF workhorse chopper to Laarbruch was welcomed by crowds who turned out to watch as the aircraft performed over head. A number of RAF Chinooks were based there before the fall of Berlin Wall Chinook pilot Flt Lt Stuart Kynaston added: “It was really good to be able to bring RAF aviation back to some of our former stations. “Returning the Chinook to its former home at RAF Laarbruch. The reception we received at all the bases was great and the active airfields did everything they could to help this happen. “It was really interesting to see the remains of our past infrastructure at various sites.”

A specialist team of RAF Gunners have been brought in to support environmental teams decontaminating the site of a suspected nerve agent attack in Salisbury. More than 190 military chemical warfare specialists are currently working alongside government environmental experts. Members of the RAF Regiment and troops from the Wiltshire based 22 Engineer Regt are carrying out decontamination at the Maltings Shopping Centre where the attack took place. Areas of the Wilts town were quarantined following the use of a deadly nerve agent, believed to be Russian produced Novichok, in the attempted assassination of former intelligence officer Sergei Skirpal and his daughter, in March. The RAF Regt are trained to tackle Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear threats and deployed whenever deadly chemicals or radioactive materials are used.

Chinook Logi nets supplies award

Chop Gun: Chinook heads for Berlin display, below, view from the digital cockpit, left, Flt Lt Andy Donovan PHOTOS: CPL TIM LAURENCE

winner: SAC Shorrt collects his award

An SAC who developed a new spares pack for Chinooks has been named as the Supplier of the Year. Odiham airman Daniel Shorrt was presented with the award by Air Force Logistics chief Air Cdre Richard Hill.

Royal Air Force News Friday, May 4, 2018 P9


RAF Falcons stack up the style as 2018 season starts

News bulletin

THE RAF Falcons Parachute Display Team have begun their 2018 display season after being awarded their Public Display Authority by Air Vice-Marshal David Cooper, Air Officer Commanding No. 2 Group. They trained hard over the winter to perfect their famous canopy stack and were due to appear at RAF Brize Norton, as RAF News went to press. Flight Lieutenant David Sellers, Officer Commanding RAF Falcons, said: “It is an

RAF band recruits Talent star Kyle RAF MUSICIANS teamed up with Britain’s Got Talent 2017 finalist Kyle Tomlinson during a whistle stop tour of the United Arab Emirates. The Northolt-based RAF Salon Orchestra were in the region to mark The Queen’s 92nd Birthday, the centenary of the UAE’s founding father, and take part in RAF100 celebrations. They played at VIP events in the Abu Dhabi and Dubai British Embassies and performed with the 16-year-old talent show star and The British School Al Khubairat choir.   During the four day visit the Orchestra braved 36C heat to experience some site-seeing including the breathtaking Sheik Zayed Grand Mosque, the largest in the UAE, and the spectacular Dubai Mall with its indoor aquarium, underwater Zoo and ice rink. RECRUIT: Britain’s Got Talent finalist Kyle Tomlinson

immense honour to command the 2018 RAF Falcons in the year that the Royal Air Force celebrates its 100th birthday. “I feel extremely privileged to be working with such a motivated and high-performing team.” The Falcons will be performing at more than 60 events across the UK this year, including the Royal International Air Tattoo, Ayr International Airshow, and many other special events, where they will be entertaining thousands with their spectacular display.


P-8 sub hunters head for new £132m home Simon Mander

DEFENCE SECRETARY Gavin Williamson has cut the first turf on a £132million base for the UK’s new fleet of submarine hunting Poseidon Maritime Patrol Aircraft at RAF Lossiemouth. The Scottish airbase will be the future home to the nine-strong P-8A Poseidon fleet, whose key role will be to protect Britain’s seaborne nuclear deterrent and two new aircraft carriers, equipped with missiles capable of destroying enemy submarines. The news comes at a time when the MoD has warned that Russian submarine activity has increased ‘ten-fold’ in the North Atlantic. Mr Williamson said: “These submarine hunters will play a vital role in keeping the UK safe from the increasing threats and aggression we face in the skies, on the sea and below the waves.” In addition to boosting the UK’s

surveillance capabilities, the P-8As can conduct anti-surface warfare, search and rescue missions and intelligence gathering missions. The MOD is investing £3 billion over the next decade in Maritime Patrol Aircraft and last year confirmed £3.7bn to start building the first three of eight cutting-edge new Royal Navy Type 26 frigates to work alongside them. The new Lossiemouth facility will be completed in 2020, when the Poseidon fleet is expected to become fully operational, and will comprise a tactical operations centre, an operational conversion unit, squadron accommodation, training and simulation facilities and a three-bay aircraft hangar. Mr Williamson said: “Moray is benefitting from 200 local construction jobs during this building phase, with the number of personnel employed at RAF Lossiemouth growing by 470 to 2,200 people when this is complete.”

Win I-S just champion Stoop triumph on a night of legend Continued from front page: RAF Rugby Union chairman Air Cdre Steve Lushington said: “Playing at the Stoop just added to the occasion – it was great to see nearly 4000 people turn up to watch the game, especially in our RAF100 year. “Thank you to everyone who turned up to cheer the RAF on. “We will enjoy the victories and being champions, but the hard work for getting ready for next season has already started. Next year I hope both the women and

ATTACKING RUN: Above, action from the historic win at The Stoop, Twickenham, where a crowd of 4,000 saw the RAF men’s team win the Inter-Services crown PHOTO: SBS

men get crowned champions.” Men’s team captain Flt Lt Stu Philpott added: “80,000 people will be going to Twickenham to see a second-place play-off

between the Army and Navy, we are Inter-Service champions, this only happens once in a lifetime.” O See pages 35 and 34 for full reports

Royal Air Force News Friday, May 4, 2018 P10


Blood brothers

THE ROYAL Norwegian Air Force has sent birthday wishes to the RAF – by repainting a pair of vintage Vampires in UK colours. The ground-breaking De Havilland fighters were introduced in 1946 and the second jet-powered aircraft to

be operated by the RAF. Historical Sqn pilot Kenneth Aarkvisla, who flies the Vampires at airshows across Europe, said: “We think that the strong bonds we forged during the Second World War are important to remember.”

Guildhall reception marks RAF century

JET SET: Above, visitor checks out the replica Typhoon cockpit, main, Spits outside the Guildhall

LONDON’S GUILDHALL celebrated the RAF’s 100th anniversary with a display for vintage and modern aircraft. A WWI Sopwith Camel lined up with the WWII Spitfire and the supersonic Typhoon outside the historic landmark as air chiefs joined civic leaders and more than 600 Forces personnel to mark the occasion. The Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier said: “In our 100th year we want to showcase the vital role the RAF continues to play in defending the British people and protecting our Nation’s interests. “The celebrations are a fitting recognition and thank you to the exceptional dedication, spirit and achievements of our men and women.

They also encourage us to look to the future: the greatest legacy of RAF100 will be its ability to inspire a whole new generation so that together we can help shape our next century.” The Lord Mayor added: “We are honoured to host such a fantastic display of aircraft in the Guildhall Yard. “It’s a wonderful sight and a rare opportunity to be able to see and learn about such planes up close. “It’s a privilege to be a part of the RAF’s centenary events, celebrating the great work they have done and continue to do for our country. “This is a cause close to my heart and something we wanted to be involved in to show our appreciation for all the RAF does.”

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Royal Air Force News Friday, May 4, 2018 P12


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Tornados chemical UK Storm Shadow missiles hit Assad weapons dumps after 72 die in toxic attack

Staff Reporter FOUR RAF Tornados launched a longrange attack using Storm Shadow cruise missiles to destroy suspected chemical weapons stockpiles in Syria after more than 70 civilians died in a suspected gas attack. US, French and British crews targeted a number of military sites in Western Syria which intelligence sources believe are used to stockpile deadly nerve agents.

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We will not stand by while innocent civilians including women and children are made to suffer

RAF Tornado GR4s launched eight cruise missiles destroying a military facility 15 miles west of Homs. The site, a former missile base, has been used to store deadly materials banned under the Chemical Weapons Convention, according to Coalition intelligence experts. Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “The reprehensible use of chemical weapons in Douma is further evidence of the Syrian regime’s appalling cruelty against its own people. “We will not stand by whilst innocent civilians, including women and children, are killed and made to suffer. “The international community has responded decisively with legal and proportionate military force. “Let these united actions send a clear message to the regime – the use of chemical weapons is categorically unacceptable and you will be held to account”

STORM FRONT: RAF technicians at Akrotiri check Tornado following mission to destroy chemical weapons dumps PHOTOS: CPL MATTY MATHEWS

Last month’s attack targeting rebels in Douma has provoked an international stand-off between US led Coalition countries and Syrian state forces and Russia, who deny the use of nerve agents. A team from the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons has faced delays in gaining access to Douma to test for traces of deadly chemicals. however have now been able to visit the site. A UK defence spokesman added: “A significant body of information including intelligence indeicates that the Syrian regime was responsible for this latest attack. “Our action is proportionate specifically aimed at degrading the regime’s ability to use chemical weapons and dettering further such appalling acts. “Detailed analysis of the effectiveness of the strike is currently underway but initial indications are that the precision of the Storm Shadow weapons and meticulous target planning have resulted in a successful attack”

Royal Air Force News Friday, May 4, 2018 P13


blitz Syria stockpile

Star wars: The UK’s new Carbonite II satellite now orbiting the Earth will boost RAF combat capability, inset below, Russian President Vladamir Putin

Space new battleground in high-tech ‘hybrid’ war Staff Reporter



RAF Akrotiri



Accused: But Syrian President Assad denies using chemical weapons in attack on Douma PHOTO: PA

Nato states must counter the threat from space to defend the West against a new form of ‘hybrid’ war, defence chiefs say. Cyber attacks and strikes on defence and commercial satellites would cripple military systems, power supplies and other TURKEYtransport, essential services, they say. The warnings come ahead of a major air power conference where more than 50 air chiefs from across the Nato alliance will discuss the growing high-tech space threat from adversaries such as Russia. The event will focus on new technology and the increasing use of hybrid warfare techniques such Raqqa as cyber attacks and co-ordinated criminal activity and how Allied forces can maintain their combat edge. Assistant Chief of the Air Staff, Air Vice-Marshal Michael Wigston said: “While we have been busy fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan our adversaries have not been idle. “They have looked at our strengths and the way we fight wars. Now the advantage that we have enjoyed is under threat. “We only need to look at the number of drones being used by terrorists and the latest missile systems which are now on our borders in Europe. Aftermath: Aid “We have to look at how we can workers move bodies of civilians killed in Douma attack. PA



News bulletin

India joins cyber fight against terror The UK and India have signed a deal to combat terrorism and threats to cyber security. The new defence pact will develop technology to combat

Warning: Air Vice-Marshal Mike Wigston

take the RAF and make it a force for a 21st century fight. Our edge will be the way we work with our allies.” UK space capability has been given a boost with the launch of the Carbonite II satellite earlier this year. The £4.5 million device, which weighs just 100kg has the capability to beam real time video of enemy positions into the cockpits of RAF aircraft and to frontline fighters on the ground. AVM Wigston added: “With the Carbonite II satellite we have gone from concept to launch and then capability in less than a year. BAGHDAD It demonstrates just how important the space domain has become. lThe Air Power Conference takes place in London on July 11-12. on-line crime protect business criminal hackers and improve cyber security systems. Armed Forces minister Mark Lancaster said: “Defence and security at the heart of our friendship with India. By working together to combat terrorism, tackle cyber threats and build regional security we are keeping both countries safe.” UK Forces take part in combat exercises with India every two years

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Royal Air Force News Friday, May 4, 2018 P15

News News bulletin

Gunners’ Asia training mission Staff Reporter Rajendrapur, Bangladesh

Veterans hit by benefit rulings Forces veterans struggling with physical and mental health problems should be exempt from hard-line rulings on benefit claims, according to a leading military charity. The Forces in Mind Trust says assessors from the Department of Work and Pensions may be ignoring problems preventing some veterans from doing paid work. The claims follow a study of veterans struggling with debt, rent arrears and those using food banks after their benefit payments were withdrawn. The Trust is calling for benefits assessors and Job Centre staff to be given more training to make them aware of issues affecting many Service veterans. Ray Lock, Chief Executive of Forces in Mind Trust, said: “This is the first study to look qualitatively at the experiences of ex-Service personnel who need to use the benefits system. “The recommendations included in the report will help provide the DWP with the information that will help increase the awareness of their staff to the needs of the Armed Forces community and hence improve the outcomes for those exService personnel that do require welfare support.”

Military chiefs in Bangladesh have called in specialist RAF Gunners to train security teams who guard the country’s main air bases. Members of 15 Sqn RAF Regt conducted combat drills with members of a recently formed force protection unit at Rajendrapur. The commando style squadron was set up to protect the country’s fleet of military aircraft including Chinese built F-7 interceptors, MiG fighters and Hercules transporters. The RAF Regiment is deployed

on all UK military training exercises and operations to secure air fields and guard air assets. 15 Sqn Operations Officer Flt Lt Thomas Abrahams said: “Training our Bangladesh counterparts has been a uniquely challenging and rewarding experience. “The training audience were enthusiastic and receptive to the lessons and progressed markedly throughout the package. “It has been a real privilege for 15 Sqn RAF Regt personnel to play a part in the formation of the Bangladesh Force Protection unit and we look forward to continuing the training over the next couple of years.”

Reds tribute

Service honours fallen Arrow Hundreds of mourners paid their respects to Red Arrows engineer Jonathan Bayliss who was killed in a training accident, during a special service of Remembrance. A pair of Typhoons performed a flypast before the service at Lincoln Cathedral, which was followed by a private family committal service. Engineer Cpl Bayliss was killed when a Red Arrows Hawk TI crashed during a training flight, close to RAF Valley in Wales. The 41-year-old technician was described by colleagues on the team as an ‘ultimate professional with an infectious smile’. RAF personnel provided a Guard of Honour and carried his Union Flag draped coffin into the cathedral Colleagues paid tribute to Cpl Bayliss during the service led by The Reverend Sqn Ldr Rachel Cook before the Last Post was performed. Cpl Bayliss joined the RAF in

2001 after studying engineering. His role with the Red Arrows was overseeing the jet’s dye systems which produce the hallmark smoke trails.

Point Of Order Bomber County marks 100th Centenary celebration

IN THE No. 1441 edition of RAF News dated April 20 we ran a caption identifying Air Vi c e - M a r s h a l Sammy Sampson as an Air Cdre. We are happy to correct this error.

Combat drill: Bangladesh troops in action

Thousands of well-wishers in Lincoln turned out to mark the RAF’s 100th anniversary as Royal Air Force personnel from nearby Waddington and Scampton marched through the city. Led by the Waddington Pipe Band hundreds of airmen and women paraded through Lincoln with fixed bayonets to exercise their Freedom of the City. Gp Capt Tom Burke, Waddington Station Commander

said: “We are very proud of our heritage and our close connection to the county. “The public support we have seen today is a perfect example of the strong and lasting relationship we share with the City of Lincoln. In the bag: Waddington pipers lead RAF personnel through the streets of Lincoln to mark Royal Air Force centenary PHOTO: SAC BETH ROBERTS

During his time with the Reds he supported tours across Europe, the Far East and the Gulf and was part of the team’s first ever performances in China.

He was described as ‘a shining example of what the British Armed Forces stand for by Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson following the accident, in March.



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Royal Air Force News Friday, May 4, 2018 P17

News Kit bag

News bulletin

Frontline troops set sights on £5.4 million assault rifle upgrade Staff Reporter The UK’s frontline troops are being given more fire power under a £5.4 million programme to develop the standard issue assault rifle. The new upgraded SA80 A3 which will replace the A2 version currently in use is more than 100 grams lighter and features a snapon low light sight. Other improvements include a camouflaged hard-wearing coating and streamlined grips to make it easier to use in extreme environments and improve accuracy.

MoD chiefs have placed an initial order for 5000 of the weapons produced by Notts based manufacturer Heckler and Koch. Defence Minister Guto Bebb said: “This multi-million-pound upgrade will give our Army a lighter, more hardwearing, bettercamouflaged combat rifle so our soldiers can perform on the frontline of some of the most dangerous locations in the world. “This investment is also a boost to Nottingham’s highly-skilled gunmakers who proudly support our troops in their task to protect our country in the face of intensifying

Invictus stars out of Sydney games

threats.” Defence equipment chief Major Gen Colin McClean added: “The SA80 assault rifle is a battle proven weapon used by on operations all over the world. “These upgrades will build upon the rifle’s state-of-the-art features enhancing accuracy and consistency. “The improvement project will ensure that our troops have the right equipment at the right time. Firepower: Above, upgraded A3, right Royal Air Force Gunner on Force Protection training during US-based exercise

flying training

Rookies upgrade to business class New Phenom executive jet joins Air Force training fleet Staff Reporter Trainee military pilots will be honing their flying skills in one of the world’s top executive jets as part of a £1 billion makeover of Forces flying training. The first of the RAF’s new Embraer Phenom aircraft – dubbed the Jag of the skies in the business world – made its first training flight from Cranwell. The exec-style jet will be used to train student pilots hoping to graduate to multi-engine RAF transporters like the Atlas A400M and heavyweight C17 Globemaster. The Phenom is among a new fleet of aircraft brought in to cut costs and speed up pilot training and will replace the ageing King Air currently used to train multiengine crew. RAF instructor Flt Lt Jon O’Rourke launched the first training sortie alongside former Army aviator Matt Coverly, from Cranwell. He said: “It’s an absolute privilege to be the first RAF pilot to fly

the Phenom. “It is smooth and powerful and will bring the students on and bridge the gap between elementary flying training and the operational conversion units that they go on to. “It gives students exposure to the technology before they fly more complex aircraft such as the A400 Atlas or Voyager. “Using the Phenom is going to put us ahead of where we were with our old aircraft.” The aircraft features a modern glass cockpit and avionics suite, similar to those used in the RAF’s new multi-engine aircraft like the

Two of the RAF’s brightest medal hopes have confirmed they will not be bidding for gold at the Invictus Games in Sydney. Wheel chair rugby champ Stuart Robinson and cycle star Flt Lt Nathan Jones have both confirmed that they are out of the running for the Australian event. Former Gunner pictured Stu, right, who lost both legs in an IED blast during a tour in Afghanistan captained the wheelchair rugby team in last year’s event in Orlando Florida

Golden boy: Jones with Harry

Atlas and Voyager. Under the new programme students will also spend more time in digital simulators cutting training costs and fast tracking students to front line squadrons. Commander of 45 Sqn which trains UK aircrew Wg Cdr Richard Tomala added: “The Phenom is a

Go ahead Punk, make our day... Ex-Pistol John Lydon

civilian business-jet which has been brought into military service with minimal alterations. “It’s one of the most popular and successful light jets in the world and represents a huge step forward in terms of both performance and cockpit avionics when compared to the outgoing King Air.”

See R ’ n ’ R p5

Jones, who won gold, silver and two bronze medals in the last two games, is to undergo surgery for a back injury this summer and will also miss the event. He said: “My Invictus journey has been incredible.The games are getting bigger and better and the level of competition is getting better. “It doesn’t matter wjat your injury is - it is always worth trying. I hope to back on the bike in 2019 and will definately be bidding for a place on the team in the future.

Royal Air Force News Friday, May 4, 2018 P18

Royal Air Force News Friday, May 4, 2018 P19



Dambusters legend reborn with F-35 World’s most famous squadron returns to frontline combat duty with stealth fighter 75 years after daring Nazi bombing raid Icon: The Canadian Warplane Heritage Mk 10 Lancaster bomber – one of only two still flying PHOTO: SGT RALPH MERRY

The RAF’s legendary Dambuster squadron has reformed to fly the UK’s Lightning stealth fighter – 75 years after the famous WWII raid that gave it its name. The 617 Sqn standard was brought out of retirement as members of the world’s most famous flying unit gathered for a ceremony at the Air and Space Museum in Washington DC to mark their return to frontline duty. Britain has taken delivery of 14 F-35 fighters from a total order of 138 – making the UK the project’s biggest partner nation after the US. There are currently 150 British personnel training alongside the US Marines at Beaufort air base, in South Carolina. Members of 617 Sqn will return to RAF Marham this summer and are expected to declare initial operating capability by the end of the year. The Dambusters will be joined by 207 Sqn at the Norfolk station, which will run the operational conversion unit preparing the RAF’s next generation of F-35 Top Gun pilots for combat. With its short take-off and vertical landing capability the F-35 Lightning is expected to be operating from the Navy’s new Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers by 2020. Lightning Force Commander

Air Commodore David Bradshaw said: “This is a most momentous day for the UK Lightning Force. “Manned by highly capable RAF and Royal Navy personnel and equipped with the truly remarkable Lightning, 617 Sqn will once again provide potent, flexible air power for the nation. “In a simple yet highly significant ceremony held in the heart of Washington DC amongst friends and colleagues as part of celebrations for RAF100, the famous Dambusters marked the start of another exciting chapter in their Squadron’s proud history. “I very much look forward to welcoming 617 Sqn home to RAF Marham this summer as they prepare for operational service from land and sea.” Members of the original 617 Sqn were hand picked by Wg Cdr Guy Gibson who led the famous raids to destroy the Nazi dams in the Rhur Valley using Barnes Wallis’s ‘bouncing bombs’ in 1944. The unit’s last operational role before disbanding in 2014 was providing air support to ISAF forces during the conflict in Afghanistan, flying the RAF’s Tornado GR4. Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “The 617 Sqn name was made famous by ‘The

Heroes return: 617 Sqn reformation parade in Washington, left, QCS perform, inset below, CAS Sir Stephen Hillier PHOTOS: SGT RALPH MERRY

Dambusters’, who played such a vital role in the Second World War. “It is fitting that by flying the world’s most advanced fighter jets, our new squadron will be ensuring that the legend of world-leading air power lives on. “The F-35 Lightning will defend our nation and ensure that Britain remains a pioneer in innovation, with a unique ability to adapt to this increasingly dangerous world.” F-35 is the world’s

first jet to combine radar evading stealth technology with supersonic speeds and short take-off and landing capability. 617 Sqn Commanding Officer Wg Cdr John Butcher said: “I think our historical links are extremely important with what we’re doing today. “75 years almost to the day they were almost a month away from doing the dams

mission. That was a squadron that was formed very quickly, it was formed with the best people and defence technology to do a very special mission. “We’re bringing the very best people defence aviation all together to go and do a very special mission which is to bring F-35 Lightning stealth combat air into the UK capabilities. “I’m very excited about the reformation of 617 Sqn after years of being laid up to rest waiting for this moment. “It’s really an exciting prospect, not just for the squadron but also the Lightning programme. “There’s a lot of work and effort which has gone into reform 617 Squadron with a view to moving back to RAF Marham this summer. Rookies hoping to fly the UK’s most advanced fighter will train at the fast jet training school at RAF Valley before moving to the Marham based Operational Conversion Unit, currently under construction. Most of the pilots already operating F-35 have experience flying other combat aircraft such as the Typhoon and the Tornado. However this year has seen the first pilots to graduate to the F-35 straight from flying school. One of the pilots to compete his training at Beaufort said: “Flying the Lightning is a sensational experience and the highlight of my RAF career to date.“Breaking the sound barrier was a particular highlight . It is easy to see why every pilot here loves flying the aircraft.”

Royal Air Force party ends on a high note The revival of the Dambusters was celebrated 40’s style as RAF musician’s joined the world famous Airmen of Note to perform some traditional WWII Glenn MIller classics. The Squdroniares, led by musical director Cpl Andy Mears, stepped centre stage during the RAF’s celebratory Stateside invasion, joining forces with their USAF counterparts. The sell out show included an appearance by D-Day veteran and forces musical maestro Arnald Gabriel who served as commander of the US Air Force Band until 1985. The 93-year old, who survived the onslaught on Omaha Beach during the Allied invasion, picked up the conductor’s baton for two numbers including the haunting ‘Hymn to the Fallen’ from saving Private Ryan. He said: ““It’s a tremendous honour for me, a very big honour to conduct this combined band. They sound fantastic.” “I have always felt close to England as I trained there before going to Normandy. “We fought our way into Germany until we met the Russians at the Elbe River 1945. There thousands of Germans surrendered to us rather than the Russians.” Thr Squadronaires can trace their origins back to 1939 when many of London’s professional musicians were recruited into the Central Band of the Royal Air Force. The Airmen of Note was created in 1950 to continue the tradition of Major Glenn Miller’s Army Air Corps dance band. Corporal Andy Mears said:

“We’re thoroughly enjoying this. The legacy of the Airmen of Note is one which is revered worldwide so we’re thrilled to be here sharing a stage with them. “This is up there as a career highlight, if not the career highlight.” Chief Technician Andrew Rigby is Band added: “For all of us musicians who are into jazz to play with the Airmen of Note is a real privilege and a great honour. We’re playing well together and really enjoying ourselves.” Chief Master Sergeant Kevin Burns is the split lead trumpeter with the Airmen of Note. He said: “It’s an incredible experience and a highlight for every member’s career. I’ve been in the service for 24 years and haven’t done anything quite like this. “There was an instant connection because there’s so much we know about each other. Once we got together it only took a couple of hours to put a programme together for this evening.”



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Royal Air Force News Friday, May 4, 2018 R'n'R 3

R'n'R Film

BANFF Centre

Mountain Film Festival World Tour 2018

Festival's Blue planet

ACE AND THE DESERT DOG: Human and canine alike learn a lot in this funny and touching nine-minute piece

GIRLPOWER: Where The Wild Things Play captures the zeitgeist of the current time

HUMAN MERMAID: Ian Derry's film tells the story of freediver Johanna Nordblad and her recovery from injury

WHY: Why not? That's the question you'll be asking if you get to see this compelling French short movie


AVING BEEN blown away by the magnitude of the cinematic offerings in the 'Red' programme of this year’s ninth annual BANFF Centre mountain film festival world tour, I was ready for more of the same with the 'Blue' and I was not disappointed. With nine films on offer this time around, once again covering all aspects of outdoor adventures, the Blue programme’s offerings make for a perfect 10 – impossible to precis in a review this small, almost like capturing the essence of the experience of adventure itself – so Daniel Abrahams has chosen four to give a teasing taster of this BANFF 2018 buffet. The nine-minute short Ace and The Desert Dog is an interesting take on ‘one man and his dog’ in this case Ace Kvale and crossbreed mutt Genghis Khan. Ace undertakes a 60-day, 60th birthday trek with the dog creating a pretend online blog. The film is funny, touching, with the overall feel coming through as the pair visibly struggle in front of the viewer's eyes – Khan as the 60-day trek is a year in his dog life, and Kvale to find a connection with the great outdoors, which he finally truly finds in his loyal companion. In the girlpower-driven Where the Wild Things Play, filmmaker Krystle Wright shows quick-cut footage of girls doing amazing things from extreme climbing to wingsuit flying, in a bid to ask why aren’t more women involved in outdoor adventures. Flashing by against a funk driven soundtrack, it makes for light-hearted viewing,

but it also, without identifying the women involved, subliminally says: “I’m every women" and, although tongue in cheek, it does inspire. The four-minute Ian Derry film Johanna features Finnish freediver Johanna Nordblad, who took up the sport after a serious leg break ended her mountain biking career. It is simply magnificent, breathtaking in places, it combines a beautiful symmetry between the operation and recuperation Nordblad underwent, using cold water treatment to help her leg heal. We open with her trekking alone across the snow with the sled she drags possibly symbolising the damaged leg, the saw she uses to cut into the ice as she prepares to dive, like the operation on her body, and the scar she makes in the ice, is her leg, exposed against this immeasurable challenge like the hole against the immeasurable landscape surrounding her. Once below the surface the circle becomes complete for the viewer and athlete alike, we view her having found her home, a unity with the planet and self. The French short WHY deals with the challenges a group of kayakers experience from their sport, in short, the lack of a question mark says it all with this excellent movie, it is not a question, as you already know the answer. The BANFF festival runs until the end of this month, with full details at: Five roundels out of five.


Dornier Do 17: The Luftwaffe's 'Flying Pencil' Published by Frontline Books

Get all the Goss on the infamous 'Flying Pencil'


HRIS GOSS’S Dornier Do 17: The Luftwaffe’s ‘Flying Pencil’ is the latest offering from the Air War Archive series from Frontline Books and is a welcome addition covering the short-lived but wellknown plane. Despite its popularity as an aircraft that seemed synonymous with the rise of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi regime, spotted over the packed sports grounds of the Nuremburg Rallies and shadowing the fighter planes of the early Blitzkrieg and Battle of Britain, it was basically grounded from frontline duties by 1941, two years after the start of the Second World War. All twin-engined (BMW VI) design and technological advancements – which the aircraft bristled with – Goss has plenty to go on, despite the short war shelf life. Light on armour, due in the main to its excellent speed when the V6 version was released (246mph), before going on to see V8 variants, it provided both bomber and reconnaissance, having first starred in the support of General Franco in Spain, its last

DORNIER: Short war lifespan

real outing was as a night fighter as the Do 17, now with Bramo Fafnir 323p engines. The simple trace of just a few of the versions and theatres of the Pencil highlights how much work Goss has to go through to capture the real essence of the aircraft, of which the only surviving recovered remains are housed at the RAF Museum, Cosford, having been shot down over the English Channel on August 26, 1940. In this 136-page title Goss

does a terrific job in covering the aircraft's colourful lifespan, but it is not a surprise so few survived the war, as the pages are littered with images of downed Dorniers of all kinds, except ones that are likely to fly again. There really are some incredible images in the title and plenty of fascinating insights, making this well worth an addition to your collection. n Dornier Do 17: The Luftwaffe’s ‘Flying Pencil' is on general release (rrp £14.99) on Frontline books.

Royal Air Force News Friday, May 4, 2018 R'n'R 4

Royal Air Force News Friday, May 4, 2018 R'n'R 5



Edited by Tracey Allen

The Big Interview John Lydon

Monster hit?

John Lydon's still Rotten to the core


he first of this summer’s monster blockbuster releases is set to be unleashed as Chris Pratt reprises his role as dino-wrangler Owen Grady in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. It's been four years since theme park and luxury resort Jurassic World was destroyed by rampaging dinosaurs. Isla Nublar now sits abandoned by humans while the

surviving dinosaurs fend for themselves in the jungles. When the island's dormant volcano begins roaring to life, Owen (Chris Pratt) and Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) mount a campaign to rescue the remaining dinosaurs from this extinction-level event. Owen is driven to find Blue, his lead raptor who's still missing in the wild, and Claire (pictured) has grown a


The RAF Centenary Collection Penguin


respect for these creatures she now makes her mission. Arriving on the unstable island as lava begins raining down, their expedition uncovers a conspiracy that could return our entire planet to a perilous order not seen since prehistoric times. Stars Pratt and Howard return alongside executive producers Steven Spielberg and Colin Trevorrow for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. They are joined by co-stars Toby Jones, Rafe

Spall and Isabella Sermon, while BD Wong and Jeff Goldblum reprise their roles. Directed by J.A. Bayona (The Impossible), the epic action-adventure is written by Jurassic World's director, Trevorrow, and its co-writer, Derek Connolly. Producers Frank Marshall and Pat Crowley once again partner with Spielberg and Trevorrow in leading the filmmakers for this stunning instalment. Belén Atienza joins the team as a producer. n Check cinemas for June release dates.


Six of the best for fans of the Royal Air Force

HE RAF Centenary Collection is the ultimate literary treat for anyone with an interest in the service. It includes six classic books highlighting the skill, heroism and esprit de corps that have characterised the Royal Air Force throughout its first 100 years. And RAF News has got two complete sets of the books (rrp


£47.94 per collection) to give away to our readers. They are: The Last Enemy, by Richard Hillary:

The extraordinary account of Hillary’s experiences as a Spitfire pilot during WWII. During the Battle of Britain he was shot down, which led to months in hospital as part of Archibald McIndoe’s ‘Guinea Pig Club’, undergoing pioneering plastic surgery to rebuild his face and hands. The Last Enemy was first published in 1941, seven months before Hillary's death, and has gone on to become one of the classic texts of WWII.

ORTY years ago he tore a hole in the fabric of British culture with the Sex Pistols – the high priests of punk who inspired generations of bands around the world. The 70s was a Rotten decade in so many ways. But nearly half a century on from the Pistols' seismic debut the band's former frontman John Lydon is as enthused, if not as angry, as ever. The Pistol's ex-snarler in chief isn't one for anniversaries, even if it's been four decades since his former band unleashed the genre-defining Never Mind the Bollocks album. Their first and only studio release flicked a defiant V sign to the Royals, the courts, the BBC and the music industry and smashed its way to the top of the charts in a a carnival of censorship and outrage. "I don't really know what number one means, and it's something that someone would have to have told me about, as I am not a fan of controlled systems. It's irrelevant to me. "But that said, I hope it's done something positive as it's a darn fine piece of work. It was honest and put itself on the line," said Lydon. Deemed outrageous at the time, Anarchy in the UK has become a counter culture national anthem – even making the playlist for the opening ceremony of the London Olympic games in 2012. Never Mind the Bollocks was also voted by the NME magazine as among the third most influential British album of all time. The band was even admitted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, a dubious honour they accepted in typically disdainful fashion, refusing to attend the glitzy award ceremony.

Tumult in the Clouds, by James Goodson:

Anglo-American James Goodson flew Spitfires with an RAF Eagle Squadron before later joining his countrymen with the Fourth Fighter Group to get behind the controls of Thunderbolts and Mustangs, where he became known as ‘King of the Strafers.’ Tumult in the Clouds is the ultimate story of war in the air, told by one of WWII’s most outstanding fighter pilots. Going Solo, by Roald Dahl: Dahl’s much-loved account of his experiences in Africa, crashing a plane in the western desert, rescue and recovery from his horrific injuries in Alexandria, among many other daring deeds. First Light, by Geoffrey Wellum:

Two months before the outbreak of WWII, 18-year-old Geoffrey

Wellum becomes a fighter pilot for the RAF. Desperate to get in the air, he makes it through basic training to become the youngest Spitfire pilot in prestigious 92 Squadron. Over the coming months he and his fellow pilots play a crucial role in the Battle of Britain. But of the friends that take to the air alongside Wellum, many never return. Wellum is the last surviving member of The Few and First Light is his gripping memoir. Tornado Down, by John Nichol & John Peters: RAF Flight lieutenants John Peters and John Nichol were shot down over enemy territory on their first airbourne mission of the Gulf War. Their capture in the desert, half a mile from their blazing Tornado bomber, began a nightmare seven-week ordeal of torture and interrogation which brought both men close to death.

Immediate Response, by Mark Hammond:

The true story of a Royal Marine helicopter pilot at war in Afghanistan. Major Mark Hammond was awarded the DFC for his remarkable feats flying his Chinook in the conflict. Immediate Response is his vivid and highly personal account of combat and the brutal realities of war. To be in with a chance of winning the entire RAF Centenary Collection (£7.99 per title, published by Penguin), just answer this question: Who was held captive with Flt Lt John Nichol during the Gulf War? Email your answer, marked Centenary Collection, to: or post it to: RAF News, Lancaster Building, HQ Air Command, High Wycombe, HP14 4UE, to arrive by May 18.

ydon was a spiky-haired teenager in 1975 when he attended an impromptu audition in front of protopunk impressario Malcolm McLaren at the outlandish Chelsea boutique run by the designer Vivienne Westwood. "The band didn't appear to have any direction, but I had been looking for a vehicle and I had plenty of ambition," he says of his earliest meeting with the Pistols, which formed in 1975 with its guitarist Steve Jones. The Pistols were dropped by two record labels (most famously EMI) before finally landing with Richard Branson’s Virgin Records. "We knew what we were doing and that we were changing things for people and encouraging them to think for themselves. “It was the start of the DIY club. But it's downfall eventually happened when people just started imitating it too much and it became a cliché of people wearing studded jackets and standing around looking bored,” he said.


fter the apocalyptic death of the Pistols amid suicides (Sid and Nancy), rancour (with manager McLaren) and disaffection (pretty much everything) Lydon formed Public Image Limited. The band are still recording and gigging and he is about to launch an epic European tour which includes a string of UK dates – starting at the O2 Academy in Bristol on May 30. With a grand tally of 10 albums-worth of PiL material under his belt, it's set to offer up plenty of highlights. America proved to be Pistol's Alamo and the scene of their last show but it was also where the group's singer re-ignited a fresh musical spark. He is now 62 and a long-term resident of California with his wife of nearly 40 years,

LYDON: King of Punk

Nora – but there's still a sense of restlessness. He said: "I still think there's a lot to be angry about in the world, but that shouldn't lead to violence and hate.” He has attempted to maintain his British links and a public profile with sporadic re-unions of the Pistols. However, he now insists 'he's done with that now,' which will pave the way for a better relationship with the remaining band members.


t's been three years since PiL's last release, but Lydon says time has been set aside to produce new material for the band's 40th anniversary tour. "If you want to talk about labels like King of the Punks, then that's still me, as I haven't seen anyone else that's worthy of that title,” he said. “For this tour, we'll be getting to play some great fun places like Cardiff and Reading and

Bournemouth. I really love playing all those towns as there's a real sense of community with the gigs. "It's not about egos, there's no them or us, it's just about appreciating each other. I like those shows in halls where you can see the whites of people's eyes. "I think the best way I've described it is as like being in church without the religion. It's a great feeling and playing with PiL is what I'd wanted things to be like with the Pistols. We're able to think openly and honestly and express our emotions." As a genuine musical pioneer he has nothing left to prove. With so many milestones to his credit, it is a tough task picking a defining moment in his maverick musical career. "I don't think that I've actually had my best moment yet, I want to be able to hit some notes that are so high they rip my tonsils out and I never speak again,” he said. n Visit: for tour dates.

Royal Air Force News Friday, May 4, 2018 R'n'R 6

R'n'R Your Announcements

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Wirral on April 10 at 9am.

RYAN Patrick, Warrant Officer, passed away peacefully on March 31, aged 76. He will be greatly missed by his daughter Jill and son Tony, his grandchildren and great grandchild and all who knew him. Pat served in El Adem, Singapore, Guam, Gan (Maldives), Rheindahlen, Waddington, Odiham, Hereford, Bruggen, Wildenrath and Coltishall. Funeral service held at Earlham Crematorium, Norwich on April 20 at 11:45. Donations, if desired, to Parkinsons UK via Kevin Cobbold Funeral Directors: STRANGE Greg, who served in the RAF Berlin Airlift, passed away peacefully at Arrowe Park Hospital on March 24, aged 87. "You will never be far away from us" R.I.P. Beloved husband of Marion. A much loved dad of Pam, and Graham, their partners and grandchildren. Will be very sadly missed by his family and friends. Greg's funeral service and cremation took place at Landican Centre Chapel,



Looking for John Kenneth Kitching (above, left) ex 50th entry Boy Entrants. Best Man for Fred Watson December 14, 1968 Newcastle-on-Tyne. Email: hazelfarm@yahoo.

Seeking Richard, Pete and George from Billet 77, RAF Fayed, Canal Zone 1954/1955. Remember the good old days in the Education Dept? Many years gone by but memories have not faded. How are you all? Contact Brian on: 07980 189726 or email: Seeking Milton Clement Henry aka Milton Clement Robinson, a retired Sergeant who was stationed at RAF Gütersloh, Germany, in the late 1980s and early 1990s. We’re seeking him with regards to the estate of his aunt, Violet Guishard Hallpike. He is roughly 75 years old, retired from the RAF, and would likely be residing in England or Germany. We kindly ask anyone who has any information to call Anton Young, toll free, at: 1-800663-2255 ex. 6704. Seeking RAF Boy Entrants of the 43rd Entry RAF Saint Athan from 1961-62. Contact: don43rdentrysaints@yahoo. com or via our website: 43rdentr yrafstathan.

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.

Does anyone have details of Irish Republican Army threats or attacks on RAF stations or personnel during 'The Troubles'? Please contact Father Keith Sawyer, 29 Field Gate Road, Luton LU4 9TA, call: 07773 591554. Seeking whereabouts of John Bellsmith, Halton Apprentice 209th Entry. Later worked at Stansted. Location urgently required on behalf of sister Flt Off Bellsmith PMRAFNS. Any info please contact Mike Plimmer: 01403 275176. Seeking Richard, Pete and George from Billet 77, RAF Fayed, Canal Zone 1954/1955. Remember the good old days in the Education Dept? Many years gone by but memories have not faded. How are you all? Please contact Brian on: 07980 189726 or email: 43rd Entry B/E's (Carpenters) St Athan 1961/2. There were only eight of us, found one, looking for the other six: D Beales, R Davies, (?) Fisher, (S?) Marks, D Shaw, (R?) Sims. Please contact John Phillips: 01380 871956; or you can email: john. RAF Administrative Apprentice Association. Seeking all Administrative Apprentices who trained at RAF St Athan, Bircham Newton, Halton, Ruislip or Hereford. For details of YOUR association please visit the website: www.

416369; email Dom Owen: uk. Members are requested to complete and return application forms ASAP. No 4 Squadron 309 entry RAF Hereford Annual Reunion will be held on April 26-28. This is a special reunion with a visit to a Lincolnshire RAF base. A formal dinner will be arranged on Friday 27th. For further information please email: robert.willis@ or: dave. or call: 07982 07982 190504. Please book early for this event, all ex Apprentices are welcome.

a lunch at the ex RAF Hucknall, site where we were born (now Rolls-Royce) on Saturday, May 5. If interested with partners please email: RAF Regiment Association Somerset/Dorset Branch Social May 18-21. Warners, Cricket St Thomas, Somerset. Join the Social Club. Please contact Alec Hunt, Coordinator, on: 01793 704629 for details. 45th Entry C Flt 3 Sqn Suppliers reunion July 13 and 14 at Three Counties Hotel, Hereford. Anyone interested please call Dave Bell in Hull on: 01482 377625.

RAF Changi Association (inc. HQFEAF). The 22nd Annual Reunion and AGM will be on May 4-7 at the Novotel Hotel Nottingham NG10 4EP (off M1 Jnc. 25). Membership is open to all ranks and civilian personnel who served there during 1946-72. Contact our Membership Secretary: Malcolm Flack on: 01494 728562 or email: or visit: for more details.

249 Squadron. The final Association reunion on the 100th anniversary of the Squadron's formation is at North Weald on August 18. For more information, please contact Hon Sec Tommy Cullen on: 01914550229.

The 90th anniversary of No 504 (County of Nottingham) Squadron will be celebrated by 504 Association, with

CSDE F4J(UK) Project reunion. Interested? Please contact Ted Stickley: 01271 377159 or: 07889 680041.

313 Entry RAF Hereford Supplier General. 50 years since we were at Hereford. Is anybody interested in a reunion? Please email David Johnson: DCJ440.313@

Fly high at Cosford

Reunions Coltishall Old Boys will hold a Norfolk RAF mardle in Aylsham Town Hall, NR11 6EL on Saturday, April 21, from 10am to 4pm to celebrate the RAF's 100 years. Gulf War Display memorabilia, pictures and book sale. Paper plane making for future pilots and engineers. Refreshments and cakes. Free entry. ROYAL Air Force Catering Warrant Officers and Seniors Association (RAFCWO&SA). This year’s Annual General Meeting of the RAFCWO&SA will take place at RAF Wittering on April 26 and 27. Details and application forms can be obtained from either FS John Roberts, call: 01780 417282; email John Roberts: john. or FS Dom Owen, call: 01780

THE centrepiece of the RAF100 celebrations at this year’s Cosford air show will be a unique ground exhibition featuring 100 aircraft from the Royal Air Force’s history, laid out chronologically across the airfield. The air show, on June 10, will have a six-hour flying display with an eclectic mix of historic warbirds, the best of today’s RAF, including the Red Arrows (pictured above) and contributions from international air arms. New for 2018 is the Reunion Enclosure – a private area for anyone who has or is currently serving in the RAF to meet and entertain squadron association members and colleagues. The enclosure, in the centre of the showground, includes a private marquee and guests will receive a complimentary air show souvenir programme and a 'goody-bag' provided by Key Publishing. For more details contact Michaela on: 01902 377922 or email:

Royal Air Force News Friday, May 4, 2018 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


RAF 100 events

THE Association of RAF Women Officers (ARAFWO) has been providing opportunities for women officers to maintain contact with the Royal Air Force and each other since its formation in 1955. As relevant as ever, ARAFWO membership is open to all serving and former serving women officers of the RAF, RAuxAF, RAFVR(T), WRAF, WAAF, WRAuxAF and WRAFVR.All eligible ladies are invited to join and will be given the warmest welcome. Please email: or call: 07740 86565.

RAF Woodvale is running a competition to design a new RAF Woodvale badge, to mark the RAF's centenary this year. The competition is open to anyone aged 16 and under and will run until April 30. The badge will be submitted for Royal approval and the winner will have their design professionally turned into the new station badge. The lucky winner will receive a framed copy of their design and will also be given the chance to be Station Commander for the day. Please see the RAF Woodvale website: raf. for full competition details. lestationbadgecompetition. cfm).

RAF Changi Assoc RAF Changi Association (inc. HQFEAF). We are looking for new members, all ranks and civilian personnel who served 1946-72. For more details please contact Membership Secretary Malcolm Flack on: 01494 728562 or you can email him on: MemSecChangi@

STOW Maries Great War Aerodrome will host a programme of talks – starting next month and continuing to May 2019 – to commemorate 100 years of the RAF. Each monthly talk will focus on different aspects of World War 1 and will be presented by Eric Simonelli, from Stow

Maries’ curatorial team. The talks take place on the last Sunday of every month at 2pm and will be held in the newly refreshed ‘Dope Workshop’. It was in this building that war-torn aircraft were repaired with the thin Irish Linen and ‘Dope’ treatment, before being wheeled out, back into the war. The first talk, on April 29, will be interactive, giving advice on how to expand your research into aviation relatives during both World Wars. It will cover taking research further than Service records; how to find squadron diaries and looking further into the history of the air services. Those interested in attending are advised to bring along any information they may have as there will be time for research to be carried out. On May 27 the subject is The First Daylight Gotha Bomber Raids and on June 24 Medical Services of the Air Forces in the Great War. Talks cost £12 per person and include full access to the site plus a tour. Refreshments will be available in the Airmen’s Mess but not included in the

entry price. There is no need to pre-book, just turn up to attend. For more information visit A concert at Lincoln Catherdral on May 24, featuring The Band of the RAF College under the direction of Principal Director of Music Wg Cdr Piers Morrell and Director of Music Sqn Ldr Richard Murray, will mark the 100th anniversary of the RAF. Organised and funded by the RAF Musical Charitable Trust the concert will be introduced by the Trust's President ACM Sir Michael Graydon and compered by TV personality and Air Cadets ambassador, Honorary Gp Capt Carol Vorderman. The event will raise funds for the Trust and other Service charities. Tickets, priced £15-£35, are available from Lincoln Cathedral Shop with a 15 per cent discount for all RAF Personnel, Air Cadets and Defence Discount Service cardholders on production of a valid membership or HM Forces ID card or go to the website: lincolncathedral. com

BE BETTER EQUIPPED WITH AN OU DEGREE Find out how we can help you become better equipped for civilian life visit

Service for Sir Peter

A SERVICE of Thanksgiving for the Life and Work of Air Chief Marshal Sir Peter Squire (above) will be held on Friday, June 1 at 11.30am at the RAF Church of St Clement Danes, Strand, London WC2R 1DH. Dress for the occasion will be: serving officers – full ceremonial day dress (no sword); civilians – morning dress or lounge suit (full size medals may be worn). Those wishing to attend are asked to apply for tickets (stating their connection, if any, to ACM Squire) from: Mrs Michèle Small, SO3 RAF Ceremonial Events, RAF Ceremonial Office, RAF Northolt, Ruislip, HA4 6NG by no later than April 27. Please mark the envelope ‘Air Chief Marshal Sir Peter Squire’. Each applicant must provide their full name, home address, date and place of birth and either a passport or driving licence number; applications must be accompanied by a SAE to ensure the issue of tickets.

Preparing for the move to civilian life? Whether or not you already have a career option in mind, take a look into the exciting and relevant TXDOL¿FDWLRQVWKDWZHRIIHU<RX¶OOHQMR\WKH UHDVVXUDQFHWKDWZH¶UHDZRUOGOHDGLQJSURYLGHU of distance learning and that over 1,500 forces SHUVRQQHODUHFXUUHQWO\VWXG\LQJZLWKXV

Royal Air Force News Friday, May 4, 2018 R'n'R 8

R'n'R Prize Crossword No. 225

Solve the crossword, then rearrange the eight letters in yellow squares to find an aviation word.

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 May 18, 2018.

No. 234 Fill in all the squares in the grid so that each row, each column and each 3x3 square contains all the digits from 1 to 9.

Across 1. A pop group, either way (4) 8. Whitest ale brewed for the best off (10) 9. The precise weapon used to free Hill, perhaps (8) 10. Exclusive postal order she cut short (4) 12. Aircraft with bad smell for half of November (6) 14. Activity for at least one man and his dog (6) 15. Salt spring, say (6) 17. Beloved loses her heart: that’s bold (6) 18. Street sailor found knife (4) 19. Ex-PM has nothing in country (8) 21. Shakespeare’s supported by Defence Secretary (10) 22. Temper comes back resulting in destruction (4) Down

Name ......................................................................

2. Kind of misguidedly-noble event (10) 3. A Winnie-the-Pooh character goes missing (4) 4. It is used for thrusting Egyptian god into jetty (6) 5. What boiling water creates by harnessing right jet (6) 6. Without the head, pair wrote about aerial superiority (8) 7. Desire Shakespearean hag loses head (4) 11. Almost rational Merchant of Venice reaches Boeing’s Texas home (3,7) 13. Sport for station dance (8) 16. Trance produced by heavenly drink (6) 17. In tandem I sentence you to death (6) 18. Cutting proverbs? (4) 20. At first Robert is not dismissing Peel (4)

Name ................................................................................................................... Address ............................................................................................................... .............................................................................................................................. .............................................................................................................................. Aviation word................................................................. Crossword No. 225

................................................................................. Address .................................................................. ................................................................................. ....................................................Su Doku No. 234

The winner of Crossword No. 222 is Bill Cornell of Loompits Way, Saffron Walden, who wins a copy of Aerial Warfare by Frank Ledwidge, published by Oxford University Press ( Solution to crossword No. 222: Across – 1. Baton 4. Absolve 8. Tell Off 9. Using 10. Lock 11. Gradient 13. Tell 14. Boss 16. Nightcap 17. Acne 20. Until 21. Hotcake 22. Sarcasm 23. April Down – 1. Battle Honours 2. TELIC 3. Noon 4. Affirm 5. Squadron 6. Loiters 7. Eightsome Reel 12. Flotilla 13. Tighter 15. Marham 18. Chair 19. RAF activity – Reconnaissance

Solutions should Solution to Su Doku No: 233 be sent in a sealed envelope marked 'Su Doku' with the number in the top left-hand corner to RAF News, to arrive by May 18, 2018. Su Doku No. 233 winner Mrs M. Gilliland wins a copy of The Birth of the RAF 1918 by Richard Overy, published by Allen Lane.



The Complete Dambusters The History Press

The stories of every one of the 133 Dambusters Lives of heroes revealed by nephew of one of them


WALLIS: Creator of the bouncing bomb

EVENTY-FIVE years ago on May 16, 1943, nineteen RAF Lancasters of 617 Squadron set off to make history in Operation Chastise. The events of the Dams Raid are legendary – from the technical creation of scientist and inventor Barnes Wallis's ‘bouncing bombs’ to the top-secret strategy of flying at only 60 feet above enemy territory to target the heart of Nazi Germany's industrialised war machine along the vital Ruhr valley. But what about the 133 men, from all over the UK and beyond, who were hailed as the Dambusters? No longer only names on a crew list, for the first time author Charles Foster, whose uncle participated in the raid, presents each of

the Dambuster’s stories alongside previously unpublished photographs. His book The Complete Dambusters, The 133 Men Who Flew on the Dams Raid, published by The History Press has just been released (ISBN: 9780750988087, £20). And RAF News has five copies of the book to give away to our lucky competition winners. For a chance to own one, simply tell us: How many men were on the Dams Raid? Email your answer, marked The Complete Dambusters, to: or post it to: RAF News, Lancaster Building, HQ Air Command, High Wycombe, HP14 4UE, to arrive by May 18.

A ccentury centurry in the th he sky. sky. Wings Wi ings for foor the future. futuree.

Photos P hotos cr credit: edit: Isr Israeli aeli Air FForce orce

Elbit Systems congratulates the Royal Air Force Force on a century of historic aviation achievements. ements. t TThrough hrough technology gy and innovation, innovation, Elbit Elbit Systems System ms is proud proud tto o support ssupport the Royal Royal Air A Force Force as it sets sets n ne new w rrecords. ecords. Visit us a Visit att TThe he Royal Royal International International Air Tattoo Tattoo 13 13-15/7/2018 -15/ 7/2018 FFarnborough arnborough o International International Air Airshow rshow 16-22/7/2018 16 -22/ 7/2018

Royal Air Force News Friday, May 4, 2018 P21



WORLDS APART: Gp Capt Willy Hackett flies the 100-yearold SE5a and works on the cutting-edge Lightning F-35, top PHOTO: CPL ADAM FLETCHER

‘WWI Willy’ spans 100 years of RAF aviation By Sophia Hickinson


N RAF Top Gun is trading supersonic fast jets for 100-year-old biplanes this summer as the Service celebrates its centenary. Group Captain ‘Willy’ Hackett flies World War One aircraft including the SE5a and Bristol Fighter when he’s not working on the RAF’s newest airframe, the F-35 Lightning, due to enter service later this year. The seasoned combat pilot has flown the Tornado, Harrier and Typhoon for both the RAF and Navy and was one of the first test pilots on the F-35 stealth fighter. However, Willy’s passion is flying antique bi-planes owned by the Shuttleworth Collection, including the SE5a – the last WWI aircraft in the world with a confirmed victory still flying today. “The SE5a is really oldfashioned, engaged flying: it’s always buffeting around, you feel

the slipstream on your face, the engine is loud and the vibration is powerful. A modern fighter has a lot more power and thrust but it’s very clinical,” said Gp Capt Hackett. “You really feel alive in the SE5a and part of the machine but it constantly takes your attention – you can’t leave it alone for a second.” The single-seat biplane fighter was extensively refurbished in 2007 and restored with its original colours and markings of 84 Squadron, with which it flew in 1918. Armed with a fixed Vickers and a Lewis gun, the fighter scored a victory, downing a German plane on the last full day of the war. On November 10, 1918, flying ace Major C.E.M Pickthorn MC successfully destroyed a German Fokker DVII biplane fighter. “This aircraft is so significant in terms of RAF100: an airplane that was there at the birth of the Royal Air Force, and it’s still flying today 100 years later,” said Willy.

WOODEN WONDER: Gp Capt Hackett checks his instruments

“Flying the SE5a gives me a living connection with the airplanes, tactics, airpower and people of the First World War. It’s a direct link between them and me and my work on the RAF’s latest airplane – the F-35 Lightning.”

Gp Capt Hackett currently heads up the RAF’s F-35 Lightning delivery team in the US, getting the latest aircraft ready to arrive at 617 ‘Dambusters’ Squadron at RAF Marham later this year. He was invited to fly with the

Shuttleworth Collection and flies their vintage aircraft whenever he has the opportunity to head back to the UK from his home in the US. “The collection has some of the most unique and rare aircraft in the world,” he said. “To be invited to be a Shuttleworth pilot was one of the greatest honours of my life. “To be trusted to fly these airplanes that I’d read about in history books, it was so exciting and a privilege, I couldn’t say no.” The Shuttleworth Collection will kick off its summer season with an RAF Centenary airshow on Sunday, May 6, from its base near Biggleswade in Bedfordshire. The collection’s vintage WWI planes will display alongside currently serving RAF aircraft. The collection boasts some of the last airworthy aircraft of their type anywhere in the world and was started by Richard Shuttleworth, a passionate racer and RAF pilot who died in a training mission in WWII.


Queen Ethelburgaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s


â&#x20AC;&#x153;To be the best that I can with the gifts that I haveâ&#x20AC;?

Queen Ethelburgaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s has a long standing relationship with the British Forces,

We pride ourselves on our wrap-around specialist pastoral care for our

welcoming students from military families for over 100 years. We currently

students, providing a secure and supportive home from home. We are focused

have over 300 such students living as part of the QE family.

on creating the right learning and living environment so that every one of them can thrive.

We welcome day students from 3 months to 19 years and boarders from

6 years to 19 years. We are CEA accredited and in recognition of our

For further information or to arrange a visit contact our admissions team on:

commitment to Forces families, we offer a significant reduction in fees. In Tel: 01423 33 33 30 Email:

2017/18 this meant that our Forces families paid just 10% of fees, around ÂŁ925 per term. Fees for 2018/19 are to be confirmed.

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Royal Air Force News Friday, May 4, 2018 P23



RAF Rugby Union stars at Twickers Daniel Abrahams Twickenham Stadium


IMED TO perfection, Twickenham Stadium’s World Rugby Museum’s new RAF Centenary exhibition opened the day before the Royal Air Force’s men won the Inter-Services at The Stoop, across the road from the famous old ground. Since its foundation in 1920, Royal Air Force Rugby Union has produced countless distinguished players including Wavell Wakefield, Cyril Lowe, Rory Underwood and Peter Larter – who was on hand to present the current men’s team, led by captain Flt Lt Stu Philpott, with their match shirts in front of the exhibition the night before their big clash against the Royal Navy (See pp34-5 for full match report). The high-calibre of rugby has been maintained in the modern era by the likes of Sian Williams and Charlie Murray for Wales, and England’s Amy Cokayne, with close to 200 Service men and women representing their countries. On show among other exhibits are Cokayne’s signed England Rugby World Cup shirt; a 1961 RAF Cap presented to HJC Brown, who went on to represent the Service at bobsleigh in the 1968 Winter Olympics in Grenoble, France; a 1925/6 RAF Cup winners medal belonging to RAF Henlow; the 1932 Barrington-Kennett Trophy; and other RAF jerseys, caps, photographs and medals. Museum curator Phil McGowan said: “We cover lots of different themes. We have a permanent military exhibition exploring this link, and it was logical to cover the RAF in its 100th year.

NATIONAL HONOURS: The RAF’s Sian Williams on the attack for Wales against England in the Six Nations in 2015

FLYING WINGER: Rory Underwood

representing england: The Service’s Amy Cokayne starred for her country in the 2017 World Cup. Her shirt, above, features in the Twickenham Museum exhibition

We have a permanent military exhibition exploring the link of the RFU with the United Kingdom’s Armed Forces

“The Service contested the King’s Cup in 1919, the biggest international cup of its kind at that time, it featured Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, Great Britain, Canada and the RAF – who beat Australia and Canada – with Wavell Wakefield, whose shirt is on display, who went on to be England captain. “I am proud to have been involved with the exhibition and of course to have the team here for its shirt presentation.” The RAF exhibition runs until November 2018. The museum is open Tuesday-Saturday, 10am to 5pm (open Mondays during school holidays) and Sunday, 11am to 5pm. Museum-only tickets can be purchased on the day from the England Rugby Store. The exhibition can also be visited as part of a stadium tour. See tours for more details. The tour includes visits to the England dressing room, the tunnel and pitch-side, the Royal Box and VIP areas. Group rates apply for groups of 20+, adults £22.50, concessions £18, child £13.50. Special rates for school trip are also available. Email: for further information.

Remembering the well-sized aviation watches of yesteryear, the bold new C8 P2725 Automatic is most recognisable for a dial inspired by the cockpit dashboard of the Hawker Hurricane. Featuring a layout characterised by an inner hour ring and alternating SuperLuminovaâ&#x201E;˘ numerals, the C8 will offer superb legibility throughout any night-time operation youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re deployed upon.

Royal Air Force News Friday, May 4, 2018 P25


MoD St Athan does the triple First Phase 2 graduates of RAF’s new era

MOD St Athan graduated the first Phase 2 Courses of the Royal Air Force’s second century in a bumper triple ceremony. Congratulations to personnel on General Technician Mechanical Course No 64, General Technician Electrical Course No 65 and General Technician Workshops Course No 37. A rare occasion at No 4 School of Technical Training saw courses from all three disciplines of RAF Trade Group 5 Phase 2 training graduate on the parade square at once. The Reviewing Officer was Commanding Officer of Number 4 School of Technical Training, Wing Commander Rowley.

Airman Development Flight Trophy ADF is an integral part of the daily life of a trainee at No 4 School of Technical Training. ADF’s role is to manage the trainee’s welfare and pastoral care whilst ensuring they develop an operational and military focus, based on Royal Air Force core values, and to deliver military skills training. The recipient of this award is chosen by identifying the individual who has stood out from their peers in all areas of ADF training. WINNERS: GTM 64 LAC McCready, GTE 65 LAC Thompson, GTW 35 LAC Richardson.

Physical Education Trophy Awarded to the individual who has continuously shown a high standard of commitment, respect and positive attitude towards physical fitness throughout their time as a Phase 2 trainee. WINNERS: GTM 64 LAC Wright, GTE 65 LAC Ignatovich, GTW 35 LAC Gower. Most Improved Trainee Goes to the individual who has shown a marked improvement in their attainment and attitude over their time at No 4 School of Technical Training.

TREBLES ALL ROUND: Award winners from GTM 64, GTE 65 and GTW 35

WINNERS: GTM 64 LAC McCready, GTE 65 LAC Ignatovich, GTW 35 LAC Marston Turners Award Presented to the Workshops student with the highest average marks for practical and theory exams, during the turning module. WINNER: GTW 35 LAC Richardson.

COMMANDING OFFICER’S TROPHY Presented to an individual who has consistently shown that they are an excellent team member and all round student, displaying a strong work ethic and military ethos. WINNERS: GTM 64 LAC Wallbank, GTE 65 LAC Perks, GTW 35 LAC Richardson.


PEARSON INTAKE: Award winners pose with their hard-earned trophies

Cream of the crop rising to top at Halton

Pearson Intake Number 610, Flights 11 and 12, graduated from Recruit Training Squadron at RAF Halton. Flt Lt Ashley David, Flight Commander, led the parade before a flypast by a Hawk T1 from 100 Squadron, based at RAF Leeming. Musical accompaniment was from The Band of the RAF Regiment, under the direction of Flt Lt Rodda. The Queen’s Colour was borne by Recruit Training Squadron Deputy Squadron Commander Flt Lt Scott Ripley-Jones, with Colour Warrant Officer Barry Johnson and escorts Sgt Williams and Sgt Martin. Reviewing Officer for the day was Air Vice-Marshal John Cliffe, chairman of the

PARADE: The Reviewing Officer, Air Vice-Marshal John Cliffe, inspects the graduates

Royal Air Force Association. He presented trophies and awards to the recipients, who were:

Benevolent Fund Trophy, awarded for displaying the greatest effort and determination on Number 11 Flight.

AC Nathan Lant, who was awarded The Halton Aircraft Apprentice Shield. Awarded to the recruit who has displayed the highest overall standard of effort, determination and achievement in physical education.

AC Katie Copeland – The Station Commander’s Cup, awarded for displaying the greatest effort and determination on Number 12 Flight.

AC Kane Copeland-Trenwith – The Halton Aircraft Apprentice Trophy, awarded to the recruit who achieves the highest overall standard in drill and deportment. AC Andre Newton –

Royal Air Force

AC Joseph Collins – Lord Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire’s Trophy, awarded for the best overall performance on Number 12 Flight. AC Evie Porch – The Rothschild Trophy, awarded to the recruit who achieves the

PHOTOS: Christopher yarrow

highest overall standard in Initial Force Protection Training and The Mayor of Aylesbury Trophy, for the best overall performance on Number 11 Flight. AC Christopher Harrington – The Dusty Miller Trophy, for the recruit who has shown the greatest willingness to help others as voted by their fellow recruits on the Intake. Finally, The Lord Trenchard Trophy awarded to the Flight whose performance has been the best overall in general service training and general service knowledge – awarded to No. 12 Flight and collected on their behalf by AC Copley.


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Royal Air Force News Friday, May 4, 2018 P27

Email: awards

Ex-Gunner is the EX-GUNNER Luke Delahunty has won a prestigious award for his courage and perseverance since being paralysed in a motorbike smash 22 years ago. The Invictus Games athlete from Aylesbury, in Buckinghamshire, has scooped the People’s Choice in the Soldiering On Awards run by military broadcaster the Forces Network. Luke, paralysed from the chest down, has not only gone on to inspire young people facing a similar diagnosis to him but he has also made his mark competing as a talented rower, handcyclist, wheelchair rugby player and scuba diving instructor. An accident in 1996 – eight years into his career, when he was aged 24 – cut short his military service, leading to his medical discharge from the RAF in 1998. He went on to became an inspiring public speaker and charity ambassador as well as developing an equally inspirational role working for the National Spinal Injuries Centre at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, where he helps and encourages others through their own rehabilitation process


People’s Choice…

following spinal cord injuries. Luke said: “It’s such an unexpected honour, even to be nominated let alone to win, especially considering the other nominees who were all very worthy of this award. “I wish them all the very best in their future endeavours. Keep up the amazing work that you all do. My heartfelt thanks to the RAF Benevolent Fund for nominating me and to everyone who voted.”

Fitness and strength helps in everyday life. It’s helped give me a goal – mentally and physically

INSPIRATIONAL: Luke with his award

Luke had seen tours in Germany, Northern Ireland and Cyprus with the RAF Regt and sport has played a big part in his determination to rebuild his life. Speaking back then, he said: “Sport was very heavily involved in

IN THE FRAME: Luke was delighted to be nominated

my rehabilitation. As an RAF Regiment Gunner I was very fit and active. “Fitness and strength helps in everyday life. It’s helped give me a goal, mentally and physically.” He said sport helped him let go of his anger and turned his emotions into a force for good. Luke went on to twice achieve selection to the UK team for the Invictus Games. He has also done the London Marathon. He said: “I had no idea when I started [hand] cycling that I'd end up competing in the Invictus Games. “There were a lot of things I didn't think I would do after my injury, but you never know what life has in store.”

Honouring RAF’s first VC winner remembrance

tribute: Memorial stone in Gillingham

McCudden had 57 victories The RAF’s first Victoria Cross winner instructor during the formative years of the has been honoured with a commemorative Royal Air Force.” stone. Major McCudden was awarded his VC the Officers of 56 Squadron attended the day after the formation of the RAF. His citation unveiling in tribute to Major James McCudden appeared in the London Gazette on April at the Royal Engineers Museum in Gillingham, 2, 1918, and reads: ‘For most conspicuous Kent . bravery, exceptional perseverance, and a very 56 Sqn Commanding Officer Wg Cdr high devotion to duty. Captain McCudden Matthew Fleckney said: “Major McCudden has at the present time accounted for 54 is one of 56 Sqn’s favourite sons but, more enemy aeroplanes. Of these, 42 have importantly in the centenary of the been destroyed, 19 of them on RAF, he is our first Victoria Cross our side of the lines. Only 12 winner. out of the 54 have been driven “He won 55 of his 57 down out of control. On aerial victories while two occasions, he had on 56 Squadron, so it’s destroyed four two-seater appropriate that we are here enemy aeroplanes on the today to commemorate his life same day, and on the last along with the Royal Engineers, occasion all four machines his family and Medway Council. were destroyed in the space “Major McCudden stands out, of one hour and 30 minutes’. not only because of the number The unveiling is part of of victories he accrued, national Remembrance events, marking but because he had WWI, to honour First World War VC tremendous technical recipients. expertise both as McCudden joined the Royal an air mechanic in Engineers in 1910. He transferred the engineers and into the Royal Flying Corps in on his transition 1913, serving initially as an to a pilot in the air mechanic. By the time of RFC. He reinvested his death in July 1918, aged RESPECT: Air Cdre Simon Ellard his experience as an just 23, he had risen to the

rank of Major, and Flight Commander on 56 Squadron. As well as the Victoria Cross his gallantry medals are the Distinguished Service Order twice, Military Cross twice and Military Medal. He was also recognised by the French with the Croix de Guerre. The RAF was also represented by Air Commodore Simon Ellard, who said: “Major James McCudden has a very special part in the RAF’s history. As an engineer myself, I respect his skills. He was an innovator.” Major McCudden’s experience as an engineer and pilot enable him to be an innovator in aircraft design and what we now call human factors. He led the way in the research on the effects on the human body of high altitude flight. Much of his findings and subsequent recommendations are still taught to this day. Paul Spears AFC, a retired Squadron Leader and descendant of Major McCudden, said: “My Great Uncle Jimmy McCudden was an inspiration to me as a young boy, through my father who flew in the Battle of Britain with 222 Squadron. It was a natural progression for me to join and continue the family line through 20 very happy years. Today was marvellous for me and my family. “One of Jimmy’s greatest achievements

precious: The original VC won by Major McCudden

One of Jimmy’s greatest achievements was shooting down four aircraft in one day on two separate occasions

was shooting down four aircraft in one day on two separate occasions. He was also instrumental in developing many high-level flying techniques. He was a very innovative pilot working in an environment we fully understand nowadays but in those days was unknown. His techniques were followed even when I was in the air force.”

Royal Air Force News Friday, May 4, 2018 P28



All eyes on the prize raf100

heads up: UK and US cadets at the Udvar-Hazy Center

Best cadets dream of being Top Guns on RAF100 US trip ELEVEN TOP RAF Air Cadets have been in the United States as part of the Service’s centenary celebrations. The youngsters, from across the UK, are in Washington DC for a week of special events. Wing Commander Stuart McNeill, Director of Training, HQ Air Cadets, said: “Some cadets from Kent were already in the US undertaking a two-week camp in Florida supporting an airshow. “Two cadets who also flew out from the UK were selected for the International Air Cadets exchange programme. “We also have the top two officer graduates from our training school.” The group attended the Great

British Fly-In at the Udvar-Hazy Center, where they saw first-hand iconic air and space exhibits at an event marking RAF 100. These included the Space Shuttle Discovery, the SR-71 Blackbird and the X-35B, the predecessor to the F-35B Lightning – now in RAF service.

The best bit of the trip has been meeting CAS

They also teamed up with members of the Civil Air Patrol, the US equivalent of the Air Cadets Organisation, and engaged with serving RAF and USAF personnel


and members of the public. Cadet Warrant Officer Cheyenne Holmes, from 1476 (Rayleigh) Squadron, is the LordLieutenant’s Cadet for Essex. She said: “It’s been absolutely fantastic to be here. Representing the Air

Cadet Corps has been an absolute privilege. The best bit has been meeting and greeting the Chief of the Air Staff – it’s not often a cadet can meet someone with such a high profile. “It’s also been great to be here

with other cadets from all over the Corps.” The cadets also has a guided tour of Andrews Air Force Base, the home of Air Force One, and were on duty at a formal reception at the National Air and Space Museum.

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6 pages of RAF Sport l Union stars Stoop and conquer : pages 35-34 basketball

Pain and gain at IS

U23s win breaks RAF trophy drought JOY AND pain came in quick succession during an historic Inter-Services basketball championships, as the U23s showed the future is bright with a first title win since 2015. The U23 is being mooted as the best performance since 2007 for a RAF side, while the men’s team lost to a last gasp three-pointer from distance, which was followed seconds later by a similar chance that dropped agonisingly wide from SAC Tyrone Thomas to lose 20-19. Having captained the U23’s to their last IS victory Flt Lt Craig Percival is now coaching the team. They faced the Royal Navy holders to start, and led by one point 17-16 after the first quarter, having produced some superb play. Flt Lt Rob Humpston saw them lead 68-47 in the third quarter, befor they finished 85-60 at the end. Facing off against the Army the Service hit quick points through AC George Eldred and SAC Ash Hands to lead 27-16 after the first quarter. Better was to come with SAC(T) Tom Gibbs and Cpl Marcus Shields controlling the game for a 53-26 half-time lead. Despite a late rally from the Army, the RAF ran out 80-46 winners and champions. The women’s team lost their championship 10-0 to the Army, while the Vets lost 59-8, having had a harsh final minute finish to lose 45-50.

The men, who had lead form the very start to almost the last second of their opening clash against the Army, went down 7472, succumbing to a 20 to 10 point run in the fourth quarter. A focused RAF side knew that a four-point win would secure the tournament, and with the game tied with less than 10 seconds left could have won at the free throw line. Instead they opted to go for overtime to win the tournament by

purposely missing the remaining two shots. The Navy had other ideas sadly and when they got the ball back they hit a closely contested three-pointer with a couple of seconds left. Thomas then got a good shot off as the buzzer sounded, but agonizingly it missed by inches and the RAF men’s team were left to face up the fact that they will have to wait until next year, before the can attempt to lift the Inter-Service trophy.

hoopla: Above clockwise from top, action form a blisteting of Inter-Services action for the RAF’s basketball stars PHOTOS: SBS

Royal Air Force News Friday, May 4, 2018 P30

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Sport skydiving


Para heat for Hall

Parachutists mark RAF 100 from 13,000 feet THE SKIES above Fort Bragg in Northern Carolina the Service’s parachutists underwent training with the US Army Golden Knights Parachute Display Team. The association’s jumps involved a mixture of ranks, trades and experience with the; ‘sole aim of making better, safer skydivers whilst training to parachute to display levels’.   A spokesman said: “The accuracy means leaving an aircraft from anything between 3000ft and 13,000ft, before landing on a five metres diameter zone.”   “This event was part of the RAFSPA 100 events and the experience afforded by the US Army was simply 1st class.   During the visit RAFSPA conducted an accuracy competition which was won by Cpl ‘Brem’  Bremner in the senior category and Cpl Vicky Hocking

gritty display: Above, Hall and Garcia dig in during a sandy stretch of the rally whic provided a challenging change of scenary for the RAF co-driver PHOTO: ML photosport

DUST AND heat were not the only obstacles in Paraguay, for SAC Phil Hall in the Super Rally del Nanduti alongside Skoda Fabia R5 driver Miguel Garcia. The newly formed duo had a dream start to the tough event, leading overall until a damaged radiator demoted the Saba Competición run Skoda back to fourth, narrowly missing out on a podium spot in the searing heat of the event near the country’s capital,

Ascuncion. The 29 year old RAF man had little time to prepare for his debut event in South America coming fresh from another successful outing in the JWRC, Hall had only just finished contesting the tricky mountainous asphalt roads of the infamous Tour de Corse, before heading to Paraguay. All was going well until a time consuming spin saw the pair drop off the top spot and while pressing to make up time, the Fabia endured

a damaged radiator after a heavy landing on the final stage. Nursing the car to the end, Hall guided Garcia to fourth overall by the time they crossed the finish ramp. Hall said: “That was such an incredible rally, I thought that my experience in Mexico last month may help with the transition to rallying in Paraguay, but the stages were very unique and nothing like I’ve experienced before, which made it a great experience.”

(development). Hocking’s achievement was all the more impressive as she only started competing late 2017, gaining selection for the Service’s 2018 line up where she will represent the RAF in all of the major UK National competitions. Sqn Ldr Marcus Fountain, RAFSPA chairman, said: “The opportunity to train overseas, away from the pressures of work should not be underestimated.

This trip was simply outstanding, the Golden Knights proving to be most generous hosts and great representatives of the US Army. The friendships and the parachuting skills we developed will last a life time.   The RAF100 photo was a fantastic end to an outstanding event.” FLAG BEARERS: Above, The team jumped with the help of the US Army and bearing the Union Flag from 13,000ft. PHOTO: SFC Justin Little, US Army.

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Sport football

CAPITAL GAINS: Left, Wembley Stadium, above and below, Brownhill shwoing his stuff against the Army in the Inter-Services PHOTOs: sbs/pa

London calling for Service star

Brownhill prepares to step out on hallowed turf Ken Guant Air Command No matter how big or small your football club is, Wembley is the UK’s football temple. For most English players it remains just a dream to play at the iconic stadium. For Cpl Lewis Brownhill, based at RAF Benson, and his team-mates at Thatcham Town that dream has become a reality. Thatcham have also secured promotion after beating Highworth. The pride of Berkshire and the Hellenic League will appear at the national stadium

on May 20 when they contest the FA Vase final against Stockton Town. “I am really proud to be part of this group of players,” said Lewis. “The club is having an exceptional season and obviously getting to Wembley is a marvellous achievement. “However we have to concentrate on the job in hand and not be distracted by what lies ahead, no matter how attractive it is. “We have a talented squad and we all want to play. There is real competition for places and it keeps you on your toes.” At the age of 30, Lewis is just


Gledhill glad all over

AFTER JUST three years in the game, Coningsby cricketer Flt Lt Victoria Gledhill has been named best all-rounder for the 2017 season, winning the inaugural Alison Mothersill Trophy. Gledhill, currently serving as a Battlespace Management Flight Safety Officer, in Air Traffic Control, said: “I am delighted to win such an important award, itinspires me to keep training hard to make the United Kingdom Armed Forces Cricket Team in the future.” She added: “Cricket really is a true team sport, where everyone has an important part to play. It continues to give me the mental and physical challenge I enjoy.” The trophy is named after Alison Mothersill, a passionate

supporter of RAF women’s cricket, who passed away last year. Her husband Richard presented the trophy at the Nuffield Pavilion, Halton. Speaking of the £2000 fundraising donation for the hospital which took care of Mothersill and RAF women’s cricket. RAF team captain, Flt Lt Claire Strickland, said: “This generous gift will be carefully invested in developing our players and we will continue to share Alison’s passion for women’s cricket.” The association kicks off its season against St Edward’s School, Oxford, starting the season for RAF Men’s and Women’s XI. An association spokesman said: “The RAF Cricket Association has

two years younger than Thatcham manager Danny Robinson, who has nothing but praise for the former Manchester City Academy player. “When the younger lads see Lewis in the dressing room it gives them a lift, “ said Robinson. Lewis was released by boyhood heroes City while younger brother Josh was shown the door by Manchester United. He now plays for Bristol City while another brother Joel plays for Ashton Athletic. Lewis was 18 years and 22 days old when he joined the RAF. Not only is an integral part of a vibrant the great pleasure of being invited to play both a men’s and a women’s T20 match against St Edward’s School. “The school is rich in RAF Heritage with a glittering alumni including Guy Gibson and Douglas Bader and it is exciting to be taking part in this event during our RAF100 year.”  The spokesman added: “The RAF Cricket Association welcomes regular or reservist serving RAF men and women. “Our home ground is Vine Lane Cricket Club, Uxbridge and our Home for Sport is RAF Halton.” lFor more information visit: raf-cricket-association or email: Or follow on Facebook: Royal Air Force Cricket Association or on Twitter @RAFCricket and @ RAFLadiesCC.

hatcham side, he is also a regular member of the RAF representative and the UK Combined Services squads. And he has again been named in the UK Combined Services squad for the upcoming fixtures against their Ireland and German counterparts. Lewis

added: “Sport is massive in the RAF and you get a lot of time off to play football. But it means a lot of hard work as well. “There is plenty of banter among the lads in the squadron as well. It is a bit like a dressing room in that respect, which is good fun.”

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Sport motorsport

JAKE OF ALL TRADES: Above, Dixon heads up a chasing pack during his best ever finish at the world famous Brands Hatch track, above right, Weaving was hindered by technical issues during a battling weekend of racing PHOTOGRAPHS: DHOLLANDPHOTOGRAPHY

Dixon hatches plan for points Sixth place at rain-soaked Brands circuit following race restart Daniel Abrahams Brands Hatch FURTHER FRUSTRATION greeted Jake Dixon and the Josh Weaving of RAF Regular and Reserves Kawasaki team at the second round of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship at Brands Hatch. After a mixed outing at the season opener at a rain-soaked Donington Park, where he secured 11th and 12th place finishes, he was

hoping to kickstart his season at the world famous track. Once again changing weather conditions hindered his efforts. During free practice, Dixon found himself down in 16th place overall, eventually producing a seventh grid place after qualifying, which he brilliantly transformed into sixth straight from the race start. The RAF rider dropped back a place on lap eight but came back after a great battle to reclaim the place and take his best result of the

season. Starting in sixth for the second race, he burst through to third before rain stopped the race. Restarting a reduced 22 lap contest things soon developed into a five-rider fight for the win with Dixon in the midst of the action. Consistently in the top three places, the RAF rider looked set to claim his first podium of the season, before on lap 17 he crashed out Dixon said: “It’s been a tough and disappointing weekend and to

THE SERVICE’S equestrian association went back to its roots at Flemish Farm, Windsor recently for a three-day Development Training and Competition event. The programme was broken down into Dressage and Show Jumping training, with the reward of a hack round Windsor Park in the middle of the event. The event allowed for 10 riders compete on their own rides and some supplied by the Farm, before being spilt into groups for the training depending on riding ability and current competition level. The first morning consisted of dressage lessons, while the

afternoon concentrated on show jumping, while the second day the groups were broken down for a dressage competition. In the dressage SAC Trudy Gaston finished first on a farm horse, while WO Saul Vine came second on Diamond Buffett and Sgt Kerry Norgate third on Archie. The final day consisted of a show jumping competition, which proved to be tight affair, but SAC Trudy Gaston, RAF Swanwick, and her school horse proved unstoppable. Flt Lt Rachel Potts came in second on a farm horse with FS Katherine Norton, also on a farm horse, coming in third.

excellent fifth place he made a strong start and ran in the same position in the early stages before suffering a brake issue on lap eight. The issue dropped him down to 11th, before he battled back to claim 10th, which became ninth after a rider exclusion. Technical issues saw him retire from the second race, when placing fifth. The RAF Regular and Reserve pair visit Oulton Park, Cheshire for the next round.

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Roots prove worth

have picked up just 10 points from the two races is nowhere near what I feel it should have been. “We chipped away all weekend, the bike was working really well in the dry and sixth was a solid result in the opening race and I felt really confident in race two when I was running in third.” Weaving was also in action on the Briggs Equipment Kawasaki ZX-10R in the two Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Championship races and having qualified in an

WO Saul Vine said: “For me it was a fantastic three days. Now I have a chance to achieve an ambition I’ve always had to compete for the RAF. The people were brilliant with lots of positive encouragement which really gave me a huge amount of confidence.” Fg Off Penny Harrison, RAF Wyton  said: “I had an absolutely brilliant time. “My school horse Hector really looked after me, and helped to improve my confidence jumping no end. “A highlight had to be our hack round the Great Park – the view to Windsor Castle down The Long Walk was just stunning. It was lovely to meet everyone and really feel like part of the RAF equine community”.   Follow the association on Twitter @RAFEquestrian

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Sport rugby union JOYFUL AND TRIUMPHANT: Above, Flt Lt Rob Bell celebrates a hard-fought win at Halton over the Army, below, Cpl Petrina Stone, jinks inside on a poweful run during the women’s dominant win at The Stoop PHOTOS: SBS

A night to remember Continued from back page: Further tries from Cpl Abigail Newey, Cpl Maria Waghorn, Fg Off Emma Tadman and Cpl Amy Cokayne produced a rousing win that set the day off in the perfect way. They now face a wait for the outcome of the Army versus Navy clash at Twickenham to see if they are able to win the IS title, as several players prepare to don the light blue shirt for the last time. Women’s team captain Flt Lt Chrissy Siczowa said: “It’s an amazing place to be playing at, it was so hot out there, but we were clinical throughout. It’s always good to score and to score first

here at The Stoop was great, but we had scores coming throughout the team, which is great. I am so proud of them all.” Chasing their first IS title since 2015, the men’s team got off to a great start from the boot of Sgt Andy Byrne to lead 6-0 after 11 minutes, for what would prove to be an amazing first half of rugby, with tit for tat scores as the RAF cancelling out the RN advantage within minutes. Having led 21-14 at the break, the hosts levelled on 45 minutes. Not to be deterred the RAF produced extensive periods of powerful play putting the Navy under intense pressure, finally getting their reward with a 69th minute try from Flt Lt Rob Bell, with Byrne opening up a 10 point lead with a 76th minute penalty. A late spill of the ball on the try line from the hosts’ jangled a few

nerves, but it also meant the score remained the same and the RAF took the Molly Rose and Babcock trophies. It had all started so differently as the hosts went behind to an early Army barrage. With their opponents reduced to 14 men they clawed back the score line with tries from SAC Ross McDougall and Philpott, before holding on after a late Army try took the scores to a single point. RAFRU chairman Air Cdre Steve Lushington said: “What a fantastic day of rugby. “Lots of hard work went into getting the team ready for today’s fixture and all credit must go to players, coaches and support teams who got everything spot on. “The women also had a fantastic result – again a huge amount of preparation went into the game and it showed with their victory.”

CELEBRATE: Above top, the men’s team celebrate at Halton, the women’s team are all smiles at The Stoop, Twickenham, members of the RAF Vice Presidents Association show their excitement, players jump off the bench after the final whistle PHOTOS: SBS

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Sport Tough day for Dixon at Brands Hatch

Hall firing on all cylinders during rally in Paraguay

Football star Lewis Brownhill heads to Wembley

l Sport P32

l Sport P30

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Stoop to conquer

rugby union

Blues double at Twickenham Inter-Service showdown

HISTORY MAKERS: Above, Flt Lt Lloyd Owen with Fg Off Sam Randle looking on, makes a break, right, Flt Lt Cjrissy Siczowa runs in the women’s opening try PHOTO: SBS

RAF Senior Men’s RU Royal Navy

31 21

RAF Senior Women’s RU Royal Navy

53 3

Daniel Abrahams The Stoop, Twickenham THE SETTING was perfect and the performances the same on a day and night of scintillating rugby union which saw the women’s team humble their Royal Navy counterparts 53-3, while the men were Inter-Service champions beating their hosts 3121. Men’s captain Flt Lt Stu Philpott said: “I think what happened tonight was the culmination of five years of

work and graft, a lot of it goes on behind the scenes – there’s a team of individuals that came together to produce a performance that was mature, accurate, persistent and everything we wanted. It was no surprise to us that we won and no surprise we are were we are.” The IS challenge started a week earlier with a hard fought one point win (20-19) over the Army at Halton, while the women suffered a tough late 10-0 defeat at the hands of the team in red. In boiling conditions the women’s team kicked off the festivities at The Stoop, with a terrific display of open running football, in sweltering conditions, with team captain Flt Lt Chrissy Siczowa running on the first try, with further tries from Cpl Annie Forbes and a hat-trick from SAC(T) Charlie Murray. Cont page 34:

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