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Friday February 10 2017 No 1412 70p


Tracking Putin's 'Ship of Shame'

See p4-5

Ex-Gunner Luke on top of world IED-blast hero goes global


Six Nations joy for SAC Murray

to set endurance record

l Sport P29


RAF keep up winning ways

l Read injured athlete's

amazing story on page 7

l Sport P35

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Royal Air Force News Friday, February 10, 2017 P3


We have been tracking them from the moment they left Syria

” Wg Cdr Jon Whitworth on

man-marking the Russian carrier Kuznetsov in UK waters– p4-5

I don’t know how to top this - I might climb Mount Everest

Former Gunner and Afghan bomb survivor Luke Wigman on becoming a record breaking endurance runner – p7

There’s no point doing it if you can’t have fun

Actress and former Bond Girl Gemma Arterton – R’n’R p5

The threat replication on Red Flag is truly unique

6 Sqn’s Wg Cdr Billy Cooper on training in Nevada – p18-19

Forces housing does not offer what our people want - it needs to be better

Head of Defence People Lt Gen Richard Nugee on MoD housing policy reforms – p10

tanker debut

Voyager makes Red Flag debut RAF giant fuels the fight during world’s biggest air combat exercise

The RAF’s Voyager tanker passed a major milestone as it took part in Exercise Red Flag – the world’s largest combat air training drill in the United States. The Brize Norton-based tanker supported 6 Sqn Typhoons during the complex 6,000-mile journey to the USAF’s Nellis Air Base in Nevada. Live flying on the exercise takes place over the US Air Force’s biggest military training area, over 15,000 square miles of airspace and three million acres of land. Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said: “Britain’s pilots and aircrews will receive unparalleled training and an opportunity to sharpen the combat skills they are demonstrating every day in the fight against Daesh.” Voyager crews based with 10 Sqn and 101 Sqn have flown daily sorties refuelling Typhoons during air-toair and air-to-ground combat drills against simulated enemy forces. Voyager recently completed its first refuelling tests with the fifthgeneration F-35 stealth fighter, also taking part in the exercise. Brize Norton Station Commander Gp Capt Tim Jones said: “We are delighted to be taking part in Exercise Red Flag this year. “Although the Voyager Force has experience of operating with coalition partners on Op Shader, this exercise is the first time we have actively trained with the US Air Force and Royal Australian Air Force. “Whether rehearsing large-scale missions, experiencing complex threats or acting as the air-to-air

Next issue on sale February 24, 2017 Royal Air Force News Room 68 Lancaster Building HQ Air Command High Wycombe Buckinghamshire HP14 4UE Email: Tel: 01494 497412 Editor: Simon Williams Sports Editor: Dan Abrahams Features Editor: Tracey Allen Sport: Tel: 01494 497563 All advertising: Edwin Rodrigues, Tel: 07482 571535 Email: edwin.rodrigues@ Subscriptions: Lesley Brumwell The News Centre, London Road, Portsmouth PO2 9DG Tel: 02392 622522 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.

Tanks a lot: Voyager launches refuelling mission during Exercise Red Flag in Nevada

refuelling package commander, the exercise has provided us with the opportunity to participate in professionally demanding and rewarding military training that is unequalled anywhere else.”

The exercise has also given RAF Typhoon crews the chance to hone their war-fighting skills alongside the F-35 stealth fighter, operated by the USAF. The fifth-generation aircraft


is due to enter service in the UK next year. The RAF’s famous 617 ‘Dambuster’ Sqn will be the first unit to operate the aircraft, from RAF Marham. l See p18-19 for more on Red Flag

Royal Air Force News Friday, February 10, 2017 P4


Inside the military command centre man-marking Putin’s Ship of Shame

overwatch: RAF Typhoons supported by Voyager tankers track the Russian carrier and battlecruiser

NATO scrambles UK Typhoons to track Kuznetsov Staff Reporter

The Russian aircraft carrier General Kuznetsov left British territorial waters after a major NATO air and maritime operation to shadow the ageing vessel on its 2,000-mile voyage home from Syria. Four RAF Typhoons and HMS St Albans, a Type 23 frigate, tracked the carrier, dubbed the ‘Ship of Shame’ by Defence Secretary Michael Fallon, as it entered the Channel accompanied by the nuclear-powered Petr Velikiy battle cruiser and a service tug. The vessels sailed through the English Channel into the North Sea as they headed back to Russia after supporting air strikes against Anti-Assad forces in the Syrian city of Aleppo. The Russian deployment has provoked international condemnation from Coalition defence chiefs for increasing the plight of civilians trapped in the city. Mr Fallon said: “We will keep a close eye on the Admiral Kuznetsov as it skulks back to Russia; a ship of shame

whose mission has only extended the suffering of the Syrian people. “We are man-marking these vessels every step of the way around the UK as part of our steadfast commitment to keep Britain safe.” The Kuznetsov, carrying Russian Su 33 and MiG 29 fighters used in bombing raids, has been monitored by NATO allies since it set sail from the war-torn country earlier this month. As the vessels entered UK waters in the Channel RAF Typhoons and HMS St Albans took over from French Rafale jets and navy ships. The UK operations were co-ordinated by the Joint Force Air Control Centre at RAF Air Command and the Chief of Joint Operations at Northwood. Royal Air Force Typhoons have been scrambled 12 times in the past 12 months to escort Russian military aircraft nearing NATO air space around the UK. Royal Navy

frigates were also deployed 12 times last year to shadow Russian navy vessels entering UK waters during routine training exercises. Despite rising tensions between NATO allies and Russia over military action in the Baltic and Black sea states UK forces were notified of the Kuznetsov’s route. Wg Cdr Jon Whitworth said: “This was a pre-planned mission to track and monitor the Kuznetsov task group. “We are showing our presence not taking up a defensive posture. “Although the Russian military have previously been known to push the boundaries with longdistance flights near NATO’s northern airspace, on this occasion they have stuck to the rules and regulations all the way.” The operation has provided the

RAF and Navy with a chance to hone the integration of combat air and maritime vessels. As the UK prepares to bring two new aircraft carriers into service the combination of air and sea power is seen as vital to UK security. Wg Cdr Whitworth said: “Air and Maritime integration is something that we work hard to get right – with the new Elizabeth class carriers it is vitally important. “This operation has provided us with an opportunity to make sure that we have that co-ordination, not just with the Royal Navy but with NATO maritime and air too. “From the moment the Russian vessels left the coast of Syria they have been monitored. “The scale of this operation is impressive – the level of complexity has been high.”

An RAF Voyager tanker was brought in to refuel the RAF combat jets as the Kuznetsov made its four-day voyage through the Channel and the North Sea before finally leaving UK waters The Joint Force Air Control Centre was poised to deploy other aircraft into the area, Wg Cdr Whitworth revealed. He added: “We know the time line and factor everything in and are in constant liaison with Chief of Staff Operations at Northwood. “We brought four Typhoons into the area but were prepared to bring in any other air assets if we need to. However, if the Russians had intended to launch a Sukoi or MiG from the deck we would have been notified. They have followed the right procedures during this operation.”

Royal Air Force News Friday, February 10, 2017, P5


Tornado strikes clears path for advancing Iraqis

On target: Tornado takes off on bombing mission, inset, view from the cockpit display as a Paveway IV strikes its target.

Staff Reporter RAF crews bombed a Daesh heavy machine gun position targeting advancing Iraqi troops during the battle for Mosul. The veteran RAF jets spotted the terror group fighters preparing to ambush an Iraqi unit, south of Iraq’s second city where Daesh is battling to retain its last stronghold in the country. The aircraft launched a Paveway IV strike to obliterate the position and killing a number of insurgents as the advancing Iraqi units pushed on into the city. RAF Typhoons have also been in action in the city supporting ground forces which have retaken the eastern half of the city after

weeks of intense street by street fighting. The UK aircraft blitzed a Daesh lair being used as a weapons dump and a training camp in a Paveway IV strike. In a separate strike launched a Hellfire strike on military trucks carrying heavily-armed members of the terror group, 40 miles south west of the Iraqi’s Al Asad airfield. The coalition has conducted more than 17,861 air strikes since the start of the operation more than two years ago, with 10,993 in Iraq and 6,868 in Syria, according to the US military. The UK is the biggest contributor to the fight against terror after the US.

Chief of the Defence Staff Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach today welcomed his Egyptian counterpart to London to discuss shared challenges and threats, including that posed by Daesh. Egyptian air chief Lieutenant General Mahmoud Hegazy flew into London for terror talks with Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart and Defence Secretary Michael Fallon. Egypt is seen as a key ally in the fight against Islamist terrorism and the UK will be taking part in antiIED training with the Egyptian military later this year. Mr Fallon said: “With a strengthening relationship and as a key partner in defence and military matters, Britain is working with Egypt to combat threats, including from Daesh terrorism in Sinai and Libya. “Deepening our relationship with Egypt helps ensure stability in the Middle East and improves safety and security here in Britain.”

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Royal Air Force News Friday, February 10, 2017 P7

News iron man

IED blast ex-Gunner has world at his feet

l 7 marathons, 7 continents, 7 days l Bid to raise £1m for new rehab centre l Wigman is fastest Brit ever over course Tracey Allen Air Command AN EX-RAF Regiment Gunner whose leg was shattered in an IED blast in Afghanistan has fought back to become the fastest Brit to complete the gruelling world marathon challenge, competing on every continent in just one week. Luke Wigman completed seven marathons in seven different countries in seven days – and knocked two-and-a-half hours off the event’s then world record time. The former Gunner, 30, said: “My ultimate goal was to smash the world record, though a new one was set by American Michael Wardian who won the whole event. He is one of the best ultra marathon runners in world. “About 50 people have run the world marathon challenge since it started in 2003 – I can claim to be the fastest British person to complete it.” The ex-RAF Regiment SAC and his former Army officer pal Ibi Ali, 39, ran 183.4 miles and flew for 59 hours, covering 2 7 , 0 0 0

miles, to raise money for a new rehabilitation centre for the military and civilians. Luke, who had treatment at the Headley Court military rehab unit after he stepped on the IED in 2011, said: “What got me through the marathons when the going got tough was thinking about why I was doing this and how the new centre would benefit other people – that gives you the drive to keep on.”







Afric erica

S. Am



N. Am



Someone planted that bomb to take me out of the game, but I wanted to come out the other side as a winner

He met Ibi, who lost an arm to a buried bomb while serving in Iraq, during training for the Invictus Games in Florida last year. Luke said: “We have both been through rehab and seen how effective it can be, it quite literally gives some people their life back.” He added: “There are so many opportunities in life, I can’t believe it took someone blowing me up and mangling my leg to experience them. “Someone put that bomb on the ground to take me out of the game and ruin my life, but I wanted to come out the other side a winner. “You can go two ways in life, you can give in, you can blame the world and

RUNNING MAN: Luke Wigman finishing each of the marathons and (below, left) with his medal. (Below right) With his Invictus Games gold

say this isn’t fair, but if I did that the person who laid that device would have won. I refuse to let that happen.” The Invictus Games gold medal-winning athlete and former Captain Ibi, who won the Military Cross, want to raise £1 million for the new Defence and National Rehabilitation Centre in Loughborough, due to open next year. The centre won backing from UK billionaire the Duke of Westminster, who donated £50 million to kickstart the project shortly before his death last year. Luke battled extreme cold in Antarctica and searing heat in Dubai – at one stage moving up to second place overall. He suffered a setback losing seven minutes during the Dubai stage, eventually coming home fourth. He finished third in the marathons in Antarctica, Chile, Miami, Marrakech and Sydney and

fourth in Madrid and is the fastest Briton ever to complete the event. He added: “Finishing the challenge feels incredible. To be honest, it just feels so great that it’s all over after all the planning and training – it has been a long time coming, about six months. “I was quite nervous before the first marathon, I didn’t know what to expect, never having done an ultra event before. I’m over the moon to have done it.” The part-time emergency care assistant for East Midlands Ambulance Service said he hadn’t decided which challenge to take up next. He added: “I don’t know how I’m going to top this one – it might be tackling Mount Everest.” Luke’s epic fundraising bid has also won him admiration across the RAF. Flt Lt Si Phillips, who completed his own ambitious

fundraising effort to run 100 miles in under 24 hours, said: “Luke and Ibi’s achievement is an incredible example of the resilience of the human spirit in the face of adversity. “Despite their wartime injuries Luke and Ibi proved that we should never doubt our ability to achieve great things so long as we are willing to work hard and give our all. “I have overwhelming respect for the amount of effort that has been put in to this challenge and the fundraising which will help to change the lives of injured troops for decades to come.” And Gp Capt Richard Langley, Deputy Commander of the RAF Regiment, tweeted: “Fantastic result. Putting substance to the motto Per Ardua Through Adversity. Outstanding.” n For details on how to donate go to:



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Royal Air Force News Friday, February 10, 2017 P9


UK defence to pioneer combat lasers with £30m research deal New generation of energy beam weapons in use by 2020s Lorraine Proudlock UK ARMED Forces could be using laser weapons in the mid 2020s as work progresses on developing a prototype to be used on combat aircraft and ships. The Ministry of Defence has awarded a £30m contract to a consortium, UK Dragonfire, to produce a prototype – to be demonstrated in 2019 – to see if directed energy technology could benefit the Armed Forces. Tests using an optical fibre laser producing a 25mm wide beam are already underway at DSTL’s site at Porton Down in Wiltshire Directed energy weapons could potentially be used to destroy drone aircraft, missiles, mortars, roadside bombs and a host of other threats.

LIGHTNING STRIKE: How the laser could be used on the RAF’s fifth-generation F-35 stealth fighter; below, multiple laser weapons fitted to a type 45 Destroyer

BEAM ME UP:: How the Dragonfire laser weapon might look on a military vehicle.

The laser system would offer an endless magazine – able to be fired all the time the aircraft, ship or land vehicle it is fitted to is producing energy. If the testing programme is successful, the first laser weapons could come into service in the mid2020s, defence chiefs say. The 10kw laser can generate upto 1000 degrees of heat – enough to melt metal plates used in testing. Project scientist Dr Lee Kendall said: “We have tested most metals, as well as breeze blocks and composite materials. “One important side of the research is to future-proof equipment. We’ve had industry pop along and say ‘bet you can’t burn this.’ We hand it back with a hole in it and tell them to try again.” Peter Cooper of DSTL said the laser programme would help the MoD to understand the full potential of laser-directed energy and look at the costs to ensure it was affordable. “Currently all of our testing is static, we will need to test from a moving platform, such as a ship, to a moving threat such as an armed drone. “Missiles are increasingly

expensive whereas the cost of firing lasers is currently less than £1 a shot. “By 2019 I want to know that we can have a relevant system that works and can track a target.” Dragonfire military advisor Lt

Cmd Geraint Davies said: “I don’t see lasers replacing conventional missiles but in a world of layered air defence it can be a vital addition. “It’s fantastically exciting as it’s got a massive capability. “Why use a missile which costs

millions to shoot down a drone for example, particularly when an insurgent can order another drone off Amazon? “You can fire them until the day is long. “Commanders can then keep

their missiles for more potent threats.” The UK Dragonfire consortium comprises MBDA, Qinetiq, Leonardo-Finmeccanica GKN, Arke, BAE Systems and Marshall ADG.

Royal Air Force News Friday, February 10, 2017 P10


Forces families eye rental sector under Defence housing revamp Staff Reporter

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Edwin Rodrigues on 07482 571535

MORE MILITARY families could be living in rented accommodation and their own homes under plans to reform Forces housing. A major survey carried out by Defence chiefs reveals military personnel want more choice and a move away from rank-based housing to a system that takes their family needs into account. Under the MoD’s Future Accommodation Model Forces families could be given the option to move into private rental accommodation, backed with £450 million in subsidies for those working in areas where property prices are high like the South East. Military personnel will also be encouraged to buy their own houses by extending the existing Help to Buy Scheme which has helped more than 10,000 get a foot on the property ladder since its launch in 2015. The survey into the MoD’s planned housing reforms has divided the military across the ranks. Half of the junior ranks polled support the proposed changes, while less than a quarter of senior officers gave the scheme their backing. More than 40 per cent showed a strong preference for owning a home near or away from work while 37 per cent said they would chose Services Family Accommodation if it was offered at the same cost as renting. Chief of Defence People Lt Gen Richard Nugee said: “The current system does not offer what our people want. “There are some benefits that we want to keep but there also disadvantages. “Our research shows that most people in single living accommodation want to live elsewhere. “A lot of them have families but are not able to live close because they are not married, or have children from previous relationships. “The effect of Forces

housing is often cited as a reason for leaving the Services. “Getting onto the ladder is a good thing and our people want help with that. “With providing rental alternatives we will offer a straight subsidy to make sure people do not pay more than they do now. “We want to make it even across the piste and take on the burden where costs are high rather than leave it to the individual. “The rate people will pay will be standard across the board – that is what we are trying to do.” A pilot scheme will be launched across all three Services next year although changes are not likely to be formally introduced for a number of years, the MoD said. An estimated 4700 homes have already been upgraded under a £4 billion Ministry of Defence housing programme. Lt Gen Nugee added: “We have found it hard to ensure all accommodation is of the standard we wish it to be for our people. “It needs to be better. If that means we use private landlords in some cases we should consider it.” HOUSE CALL: Head of Defence People Lt Gen Richard Nugee says Services must give military personnel more accommodation choices

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Royal Air Force News Friday, February 10, 2017 P13

News NATO security

CDS seals Romanian defence pledge Typhoons and UK troops will boost NATO mission in troubled Black sea states Staff Reporter The UK is strengthening defence and trade links with Romania as RAF Typhoons prepare to police the skies over the Black Sea region to quell security fears as Russia continues to ramp up its military presence Chief of the Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach, held talks with Romanian counterpart Lt General Nicolae-lonel Ciucă in London this month to discuss NATO’s commitment to maintaining peace in the region. Four Typhoons from RAF Coningsby are due to fly out to Mihail Kogălniceanu Airbase in Romania to police NATO airspace over the troubled region. British troops will also deploy to Romania on training exercises later this year along the country’s south eastern border. A Royal Navy Type 45 Destroyer is due to arrive at a Romanian port during military drills as part

of the UK’s support for the NATO mission. ACM Sir Stuart said: “The UK shares an important defence relationship with Romania, both bilaterally and as part of our membership of NATO. “We continue to recognise the key role Romania plays within the Alliance, including their commitment to increase defence spending to meet the two per cent of GDP target this year.” The RAF’s latest role in Eastern Europe follows similar operations over the last three years in the Baltic. During the most recent four-month NATO tour UK fast jets were scrambled more than 20 times to intercept and escort Russian fighters, bombers and surveillance aircraft skirting sovereign airspace. NATO ally: CDS ACM Sir Stuart Peach with Romanian Defence chief Lt Gen Nicolae-lonel Ciucă, inset above, Typhoon intercepts Russian Coot spy plane over the Baltic PHOTO: Sgt Ross Tilly

defence contract

US Navy pact will net Poseidon savings Staff Reporter RAF chiefs are to work alongside the US Navy in a bid to slash the costs of operating the new P8 Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft which will protect the UK’s nuclear submarine fleet. Defence minister Harriett Baldwin has signed a declaration with US Deputy Defence Secretary Bob Work which will see RAF and US marine teams both operating the aircraft work more closely on maintenance and development. She said: “The declaration provides a new opportunity to maximise value for money for the taxpayer and continue to strengthen UK and US interoperability and to pursue efficiencies in operations and support.” The Boeing-built P8 will enter Service in the UK in 2020, replacing the maritime surveillance capability lost when the Nimrod fleet was axed. The RAF will receive nine of the aircraft equipped with a range of sensors which can track vessels

News bulletin

sea view: Poseidon P8 maritime patrol aircraft arrives in UK in 2020, below right, RAF crews training alongside US Navy on the Seedcorn programme, inset below right Defence Minister Harriett Baldwin

FAREWELL: Gp Capt Phil Robinson walks off WO Steve Cato

WO retires after almost 40 years

underwater to guard the UK’s submarine-based nuclear deterrent. The aircraft will also carry out surveillance operations and search and rescue missions.

RAF crews have been training alongside US Navy and Australian and Canadian Air Force squadrons already operating the aircraft as part of the Seedcorn programme

launched after Nimrod was axed to maintain maritime patrol capability. The US deal follows a similar agreement with the Norwegian Air Force reached last year.

RAF Odiham Warrant Officer Steve Cato has retired after 39 years Service. Since joining in 1978 as a MTD, he served at Brize Norton, Laarbruch, High Wycombe, Innsworth, Kinloss, Stafford, Lyneham and Odiham. On his final day in uniform, WO Cato was walked off station by CO Gp Capt Phil Robinson, whilst Odiham personnel lined the exit road to pay tribute and thank him for his services as the MTO for the last 4 years.

Royal Air Force News Friday, February 10, 2017 P15


This stunning shot of Chinooks in action over a lake during a training exercise with the 16 Air Assault Brigade was captured by Forces photographer Cpl Wayne Page. The image taken at the Thetford Training range earned Cpl Page a cash prize in the annual Forces Mutual photographic competition.


Gunners mark 75th Simon Mander RAF REGIMENT personnel from across Britain gathered at a special ceremony in Ipswich in the first of a year of events to mark the 75th anniversary of the formation of the Corps. Gunners past and present and their families attended the service at St Edmundsbury Cathedral, including RAF Deputy Chaplain in Chief (Operations) The Reverend Gp Capt Tim Wright. He said: “Today is an opportunity to thank God for the work and life of the RAF Regiment.

Through adversity the RAF Regiment has brought stability and hope

SWO long Slap Station Warrant Officer Simon ‘Slap’ Rowlands has retired from RAF Linton-on-Ouse after 32 years in the Service.

He handed over the SWO’s cane to his successor, WO Andrea Morrell, at the North Yorkshire station this month.

“Faithfully the Regiment has served, and we remember those who have served whilst committing ourselves to the future. Through adversity the RAF Regiment has brought stability and hope” Taking part in the ceremony was new recruit LAC Gell Louis, who said: “I’ve just finished my training and been posted to No II Sqn RAF Regiment, a real honour. But today, to be the bearer of the RAF Regiment 75th candle has been amazing. “To meet and speak to experienced members of the Corps at such a ceremony has been a real privilege; this is where my future is.” And among the families of those who have served in the unit’s ranks since it was formed was Olive

Tribute: Former CAS, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Dalton leads the Service at St Edmundsbury Cathedral

Hathaway, 84, whose husband Henry served for 34 years in the RAF Regiment. “My husband started in the RAF Regiment as a ground gunner in Burma and spent the next 34 years serving with the Corps,” she said. “Today’s service was a wonderful experience and on his behalf I have once again felt the unique fellowship which is the RAF Regiment.” The Corps is marking its historic milestone by staging the biggest

single-Service expedition ever undertaken, sponsored by all the key military charities. Around 300 personnel will take part in Exercise Diamond Rock and will cover more than 20,000 miles across the world by climbing, mountain bike and sailing. The adventurous training is the centrepiece of a series of 42 sporting and ceremonial events to mark the formation of the Corps by King George VI in January 1942.

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Royal Air Force News Friday, February 10, 2017 P17

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

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The RAF Club isn’t letting Service down

The Padgate to hell

I write to correct a misunderstanding regarding the RAF Club, which was in the Letters page of the December 2 edition under the headline ‘Elitist RAF Club is failing the Service’. The RAF Club is a private members’ club with a board of trustees who manage the club in the best interests of the members - it is not an adjunct to the Service in any way; and thus can’t be failing the Service in any way. Whilst the RAF Club makes no discrimination on the basis of race, sex, sexuality, age, religion – in line with what the author refers to as ‘the latest laws, legislations and social trends’ – there is absolutely no legal impediment to a private members’ club setting other preconditions for membership, such as that requiring members were officers. Sqt Quickmire proposes ‘that by extending membership to RAF

I kept a diary during my time as a National Service recruit and also wrote long letters to my parents. My father, AVM Sir Leslie Brown, was Commandant of the School of Land/Air Warfare at RAF Old Sarum in 1946 and my description of RAF Padgate so concerned him that the contents of my letters were forwarded to the

Many thanks for the excellent book prize which I received from you recently. An excellent read with a rather sad ending. Allan Brooks Sent by email

Chief of the Air Staff. I believe that, as a result, conditions improved but I don’t know by how much as I never saw the place again. I was a prolific cartoonist and often sent home drawings of Service life, like the one here. After being delivered to the ‘Intake Huts’ at Padgate we queued

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

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


RAF’s fifth generation stealth fighter unleashed

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

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


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

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

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

for tea in a huge hall. Our obvious newness resulted in jeers and mockery from the slightly more senior recruits. “You’ll be sorry,” they cried, and in that grey, rain-swept, industrial landscape I didn’t find it difficult to believe them. Robin Brown Sent by email

NCOs this would demonstrate that the club, and indeed the RAF as a whole, are moving with the current egalitarian and meritocratic times’. The fact his proposal specifies NCOs and not ‘all ranks’ is not particularly egalitarian of itself. The fact he makes a proposal in RAF News at all compounds the misunderstanding: it is exactly the same as if he wrote to Soldier Magazine proposing our next door neighbours, the Cavalry and Guards Club, extend membership to RAF NCOs. Without wishing to air club business in public (what a private members’ club does within the bounds of the law is only the business of the membership), recent events saw a hard-fought battle to get planning permission to convert under-used squash courts into extra accommodation – because members were finding it difficult to book rooms when required. Whilst I hosted my Senior NCOs in my Mess for Christmas exchange drinks, I am glad there are no plans to extend RAF Club membership as widely as Sgt Quickmire may desire – but this stems from pure logistics not elitism. Sqn Ldr C M Collins Provost Marshal (Gibraltar) Sent by email

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

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

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

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

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Feature Exercise Red Flag


TAKE-OFF: RAF Rivet Joint at Nellis

F-35: Fifth-generation airpower




RAF pilots are raising the stakes in Las Vegas and changing up into fifth gear at the world’s largest military training exercise


HE RAF’S current top gun, the Typhoon, has completed its first training sorties alongside the fifth-generation F-35, due to arrive in the UK in 2018. Exercise Red Flag gives Royal Air Force pilots the chance to hone their combat skills alongside US and Australian crews over the vast Nevada desert. While they perfect the skills they use to deadly effect in the war against terror, Coalition crews are training to confront the next threat to global security –whatever it might be. Controlling the skies and air-to-air combat are at the top of the Red Flag syllabus – signalling a radical shift from the counter insurgency warfare of the Afghanistan era to a more complex combat environment. Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said: “The RAF is playing a major role alongside our greatest ally in the world’s leading aerial combat training exercise. “Britain’s pilots and aircrews will receive

unparalleled training and an opportunity to sharpen the combat skills they are demonstrating every day in the fight against Daesh. “Training alongside two of our greatest allies in America and Australia shows how the UK is stepping up internationally, ensuring maximum interoperability with our allies, and in doing so helping keep Britain safer and more secure.”


he pairing of the fourth-generation Typhoon with the fifth-generation F-35 Lightning is at the heart of British combat airpower. The RAF’s 6 Sqn pilots are the first to operate in the same combat air space as the F-35, flying high-stakes air-to-air and ground strike combat sorties. Typhoons also worked alongside the USAF’s combat-proven F-22 Raptors, currently launching operations against Daesh targets in Syria and Iraq. 6 Sqn Commanding Officer Wg Cdr Billy Cooper

(pictured right) said: “We flew eight Typhoons here from RAF Lossiemouth to take part with our US and Australian counterparts. “One of our UK day jobs is protecting sovereign airspace through Quick Reaction Alert, but in Nevada we’ve been air-to-air fighting and carrying out strike missions. “Red Flag’s threat replication is truly unique. We can simulate fighting our way into a target area through a high-threat environment, drop precision munitions on specific targets and then fight our way back out again.” Live flying on the exercise takes place over the US Air Force’s biggest military training area, over 15,000 square miles of airspace and 2.9 million acres of land – an impossible scale to achieve in Europe.


AF Typhoons are currently spearheading the Coalition war on terror across Iraq and Syria and are set to deploy to Romania in May, where they will police NATO skies over the Black Sea states. RAF combat chief Air Marshal Stuart Atha said: “We want to sharpen our combat edge. We need that in today’s ops. “This is not just about looking to the future and the challenges we may face in 2025 – it is also about what we are doing today. “Whether that is Iraq or Syria, the Baltic or the Black Sea, Red Flag is relevant to all of that. “We need to deliver the next generation of capability – it is there now. We have to combine Typhoon force with F-35 and develop the tactics that the fourth and fifth generation aircraft operating together will be employing.”

RAF VOYAGER: Inside tanker’s cockpit during Red Flag MAIN PICTURE: 6 Sqn Typhoons on patrol over Nevada PHOTOS: CPL GRAHAM TAYLOR

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R'n'R UK Box Office Top 10

Film review Moonlight

On general release from February 10 Certificate 15

1 Sing

A brutal story, told with boldness The critics love it; it’s been garnering five star reviews and has won a clutch of prestigious awards. Now Moonlight is tipped for major Oscar success. Written and directed by Barry Jenkins, this moving, memorable film is an absorbing drama focusing on the coming of age of Chiron, a young black man born into a rough neighbourhood in Miami, who is struggling with his sexuality.

All three of its protagonists are excellent – Alex R Hibbert as Little (Chiron as a child) Ashton Sanders as the teenage Chiron and Trevante Rhodes as the adult Chiron (aka Black). Brit actor Naomie Harris (28 Days Later, Pirates Of The Caribbean) delivers a blistering performance as Chiron’s crackaddicted mother and Mahershala Ali (Hidden Figures) is spellbinding as Little’s saviour, Juan, a gentle and empathetic man, despite being a ruthless drug dealer. Moonlight marks Grammynominated singer-songwriter Janelle Monáe’s film debut as Juan’s girlfriend Teresa who becomes a surrogate mother figure for young Chiron. Judging by Monáe’s confident performance, she’s one to watch as an emerging movie actor with a captivating screen presence. Monáe also stars in Hidden Figures, another award-winning, Oscar-tipped title. Also well worthy of mention are Jharrel Jerome as teenage Chiron’s

Theatre review The Twits

On tour Curve Theatre

Kids’ classic is a family treat THE TWITS is a childhood classic that has driven pre-teen culture since many of us were children, and continues to do so to this day, so to see The Twits on stage at the Waterside, Aylesbury, was a treat for both myself and my young son. The initial impression comes from an audience-involvement piece to try to gee up the crowd with music, Mexican waves and a bit of synchronised cheering led

FUN: The Twits

PHOTO: Pamela Raith

by the multi-talented actors that also form part of the Mugglewump monkey family. Whilst I’m personally never a fan of these enforced sing-alongs, my six-year-old clearly loved it and he is much more the target audience for this play. The play starts with a suitably disgusting-looking set (as befits the abode of The Twits) though you also quickly realise that there are slight departures from the original book. None of these changes in any way detract from the story and are purely there to make the flow of the narrative more suitable for a stage performance, and the original storyline is still very much recognisable. In fact, my son barely seemed to notice the differences despite being able to recite the book virtually word for word. The cast were fantastic fun, from the purely horrid Twits through to the loveable and funny Roly Poly bird and the Mugglewump family and their amusing escapades. I would highly recommend this play to anyone with young kids, as it is very much aimed at a younger audience, but that’s not to say that anyone who was a fan of the original book wouldn’t enjoy it too. Review by Ken Pike


T2 Trainspotting (pictured below)

3 La La Land 4 Split 5 Hacksaw Ridge 6


7 Raees 8

xXx: The Return of Xander Cage

9 Jackie 10

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

MOVING: Alex R Hibbert (Little) and Mahershala Ali (Juan), above, with Ashton Sanders as teenage Chiron, left, star in Barry Jenkins's Oscar-nominated Moonlight

friend Kevin and André Holland (Selma) as the adult Kevin. It’s a brutal story, boldly told, not shying away from depicting the stark violence and horrible loneliness young Chiron feels as a homosexual in the macho Miami culture surrounding him that

considers being gay a weakness. Moonlight is an important film and thoroughly deserves to be an Oscar-winner. Review by Tracey Allen R'n'R Rating:


CD review

Deaf Havana All These Countless Nights

Band are back with a bang DEAF HAVANA, the five-man rock band from Norfolk, have returned with a bang with their long awaited album All These Countless Nights. They have progressed their sound into an energetic record filled with a variety of tracks and there is clearly a song for anyone. Veck-Gilodi, lead singer, said the album involved ‘the least hazy, most positive recording experience we’ve ever had’ compared to their last album which saw him ‘spend 99 per cent of my time under the influence of something, usually booze’ after his struggle with his frontman role in 2013. The first track Ashes, Ashes, is beautiful – full of depth and texture,

with a very chilled intro and verses with just vocals and acoustic guitar. Perfect harmonies and catchy lyrics result in a lively performance. There are also some very impressive guitar solos in the tracks Pensacola, 2013 and Like A Ghost that makes you sit back and appreciate the band’s talent. They show off how much their sound has progressed with Trigger by using an unusual timbre for the drums in the song, also shown in track three. This track is unbelievably textured, as is the rest of the record. Track 4, Happiness, is more of a ballad compared to the rest of the album as it has a gripping intro and acoustic guitar introduction

followed by many hooks to intrigue the listener. They constantly remove the drums in this track to gain the attention of the audience’s attention and include many buildups unusual for any rock song. The song also has a great structure and is much slower than the other songs on All These Countless Nights, making it a lovely break in the mixture of bangers Deaf Havana, pictured above, have put on the album, left. Overall this record is a big hit and after the success of their last album ‘Old Souls’ in 2013, this one is sure to be a winner. The band are touring around the UK this month. Review by Georgia Barnard

Royal Air Force News Friday, February 10, 2017 R'n'R 4

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Certificate: 12

National tour

Never Go Back

Dreamboats and Petticoats

TOUGH GUY: As a rule, Jack Reacher always comes out of deadly confrontations on top

You under attack? Wade in like Jack

ollywood heartthrob Tom Cruise returns as Jack Reacher in the exhilarating action thriller Never Go Back – out on DVD and Blu-ray on February 27. Reacher is back to enforce his bold brand of justice, based on the best-selling book series by Lee Child. When Army Major Susan Turner (Cobie Smulders) is framed for treason, Reacher discovers she’s the target of a massive government conspiracy. With help from Turner and a mysterious new ally, Reacher risks everything to take down a powerful organisation that will stop at nothing to protect its secrets. World-famous stunt coordinator Wade Eastwood, who worked with Cruise on Never Go Back and Mission Impossible, offers selfdefence advice and tips from a top professional in the field. He said: “You can learn a lot about self-defence from Jack Reacher – Rule 1: Anything can be a weapon. First off, always be aware of your surroundings and what possible escape routes and weapons are around, even when you are not in a known hostile area. This could save you before something occurs or help you if things escalate. “Remember Reacher’s Rule: Anything can be a weapon. Keys or a pen can inflict minor damage, but after multiple hits will break the enemy down through loss of blood or acute impact strikes. Anything to give you the edge, especially if you are fighting multiple opponents. “Rule 2: Hit them fast. Act vulnerable and then use dynamic


Sue gives ’em the runaround A



Edited by Tracey Allen

surprise to take advantage of the situation. If you are grabbed, you can allow them to think they’ve got you for a moment, then explode out of their hold once they relax into it and escape. “If you have to fight, it’s critical to injure or immobilise your attacker immediately, not get into trading punches. And you don’t want to get closer to your attacker than necessary. Kicking the side or front of the knee is a great way to injure and throw your attacker off balance. If you’re already close, go for the eyes with your fingers or knuckles. You can also use the heel of your palm to strike up under the nose if your attacker is in front of you, or use your elbow to the nose if the attacker is behind. Cause them to think about their injury for a split second, as that is all you may need to overpower them. “Rule 3: Hit them hard. Fighting is not about punching or kicking, it’s about throwing your bodyweight strategically at someone. Use your entire bodyweight to hit or break free rather than your individual muscles because your attacker may be stronger. If you kick the knee, throw your whole body into the kick. Same with throwing the heel of your hand into the nose – don’t just use your arm, use all your weight. Make each hit count and don’t allow a counter attack.” He added: “Prevention is the best defence. want Attackers unsuspecting, vulnerable targets. “Reacher is always ready for anything and you should be too.” n For your chance to win a copy of Never Go Back on DVD – see the next edition of RAF News.

nostalgic evening full of some of the greatest hits of the 60s is in store from February 20-25 with Dreamboats and Petticoats at Aylesbury’s Waterside Theatre. It’s returning to the Waterside to celebrate to 10 years of the multimillion selling albums that inspired the Olivier Award-nominated musical. Written by Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran – the writers behind TV classics Goodnight Sweetheart, Birds of a Feather, The New Statesmen and Shine On Harvey Moon – the show features classic tracks from Roy Orbison, The Shadows, Eddie Cochran, Billy Fury and many more. Set in 1961, emotions are running high as young musicians Norman and Bobby compete to win a national song-writing competition – and the attention of the gorgeous Sue. But when Bobby discovers that shy Laura is no slouch on the piano, love and rock 'n'roll fame beckons. Songs featured include Let’s Dance, To Know Him is to Love

Him, Shaking All Over, Bobby’s Girl, Little Town Flirt, Only Sixteen, Runaround Sue, Happy Birthday Sweet 16, Let it Be Me, Great Pretender, C’mon Everybody and Let’s Twist Again. For your chance to win two tickets to the show on February 20 at 7.30pm, simply complete the following swinging sixties song title: Runaround XXX A) Sue B) Drew C) Lou Email your answer, marked Dreamboats and Petticoats competition, to: competitions@ or post it to: RAF News, Room 68, Lancaster Building, HQ Air Command, High Wycombe, HP14 4UE. Hurry, the closing date for entries is February 16. n Please remember to include your full postal address with all competition entries. n For more details about the show go to: PHOTO: Keith Pattison


Cinema Made In Italy Ciné Lumière, March 1-5

Love is a battlefield all right C

inema Made in Italy returns to London’s Ciné Lumière from March 1-5. This seventh edition of the festival showcases nine new feature films, plus the recently-restored version of Gillo Pontecorvo’s 1966 masterpiece The Battle of Algiers (La Battaglia di Algeri). It will be the very first time this restored version is shown on the big screen in the UK. Screenings are followed by Q&A sessions with the filmmakers, offering audiences the opportunity to get involved in lively discussions. This year’s line-up includes: opening night film 7 Minutes (7 Minuti), selected for the 29th Tokyo International Film Festival Competition, and in the official selection at the 2016 Rome International Film Festival; Pericle the Black (Pericle il Nero), starring Italy’s much-loved Riccardo Scamarcio; and The Confessions (Le Confessioni), starring Toni Servillo, Daniel Auteuil and Connie Nielsen, awarded the Ecumenical Jury Prize at the 2016 Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. In the War for Love (In Guerra per Amore) is a romance set at the end of World War II, when Allied forces landed in Sicily; and Slam – All for a Girl (Slam –Tutto per una ragazza), is based on Nick Hornby’s novel of the same name.

In the War for Love: A handout of tinned milk from the troops (above), and an early example of a selfie, left

The five-day annual event is organised by Istituto Luce-Cinecittà’s promotional department in Rome (Filmitalia), with the support of the Italian Cultural Institute in London, the official agency for the promotion of Italian language and culture in England and Wales. n For the full programme and booking details visit: whats-on/festivals-series/ cinema-made-in-italy-2017

The Big Interview

Their Finest cast

Gemma’s Their Finest Actors and film chiefs all in awe of Arterton


he shot to fame as Bond girl world of show business.” Strawberry Fields in Quantum He added: “I’ve hardly ever of Solace, opposite Daniel Craig come across anyone like Ambrose, as 007. actors are usually very gracious Since then she’s starred on stage in and considerate with one another the musical Made in Dagenham, played and they know how precarious and Nell Gwynn at Shakespeare’s Globe, alarming the job can be, so they are appeared in films St Trinian's, Clash of pretty good and careful with each the Titans and Tamara Drew and on TV other.” in the BBC’s adaptation of Tess of the Arterton praised the film’s d’Urbervilles and ITV’s Lost in Austen. producer Stephen Woolley. She In her latest film, out in April, she said: “Stephen is such a fan of stars with Bill Nighy (Love Actually, Still wartime cinema and he has such Crazy) and a host of well-known Brits a passion for that period. He also including Jeremy Irons and Richard makes films that have interesting E Grant in Their Finest, adapted from roles for women so I usually listen Lissa Evans’ novel Their Finest Hour And if he tells me to do something. I A Half. Set during the Blitz in London in 1940, with the country’s morale at stake, young, untried screenwriter Catrin Cole (Arterton) and a makeshift my journey: Catrin Cole (Arterton) is a young rookie screenwriter commissioned to produce a propaganda film PHOTO: NICOLA DOVE cast and crew work under fire to make a film to lift the nation’s spirits – and was really lucky to have both Lone before. I always wanted to work and grounded, is great. I’m one of inspire America to join the war. [Scherfig, Their Finest’s director] with Gemma. Now I just want to those people who hopes for the best Her performance has been described and Stephen chuck loads of stuff at work with her again.” and expects the worst, but she blew as ‘a witty, romantic and moving me to watch.” Co-star Richard E Grant me away. I’d like to think I’ve made portrayal of a young woman finding her Their Finest revolves around said: “Gemma is so immediate, a friend for life. way, and her voice, in the mayhem of the journey of Catrin, an inclusive, generous and warm that “I will continue to see her in war… and the movies.’ internally powerful woman it’s impossible to resist her. She everything she does. If nothing defying the sceptics to produce doesn’t suffer fools, knows exactly comes of this film, at least I’ve got Sam Clafin (Finnick Odair in The Hunger Games trilogy) plays her fellow an accomplished propaganda what she wants and has a wicked my new best friend.” screenwriter, the forthright Buckley, screenplay – and Arterton was sense of humour. She brings all her Arterton said: “Sam is the and Nighy is Ambrose Hilliard, the declared the perfect fit to play her. charisma, charm and sass to this loveliest actor I have ever worked self-absorbed but charismatic thespian Having worked with Woolley role, treading a fine line between with. He does his work, he’s very who leads the film’s cast. His recently before, he was thrilled to get the being pugnacious and poignant.” prepared and he takes it very inherited agent (Helen McCrory, Peaky actress on board. Sam Clafin, who plays Arterton’s seriously, but then on set you can Blinders), sister of Hilliard’s lifelong He said: “There’s a reality to love interest in the film, said of her: have fun with him, and that’s the friend and agent Sammy (Eddie Marsan, Gemma which is extraordinary, “Having the opportunity to work way I work. There’s no point in V for Vendetta) is pushing the because people see her as with someone who is independent doing it if you can’t have fun.” disgruntled actor to accept them. She is really warm and professional, but at the same n Their Finest is on general release his new career path. and human and she’s time so fun-loving, down to earth across the UK from April 21. said: brought all of her own Nighy “Ambrose was personality to this once nearlypart, and you just famous, as he love the character of had a franchise Catrin.” playing a Scherfig said: “I’d detective in a met Gemma and series of films seen how completely that were professional and popular. But multi-talented she he’s grown too is, but still generous old now to play with her humour romantic lead and her emotions, roles so he’s had but I didn’t know how to be persuaded much her humanity into a character would come through role and he’s not in her performance. happy about it – “There are until it turns out moments in the film that people are where you can see quite encouraging that she herself, not about what he’s just the character, doing with the is just a lovely character, and then person. Without he cheers up. her knowing, “He’s not in that transfers terrific shape through the and he hasn’t material in entirely survived a way I’ve GLAMOrOUS: Gemma Arterton on the red carpet PHOTO: PA intact through his never seen progress in the in an actress SELF-absorbed: Veteran actor Ambrose Hilliard (Bill Nighy) leads Catrin's cast

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Seeking RAF Administrative Apprentice Association – did you train as a Supplier or Clerk at either RAF St Athan, Bircham Newton, Halton, or Hereford? Please contact: or call 01425 511378 for details of your association. Seeking old friend George Roberts Flt Lt Air Engineer aged 66. Last known posting RAF Lossiemouth, 1980, flying Hercules transport. Please contact Barry Spencer, 203 Mill Park Drive, Braintree CM7 1TQ, tel: 01376 550564.

is looking for Richard, George or Pete from Billet 77, RAF Fayid, Egypt in 1954/55. Please contact on: lancaster457@btinternet. com. Seeking Merv Hobbs – we were at RAF Lyneham in the 80s and members of Wootton Basset Hounds Running Club. Please contact Charlie Bell: 01242 855408 or email: Seeking information concerning Dudley canals and mines used by RAF in WWII. Contact John Chapman: 07850 239923; email:chapdjman@gmail. com.

InfoRMATION required about ex Chief Tech Wilf Cox, last known living Isle of Man, has son Paul living in Lincs we believe. Contact Dusty Miller: 01793 771786.

Seeking ex TG11 personnel, Telephonists, WOPSs, TPOs, Tels, TCos, TCCs. Join your association for free at: tg11association. org.

1959-62 RAF Takali plus RAF Luqi Malta. Would like to hear from anyone who was stationed there during this time. Please call Len (Paddy) Dobbs: 01772 462603.

RAF stations in Northants, Beds, Bucks, Cambs, Norfolk, Suffolk, Huntingdon – all in pre-1976, Diocese of Northampton. Father Keith Sawyer seeking memories of RC Chaplaincy. Write to: 29 Fieldgate Road, Luton, LU4 9TA or call: 01582 848459.

Seeking Old Comrades from the 1950s. Brian

Seeking anyone who served on 41 Squadron or who has a direct family connection to the Squadron – you are invited to join the No 41 Sqn Association. Its aims are: to facilitate contact between members; to facilitate contact and communication between members of the Association and No 41 Sqn; to provide a focus for the Squadron's history. The Association currently operates digitally using email newsletters and a forum on LinkedIn, where you can find an association group under 'No 41 Squadron Association'. If you are interested in joining and for more information please email: 41sqn. association.secretary@gmail. com and visit the website: SEEKING new members for Bletchley RAFA formed at Bletchley Park 1946. All welcome including retired RAF, WRAF, WAAF, ATC and others Commonwealth services. Contact Trevor Bridges: amwellknits@gmail. com; call: 07973 492543. 8 Sqn Association seeks new members. Join now via the

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.

website: or please email the Secretary at: RAF Administrative Apprentice Association. Contact or please call: 01425 511378 for details. Serving and Retired Catering Warrant Officers and Flight Sergeants plus former Catering Officers are welcome to full membership of the RAF Catering WOs and Seniors Association. For information and an application form please contact: Eddie Jones - email: or Telephone: 01480 823480 for details. RAFCWO&SA website: rafcwoa.moonfruit. com

Reunions On February 23 more than a year before the RAF completes the fabled ‘100 Year experiment’, No.100 Squadron will celebrate our hundredth birthday. As we celebrate our Centenary year, we reflect on the successes of our predecessors, showcase our current role and plan to begin our second century in style. 100 Sqn are hosting a centenary event at RAF Leeming on March 18. The day will include: capability demonstrations both on the ground and in the air; a formal sunset parade and a flypast. During the evening there will be a hangar party with live music entertainment and a gala dinner. We would be delighted if any ex-squadron members or associates are able to attend. Normal ticket prices are expected to be around £50 which includes food, drink and access to all activities. Please contact: if you would like to express an interest or for further information. RAF TG11 Association reunion, March in Nottingham. Full details at: Calling all Tigers – No 74(F) Tiger Squadron Association will hold the squadron’s all ranks 100th anniversary reunion from March 3-5 at The Falcon Hotel, Stratford-upon-Avon. Email secretary Bob Cossey for details on: bob.cossey@ 321(APO) Entry 45th anniversary reunion March 4 at Premier Inn, Kettering. For details email:

or visit: events/1758447224427202/ WA A F / W R A F / R A F ( W ) Association: Reunion and Annual General Meeting to be held in Eastbourne Friday, April 7 – Monday, April 10. For further information or membership enquiries, contact Linda Hamill, Treasurer, on: 01472 232986; Sandie Faloon, Chairperson, on: 01753 582170 or visit the website: uk. NO 4 Squadron 309 Entry RAF Hereford 50th Anniversary Reunion at the Green Dragon Hotel Hereford, May 5, 6, 7. Come and join us for a fun family weekend with a formal dinner on the Saturday with some special guests. Any 308/310 Entry will also be welcome but please book early as it will be a large turnout for this event. Email: or: dave.thompson@thomco. ) or call: 07982 190504 ( Special rates are available at the hotel for accomodation and food). Hope you can make it, Robert Willis. RAF Catering Warrant Officers and Senior Association Ladies (London) Guest Weekend will take place May 5-7. Members' information and application forms can be obtained from WO Dave Scott – email; Telephone: 01780 417592 or Mr Jim Peters – email;; call: 01529 414018 XV Sqn Association 102nd Anniversary Reunion will be held at RAF Wittering on May 12. Contact: secretary@ or XV Sqn Association, XV(R) Sqn, RAF Lossiemouth, Elgin, Moray, IV31 6SD for details. Boy Entrants reunion – 39th Entry B Flight 4 Squadron reunion May 19, 20, 21. National Memorial Arboretum and RAF Cosford. For further information please contact Derek Bury: via email: d.v.bury39@gmail. com. RAF Regiment Association Somerset/Dorset Branch Spring re-union May 19-22. Warners Littlecote House, Berks. Join The Social Club. Contact Alec Hunt (Coordinator): 01793 704629 for membership form and booking form. 99th Entry RAF Halton Aircraft Apprentices 56th Anniversary of Attestation

at The Bentley Hotel, Lincoln, September 2224. All bookings/enquiries please email: jim.brackley@ or please call Jim on: 01529 461662. PN course 86 trained at RAF Halton 1975-1977 – 40-year reunion October. Do you know anyone who trained there during that time or friends who might know anyone from the course? Please contact Ann Newby née Coleby-Roe either by email: or call: 07714 144522. Calling MTD/MTSS personnel who have served at RAF High Wycombe MT. The next reunion is at the RAFA Club, High Wycombe at 7pm on Saturday, October 14. Contact Steve Steer via email: stevesteer@hotmail. or call: 07891 673135. ULAS - University of London Air Squadron will hold its ex-members Annual Dinner at the RAF Club on October 28. For further information of the ULAS Ex-Members Association please contact Kevin Cooper at: kevin@ RAF Kai Tak will have been closed for 40 years in May 2018 and a survivors reunion at the RAF Club is proposed. Anyone interested please contact: kingston28@

RAFA charity concert Bomber County charity concert, March 11 at 7pm, St George's Academy, Westgate, Sleaford, Lincs. Performed by the Sleaford Concert Band, Director of Music Mr Jim McQuade. Tickets £7.50 each, available from The Arcade Cobbler, Bristol Arcade; Hockmeyer Motors, Holdingham Garage; F Troops & Son, The Garage, Main Road, Leadenham; The Spar Shop, RAF Cranwell. All profits will go to RAF Association Cranwell Branch Wings Appeal. Payment by cheque only, a SAE must be included and the number of tickets required clearly stated. A bar selling beer, wine, soft drinks, tea and coffee will be open on the night. This concert is in memory of the 540 airmen of Bomber Command and the Allied Air Forces who lost their lives on the night of March 3031, 1944, taking part in the infamous bombing raid on Nuremberg; the loss of lives on that single night raid was in excess of the total number of lives lost in the whole of the Battle of Britain.

Royal Air Force News Friday, January 27, 2017 R'n'R 7

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

Runnymede ceremony

For sale

Akrotiri heritage

ANNUAL Act of Commemoration, Runnymede Memorial, Surrey – Sunday, May 7 at 11am. Wreaths will be laid on behalf of the Commonwealth Air Forces and ex-Service organisations in honour of 20,458 members of the Commonwealth Air Forces who lost their lives in the Second World War while operating from the United Kingdom and North West Europe and who have no known grave. This moving ceremony is open to all who wish to pay their respects to those named on the memorial.

FOR SALE: Sergeants Mess Kit [No5 Home Dress] Male; Trousers and Jacket. Waist size; 34, Leg; Length 31. Chest 42-44. Some adjustment capable. Manufactured by Dewhirst of England, UK, (original) with two cummerbunds, medal loops. Condition: Excellent. (Used 10-15 functions max). Rank; FS (would suit all Sgts and above – was previously a WO, so could be rebadged and not be faded). Two previous well cared for owners. Cost: £75 ONO. Contact John N Wells, call: 01487 814777; [Home]: 07922 035588.

IF YOU served at RAF Akrotiri your help is needed towards an ongoing project to improve the famous station's heritage. Wg Cdr Steve Chappell wants to hear from those who served at the Cyprus base between 1955 and 2010 whether aircrew, ground crew or support staff. He is also keen to receive photos of station life, people and aircraft. Please email: or write to Wg Cdr Chappell at: COSU HQ, RAF Akrotiri, BFPO 57.

ARAFWO MEMBERSHIP of the Association of Royal Air Force Women Officers is open to all serving and former women officers of the Royal Air Force, RAuxAF, RAFVR(T), WRAF, WAAF, WRAuxAF and WRAFVR. Please contact the Honorary Secretary Mrs Daphne Short, via email on: mo.da@sky. com or call: 01923 821322.

Halton church window RAF News reader M Rowe wants to trace all Mech Apprentices for Entries 401 to 411 who were at RAF Halton, Buckinghamshire. To commemorate their time there he has been tasked to raise funds for the 400 series of Entries in order to have a small stained glass window alongside other entries at St George’s Church on the station. If interested please email:

Hero pilot remembered DFC WINNER John Hamilton Nicholls has died, aged 100. His funeral was held at Llanelli Crematorium in South Wales last month. Born in Llanelli on March 20, 1916, his family moved to Swansea where he went to Grammar School before he joined Great Western Railway in 1935. He volunteered for the RAF in 1940 and completed his training at the Crosbyin-Eden OTU, near Carlisle, before joining 130 Squadron as a Sergeant in late 1941. He was commissioned in early 1942 and posted to Malta that April, flying off HMS Eagle on May 18, and was assigned to 601 Squadron. He served with the squadron on Malta for several months before flying with the Unit to Egypt to operate over the Western Desert. Here he made his first claims in the Alamein area in October 1942 and in March

1943 was promoted to Flt Lt and was awarded the DFC. In late 1943 he was posted to 92 Squadron in Italy as a flight commander, but returned to command 601 Squadron in March, 1944. He ended his tour in July and was posted as CFI, 71 OTU at Ismailia, later returning to Italy as Wing Leader, 244 Wing. John Nicholls held this post until October 1945 when he became Wg Cdr

Organisation at Udine, Italy. He left the RAF in 1946, returning to GWR as a special trainee. He subsequently enjoyed a successful career with the railway, which later became a part of British Railways, retiring in 1976. He retired to Carmarthen and spent a lot of time sailing off the south west coast of Wales. BRAVE: John Hamilton Nicholls DFC, above

Royal Air Force News Friday, February 10, 2017 R'n'R 8

R'n'R Prize Crossword No. 196

Solve the crossword, then re-arrange the six letters in yellow squares to find an aviation term

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 February 24.

No. 206 Fill in all the squares in the grid above so that each row, each column and each 3x3 square contains all the digits from 1 to 9.

Across 1. Grinder found in Palermo largely (5) 4. Release collection for nothing (3,4) 8. Orange South African saint returns to Thurman (7) 9. Very rare golfing bird (5) 10. Alien article thrown back into volcano (4) 11. Top gaols reformed by upright (8) 13. The man at the fire (4) 14. Scotland’s capital has best station (4) 16. Affected 13 Across man, we hear, with bad posting (4,4) 17. Fail to take advantage of young girl (4) 20. Caesar’s date has a few thoughts (5) 21. Native Americans with a type of music that’s a surprise (7) 22. Drama queen who’s out of this world (7) 23. And 4 Down. Cruise missile destroys smooth wards (5,6)

Solutions should be sent in a sealed envelope marked 'Su Doku' with the number in the top left-hand corner to RAF News, to arrive by February 24..

Down 1. Plane used to define chemist’s terms (13) 2. Los Angeles can use this language (5) 3. Fish decapitated during massacre (4) 4. See 23 Across 5. Without one, blithe zit becomes offensive (3,5) 6. Royal Engineers mature out west and get back together (7) 7. Sclerotic term for bad weather (8,5) 12. Name rasp used to make cheese (8) 13. Popular position for pilots? (3,4) 15. Frenchman I spotted at a Japanese air base (6) 18. Some said a horse appeared in this state (5) 19. Musical animals (4)

The winner of Crossword No. 194 is Mr N Rowbotham from Quorn who wins a copy of Volunteers And Pressed Men How Britain And Its Empire Raised Its Forces In Two World Wars by Roger Broad ( Solution to crossword No. 194: Across – 1. Scut 8. Hitch-hiker 9. Operator 10. Claw 12. Rescue 14. Edicts 15. Hot Air 17. Cogent 18. Stew 19. Wireless 21. Wellington 22. Eddy.

Name.................................................................................................................... Address................................................................................................................ ..............................................................................................................................

Su Doku No. 204 winner is Charles Wallace from Wimborne, Dorset, who wins a copy of RAF And The SOE An Official History (frontlinebooks. com).

Name.................................................................... .............................................................................. Address................................................................ .............................................................................. .................................................Su Doku No. 206

Solution to Su Doku No: 204

Down – 2. Clapped Out 3. Thor 4. Statue 5. Charge 6. Ditching 7. Crew 11. Astonished 13. Cranwell 16. Rowing 17. Curate 18. Saws 20. Lone.


Aviation word – Tailspin

Aviation term:................................................................. Crossword No. 196


Win Smokey and The Bandit II and III on DVD


Fabulous Films Ltd/Fremantle Media Enterprises rrp £14.99 each

Bandit’s back for more

Burt Reynolds and Sally Field team up again for more high-speed hijinks in Smokey and the Bandit Ride Again (Smokey II) and Smokey and the Bandit III, now out on DVD and Blu-ray. The original movies grossed more than $300 million so a sequel or two was always on the cards. The sequel featured one of the biggest car chases in film history with $250,000 worth of vehicles getting destroyed. It involved 66 stunt drivers, 100 cars and several 18-wheeler trucks. During filming stuntman Gary Davis gained the World Record for the longest car jump (163 feet). In Smokey II Reynolds and Field are pursued again by archenemy Sheriff Buford T. Justice (Jackie Gleason). But this Win! time the loot is even bigger – a pregnant elephant. In the final instalment of the classic series, Jerry Reed

reprises his role of Cledus aka The Snowman, now the new ‘Bandit’. In Smokey III Sheriff Buford T. Justice (Jackie Gleason) is ready to retire when the notorious Enoses (Paul Williams and Pat McCormick) challenge both him and Cledus (Jerry Reed) to make a special delivery from Miami to Texas in 24 hours. Everyone is out to beat the next guy to the finish line for the $250,000 prize. We have three copies of each title, Smokey II and Smokey III to win. For your chance to own a copy of each one, simply answer this question correctly:

Who plays Sheriff Buford T Justice in the Smokey and the Bandit films?


Theatre seeks young talent Email your answer, marked Smokey And The Bandit DVDs competition, to: competitions@ or post it to: RAF News, Room 68, Lancaster Building, HQ Air Command, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, HP14 4UE. The closing date for entries is February 24. n Please remember to include your full postal address with all competition entries

BUDDING YOUNG thespians have the chance to work with professional team Vivo D’Arte and Aylesbury Waterside Theatre, pictured above, for their first Stage Experience for young people aged 7 to 23 this summer. The cast and technical participants will work together on a production of Oliver!, starting with intensive rehearsals from August 7 culminating in performances from August 16-19 on the prestigious Waterside Theatre stage. Oliver! is one of the most popular and well-known British musicals that vividly brings to life Charles Dickens’ story of the boy who asked for more, featuring

characters including Fagin, Nancy, Bill Sykes and the Artful Dodger, plus the Workhouse children and Fagin’s gang. Vivo D’Arte’s co-founder and managing director Dan Cowtan said: “We are incredibly excited to be working in collaboration with the Waterside to give young local talent the opportunity to perform in this wonderful venue. “Vivo D’Arte prides itself on the highest quality theatre experience, driven by our passion for the development of all our participants.” Auditions will take place on March 12 and 19. 2017. Email:; go to: for more details.








p Se 10


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Call 0800 018 2361 Email Visit *Various dates available, please contact us for more details

Royal Air Force News Friday, February 10, 2017 P21


Crew View


Exercise Red Flag

Exercise Red Flag is the biggest combat air training exercise in the world giving RAF crews the chance to hone their war-fighting skills alongside teams from Europe, the USA and Australia. RAF News reporter Charlie Haines hit the pan at Nellis Air Force Base in the Nevada Desert to talk to a few of the 650 UK military personnel taking part

SAC Emma Staveley Medic, 38 Gp

I’m working alongside a doctor and a physiotherapist to support the 650 UK personnel on Exercise Red Flag, providing primary health care and immediate emergency care when required. It has been a great opportunity to provide medical support to one of the RAF’s biggest exercises

AIRPOWER: An RAF Typhoon prepares for take-off at Nellis Air Force Base during Exercise Red Flag

WO Phil Stanley Cashier, 607 (County of Durham) Squadron

Flt Sgt Richard Grimshaw-Else Flight Sergeant B Shift, 6 Squadron

SAC Daniel Hall Aircraft Maintenance Mechanic, 6 Squadron

I left the RAF as a Regular last December after 38 years. A few weeks after leaving I was given the opportunity to volunteer my services as the Cashier for Red Flag. I will be in Las Vegas for four weeks and I hope to do plenty more of these trips in the future

Red Flag provides us with the perfect training opportunity to work alongside our Allies on a largescale exercise. It provides both the aircrew and the groundcrew with the experience of operating combat-armed aircraft in an unfamiliar environment, preparing 6 Squadron for any future operational deployments that we may be tasked with

I deal with all of the servicing on the aircraft, making sure they’re fit for flying and that when they come down after flying that they’re ready to go up again the next day

Mr Malcolm Bradley Tool and Test Equipment Controller, 6 Squadron

Flt Lt Robyn McNaughton Force Protection, RAF Leeming

SAC Daniel Rouault Mobility Section, RAF Lossiemouth

I’m a Civil Servant with 6 Squadron at RAF Lossiemouth. I’ve been asked to come out to Red Flag to carry out my job as I do at home as a Tool and Test Equipment Controller. All tools for work on the aircraft have to be controlled rigorously and that’s my role here

I’m based at 2 Force Protection Wing at RAF Leeming, so my current job is to provide Force Protection alongside the RAF Regiment. Out here my role is to provide advice to the Det Commander on our critical assets and how we can protect them, and keeping our personnel safe throughout the exercise

I am here with another two movers, supporting the 6 Squadron exercise deployment. We ensure that both the passengers and all of the freight arrive here, and when they pack up we’ll manage sending all of that kit back to the UK

Royal Air Force News Friday, February 10, 2017 P23




More than 48,000 Regulars, Reservists and defence workers now describe themselves as non-religious. In the RAF the figure is more than 25 per cent. The Defence Humanist Network is now campaigning for a secular chaplaincy to cater for their needs . Sqn Ldr Al Lindsell puts the case for an alternative to a faith based ministry

A LOT of people these days are not religious, instead describing themselves as humanist, atheist, agnostic or preferring not to be described at all. Many are unaware they share humanist values and this is especially true in the RAF where personnel have a strong set of core ethos and values. The number of people across Defence declaring themselves non-religious has increased each year and now stands at more than 48,000 Regulars, Reservists and MoD Civil Servants. This trend is reflected in society at large and in the RAF where more than a quarter of personnel now declare themselves on JPA as having no religion. The RAF is a modern and progressive organisation (for example, it regularly features in The Times Top 50 employers for women) and that is something we should be proud of. Progress never stops, however, and there is still further to go in recognising the needs of non-religious personnel. The Defence Humanist Network (DHN) is a growing group of MoD Service and civilian personnel who provide an officially-recognised voice for humanists across Defence. Like other diversity and inclusion networks, it connects people with a similar outlook, while working across the MoD on a range of issues. There are two

on which the DHN is particularly focused. First is pastoral support. Padres do a great job and are often the first port of call for Service personnel and their families. Many humanists might prefer pastoral care from someone who shares their outlook and the DHN wants to explore options. The Dutch Armed Forces have, for example, had Humanist chaplains for more than 50 years. Second is military ceremonies. Again, padres do all they can to make them feel inclusive, but it is hard to make a ceremony with a religious element at its heart appeal to those who do not believe in such things. Remembrance, an especially poignant moment for all military personnel, is a particular case in point. Last year, for the first time, the DHN conducted a humanist reflection on Remembrance in central London. The highly successful event was led by Flt Lt Ruth Staton, and included an inspirational talk from world-renowned philosopher Prof A C Grayling on ‘finding meaning in Remembrance’. A number of VIPs attended including the Chief of Defence People and the Chief Executive of the British Humanist Association. The DHN intends to continue humanist Remembrance events for years to come.

Faith Religious Chaplaincy holds a central place in the Military and extols the key values crucial to the moral cohesion of the fighting force. It has expanded to reflect the growing diversity of society and the British Armed Forces. Padre Gp Capt Tim Wright explains why it is important to keep asking the big questions

THERE IS much debate about the role of religion in both personal and public life. Increasingly people describe themselves as spiritual and not religious which means that they acknowledge that there is more to life than a purely empirical approach might imply. It also illustrates a general feeling that struggles with organised religion. People want to follow the Golden Rule - ‘to love their neighbour as they love themselves’ and to ‘treat others as you would have them treat you’. In the military these values are important for the cohesion of the fighting force. It is these values of Respect, Integrity, Courage and Excellence that chaplains seek to help personnel discover through the ‘Beliefs and Values Programme’. As a progressive organisation the RAF has seen the need to offer support for personnel through the provision of pastoral care and leadership. Some of that pastoral care comes through chaplains. Traditionally chaplains have come from a number of Christian denominations. This number has increased to reflect the growing religious diversity within the country and the introduction of chaplains from other world faith groups will add value to the already existing provision. RAF Chaplaincy is evolving to meet the needs of the whole force in a complex religious landscape that includes those who would describe themselves as having no religion. As an integral part of a

multi-layered institution Chaplaincy is pivotal in keeping religious and philosophical ideas at the forefront of our minds. Winston Churchill thought that the Air Force attracts people who are a pragmatic rather than philosophically minded Chaplains are committed to people asking the ‘big questions’ of life. The sort of questions that ask ‘why are we here?’, ‘is there a purpose to life’ and if so, where can it be found and what is it? Modern military chaplaincy encourages everyone to be spiritually resilient and to explore meaning and purpose. There are a number of faith networks within the Armed Forces that people can join on their faith journey. Chaplains help people understand where the Service has come from and where it is going, often through formal religious events, such as Battle of Britain commemorations and Remembrance. Chaplains have helped people make sense of service and sacrifice, understand the legitimacy of our calling and the limits that are placed upon us. We are aware that many people are spiritual but not religious but know that they find comfort and meaning in ritual and familiarity. We seek to make these rituals as open and inclusive as possible building, honouring and valuing our traditions and more importantly the people who serve within the RAF.



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

Royal Air Force News Friday, February 10, 2017 P25


In brief

£6000 gift will help 3 charities Forces Reunited, the largest online British Armed Forces community for veterans, has donated £6000 to charitable organisation the Veterans’ Foundation. The funds will be divided into three separate donations for charities Bravehound, that provides support dogs and training for dogs already with veterans; Forward Assist, that helps veterans combat trauma, depression, anxiety and addiction in the North East; and Scotty’s Little Soldiers, whose donation will go towards staging summer events for families.

Forces Trust in offenders study The Forces in Mind Trust has awarded a grant of nearly £95,000 to King’s College, London for a 12-month study into offending behaviour, mental health and the welfare needs of ex-Service personnel entering the criminal justice system, compared to general population offenders. A FiMT spokesperson said: “The study will help to inform policy and practice in the field of ex-Armed Forces offender health and welfare.”

Health boost

Blind Veterans UK is supporting GP training days to improve the understanding of veterans’ health. The charity is taking part in a series of half and full day training sessions on vets’ healthcare for doctors across England. Training sessions include veteran speakers sharing their experiences and joining small group sessions with GPs or GP Registrars so doctors can gain better insight into vets’ healthcare needs and learn about some of the support available. Up to six different military charities are represented at each session.



The RAF and the George Cross island in the Med Filmmaker Tod Nicol has produced a DVD about the history of the RAF on Malta as part of archive project Outposts of Empire. Mr Nicol said: “This is a longterm research and video history project designed to preserve the memories of people who served in the RAF overseas and their recollections of a unique lifestyle before they are forgotten forever.” The 90-minute film, just released, tells the story of the RAF on the island from its humble beginnings at the Royal Naval Air Station at Kalafrana in 1917 to its final days at RAF Luqa, prior to the

British withdrawal in 1979. Mr Nicol added: “The story is told through interviews with veterans and historians revealing how the island became an outpost of Empire during the Napoleonic Wars and later the headquarters of the Royal Navy’s Mediterranean fleet. “The Second World War is shown in archive film and images from the Imperial War Museum Archives, Malta National Archives and many other sources, illustrating

the memories of veterans who served on and flew from Malta, as well as those who ran the gauntlet in the ‘Santa Maria’ and many other convoys to resupply ‘Fortress Malta’ and deliver the Spitfires that saved her people and earned them the George Cross. He added: “The Cold War era is recalled by the men who flew and supported NATO anti-submarine patrols in the Shackleton, Canberra and Nimrod

tracking down Soviet shipping and peering over the Iron Curtain to photograph activities in Russiancontrolled territories in the Gulf and Middle East. “The final months are remembered with sadness as the British finally withdrew after 160 years and Malta became an independent country and a thriving member of the European Community.” n For more information go to: where you can also see a 15-minute trailer for the RAF Malta documentary.

Open Daws policy taste of america

Streets on a new housing estate built on the former High Wycombe Air Station USAF/ RAF Daws Hill are to be named to commemorate the bond between the American Air Force and the town. Developer Taylor Wimpey has received approval from local planners for 17 street names and a park – for the Pine Trees residential development – designed to reflect the history of the area as a key World War II and Cold War base. Names chosen include Kennedy Avenue, Arizona Way, Eisenhower Lower Close and Bobcat Park. Dwight D. Eisenhower was a frequent visitor to the base during WWII from his headquarters at RAF Station Bushy Park, near Teddington in Middlesex. Among the new street names, Leigh Place was named after Edna Johnston Leigh, an American-born teacher who married an RAF pilot she met when he was training in the US during WWII. Leigh became famous after her death in 1991 – she had researched Homer’s classic Greek poems The Iliad and The Odyssey and developed the theory that they were poetic guides to astronomy in the ancient world. Taylor Wimpey has built the first 50 of the 444 homes that will cover much of the 60-acre base site, established as the headquarters for

New estate honours RAF/USAF history

1990: High Wycombe Air Station USAF/RAF Daws Hill

the US Army Air Force 8th Air Force Bomber Command in April 1942. It became an important Cold War base in the 1950s until the mid-1990s. The base was handed over to the US Navy in the mid-1990s as a support base for the US Navy HQ in London and was closed in 2007 with the general drawdown of the US military presence in the UK.

2015: Demolished station before development

During WWII, the base occupied the entire hillside to the south of the town including the famous girls’ school Wycombe Abbey. A secret underground bunker, codenamed Pinetree, was where USAAF WWII bombing missions over Europe were planned. The bunker is now privately owned after the land on which it was built was returned to Wycombe Abbey, its owners before WWII. Recognised as

Photo: Sean C. Kelly

an important historical structure, the bunker was designated a listed building. The base was also home to London Central High School and former student Tamara Palmer, from Atlanta, Georgia, suggested other street names connected to the school’s teachers. n Tamara is pictured left, and as a schoolgirl in 1971, far left.

mountain challenge

Who Dares (very nearly) Wins, Michael

INTREPID: Michael Doyle (3rd from left) with (l-r) Wayne Kitchen, Mike Doyle and Gunter Bauer

RAF veteran Michael Doyle has become the oldest person ever to attempt to climb the 886-metre Welsh mountain Pen-Y-Fan, used as part of the selection process for the SAS. Former National Serviceman Mr Doyle, his son and two friends made the attempt earlier this month, on Mr Doyle’s 80th birthday, but despite reaching the peak had to abandon the climb because one of them was injured. Carrying nearly 50lbs in his rucksack, the superfit octogenarian

was joined by his son Mike and friends Wayne Kitchen and Gunter Bauer. Mr Doyle senior said he wanted to tackle the challenging climb in the Brecon Beacons ‘to inspire the youth of today and to prove that age was no barrier.’ The group braved chilling winds of up to 45mph during the 15-mile course. As they approached the top, visibility was down to 20 metres, the temperature was close to minus 13 and there was deep snow. Although they reached the

summit, the course necessitates you going over it and then down the other side and then doing this again in reverse. It was during the return leg that problems occurred. Friend Andrew Hewitt said: “Although the injury was fairly minor, it was decided by all that the best course of action was to make a voluntary withdrawal, rather than risk continuing and being stuck on the mountain awaiting rescue. “I am sure Michael will make another attempt in the summer.”

Royal Air Force News Friday,February 10, 2017 P26


D-Day daredevil who pushed back the Nazis Polish Spitfire pilot pounded German gun positions as Allies launched 1944 invasion

HERO: Nawarski on his 302 Squadron Spitfire with the Polish Air Force emblem on the nose


OB NAWARSKI, who has died aged 95, made a dramatic escape from his native Poland to join the RAF and fly Spitfires, earning a DFC for his actions during the Allied breakout from Normandy. On September 1, 1939, the day the Germans invaded Poland, 18-year-old Nawarski was called up and joined his father’s unit, which was soon engaged by Soviet ground forces. The unit was quickly captured and the officers were loaded onto a train for an unknown destination. Father and son escaped and walked for 12 days when Nawarski met up with some school friends. Saying farewell to his father (who remained in Poland) the group headed for Romania before crossing into Yugoslavia and Italy. Nawarski eventually reached Lyon in France and joined the French Air Force as a trainee pilot. After the German invasion of France in May 1940, his training unit was evacuated to Marseille where it was disbanded. ith some friends he managed to escape to Oran in Algeria where he reported to the British Consulate and eventually reached Gibraltar before sailing for Liverpool. He arrived in the UK on July 13, 1940, and on the formation of the Polish Air Force under British command, he joined the force on August 5, 1940 and completed his training as a fighter pilot. In July 1942 he was assigned to No. 316 (Polish) Squadron to fly Spitfires. He flew operations from Northolt over France and the Netherlands attacking ground targets and escorting bombing missions. After a six-month rest he returned to operations with No. 302 Squadron in February 1944. Based in southern England he flew on many sorties over northern France as the tactical air


forces attacked ground targets in preparation for the forthcoming Allied landings. The squadron had converted to the bombing role and the French railway system became a primary target. n June 6, 1944, the day of the invasion, Nawarski flew two patrols over the beachhead as No. 302 provided cover for the landings. In early August the squadron moved to a temporary airstrip in Normandy and continued with dive-bombing sorties. On August 9, Nawarski led his section to attack barges carrying retreating German troops across the River Seine. In spite of very strong opposition, 12 direct hits were obtained causing major fires. On the return flight,


Nawarski attacked an enemy E-boat near Le Havre and set it on fire. Three days later he led his section against enemy transports and destroyed a lorry packed with troops. arly in October he attacked a train with cannon and machine-gun fire and, despite the heavy anti-aircraft fire, his attack was accurate and the locomotive exploded. As the squadron advanced into Belgium, canal traffic in the Netherlands was attacked. On October 5, Nawarski led the squadron against a concentration of barges near Rotterdam. Eight were hit and destroyed. The intensity of operations continued throughout the month. Nawarski led a flight of Spitfires to attack a train approaching a


bridge. Ten direct hits with bombs were recorded and the train was destroyed. Three days later he attacked another train near Leeden – the steam engine exploded and five carriages were set on fire. On October 29 Nawarski dive-bombed a concentration of enemy troops. It was his 178th and final wartime sortie. The recommendation for his DFC described him as ‘an extremely good pilot, a very efficient leader and courageous’. fter his hectic tour on the squadron he became an instructor at a fighter-training unit until August 1945. He returned to No. 302 Squadron, now based in Germany, and served until December 1946 when he joined the Polish Resettlement Corps in


Britain, having decided to remain in England rather than return to his homeland, which had come under communist control. e continued to fly and was finally released to commence his studies in October 1948. In addition to his DFC, he was awarded Poland’s Cross for Valour with two Bars and the Polish Air Force Medal. He settled in England and became a dentist. In 1959 he visited Poland 20 years after he had last seen his father. It was then that he discovered that the train they had escaped from was heading for Katyn where 15,000 Polish officers were murdered including every one of his father’s friends who had been on the train with them.



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Royal Air Force News Friday, February 10, 2017 P28


Edited by Richard Arquati

Kart club on track

In brief

Business is booming after Cosford wins cash backing Natasha Neal Cosford Karting Club is celebrating its 10th anniversary with a major makeover after receiving a grant from the RAF Charitable Trust. The station-based motorsport outfit has netted more than £5000, which will be used to upgrade nine machines which have clocked up thousands of miles since the launch in 2007. All maintenance and repair work will be carried out by Cosford trade trainees, giving them valuable engineering experience as part of their RAF studies. Club spokesman Flt Lt Liam

tuning in: Odiham junior ranks now have satellite TV

Junior ranks are aiming Sky high

Perry said: “These karts have been used extensively by thousands of club members and visitors and are beginning to show their age. “However the replacement engines and components funded by the Trust will give them a new lease of life. “The refurbishment has given our trainees experience and an opportunity to develop their skills in leadership, logistical preparation and communication at a professional level, not to mention the sense of achievement from their efforts.” An estimated 20 per cent of apprentices at the No.1 School of Technical Training are members of the Cosford Karting club.

Personnel at RAF Odiham have netted a £9000 windfall to cover the cost of having satellite TV plumbed into their new junior ranks lounge. The station’s Personnel Services Flight received a £9000 grant to pay for the service for the next three years. Staff at Odiham submitted the bid after CAS Sir Stephen Hillier gave the project his backing. SAC Kieran Skews said: “This is an amazing win for us and will definitely encourage people to use the facility. “The Trust turned it round in a matter of days, securing funding for a full three years.”


Hero Chris nets lifesaver award Staff Reporter AN AIR CADET has been honoured for helping to save the life of a pensioner who suffered a heart attack. Flight Sergeant Christopher Falkingham, 17, from Balloch, became the first Air Cadet ever to be awarded a Royal Humane Society Resuscitation Certificate for his part in assisting a 73-yearold woman who had collapsed. The teenager was with his grandparents in Inverness city centre in May last year when they came across the woman being assisted by a nurse. An experienced Accident and Emergency doctor passing by took control of the situation, diagnosed a cardiac arrest and directed FS Falkingham and the nurse to provide cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) under her supervision. The Ambulance Service arrived and the cadet continued to assist by using their ventilation bag while the crew prepared defibrillation equipment and moved the patient into the vehicle.

A doctor at Raigmore Hospital said Christopher’s actions helped save the casualty’s life and helped her make a swift recovery. Speaking after being discharged from hospital the elderly patient, Georgina Latham, described FS Falkingham as ‘a brave and selfless young man’ who helped to save her life. Many cadets learn first aid and basic life-saving skills during training and many have won awards for helping out in life-and-death situations. However Christopher is the first RAF Cadet to win recognition from the Royal Humane Society. Society spokesman Dick Wilkinson said: “Christopher had only received basic first aid training with the Cadets and the British Heart Foundation but he put it to

superb use. He worked with adults he had not met before and played a major role in saving the victim’s life. “Time is of the essence in situations like this and fortunately Christopher was on the spot when the lady collapsed. He richly deserves this award.” Air Commodore Dawn McCafferty, Commandant Air Cadets, added: “The Royal Humane Society Award to Cadet Flight Sergeant Christopher Falkingham demonstrates the life-skills and qualities that are instilled through membership of the RAF Air Cadets. “His actions and conduct on the day are a credit to him, his family and his local Air Cadet Squadron and are an exemplary lesson to all.” BRAVE: Cadet FS Christopher Falkingham

Patron: The Duchess of Cambridge

Royal approval for volunteers A new commission for adult Cadet force volunteers has been given Royal approval. The new position has been set up to recognise the contribution made by adults volunteering for duty with their local RAF Air Cadets, Sea Cadets and the Army Cadet Force. Air Commodore Dawn McCafferty said: “This is a truly historic moment as it is the first new commission to be introduced for 155 years. “It is the first time we have badged all our adult volunteers with the same insignia, demonstrating their membership of one organisation, the RAF Air Cadets.”

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6 pages of RAF Sport starts here l The winter sports stars winning selection for the Inter-Services pages 32-33 rugby union

Six Nations shock as Davies dropped Murray makes grade but ruthless Phillips axes stalwart Sian THERE WAS a welcome RAF selection and a shock omission as England and Wales announced their squads for the women’s RBS Six Nations. SAC Charlie Murray was chosen to don the famous red of Wales once again, while her Service colleague and countryman – international stalwart SAC Sian Williams – was sensationally left out of head coach Rowland Phillips’ 32-player squad. AC Amy Cokayne was selected to represent England in the same tournament, with the two countries facing off at Cardiff Arms Park on February 11, possibly live on Sky TV – which is covering all of England’s RBS Six Nations games. On cutting his squad down from 50 players to 32, Phillips said: “It’s always tough when it comes to selections, because everybody has been working so hard over the past few months.

“There were plenty of tough calls, but I’m confident of the process we went through to get to this point.” Cokayne, who last starred for the Red Roses in the Old Mutual Wealth Series, where she ran in a try, now boasts 20 caps and will play as hooker. If selected, she will face France in the tournament opener at Twickenham on February 4, following the men’s game (after RAF News went to press). RAF Rugby Union spokeswoman Flt Lt Emma Lacey said: “It is fantastic news that SAC Murray and AC Cokayne have been selected for Wales and England respectively. “Murray, as a new member of the Welsh squad, has showed continued improvement and development since she joined the RAF and it is to her credit and determination that she has earned her spot on the team – where

mixed fortunes: SAC Sian Davies (left) didn’t make the Wales squad but fellow RAF star Charlie Murray (right) is hoping to impress

we are sure she will make an impact on the wing, much like she did against Wales for the UKAF squad. “It is great news that we continue to support AC Cokayne as a reservist whilst she starts her new England contract, and we look forward to working closely with England RFU to offer her the best opportunities on and off the field. “We are sure both players will make a tremendous impact for

their respective teams and we look forward to seeing the grudge match when they take on each other.” Murray, who was picked to face Ireland in Donnybrook, Dublin, was part of a fourth win in a row for her country, beating the fifthplaced ranked hosts 22-14. She said: “Emotions are very high at the moment as it’s been a complete journey the past 10 months. To be selected is an

rugby LEAGUE

Challenge Cup exit for under-strength RAF

DETERMINED: Sgt Lee Queeley makes ground PICTURE: SBS PHOTOS

IT WAS a classic game of two halves as the Service’s rugby league senior side bowed out of the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup after a 12-30 defeat to York Acorn RL at RAF Cranwell. Chf Tech Garry Dunn’s charges – missing nine first-team players – fought back from an early unconverted try from York, then a converted one inside the opening 15 minutes, to come within four points of the visiting team after man of the match SAC Juite Tupua ran in a try which was converted by SAC(T) Adam Flintham in the 39th minute. The break seemingly came too soon for the hosts, who lost their momentum and succumbed to four further tries from Acorn, two unconverted, before rallying late again to see SAC(T) Liam Bradley run over with Flintham again converting.

Head coach Dunn said: “At half time we were more than pleased with the performance, we defended aggressively and played at the line in attack whilst building good field position. A little better execution would have seen us go in front and it could have been a different game from there. “In the second half York started well and backed up a couple of scores, which really put the pressure on us. We wish them well in the next round.” Assistant coach Sgt Martin Wood added: “We’re extremely pleased with the attitude that the boys have shown today, we only had one fit body on the bench at the end but still managed to keep up the intensity. Our lines of running were at times really good and I thought Cpl Dan Colinson showed up really well on our right edge.”

reservist: Red Rose AC Amy Cokayne

incredible honour, not just for my country, but for the RAF and what us, as the women’s team, are trying to achieve. “It has been a difficult journey to get to have this opportunity to play for Wales again, and one that I have had a lot of support for. “Pontyclun RFC helped me recover from my concussion, that took me out of rugby from November 2015 to April 2016. They helped me prepare for the I-S games which were my first ones back that year. “Through working hard with the Jaguar 7s, RAF I-S team and the UKAF team the Forces have really given me the opportunity to play and develop my game. “I am extremely gutted to be a part of a squad without SAC Williams, however she has and always will be one of the most influential players a team could have, and being such a dominant 7s player, I can only see her still heading towards becoming one of the best rugby players Wales has produced. “We have a very talented squad and I will do my best to make everyone proud. I will hopefully get the opportunity to compete against my fellow RAF team-mate Amy Cokayne. She once caught me in a Sevens tournament, so I hope to get my own back this time out.” Wales face Italy in their opener at the Stadio Comunale Pacifico Carotti, Acona, on February 4.

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BAILEY’S CREAM: SAC Keiran Bailey gets a unanimous decision over Blackbird Leys fighter Hill after their bout (main picture)  ALL PICTURES: SBS PHOTOS

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MORE than 300 boxing fans crammed into Brize Norton for the first RAF Boxing Association show of the year. The night began with a bout showcasing the growing female boxing cadre in the Service, as SAC Mel Martin (Linton-on-Ouse) faced SAC Steph O’Connell (Lossiemouth). The judges struggled to separate the two in a tactically hard-fought contest, with SAC Martin adjudged the winner by a split decision. Cpl James Farrell was up next, and was spurred on by a huge fan base at his home unit. After a characteristically aggressive opening round, Farrell settled into his boxing and rightfully claimed a unanimous decision over D Simmonds, from the local Blackbird Leys amateur boxing club. SAC Keiran Bailey (Waddington) put on a skilful display of footwork and counter-punching to claim another unanimous decision over L Hill (Blackbird Leys), while the evening was drawn to a conclusion with a close, well-fought contest between SAC Brad Axe (Odiham) and Mne Godridge (RN/RM Boxing team). A strong first round from Axe demonstrated good range and head movement, which saw the RN boxer on the back foot for the remainder of the contest. Despite many feeling Axe had done enough, Godridge took the split decision result with the judges. The evening’s other contests saw courageous

SPLIT DECISION: SAC Mel Martin from RAF Linton-on-Ouse (right) triumphs over RAF Lossiemouth’s SAC Steph O’Connell

performances from Flt Lt Kate Turner (Leeming), SAC Pat McKeown (Brize Norton) and SAC Matthews (Northolt), but they lost to their respective Army and RN/RM opponents, leaving positives for all three Services to reflect on. RAFBA team manager Flt Lt Scott Boland said “A fantastic and well-organised evening showcased perfectly many of the attributes required to succeed in our sport. “The heart, courage and tactical ability displayed gave a good insight into what is to come from our sports people in the coming year.”

Royal Air Force News Friday, February 10, 2017 P32

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Sport luge/Bobsleigh

All going to Plagne Ice stars gear up to do battle with Army pros


IT HAS reached the business end of the season for the Service’s luge and bobsleigh stars as the teams for this year’s Inter-Services, in Norway in March, were announced following the twoweek novice championships in La Plagne, France. In luge an eight-man squad has been picked, which boasts both experience and youth, with team captain Flt Lt Gav Arnold in buoyant mood. He said: “Looking ahead to the Inter-Services, confidence is high as we attempt to retain both the team and individual trophies, despite facing an Army team featuring two full-time GB internationals. “For us a very close race is anticipated with results likely to go down to the wire. Lillehammer is a track that is new to the team but

has a reputation for being fast and unforgiving. “The week of training at the Olympic track in La Plagne has been the perfect preparation for one of the toughest challenges the team has ever faced in the fastest sport on ice.” During the championships Cpl Dani Evans took gold in the Ladies’ race by a record margin, in only her second season with the team, while Arnold won the men’s race for a record fifth time.

There was a heavy concentration on loading and unloading sleds and race starts were practised constantly

SAC Mark McQuitty took the inaugural Sprint Trophy, capping off a fantastic year in which he finished in 39th for Team GB in the Nations Cup in Winterberg, Germany. While in the novice race Flt Lt Leo Cheng triumphed after only six days of experience on the track and hitting a maximum 105km/h. Deputy team manager Cpl Ross Brown said:

NOT FOR THE FAINT-HEARTED: Royal Air Force luge stars regularly exceed 100km/h

“For us in the bobsleigh there was a heavy concentration on loading and unloading sleds and race starts were practised constantly. “A lot of attention was focused on equipment and bob maintenance along with helping novice riders overcome fears of what can be a very daunting sport at times. “Spirits and morale are really high going into the Inters. From across the whole team everyone is pulling in the right direction, the buzz is incredible.” During the first week of the championships, the best male novice awards went to SAC Chris Warren, while the best female novice award was picked up by SAC Leigh-Ann Smith. In the second week best male novice went to SAC Jack Hughes, with best female novice Sgt Rachel Bradshaw.

Luge squad Flt Lt Gav Arnold (Brize) SAC Mark McQuitty (Brize) Cpl Danny Burke (Benson) Sgt Murray Pickering (Halton) Cpl Dani Evans (AFCO L.pool) Flt Lt Sarah Shekhdar SAC Mike Guy (Brize) SAC Samantha Brownlee (Brize)

Bobsleigh squad Sgt Natalie McLaughlin Sgt Dominique Thistleton Cpl Rachel Biddle Cpl Leanne Smith Flt Lt Emma Garner SAC Shan Stephens Cpl Christopher Miller SAC(T) John Baines SAC(T) Jason Wheeler Cpl Jonny Anderson Cpl Ryan Hepworth SAC Dan Mills Sgt Wesley Connabere SAC Jack Hughes SAC Sam Pemberton Mr David Barrowman Sgt Christopher Quinn

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Sport skiing/snowboarding

We’ll give ’em hell in Meribel Let battle commence, cry team captains SLOPING OFF: Royal Air Force skier gets ready for action in Saalbach, Austria

AFTER TWO-WEEKS of high-speed RAF Championships and countless hours of Exercise Alpine Challenge training in Saalbach, Austria, the ski and snowboard Inter-Service teams for this year’s attack on the titles in Meribel were confirmed. Having fought for eight ski discipline titles – four in the men’s and four in the ladies’ (downhill, slalom, giant slalom and Super G) – team captains SAC(T) Barnaby Rudge and Flt Lt Claire Nixon made their nine and seven-strong selections. Those chosen will be trying to wrestle the I-S ski title from the Army’s grasp in France. The snowboard fraternity battled out for their titles (Parallel Giant Slalom, slope style and boarder cross) before team captains Sqn Ldr Claire Collis and Cpl Andy Amphlett picked their six-woman, 12-man teams. During the Championships, SAC Rachael Buckley won the ladies’ PGS title and Sqn Ldr Collis took the boarder cross and slope style titles, while in the men’s competition, Cpl Josh Rathbone took the PGS title, with SAC Josh Gocan taking the boarder cross and Cpl Chris Challenor winning the slope style. Assistant team captain Sqn Ldr Caitlin Wroe said: “We are really

KNEESY DOES IT: RAF winter sports athlete puts their body under pressure on the challenging slalom course

team spirit and I and all the guys are really happy with things.” Sqn Ldr Collis was in equally buoyant mood, saying: “This year we have selected six riders for Meribel, we are in a really great position as we have all experienced the Inters before. We can gain great strength from that. “I am really confident about this year’s team – the cohesion is the best for many years. We are looking to take the title in the first two races, then see how our freestyle goes.” Cpl Amphlett said: “Picking the team has been difficult because we have had so many close races, so many came down to the wire. We had five guys with just 0.5 of a second between them. “Having done the hard work of selection, I am really positive we are taking a strong team to Meribel this year.”


excited, we have excellent strength in depth and there is a great vibe. Our aims are to win the ladies’ title, plus we are eyeing a few individual titles along the way.” Men’s ski team captain SAC(T) Rudge said: “Saalbach provided us with a great opportunity to run our eye over everyone to make sure we picked the strongest team possible

and that is something I feel I have going into the Inter-Services. “There are a lot of new guys coming along and creating a good fight for places, I am very keen the guys take that into the Inters. “I think that will be one of the key elements to getting close to the Army and Navy. There is a good

Ski squad Men’s team: SAC(T) Barnaby Rudge (Capt) SAC(T) Connor Davies Flt Lt Joe Munro Cpl James Harrison Fg Off Lewis Travers Flt Lt Paul Andrews Cpl Gary Smith Cpl Matthew Brain Sqn Ldr Colin Rice Ladies’ team: Flt Lt Caitlin Wroe Flt Lt Claire Nixon (Capt) Cpl Rachel Hughes Flt Lt Katie Lamb Flt Lt Claire Crichton Flt Lt Thea Follett Cpl Jayne McMeakin

Snowboard squad Men’s team: Cpl Andy Amphlett (Capt) Cpl Josh Rathbone SAC Sean Davy Cpl Chris Challenor Sgt Martin Boon SAC Jordan Gocan Flt Lt Paddy Morris Flt Lt Mark Wecki Cpl Dom Gibbons SAC Adam Wooley SAC Josh Adamson Cpl Ollie Thomas Ladies’ team: Sqn Ldr Claire Collis Sqn Ldr Nat Feeney Sqn Ldr Sarah Tupper Flt Lt Lou Page SAC Nat Williams SAC Rachael Buckley

Royal Air Force News Friday, February 10, 2017 P34

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Sport squash

Warner’s back on top Sqn Ldr regains title after eight-year wait

FINALISTS: Sqn Ldr Chrissie Miller and Fg Off Claire Graham in the Ladies’ Open

Chf Tech Paul Partington RAF Halton THE 2017 RAF Squash and Racketball Championships attracted 72 players to fight it out at Halton, the highest number for many years. Categories to be contended were: men’s open, ladies’ open, under 25s, over 40s, over 50s and racketball. In the men’s open plate, for those who failed to qualify for the main event, SAC Ben Braybrook narrowly missed out to Flt Lt Phil Corral, both players from RAF Benson. The event proper saw a repeat of last year’s final between top seeds Sqn Ldr Paul Warner and last year’s champion, Sqn Ldr Mike Hallett. Warner had been in dominant form all week and proved too strong for Hallett, regaining the title with a 3-0 victory after last winning it in 2009. The under 25s had a great competition with some new faces introduced to RAF Squash. With

the top seeds deployed or in formal training, the trophy was truly wide open. Marham’s SAC Adam Betts overcame rival SAC Mikael Trokis 3-1 to take the crown. At the other end of the age spectrum Brize Norton’s Sgt John Spanton was dazzled by some stunning displays of athleticism by Sqn Ldr James Treweek. The victory went Treweek’s way, adding the over 50s crown to his collection – he has previously held the open and over 40s title, as well as being a dab hand at tennis. He was back in action again on finals day in the over 40s, facing fierce rival and reigning champion Chf Tech Bez Beresford. In one of the tournament’s longest matches, Beresford pulled out all the stops and somehow from behind managed to hold on to the trophy – eventually winning 3-2. After missing last year’s event Sqn Ldr Chrissie Miller came back to form with all guns blazing to take the ladies’ title, overcoming former

BIG-HITTERS: Sqn Ldr Mike Hallett and Sqn Ldr Paul Warner

champion Fg Off Claire Graham in the final. The racketball competition saw a record 18 entries, with some closely-fought matches throughout.

The final was contested between RAF sporting legend and open squash semi-finalist Wg Cdr Mike Martin – in his last champs before retirement – pushing the RAF

RAF Squash Championships 2017 Squash

Mens open Ladies Under 25 Masters (Ov-40)

Winner Squash Winner Squash Winner Squash Winner Squash Masters (Ov-50) Winner Squash Plate Winner Racketball Open Winner

Sqn Ldr Paul Warner (High Wycombe) Sqn Ldr Chrissie Miller (High Wycombe) SAC Adam Betts (Benson) Chf Tech Spencer (Bez) Beresford (Wittering) Sqn Ldr James Treweek (High Wycombe) Flt Lt Phil Corral (Benson) Sqn Ldr Jon Nicholls (High Wycombe)

Runner up Sqn Ldr Mike Hallett (High Wycombe) Runner up Fg Off Claire Graham (Benson) Runner up SAC Mikael Trokis (Coningsby) Runner up Sqn Ldr James Treweek (High Wycombe) Runner up Sgt John Spanton (Abbeywood) Runner up SAC Ben Braybrook (Benson) Runner up Wg Cdr Mike Martin (Abbeywood)


squash team’s nutritional advisor Sqn Ldr Jon Nicholls all the way in a compelling match, with Nicholls narrowly outwitting Martin to take the crown with a 3-2 win. With places up for grabs for the UKAF Squash championships this month, the play-offs in all disciplines were hard-fought, leaving the team managers with some difficult decisions to make as several of the development players were hoping to break through into their respective teams. n The next training events will be held at Halton and Cosford between May 17-19. n For more information about RAF Squash contact Sqn Ldr Mike Hallet: michael.hallett185@

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League lads are out of the Cup

Women put on a show at Brize

Bring on winter sports Inters

l Sport P29

l Sport P31

l Sport P33

Busy Woodhouse puts out the Fire FOOTBALL

Manager’s praise for Cpl as Alex named Man of the Match LAC James Bairstow Sutton Coldfield The RAF SRT kept their recent good run going with a comprehensive 3-0 win against the UK Fire Service at Sutton Coldfield Football Club, despite having four first-team regulars out injured. In snowy conditions, the RAF dominated a goalless first half but failed to find the back of the net. After a half-time pep talk from manager Sgt Kev Barry, the RAF then scored three goals in a 20-minute spell just after the break to secure the victory. Frontman Cpl Dave Webb broke the deadlock on 48 minutes after an exquisite through-ball from SAC Chris Peel. Five minutes later, Webb then turned provider when he put Sgt Lewis Brownhill through, and he finished with aplomb. The RAF kept pressing for another goal and they were finally

UK Fire Services RAF SRT

0 3

rewarded in the 68th minute when Brownhill got his second. The win makes it three in a row for the SRT and Barry was happy with his side’s performance, heaping particular praise on manof-the-match Cpl Alex Woodhouse. The midfield maestro was influential throughout and dictated the game from the start. Barry said: “It was another very solid and professional performance from the lads. We were up against a very strong and physical Fire Services team, and we will take a lot from the performance and the result. “All the players deserve great praise, especially with four regulars out injured, but special praise must go to man-of-the-match Woodhouse. He was instrumental in everything that we did. “We are in good shape at the

COOL UNDER PRESSURE: Cpl Woodhouse was at the centre of everything

PHOTO: richard beattie/sbs photos

moment and I am looking forward to taking the lads over to Cyprus in early March, where we will step things up a few gears.” The Inter-Services start on March 15 and Barry is leaving no stone unturned in his quest for

“I couldn’t give both roles the commitment they deserve, so I regretfully had to resign from Halesowen Town,” he said. “It was a really tough decision to make, but 100 per cent the right one at the moment.”

glory. He has stepped down from his role as first-team coach at EvoStik League Northern Premier Division side Halesowen Town so that he has more time to focus his energies on preparing for the Forces competition.

natural luge

Budd’s RAF champ, naturally

ICEMAN: SAC Sam Budd competes in Deutschnofen


The Royal Air Force Natural Luge Championships 2017 in Lusen, Italy, saw a field of 19 airmen and women compete in a seek of sliding. Additionally, four RAF athletes competed for GBR in the Natural Luge World Cup in Deutschnofen, one hour from Lusen. The week was full of thrills and spills, with nine male and 10 female RAF sliders battling it out in three categories: novice, intermediate and expert.

The track conditions were ideal, allowing the eight novice athletes to learn the sport and increase in speed and confidence during the week. The five intermediate athletes progressed to the seniors’ start for the first time, along with the expert class, and got a real taste of speed and adrenaline. This year also saw the return of the doubles, with Flt Lt Eddy Dunlop and Sqn Ldr Claire Adamson putting in training runs

and setting a good time as the forerunners for the novice race. The overall RAF champion was SAC Sam Budd, the Intermediate champion Cpl Jack Little and the novice champion SAC Garry Ferguson. SAC Budd, Dex Unwin and newcomer Cpl Josh Reeves all qualified for the World Cup race and went on to finish 22, 23 and 26 respectively – out of a field of 40 athletes. Cpl Ashleigh Evens finished 12th in the Nations Cup.

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Raf News 10 Feb 2017  

RAF News is the tabloid newspaper of the Royal Air Force

Raf News 10 Feb 2017  

RAF News is the tabloid newspaper of the Royal Air Force