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Friday July 14 2017 No 1423 70p


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Friday July 14 2017 No 1423 70p


Royal Air Force

News Friday,

July 14, 2017


See what's wowing the crowds at RIAT 2017 Special four-page pull-out inside

Volleyball Men win the Inter-Services

Defeating Daesh airshow preview

AIR POWER: RAF strikes are clearing the way for troops in Mosul and Raqqa

● Sport P35

Rugby league Tough going Down Under

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PRECISION STRIKES by RAF Tornados and Typhoons are clearing the way for ground forces closing in on the remaining Daesh fighters in Syria and Iraq in what defence chiefs say is a decisive phase of the war on terror. Iraq's second city Mosul is set to be liberated by Iraqi forces after months of intense street by street fighting. In Syria, Democratic Forces supported by Coalition air strikes have broken through into the old city area of Raqqa, the de-facto capital of the terror group's self styled caliphate. UK combat jets have launched more than 2500 sorties since the start of the conflict and continue to strike Deash positions. The RAF's Air Component Commander, Air Cdre Johnny Stringer said: "The fight in Mosul has been as gritty, challenging and difficult as we’d anticipated. "What is not in doubt is that Mosul will fall, Daesh are going to be defeated militarily and they’re going to be defeated ideologically as well. We’ve also begun decisive operations against Daesh in Syria. This is only going in one direction." ● Full report p5

Fit for heroes – the Forces’ favourite newspaper





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Royal Air Force News Friday, July 14, 2017 P3


The RAF are doing some of the most demanding missions I have ever seen

CDS Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach on the operational role of the Typhoon – p3

There is still a stigma about mental health. We need to be more open about it

DFC winner and campaigning Typhoon pilot Sqn Ldr Roger Cruickshank – p10

Red 1 David Montenegro on his time leading the Red Arrows display team – p9

If I could relive one day it would be when I put on the red suit for the first time

They were gutted but I know this team is not done yet

UKAFRL coach Damian Clayton on losing the World Cup opener to Fiji in Sydney – p39

She’s a tyrant who loves jam tarts – I made her a bit like Hyacinth Bouquet

Actor and ex-Corrie star Wendi Peters on playing Wonderland’s Queen of Hearts – R’n’R p4-5

Next issue on sale July 28, 2017 Royal Air Force News Room 68 Lancaster Building HQ Air Command High Wycombe Buckinghamshire HP14 4UE Email: Tel: 01494 497412 Editor: Simon Williams Sports Editor: Dan Abrahams Features Editor: Tracey Allen Sport: Tel: 01494 497563 All advertising: Edwin Rodrigues, Tel: 07482 571535 Email: edwin.rodrigues@ Sky police: Chief of the Defence Staff Sir Stuart Peach with 135 EAW commander Wg Cdr Andy Cole and Romanian Defence chief Gen Nicolae Ionel Ciucă at the MK airbase where four RAF Typhoons are currently supporting the Romanian Air Force PHOTOS: CPL JIMMY WISE

UK delivers NATO pledge Staff Reporter Constanta, Romania Chief of the Defence Staff Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach underlined the UK’s commitment to maintaining peace in Eastern Europe during a visit to the Romanian air base where RAF Typhoons are guarding NATO skies along the Russian border. Sir Stuart met with Romanian counterpart Gen Nicolae Ionel Ciucă at the Mihail Kogalniceanu airbase near Constanta where four Typhoons

have been based as part of a growing NATO presence in the old Eastern bloc countries. The four-month Typhoon mission in Romania is the latest deployment for the RAF’s swing role combat jet. The aircraft is currently spearheading attacks on Daesh in Iraq and Syria, while also providing Quick Reaction Alert duties in the UK and the Falklands. Sir Stuart said: “I’ve not known the Royal Air Force quite so busy in all my decades of service. “We have Typhoons in the

Falklands, we have Typhoons ready for Quick Reaction Alert in the UK. “We have Typhoons for national security in the Middle East doing some of the most demanding air to ground missions I have ever seen. “And we have our people supporting Southern Air Policing from Romania. Flexibility and adaptability are not just words in a book, you are the living embodiment of it.” Enhanced Air Policing is part of the measures introduced by NATO in 2014 to reassure Alliance members facing potential military threat.

Subscriptions: Adele Johnson Sheffield Web Caxton Way Dinnington Sheffield S25 3QE Tel: 01909 517331 RAF News accepts no responsibility for unsolicited features, pictures, products or other materials submitted. Views expressed are not necessarily those of the RAF or the MoD.

Royal Air Force News Friday, July 14, 2017 P5


UK raises the stakes in the war on terror Mosul set to fall as Syrian forces break through in fight for Raqqa

operations update

The fight to drive Daesh from Iraq and Syria and demolish the terror group’s self-styled caliphate is the most challenging operation the RAF has launched in decades, according to RAF combat chief Air Cdre Johnny Stringer. In the latest raids RAF pilots launched a wave of precision strikes against Daesh as Syrian Democratic Forces broke through into the old city area of Raqqa - the terror group’s last stronghold in the country.

coaLition airpower: RAF Air Component Commander Air Cdre Johnny Stringer, below right, Iraqi Special Forces prepare to enter an alleyway in the ancient city of Mosul. Bottom, Tornado takes off from Akrotiri

accuracy: Laser-guided Brimstone missile hits target in Iraq

In Iraq, coalition strikes spearheaded by the UK are clearing the way for a final assault by ground troops to liberate Mosul after months of intense street-by-street fighting. The battle to defeat Daesh is reaching its decisive phase, according to Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon. However driving war-hardened terrorists from densely-populated areas is the biggest challenge of the conflict for RAF crews, said Air Cdre Stringer. He said: “The fight in Mosul has been every bit as gritty, challenging and difficult as we’d anticipated and it’s required every ounce of our professional judgment. “What is not in doubt is that Mosul will fall, Daesh are going to be defeated militarily and they’re going to be defeated ideologically as well. We’ve also begun decisive operations against Daesh in Syria. This is only going in one direction.” “Since 2014 we’ve achieved the recovery of well over 60 per cent of territory that Daesh previously held in Iraq and now we’re in one of the most challenging fights of the whole campaign. “For the RAF this is the most challenging tactical and operational environment we’ve operated in for decades.”

UK combat jets have launched more than 2500 sorties and dropped more than 3000 weapons since the start of the conflict in October 2014 - more than any other coalition member outside the US. Mosul had a pre-conflict population of 1.2 million and is the size of Nottingham, with high population densities packed into a network of narrow streets and alleyways. Intelligence gathered on the ground and from unmanned Reaper and other surveillance aircraft are vital in targeting enemy fighters who operate in small teams and are highly mobile. Typhoons and Tornados use precision guided weapons such as Paveway IV and Brimstone which provide pinpoint accuracy and may be diverted from the target even after launch if there is a risk of civilian casualties. Air Cdre Stringer added: “We look at the picture presented, look

at the military necessity, apply our judgment, our assessment of proportionality and also at times when it just doesn’t look or feel right, and if it doesn’t then we won’t take the strike. “We need a level of certainty, a level of intelligence support to take and make that decision. If we’re unhappy with what we’ve got

then we won’t take it because there are very few occasions where one weapon is going to win this war. “There have been times where, even when the weapon is in flight, the circumstances of the target have changed, we’ve slewed the weapon away from the target into a safe area. We take it incredibly seriously. “It’s not that I call off air strikes

every day, but there are strikes that we’re asked to do where at the time I’ll look at the intelligence we’ve been given and go ‘we probably need a little more to make sure we are content this satisfies our conditions’. An increase in the intensity of fighting in urban areas raises fears of civilian casualties. US military chiefs recently estimated that its strikes had claimed nearly 500 civilian lives. The RAF takes great care to assess every strike but to date has found no evidence that civilian casualties have been caused by their strikes, Air Cdre Stringer said. He added: “Right now the evidence that we have doesn’t point to any UK involvement. But we’re only human and we’re not perfect. “Even with our best efforts I cannot say hand on heart that that has not happened. But we’re doing our level best and applying every tool in our inventory to make sure that we don’t get it wrong.”

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

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



Royal Air Force News Friday, July 14, 2017 P7

News F-35 Lightning

In brief

UN medical unit opens in Sudan

Mission:UN Peacekeepers head for Sudan from RAF Brize Norton

Historic Sqn reborn to

A British-built UN medical facility in the crisis-stricken South Sudan is now up and running, UK defence chiefs have confirmed. The new medical facility at Bentiu will support over 1,800 UN peacekeepers and UN staff providing humanitarian aid and protection to civilians.

train F-35 Top Guns A NEW squadron to train future F-35 pilots has been announced by UK defence chiefs. 207 Squadron is to take on the task at RAF Marham, which is preparing for the arrival of the fifth-generation fighter in 2018. Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier said: “I am very pleased that the Operational Conversion Unit for the UK’s F-35B Lightning fleet will be 207 Squadron.” The unit has a unique history as both an RAF squadron and one of the earliest squadrons of the Royal Naval Air Service which, with the Royal Flying Corps, came together to form the Royal Air Force in 1918. Air Chief Marshal Hillier joined First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Philip Jones at the Norfolk station as work on a new £250 million service centre for the fifth-generation stealth fighter got underway. Sir Stephen added: “As the home of the UK Lightning Force the station will be at the heart of UK airpower for decades to come. “Preparations for the arrival of the first UK Lightnings next year are progressing well.” RAF and RN pilots currently training in the United States will return to Marham next summer. The UK’s first F-35s will be operated initially by the RAF’s 617 ‘The Dambusters’ Squadron, followed by

Wittering nets charity crown

Norfolk nerve centre: Computer image of how maintenance facility will look. Inset left, ACM Sir Stephen Hillier and First Sea Lord Sir Philip Jones

809 Naval Air Squadron, in 2023. The Lightning Operational Conversion Unit, which will train pilots from both services, will stand up as 207 Squadron in July 2019. The 207 Squadron number plate was chosen because of the unit’s joint service history, initially as 7 Royal Naval Air Squadron, then as

an RAF unit. The news comes as HMS Queen Elizabeth, the first carrier in the world designed from the outset to operate a fifth-generation combat aircraft, begins sea trials So far 10 F-35B aircraft have been delivered, with a total of 48 expected by 2025. The UK plans

to buy 138 F-35 Lightning aircraft over the life of the programme. The new infrastructure currently being built at RAF Marham includes vertical landing pads, the renewal of runways and taxiways and new technical and training facilities, offices and hangars. l See p17 for more F-35 news

Race ace Lewis eyes l Sport p37 Toyota top spot

Wittering has been crowned the Service’s charity kings after raising more than 20,000 for the RAF Association Wings Appeal. The station’s charity crusaders organised fundraising events across the region and say the cash is still flooding in. The station’s fundraisers were presented with the Lord Tedder Trophy by RAFA chiefs.

Point Of Order In the RAF News coverage of the recent Queen’s Birthday Honours (edition 1422) we omitted to mention that RAF Boulmer’s Serco ASACS Multi-Activity Contract Team was presented with a Team Commendation. We are happy to correct this omission and would like to congratulate the team.







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Royal Air Force News Friday, July 14, 2017 P9


Red 1 swapped pulpit for cockpit Red Arrows aerobatic ace Sqn Ldr David Montenegro has revealed that if he hadn’t become an RAF combat pilot he might have become a vicar. Arrows team leader and Red 1 is giving up the Arrows hot seat at the end of this year’s summer air show season after three years in command. He studied politics and theology at Manchester University before joining up and going on fly Tornado F3s as a combat pilot. Speaking ahead of his final performance at the Royal

International Air Tattoo this month he said: “Seeing air displays at Biggin Hill at the age of eight inspired me to become an RAF pilot. “If I could relive one moment from my time with the Reds it would be that day when I got to don the coveted red suit for the first time. He added: “If I hadn’t been a pilot and followed a different career part I might have become a vicar. Or a chef.”

Swedes boost UK-led force SWEDEN and Finland have joined a UK-led high-readiness force set up to tackle military threats and crises around the world. The force was launched in 2015 and is expected to become fully operational by 2018 with the capability to deploy 10,000 troops on combat and humanitarian missions. Spearheaded by the UK, Sweden and Finland will join Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, and Norway. Michael Fallon said: “This is a Force of Friends, and alongside

lSee p20-21 for Red Arrows airshow latest

Sweden, Finland, and our other partners in this force, we remain committed to security, in Europe and around the world.”

WWII memorial

Big-X death site tribute

Memorial marks spot where Hitler’s death squad murdered Great Escape mastermind Tracey Allen A memorial at the site where Great Escape hero Sqn Ldr Roger Bushell was executed has finally been erected – 73 years after he was executed by the Nazis. A commemorative stone honouring the famous escape’s mastermind, along with a Free French Officer pilot who was killed with him, was dedicated earlier this month at a spot near the West Gate of Ramstein US Air Force base in Germany. Immortalised in the classic film The Great Escape – a character based on him was played by Richard Attenborough – Bushell organised the escape attempt of 200 prisoners of war from the infamous Stalag Luft III camp at Zagan in Poland. Known as ‘Big X’, the South African-born pilot took control of the escape committee and it was his idea that three tunnels, known as ‘Tom’, ‘Dick’ and ‘Harry’ should be dug from different locations within the camp. In March 1944 76 allied airmen escaped from Stalag Luft III including Bushell and SousLieutenant Bernard Scheidhauer. They got as far as Saarbrucken in Germany but were arrested on March 26 and interrogated. Three days later, while being driven on the pretext of returning to their prison camp, their car stopped alongside the autobahn and they were told to get out. Following direct orders from Hitler, both men were shot in the back of the neck. Bushell was 33 and Scheidhauer 22. In the following days a further 48 escapees, including Australian,

Big-X marks the spot: Bushell masterminded mass break out from Stalag Luft III during WWII, left, memorial near US air base at Ramstein

Canadian, New Zealand and Polish airmen, were also executed. Until recently the exact place where Bushell died was unknown. Detailed research by Dr Winston Ramsey, editor in chief of military magazine After The Battle, retraced the fateful journey to the point on the A6 autobahn where both airmen were murdered.

Using testimony, a sketch plan drawn by the SS driver, and an aerial reconnaissance photograph taken by the RAF, the execution site was identified. Bushell’s niece, Caroline Kennard, attended the ceremony. She said: “It’s wonderful, I found today very moving. It’s seventy-odd

years on and I didn’t know him but it brings a tear to my eye. “It’s a nice closure and wonderful recognition for him and for all of them, for everything that they did.” Before war broke out Bushell was a barrister and a member of 601 Sqn Auxiliary Air Force at RAF Northolt. In October 1939 he took command

of 92 Sqn. During the squadron’s first engagement with enemy aircraft on May 23, 1940, he was credited with damaging two Messerschmitt Bf 110 fighters, before he was shot down. He crashed on German-occupied ground and was promptly captured. He is buried at the Poznan Old Garrison Cemetery, Poland.

Royal Air Force News Friday, July 14, 2017 P10


DFC pilot overcame Mum’s suicide and devastating injuries typhoon hero

Sqn Ldr joins the young Royals in fight against stigma of mental illness A Typhoon pilot awarded the DFC for saving the lives of ground forces under attack from Daesh fighters in Iraq has revealed how he battled with lifethreatening injury and family tragedy to become one of the RAF’s Top Guns. Sqn Ldr Roger Cruickshank rebuilt his life after his mother (pictured) committed suicide after years of struggling with mental illness. His hopes of a high-flying RAF career were also thrown into jeopardy when he suffered a horrific skiing accident which almost ended his sporting ambition and left him unable to walk. He fought his way back to fitness before suffering a mountain biking accident a year later, which left him needing facial reconstruction surgery. Now the battling airman has teamed up with sports psychologist Don MacNaughton to publish a self-help guide aimed at helping others overcome adversity. The book has raised £8000 to date for charities including Heads Together – spearheaded by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry – that aims to end stigma around mental health. Roger, 34, based at RAF Lossiemouth, was prompted to write the book, Speed of Sound, Sound of Mind, after his mother Ann took her own life in 2010. He said: “When I was trying to get over the loss of my mum there were quite a few experiences that helped me, along with other people’s stories of coping with really difficult times. I thought if the book helps even one person then it’s a good thing.” At the age of 22 Roger was a rising star in the British Olympic ski team before a racing crash left him with nine pins in his shattered

leg and threatened his ability to walk again. But he fought back and qualified for the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, helped by Don. Roger said: “He taught me a lot of valuable skills and really helped me with the power of positivity. I’m very lucky I met him.” Just over a year later the young officer was involved in another serious incident, when his mountain bike collapsed underneath him, and he sustained such grave injuries he had to have his face reconstructed. He said: “I was told by a medical professional that if I had not been wearing a helmet I probably would have died.” Earlier this year Roger had to cope with more terrible news; when he learned that his colleague, Typhoon pilot Sqn Ldr Nicholas de Candole, had committed suicide. Roger said: “I never would have expected him to take his own life – his death really affected me. He is greatly missed by so many people.” He added: “My mum was a nurse for 35 years. When she was ill I was trying to tell her I would really like her to go and see someone and I always remember she said it felt that would be ‘crossing a line professionally’. “There is still stigma attached to talking about mental health but if we can encourage people to talk more freely and openly about how they are feeling it could help.” Military personnel often find it hard to talk about mental health issues as they think they should be able to cope with stressful situations on their own. Roger said: “We have such a ‘can do’ attitude in the RAF so we train people to cope with

ACCOMPLISHED SKIER: Roger on piste before his horrific crash, which left him unable to walk for a time but didn’t prevent him from becoming a RAF Top Gun, DFC and, now, an author too

incredibly high levels of stress. “It can wear people down if they don’t have an outlet. They can easily bottle it up and just press on. “Organisations all over the UK do need to get better at providing points of contact for support, so people can easily go and talk to someone. “We also need a lot more education to teach people to signpost themselves and others and that will engender this culture of being able to talk.” Earlier this year Roger was told he had been awarded the RAF’s highest flying honour, the DFC, for service in Iraq. He helped save the lives of dozens of Iraqi troops pinned down in an ambush, risking his own life, when his aircraft was dangerously low on fuel.

He said: “I am honoured by the award and quite overwhelmed and humbled, it’s quite something. I know Mum would have been delighted. “I truly feel it’s a massive team effort and I want to share it with the whole squadron. “When I heard the news I wanted to phone her to tell her and it was so saddening to think that she wasn’t there. But I try to think of the positive things and the fun times we had together. “My parents always encouraged me and told me I could succeed if I kept on trying. Despite the knockbacks, you have to try to stay positive.” n Go to: uk.virginmoneygiving. com/SomeoneSpecial/ AnnCruickshank and facebook. com/speedofsound2016 to support Roger’s campaign.

Jon Gower, FPS Member

Jon had a nagging feeling that he had not received his pension supplement based on his period as a commissioned officer. We reviewed his circumstances and concluded he was right. As a result, he received a supplementary tax free lump sum payment, back payment of pension and interest too. His pension has also been increased to the correct rate. He tells us he’s busy advising others to join the Forces Pension Society. We deal with hundreds of such enquiries from our Members, helping them through the AFPS pension maze every month. Join us and see how we can help you. Or simply become a Member for the peace of mind of knowing we’re here to help you when you need us. You’ll be in good company; we have almost 50,000 Members.

VALUABLE MEMBERSHIP OFFERS Our Members have access to a range of exclusive offers with significant discounts from trusted Affiliates including our exclusive no-age-limit Annual Travel Insurance Plan.

INDEPENDENT, NOT-FOR-PROFIT At the Forces Pension Society, we value our independence. It enables us to serve the interests of our Members as the Armed Forces Pension watchdog. We hold governments of the day to account, arguing for better pensions and campaigning against unfairness in the schemes. For example, our 2015 campaign won the right for all widows to retain their pension on remarriage. You will receive a range of other membership offers, too.

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Royal Air Force News Friday, July 14, 2017 P13


League stars scrum down for fun during Sydney hospital visit ON THE UP DOWN UNDER: UKAFRL team join a young patient at Sydney Hospital, below, training for World Cup opener PHOTOS: GORDY ELIAS

© UK MOD Crown Copyright 2016 Photograph by: Ian Forshaw

Oz mission wins over rugby fans

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Dan Abrahams Sydney, Australia BEFORE THEY bring the noise to the pitch for their first Rugby League World Cup clash in Sydney, members of the UK Armed Forces team brought smiles to the faces of battling youngsters at a local hospital. Tri service players AB Ryan Matthews, SAC Jordan Andrade, Spr Kev Brown, Gnr Ben Rowan, Mne Jamie Birdsall and head coach Flt Lt Damian Clayton visited patients at the Sydney Hospital receiving treatment for cancer. Clayton said: “The visit gave us the chance to share our love and get out in the community. “It was humbling, they were excited to see us and that meant a lot. “It gave us an insight into the amazing work done there, and the amazing bravery of the youngsters and their families.” An impromptu appearance on the hospital’s own Starlight TV channel saw the team scrum down for some madcap stunts suggested by young patients; including a hula hoop challenge, dance off and team worm-dance routine. The players dropped in on mum Libby McDonald and her daughter, Georgia, who is about to celebrate her 18th birthday while undergoing treatment. The forces crew won over a few new supporters in the Rugby mad city. Youngster Rafael Granato and mum Karen, and Gillian Moody and son Maxwell will

Join ttoday oday

When yyou When ou bec become ome a mem member mber of the R RAF AF Association Association yyou ou help us support support RAF RAF heroes heroes when they need us most. most. Suppor RAF heroes heroes from from m just £8.50 a year. year. Supportt RAF Y o ou can enjoy enjoy the camaraderie camarader a ie of your your local branch branch – You including social events, events, R AF discussions and volunteering volunteerin ng opportunities. opportunities. RAF E veryone is welcome, welcome, whether whether you you served, served, or simply want wan a t to to Everyone suppor supportt the R RAF AF family. family. be cheering on the lads when they face Fiji in their opening clash of the tournament at St Mary’s Stadium (see page 39). Sapper Kevin Brown said: “Just seeing what some people have to go through in life makes you thankful for what you have with family and health. The strength of the kids and the parents was amazing. “I have learnt some new dance moves during our TV appearance and picked up some balloon modelling skills too.”

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Royal Air Force News Friday, July 14, 2017 P15

News Armed forces day

Military get by – with a little help from 200,000 friends Members of the RAF Regiment Band perform a musical homage to The Beatles during this year’s Armed Forces Day celebrations in Liverpool. An estimated 200,000 people turned out to show their support for the British military as RAF, Army and Navy personnel marched though the city centre and down to the waterfront. The event was a homecoming for RAF Regt Band French horn player Sgt Hilary Rosenthal who grew up in neighbouring West Kirby. She said: “It’s great to be back in the part of the country where I grew up. I’ve got some family and friends somewhere out in the crowds. “The Band had a key role to play in the march and the big, Tri-Service finale.” British military units serving overseas also marked this month’s event, including members of the RAF’s 83 Expeditionary Air Wing spearheading attacks on Daesh in Iraq and Syria. Prime Minister Theresa May and Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon joined military chiefs in Liverpool which was chosen as the focus for this year’s event. Mrs May said: “Our world-leading Armed Forces work day and night to defend our country and our way of life, both at home and abroad. “I am proud to have attended the Armed Forces Day celebrations in the great city of Liverpool this year, joining thousands of people in expressing our gratitude to the men and women who do so much to preserve our freedom.”


Forces could go part-time under MoD jobs shake-up

News bulletin

Staff Reporter British military personnel could go part-time under plans to shake-up Forces employment rules and make the Services more attractive to potential recruits. Amendments to the Armed Forces Act will allow Forces regulars to opt for part-time hours to create a better balance between work and family, Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon (pictured) said. The changes, due to be introduced across all three Services in 2019, are outlined in the Armed Forces Flexible Working Bill which forms part of a government drive to boost recruitment. Mr Fallon said: “To compete for the best people in society the Armed Forces must offer a career that better reflects the realities of modern life. “Allowing greater flexibility over how long and where people work will help attract and keep the talent we need to keep Britain safe.” The proposals follow a Forces-

Eagle-eyed: Harrier Hawk TJ on duty at Wittering

Feathers fly at Wittering

wide survey which revealed serving personnel want more control over the hours they work to bring up their children and care for elderly or disabled family members. The plans also mean that personnel will have more say over the length of time they serve abroad or away from their families. Applications for part-time hours

will be assessed on a case by case basis and personnel will still be required to deploy on operations at any time, the MoD said. Mr Fallon added: “This will lead to more balanced lifestyles with opportunities for Service personnel to serve in a way that better suits their personal aspirations and family circumstances.”

A HARRIS hawk and peregrine falcon have been brought in to RAF Wittering to reduce the risk of bird strikes during take off and landing. Birds of prey Titch and TJ are regularly used to keep the airfield clear of other flocks at the Cambridgeshire station. Wittering Flight Safety Officer WO Ralph Winstanley said: “When it comes to flight safety, experience is a really hard teacher. “You cannot anticipate everything, but there are things that can be controlled and we make sure we don’t miss them.”

Minister’s Stormy Down tribute A memorial honouring the 53 airmen who died during training at RAF Stormy Down in World War II has been unveiled, writes Michelle Mackrell More than 10,000 air crew were trained at the South Wales station during the conflict, including 1800 women armourers. Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones joined veteran Ray Taylor, local cadets and Wg Cdr Lisa D’Ovileira from the Australian Air Force as the memorial stone was unveiled at the Stormy Down site.

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RAF crews net sneak Spidey preview superhero exclusive: UK crews on NATO duty in Romania first to see new superhero movie

The new Spiderman blockbuster received its European premiere – in front of an audience of RAF crews stationed in Romania. UK airmen and women were given an exclusive screening of Spiderman Homecoming at the Mihail Kogalniceanu airbase, two weeks before the movie is released across Europe. More than 150 RAF personnel are stationed at the base where they are guarding NATO airspace along the Russian border. Film bosses at Sony made the offer of an e xclus ive

sony and share: Film execs check out an RAF Typhoon with Wg Cdr Andy Coe

screening of the film – tipped to be the biggest blockbuster of the summer - after visiting the MK base and meeting the members of the RAF’s 135 Expeditionary Air Wing supporting the NATO mission over the Black Sea states.

Take hat and party Valley Station Commander Gp Capt Nick Tucker-Lowe presents WO Mick Morris with the traditional bowler hat as he signs off after 36 years service.

Ship shape

Aero engineer and Mountain Rescue volunteer Mick was given the customary send off by pals at the North Wales station and wheeled to the front gates on board a stretcher.

News bulletin

Forces life a hit with Reservists

UK’s giant new carrier Queen Elizabeth rolls out of Rosyth

More than 90 per cent of Forces Reservists say they are proud to serve their country, according to a MoD survey. The report also reveals that more than 80 per cent would recommend joining up to their friends. However the probe shows that only 30 per cent of Reservists said they feel valued by Regular members of the British Military. Two in three of the 5,400 parttimers questioned said their employers support their military activities.

Britain’s biggest ever warship HMS Queen Elizabeth, set sail from Rosyth to conduct sea trials for the first time. The 65,000 tonne carrier is the most powerful ever built for the Royal Navy and will eventually operate a fleet of 36 F-35 Lightning stealth fighters from its gigantic 300m deck. The drills will last six weeks and monitor speed, manoeuvrability, power and propulsion as well as testing weapons systems and combat readiness. Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said: “This is a historic moment for the UK as our new aircraft carrier takes to sea for the very first time. “This floating fortress is by far the most powerful ship ever built in Britain that will enable us to tackle

multiple and changing threats across the globe. “HMS Queen Elizabeth is an enduring example of British imagination, ingenuity, invention that will help keep us safe for decades to come. “She is built by the best, crewed by the best and will deliver for Britain. “For the next fifty years she will deploy around the world, demonstrating British power and our commitment to confronting the emerging challenges from a dangerous world. “The whole country can be proud

of this national achievement.” The RAF’s 617 Sqn will be the first to fly the fifth generation fighter from Marham in Norfolk ahead of the formation of 809 Sqn which will operate the F-35 from the Queen Elizabeth by 2020. RAF and Navy pilots are already training to operate from the carrier deck using a £2 million simulator based at the BAE plant in Lancashire. It comprises a cockpit moved by an electronic motion platform and a full representation of the ship’s flying control tower allowing pilots to practise ski jump short take-

offs and vertical landings with varying weapon and fuel loads in a range of conditions. Admiral Sir Philip Jones First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff said: “This is a hugely significant moment for the Royal Navy, for all our Armed Forces and for our island nation. “Once in service HMS Queen Elizabeth will be the largest aircraft carrier in the world outside the United States, and the first designed from the outset to operate a fifth generation aircraft. “Already this ship represents the best of the UK’s industrial and engineering expertise, and once in service she will symbolise our military power and authority in the world for decades to come.””

Vets at risk from problem gambling British men who have served in the Armed Forces are EIGHT times more likely to develop gambling problems than the rest of the UK population. A survey by the Forces in Mind Trust claims that 1.4 per cent of male Forces vets are likely to develop problems, compared with just 0.17 per cent of the general population.

Your WelComE account card... A WelComE account card is assigned to you for your entire military career and can be used to access telephone and Internet services whilst deployed. You should receive it after basic training. If you haven’t been given it, speak to your HKTPUVѝJLY For more information visit: Lost your account card?

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0800 731 4880 Lines open 9.00 to 17.30 weekdays

Or contact us online “I didn’t have a job, had nowhere to live and I was going blind”.

Gary Morrison, RAF Veteran

Royal Air Force News Friday, July 14, 2017 P19

airshow preview

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Royal Air Force News Friday, July 14, 2017 P21

Feature RIAT 2017

THE AMERICANS F-22 leads the U.S charge at Royal In the air

P-51B Mustang USAF Heritage Flight The ‘Berlin Express’ P-51B Mustang achieved legendary status in an epic World War II dogfight in Paris in 1944, piloted by American Bill Overstreet, who flew the aircraft under the Eiffel Tower in hot pursuit of a German fighter. Berlin Express is making a historic transatlantic flight from the US with USAF Heritage Flight pilot Lee Lauderback in the cockpit, following the same route it took in 1942 as part of the military troop build-up in the UK during WW II. AMD Mirage 2000 Couteau Delta French Air Force are returning to the Air Tattoo with a new team and new display. The combatproven Mirage 2000 will be performing a two-ship display, showcasing the aircraft’s manoeuvrability and underlining why it is still a valuable asset more than 30 years after its introduction. Chinook The iconic combat chopper continues to deliver on combat operations across the world. Capable of carrying 55 troops and up to 10 tonnes of freight, the Mark IV features extended range fuel tanks, an updated cockpit and mission management system. Bell CV-22B Osprey The Osprey is one of the most recognisable performers at the Air Tattoo, with swivel wings and folding rotor blades. Its unique design means it can change from rotary to conventional fixed-wing midflight and hit a cruising speed of 240 knots. The Osprey is used by the United States Marine Corps and Special Forces inserting and extracting troops in highthreat environments.

On the ground C-130J Hercules The Lockheed Martin C-130J Hercules tactical transport aircraft is the workhorse of the RAF’s Tactical Air Transport fleet, based at RAF Brize Norton, carrying out parachute operations, air dispatch, freight distribution and humanitarian aid. Operated by 47 Sqn.


International Air Tattoo 2017


he USAF is marking its 70th anniversary by launching an all-out air assault on aviation fans at RIAT. Leading the Yankee charge is the iconic F-22 Raptor and the F-15C Eagle Fighter and F-15E Strike Eagle, from the USAF’s 48th Fighter Wing at RAF Lakenheath. The aircraft are part of the

USAF’s frontline presence on British shores since the 1990s and have taken part in many combat operations. USAF crews will be lining up

alongside RAF Typhoons, the Red Arrows and the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight’s Spitfire, Hurricane, Lancaster and Dakota. On the ground the RAF will also be displaying its heavyweight champions – with static displays from the A400M Atlas and C17 Globemaster transporters.

RAF BBMF The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight will pay a special tribute to the man whose vision helped preserve its iconic Spitfire aircraft during its 60th anniversary display season. The new Thompson Display – named in honour of its founder, Gp Capt Peter Thompson – is set to be the highlight of the team’s performance in the skies over Fairford. The manoeuvre features the Lancaster bomber and four of the fighters in a unique four-ship sequence including close formation, tail-chasing and elements of the synchronised display. Joining the Flight this season is 41 (R) Sqn veteran Sqn Ldr Colin Bostrom. He said: “I am thrilled to have joined the Flight, especially in their 60th anniversary year. “To have the opportunity to meet so many veterans and share experiences of flying the Dakota and Lancaster is a rare privilege. “Learning to fly and display the Dakota is hugely rewarding but challenging: day to day I fly the Tornado G4, which is equipped with modern avionics, so learning to fly without them again is really satisfying.” This season the Flight’s aircraft have been painted in schemes recalling the exploits of four surviving members of The Few who fought in the Battle of Britain. Spitfire P7350 carries the code letters QJ-G on its left side in honour of 92 Squadron pilot Geoffrey Wellum, who went into combat aged 19, and on its right side displays QV-E, remembering 19 Squadron veteran Ken Wilkinson. Hurricane LF363 carries GN-F on its left side and SD-A on its right, in tributes to Hurricane aces Tom Neil of 249 Sqn and Paul Farnes of 501 Sqn. Spitfire PS915 is painted in a silver colour scheme representing an aircraft flown by Korean War veteran

Rockwell B-1B This mighty B-1 Bomber carries the largest weapons payload in the USAF and remains the backbone of the American bomber force. The B-1B was designed as a replacement for the B-52 and originally planned to have a maximum speed of mach 2.2, this was then lowered to mach 1.2 in order to accommodate a larger payload. A combination of defensive systems and low-radar observability allows the B-1B to penetrate enemy airspace and release weapons to a greater degree of accuracy.

In the air F-22A Raptor The F-22A is one of the most advanced fast jet aircraft in operation, combining stealth technology with sophisticated defensive and offensive capabilities. The F-22A can increase its operational range by cruising above the sound barrier at mach 1.5 without using afterburners.

Typhoon Display Team

GOLDEN OLDIES: RAF BBMF Spitfire and Hurricane

Flt Lt Ted Powles AFC, who flew 107 secret photoreconnaissance flights over Chinese territory. The Lancaster paintwork is a tribute to an aircraft which flew 51 operations with 460 Sqn and 550 Sqn before being hit by flak during its 94th sortie and ditching in the Humber Estuary. On its right side, it wears the 50 Sqn code letters VN-T, of the aircraft in which Fg Off ‘Dougy’ Millikin flew 27 of the 35 operations on his tour. Wireless operator Warrant Officer John Tait is the last surviving member of his crew. Last year the BBMF conducted 63 displays at 559 venues and made a total of 865 appearances, from state occasions to village fetes.

McDonnell Douglas F-4E The F-4 Phantom first entered service with the US Navy in 1961, becoming the highest, fastest and longest-flying jet with the Navy. The F-4 set 16 speed, altitude and timeto-climb records and saw service in 11 countries. Although a second-generation aircraft, the Hellenic Air Force have installed upgraded avionics to their fleet of F-4s to extend their operational life.

RAF Typhoon Display pilot Flight Lieutenant Ryan Lawton will be thrilling the crowds at RIAT. Flt Lt Lawton was a member of the Combined Cadet Force who was awarded a RAF Flying Scholarship whilst studying for his A-levels. He then joined the RAF as a direct entrant in 2001, a week after his 18th birthday. He was awarded his wings in 2003 upon completion of Basic Fast Jet Training. Flt Lt Lawton joined 29 (R) Sqn in 2014 and is still there, currently as a Typhoon instructor as well as 2017 Typhoon Display Pilot. He said: “I have visited RIAT as a guest in the past and I am really looking forward to displaying Typhoon there. “The Typhoon has incredible power and agility; it will be a real privilege to be able to demonstrate this capability to the public at Fairford.” Although each Typhoon display has similarities, each pilot puts his individual stamp on the display. “I deliberately keep the display as tight as possible and in front

WHILE the world-famous Red Arrows will be thrilling the crowds at RIAT with a new manoeuvre, behind the scenes the team will be saying goodbye to three of its most experienced pilots. The highlight of this year’s show will be the complex Infinity Break, which has been reintroduced into their repertoire after many years’ absence by the team’s outgoing Red 1, Sqn Ldr Dave Montenegro. But as he and Officer Commanding, Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, Wg Cdr Martin Higgins, and Red 10 Sqn Ldr Mike Ling prepare to hang up their iconic red flying suits, after an amazing 23 seasons between them, they’ve revealed some surprising secrets in a Q&A session. Sqn Ldr Montenegro says if he hadn’t joined the RAF he’d have been a chef or a vicar. And when asked who he’d most like to fly in the backseat of his Hawk jet he replied: ‘Julius Caesar. I’d be interested to listen to his views on leadership and the present global on-goings. I expect he’d quite enjoy flying the Infinity Break at the same time too.’ Meanwhile, Wg Cdr Higgins would’ve been a biochemist had he not joined up, and would like to have flown with Renaissance

RED 1: Sqn Ldr Dave Montenegro

OC REDS: Wg Cdr Martin Higgins

RED 10: Sqn Ldr Mike Ling

giant Leonardo da Vinci, although he admits he’d need to scrub up on his Italian first! When asked about his greatest inspiration he said: “Anyone who doesn’t give up and achieves their goal, however small. If pressed for an individual, Dame Kelly Holmes. She persevered through several setbacks and eventually became a double-Olympic champion, an incredible story.” Sqn Ldr Ling said Dambusters legend Wg Cdr Guy Gibson would be his first choice of backseat driver. But when asked what moment of his Arrows career he’d like to relive he chose a more recent veteran. “One event that is etched in my memory is capturing airborne photos of the Hawks in formation with Avro Vulcan XH558 for the last time in September 2015. While I’d flown on her wing in a jet on a number of occasions, seeing the formation from the air for the last time was very moving. I would love to see that formation from that vantage point again.” By the beginning of 2017, the Red Arrows had performed in 57 countries, equivalent to a quarter of the world. During this year the team plans to carry out more than 60 displays across the UK and beyond.

FLT LT LAWTON: Gives the crowd noise

of the crowd. The noise from the Typhoon during the display is something that the crowd always love, so I do my best to bring the noise to the audience as much as possible,” he said.

C17 Globemaster The C-17 Globemaster III is capable of rapid, strategic delivery of troops and large cargo loads over huge distances. It is the only aircraft in the world which can put its engines into reverse during flight, allowing the heavyweight aircraft to carry out high-angle, steeplanding approaches in hostile environments. The C-17 can transport 45,360kg of freight more than 4,500nm whilst flying at heights in excess of 30,000ft and is used on combat, peace-keeping and humanitarian missions worldwide. Operated by 99 Squadron.

A330 Voyager Based on the Airbus A330 200-passenger aircraft, the RAF Voyager provides strategic air transport, aeromedical and tanking capability. Operated by 10 and 101 Squadron, Voyager is currently supporting the NATO mission in Iraq and Syria.

A400M Atlas The latest addition to the RAF transport inventory, Atlas is designed to operate in extreme conditions with its ability to land and take off from dirt-strip runways. Designed to carry large payloads over longer distances than the Hercules it is soon to replace, Atlas provides the UK with global reach for combat and humanitarian missions.

R'n'R Win! Win Airfix models l p8

What a feeling â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Joanne Clifton in Flashdance l P4-5

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

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R'n'R UK Box Office Top 10

Film review

It Was 50 Years Ago Today

One for superfans only … and you don't even hear the music


here are countless documentaries about The Beatles spanning over half a century up to this past year, even without Ron Howard's The Beatles: 8 Days A Week. It Was 50 Years Ago Today picks up in 1967 where Howard left off, with the release of one of the most important albums of all time: Sgt Pepper's Lonely Heart Club Band. With so much ground covered over and again, the film focuses on a short period of time in the life of The Beatles and examines it in great detail – this it does to an extreme, for better or worse. It looks at the context from which this ground-breaking record was birthed: a concept album fronted by alter-egos, influenced by psychedelia and Indian mysticism as well as a kind of carnivalesque surrealism – there's a lot to unpack here, and yet it does this without ever playing any of the music. There is a great deal about the development of the album's style and sound, to a microscopic level in some respects. Presumably, this documentary is made for those who have a fondness for The Beatles equal to the filmmaker, having

memorised the catalogue and wanting some broader understanding or interesting trivia. There are some really interesting bits of information that root some of the iconic imagery – McCartney's growing of a moustache to cover a broken tooth that he got from a motorbike crash, or Pete Best's lending of his medals for the album cover shoot. It begins with territory well trodden but steers it into the more obscure, showing reverie for the band's abilities and achievements leading to Sgt Pepper. In surprising fairness though, it shows the group coming undone in its wake – trying to reach outside their grasp with apparent naivety, from wanting to run a fashion boutique to their own school. Despite these efforts the documentary appears limited to those who already have an obsession with The Beatles and don't mind hearing an album meticulously described, without hearing so much as a note.

1 Despicable Me 3 2 Baby Driver (pictured below) 3

Transformers: The Last Knight

4 All Eyez On Me 5 Wonder Woman 6 The House 7

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

8 The Mummy 9 Baywatch 10 Hampstead

Review by Sam Cooney R'n'R Rating:





Jack The Ripper Case Closed by Gyles Brandreth

Thrilling true tale inspired by a very famous friendship T

he irrepressible Gyles Brandreth – writer, broadcaster, raconteur and former MP – has just published his latest novel, described by no less than Alexander McCall Smith (author of The No 1 Ladies Detective Agency titles) as ‘one of the most intelligent, amusing and entertaining books of the year.’ Jack The Ripper Case Closed (published by Corsair, rrp £18.99) is inspired by Oscar Wilde’s real-life friendship with Sherlock Holmes creator Arthur Conan Doyle and is Conan Doyle’s account of the events of 1894, the year of Jack the Ripper’s return. The novel was also inspired by the extraordinary but little-known fact that in 1894 the detective in charge of the Ripper investigations was Wilde’s neighbour in Tite Street, Chelsea, and informed by revelatory new material discovered in the papers of George R Sims (celebrated Victorian journalist and Wilde’s friend – and first cousin of

Brandreth’s grandmother). In the book, Brandreth reveals how Conan Doyle, Wilde and Police Chief Melville Macnaghten set out to solve one of the world’s greatest mysteries – and discover the ultimate truth about the Ripper’s identity. Based on fact, this gripping detective story intertwines all the intrigue of the classic English murder mystery with a compelling portrait of one of the greatest characters of the Victorian age. We have three copies of Jack The Ripper Case Closed to win. To enter, just answer this question correctly: What was the year of Jack The Ripper’s return? Email your answer, marked Jack The Ripper book to: competitions@ or post it to: RAF News, Room 68, Lancaster Building, HQ Air Command, High Wycombe, HP14 4UE to arrive by July 28.

TV FAVOURITE: Author and presenter Gyles Brandreth

Royal Air Force News Friday, July 14, 2017 R'n'R 4

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Your fortnightly leisure guide

The Big Interview




Edited by Tracey Allen


Joanne Clifton

Bonkers Queen with a Champion Joanne touch of the Battersbys no flash in the pan

In The Dark

National tour

PodPeople Top 10

Now playing

Wendi Peters, probably best known as Cilla BattersbyBrown in Coronation Street, headlines as the Queen of Hearts in the musical Wonderland, now on tour. Here’s her iPod Top 10: 1

David Bowie Life on Mars?

2 ELO Mr Blue Sky 3 Carpenters Rainy Days and Mondays That 4 Take Shine Stephen Sondheim 5 Not a Day Goes By (from Merrily We Roll Along) Martin 6 Dean Ain't That a Kick in the Head and Garfunkel 7 Simon Bridge Over Troubled Water Streisand 8 Barbra Hello, Dolly! Ethel Merman 9 I Got Lost in His Arms (from Annie Get Your Gun) Sinatra 10 Frank Fly Me to the Moon


amous for playing loudShe said: “Usually I’m the mouthed troublemaker Cilla wicked queen but this year I’m Battersby-Brown in Coronation doing something very different. Street, Wendi Peters is currently I’m playing Mrs Darling, comedy starring on stage as another larger- mermaid and Big Chief Sitting than-life character. Bottom – it should be fun.” As the Queen of Hearts she After so long having to eat headlines the cast of the musical three jam tarts on stage for every Wonderland, based on the Lewis performance Wendi admitted she’s Carroll classics Alice In Wonderland had enough of the sweet treats. and Alice Through The Looking An accomplished baker, she was a Glass. finalist on Celebrity Masterchef and Wendi described the Queen as ‘a has been known to bake brownies bit bonkers’. for her fellow cast members. She said: “She’s a tyrant, all she She said: “I love cooking, I find is interested in is herself and eating it really therapeutic and relaxing in lots of jam tarts. She is absolutely the kitchen.” mad and the nice thing about that is If she hadn’t been so successful it’s given me leeway to do whatever in her chosen profession, could she I want with her. I’ve made her quite have had an alternative career in wacky, a little bit Hyacinth Bouquet cooking? as played by Patricia Routledge, She said: “Having done which is a joy as she is one of my Masterchef I know I couldn’t work heroes. in a kitchen – that’s too stressful, “The show is based on the two but I could probably have done Alice books put together with a something around the artistic side twist in that Alice is an adult. It’s of food.” her 40th birthday, she has a teenage Past stage performances, daughter and it’s the daughter who including in the West End, have goes down the rabbit hole first – or brought Wendi critical acclaim but down the lift shaft in our case. it was playing mouthy Cilla that "Alice follows her and it’s made her a household name. She about both of their trips through said she doesn’t mind one bit that Wonderland meeting all the usual she is still closely associated with characters from the Lewis Carroll that role. stories, and trying to find their way She said: “I loved playing her. back home.” It was very much a conscious Wendi, who lives with her decision on my part to leave husband and daughter in Coronation Street as I wanted to get Hertfordshire, has been on tour back to doing other things, but she with Wonderland for seven months certainly has broadened the scope – the show is at that I’m doing. M i l t o n of the things Keynes Theatre f r o m “Without Cilla things July 17-22 and like Masterchef at Richmond and The Great Theatre, London, Sewing Bee from August (which she 7-12. won in 2014) Does she wouldn’t have enjoy touring? come my way. She said: “Yes So I’m very and no. I like grateful to her. getting out and I am fond of about and visiting her – but she was new cities I haven’t horrible.” been to before and After leaving catching up with the soap in 2007, she friends who live returned for a DVD around the UK. The special the following year, downside of course is being then for six weeks in 2014. away from home, missing Would she play Cilla the family and the dogs.” again? After the tour ends She said: “Never Wendi is planning a say never – if they family holiday to called me up and New York ‘to see there was a lovely all the shows’. storyline I’d Then she’s really consider looking forward it, because I had to working in such a great time panto again – on The Street.” FED UP: Wendi is sick n Go to: www.atgtickets. in Peter Pan in of eating jam tarts Canterbury. com for tour details.

Strictly favourite Clifton returns to musical theatre


hen Joanne Clifton announced recently that she was leaving Strictly Come Dancing, fans were shocked. Professional dancer Joanne – the show's latest winner with celebrity partner BBC presenter Ore Oduba – revealed that she was stepping down from the show after three years because she wanted to concentrate on one of her greatest loves, musical theatre. After starring in a successful touring production of Thoroughly Modern Millie – winning plaudits for her acting and singing abilities, let alone her famous dance skills – the bubbly 33-year-old is to star in the UK tour of Flashdance – The Musical, that kicks off at the King's Theatre, Glasgow, next month. Joanne described taking on the lead role of Alex Owens as 'another dream come true'. Based on the classic 80s film of the same name, Flashdance tells the story of 18-year-old Alex, a welder by day and 'flashdancer' by night, who dreams of going to the prestigious Shipley Dance Academy and becoming a professional dancer.

I'm over the moon! It's another amazing opportunity in my musical theatre career

When a romance complicates her ambitions, she harnesses it to drive her dream. Joanne added: "I think everyone in the world, whether dancer or nondancer, as soon as they hear What a Feeling, remembers that iconic scene at the end of the film and I’m so incredibly lucky that I get to do that every night in a UK tour, along with fabulous numbers such as She’s a Maniac. "I’m over the moon! It’s another amazing opportunity in my musical theatre career." She will be joined on stage by Brit award-winning singer-songwriter

Ben Adams, lead singer of the band a1 (a finalist in the Norwegian version of Strictly) who will play Nick Hurley. Ben said: "It’s amazing to be part of such an iconic story, and as an 80s child I was brought up on this music so I couldn't be happier playing Nick. "Whilst I continue with my own music career and touring with a1, musical theatre has always been a real passion of mine, so to be asked to play this role is a real honour." Strictly champion Joanne is a world and European champion ballroom dancer, and one of very few pro dancers to have won both the main Strictly glitter ball (with Oduba last year) and the Christmas Special in 2015, with Harry Judd. The 15-date 2017 tour of Flashdance –The Musical also goes to Oxford's New Theatre (September), the Empire Theatre, Liverpool (October), the Waterside Theatre, Aylesbury (November) and Birmingham's Alexandra Theatre (December). It is due to continue touring in 2018 with a different lead cast, yet to be announced.

JOANNE: In Thoroughly Modern Millie

winning combination: Joanne Clifton with the BBC's Ore Oduba


lso appearing at the New Theatre, Oxford, this autumn are former Coronation Street and Bad Girls star Debra Stephenson and X Factor finalist Diana Vickers in Son of a Preacher Man, a new musical featuring the soulful music of Dusty Springfield. The show, directed and choreographed by Strictly judge Craig Revel Horwood, features Springfield's greatest hits, including The Look of Love and I Only Want to be With You. Revel Horwood said: "I am delighted


to bring to life for the very first time this wonderful story created by Warner Brown, with soulful songs from the legendary Dusty Springfield’s iconic music catalogue."

BBC One, Tuesdays, 9pm

Pregnant detective is not happy to be home A

fter starring as Victorian brothel madam Long Susan in Ripper Street, MyAnna Buring has taken on a role that could hardly be more different. She plays pregnant Detective Inspector Helen Weeks in BBC One’s new SECRET: Helen (MyAnna Buring) with Frank (Tim McInnerny)  PHOTO: BBC contemporary crime drama, In The Dark. Adapted by Danny Brocklehurst from the books by bestselling and formidable. She is damaged Helen’s secret resurfaces to haunt novelist Mark Billingham, the four- emotionally and that is a huge part her, and she must confront and face part series sees the headstrong, no- of the story, so we needed an actress the demons from her past. nonsense cop return to her loathed that would bring out all these “Then in the last two we join her rural home town of Polesford in different sides.” as she wrangles with her present Derbyshire with her partner and He added: “I loved the character and her future. fellow detective Paul (Ben Batt). because she is so complex. “There’s a toughness to her, and Two girls have been abducted Her personal story gave her a a maverick quality. She is also witty, and the man arrested is married vulnerability that contrasted with determined, and compassionate.” to Helen’s childhood best friend, her outer layer. But in bringing her Ben Batt (Shameless) plays Paul Linda Bates (Emma Fryer). to the screen, I wanted her to have Hopkins, who he described as “a Linda has been drawn into more humour, more immediate detective who’s climbed the ranks the centre of a media storm and warmth.” and done very well for himself the local police force is under Buring said: “In this series, we within the police force. He’s the enormous pressure to get their are dealing with so many different kind of guy you want to go for a man. But is he guilty? And why issues and crises; it’s a rollercoaster pint with down the pub – you really is Helen so desperate to come to ride of a thriller. root for him. Linda’s aid, after avoiding Polesford “Helen is very driven by her “He loves Helen and is really for all these years? work. She is doggedly dedicated to excited that he’s having a baby. Brocklehurst said: “Helen Weeks unearthing the truth for a living, But you really quickly find out it’s is central to the whole show and yet like all good heroines she has not all it seems to be. This perfect she is in 90 per cent of the scenes, her own dark secret buried deep in lifestyle he thinks he has is actually so finding the right Helen was her past. all a fairy tale, it’s not true.” crucial. I wanted her to have a “The series is very much a tale in n In The Dark continues on BBC warmth and wit but also be strong two parts – in the first two episodes One at 9pm on Tuesdays.

Competitions Books


Hurricane R4118 Revisited/Make Your Bed

The true story of Hurricane R4118


REVEL HORWOOD: Choreographs show

Since appearing on the X Factor, Vickers has appeared in several West End productions including The Rise and Fall of Little Voice and The Duck House, and a UK tour of The Rocky Horror Show. Stevenson is also a comedic impressionist, starring in BBC One's The Impressions Show, BBC Radio 4's Dead Ringers as well as ITV's Newzoids. n Go to: flashdanceuktour. and sonofapreacherman for more details about both tours.

n 1996 restoration enthusiast Peter Vacher began a quest to rescue what was said to be the most historic fighter aircraft to survive World War II – Hawker Hurricane Mk1 R4118 – and bring it back to the UK from India. Peter wrote a book about the project 12 years ago – the Hurricane R4118 was restored to flight in 2004. He continued to research the aircraft’s history and its updated story has just been published (grubstreet. During the Battle of Britain Hawker Hurricane Mk1 R4118 flew 49 sorties from Croydon and shot down five enemy aircraft. In December 1943 it was shipped to India as a training aircraft but was never needed, and in 1947 donated to a university for engineering instruction. In Hurricane R4118 Revisited

more stories of the aircraft’s origins are told, including how it shot down a friendly Whitley bomber before it was assigned to an RAF squadron. Vacher highlights the challenges of maintaining and flying a historic warbird, while pilot Keith Dennison provides commentary on what it’s like to fly a Hurricane. We have copies of the book (rrp £20) to be won by three readers. To enter, answer the following question: In which year was R4118 restored to flight? Email your answer, marked Hurricane R4118 book to: c omp e t it i ons @ r af ne w s . c o. u k or post it to: RAF News, Room 68, Lancaster Building, HQ Air Command, High Wycombe, HP14 4UE to arrive by July 28. We also have copies of the No 1 New York Times bestseller Make Your Bed by William H McRaven

(rrp £9.99, to win. Admiral McRaven was in the US Navy for 37 years and in 2014 made a speech about the 10 life-changing principles he had learned during his career. Each principle was brought to life with a personal anecdote. The video of his speech went viral reaching 10 millions views and his book took America by storm. Building on the key tenets laid out in his speech, the author recounts stories from his own life and from those he encountered during his military career. To enter, answer this question: For how long was Admiral McRaven in the US Navy? Email your answer, marked Make Your Bed competition, to: competitions@ or post it to our competitions address above to arrive by July 28.

Royal Air Force News Friday, July 14 2017 R'n'R 6

R'n'R Your Announcements

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

Deaths Baker Anthony John J1946305 (Tony) Pers Admin. Died very suddenly at home on June 1 aged 71. He joined the RAF as a boy entrant and continued in the Service for 36 years accompanied by his wife Betty and sons Martyn and Andrew. Having served on various stations within the UK Tony also served overseas in Kenya, Offutt AFB, Nebraska, Shape Belgium, and Ramstein AFB in Germany. On leaving the Service having reached the rank of Warrant Officer, Tony continued to participate in the RAF Association for Dunfermline and Stirling branch as chairman and treasurer for many years. He will be sadly missed by many. Tony, you will live with us in our hearts, especially by Betty, Andrew, Kim and grandsons Ross and Scott. Bradford Stan Flt Sgt, DFM, on June 22 aged 93. Funeral was held at St Michael and All Angels Church, Abingdon on July 5. Donations to Sobell House Hospice Charity, c/o Edward

Carter, 107 South Avenue, Abingdon, Oxon OX14 1QS. Stan Bradford was a mid upper gunner on Lancaster ED308 D-Donald of 57 Sqn, RAF Bomber Command then based at RAF Scampton. By the end of his tour in March 1944, Stan became an air ace, credited by 5 Group with the shooting down of six enemy fighter aircraft, including a BF10 over France on his very first operation, on August 27, 1943. He will be sadly missed by all of us. John Billinton, RAF Sgt, Ret'd. Maynard Geoffrey Flt Lt, Flight Engineer aircrew on Lancaster 625 Squadron, Beverleys, Argosy Squadron 115, last year helping to organise Finningley Air Display. Funeral held at Rose Hill Crematorium Doncaster on July 4. WARNOCK James (Jim) Sqn Ldr passed away, aged 72 on June 22 after a short illness. Jim served for 16 years at Swinderby, Gatow, Boulmer, Cranwell, Odiham and Turnhouse. His funeral took place at Livingston on July 7. A true character, he will be greatly missed by family and friends.

Seeking RAF Administrative Apprentice Association: Did you train as an Apprentice Supplier or Clerk at RAF Ruislip, St Athan, Bircham Newton, Halton or Hereford? Please contact www. or call: 01425-511378 for details of your association. SEEKING WAAFS from Hut 5 RAF Kirkham 101 PDC. Was Demob Centre where you got those lovely demob suits in 1947. Contact: Mrs R Kyne-Jones, Somerford, Ashleigh Close, Teignmouth, Devon TQ14 8RA. HQ I of R/Stanmore Park. Ian and Denise McIntosh are looking for the following who attended their wedding in 1977 to come to a Ruby Anniversary reunion in September: John Woodyard, Grace Onion, Bob Keefe, John Riordan, Mick Waters, Bruce Norris, Ann Pevey, Roger Atkinson. Also looking for Keith Nichol and Wally Walton ex RAF Binbrook. Anyone who might know of their whereabouts please call: 07533 937987 or email:

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

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

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

DANDIMAC@AOL.COM. Seeking Bob Bishop stationed at RAF Marham in the early 60s and was friends with the Barnes family who lived in Marham village. Later posted to Aden. Any info please contact: Anne Barnes, 2 Hillside, Marham, Kings Lynn, PE33 9JJ, call: 01760 338039.

Thrills and spills at Wings & Wheels

B a ssi n gb o u r n , Bircham Newton, Brampton, Cardington, Coltishall, Ely RAF Hospital, Feltwell, Halton, Henlow, High Wycombe, Honington, Markham, Medmenham, Oakington, Stradishall, Upwood, Wattisham, West Raynham, Wittering, Wyton. Memories of RC Chaplaincy to: Fr Keith Sawyer, 29 Fieldgate Road, Luton LN4 9TA, please call: 01582 848459. Seeking information about RAF Gang Shows 1944-46, for a research project, in particular any relatives of Sgt Dudley Jones. Please email: philippabrownsword@gmail. com.

Reunions 85 Squadron (RAF) Reunion Association 100th Anniversary Celebration, August 1 at Trenchard Lines Upavon. All ex 85, 25 and Bloodhound Force members are cordially welcome. Contact Ian Moreland on: 01263512608, 07769666141 or email: ian.moreland@ RAFA Day – Sunday August 6, 10-5. All veterans welcome. Music by DJ, swing band. Battle of Britain Flight flypast requested. Admission free. Norfolk and Suffolk Aviation Museum, Flixton, Bungay, Suffolk, NR35 1NZ. See website: for more information. 249 Squadron Association Reunion on Saturday, August 19 at North Weald Airfield, please contact T. Cullen at: tommyculen@virginmedia. com for further details. 5 Squadron Binbrook Lightnings – an all ranks informal gathering will be held at 11am on September 9 at the LPG QRA Shed, Bruntingthorpe, LE17 5QS. An evening do is also being held at the Piano Rooms, Lutterworth, LE17 4LN from 7pm. Meal, raffle, after dinner speaker and comic booked. Tickets £28. More information via FS Andy Burden, call: 07539 260019 or Mark Crowson: 07856

ROARING INTO ACTION: The Tigers parachute team, above Pete Gardner


A FIVE-HOUR air display featuring the Red Arrows, Eurofighter Typhoon, Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Apache helicopter with pyrotechnics display and the Tigers Parachute Team is among the highlights of this year’s Dunsfold Wings & Wheels The event, which helps to raise funds for Help For Heroes and Brooklands Museum Trust, takes place at Dunsfold Aerodrome near Guildford, Surrey from August 26-27 and boasts attractions for the whole family, including a twohour auto spectacular with supercars and classic models, the interactive military zone and Sid’s Zone for little ones. For petrol heads, the show will feature displays from McLaren 12C, Lamborghini Aventador Roadster and Huracan, Pagani Zonda, Ferrari California T, Aston Martin Rapide, Dodge Monaco, TVR Tasmin 280i, Ducati Multistrada 1200s, Ferrari F355 Berlinetta, Ford GT40 and Lotus Elise. The stunt zone includes four wheeled hair-raising performances from Mission Motorsport and the popular Monster Truck arena offers demonstrations and passenger rides. The military zone has more than 80 military vehicles, re-enactment groups, tanks that will be firing and available for rides, as well as Army, Navy and RAF recruitment stands. In Sid’s Zone youngster can join in with colouring competitions, arts and crafts, paper plane challenges, face painting and Sid’s Trail which encourages the whole family to search the arena for questions and answers to win a goody bag. n For more information and ticket details go to: or call: 08712 305 572.

The Hundred of Hoo Academy wants you ARE YOU an ex student of the Hundred of Hoo Academy, Kent? Every year the Academy takes great pride in making its November remembrance assemblies different from previous years. The theme this year is 'boy soldiers’ The Academy wants to hear from any ex students who are serving now or who have served in any of the UK Armed Forces. The school would like to have a picture of you in school uniform alongside a picture in military uniform. n If you are able to help please contact: simst@hohschool. or: or call: 01634 251443.

Royal Air Force News Friday, July 14, 2017 R'n'R 7

R'n'R Your Announcements You can email photos for announcements on this page. Send small jpg files (less than 1MB) to 234888 or group Facebook site: 5 Squadron RAF Binbrook.

Grantham. Contact Rod for details: rodgoodier@

504 Squadron Open Day and Reunion – September 15 at RAF Wittering. All former Sqn members are invited to see the Sqn demonstrate its current capability, tour the RAF Wittering and Sqn Heritage Rooms and attend a social with serving and former members. Contact the Dep Sqn Cdr via email: uk or write to: Flt Lt K Winks. 504 Sqn, RAF Wittering, PE8 6HB.

99TH Entry RAF Halton Aircraft Apprentices 56th Anniversary of Attestation at The Bentley Hotel, Lincoln, September 22-24. Email: jim. or call Jim on: 01529 461662.

57THOM9S. Would any of you that are left like to get together for a final hurrah? I am quite prepared to do the organising. Just email me: collenvickers@gmail. com; or you can phone me: 01522 778909 or even visit me: 30 High Street, North Scarle, Lincoln LN6 9EP. I would suggest a date near September 21. 230 Squadron Reunion calling all existing and ex230 Squadron members. Annual All Ranks Reunion September 22-24 in

PN course 86 trained at RAF Halton 1975-1977 – 40-year reunion October. Do you know anyone who trained there during that time or friends who might know anyone from the course? Please email Ann Newby née Coleby-Roe at: or call: 07714 144522. NO 214 (FMS) Squadron Association celebrates the formation centenary of 14 Sqn RNAS/214 Squadron over weekend of October 7-8 to include Reunion Dinner in Derby and memorial wreathlaying at Alrewas Arboretum. Former Squadron members/ families/friends welcome. Details at: uk or contact John Gulliver: 01983 873248 or no214fms@

THE RAF and Defence Fire Services Association reunion will be held at The Aztec Hotel Bristol on the weekend from October 13. For details contact chairman Neil Slade on: 01252 492111; email: CALLING MTD/MTSS personnel who have served at RAF High Wycombe MT. The next reunion will be at the RAFA Club, High Wycombe at 7pm on October 14. Email: Steve Steer: stevesteer@hotmail. or call: 07891 673135. ULAS – University of London Air Squadron will hold its exmembers Annual Dinner at the RAF Club on October 28. For more information about the ULAS Ex-Members Association please contact Kevin Cooper via email at: kevin@hennerton.eclipse. 115 Squadron 100th anniversary dinner will be held at RAF Wittering on Friday, December 1. Contact Andrew Sell on: 01780 417135 or email: Andrew. for details.

205TH Entry RAF Halton 50th graduation anniversary reunion at the Halfway House, Dunstable on December 5. Any former members interested in attending please contact Dave Ellis via email: dave. or call: 07881 620889. RAF Regiment Association Somerset/Dorset Branch Social May 18-21, 2018. Warners Cricket St Thomas, Somerset. Join the Social Club. Please contact Alec Hunt, Co-ordinator: 01793 704629.

CHILD’S PLAY: There’s fun for kids at the annual Cosford Food Festival

Catering Association

Food, glorious food

SERVING and Retired Catering Warrant Officers and Flight Sergeants plus former Catering Officers are welcome to full membership of the RAF Catering WOs and Seniors Association. For information and an application form please contact: Eddie Jones via email: janedjones6@tiscali. or call: 01480 823480 for details. RAFCWO&SA website: rafcwoa.moonfruit. com.

The ANNUAL Cosford Food Festival takes place from July 22-23 and organisers are gearing up for their biggest and best event yet. This year’s festival has more than 90 local food and drink producers, a cooking demo stage and live performances from the Cosford and Shawbury Military Wives Choir. Also promised is hands-on foodie fun and entertainment for families plus a Dakota flypast. Shropshire celebrity chef Marcus Bean will be making an appearance is and there will be a Kids Corner where children can take part in pottery workshops, try their hands at circus skills and have fun on the RAF play bus. Q For ticket details go to: and see Facebook/CosfordFoodFestival to keep up with the latest festival information.

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Royal Air Force News Friday, July 14, 2017 R'n'R 8

R'n'R Prize Crossword No. 207

Solve the crossword, then re-arrange the nine letters in yellow squares to find an RAF role.

21. Tessa returns bonus (5)

Solutions should be sent in a sealed envelope marked 'Su Doku' with the number in the top left-hand corner to RAF News, to arrive by July 28.

The winner of Crossword No. 204 is Mr F Brown from Southsea who wins a copy of The Night Hunter's Prey by Ian Gordon ( Solution to crossword No. 204

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

No. 217 Fill in all the squares in the grid above so that each row, each column and each 3x3 square contains all the digits from 1 to 9.

Across 7. Everyone that is south of friendly states (6) 8. Dramatic heroine in transport I advocate (6) 10. Unnecessary SOS, according to Aesop (3,4) 11. Duck that went round the world? (5) 12. Christmas boy (4) 13. Edge second place to get your skates on (5) 17. Stone an airport exit (5) 18. The girl’s nothing to great warrior (4) 22. House in Greenland looks ordinary, outdated at first (5) 23. Roughly detains, as an alternative (7) 24. And 9 Down. But this conflict had more than local significance (6,2,7) 25. Rock legend sounds revolutionary (6) Down 1. Parachute display team for the birds (7) 2. Hamlet to write where children have fun (7) 3. Poison will move around One Direction (5) 4. 24 Across supremo (7) 5. Pinch southern bird (5) 6. And 15 Down. The National Memorial to the Few is here (5-2-5) 9. See 24 Across 14. Left Boeing in disarray: cowardly! (7) 15. See 6 Down 16. This cake is for affectionate relative, we hear (7) 19. Dance for uncertain period (5) 20. Irishman has left nothing to philosopher (5)

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 July 28.

Across – 1. Sand 8. Enemy Lines 9. Lockheed 10. Dead 12. Martin 14. Shanty 15. Minder 17. Sleigh 18. Oslo 19. Bouncing 21. Referendum 22. Bomb. Down – 2. Aerobatics 3. Deck 4. Severn 5. Hyades 6. Birdcage 7. Used 11. Antagonism 13. Tadpoles 16. Rubber 17. Sturdy 18. Ogre 20. Comb.

Su Doku No. 217 winner is Suzie Brewer from Farnham who wins a copy of Patrolling The Cold War Skies Reheat Sunset by Philip Keeble (fonthillmedia. com).

Name.................................................................... .............................................................................. Address................................................................ .............................................................................. .................................................Su Doku No. 217

Solution to Su Doku No: 215

Aircraft – Messerschmitt

RAF role:.......................................................................... Crossword No. 207

Competition Airfix and Corgi

Hawker Typhoon 1B, BBMF Collection and accessory pack

Recreate the magic of Royal Air Tattoo

With the world-famous Royal International Air Tattoo underway at RAF Fairford, RAF News has teamed up with Airfix to offer four readers the chance to each win the new Airfix Hawker Typhoon 1B – Car Door 1:24 scale set, a Corgi Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Collection and Humbrol accessory pack. For skilled modellers, the detailed Airfix Typhoon kit, each worth more than £100, enables you to create a replica model of this iconic World War II aircraft including the forward-opening ‘car-door’ style cockpit entry for the pilot. The Corgi Battle Of Britain Memorial Collection consists of Europe's only flying Avro Lancaster PA474, Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IIa P7350 and Hawker Hurricane Mk.IIc LF363 – the perfect start to your model collection. For your chance to win, just answer the following question correctly:

At this year’s Air Tattoo the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight pays special tribute to its founder, Gp Capt Peter Thompson, with the new Thompson Display. The BBMF operates from RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire. Its OC is Sqn Ldr Andy Millikin (pictured below). n See our centre spread on p20-21 for all the latest information about what’s appearing at the Royal International Air Tattoo.

Where is the Royal International Air Tattoo 2017 held? Email your answer, marked Airfix model competition, to: c omp e t it i ons @ r af ne w s . c o. u k or post it to: RAF News, Room 68, Lancaster Building, HQ Air Command, High Wycombe, HP14 4UE. The deadline for entries is July 28. Please remember to include your full contact details with your entry.


DISTINCTIVE: Hawker Typhoon Mk1B 'Car Door'

BBMF: Hurricane, Lancaster and Spitfire

Royal Air Force News Friday, July 14, 2017 P22

Chop Gun troopers clock in at air show

COMBAT AIRMAN Sergeant James Ashwell is poised to pass a personal milestone of 4000 flying hours this summer as one of two crewmen selected for the 2017 RAF Chinook Display team. During his 32 years’ service the Yorkshireman has deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia and the Falkland Islands more than 40 times, has also flown on C130J Hercules and Tri Stars, and is currently enjoying demonstrating the capabilities of RAF’s rotary workhorse to air show crowds. He is joined by fellow veteran and this year’s team captain Flt Lt Andy ‘Smithy’ Smith who has clocked up 1800 hours flying

experience, of which 1500 are on the Chinook in flying Afghanistan, Jordan, USA, France, Albania, Italy and Norway and operating from aboard HMS Illustrious and Bulwark. Also in the RAF Oldham-based line-up are display co-pilots Flight Lieutenants Ed ‘Pev’ Peverell and Ryan ‘Stowey’ Stowe and newcomer display crewman Sgt Dave ‘Smash’ Middlemas who has 1400 hours on Puma and Chinook helicopters. The team is managed by MACr Tony ‘Sutty’ Sutherland with 10 Operation Herrick deployments and more than 3600 flying hours.

COMBAT PEDIGREE: Chinook team have seen action in Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia, USA Gulf states and Europe

Lanc dons its war paint

6” x 7” £49.50 including UK Post and Packing

Simon Mander RAF Coningsby THE BBMF Lancaster has been given a makeover as a tribute to two crews who operated the iconic bomber during WWII. The port side of the aircraft has been repainted BIII W5005, ‘ARL’ ‘Leader’ with nose art depicting a kangaroo in wellington boots playing the bagpipes, representing the Scottish Australian and Welsh nationalities of its crew. On its starboard side the aircraft bears the 50 Sqn code letters ‘VNT’ in which Flying Officer ‘Dougy’ Millikin flew 27 of the 35 missions on his tour with the unit. Former 50 Sqn wireless operator WO John Tait, is the last surviving b fD ’

SQUADRON COMMAND & UNIT WALL SHIELDS REDUCED PRICES given for orders of 3 or more SPECIAL PRICES given for quantities 5,10, 25, 50 and 100




Royal Air Force News Friday, July 14, 2017 P23


From gliders to global reach Simon Mander Brize Norton HUNDREDS of thousands of Servicemen and women have passed through RAF Brize Norton on their way to operations around the world since the station opened in the 1930s. But while the its current role as home to the Service’s global transport fleet is well known its origins were very different. As its 5,800 service personnel prepare to celebrate its 80th anniversary in September RAF News looks back at how a 500 acre piece of Oxfordshire countryside came to play a key part in defending the UK. Officer Commanding to see the different 501 Squadron RAuxAF, changes that have Sqn Ldr Andrew Marshall, is taken place first the station’s unofficial historian hand. Atlas A400M who has spent thousands of “Currently I’m hours researching its rich heritage in working with the Soldiers of preparation for the big birthday. Oxfordshire Museum at Woodstock Over the past four years he’s collected who are setting up their own Brize 80th a treasure trove of photographs, artwork display. and artefacts which will form the core “Among the artefacts they’ve got is collection of a station heritage centre the cockpit of an Airspeed Horsa glider once a suitable space is found. as used by the Pathfinder troops who But now his main effort is producing took part in the D-Day landings and a series of panels highlighting the base’s flew from Brize on June 5 and 6, 1944.” evolution in time to be displayed on its Of course the station’s story doesn’t 80th anniversary, August 13, 2017, and end there, and Sqn Ldr Marshall’s epic online. account brings readers right up-to-date And it’s the quirks of its past that with a wealth of fascinating facts, such fascinate him. He said: “One of the as: the construction of the £1.7m ‘Base strangest stories I uncovered was how Hangar’ in 1967, which was the largest the station got its name in the 1930s. cantilever construction in Western “It was to have been RAF Carterton Europe, covering more than five but that sounded like another base, RAF acres. Cardington, which was too confusing, During the Falklands war so it became Brize Norton purely by Brize-based Corporal Allan chance.” Tomlinson earned a Mention in Sqn Ldr Marshall has charted Brize’s Dispatches by shooting down progression from No 2 Flying Training an Argentine aircraft with a School in 1937, to its role in the Battle of machine gun. Britain when the Luftwaffe dropped 32 During the drawdown bombs on hangars, some of them, still in from Afghanistan, use today, to home of the nuclear-armed 6.5million tonnes of US B-47s in the 1950s and 60s. equipment moved He said: “I’ve been at Brize off and through Brize in on for 35 years and it’s been fascinating 2014 alone.

lift off: Horsa glider on the Brize runway, right, blaze caused during in Luftwaffe bombing raid. Below, UN troops board a Voyager at Brize

More recently the retirement of the VC10, C130K and Tristar has seen the arrival of the C17, Airbus 330, Voyager and A400M. Sqn Ldr Marshall said: “I haven’t had time to go out and actively collect items but I’ve been really lucky because people drop off things of interest all the time.” “Recently the son of aWorld War Two Spitfire pilot who won the DFC was doing a house clearance and gave us some photos and a plate commemorating the 50th anniversary of the RAF. “Things like that are absolutely priceless and

otherwise would have been lost to us,” he said. A top secret tribute to Brize Norton’s vital contribution to air operations will be the station’s main 80th birthday present, it has been revealed. Local artist David Harper has been commissioned to produce a commemorative sculpture paid for by an £80,000 donation by the private consortium that supports the Voyager aircraft AirTanker. But keeping the design a surprise up until October when it is due to be unveiled on a roundabout just outside the airbase’s main gate could prove tricky. “We’re working on that at the moment,” said 99 Squadron Flight

Commander Sqn Ldr Nikki Lofthouse, (pictured below), who is co-ordinating the station’s celebrations. “At the moment nobody apart from the people who have approved it knows what it’s going to look like. “We’re trying to keep it a secret and so we’re looking at putting it in a big tent or blow-up bubble to maintain an aura of mystery about it.” All she would say is that the design is made up of stainless steel rings designed to represent the global reach of the aircraft types currently operating out of Brize Norton; C17, A400M, Voyager and C130J. Other 80th anniversary initiatives include an £80,000 fundraising campaign, a new station BRAVO award named after the station’s first ever commander recognising an individual whose strength of character and dedication to service has been a credit to the station. Sqn Ldr Lofthouse said a Brize 80th theme would run throughout the year at all the regular events on the station including the annual reception, Families Day and Summer Ball. She added senior officers hoped the legacy of the celebrations would be to unite all personnel, civilians and contractors. “We want to use Brize 80th to bring the station together and improve communications amongst ourselves so that everyone understands that we are all one team on what is the biggest station in the RAF,” she said.

Royal Air Force News Friday, July 14, 2017 P24


Evader on the Comet Line dies aged 104


QUADRON LEADER Wally Lashbook was a highly decorated bomber pilot earning the DFC, AFC and DFM. He joined the RAF in January 1929 as an aircraft apprentice graduating in the top 20 of an entry of 500 and he was awarded first prize for the best aero-engine fitter. After passing out he joined 204 Squadron operating flying boats from Mountbatten near Plymouth. He became friendly with an Aircraftman Shaw (Lawrence of Arabia) and they worked together servicing their respective motorcycles. In August 1936 he trained as a sergeant pilot. After flying Hendon bombers with 38 Squadron, he spent three years as a ferry pilot. As war clouds gathered Lashbrook joined 51 Squadron to fly Whitley bombers based at Dishforth. He flew his first raid on September 9, 1940 as a co-pilot on a flight that almost ended in disaster when the crew became lost over the sea. Over the next six months he flew 29 operations including raids on Milan and Turin and Germany. He and his crew were then selected to join a force of eight aircraft for Operation Colossus, a daring airborne assault to destroy an aqueduct at Tragino in Southern Italy.

The operation was mounted on the night of February 10-11, 1941. Lashbrook flew in the first formation of three aircraft, led by Sqn Ldr J.B. Tait (who would lead the raid that finally sank the Tirpitz). The three aircraft reached the valley at low level and as soon as Lashbrook saw the aqueduct in the moonlight, he alerted the men of ‘X’ Troop of the 11th Special Air Service Battalion and they dropped, landing close to the target. Four of the other crews landed near the target, which was destroyed. The withdrawal plan for the troops

failed and they were all captured but the raid demonstrated that the Allies could strike deep into enemy territory, forcing the Italians to divert manpower to guard other major assets. The raid completed Lashbrook’s tour on operations and he was awarded the DFM. He joined 35 Squadron flying the four-engine Halifax. Returning from Kiel, the aircraft suffered a major fuel failure, which resulted in all four engines stopping. In the darkness, Lashbrook managed to crash-land the aircraft into a field with the seven-man crew suffering only minor injuries. After 18 months as a bombing instructor, Lashbrook joined 102 Squadron, also flying the Halifax. His second operation was to bomb the Skoda Works at Pilsen in Czechoslovakia on April 17, 1943. On the return flight his aircraft was attacked near the French-Belgian border by a German night fighter and set on fire. he rear gunner was killed but the rest of the crew baled out. Lashbrook landed seconds after his parachute opened. After three days of walking into France, he was given shelter at a remote farmhouse, before being moved, unaware that he was in the hands of the Belgian-run ‘Comet Line’. After a stint in a Paris safe-house he

was taken by train to the south-west via Bordeaux. At Gare du Sud he was astonished to meet up with his bomb aimer who was with an American pilot. The three were taken to Dax before cycling to St Jean-de-Luz near the Spanish border. They were hidden in the ‘last house’ at Urrugne where the veteran Basque guide Florentino met them and took them overnight across the mountains into Spain. Once in Spain, the team were taken to San Sebastian then to Madrid and Gibraltar before flying home. Lashbrook had been on the run for two months and shortly after his return was awarded the DFC. He was also mentioned in despatches for his successful evasion. It was policy that escaping aircrew would not fly over occupied Europe again so Lashbrook became a test pilot at the Central Flying School. He flew many different types including the new jet fighter, the Meteor. On one flight both engines failed and he had to glide the crippled aircraft to a safe landing. Shortly afterwards he was awarded the AFC. He was released from the RAF in September 1946 when he became a civilian test pilot before joining the airline Skyways as its chief pilot. He stopped flying in 1953.

For 20 years he was an officer with the Ayrshire Army Cadet Forces retiring in 1966 when he was appointed MBE. Lashbrook was a devoted member of the RAF Escaping Society and its successor the Escape Lines Memorial Society. He made a number of visits to France to meet those who had helped him and they and their relatives remain in close contact with his family.

Royal Air Force News Friday, July 14, 2017 P25


Sex war hits the workshop Simon Mander WOMEN ENGINEERS from across the RAF have gathered at Cosford as the war of the sexes enters the workshop . More than 40 female Engineering officers, Avionics and Weapons Technicians, Survival Equipment Fitters and IT specialists celebrated 2017’s International Women in Engineering Day at the RAF technical training school.

Women think about problems in a different way – engineering has so much to offer them

According to The Women’s Engineering Society only 10 per cent of the UK engineering workforce is female – the lowest level in Europe, trailing Latvia, Bulgaria and Cyprus

which top the league table with more than 30 per cent While engineering is still a maledominated field in the UK, the RAF says it is starting to see increasing numbers of young women choosing it as a career as the Service’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) Ambassadors work with children to promote technical careers. 238 Sqn Junior Engineering Officer Flying Officer Lorren Clark (24) said: “Women should and can be anything they want to be and they shouldn’t ever limit themselves. “Women think about problems slightly differently to men, and there are so many amazing and intelligent women out there who would be amazing in the engineering world. “I think engineering also has so much to offer women; and will give them skills that can be used and applied in so many jobs, giving them great life skills and opening endless opportunities for the future.”

 Avionics specialist AC Amber Stevens

Fg Off Lorren Clark

I used to own a really old car, a MK2 VW Golf with a manual choke and it always broke down, I was always fiddling with it to see if I could fix it myself, I guess that is what first sparked my interest in engineering

I have always enjoyed Science and Maths based subjects at school, and knowing why and how things worked. Being quite a determined and driven person, I didn’t want to be ordinary. I have also always liked the challenge of doing something different that not many females my age did, with the added bonus of really enjoying it

Survival Equipment Fitter AC Laura Muir

I was 13 years old when I first attended the Air Show at RAF Leuchars, they had a stand with all sorts of survival equipment and ever since then I knew that’s what I wanted to do

Aircraft Maintenance Mechanic AC Sian Rowlands

I didn’t want to do the usual things that girls do when they leave school; midwifery, beautician or child care, I wanted to do something completely different. Listening to my uncle’s stories of life in the RAF has really inspired me to pursue my career in engineering in the RAF, I want to travel and see the world whilst doing something I love

Avionics Specialist AC Georgina Marshall-Latimer

I wanted to prove to people that girls in my town could do a ‘boys’ job. I’ve always been creative and knew that doing psychology at college wasn’t for me. I’ve always wanted to compete against the boys

IT specialist AC Helen Colbridge

I’ve been encouraged by my parents from an early age to try all sorts of different activities and have always aimed to be in one of the uniformed services. Being in the RAF isn’t always easy, but that’s a good thing. It pushes you every day and it’s very rewarding when you get it right

Royal Air Force News Friday, July 14, 2017 P27



Fighter ace’s diary under the hammer auction sale

bomber command

Details of Johnnie Johnson’s life and Memorial five years old service are revealed veteran: Harry Rossiter

The Chief of the Air Staff, ACM Sir Stephen Hillier and his wife Lady Elaine, laid a wreath at the Bomber Command Memorial in London during an act of remembrance to mark the fifth anniversary of its unveiling by The Queen. The memorial, in Green Park, honours the 55,573 airmen of Bomber Command who died during World War II, and is maintained by the RAF Benevolent Fund. Air Cdre Paul Hughesdon, the fund’s director of welfare and

PHOTO: Adrian brooks/imagewise

policy, laid a wreath on behalf of the charity and a Bomber Command Association wreath was laid by Bomber Command veteran Air Cdre Charles Clarke. Among the Bomber Command veterans attending the ceremony was 94-year-old Harry Rossiter, a wireless operator who served with 115 Squadron; and Harry Rawlings, also 94, a pilot with 90 Squadron, who was taken prisoner of war when his aircraft crashed, killing the other four crew members on board.


The wartime diary of Fighter Command’s highest-scoring fighter ace, James Edgar ‘Johnnie’ Johnson, is to be sold at auction. Wg Cdr (later Air Vice-Marshal) Johnson’s handwritten, leather-bound diary (pictured), containing detailed entries of his domestic and RAF life for the whole of 1942, was due to go under the hammer at Cheffin’s in Cambridge as RAF News went to press. It was expected to make between £5000 and £8000. The most successful RAF Spitfire pilot over the course of World War II, Johnson w a s 610 Sqn’s Commanding Officer from July 13, 1942, to March 19, 1943, and took part in the infamous Dieppe Raid on August 19, 1942. He survived 700 operational sorties and was credited with a total of 38-and-a-half kills. He was awarded a DSO and two Bars and a DFC and Bar, the American DFC, Air Medal, and Legion of Merit, and the Belgian Croix de Guerre In one diary entry, dated January 25, 1942, Johnson describes a drunken night out with some other pilots, including Sqn Ldr Philip ‘Nip’ Heppell. He writes: ‘In the evening Neville, Nip, Derek and I slipped down to the Royal and met old Nat, pushed along to The Jolly Sailor and had several more beers and the odd brandy. ‘Lovely night with almost a full moon and Nip

HIGHEST-SCORER PILOT: Johnnie Johnson with his dog  ©Imperial War Museum

decided he was going to fly; tried to persuade him not but the bugger was very obstinate and moved quietly off in my van. ‘Rang up Kimby and told him to tell Nip that the CO’s instructions were not to take off, Dicky Stafford also refused him permission from ops – no use, he took off and after beating up the mess pranged when landing, stalled from about 20 feet. Hell of a row, CO talking about a court-martial and the Nip walking about as white as a ghost.’ After retiring from the RAF in 1966 Johnson set up the Johnnie Johnson Housing Trust. He died in 2001, aged 85.

station visit

Evelyn remembers tragic brother respect: AM Baz North with Taylor Lister of the Girls’ Venture Corps Air Cadets

RAFA pays its tribute Around 300 family members, friends and colleagues attended the RAF Association’s annual remembrance service at the National Memorial Arboretum. The service, at the Garden of Association’s Remembrance, was led by the Venerable (Air Vice-Marshal) Jonathan Chaffey, Chaplain in Chief of the RAF, and the Rev (Wing Commander) Alastair Bissell, Station Chaplain, RAF Shawbury. Music was provided by the

RAF Association Band and there were readings from the association’s president, AM Baz North, and its secretary general, Nick Bunting. There was also a Spitfire flypast (inset above). Wg Cdr Tim Mason read the RAFA dedication from RAF Cosford. the service the After congregation walked behind the association’s standards to the garden of remembrance for a wreath and cross-laying ceremony.

The sister of an RAF sergeant who failed to return from a wartime mission to Warnemunde in Germany has made a nostalgic visit to RAF Waddington, from where his aircraft took off on May 8, 1942. Sgt Leonard Evans and his fellow Lancaster crew members are listed on the Runnymede Memorial for those with no known grave. His sister Evelyn, now in her eighties, was just eight when Leonard died, aged 20. A RAF Waddington spokesperson said: “Wanting to see the RAF station from where Leonard flew his first and only mission, Evelyn visited us recently to tell us about her brave big brother who she remembers so fondly. “Using official records of the time, we were able to pass on lots of new information about what life for Leonard would have been like at RAF Waddington in 1942.” Evelyn said: “As a little girl I remember Leonard as being very athletic – someone who loved sports, particularly table tennis. He also liked a flutter on the dogs. “I knew very little about what had happened to him so to come to RAF Waddington has helped to fill in some of the gaps. It’s a pleasure to be able to come here.” Sgt Evans completed his pilot training at the end of

memories: Evelyn at Waddington and, inset, brother Leonard

1941 and was posted to 44 Sqn in January 1942. He completed his Lancaster conversion on 44 Sqn Training Flight and was posted to the ops flight in April 1942. His first operational sortie was to be the Warnemunde raid, where he acted as co-pilot on Lancaster R5557 KM-G to WO Peter Jones, an experienced 44 Sqn pilot. It was from this mission that he failed to return.

Royal Air Force News Friday, July 14, 2017 P28


Crew View

Arctic Challenge 17

European airpower

Flight Lieutenant Sophie Rimmer, RAF Odiham

I recently moved from RAF Wyton to Odiham, where I’ll be OC P1 in charge of service discipline, but on ACE I’m the Deployed Admin Officer (DAO). I provide exercise administrative support, making sure our people here in Norway are well looked after, fed and accommodated properly and transported home at the end. It’s been a great exercise to work on – working with the other nations and understanding the role they play in multinational operations has been a particular highlight

Corporal Steve Stork, RAF Marham

I’m a Media Reservist with 611 Squadron and on ACE 17 I’m one of the Exercise Media Officers. We use traditional and social media to explain the RAF’s role on exercise, and why we’re taking part, to the public, NATO partners and other key audiences. I’ve enjoyed my time in Norway so far, and it’s been great to be able to bring my civilian media skills from working 20 years in broadcast media to a military setting

SAC Josh Sharp, RAF Marham

SAC Cath Sharples, Media Reserves

I’m a mechanical engineer with Marham’s Forward Engineering Squadron, and part of the Detachment Support Group on ACE 17. I work with Aircraft Support Equipment to help maintain the Tornados’ operational capability while on exercise. This is my first detachment away from RAF Marham. It’s been exciting working alongside the other nations and valuable experience for

I’m a photographer with the Media Reserves, having joined in October 2014, and I’m one of two dedicated RAF photographers on ACE 17. Through pictures and video my role is to promote the RAF’s work in Norway, showing what our people and aircraft are doing to support the exercise. I’m normally based in Cardiff with 614 (County of Glamorgan) Squadron and I’m a freelance photographer in my day job. This is the third time I’ve deployed to

Flying Officer Mark McKinstry, RAF Woodvale

At home I work as a Weapon Technician on 12(B) Squadron Tornado GR4s. On ACE 17 our main role is making sure the aircraft’s simulated weapons – ASRAAM for dogfighting, for example – are working. We can also take out the seats in the aircraft to check for loose articles when needed – a specialist job because of the explosives involved. Norway is a beautiful country and it’s been great working alongside the other countries taking part. We’ve been able to learn how they operate, giving us a little bit of insight into how their aircraft work and broadening our knowledge

raF TornaDoS have been flying combat drills over northern Scandinavia in one of europe’s largest airpower exercises. Arctic Challenge 17 involves thousands of personnel from 11 countries and has seen more than 100 aircraft operating from Arctic Circle bases in Bodø, Norway; Luleå, Sweden; and Rovaniemi in Finland. Seven Tornados of 12(B) Sqn have been flying twice-daily sorties from Bodø – Norway’s most northerly station – alongside Royal Norwegian Air Force and Belgian Air Force F-16s, Swedish JAS 39 Gripens and other aircraft. Here we meet some of the RAF personnel on the exercise.

I work in MT at RAF Marham and I’m the Detachment MT Officer (DMTO) for ACE 17. Because Bodø has a large airfield, we have a fleet of 13 MT vehicles that I help maintain. I’m also one of the duty MT drivers for emergencies and other duties, such as airport runs. I’ve really enjoyed the exercise so far and the Norwegians have been very friendly and welcoming. It’s also been great getting to know 12(B)

SAC Katy Fricker, RAF Marham

Squadron better and meeting new people from other stations across the RAF

me, although the working environment is quite different – especially with the constant daylight

Sergeant Abi Ellis, RAF High Wycombe

Flying Officer Jamie Brown, RAF Lossiemouth

I work in the Personnel Services Flight at High Wycombe but on ACE 17 I’m SNCO Admin and the Cashier. My role is to ensure we stay within the budget we’ve been allocated for the exercise, and I’m also supporting the DAO with administration. Our surroundings in Norway are very scenic and it’s been a great setting to work in. Having been a Chief Clerk on Op Shader, I’d worked with some personnel from 12(B) Squadron before, but we’ve

Norway with the RAF and I feel privileged as it’s such a beautiful country

been welcomed with open arms and really feel part of the team out here

This has been my first time to Norway and it’s been a great experience so far. Back in the UK I’m OC Base Supply Flight at Lossiemouth, while on ACE 17 I’m the Detachment Logistic Group (DLG) Commander. Essentially, this means overseeing the various SMEs working in Supply, Movements and MT. It’s also about helping coordinate our advance

deployment to the exercise, our sustainment while we’re here and then our recovery back to the UK



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7 pages of RAF Sport starts here l SAC (T) Lewis Ward taking MR2 Champs by storm: p37 ICE hockey

MAIN EVENT: Although the RAF Aces got off to a great start in the Inter-Services final against the Army Blades they were killed off by a late goal


Aces are cut down by last-gasp Blades strike RAF ACES 3 army blades4

Ice hockey stars go close but Army Steel it

IT WAS a late, late horror show for the Aces ice hockey stars as they failed to halt the Army juggernaut that has now won five Inter-Service titles in a row at Sheffield. The RAF team started brightly at the Steel City, sinking the Navy Destroyers 5-0 on the opening evening of the three-day tournament. The Aces brimmed with confidence and it was Jay Guscott who slotted home in the first period, LAC Luke Jackson then capping

off an excellent debut by getting on the scoresheet. Sealing the deal in the third period Richie Grey banged home the fifth. Along with the clean sheet for goal tender Flt Lt Daz Wilkinson came the prized place in the final – at that stage either against the Navy or Army Blades. The second night’s action was a tighter affair, with the Army nicking an overtime 3-2 win.

The Destroyers opened the scoring in the first minute against the Army, extending their lead just before the close of the first period. Lacking numbers though, the Navy side began to tire and the Blades took advantage equalising and taking the game into overtime – where they duly rammed home their growing dominance. So it was all to play for in the final, the Aces opening the scoring through captain Jamie McIlroy.

The RAF were playing some scintillating hockey and stormed to a 3-1 lead before the Army started to claw the game back. Then, with the scores level, the Aces went a man down after a penalty decision. Finding themselves four on three for two minutes, they could not hold on. The defeat was hard to take after dominating for long periods and initially bursting into a two-goal lead, but it wasn’t to be.


Six of the best

THERE MAY not have been the top podium finishes of his last time out, but for RAF Regular & Reserve Kawasaki team rider Jake Dixon there were just as many fireworks at Snetterton. With Knockhill and double-podium finishes still fresh in their minds, the team and 21-year-old Dixon produced a fourth and a sixth to maintain pressure on the riders around him, despite a spill in the warm-

up run on the second day of racing. Beginning the opening race fifth on the grid, Dixon, who was running on harder tyres, hassled and harried top rider Peter Hickman throughout, and with stronger tyres on the second half of the race he was able to steal an impressive sixth. Eighth on the grid for the second race, Dixon, running a softer tyre compound for

this race, worked his way expertly through the field, saving his best for last – a superb pass on John Hopkins on the final corner, securing fourth. The 23-point haul sees him join a band of six riders who have four more rounds to determine who will contest the ‘Showdown’ and Championship. n Next up for the team is Brands Hatch.

jake dixon: RAF Regular & Reserves rider is in with a shout


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All power

to them

RAF lifters on top of

world in Antwerp

There wERE records and first places as RAF athletes impressed at the World Single Lift Championships in Antwerp, Belgium. Six members of the Royal Air Force had been selected to participate as part of Team GB across the three disciplines of squat, bench press and deadlift. With more than 300 athletes from around the world, rivalry was fierce as a whole year of preparation came down to three days of competition.

Leading the way for the RAF on day one in the Squat was tiny powerhouse Cpl Lyndsey Hallam. Weighing in at under 50kg, she finished with a 92.5kg squat – winning her weight class. Next up was FS Debbie Macdonald, who set a new world record in the masters 2 category with a final lift of 96kg.

Weighing a petite 53kg, she was also first in her age class. Macdonald also had success in the bench press, taking second place on the podium with a final lift of 52.5kg, setting another masters record. In the men’s bench press, Cpl Michael Applegate was in a field of 21 lifters in his weight category. A bench press of 135kg at a body weight of 71kg secured a thirdplace podium finish. The equipped section (with

lifters allowed to wear support straps and body suits) saw Macdonald again having a successful day in her class, along with Sgt Phil Tempest – who won his class with an opening lift of 175kg. Day three was the deadlift, and again first up was Macdonald – this time placing second on the podium, along with Sgt Ann Thomas who also took a second in her weight category. In a tense final round, Thomas moved from 4th to 2nd in the unequipped discipline with a final lift of 157.5kg, with two other athletes failing the same weight. In the men’s event, SAC Nathaniel Lucas won in a very competitive category.

PLANS to form cycling a UK Armed Forces cycling team have been given a major boost with the news that Carillion has signed a three-year deal to sponsor the sport. The agreement will see the facilities management and construction firm support Inter-Services races across all disciplines of the sport. Capt Peter Simmonds (RE), secretary of UKAF cycling, said: “This is a new project within Forces Sport and we are extremely grateful to Carillion for accepting our invitation to join us. “This deal will help all three Services significantly. “This year we will carry out an assessment of what this new relationship can bring to the four DEAL: Capt Simmonds & Carillion’s Richard Lumby championship races, with emphasis on 2018 and 2019, to deliver the best event to select UKAF cycling teams to possible for those selected to compete compete at international events for their Service.  where we can generate maximum “Our longer term ambition remains impact.”

Inter-Services sponsorship



REPRESENTING UK: Some of the RAF powerlifters

Funds hooked

DEADLIFT: Sgt Ann Thomas prepares for action

RAF anglers recently took part in the Carping for Heroes charity weekend at Cudmore Fisheries in Staffordshire. The annual event sees teams from the RAF, Navy, Army, MPGS, exmilitary and civilians come together to raise money. More than £11,000 was raised to be shared between Help for Heroes, Forces Carp and Combat Stress.

Royal Air Force News Friday, July 14, 2017 P34

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Dressage first for RAF team

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TOP RIDER: Sgt Marnie Long on Fleur

ADDINGTON MANOR in Buckinghamshire was the venue as all three Services battled it out in the UK Armed Forces Equestrian Championships. The two-day event, which saw top-five finishes, includes dressage and show jumping and acts as a qualifying opportunity for Olympia. Competition aside, the Service had two specific benefits to gain from the event; seeing its first dressage-specific team in action, and it gave chef d’équipe the chance to view the main team in a Loriners competition. The first day had many levels of tests available – Intro, Preliminary and Novice – with the RAF having entries in all classes. Sgt Emma Morgan and Cpl Osborn (Cosford) were in the intro level, with Osborn showing real character. The pair overcame nerves and no shortage of difficult tests to ensure a qualification card to compete at Intro level at Cricklands Nations Championships in August.  Flt Lt Patterson, with her young horse Heroic Venture, a new and exciting partnership, took part in two preliminaries, securing fifth.


Flt Lt Fenella Allery and Sgt Keeley Skinner, with their mounts Casino of Wildrose and Rachan Wind Dancer respectively, were up next, with Skinner taking part in Prelim 19 and two Novice tests.  Rachan Wind Dancer produced some excellent work which resulted in a solid fifth place plus qualification for Cricklands, while Allery took part in five tests securing a third preliminary and novice fourth place. Sqn Ldr Elizabeth Hale then rode her new horse Darcy to a joint fifth.   The newly-established dressage team of Sqn Ldr Caitlin Wroe, Sgt David Carrothers, Sgt Marnie Long and Sgt Claire Tapp  competed as individuals in the two novice classes, with Wroe coming second, while Sgt Long, with her homebred coloured mare Fleur, took part in three tests. This partnership was very successful, with some high scores. Long was on top of her game and perhaps the dressage rider of the weekend for the RAF. Carrothers, on the imposing JK Mariners, rode well and also returned respectable scores. 


Tips from the World Champ CURRENT WORLD Karate Champion and British Olympic hopeful Jordan Thomas met up with the RAF Martial Arts Association’s Karate Squad at Cranwell recently to put them through their paces ahead of this year’s InterService competition. Sensei Thomas, 24, is the first British World champion in 12 years – following in his father Willie’s footsteps. Jordan passed on some skills and drills to the RAF’s competitive team, who are hoping to defend the titles they took from the Army in the 2016 Inter- MASTERCLASS: Sensei Jordan Thomas (front) demonstrating a drill with Chf Tech Ross Fisher Services.

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RAF Harriers make it two IS titles in a row AS A day of sport it provided almost everything – action, late drama – but sadly not a clean sweep for the Service’s volleyball stars. The men fought their way to an enthralling title win to walk away with the silverware, but the ladies’ team could not topple the Army hosts, having blitzed their Royal Navy opponents early on. Men’s team captain SAC Michael Grainger said: “The first two sets we were in control, but then they came back in the third and we just could not reply. “They took the third set strongly, which meant the fourth was all to play for. We started off really well and thought we were away, but they came back and showed great resilience, and then there was a nail-biting finish. “We thought we had won it at one point, we were celebrating and it knocked us off our rhythm to be honest, but it was good character from the team to settle themselves and come back and win it, especially in such chaotic play. “This win makes it two years in a row and it feels pretty good.” In a roasting hot Aldershot Barracks indoor arena the ladies’ team got things underway on court two with an opening set 11-25 and the raucous atmosphere, more akin to a party than a sporting event, was raised even further as the second set saw the Navy dig deep and push their opponents to an 18-25 second set win. Needing one more set to win the tie the RAF sped away with Flt Lt Louise Tagg and SAC Alex Stallworthy keeping the now welloiled machine ticking, until a stall as the Navy hit back, but with a mini-revival in the offing at 9-21, Cpl Kate Byerley came to the court to serve up two vital points backto-back and the final outcome was shown in their opponents’ body language as they succumbed to a 9-25 defeat. Having set up a grandstand clash against the hosts, the men tried to follow suit, but a flattering start saw them slip behind by 10 points, before good blocks from 16 and 8 gave them the boost they needed to claw back points and get into a twopoint lead at 20-18, before bringing home the first set, 25-18. The Harriers looked to have hit their straps in the second set, with 8 again leading from the front, but his big shots were falling just too long and the Navy bade their time to score at vital moments, taking the set 23-25, despite 1’s valiant efforts to collect a dropping shot, which at 22-24 could have changed the outcome. It wasn’t to be the potential upset

BIG GUNS: RAF Harriers shoot down the Army threat


PRESENTATION: Harriers retain the IS trophy

FULLY STRETCHED: The women in the RAF Hawks just had too much to overcome

some court side were thinking was on the cards as the RAF set up a winner-takes-all clash with the hosts, winning the next two sets 2519 and 25-18. The build-up to the second clashes seemed to take forever as the tension mounted on court one, and when it did start it was first blood to the hosts, but the RAF hauled them back to lead 4-7 before holding the lead throughout the set to win 19-25. A similar pattern of points scoring happened in the second, but the Army rallied late on as well

hauling the score back to 23-20 before the RAF ran home 22-25. Stung by the power of the RAF side, the Army then went into a six-point lead, before an incredible rally saw them take the point at 8-1, before easing to 19-10 as 14 connected well to score two points and bring things close, but not close enough at 22-14 before the final score of 25-16. A hard hitting and hard to watch fourth set saw things at 11-8 before it got really serious as the RAF led 18-17, when the Army levelled as 8 missed a rebound off the net.

Points changed hands like the London Stock Exchange and, with the scores having bounced from one side to the other, with the RAF believing they had won things at 22-24, the score then went the other way for 25-24 to the hosts. As the crowd took a collective breath, an Army foot fault saw the score levelled at 25-25 and the RAF were not going to waste their get out of jail card, taking it 27-29. On court two the ladies drew first blood and sped into a 4-1 lead, but the experienced Army team held tough, winning the set 25-20.

Tagg was once again serving well with Stallworthy nicking points where possible as the teams traded single scores until the light blues levelled the sets with a 21-25 win. The Army took the third set 2519 and were soon 14-6 up in the fourth. With their fans cheering them on, the RAF ladies pushed on but errors proved costly, and as the score remained out of reach they broke their usual composed style. A communication error at 22-13 didn’t help and, only putting one more point on the board, they lost 25-14 and three sets to one.

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Lewis motors ever 4ward MOTORRACING

SAC (T) is in 2nd place at halfway stage of Champs SAC (T) Lewis Ward is aiming to make it a battle royale in the second half of the National Toyota MR2 Championship. Chasing Kristian White in the series, Brize-based Ward, the only RAF representative in the event, has produced some incredible finishes to maintain his second place overall in the six races so far in the 15-race season. “I picked up my first win in the championship back in April at Silverstone, and I followed it up with another win at the next round in May at Castle Combe,” he told RAF News Sport. “I haven’t finished any lower than fifth so far in the opening six races, making me the most consistent driver in the standings, which I am delighted about. “I have finished ahead of my main rival, White, in three out of rugby union SEVENS STAR: Lucy Nye runs out for England

man with a plan: SAC (T) Lewis Ward, right, hopes to go into the second half of the Championships as the leader

I haven’t finished any lower than fifth so far in the opening six races, making me the most consistent driver in the standings

the last four races and closed the gap in the championship from 13 to just two points.” Ward is well known among his fellow RAF drivers, having been RAF Endurance Kart champion, RAF Premier Kart champion and being awarded the Martin Harris best rookie across all motorsport disciplines, all in 2014, before winning the Rookie of the year in

RACE PICTURE: jack flash photography

the MR2 Championship award a year later. His next race is at Anglesey, as RAF News goes to press. It is the championship’s first ever triple-header, featuring three races rather than the standard two, meaning Ward will have the opportunity to gain a healthy haul of points, if the racing goes well.

He added: “My aim is to remain consistent, achieve three podiums and keep the pressure on White. “If I am able to outscore him over the weekend I will come away from Anglesey as the championship leader as we enter the second half of the season. n Search for 4wardracing on Facebook to follow Ward’s season.

RAF women’s rugby goes global when Lucy takes on Japan & Brazil in France THE GLOBAL reach of Service women’s rugby union was given another boost as AC Lucy Nye took part in the ClermontFerrand Sevens tournament for England, in France. Nye, who packs a punch in the shape of bags of pace, formed an integral part of the two matches – which started with a shock opening 25-7 defeat to Japan in the Challenge Trophy semi-final. The Japanese started strongly but their opening salvo was quelled by the Red Roses, who took the lead with a converted try. But it was to be the only time

they found the try line and the scoreboard became a mini-try fest for the Cherry Blossoms, who ran in five. The disappointment continued for Nye and her colleagues as they succumbed 27-17 to Brazil, who opened the scoring only to be pegged back by England. But once again their opponents proved too strong for them, leading 17-7 at the break. There was nothing the RAF girl could do to bolster her team who were given the final say of the game, if not the result, when Kelly Smith ran over. It meant England finished 12th overall.

IN ACTION: The RAF’s Lucy Nye looks to get the ball away

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6th Prize

Sgt Jones

Ticket no.



7th Prize

SAC Orchard

Ticket no.



8th Prize

Cpl Williams

Ticket no.



9th Prize

AC Gower

Ticket no.



10th Prize

SAC(T) Roberts

Ticket no.



For further information visit

Greece is the word going up: RAF windsurfer soars through the ocean

©PROtography 2017

Flt Lt Westmoreland rules the waves

GREECE WAS the destination for the Service’s windsurfing freestyle championships, which saw a 12-strong team make the journey to Lefkada do battle in soaring temperatures. At Club Vass windsurfing centre there were a series of training rounds before the athletes were bracketed according to experience and ability. An association spokesman said: “On shore tuition sessions were delivered daily in the morning, followed by afternoon sessions at a time when the water and wind conditions suited each individual’s ability. Video feedback and unorthodox lessons in the pool undoubtedly made the team think differently about how they perform on the water, enabling remarkable development. “The standard across all competition was excellent and the progress made by everyone throughout the week was testament not only to their commitment to the sport, but to the expert tuition and innovative teaching techniques used at Vass.” The RAFSA party were split into distinct teaching groups early on Monday morning with the majority of the team falling into the intermediate bracket. Sqn Ldr Sam Hanson, WO Craig Hamilton and WO Stu Tilbury were the most experienced windsurfers

and were obvious choices for the advanced group, with their training centred around spectacular freestyle moves such as the Flaka, the Vulcan and the Forward Loop – all comprising various spins through the air and requiring serious speed. The second group included complete novices, but their progression was dramatic, leaping from basic teaching of boarding and maintaining solid sailing stances, to that of intermediate levels. Fg Off Sean Loane, Sgt Howard Hague, SAC Jen Charles and SAC Charlie Hingley made huge strides as they prepared for the competition days. The event began with the advanced freestyle competition, which is highly dependent on wind conditions. With force six and seven winds finally kicking in, the advanced group went for it. All three competitors showed outstanding determination and, following a hard-fought day, the results, decided by the number of jumps landed, saw WO Craig Hamilton in first place after a number of successful forward loops, with Sqn Ldr Sam Hanson

in second and WO Stu Tilbury following a close third. Saturday saw the intermediate competition head out in a stiff breeze that was rapidly building. The competitors were divided into heats of three and were required to sail out around a set point off shore, completing a freestyle move on the outward leg and another on their return. The winners of each heat were then through to the final and as the wind continued to build Flt Lt Shaun Westmoreland secured first place with a tricky Heli Tack and a Wymaroo move, throwing his body and rig around the mast foot for an impressive dismount. SAC Matt Shaw came home second with Flt Lt Ben Wadd third. n For anyone interested in taking up the sport, tuition sessions are held at Rutland Water and START Windsurfing courses are run throughout the summer months. Visit: rafsailing/windsurfing/ wintraining.cfm for further information.

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rugby league Fiji40 UKAFRL20

Dan Abrahams Sydney “In some ways this result makes things easier for us - we now know we have to win both games against Australia and New Zealand if we are to go on and win the World Cup. “They were gutted in the changing room but I know this side is not done. The rest of the teams may see this and think, ‘oh well, that’s them done’, but I know that isn’t true. “These lads are far from beaten”, said Head Coach Flt Lt Damian Clayton following the UK Armed Forces Rugby League side’s 40-20 opening Festival of World Cup match defeat at the hands of Fiji at St Mary’s Stadium, Sydney. Clayton added: “You cannot win a game of rugby league with a 43 per cent completion rate, which is what we had in the first half. There were far too many handling errors and basic mistakes, but even with 20 minutes to go I thought we would go on and win it.” The unknown quantity of the Fijian side proved to be uncontrollable for a UKAFRL side who began in disjointed fashion and spent the remainder of the first half chasing their tails. Unable to get going, the signs were ominous when Jone Tuiveresa cut through for Fiji before slipping on the 10-metre line. The let-off went unheeded by the UK side, who were trading blows with their opponents, but after good work from a dropping ball, vice-captain Cpl James Hutchinson threw a loose pass and an interception led to Marika Tagicakibau running in from 30 metres for an unconverted try. Poor decisions and interferences by the referee did nothing for the UK men, with continual gains from moving off the tackle being missed, giving the Fijians vital seconds and inches as Clayton’s men tried to build attacks. Cfn George Clarke and Mne Jamie Birdsall then sparked a fine break, but the under used Sgt Si Wray could not complete the move after eight minutes. Moments later Wray got a knee in the back for his efforts trying to collect a dropping ball after a clever

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We’re not down & out Down Under…

HIGHLIGHT: RAF’s Sgt Dave Hankinson scores the opening try for UKAFRL in Sydney. Inset, SAC(T) Jordan Andrade breaks shadowed by Sgt Lee Queeley

But opening defeat means Clayton’s boys must beat Kiwis AND Aussies kick from SAC(T) Adam Flintham on 11 minutes. A penalty against LET(ME) James Parry, for flopping on the tackle, was then kicked by Iliekena Ninmataiwalu for 6-0 after 15 minutes, which quickly became 12-0 three minutes later. F l i n t h a m ’s gutsy kick and charge saw the pocket rocket force the Fijians back on to their try line, but he was not supported and the pressure came to nothing as the Fijian powerhouse Selvanaia Koroi ran over the defence to score for 22-0.

Good work from Flintham lifted his teammates and in the 32nd minute his brilliant reverse pass, after two good sets of six, saw Sgt Dave Hankinson cross the try line, with stand-off AB Ryan Matthews converting. When they completed their sets the UK team caused havoc amongst their opponents, but as soon as an inch was gained two points were added by Ninmataiwalu with another penalty after Brown ripped the ball. A battling start after the break saw Clarke produce some big hits and move the ball well, with captain LAET Ben Taylor and Hutchinson all beginning to push the Fijians. And then a moment of magic from SAC(T) Jordan Andrade saw him run over for a converted try by Matthews for 24-12 after 50

minutes. Moments later Birdsall was through, but a forward pass from Flintham saw the score wiped out. Just as an extended period of UK pressure looked on, Fiji bundled the ball over on 55 minutes and the unconverted try was followed four minutes later with a further six points as Ropate Tobe fed Koroi to score out on the UKAFRL right. Minutes later a shadow fell over the game when Birdsall was knocked unconscious and had to be stretchered from the pitch following extensive treatment, after a straight-arm tackle from Esermoa Melo Kasinalavu. The reckless challenge landed the player with a red card and Kasinalavu will be banned from the rest of the tournament, while the UKAFRL second row is now

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likely to miss the rest of the World Cup round robin matches under concussion rules. Having stopped the clock for the treatment of Birdsall, Wray dived over out wide with Matthews hitting the upright with the conversion on 68 minutes, while another good chance went begging as Spr Kev Brown failed to collect when well placed on the 10-metre line, having been fed by Parry. With three minutes left Parry nearly finished off a good move, but he could not hold on to the ball and the game was well and truly gone. Tagicakibau then ran over in the last minute, with Niumataiwalu converting on the hooter for 40-20. n You can follow the team’s progress on Facebook at: United Kingdom Armed Forces Rugby League or on Twitter: @ UKArmedForcesRL with full game highlights on YouTube at: ukafrl2017. n See the next edition of RAF News to catch up with how the team got on in their remaining matches.


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Raf News 14 July 2017  
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