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The Forcest'e favourir pape

Win! Win! See TV's Dr Michael Mosley live

Win! Win! Right Royal viewing with top box set

● R'n'R p4-5

● R'n'R p3

Friday January 11 2019 No 1459 70p


Fighting to the endthe mighty Tonka ● Special feature p16-17 Hockey

Honours win for gay rights campaigner

Sanford seals world bronze

● Sport p31

Equestrian Cranwell event is champion

● Sport p30

AN ENGLISH Electric Lightning gets a polish as specialist contractors carry out the annual spring clean at the RAF Museum at Cosford. Bruce Kemp from Acro Professional Safety Services said: “We always enjoy this time of year. We are so lucky to be able to view these planes up close and it’s brilliant to be working to preserve these historic aircraft.”

A FORCES LGBT campaigner and a combat pilot who put together the RAF's historic 100th anniversary flypast over London are among the military stars named in the New Year Honours. Diversity champion Wg Cdr Mark Abrahams, pictured above, receives the OBE for a decade of campaigning to change the culture of the British military and make the services more inclusive to the LGBT community. He said: “I’m humbled and honoured. This award is also huge recognition for past and present members of the LGBT+ Freedom Network that have worked tirelessly for over a decade to improve inclusivity, awareness and understanding so that people can be themselves in the workplace.” Among other honours to be awarded to RAF personnel are OBEs for Wg Cdr Kevin Gatland, who coordinated the anniversary celebrations in the capital, and the Red Arrows pilot who led the famous aerobatic team on their largest-ever tour of Asia. ● see p12-13 for full list

Royal Air Force News Friday, January 11, 2019 P2

There’s no sadness Tornado is being retired, just a sense of pride and privilege

Going to my first World Cup was incredible

SAC Liam Sanford speaking after bowing out with England men’s hockey team in India Sport p31

The F-35 is awesome to fly, there’s no doubt about it

Wg Cdr Matt Bressani, OC 31 Sqn p16-17

Wg Cdr Jonathan Smith, OC 17 Test and Evaluation Sqn, on conducting operational testing of the stealth fighter p23

UK pledges support for nations in crisis Next issue on sale January 25, 2019 RAF News Room 68 Lancaster Building HQ Air Command High Wycombe Buckinghamshire HP14 4UE Editor: Simon Williams Email: Tel: 01494 497412 Sports Editor: Daniel Abrahams Email: Tel: 01494 497563 Features Editor: Tracey Allen Email: Tel: 01494 497622 News Editor: Simon Mander All advertising: Edwin Rodrigues Tel: 07482 571535 Subscriptions and distribution: Johnstone Publishing Ltd 26 Whitehall Road Leeds LS12 1BE Tel: 0207 855 7574 Email:

DEFENCE SECRETARY Gavin Williamson has pledged UK support for international peacekeeping missions in Somaliland and South Sudan as part of a global commitment to maintaining peace in some of the world’s most unstable countries. Speaking during a trip to South Sudan where Army and RAF personnel deployed to set up and operate a hospital to support humanitarian workers, he said: “The UK is a nation that leads from the front – promoting security, championing prosperity, and protecting human rights. “We stand with the people of South Sudan, particularly those who suffer horrific crimes such as sexual and gender-based violence. We all want Africa’s newest country to seek a peaceful and prosperous future.” More than 300 British troops are currently deployed across South Sudan and the UK is the

Defence bulletin

Tropical tie-up

third largest donor to the country providing more than £40 million worth of aid in the last year. During his visit the Defence Secretary also met with President Salva Kiir Mayardit to discuss the national’s precarious political situation following the signing of a

peace agreement in October. Williamson has also held talks with Somaliland leader President Bihi to discuss security and economic development as well as counter-terrorism and the role the UK military plays in mentoring the Somaliland coastguard.

UK DEFENCE chiefs are eyeing new military bases in the Caribbean and the Far East as the country prepares for Brexit. Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson revealed the plans as he called for Britain to provide military and political leadership beyond Europe by building stronger bonds with Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Caribbean states and African nations. He said: “This is our moment to be a true global player once more – and I think the Armed Forces play a really important role as part of that.”

This Week In History 1917


Sgt Thomas Mottershead of 20 Sqn is posthumously awarded the only Victoria Cross to be won by a non-commissioned officer during WWI for landing his burning aircraft and saving his navigator

The Tornado GR1 enters operational service with 9 Sqn at RAF Honington.

Tornado debut

20 Sqn VC


Burma mission The first RAF reinforcements reach Burma when 16 Blenheim bombers land at Toungoo. They launch an attack on the docks in Bangkok the following day.


V-Force delivers 138 Sqn, the UK’s first V-Force unit, receives its first Valiant which lands at RAF Gaydon.

Extracts from The Royal Air Force Day By Day by Air Cdre Graham Pitchfork (Sutton Publishing)

Royal Air Force News Friday, January 11, 2019 P3


Shadow fleet nets £250 million deal

TRAILBLAZER : ‘CK’ Pathy joined 217 Sqn as a fighter pilot during WWII.

Pioneer pilot dies aged 102 THE FIRST Sri Lankan Tamil to serve in the RAF has died just a month short of his 103rd birthday. Chelliah Kanagasaba Pathy was selected to join the Air Force in 1941 from Colombo in what was then Ceylon. Initially stationed in Scarborough, he was sent to Canada for further training, then joined 217 Sqn as a fighter pilot, flying Bristol Beaufighters. After the war he returned to Ceylon and became a commercial pilot, flying for Air India for 27 years. He retired from Air India in 1972 and joined Air Ceylon as Operations Training Manager, retiring from flying in 1976. Capt Pathy lived in Sydney, Australia for the next 30 years then returned to his homeland Nilaveli in Sri Lanka.

DEFENCE CHIEFS have signed a £250 million deal to support the RAF’s fleet of intelligence gathering Shadow aircraft. The 11-year contract with defence firm Raytheon is expected to safeguard more than 450 jobs at the firm’s North Wales facility and UK suppliers and includes upgrades to the Shadow’s surveillance systems, the MoD said. The aircraft is operated by 14 Sqn based at RAF Waddington and used extensively on frontline surveillance operations. Announcing the deal Defence Minister Stuart Andrew said: “This investment will ensure the UK retains its position as a global leader in battlefield intelligence gathering for UK troops and our Nato allies. “It is also great news for the economy through the safeguarding skilled jobs across the country, including 200 in North Wales, confirming the region as a UK centre of excellence for air support.” The RAF will operate eight Shadow aircraft under spending commitments made in the 2015 Defence review.

Shadow is part of the Royal Air Force’s ISTAR fleet which includes the E-3D Sentry, Sentinel R1 and Rivet Joint

aircraft, all based at Waddington. The RAF will restore its maritime surveillance role with the introduction

of nine P8 Poseidon aircraft due to enter service in 2020 at RAF Lossiemouth in north-east Scotland.

It’s time to make an important New Year’s Resolution in common is that they reflect the interests of our Members and they are provided by trusted affiliates who meet the highest standards we set for ourselves.

NEW Y EAR’S RESOL UTION Find ou t to make how t pension he c that sui hoices t you best How you can influence your pension You may be surprised at the numerous ways you can influence the value of your pension and its suitability for you and your family’s needs. You also have options about how and when you draw it, how much of a lump sum you want on departure from the Forces and what happens if you become a Reservist. But you’ll be surprised at how straightforward many of the options are, such as Pension Top-ups. Choosing when to leave (and when not to) can have a really beneficial (or negative) impact on the value of your pension. When you join the Forces Pension Society, we help you




Independent, not-for-profit Independence is critical to our work. We call governments to account wherever we spot unfairness or injustice in the Armed Forces Pension Schemes and we campaign for improvements on behalf of the whole military community. Recognition of our unique role has led to more than 50,000 people discovering the value of joining us.

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NOMINATE N OMI M N AT E N NOW OW FOR F OR THE ROYAL AIR FORCE T HE R OYA L A IR F ORCE B ENE VOLEN T FUND F UND BENEVOLENT AWARDS A WA RDS 2019! 2019! The annual Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund Awards thank the dedicated individuals, RAF stations, and corporate partners who support the charity day in day out. So now it’s your chance to nominate a person or group who you believe deserves an RAF Benevolent Fund Award. Nominations are open for the following categories: AIRPLAY YOUTH WORKER OF THE YEAR For an Airplay Youth Worker who has shown outstanding commitment to improving the wellbeing of RAF children.

FUNDRAISING TEAM OF THE YEAR For a truly dedicated team of volunteers who have worked tirelessly to fundraise for the RAF Benevolent Fund.

ABOVE & BEYOND For an extraordinary individual or group who have gone above and EH\RQGWRSURPRWHRXUbZRUN

WELFARE CASEWORKER OF THE YEAR For a welfare caseworker who has gone the extra mile for our veterans and their families.

AIR TRAINING CORPS SQUADRON OF THE YEAR For a Squadron who has shown outstanding support for us through fundraising or their commitment at our events.

RAF STATION OF THE YEAR For an RAF station who have provided exceptional support to the RAF Benevolent Fund.

Nominate online at Closing date for nominations is 25 January 2019 The RAF Benevolent Fund is a registered charity in England and Wales (1081009) and Scotland (SC038109)



Royal Air Force News Friday, January 11, 2019 P5


Bloodhound bailout UK tycoon puts ailing rocket car back on track Staff Reporter A BID by RAF combat pilot Andy Green to hit more than 1000 mph in the rocketpowered Bloodhound car has been saved by a UK engineering entrepreneur. The project was thrown into doubt when it plunged £25 million into the red just months before high speed testing in South Africa where the record run will take place. The project is back on track after Yorkshirebased business tycoon Ian Warhurst stepped in. He said: “It’s clear how much this unique British project means to people, all around the world. “There’s a bit more sorting of the car to do, but nothing major, to get to that first step of testing it at high speed.”

GREEN MACHINE: Rocket man Andy Green back in the driving seat after Bloodhound buyer bailed out record bid, below, checking the track at the Hakskeen Pan

“That’s what made it such a shame, because they had got as far as they had. It just had to carry on.” Wg Cdr Green and Bloodhound designer Richard Noble hope to shatter the land speed record of 770 mph they set in 1997 by hitting 1005mph in the supersonic car powered by a Typhoon engine and hybrid rocket developed by the European Space Agency. Bloodhound hit more than 200 mph on its

first outing at Newquay airport last year and the team had hoped to mount their record attempt on a 12-mile stretch of the Hakskeen Pan, a dry river bed in South Africa’s Northern Cape, later this year. Warhurst said the Bloodhound team will announcing the revised details of their record bid later this month. RAF pilot Andy Green set the existing world land speed record in another of Noble’s cars, Thrust SSC, powered by two Rolls-Royce Phantom engines.


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George Hannaford THE LIGHTEST ever aircraft to fly from the UK to New Zealand completed its marathon journey last month to celebrate the RAF’s centenary. The epic trip took 32 separate flights and 200 flying hours, crossing 17 countries to cover 20,500 miles before finally touching down on New Zealand soil. It was a joyful moment for Wg Cdr Chris Pote and Officer Cadet Abby McGill who flew the final leg of the journey in the tiny aircraft which has a top speed of just 100 mph and a range of 1300 miles. “We feel euphoric, and also slightly bittersweet because it’s over – it’s been a fantastic adventure,” Wg Cdr Pote said. The specially adapted GB-NZ dual-seat Eurofox was stripped down to just 560 kg, making it the lightest aircraft to cross the Tasman Sea between Australia and New Zealand. The team launched their global fundraising flight from the UK in October last year following routes used by early aviation pioneers, taking in former RAF airfields in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, India and Myanmar. Wg Cdr Pote said: “It was an opportunity to reinforce bonds with our allies across

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EPIC: Eurofox touches down for refuelling during 20,000-mile mission

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Royal Air Force News Friday, January 11, 2019 P7


UK ramps up terror raids as Trump signals US withdrawl Staff Reporter RAF TORNADO and Typhoons blitzed Daesh terror lairs in a series of raids as ground forces battle to wipe out the brutal jihadi group’s last positions in Hajin, Syria. The UK crews obliterated heavy machine gun and mortar positions and destroyed buildings used by the last jihadi fighters still holding out against advancing Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF)n who now control most of the town, close to the Iraqi border.

The latest surge has seen Typhoon and Reaper crews carry out seven attacks in one day in the south-east of Hajin wiping out heavily armed terrorists and destroying weapons stores and positions being used by snipers. In another series of strikes Typhoons destroyed five Daeshheld buildings with precision Paveway IV bombs to support SDF fighters coming under fire. A spokesman for the MoD said: “Tornado and Typhoon flights have provided close air support to the SDF as they clear Daesh from areas of eastern and southern Hajin. “Very close coordination is required between our aircraft and the SDF who are engaged in closerange combat with the terrorists.”

STRATEGY: President Donald Trump meets seniorUS military leaders in Iraq. Left, RAF Tornado in action in the skies over Iraq, far left, Brimstone strike on Daesh position near Hajin. PHOTOS: PA/MOD

UK defence chiefs have confirmed that British Forces will continue to support Coalition operations following the recent announcement by Donald Trump that US Forces are to be withdrawn from Syria and Iraq, claiming the terror group has

been defeated. Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “The advance through Hajin is a huge milestone and shows that Daesh are being pushed further back into the shadows. “Make no mistake though,


Battle of Britain plotter Joan passes on Staff Reporter JOAN FANSHAWE, one of the last surviving Battle of Britain ‘plotters’ has died, aged 98. She joined the Womens Auxiliary Air Force at 19 in 1940 and was on duty when Churchill visited the Ops Room at HQ No 11 (Fighter) Group at RAF Uxbridge during the Battle. She continued on operational plotting duties until early 1942 when she was commissioned as an Assistant Section Officer. Joan, pictured right, rose to the

rank of Flight Officer and was on duty at the Sector Operations Centre at RAF Tangmere on D-Day. As one of the Dowding System veterans of the Association of RAF Fighter Control Officers, Joan took part in several national significant events including a service commemorating the Battle of Britain at Westminster Abbey in 2015 and the unveiling of the Dowding System commemorative stained glass windows at Bentley Priory in 2017. She was taken ill during a visit to her two daughters in New Zealand and passed away in hospital in Auckland.

although this is another significant battle won, much hard work still lies ahead to ensure we win the war. “The UK will continue to work with members of the Coalition on achieving this, to deny Daesh territory and ensure its enduring

defeat, working alongside our critical regional partners in Syria and beyond. “Much remains to be done and we must not lose sight of the threat Daesh will pose, even without territory.”




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Royal Air Force News Friday, January 11, 2019 P9


Qatar call UK Typhoon stars at glitzy Gulf airshow

Staff Reporter A TRIO of RAF Typhoons took part in the national celebrations in the Gulf state of Qatar as the country prepares to take delivery of the swing role fighter in a £6 billion deal with the UK. Three RAF Typhoons perfrormed in the Qatar National Day flypast in the nation’s capital, Doha. The aircraft, flown by 29 Sqn combat pilots from Coningsby, were guests of the Qatar Amiri Air Force alongside the French and American aircraft in the multinational display. A Typhoon pilot said: “It’s awesome when you get to do things like this. It’s been really good to work alongside the QAAF and show them what the Typhoon can do.”

The flypast strengthens UK relations with the nation ahead of the creation of a joint Typhoon training squadron in 2019 and shows a continuing effort to improve relations with other nations and improve regional security in the Gulf, a spokesman said. The QAAF signed a deal to buy 24 Typhoon fighters and Hawk T2 trainers, built in the UK by BAE Systems earlier this year. The recently reformed 12 Sqn will operate as a joint RAF and QAAF training unit from RAF Coningsby to train air and ground crews. It is the first time the UK has formed a squadron with another nation since the WWII and the UK’s commitment to security in the Gulf region. The display follows months of combat training for RAF crews alongside pilots

SHOWSTOPPERS: 29 Sqn Typhoons over Doha, below, UK crews join QAAF pilots during combat training in Qatar. PHOTOS: CPL LEE MATTHEWS

most recent drill, dubbed Epic Skies II. It followed a major three-week training excercise involving more than 5000 UK military personnel in neighbouring Oman.

from Oman and Qatar. II Sqn pilots carried out simulated air-to-air and air-to-ground combat sorties alongside Qatari pilots in the

Battlezone sim gives Chinook crews £53 million training lift Sports teaser goes here and here

CHINOOK CREWS will be able to fly simulated combat missions and replicate real life operations using the latest £53 million simulator. The new synthetic training facility will give pilots the ability to train with a full crew, carrying out supply and evacuation missions in real locations for the first time. The Lockheed Martin simulator at the RAF’s Chinook Force home at Odiham has taken five years to develop and includes two cockpit simulators and a rear cabin. The facility will train wholecrews on high risk combat missions, such as delivering frontline kit and evacuating troops and civilians. Synthetic training chief Ross Cole said: “We are able to connect the pilots and the rear crew so they can work and train together as a whole crew, for the first time.” Lockheed will deliver 4000 simulator hours a year under a 10year deal with the MoD.

Saddle up for 2019 Riding high at Cranwell showdown

● Sport p30 WHOLE CREW TRAINING: The new simulator. Inset, chinook in action



Where our students look forward with confidence The Duke of York’s Royal Military School offers full and weekly boarding with high quality continuity of education and pastoral care for boys and girls aged 11 to 18. Set within 150 acres of Kentish countryside near Dover, the school is popular with parents serving in the Armed Forces and is supported by the MOD. It has Academy status which means boarding is offered at competitive rates as the education is government funded. Also, the parental contribution for those qualifying for the Continuity of Education Allowance (CEA) drops to 8% in September 2019, which only applies to state boarding schools such as DOYRMS. As well as academic achievements, students enjoy an active lifestyle with sport, music, drama and more than 70 clubs. The school has one of the largest Combined Cadet Forces and is a Duke of Edinburgh Awards centre. In addition, ceremonial parades at different times in the year and a magnificent 90strong Marching Band make the school unique and are a time honoured way for students to celebrate military traditions. The next Open Morning is on March 9 – visit

School leaders rated outstanding in Ofsted report to book spaces. Also, applications are welcome now for the school’s Sixth Form; students enjoy a dedicated modern centre with four large dayrooms each equipment with SKY TV, comfortable seating and a small kitchen area. Accommodation with en-suite facilities is contemporary and has countryside views. Scholarships are available for Sixth Form high achievers. This year’s Ofsted report rates the school’s leaders and managers as ‘outstanding’ and the school as ‘good’ overall. Its military ethos and core values of courage, integrity, respect, commitment, loyalty and self-discipline touch all areas of school life enabling students to reach their full potential and develop a high level of maturity, resilience and social confidence. DOYRMS students ‘look forward with confidence and look back with pride’.

Open Mor Morning rning Saturday 9 Marc March ch 2019 book places on our website

Full and weekly boa boarding arding with excellent pasto pastoral oral care for students aged 1 11 1 to 18, boys and girls education Continuity of educa ation and popular with Armed d Forces families Latest Ofsted rates School’s School’s managers leaders and manag gers as ‘outstanding’ and ‘good’ ‘g good’ GCSE overall; strong GCS SE and A Level results weekday Applications open, open w available individual tours ava ailable by appointment only Active lifestyle with sport, music, drama, overr 70 largest clubs, one of the lar rgest Forces Combined Cadet Fo orces Edinburgh and Duke of Edinbu urgh Awards A wards w Centre Great facilities with modern performing teaching blocks, pe erforming halls, arts centre, sports h pool, gym, swimming poo ol, squash climbing wall, squas sh running courts, Olympic run nning track, astro turf pitc pitches ches and courts, walking trail trailss


Continuity of Education Continuity Allowance Allow wance (CEA) parent parent contribution drops drop s to 8% from S Sept t b 2019 tember 2019, September on nly at state only board ding schools; boarding education no ed ducation fees www


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generous forces’ bursaries availble

Individual visits welcome One of the country’s leading day and boarding schools Please contact Admissions for details 01527 579679


ISI Inspection 2016: “Boarding provision is excellent” “The quality of pupils’ achievements and learning is excellent” Bromsgrove offers academic excellence coupled with a wealth of sporting and extracurricular opportunities Co-educational, Day & Boarding

950 pupils aged 13-18 720 pupils aged 3 - 13 500 boarders from the age of 7+

A world of opportunities at Bromsgrove At Bromsgrove we look to challenge our pupils to achieve the best they can in a wide range of subjects, activities and sports. The Combined Cadet Force at Bromsgrove thrives with its ethos reflecting the values that we aim to develop in our pupils.

target shooting, survival and first aid training and the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (RMAS) played host 14 pupils at a STEM day aimed at encouraging females into such career areas.

This remarkable organisation is set up to enable the development of personal responsibility, leadership and self-discipline of both the cadets and adults by offering a bewildering array of opportunities. Bromsgrove Cadets take full advantage of the opportunities offered through participation in CCF and are engaged in an e xtremely busy annual calendar.

Throughout the year the RAF Section takes full advantage of the Air Experience Flying offered by RAF Cosford, where Cadets take to the air in a Grob Tutor. RAF Cadets are thrilled to both shoot and soar in the skies above Shropshire.

Nesscliff often host our contingent and cadets are keen to take part in orienteering, vehicle night navigation, DCCT Shooting and obstacle course training. Under the cover of darkness and challenging conditions, our Fifth Form Army mounted a successful blank firing ambush proving the worth of prior preparation. Upper Fourth Cadets enjoyed an overnight Field Day at Swynnerton, undertaking air rifle and clay

This year’s Biennial Inspection saw Colonel Knutton inspecting the Contingent in fine form on the School grounds. With over three hundred Cadets, the day was full on with team leadership at Blackwell Adventure through to the Bomb disposal team. This small sample of activities, combined with outstanding academic provision and the most caring pastoral support, is just a flavour of what makes a Bromsgrove pupil so successful in their future careers. Do come and visit – we know you will be impressed.

Queen Ethelburga’s

“To be the best that I can with the gifts that I have”

Queen Ethelburga’s has a long standing relationship with the British Forces,

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

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

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

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

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

We welcome day students from 3 months to 19 years and boarders from 6 years to 19 years. We are CEA accredited and in recognition of our commitment to

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

Forces families, we offer a significant reduction in fees. In 2017/18 this meant that our Forces families paid just 10% of fees. In 2018/19 Forces families will pay just £955 per term, per child.

Tel: 01423 33 33 30 Email: Thorpe Underwood Hall, Ouseburn, York, YO26 9SS |

Royal Air Force News Friday, January 11, 2019 P12

News New Year Honours 2019


CB: Air Mshl Sean Reynolds

APPOINTMENTS TO AND PROMOTIONS IN THE MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MOST EXCELLENT ORDER OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE As Commanders (CBE) l Group Captain Mark Robert FLEWIN l Air-Vice Marshal Michael Patrick HART l Group Captain Timothy Telfer JONES As Officers (OBE) l Wing Commander Mark Donald ABRAHAMS MBE l Wing Commander Paul John CROOK l Group Captain Ian James FANCOURT l Wing Commander Kevin Lee GATLAND l Wing Commander Christopher Robert MELVILLE MBE l Squadron Leader David Alan MONTENEGRO l Wing Commander (now Group Captain) Nicola Suzanne THOMAS As Members (MBE) l Flight Sergeant Brian James AITKEN l Warrant Officer Ian Melvyn BALDERSTONE l Wing Commander Garry Peter BALL l Sergeant Paul Gerard BERRY l Squadron Leader Dheeraj BHASIN l Corporal Denise BONEHAM l Corporal (now Acting Sergeant) Andrew James BRANSTON l Flight Lieutenant Michael Anthony BROADHURST l Warrant Officer Simon John HARDWICK l Wing Commander John Anthony McCARTHY l Wing Commander Mark Douglas McNULTY l Squadron Leader Joanne Elizabeth ROE l Wing Commander Daniel LUNNON-WOOD QUEEN’S VOLUNTEER RESERVES MEDAL (QVRM) l Wing Commander Kayode

A FORMER Red Arrow who led the team’s biggest ever overseas tour and the combat pilot who put together the RAF’s centenary flypast are among the leading Air Force figures named in the New Year Honours. Tornado pilot Wg Cdr Kev Gatland was awarded the OBE for orchestrating the historic flypast over London, featuring more than 100 aircraft, to mark the RAF’s 100th anniversary, last year. The event took months to plan and featured aircraft from combat choppers to the UK’s latest F-35 stealth fighter. Wg Cdr Gatland said: “It has been a real privilege to be given the responsibility of pulling together the RAF 100 Flypast. “It could not have been as successful as it was without the dedication and hard work of the whole team around me. Engineers, air traffic controllers, support staff and, of course, the aircrew flying on the day showcased the RAF at its finest.” Also honoured with the OBE is former Red Arrows chief Wg Cdr David Montenegro, who led the team for three seasons performing more than 200 displays, including the Reds’ historic tour of Asia, which included their debut display in China. Oludaisi Adesegun ADEBOYE l Flight Lieutenant Jane Tasmin COWLING

Commendation l Wing Commander K. J. TERRETT


HQ 11 Gp Meritorious Service Medal l Warrant Officer M. I. J. SOLLEY

BRITISH EMPIRE MEDAL (BEM) l Mrs Nerys BELL l Mr William James ESPIE l Mr George Brownlie PRENTICE Meritorious Service Medal, CAS, Deputy Commanders’ and AOC Commendations 3 FTS RAFC Cranwell AOC 22 Gp Commendation l Flight Lieutenant M. K. FALVEY FTRS l Flight Sergeant P. J. SIMMONS l Mr N. SCOPES l Mr M. WALKER 90 SU RAF Leeming CAS Commendation l Squadron Leader S. J. BOWYER AOC 22 Gp Commendation l Corporal W. J. ARNOLD AOC 38 Gp Commendation l Sergeant N. W. E. CORLESS l Sergeant K. A. GRUBEY l Corporal K. S. COXON FTRS Team Commendations l 90 Signals Unit – RAF Web Team l 90 Signals Unit, C&I Sqn Rapid Application, Innovation & Development Flt RAVEN Team l 90 Signals Unit, 5 Sqn – Information Systems (IS) Hub Team l 591 Signals Unit Engineering Support COS Cap Meritorious Service Medal l Master Aircrew P. S. EDWARDES DComs’

VCDS Commendation l Wing Commander A. F. R. MILLSOM NZBD AOC 22 Gp Commendation l Acting Flight Sergeant N. A. DOODY HQ 22 Gp DComs’ Commendation l Warrant Officer S. J. CRIGHTON FTRS AOC 22 Gp Commendation l Mr P. FISHER AO A4 Comd JFC Commendation l Acting Warrant Officer A. J. BROWN AOC 38 Gp Commendation l Flight Lieutenant J. G. K. GARRETT Team Commendation l RAF Support Services Team AO A6 Meritorious Service Medal l Warrant Officer S. D. ASPINALL CAS Commendation l Squadron Leader A. E. LITTLEFIELD ACOS Career & Talent Mgt Meritorious Service Medal l Flight Sergeant S. M. FENWICK

OBE: Wg Cdr Kevin Gatland

DComs’ Commendation l Flight Lieutenant G. L. BEAN Team Commendation l ACOS Manning RAF Disclosures AOC 38 Gp

Commendation l Flight Sergeant L. CLARK FTRS

Evaluation Unit, Air Portability Section

ACOS Ops AOC 1 Gp Commendation l Acting Sergeant C. M. A. HEEREY FTRS

AOC 1 Gp Commendation l Sergeant P. D. BAGWELL l Sergeant A. E. WILSON l Corporal S. A. SHORT

ACOS Pers Del CAS Commendation l Warrant Officer P. A. CHADWICK FTRS DComs’ Commendation Mrs E. F. FRYER

AOC 2 Gp Commendation l Warrant Officer S. J. CONSTANTINE

AOC 38 Gp Commendation l Squadron Leader E. A. CALVERT ACOS Pers Pol DComs’ Commendation l Squadron Leader V. J. LITTLECHILD BM Force Cdr CAS Commendation l Acting Flight Sergeant A. J. HIGGINS

DCBRNC Winterbourne Gunner DComs’ Commendation l Warrant Officer Class 2 J. E. JORDAN AOC 2 Gp Commendations l Staff Sergeant J. D. MEEHAN l Mr N. LOVELOCK Team Commendation l Defence CBRN Centre DCLPA Worthy Down AOC 38 Gp Commendation l Acting Sergeant A. J. HART

HQ Air Cadets Cranwell DComs’ Commendation l Wing Commander D. C. McCRAE l Squadron Leader R. W. FOSTER l Squadron Leader S. M. NAEEM

DCTT Meritorious Service Medal l Flight Sergeant S. TENNISON CAS Commendation l Squadron Leader G. L. THOMAS l Chief Technician A. J. BROOKS

AOC 22 Gp Commendation l Squadron Leader R. A. BROWNE l Squadron Leader J. R. GODDEN l Squadron Leader C. HAYNES l Squadron Leader J. V. LOXTON l Squadron Leader R. L. NEEDHAM l Squadron Leader C. E. P. SKIERA l Squadron Leader D. J. WITHNALL l Flight Lieutenant E. BUSBY l Flight Lieutenant D. A. HILL l Flight Lieutenant P. J. HUGHES l Flight Lieutenant E. WALTON l Warrant Officer (RAF Air Cadets) I. K. THOMAS l Sergeant A. P. DIPPLE FTRS l Mrs T. N. BOULTON

DComs’ Team Commendation l RAF Cosford Air Show Team

Team Commendations l National Aerospace Camp Team l Northern Ireland Wing ATC Centennial Wings Project Team HQ RAF Recruiting and Selection AOC 2 Gp Commendation l Flight Lieutenant J. K. DONNELLY l Acting Flight Lieutenant K. J. DORMAN AOC 38 Gp Commendation l Flight Lieutenant A. L. ROSS l Mr J. GRAINGER Team Commendation l P2 Processing Team Air 38 Gp Med Ops AOC 38 Gp Commendation l Flight Sergeant C. L. WHEELER Air Warfare Centre DComs’ Team Commendation l Joint Air Delivery Test &

AOC 22 Gp Commendations l Captain S. M. MURFIN l Flight Sergeant M. P. SWEENEY FTRS l Sergeant M. A. McNEE l Corporal A. I. COLLINS l Mr P. CATTON Team Commendations l MOD St Athan RAF100 Organisational Team l Number 4 School of Technical Training STEM Outreach Team l RAF100 Relay Baton Design and Manufacturing Team l Regimental Training Wing, 11th (Royal School of Signals) Signal Regiment DSPG Southwick Park CAS Commendation l Sergeant R. P. SPILLANE-SMITH DSTO RAF St Mawgan Meritorious Service Medal l Flight Sergeant N. S. WESTON AOC 22 Gp Commendations l Corporal R. J. JACKSON FTRS l Corporal H. M. STACKHOUSE FTRS JFACC DComs’ Commendation l Sergeant B. A. KINKADE RAuxAF AOC 38 Gp Commendation l Flight Lieutenant J. R. AYLETT JFC CAS Commendation

Royal Air Force News Friday, January 11, 2019 P13

Royal Air Force l Sergeant F. J. TINSLEY

AOC 38 Gp Commendations l Squadron Leader B. H. A. COLLINS l Corporal J. SAMUELS

RAF Brize Norton AOC 2 Gp Commendations l Master Aircrew R. S. T. ORR l Flight Sergeant R. BROMELL l Flight Sergeant N. W. POTTER l Acting Flight Sergeant C. CURTIS l Sergeant N. CONNELL l Sergeant K. D. CURLE l Sergeant D. E. HARDY l Acting Sergeant P. M. ROBERTS l Corporal C. P. VICKERS l Senior Aircraftman M. BISSET RAuxAF l Mr P. LEE

JHC Meritorious Service Medal l Warrant Officer G. CHIVERS l Master Aircrew G. JONES l Master Aircrew R. L. KNOWLES MBE l Warrant Officer C. McKNIGHT l Master AircrewA. M. NEAL MBE l Warrant Officer M. P. O’MAHONY

Team Commendations l LXX Squadron A400M Acceptance Engineering Team l ZZ171 Engineering Recovery Team, 99 Squadron l Ground Engineering Flight Duty Crew l Ground Fuels Section, RAF Brize Norton l Supply Control Accounting Flight, RAF Brize Norton

CAS Commendation l Flight Lieutenant S. M. HEWER

RAF CAM DComs’ Commendation l Squadron Leader P. A. GOODWIN FTRS

DComs’ Commendations l Squadron Leader A. HALL FTRS l Flight Lieutenant T. F. O. FOOTE l Warrant Officer V. S. TAYLOR FTRS AOC 1 Gp Commendations l Squadron Leader A. P. WALKER l Sergeant N. P. DASHWOOD

DComs’ Commendation l Chief Technician P. A. WAKEFIELD AOC 2 Gp Commendations l Warrant Officer M. J. MAGUIRE l Flight Sergeant S. C. B. POPE l Corporal K. S. FLYNN l Corporal S. P. MCNAMARA l Senior Aircraftman T. DUCEY l Mrs M. COATES Team Commendations l RAF Benson Accounts Flight l RAF Benson Blue Sky Management Ideas Team l RAF Benson Catering Flight l RAF Benson Station Engagement Team & Photographic Section AOC 22 Gp Commendation l Senior Aircraftman M. J. L. EVANS Commander JHC Commendations l Corporal L. COOPER l Sergeant G. BATES l Flight Lieutenant M. CROSBYJONES Commander JHC Commendations Team Awards l Chinook Support Centre l Aircraft Explosives Bay MOD Abbey Wood DE&S Meritorious Service Medal l Warrant Officer P. J. HALL l Chief Technician R. J. BATES DComs’ Commendation l Warrant Officer K. ROBERTSON RAF Boulmer AOC 1 Gp Commendations l Corporal C. J. McNEE l Senior Aircraftman P. J. BRIGHT

AOC 38 Gp Commendation l Corporal R. I. HERRING l Mr C. CLAYSON RAF Coningsby DComs’ Commendations l Squadron Leader J. E. FORDHAM l Senior Aircraftman (Technician) D. C. FARRER Team Commendation l Royal Air Force Coningsby Armament Engineering Flights Weapon Training Cell AOC 1 Gp Commendations l Flight Sergeant P. A. BEDSON l Sergeant G. S. DAVIDSON l Corporal M. W. KIRKPATRICK Team Commendations l RAF Coningsby Accounts Flight and Presidents of the Service Funds Internal Audit Board l Royal Air Force Coningsby Movements Flight l Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Trade Leaders AOC 38 Gp Commendation l Warrant Officer R. G. COLLINGE RAFC Cranwell DComs’ Commendation l Mr J. S. FOX AOC 22 Gp Commendations l Sergeant J. T. H. SILK l Aircraftman R. M. W. CHINNOCK l Mrs K. CARTER Team Commendation l Royal Air Force College Cranwell

Air Traffic Control Squadron RAF Digby AOC 1 Gp Commendation l Flight Lieutenant A. SPOUR AOC 2 Gp Commendation l Corporal C. W. E. McCLEARY RAF Halton DComs’ Commendation l Sergeant D. E. TRIMMINGHAM Team Commendation l Personnel Services Flight AOC 22 Gp Commendations l Warrant Officer S. J. JACOBS l Flight Sergeant S. L. HAMMOND l Mrs R. FITCH l Mrs E. MALLAM l Mrs A. TURNER

l Mobility Section l Operational Training Centre RAF Linton-on-Ouse AOC 22 Gp Commendation l Flight Sergeant W. S. ALLEN RAF Lossiemouth DComs’ Commendation l Acting Flight Sergeant S. McCINTYRE AOC 1 Gp Commendation l Flight Lieutenant I. G. BRIGHT FTRS l Warrant Officer A. P. S. KIDD l Flight Sergeant A. J. R. ALEXANDER l Corporal A. C. M. ROSS l Senior Aircraftman (Technician) L. J. ELLIOTT l Senior Aircraftman J. A. McWILLIAMS l Mrs J. ROWLAND Team Commendation l 6 Squadron Operation SHADER Engineering Rear Party Leadership Team RAF Marham Meritorious Service Medal l Warrant Officer M. G. INDER

OBE: Former Reds’ chief Wg Cdr David Montenegro, with Princes William & George

Team Commendation l Commercial Business Team RAF High Wycombe AOC 38 Gp Commendation l Flying Officer A. R. P. SOUTH l Sergeant M. DEL FRATE Team Commendation l RAF High Wycombe Physical Education Flight RAF Honington DComs’ Commendation l Flight Sergeant R. HOPPER Team Commendation 27 Squadron RAF Regiment AOC 2 Gp Commendation l Sergeant T. M. CORRIGAN l Sergeant S. J. MULLIGAN l Sergeant S. PERCIVAL l Corporal K. L. CHOUDHARY l Lance Corporal M. D. HODGSON RAF Leeming Meritorious Service Medal l Warrant Officer A. J. BEATTIE l Warrant Officer M. R. PRICE l Flight Sergeant L. L. GRIFFITHS AOC 1 Gp Commendations l Flight Lieutenant A. H. STEWART l Flight Sergeant L. J. NELSON l Sergeant G. MACDONALD FTRS Team Commendations

l Warrant Officer S. J. ROBINSON l Chief Technician J. M. GOTTS CAS Commendation l Sergeant N. J. LINES FTRS

l Major L. P. WOODHOUSE MBE l Flight Lieutenant R. J. HAIGH l Corporal M. S. HUDA l Mr D. TULLY-FEWTRELL Team Commendation l SAOC Training Design Team RAF Spadeadam AOC 1 Gp Commendation l Mr J. HUDSON RAF St Mawgan Meritorious Service Medal l Flight Sergeant D. J. KEANE AOC 22 Gp Commendation l Sergeant P. STANSFIELD RAF(U) Swanwick AOC 1 Gp Commendation l Flight Lieutenant S. BENSON RAF Valley DComs’ Commendation l Sergeant A. E. KEMP AOC 22 Gp Team Commendation l TRiM RAF Leeming RAF Waddington Meritorious Service Medal l Warrant Officer S. A. ELLIOTT l Warrant Officer A. N. THOMSON l Master Aircrew M. W. UTTING l Warrant Officer A. WOOLFORD l Master Aircrew K. S. YOUNG

DComs’ Commendation l Flight Sergeant M. E. ROBERTS

CAS Commendations l Chief Technician S. P. HUGHES l Sergeant A. LILLEY

AOC 1 Gp Commendations l Flight Sergeant C. L. NEWTON l Flight Sergeant T. NORMAN FTRS l Flight Sergeant J. M. O’CONNELL

AOC 1 Gp Commendations l Flight Sergeant R. J. BASSETT l Flight Sergeant D. D. HALLS l Chief Technician C. P. WESTOBY l Sergeant J. C. GALLEY

Team Commendations l Royal Air Force Marham Air Traffic Control Squadron l Lightning Personnel Working Group

Team Commendations l P-8A POSEIDON Course Design Team l 14 Squadron Sensor Operators

RAF Northolt Meritorious Service Medal l Warrant Officer S. WOOLDRIDGE l Flight Sergeant G. LIVERSIDGE AOC 2 Gp Commendatins l Squadron Leader T. L. HOWELL l Sergeant G. A. LOFTUS FTRS l Ms P. HUNT RAF Police Meritorious Service Medal l Warrant Officer P. A. BROWN l Flight Sergeant L. A. DENTON l Flight Sergeant C. E. HALL RAF Scampton DComs’ Commendation l Senior Aircraftman G. BARRASS RAF Shawbury AOC 22 Gp Commendations

RAF Wittering Meritorious Service Medal l Warrant Officer N. S. CULTER CAS Commendation l Corporal P. J. HERRON AOC 1 Gp Commendation l Flight Sergeant S. A. ACKLAND AOC 38 Gp Commendations l Squadron Leader A. R. CLARKE l Flight Sergeant A. FOLEY FTRS l Sergeant R. S. CHAWLIA Team Commendations l RAF Wittering STEM l HQ Air Cmd Physical Condition Survey Team l 1 AMW – UK MAMS RAF Wyton DComs’ Commendation l Acting Sergeant K. A. NORGATE

Royal Air Force News Friday, January 11, 2019 P15


Permission to sand

News bulletin

FAST AID: Cadet Ryan Moore came to the rescue of classmate

Ryan’s a life saver AIR CADET Ryan Moore has been hailed a hero for saving a school pal who was choking on a boiled sweet. The 13-year-old came to the rescue when he saw his classmate struggling to breathe – performing the Heimlich manoeuvre which cleared the youngster’s airways. Ryan said: “We are taught to deal with a situation like this. I didn’t really think it was that deep until he told me I saved his life.” AN ATLAS A400M performed a series of landings on a beach in Wales to test the heavyweight transporter’s ability to operate from dirt strip runways. Crews from 206 Sqn put the 120 ton aircraft through its paces during the trials at Pembury Sands. The RAF operates a fleet of more than 20 A400Ms which can carry up to 37 tonnes of equipment over a

range of more than 4000 miles without refuelling. Wg Cdr Neil Philp said: “This trial has showcased the tremendous tactical potential of the A400M. Once this capability is handed over to the frontline it will have a great impact on operations.”:

BEACH FOR THE SKY: Atlas lifts off from Pembury Sands in Wales PHOTOS SAC ANNA LYTHGOE


UK powers Afghan night strike Staff Reporter THE AFGHAN Air Force has launched its first night raids against insurgent fighters to combat terror strikes in the capital Kabul following months of training by UK and Nato forces. The strike by an AAF Tucano destroyed a militant hideout in the Uruzgan province and follows a spate of car bomb attacks. The fledgling Air Force operates the A-29 Super Tucano along with Black Hawk and Russian built Hips helicopters. The RAF currently has an estimated 200 personnel supporting the Nato mission to train and support Afghan Forces, alongside two Puma helicopters to provide air transport for kit and personnel. UK personnel have been deployed to mentor and train Afghan air and ground crews to keep combat aircraft flying. A spokesman said: “We are helping the Afghan Air Force to grow and to be able to conduct rotary and strike combat operations, proving a range of skills without which aircraft become unserviceable.” Sqn Ldr Lorna Bearsby was the first logistics officer to join the RAF advisory team in Kabul six months

HANDOVER: Air Cdre Seymour, left, welcomes his successor Air Cdre Davies at Waddington Air Warfare Centre. PHOTO: KYLE LARSON

Waddington sim swap AIR CDRE Richard Davies has taken over command of the RAF’s Air Warfare Centre. He replaces outgoing chief Air Cdre Al Seymour at the Waddington-based simulator facility. Speaking after taking up the appointment this month he said: “I look forward to getting down to the business of leading the AWC in its ongoing mission to support the frontline war fighter.”

Halton hits target

COMBAT READY: A pair of Afghan Air Force Tucano A-29 aircraft during a training sortie, right, RAF training officer Sqn Ldr Bearsby

ago to provide specialist training to Afghan Air Force officers and boost air mobility capability. She has completed 10 frontline tours, including previous postings to

Afghanistan. She said: “We specialise in the rapid movement of people and equipment. I joined to travel the world and to make a difference. With this challenge I am achieving those aims.”

A HALTON project aimed at inspiring youngsters to take up science and engineering welcomed its 1000th student. The station’s Aeronautics scheme was launched last year to celebrate the RAF’s 100th anniversary. The final event was attended by 65 pupils from St Edwards School.

Royal Air Force News Friday, January 11, 2019 P16

Royal Air Force News Friday, January 11, 2019 P17

Feature Tornado GR4

OP SHADER: Tornado GR4s from 9 Squadron, based at RAF Akrotiri, refuel from a RAF 101 Squadron Voyager over Iraq  PHOTO: CPL ANDREW MORRIS

GULF SERVICE: Tornado has been on combat operation for almost 30 years

The Tornado GR4 will fly its final sortie in March, ending 37 years’ service and almost three decades of combat operations. Yet there’s no sense of gloom at its RAF Marham home, just tremendous pride in the capabilities of the aircraft and its people By Paul Eden


HE IX (BOMBER) SQN and 31 Sqn buildings, located just a short walk apart at RAF Marham, echo emptily as the slimmed down Tornado Force tick off the days as the jet’s 40-year career draws to a close. The final chapter in the valiant Tornado story is being played out in Iraq and Syria, where the veteran Tonka is still delivering cuttingedge capability supporting the Coalition fight against Daesh from RAF Akrotiri. The last day of Royal Air Force Tornado flying will be an emotional one. But for most involved the end for Tornado is a new beginning, with squadron administrators, engineers and aircrew moving on to other platforms and taking their vast experience into a new world of next-generation capability. Tornado Force and Lightning Force Commander Air Cdre David Bradshaw has a busy job supporting the Tornado squadrons as they deliver frontline airpower, while helping guide 617 Sqn during its work-up on the F-35B. He is uniquely placed to appreciate Tornado and the nextgeneration capability that Lightning ushers in. He said: “Tornado is at the top of its game, for the type of operation in which it is engaged over Iraq and Syria. “But we see rising threat levels around the world and Tornado will become less and less able to operate with impunity as it does over Iraq and, to a lesser degree, over Syria. “We don’t believe it will be viable in the higher-threat environments of the future, which is why, when

you look at Typhoon and then Lightning, you see more and more capable systems to ensure survivability and effectiveness in the target area.”

Iconic Tonka goes down fighting


t is fitting that IX (Bomber) Sqn should be among the final Tornado GR4 units, having introduced the GR1 to the frontline in 1982. The second remaining Tornado unit, 31 Sqn, began Tornado operations in 1984 and both have a secure future. For IX(B) that means a move to RAF Lossiemouth and reequipment with Typhoon, while 31 Sqn will reappear operating the unmanned Protector aircraft replacing Reaper. Third of the final Tornado outfits, 12 (Bomber) Sqn stood the type down in February 2018, only to reform in July, ready to operate Typhoon. Wg Cdr James Heeps is Officer Commanding IX(B) Sqn, a position he’ll retain until Tornado’s withdrawal. He said: “Most of us are just proud to be part of Tornado Force and consider it a privilege to be here at the end.” A career Tornado pilot, his experience includes Operations Telic, Herrick and Ellamy, as well as Shader. Flying a Storm Shadow mission out of Marham during the conflict in Libya was a highlight, as was a unique strike salvo-firing 12 legacy Brimstone missiles against dispersed armour in the same theatre of operations. “Flying lots of Op Shader missions while the battle for Mosul was at its height would have to be another highlight, but then


AIR CDRE DAVID BRADSHAW: Tornado and Lightning Forces Commander

WG CDR JAMES HEEPS: Officer Commanding IX(B) Squadron

WG CDR MATT BRESSANI: Officer Commanding 31 Squadron

commanding the squadron is a particular honour and privilege,” he added.

enable its crews to deliver a suite of advanced target effects, from long-range cruise missile strikes to precision, low-collateral damage attacks in dense urban environments. The transformation from Cold War bomber designed to deliver

unguided conventional or nuclear weapons to medium-altitude precision attack platform started with the Tornado GR1 to GR4 upgrade. Heeps began his career on the GR4, and the aircraft he flies today are very different to those he originally flew


hile the Tornado airframe might be ready for retirement, upgrades to its systems and weapons

during Operation Telic during 2005. “The aircraft I first flew was still very much focused on low flying and the delivery of unguided weapons, with little assistance from GPS and a reliance on finding targets with the radar or visually,” he said. “That’s all gone now, we haven’t used unguided bombs for a number of years. We actually began flying medium-level operations in 1991, but acquiring the Litening pod in 2007 transformed them. “The navigation system upgrade in 2005 was another transformation, turning the navigator from a traditional navigator’s role into that of a weapons system operator, because now the aircraft knows where it is, fantastically accurately. “Add to all that the Link 16 data we now have, and the combat jet is almost unrecognisable compared to the Tornado I first flew, even though it’s still a GR4. “I believe the jump in capability

There’s no bad news, no sadness that the aircraft is being retired – just a sense of pride and privilege. As people leave they can do so with their heads held high at having been part of the Force that’s been the backbone of UK combat air for decades

between the original GR4 and the aircraft we have now is larger than that between GR1 and GR4.”


can do so with their heads held high at having been part of the Force that’s been the backbone of UK combat air for decades. “Neither the platform nor the people have anything left to prove and to have taken just a small part in that is real goosebumps stuff.” While there are one or two Tornado campaigners wearing 5,000-hour badges and many more with 3,000-plus hours, there are also less experienced pilots and WSOs going through all the training that any fast jet squadron would deliver. The final ab initio WSO course left XV (Reserve) Squadron, the Tornado OCU, in 2013, but the last pilot only graduated early in 2017. Bressani added: “Since I came back from my last Shader tour in June, we’ve been heavily involved in the RAF100 flypast and several other high-profile events. “On top of that, we’ve been training for contingency, sharpening all those skills that we hardly ever or perhaps never employ on Operation Shader. “Low-level flying is a simple example, but there’s also combined air operations, flying within a package with other aircraft types. “And all the time we’re doing that, we still maintain a focus on the close air

g Cdr Matt Bressani, Officer Commanding 31 Sqn, came into post in August 2016 and is looking forward to an extended period in command until March 2019 as the squadron’s final Tornado ‘boss’. He counts himself lucky for the twists of fate that brought him into the role: “I was a Flight Commander on 31 Sqn, then I left for a squadron leader ground tour. “I was convinced that was the end of my Tornado flying career, but now I find myself as one of the last two OCs and with the squadron destined to be the last to fly Tornado ops. It’s a huge privilege. “When I consider the aircraft’s 37-year career, and that it’s been on operations for 29 consecutive years, I feel enormous pride. “There’s no bad news, no sadness that the aircraft is being retired – just a sense of pride and privilege. AT WORK: Tornado engineer As people leave the Force they PHOTO: SAC PHIL DYE

support and recce skills we’ll need when we deploy back to Cyprus.”


ressani cites the recent attack on Syrian storage facilities stockpiling nerve agents following a chemical attack on civilians as one of his most memorable missions. He said: “Without doubt, the professional highlight was the Storm Shadow attack flown against Syrian regime chemical weapons facilities. To lead the squadron during that unique operation was a particular honour, but then Operation Shader in general has been hugely rewarding. “The final stages of our contribution to the liberation of Mosul was another highlight, especially seeing Tornado deliver airpower in a complex, congested environment where the distances between our targets and friendly forces were often unbelievably small and yet our whole team delivered it with complete professionalism and accuracy.” And that pretty much sums up Tornado Force – professionalism and accuracy, delivering airpower and decisive, precision effect at range or over the battlefield, right up to that last sortie in 2019.

Regulars Announcements l p 6-7



Win The Crown Season Two on DVD l p3

Dressing the First Lady â&#x20AC;&#x201C; p3

Royal Air Force News Friday, January 11, 2019 R'n'R 3


EXCLUSIVE interview, by Tracey Allen

EMMYS: Designer Jane Petrie, centre, with colleagues Basia Kuznar, left, and Gaby Spanswick. PHOTO: PA


HERE WAS no expense spared in the making of the hit Netflix drama The Crown – and it shows. Fans of the lavish series, said to have cost a staggering £100 million, will be familiar with its extremely high standards – Season Two garnered no less than five Emmy Awards. Among the recipients was costume designer Jane Petrie for her outstanding work on the second series that follows Queen Elizabeth II through the turbulent times of the late 1950s and early 60s. The critically-acclaimed TV show, featuring an impressive cast headed by Claire Foy as the Queen, Matt Smith as the Duke of Edinburgh and Vanessa Kirby as Princess Margaret, covers momentous events including the Suez Crisis, the resignation of British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan and US President John F Kennedy’s assassination. Jane has worked on a range of prestigious projects including the TV series Black Mirror and the films The English Patient, Suffragette and 28 Weeks Later. She told RnR: “Generally, the biggest challenge on The Crown is the pace, because all the costumes have to be made as quickly as possible. Everything Margaret and Elizabeth wore, except a couple of dresses, were made from scratch. “It’s very hard to find quality, original stuff – I did find a few bits and pieces but not nearly as many as I had imagined before I started. “Sourcing the materials was hard work – we had a really good textile workshop so we dyed a lot of fabric and if we wanted patterns for the Queen Mother then we printed them in-house. You are better off producing it yourself rather than trying to buy something of the period.” And that’s exactly what she did for a scene in the episode Dear Mrs Kennedy that won Jane and her team the Emmy. She said: “The scene where Jackie Kennedy arrives at Buckingham Palace was shot at Lancaster House in central London. When I was on set during the rehearsal in the morning I realised Jackie should have a shawl. “I got one of the drivers to take me to Elstree Studios and made the shawl at lunchtime, then put my hour's worth of shawl on top of [assistant costume designer] Basia’s [Kuznar] fantastic couture gown. Stuff like that happens all the time.”


ot surprisingly, being involved with such an illustrious project – one of Netflix’s most successful TV series – is not for the fainthearted.

Winning Emmy costume star's Crowning glory LUNCH-HOUR RUSH JOB: Jane's Jackie Kennedy shawl

STRIKING RESEMBLANCE: Actress Claire Foy stars as HM Queen Elizabeth II in The Crown

Jane explained: “You are working with a schedule that is everchanging. You might have two film crews with two different directors telling two different stories at the same time, for example the Queen on a Royal visit to Ghana, and Margaret and Tony ArmstrongJones in London, so I had to hand over quite a lot to assistant designers.” The Crown may have hit the headlines because of its big budget, but, as Jane explained, she still had to make every penny count. She said: “It was really, really nice to be able to buy fantastic cloth but I had to make up the budget. One outfit Margaret wore used fabric that was £200 a metre – an outrageous price, but that fabric was perfect. I also found a yellow cotton for something for the Queen that cost £4.99 a metre from Shepherd’s Bush Market.”

DASHING: Matt Smith as Duke

Season Two up for grabs Win! WE HAVE three copies of the DVD box set of The Crown Season 2, certificate 15 (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment) to win. For your chance to own one, simply answer this question correctly: Who plays Queen Elizabeth II in The Crown? Email your answer, marked: The Crown DVD competition, to: or post it to: RAF News, Room 68, Lancaster Building, HQ Air Command, High Wycombe, HP14 4UE, to arrive by January 25. She sourced accessories, such as jewellery, handbags, shoes and hats, from collectors, either renting or buying, and from websites such as Etsy and eBay.

Accuracy was of paramount importance for The Crown and the designer worked closely with decorated Army veteran Major David Rankin-Hunt, formerly of

the Royal Household, who advised on etiquette, medals and insignia. She said: “He was brilliant, incredible. We had to make a lot of medals and we made him one at the end of the series for services to costume.”


f course, before even starting to make any costumes for The Crown, Jane spent time researching the period in which the show is set. She said: “That’s a part of the job I particularly enjoy. Andrew Marr’s History of Modern Britain TV series was a great start for The Crown. “I go to a variety of sources – I watch a lot of film footage because if you look only at stills or fashion plates and magazines there’s an element of control and something slightly theatrical about them, so I always like to see footage of the world at large – that’s what makes something real.”

Royal Air Force News Friday, January 11, 2019 R'n'R 4

Royal Air Force News Friday, January 11, 2019 R'n'R 5


R'n'R The Big Event


Avril Lavigne

20 Holby Facts

Holby City's 20th anniversary

Head Above Water

Avril Lavigne's inspired by female music greats MY HAIROS: Avril adores Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald PHOTO: DAVID NEEDLEMAN


RAMMY-NOMINATED Avril Lavigne has announced that her new album Head Above Water will be released on February 15. She has unveiled a sneak preview of the track Tell Me It’s Over and premiered the accompanying music video on YouTube. Lavigne said: “I feel like I’ve really opened up on this album more than I ever have before. Each song tells a story that will hopefully inspire others to believe in themselves and stand up for what they know is right and what they truly deserve. “Tell Me It’s Over is an anthem about being strong, finally putting your foot down and closing the door on a relationship that you know is wrong after time and time again of falling for their games.

“If someone doesn’t treat you the way you deserve to be treated, don’t put up with it. It’s understandably so hard because in the past every time you saw them, they sucked you in and you fell right back into their web, but not anymore, starting now." She added: “The vocals and the lyrics are very vulnerable, which is reflective of the feelings I had in relationships like these. I wanted to write something classic and have been inspired by some of the timeless queens I listen to every day at home: Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Aretha Franklin and Etta James. They represent women who stand up for women.” n Go to: for more details.

No Stranger to success


ACK SAVORETTI releases his new album Singing to Strangers on March 15 – and he’s announced a series of tour dates for the summer. The album is the follow-up to his two gold discs, Written in Scars (2014) and Sleep No More (2016). Produced by Cam Blackwood (George Ezra) and recorded in Rome at Ennio Morricone’s studio last summer, the 12-track album features Jack’s acclaimed live band: guitarists Pedro Vito

and Sam Lewis; bassist Sam Davies, drummer Jesper Lind, Davide Rossi (Coldplay, Goldfrapp) on strings and musical director Nikolai Torp on keyboards. Candlelight was the first single, released in December, from Singing to Strangers. Savoretti (pictured) said: “The studio was in the basement of this huge church and the atmosphere in there was essential when recording Candlelight. That track became the calling card of the album.” n Go to: jacksavoretti. com for tour details.

REGULARS: Cast now and Lawson, inset below, who reprised his role as Tom Campbell-Gore

Old favourites return to wards of Holby City


HIS YEAR is set to be a momentous one at Holby City Hospital, as the longrunning BBC One drama series celebrates its 20th anniversary with a host of guest appearances from favourite former characters. The celebrations will roll through to a special tribute to Holby City’s 1000th episode in the autumn. Piers Wenger, controller of BBC Drama, said: “The past 20 years has seen the series tackle and raise awareness of so many important social and medical issues, from Parkinson’s and dementia to male mental health. We’re extremely proud of the show.” Denis Lawson (New Tricks) is one of the returning cast – back for two episodes as Tom Campbell-Gore, a

cardiothoracic consultant last seen towards the end of series 6. Simon Harper, executive producer of Holby City and Casualty, said: “It’s a massive thrill to have Denis back, not only as one of our country’s foremost actors but also as one of Holby’s original bad boys in the show’s early years.” What can audiences expect from Holby’s anniversary celebrations? Harper explained: “We’re giving the audience a whole anniversary year of treats which celebrate the new, but also pay homage to the old – the show’s heritage and history. "As well as the return of Denis Lawson as CampbellGore and the glorious Sharon D Clarke as Lola in the first couple of weeks,

NOW, WHERE HAVE I SEEN HER BEFORE? Familiar faces, like Lorraine Chase, crop up on the show

we’ll see the return of Camilla Arfwedson as Zosia later in the spring. We can look forward to some other returns too… watch this space.” Guest actors in Holby City over the

years include: Jodie Comer, Paul O’Grady, Rev Richard Coles, Lorraine Chase, Graeme Garden, Romesh Ranganathan, Helen Flanagan, Kym Marsh, Maureen Lipman and Sylvester McCoy.

l Initially the entire production was on just one set – now Darwin ward. There are now five. l The show's original title was Surgical Two. l There were three doctors in the first episode in 1999, Anton Meyer, Nick Jordan and Kirstie Collins, with a fourth – Victoria Merrick (Lisa Faulkner) – on screen from the second episode. l The series will reach its 1000th episode in the autumn. l Both Holby City and Casualty are set in Holby City Hospital. Holby is a spin-off from Casualty – which began in 1986. l The hospital is based in the fictional city of Holby, in Wyvern County. The city is based on Bristol, where Casualty was formerly filmed. l Holby has an airport called Holby International. l Holby City films for 50 weeks a year. l Holby City shares the same studio site as BBC One's EastEnders. l The first series was only nine episodes long. l Holby City has been nominated for more than 100 television awards and has won 10, including the 2008 Bafta for Best Continuing Drama. l Holby began with 11 main characters in its first series, it now has a core set of 16. l There have been 12 CEOs in the series, the first was Jan Goddard, played by Judy Loe, who started off on screen in Casualty. l Several episodes of the series have been shot on location abroad, including Ghana, Switzerland, Dubai, Stockholm, Paris, Kiev and Cape Town. l The series employs a team of researchers and medical advisors. l While Holby City and Casualty are based in the same fictional city, they are actually filmed around 160 miles away from each other (Holby in Elstree and Casualty in Cardiff). l Hugh Quarshie (Ric Griffin) is the longest-serving actor on the series, having joined in 2001. He has worked on the show for 17 years and has appeared in nearly 600 episodes. l Recently the show was lauded for working on a storyline about male mental health with charity Mind. l Cast members are taught how to give realistic injections, monitor blood pressure and check a pulse. They are also sent out into hospitals when they join to experience what it's like to work in a real medical environment. l Holby City premiered on January 12, 1999.


Trust Fast Health


Dr Michael Mosley

Doctor's fast way to a new you for the new year I

F YOU’RE feeling in need of a health reboot after the excesses of the festive season, a date with Dr Michael Mosley, the man behind the iconic 5:2 diet, could be just what you’re looking for. The popular TV presenter is embarking on his first UK theatre tour, starting on February 2. The Trust Fast Health tour visits 38 venues around the UK and the show sees Dr Mosley exploding common health myths and offering fascinating insights into the workings of the human body. The award-winning science journalist will also be talking about his new book, The Fast 800, just published, which explains how to combine rapid weight loss and intermittent fasting for long-term health. He will take audiences on the unconventional journey he has travelled himself – from swallowing a tapeworm to uncovering revolutionary new ways to lose weight, get fit and reduce stress.

Having studied Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Oxford University, Mosley took up a career as an investment banker but soon realised it wasn’t for him and went on to study medicine at London’s Royal Free Hospital. Qualifying as a doctor, he opted to become a programme maker – producing science and history documentaries for the BBC, first behind the camera and more recently as a presenter. He has made more than a dozen programmes including Medical Mavericks, Blood and Guts, Inside Michael Mosley, Inside The Human Body and Eat, Fast and Live Longer. Trust Me, I’m A Doctor saw him take up a presenting role for the first time. Following the success of the book Eat, Fast and Live Longer, he co-authored The Fast Diet with Evening Standard journalist Mimi Spencer in 2013 followed by The 8-Week Blood Sugar Diet in 2015, which went on to become an international bestseller.

HEALTH GURU: TV star, author and doctor Michael Mosley

Win tickets

We have three pairs of tickets up for grabs for the Trust Fast Health tour. For your chance to win a pair, simply send us the correct answer to the following question: How many venues around the UK does the Trust Fast Health tour visit? Email your answer, marked Trust Fast Health tour competition, to: or post it to: RAF News, Room 68, Lancaster Building, HQ Air Command, High Wycombe, HP14 4UE, to arrive by January 25. n Go to: for tour details and please remember to include on your competition entry your preferred first and second choice of venue. * Terms and Conditions: subject to availability and not exchangeable for cash or other productions.

Ben rings the changes M

TOUR: Ben Elton is back on stage

ORE THAN 30 years ago Ben Elton exploded into the national consciousness hosting Channel 4’s ground-breaking Saturday Live. Now, after a 15-year absence, the comedian, actor, playwright, author and director, dubbed ‘the godfather of modern stand-up’ returns to the medium he did so much to define. Back on the road with an all new stand-up show, the Upstart Crow and Blackadder writer

promises to try to make sense of a world ‘which appears to have gone stark raving mad’. He said: “The last time I toured I was still smarter than my phone. Things have definitely taken a funny turn.” The 53-date tour kicks off in Dublin on September 27 and then travels across the UK, culminating in Torquay on November 30.  Tickets for all shows are now on sale via and other online outlets.

Royal Air Force News Friday, January 11, 2019 R'n'R 6

R'n'R Your Announcements

You can email photos for announcements on this page to:

Death IT is with great sadness I announce the death of Derek Donnison, Boy Entrant, RAF Cosford, ex Warrant Officer, 39 years service. Loved the RAF. Friends get in touch – contact Kate Tonner: 07919 568069. PARNELL Robert (Bob) Warrant Officer. Born 09May 9, 1943 passed away November 23, 2018, aged 75. Beloved husband, father, grandfather, greatgrandfather and great-greatgrandfather. Joined the RAF in 1960 as apprentice supplier at Bircham Newton and served 35 years until 1995 when he retired. Will be sadly missed by family and friends. STOKES Anthony Michael (Tony) MAEOp (retired) sadly died on December 1 after battling with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis for more than three years. Dearly loved husband of Brenda, devoted father to Andrew and Sally-Anne and an adored Grandad to Sam, Hannah and Annie.

Tony served at MOTU 224 Squadron (twice) and finally on 51 Squadron, Wyton. He will leave a large gap in the lives of everyone who met him. Tony's funeral, at his request, was private and has taken place. WELLSTEAD Vic, Warrant Officer. Born May 8, 1945, died on December 10, 2018 in Lincoln, aged 73. Beloved husband to Sue and father to Stephanie and Nicola. Joined the RAF in 1966 as an Aerial Erector and retired 2000. Served in GRIS, Bahrain, Stanbridge, Cyprus, Brize Norton, Bampton Castle, Hong Kong, Henlow (multiple times), Gibraltar, Bruggen, North Luffenham, Sealand and Brampton. Vic will be greatly missed. The funeral service will be held at Lincoln Crematorium on Monday, January 28 at 11.10am. Family flowers only. Donations, if desired, to the Royal British Legion. For further details visit: obituaries/56142. Enquiries to Lincolnshire Co-operative Funeral Services, Proctor Road, Lincoln, LN2 4LA. Tel: 01522 535800.

In Memoriam DOLMAN Florence Grace Much-loved wife of Tom, ex FS, BEM, RAF Fire and Crash Section 1956-1978. Dearest mother of John and Keith. Beloved motherin-law, grandmother and great-grandmother. Passed peacefully away January 12, 2015 after a very brave fight against dementia. Sadly missed by all who knew her.

Reunions 31 Gp ROC Association Annual AGM and Reunion in the Magherabuoy Hotel, Portrush, Co Antrim on February 2-3, 2019. Email: 222 OCTU, RAF Henlow, started February 3, 1969. 50th Anniversary Lunch proposed for February 2019. Interested? Contact Hugh Gray-Wallis at: hughgw@ WA A F / W R A F / R A F ( W ) Association: Reunion and AGM to be held in Cambridge, April 5 –

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 Edwin Rodrigues on: 07482 571535. 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.

April 8. Contact Linda Hamill – Treasurer (01472 232986), Sgt Tracy Watson – Chairperson (01256 367762) or: RAF Administrative Apprentices Association. Weekend of June 14-16, Northampton Marriott Hotel. For full details please contact: CSDE F4J(UK) Project reunion. Interested? contact Ted Stickley: 01271 377159. or: 07889 680041.

WRAF Memorial CHIEF OF the Air Staff, ACM Sir Stephen Hillier, has lent his support to a campaign to raise funds for a memorial to the Womens Royal Air Force to be erected at the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas, Staffordshire. A committee of ex-WRAFs and serving female personnel has been formed and more than £6,000 raised towards the total of £30,000 approximately for the design and siting of a suitable memorial. There is a Facebook fundraising page for the Memorial. To donate or to help with fundraising email: wrafmemorialfund@

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 Dewhurst of UK. (Original) With cummerbund, Medal Loops. Condition: excellent. (used 10-15 functions max). Rank: FS (would suit all Sergeants and above – was previously a Warrant Officer, so could be re-badged and not be faded). Cost: £75 ONO. If interested please contact John N Wells; call: 01487 814777 (home); 07922 035588 (mobile).

ARAFWO MEMBERSHIP of the Association of RAF Women Officers is open to all serving and former serving women officers of RAF, RAuxAF, RAFVR(T), WRAF, WAAF, WRAuxAF and WRAFVR. All eligible ladies are invited to join and will be given the warmest welcome. Please email: suearnold474@gmail. com or call: 07740 86565.

RAF Changi Assoc RAF Changi Association (inc. HQFEAF), always looking for new members. Contact Membership Secretary Malcolm Flack on: 01494 728562 or you can email: MemSecChangi@ or visit: afchangi. com for more details.

RAF Catering Assoc MEMBERSHIP is open to those who are serving or have served as a Warrant Officer or Flight Sergeant in Trade Group 19 and former RAF Catering Officers. For more information and an application form please email: Eddie Jones:, or call: 01487 823480.

230 Sqn Assoc £6 gets you full membership of 230 Sqn Assoc and details of annual reunions. Go to: for details.

Admin Apprentices DID





Apprentice Supplier or Clerk at either RAF Ruislip, St Athan, Bircham Newton, Halton or Hereford? Please contact www.rafadappassn. org for details of YOUR association.

RAF News wanted THE RAF Museum in Hendon, north London, is asking RAF News readers to help boost the museum’s collection of archive copies of the newspaper. Assistant Curator Andrew Dennis said the Museum is missing a number of copies from 2002. They are: No 1050 (07/06/2002); 1108 (01/10/2004); 1116 (04/02/2005); 1132 (16/09/2005); 1194 (14/03/2008); 1195 (28/03/2008); 1196 (11/04/2008); 1290 (13/01/2012); 1376 (31/07/2015); 1436 (09/02/2018) and 1437 (23/02/2018). Mr Dennis is also looking for any copies of RAF News that were published before March 1966 (pre-edition 130). If you can help please email: Andrew.Dennis@

Tribute to the fallen

MORE THAN 250 people attended a special service at Ely Cathedral last month to mark the start of the 80th anniversary year of the first named air battle of World War II – the Battle of Heligoland Bight. The ceremony paid tribute to the 57 RAF airmen and two Luftwaffe members who lost their lives in the battle, that took place on December 18, 1939, when the RAF sent a combined force of 24 Wellington bombers to attack German ships, in daylight, in the Heligoland Bight in the North Sea. The event was organised by Jack Waterfall with RAF liaison from Sqn Ldr (Retired) Dicky James. Sqn Ldr James said: “The battle informed RAF Bomber Command's decision to switch from daylight raids to night-time operations. “It lasted less than an hour and the RAF lost 12 aircraft and 57 airmen. The Luftwaffe lost two airmen. The aircraft were seen by an experimental German Freya radar on the island of Wangerooge and were scattered by accurate flak, then attacked by fighters.” During the ceremony (above) 59 candles were lit around the cathedral’s central octagon and 59 remembrance discs placed on the ground by relatives of those who died, local RAF personnel and senior officers, led by ISTAR Force Commander and IX(B) Sqn Association chairman Air Cdre Nick Hay.

Royal Air Force News Friday, January 11, 2019 R'n'R 7

R'n'R Your Announcements You can email photos for announcements on this page to:

Nights at the museum It's a family affair for Digby vet IF YOU want to experience an unforgettable night at the museum, act fast – organisers say the first date for the RAF Museum Cosford's popular Pillows and Pilots sleepover this year, on March 2, is already sold out. Youngsters are being offered the chance to set

up camp in the Museum’s National Cold War Exhibition, where they will sleep amongst the planes, tanks and missiles. Suitable for youth groups aged 7-15, the special nights – on April 13 (girls only) and May 11(mixed) – promise to be packed

with interactive activities. These include having a go at launching K’Nex rocket cars and competing for prizes, standing under the Vulcan to drop parachutes off the balcony aiming for the target below, taking part in craft activities and dressing up in RAF uniforms for the wartime photobooth where children can select their props and pose for a picture as a memento of the evening. A continental breakfast will be served the next morning and youngsters will have early bird access to the Museum Shop and Test Flight hangar including the Fun ‘n’ Flight interactive area, with a 50 per cent discount voucher for a ride on the 4D Experience. The sleepover dates can cater for up to 200 children and group leaders. Q Go to: cosford for more details and to make a booking. NIGHT TO REMEMBER: Left, youngsters take part in last year's Pillows and Pilots event at the RAF Museum, Cosford

A FORMER SAC has made a nostalgic return to RAF Digby – 62 years after he was stationed there as a National Serviceman. Jack Low, who now lives in Surrey, said he wanted to visit the Lincolnshire base ‘to pay homage to the station which played such a huge part in my life.’ The young newspaper reporter began his RAF service as a personnel clerk, played hockey for 90 Group while at Digby and football for the local Scopwick United team. He said: “National Service was what you made it and my own experience resulted in serious consideration about signing on.” Instead, he chose to return to newspapers and went on to have a 30-year career in journalism. During Jack's recent tour of his old station, SWO Steve Dixon took him to see the old Orderly Room – now the welfare department. Jack’s granddaughter Lucy Robinson recently joined the

JACK'S BACK: Former SAC Lowe and his wife Margaret with Digby SWO Steve Dixon. Inset, Jack, centre, and RAF colleagues in 1955

RAF and he was delighted to learn that she will be following in his footsteps and stationed at Digby. He said: “Lucy follows a strong family tradition in the RAF. My father, Sgt Norman Low, ran the Orderly Room at RAF Basra throughout World War II, an aunt recently celebrated her 98th birthday after a lifelong RAF career based mainly in England, my brother served

Think London Think Union Jack Club

his National Service in Germany at RAF Celle, and a nephew flew with the South African Air Force display team.” He added: “Most dramatically, my wife’s late husband, Flt Lt William Chandler, piloted Wellingtons during World War II, ditching in the Mediterranean before being rescued safely with his whole crew two days later.”

























020 7928 4814

Union Jack Club

On Twitter @unionjackclub


Royal Air Force News Friday, January 11, 2019 R'n'R 8

R'n'R Prize Crossword No. 241

Solve the crossword, then rearrange the 12 letters in yellow squares to find an RAF word

Prize Su Doku

Solutions should be sent in a sealed envelope marked 'Prize Crossword' with the number in the top left-hand corner to RAF News, Room 68, Lancaster Building, HQ Air Command, High Wycombe, Bucks, HP14 4UE to arrive by January 25, 2019.

No. 250 Fill in all the squares in the grid so that each row, each column and each 3x3 square contains all the digits from 1 to 9.

Across 6. Custodian takes dog up a hill (7) 7. Capital assistant places Frenchman in Los Angeles (5) 9. Food for father’s volunteers (5) 10. Aircraft carries Prince endlessly and even fine art (7) 12. Pool photo involves the French flying manoeuvre (4-3-4) 14. How a pilot measures out his career (6,5) 18. New York photo destroyed by aircraft (7) 19. Sounds like we require pound (5) 21. See 1 Down 22. Strange dialect in fortress (7) Down 1. And 21 Across. Crooner Crosby sickeningly humane to his fellow man (5,5) 2. See 20 Down 3. Initially Vincent O’Brien will promise (3) 4. Guard Irishman in heart of Metroland (6) 5. Leader through Rome, perhaps (7) 8. Profitable animal, presumably (4,3) 11. Baden Baden blog describes Italian food familiarly (4,3) 13. Enclosure that should contain a child (7) 15. Chinese book moving slowly forward is pointless (1,5) 16. Without a fugitive on strip (6) 17. Trainee acted very badly (5) 20. And 2 Down. Fairford event with cool drumming (3,6)


The winner of Crossword No. 238 is Nigel Scopes from RAFC Cranwell who wins a copy of A Tale of Ten Spitfires by Andrew Critchell ( Solution to crossword No. 238

Name.................................................................................................................... Address................................................................................................................ .............................................................................................................................. .............................................................................................................................. RAF WORD:.....................................................................Crossword No. 241

UK Box Office Top 10 1

Mary Poppins Returns (pictured below)

2 Bumblebee 3 Aquaman 4 Holmes and Watson 5

Ralph Breaks the Internet


Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

7 The Grinch 8 Bohemian Rhapsody 9

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

10 Creed II


Across 7. Red-eye 8. Python 10. Warrior 11. Chill 12. Apse 13. Story 17. Watch 18. Pair 22. Unite 23. Oil-well 24. Benson 25. Salami

.................................................................................. Solutions should Address.................................................................... be sent in a sealed .................................................................................. envelope marked 'Su Doku' with the ....................................................Su Doku No. 250 number in the top left-hand corner to Solution to Su Doku No: 249 RAF News, to arrive by January 25, 2019. Su Doku No.249 winner Colin S Jones from Didcot wins a copy of The Fury of Battle by Robert Kershaw (amberley-books. com).

Down 1. Crewman 2. Address 3. Syria 4. Synchro 5. Choir 6. Ankle 9. Protector 14. Cape Cod 15. Paveway 16. Trellis 19. Rugby 20. Piano 21. Clean. Aircraft – Sopwith Camel

Film review

The Old Man and The Gun

Out now

Redford has the last laugh


OBERT REDFORD is back to his outlaw ways in this romanticised true story of a 70-year-old bank robber. Forrest Tucker 'robs banks and has a style' – this is what he tells Jewel (Cissy Spacek) when they meet over coffee, behind a wry smile that shines with playfulness. She doesn't believe him, or maybe doesn't want to, but, like us, she can't help but be drawn in. The Old Man and the Gun follows Tucker in the later stages of his life, having been incarcerated 18 times, but still not learning his lesson. In fact he escaped from most of these prisons, shown in a comedic montage that breaks from the slower, swooning pace of the film. Set in 1981 but with the look, feel and soundtrack that seems cut from the 70s, this film is soaked in nostalgia for a different time. Tucker bands together with two others (Danny Glover and Tom Waits) as they hit a string of small banks in different states. It is unfulfilled cop John Hunt (Casey Affleck) who catches onto the 'Over the Hill Gang' and makes himself chief investigator, trying to

DEBONAIR CHARM: Robert Redford stars as bank robber Forrest Tucker in what he hinted could be his final film role

track down the smiling gentleman described by witnesses. Several releases in recent years have focused on heists conducted by an older generation, such as Going in Style and King of Thieves, and they all seem to have a sense of humour about them. But where the others appear

brash, this film has the same debonair charm as its lead. Hinting that this would be his last film role, you couldn't be blamed for thinking of Redford's back catalogue, in fact an effort is made to remind you: the font of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid is used for the Old Man title,

and even a clip from The Chase is featured. This nostalgia-filled love letter seems to be a send-off for Redford, delightfully packaged and delivered with a smile. Review by Sam Cooney R'n'R Rating:

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



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

TO FIND OUT MORE, VISIT FORD.CO.UK/MILITARYSALES Official fuel consumption figures in mpg (l/100km) for the Ford Kuga ST-Line range: urban 30.1-57.6 (9.4- 4.9), extra urban 44.8- 67.3 (6.3- 4.2), combined 37.7-64.2 (7.5- 4.4). Official CO2 emissions 173-115g/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 4% to 20% off the Recommended On The Road price available across the Ford range (excluding KA+ and Focus RS) on vehicles contracted between 26th January 2018 and 31st December 2018 and registered between 26th January 2018 and 30th June 2019. 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, January 11, 2019 P19 n Please note letters must be a maximum of 300 words and any accompanying pictures sent as attached, hi-res JPEG files

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

Being away from home never easy IT’S ALWAYS difficult for What’s gone wrong over the years our Armed Forces personnel with that tried and tested system? being away on duty at Christmas, Deployments and irregular especially when separated from shifts were part of the job then as one’s partner or family. But it’s they are now, especially on a flying nothing new and just has to be squadron; as I was for a large part of got on with. During my first my Service career as an armourer. operational Christmas, I If we felt a need to ask for help spent most of it digging there was always the Padre or Star our Flight Commander and, Canberras out of snowdrifts letter if they were unsympathetic, at RAF Binbrook. The SNCO quoted in your we just got on with it. story ‘Forces fighting Christmas Even back in those days blues’ in RAF News No 1457 said stress levels were quite high. In in their 20 years in the Air Force “I the main, wives supported their have felt isolated and lonely.” Why husbands instead of whingeing, as didn’t they leave to find a more many seem to do today. When you suitable job? In my 24 years’ service marry the uniform, you support I had no difficulty making friends your other half, not give them the when posted to another unit. ultimatum of “it’s me or the Air During the 1960s-1980s, we Force” as it appears, allegedly, in always had plenty of notice of a new some instances. posting, especially overseas. On my RAF News highlights, quite posting back to Germany in July rightly, hard-working personnel 1975 I was placed on Provisional and operational detachments such Warning Roster in October 1974. as Shader, on which all are doing

Win bottle of spirits

a first-class job. We had Malaya, Borneo, Aden, Cyprus, Northern Ireland and the Cold War. What has gone wrong with the support that was once there? According to this latest survey, many personnel and families are now so dissatisfied with their conditions of service that it makes the retention of highly-skilled tradesmen extremely difficult. Are part-time hours part of the answer? If I’d asked to go part-time as an armourer on an operational squadron during the Cold War I’d have been laughed out of the boss’s office. During my RAF career, I was happy with my salary, my terms of service were good and I’m happy with my pension. What has gone wrong with the system in today’s much smaller RAF? Alan Mudge King’s Lynn Norfolk


Hercules Force hails Atlas feat THE C130 HERCULES Force would like to congratulate the A400M Atlas Force for their recent Air Despatch achievements – ‘Atlas KOs Hercules’ – in RAF News No 1456. Whilst we have unique roles, our squadrons have shared ethos, history and vision. We all want to drive Tactical Air Transport capability forward so that we can carry more, drop more and land shorter. Our relationship is collaborative and our futures entwined. Many of our personnel have served on both platforms so we would not wish the RAF News readership to think that we see step changes in capability as a competition, as the story’s headline portrayed.

We are as excited as any other aviation enthusiasts, as the success of the Atlas is also our success. As the Hercules enters our 38th year on continuous deployed operations,

we continue to champion the Atlas [above] and look forward to increased collaboration in training and on operations in the future. C130 Hercules Force

Alex Donaldson’s board honour THROUGH YOUR newspaper I would like to try to tell Stephen Donaldson (serving with the RAF Police) that his father’s name – Flt Lt Alex Donaldson – is

on the past Station Commanders Board at RAF Pembrey Sands. I was one of those who served with the grand man. Mike Smith, via email

THE WRITER of our star letter or email of the month wins their choice of either a bottle of refined Spitfire Heritage Gin or smooth Supermarine Vodka ‘built to be the best’ from Spitfire Heritage Distillers support the Spitfire Heritage Trust.

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Royal Air Force News Friday, January 11, 2019 P21


Daesh and carry The new Forces Monuments Men are on a mission to track down ancient artefacts looted to fund the terror group’s brutal regime THE UK Armed Forces has set up a crack squad of art experts and archaeologists – to track down ancient treasures looted from some of Syria and Iraq’s most historic sites and sold to finance the Daesh reign of terror. The new Monuments Men will be following the trail of plundered artefacts from the battle zone to salesrooms and private collections across the world – like their WWII forebears who inspired the hit George Clooney movie. The recently formed Cultural Property Protection Unit hopes to trace treasures stolen by terrorists and invading forces in ancient cities such as Palmyra in Syria and Nimrud in Iraq – plundered to finance the brutal Daesh regime. “Our staff could find themselves out on an exercise doing operational planning or sitting at a border, checking vehicles for stolen artefacts,” said the unit’s commander, a Gulf War tank veteran-turned-Reservist, Lt Col Tim Purbrick. “The looting and selling of antiquities has been proven as a fundraising method for terrorist groups,” he explained. “Part of our job is about preventing threat finance, where you have an adversary extracting cultural property and sending it back at you in the form of bombs and bullets.” Protecting a troubled region’s heritage and culture is a crucial factor in the battle for the hearts and minds of the local population. “If we protect these assets it’s been shown in post-conflict studies to aid stabilisation and recovery because tourists return more quickly and in greater numbers than they otherwise would,” Purbrick added. The most important consideration, though, is international law. In 2017 the UK ratified the Hague Convention on protecting cultural property during military conflict. This has many implications for troops on the ground, including a duty to prohibit, prevent and stop damage, destruction and looting to cultural property by terror groups or organised crime groups. They must also ensure there are

BRUTAL: Top, terror group carried out executions at Roman Amphitheatre. PHOTO: PA

PLUNDERED: Ancient city of Palmyra ransacked and looted by Daesh, PHOTO: PA. Inset, left, treasure hunters George Clooney and John Goodman in film The Monuments Men about WWII unit

mechanisms in place to report the presence of cultural property when it is identified on an operation. “That’s quite a tricky one,” conceded Lt Col Purbrick. “Part of our job is to find out what is out there and provide up-to-date information to commanders before deploying, and that’s challenging.” The UK will be working with Coalition partners such as France and the US, developing an international database.

The unit has also brought in the Italian Carabinieri, experts in recovering art and artefacts targeted by the Mafia and other organised crime gangs. There is no doubt the Cultural Property Protection Unit will be playing catch-up over the next few months as Lt Col Purbrick is currently its sole member of staff. A professional art dealer by trade who worked with the Art Loss Register that tracks down

stolen antiquities, he wants to build a team primarily from Reservists in all three Services. “I’m looking for experts in art, archaeology and art crime investigation, leaders in their field who are able to deploy on operations down to the tactical level,” he said. The team will eventually consist of 15 people, and so far an Arabicspeaking archaeologist from the Army Reserve and a historic

building inspector from the Royal Naval Reserve are among those identified as potential candidates. However, the officer is convinced the effort is worthwhile and that his team will make a vital contribution to future missions. “Not only is it the law now but it could provide an edge in conflict zones,” he said. “It’s also right that we exercise our moral obligation to those communities where we are conducting military operations.” 4x more women than men.

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Royal Air Force News Friday, January 11, 2019 P23


UK Lightning testing steps up a gear at Edwards Air Force Base


AF AND Royal Navy personnel are preparing the UK’s F-35 Lightning for the frontline at Edwards Air Force Base in California where, famously, USAF flying ace Chuck Yeager first broke the sound barrier. 17 Test and Evaluation Squadron has been conducting operational testing of the F-35 since 2015 and are raising the bar as the fifth-generation stealth fighter moves towards Initial Operating Capability. Officer Commanding 17 TES, Wg Cdr Jonathan Smith, said: “Operational Test is now taking the airframe, software and that package and putting it into an operationally representative environment and testing it with operators. So, we test it to see how good it is from a war fighter’s point of view. “Recently it’s been a very busy period for 17 Squadron preparing ourselves for full operational test and evaluation of the F-35 with our American partners. “We’ve also been generating evidence for the Initial Operating Capability (IOC) declaration for the UK in terms of gathering evidence for mission data and UK weapons. “We’re the first unit with UK aeroplanes to fly UK weapons on the F-35B, be that ASRAAM built by MBDA or be that Paveway IV, the 500lb dual mode air-to-surface munition, built by Raytheon in the UK.”


lt Lt James Deytrikh is the Operations Officer on the squadron. He said: “There’s a real sense of achievement. We all work very hard here and although we have a relatively small footprint with three aircraft our output is significant in all we’ve achieved of late. “We’re capability-focused on safe operations, initial operating capability and future testing, namely operational testing aboard the Queen Elizabeth next year.” Despite its test role, none of the aircrew on 17 TES are test pilots – in UK parlance they are evaluator aircrew, as Wg Cdr Smith explained. “What I want is a pilot who is not going to be the limiting factor for the test in either terms of currency or competency,” he said. “I want us to be able to set our standards at the right level so it is the system under test, namely the F-35, that either proves that it is good enough or proves it has areas to make up in. “So I want people who are experienced enough to be able to go out, fly the test to be able to assess the system and then come back and in the debrief say ‘I could do that but I was compensating for the system in these areas and if a frontline pilot straight out of the OCU had to do that then they’d probably be unable to.’” And for the OC there is no better place to undertake test work than California. “Everyone at Edwards gets testing aeroplanes. This helps a

TESTS: UK F-35B over Edwards Air Force Base

F-35 readied for frontline action great deal with what we have to do, the whole place is geared towards test. You couldn’t do what we’re trying to do here in the United Kingdom – the classification level that Edwards works at, the access to the electronic and live fire ranges. In terms of executing test it is the perfect place,” he added.

Wg Cdr Smith is the only foreign national to have flown both the F-35 Lightning and the fellow fifthgeneration fighter, the F-22 Raptor. “The F-35 is awesome to fly, there’s no doubt about it,” he said. “F-35 is a very different jet from the F-22, but it is a step change for UK capability because of its stealth attributes, its sensors and the fusion of those sensors, and the capabilities that gives to the pilot.”


OC 17 TES: Wg Cdr Jonathan Smith

n common with 617 Squadron, 17 TES is a joint unit. Approximately 52 per cent of squadron personnel are Royal Air Force and 48 per cent Royal Navy. “We are a joint unit but we hold our single service pride,” explained Wg Cdr Smith. “We operate jointly but we do hold to our own traditions whenever we can.” Flt Lt Deytrikh added: “Working with the Royal Navy is seamless. You notice it when you arrive but you soon forget people come from a different Service, albeit both of us retain our Service traditions and, as you’d expect, there’s friendly banter.”

PARTNERS: UK F-35 and a US Marine Lightning perform manoeuvres in Nevada

What’s it like living and working in California? Wg Cdr Smith said: “People love being out here. We’re in the middle of nowhere because we’re in the desert, which is a highly appropriate place to test highly-classified developmental aeroplanes, but we’re also in the middle of everywhere. Three hours

away we have Mammoth Mountain, we have the Sierra Nevada, the beaches of LA, San Diego and Vegas. “We get 350 plus days of bright blue sky, bright sunshine every year, it’s a fantastic place to live, work and certainly a fantastic place for the UK to do tests.”




Royal Air Force News Friday, January 11, 2019 P25


Cranwell Sarge surge THE FOLLOWING cadets have completed Non-Commissioned Aircrew and Controllers Initial Training Course 277 and gained their Sergeant’s Chevrons. The Reviewing Officer was Air Commodore Peter Squires, Commandant Royal Air Force College Cranwell.

R A Butler P A Dean O M G Field H J Harbage J L Morgan L T Patten J H Simpson A J Smith A K Tate D A Thorne BEng L G Watson BA E Whelan BSc

Air Traffic Control H D Cawkwell A K Hill A T Lloyd C L B Mannion P J Mead BA C M Turner K C Turner

Weapons Systems Operator (Linguist) D J Beeston E L Czura

PRIDE: New Sergeants and awards team


Weapons Systems Operator B T Applegate

PRIZEWINNERS The Bowering Trophy – Sergeant B T Applegate Awarded to the Cadet who has demonstrated the greatest determination, effort and

motivation in physical education. The Butler Trophy – Sergeant H D Cawkwell Awarded to the Cadet who has demonstrated the highest levels of team support and followership.

Cadets’ Cadet – Sergeant L G Watson Awarded to the cadet who, in the opinion of his or her peers, has made the greatest contribution to the course.

The Air Gunners’ Association Trophy – Sergeant L G Watson Awarded to the cadet who achieved an excellent standard in academics and presentational skills throughout the course.

Thompson grads don’t let it rain on their parade THOMPSON INTAKE at RAF Halton didn’t let poor weather dampen their spirits at graduation – but conditions led to a change of venue and the cancellation of the planned flypast. Reviewing Officer Air Commodore Philip Lester, Head of Doctrine Air Space and Cyber, praised their fortitude as they paraded at the Recruit Training Squadron’s Burton Drill Facility. The intake, numbering 105, marched out behind Flight Commander Flt Lt Thomas Clarke – supported by his staff. The Queen’s Colour was paraded and borne by Flt Lt Matt Barclay with Colour WO Barry Johnson and Escorts Sgts Constadine and Perkins. More than 350 parents, family and friends were in the stands to support and cheer them on and musical accompaniment was from the Band of the RAF Regiment under instruction from WO Paul Craggs. Trophies and prizes were awarded to the top recruits, who were:

Apprentice Trophy, awarded to the recruit who achieves the highest overall standard in drill and deportment. n AC Coulson was awarded three trophies, which doesn’t happen very often. He won the Halton Apprentice Shield, awarded to the recruit who has displayed the highest overall standard of effort, determination and achievement in physical education; the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund Trophy, awarded for displaying the greatest effort and determination on No.9 Flight; and The Dusty Miller Memorial Trophy, awarded to the recruit who has shown the greatest willingness to help others as voted for by their fellow recruits on the intake. n AC Daniels – The Station Commander’s Cup, awarded for displaying the greatest effort and determination on No. 10 Flight.


PARADE: Thompson Intake. Inset left, Reviewing Officer Air Cdre Philip Lester PHOTOS: KATE RUTHERFORD

n AC Mercer won two trophies. The Rothschild Trophy, awarded to the recruit who achieves the highest overall standard in Initial Force Protection Training; and The Lord Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire’s Trophy, awarded for the best overall performance in all aspects of training on No.10 Flight. n AC Hussey – The Halton Aircraft

n AC Taylor – The Mayor of Aylesbury Trophy, awarded for the best overall performance in all aspects of training on No. 9 Flight. n The Lord Trenchard Trophy, awarded to the Flight whose performance has been the best overall in general service training and general service knowledge, was awarded to No. 10 Flight and collected on their behalf by AC Cook.

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Royal Air Force News Friday, January 11, 2019 P27


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4 pages of RAF Sport l Cranwell championships provide spark p30 ANGLING

Anglers set up league winter wonderland IT WAS the clash of the winter league course angling runnerup giants as the RAF took on the Royal Mail at Castle Ashby Fishery, Northamptonshire. The Drennan-backed team qualified for the highly prestigious Angling Trust Winter League Final and after six gruelling rounds they faced a head-to-head to secure second spot. The competition tests individual skill, tactics and team decision-making to the maximum in the League consisting of seven teams of 10 anglers split over three different lakes. The top two teams aggregated results at the end of the sixmatch series qualify for the 34team grand final in February. After five rounds, the Royal Mail clash promised to be a nailbiting finish. Team captain, Wg Cdr Richie Tomala, pictured below, drew the pegs for the day and the nine RAF anglers prepared for five hours of battle, knowing that every decision could be the difference between qualifying or defeat. The early results highlighted the closeness of the competition in the smaller lakes. It was on the larger lakes that the Service side began to flex their muscles, taking 11 points from the Postmen to win the round. Focus now shifts to a split venue, 10-angler final in February.


No kidding around from Sqn Ldr Elise

REALL COOL KIDD: Main and below, Sqn Ldr Kidd clears fences during an intense series of rounds at Olympia. PHOTOS: AMANDA SMITH

Staff Reporter HQ Air Command

Knockout idea A FOUR-WAY battle royal is promised as Benson, High Wycombe, Halton and Northolt compete in the It’s a Knockout challenge in April. The clash, which will be hosted at HQ Air Command, RAF High Wycombe on April 24. The Inter-Station CO’s Cup Event will see competitors tackle inflatables, sports skills and fitness challenges. Contact Station Ped Flight to register or for further information.

SQN LDR Elise Kidd marked an incredible year on her ride Villager with a ride out at the International Horse of the Year Show, Olympia. Having qualified last minute due to a withdrawal, the pair were disappointed to finish sixth overall, but in a historic event which was only the third time in history that all three Services were represented in this class, Kidd was delighted to be among the elite. She said: “Olympia is such an amazing venue that no amateur would normally ever get to experience riding at so it is just fantastic that the organisers run this class for the Services.” The pair began riding together in 2017, winning both the 1.10m Open at the UK Armed Forces

Equestrian Championships last April and also winning the King’s Cup at the Royal Tournament in June. After several qualifying first round competitions throughout the year, Kidd qualified for the Olympia Services’ Show Jumping Championships Semi-Final in Melton Mowbray in October. She said: “Disappointingly, we placed ninth in this semi-final and with the top eight qualifying, we thought we had missed out on qualifying for the prestigious London International Horseshow at Olympia. “In mid-November, I received the call that someone had withdrawn, so I was now going. It was a busy few weeks leading up the event getting Villager fit and ready.” Kidd started fourth in the team of six Army and one Navy rider and she produced the only clear round of the eight competitors, to put the

team into the lead going into the second round. She added: “The jumps were raised and jumpers going in reverse order of merit, meaning I was last to go having finished first last round. “It was extremely nail biting watching the other seven riders go”. After their second rounds, five of the competitors were on four faults and two on eight faults; meaning a

clear round for Kidd and she won. Choosing to go for a clear round and ignore finishing times Kidd would see her chances of a high finish gone and it duly went in heart-breaking fashion on the second from last fence as Villager brought it down, ending her bid for glory. Follow RAF equitation on Twitter @RAFEquestrian.

Royal Air Force News Friday, January 11, 2019 P29

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Bonanza year for young hotshots

Corps on target in 100th year THE AIR Corps shooting fraternity produced some notable scalps through the Service’s centenary year. Wg Cdr George Campbell, OIC of the Marksmanship and competitions Team HQAC, said: “All our teams throughout all the Inter-Services championships were second to none. “Their focus during the meetings and their will to win attitude throughout was outstanding, especially in this centenary year of our parent service.” The teams competed in four of the shooting disciplines in shoulder-to-shoulder shooting in: Smallbore Rifle, Fullbore Target Rifle, Clay Target and Service Rifle with the L98A2 against teams from the Sea Cadet Corps and Army Cadet Force. Kicking off the year in style in the Inter-Service Mallbore match, 607 (Wearmouth) and 7 (Overseas) Squadrons represented the Corps to secure the Punch Trophy for the 30th successive year. The match was run in conjunction with the final stage of the Corps ‘Battle of Britain Trophy’ with 7 (Overseas) Sqn beating 607 Sqn in the final. In the Inter-Services Postal

Competition, for the Whistler Trophy, a team of 40 had another convincing win over the SCC and ACF, scoring 6281 against the ACFs 5894. In June at the National Cadet Clay Target Championships, West Scotland Wing ‘B’ Team won the best sporting team and Hants and IOW came second with 250 (Halifax) Sqn third. A selected Corps team of four, for the IS Trophy in the Skeet Competition, saw the ATC come out triumphant. The main Fullbore Inter-Services competition of the year took place at Bisley and, despite having to field a weakened team the Corps took a handful of individual titles. In the team disciplines 30F (City of Llandaff) Sqn won team silver in the Watts Bowl with 2452 (Shawlands) Squadron being placed third, also coming third in the Frankfort Shield. 30F Sqn also took second in the Babcock Trophy for the best long range team at the meeting. The ATC ‘A’ Team, beat the Army Cadet Force into second place in the Inter-Service final, while the Skill-At-Arms event saw the ATC win 10 of the 14 Individual and Team competitions.


SPOT THE PRIZE: Above, ATC shooters take aim for another title charge

Pedal power rewarded

Dinner marks spectacular season for cyclists

Class shows for UKAF THE WOMEN’S and men’s UKAF volleyball teams, ended the year with a win and a loss against high profile competititon. The ladies squad in round two of the Volleyball England Shield Competition were away against a tough Black Country side. The well-drilled hosts side took advantage of home ground, taking the first set 14-25. The UKAF squad settled into the second set, their determination to win was evident with some great defensive and attacking work from RAF star SAC Alex Stallworthy who captained the team, along with a fantastic serving run from Service colleague Cpl Lucy Boulton to win the set 25 – 20, having come from 18 – 20 at the beginning of her rotation as server. They were unable to maintain their momentum into the third set with the hosts stepping up their game. Displaying exceptional fight with no little defensive ability, they came back from 15-21 to finish the set 23-25 down. The fourth set saw a determined UKAF squad step on court and from the start they dominated with some amazing blocking from Army star LCpl Wati Dreganivula keeping the Black Country attacks from having an effect, backed up with some cracking hits from Cpl Boulton that ensured the UKAF

side won the set to take the match to a fifth set decider. The team sped into an early lead in the fifth set and maintained the lead throughout, winning the set 15 – 11. The ladies squad will now meet Coventry and Warwick Riga in round 3 of the Volleyball England Shield Competition later this month. The men met their match against London Aces in round two of the England Shield Competition at Aldershot Sports Garrison. Aces are the current holders of the National Shield and took the UKAF 3-1 in a fast-paced four-set match. The addition of outside hitter Mne Jon Fielding freed up Cpl Alex Clare RAF to cause problems for the opposition as a middle hitter. The first set opened in UKAF’s favour and they ended it 25-19 up. Realising that they were going to have to up their game if they wanted to compete against this military side, London Aces came out swinging much harder in the second set. A string of errors by UKAF early on saw them lose the set. The next two sets saw some excellent volleyball from both teams, but the Aces took both. UKAF coach Al Burdett said: “This was by far the greatest performance I have seen from UKAF volleyball, despite the result.”


MEMBERS OF the Service’s cycling association found time to get out of the saddle to mark a hugely successful 2018 at its annual awards and dinner at Halton. Flt Lt Rob Willcocks, Road Team manager and winner of the Clubman’s award at the event, said: “This has been a phenomenal year for RAF Cycling across the disciplines with some exceptional performances at RAF, Inter-Service and National level with the RAF now proudly home to multiple

Inter-Service Champions and National podium placed riders.” The evening was attended by guests from the Directorate of Sport, The Sports Federation and the Royal British Legion and special guest Olly Morris of ProRide mountain bike coaching, a former GB coach and elite downhill racer. Sgt Dan Lewis scooped up the Malcom Pledger Rose Bowl for an outstanding season which saw him become RAF and Inter-Service XC Mountain bike champion, Welsh National Champion in the veteran’s

category and secure a third-place finish in the vets category at the British Championships. The Keith Rowland Holmes Memorial Trophy is awarded to the RAF Station that has contributed the most to the sport, with Boscombe Down taking the title. The association’s chairman chose the team behind the RAF InterStation Downhill MTB Race Series to receive the newly reinstated chairman’s award. For more information on the association visit:

Royal Air Force News Friday, January 11, 2019 P30

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A signal of intent Riders show mettle at Cranwell championships to ensure bright year ahead JUMP TO IT: Main and below, action from the recent champs event at Cranwell

THE RECENT Service equestrian championships at Cranwell produced the usual excellent riding skills, and also signalled a bright future for many of the riders on show. The three-day event consisted of dressage, show jumping and arena cross-country. It hosts a range of classes to suit all abilities from grassroots to RAF Squad riders. The event also featured a full complement of development team riders supported in all three disciplines. Recording the biggest number of placed finishes Flt Lt Nat Morrell, on Crummy Snowman, took third in BE100, fifth in novice 28, and two more thirds in 90cm Arena XC and ODE. It was a terrific event for Morrell, who received a call from

the Chef d’ Equipe on the morning of the event, asking if she could be the fourth rider for the RAF team in the final leg of the Loriners InterService series. FS Tony Bennett secured three top six finishes on Puddleduck Ragamuffin, with second and sixth respectively in the 75 and 85cm SJ. He also took first in the 80cm Arena XC. FS Keeley Skinner on Rachan Wind Dancer, produced a hat-trick of impressive finishes – second in the novice 27, third in the 80cm Arena XC and fifth in the 80cm ODE. The pair have continued to work well and are looking to continue to shine this year. Fg Off Kimberley Adams, rode for the first time with Passionella at the champs and produced a clear

Capital adventure sees fencers secure impressive finishes at Civil clash A SERIES of top five finishes was the reward for the Service’s fencers at the Civil Service fencing open, at the Leon Paul Fencing Centre, London. The four RAF fencers joined forces with three Army fencers and a civil servant for the CSSC member eligible event. OCdt Luke Hilton produced a close-fought second place in the foil, while Elizabeth Ainsworth secured second in the plate competition in foil and third in both epee and sabre. The impressive arena venue, pictured right, is regarded as the best of its kind in London, and the action on show was equally

impressive. The field facing Ainsworth was very strong making her final results outstanding. The men’s field was a mixed bag of experience levels, and produced a full day’s high-quality. An association spokesman said: “Fencing is a fun and explosive sport that combines speed, tactical awareness and coordination. We are always looking for new people.” The association is holding a beginner’s weekend at RAF Cosford, January 12-13. The event is open to all levels ranks, gender and age. For more information email: AIR-RAFFencingUnion@

Golf day time SERVICE GOLFERS are being invited to enter teams for the annual RAF golf day in association with SSAFA The Armed Forces Charity on May 31, in Southend. The day, at Garon Park Golf Complex Eastern Avenue, Southend, will feature individual and teams of three or four ball competitions, along with a raffle. Entry fee is £50 per person and £30 for Garon Park members. Email: for further details. round in the SJ 75cms, recording second in the preliminary 2 and third in the Novice 27. Cpl Davie Morris on horse

Pastures Dawn finished an excellent first in preliminary 2, while Flt Lt Alice McGrath on Milo suffered an elimination in the cross-country.

Cyprus Judo club takes next step

THE Service’s newest Judo club, Akrotiri, held its first joint InterClub training day with local club the Piero Judo Academy, hosted at their Academy in Limassol, Cyprus. More than 60 Judoka and six instructors took part in the event that was aimed at improving the development of young club members aged from five to 15. A series of tutorials on new techniques, an explanation of competition rules and free practice sessions were held throughout the day. Club assistant coach, Joshua Hemsley, a member of the GB Special Needs Squad, said: “This is a great opportunity for junior Judoka members to further develop their skills alongside other Judoka in the local area and the country as a whole.” For information on the club and its activities visit its Facebook page: Akrotiri-Judo-Club-

Royal Air Force News Friday, January 11, 2019 P31

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Sport Horse champs provide fireworks

Fencers get in on sharp end in capital

Cadets on target through the year

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The Sandman cometh Battling World Cup display sees SAC bow out at semi-final stage

CUP RUNNETH: Main, SAC Laim Sanford cuts between two Argentine players during England’s Quarter-Final win, below, celebrating a win at the Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneswar, India

IT WAS a valiant, but unsuccessful end to the Odisha men’s World Cup for the England hockey team and SAC Liam Sanford saw them lose at the semi-final stage. Northolt-based Sanford, 22, who has become a stalwart in the England set-up as a defender, was part of the team that lost out in its opening semi-final clash to Belgium at the Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneswar, India. Sanford said: “Going to my first World Cup was an incredible experience. The atmosphere that the Indian fans created was something I have never seen before. “Hockey India put on a spectacular tournament and it’s definitely one to remember. We as a team can look back and be proud of what we achieved out there, as I doubt many people expected us to reach a semi-final. However I

think we are all disappointed with how we lost the last two games and we shall have a lot to learn to make sure defeats like that do not happen again and how we can turn the tides and start winning those games.” Sanford, with 14 England caps, had collected a bronze in the 2017 World League tournament and the EuroHockey Championships. After a summer of blistering results the RAF man could not inspire his team to repeat the feat. After drawing their opening match with China, England lost to Australia 0-3, before beating Ireland 4-2 to make the next round. A 2-0 win over New Zealand then saw a quarter-final against Argentina, which they won 2-1, before losing to Belgium 6-0 and 8-1 to Australia in the bronze medal match. Find out more about England Hockey at:


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RAF News 11 January 2019  
RAF News 11 January 2019