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Win, Win, Win Battle Proms tickets for summer fun l R’n’R p4-5

Win Win A history bound to inspire

Saint Joan Songstress is back on the road

l R'n'R p4-5

l R'n'R p4-5

Friday May 18 2018 No 1443 70p


Wings of Love Gulf war hero John Nichol on Britain's Spitfire romance See



Fisher looking for IST20 win

Dambuster rides again Simon Mander

l Sport p29


Coningsby seal deal for Cup

l Sport p35

The last surviving British Dambuster is set for an emotional reunion with one of the world's last airworthy Lancaster bombers as the RAF marks the 75th anniversary of the legendary WWII raid. Speaking exclusively to RAF News ahead of a visit to the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, Squadron Leader George Leonard 'Johnny' Johnson said he was touched by the public reaction to the legendary mission in which 53 of his comrades were killed. The 96-year-old veteran said: “It is great to experience the warmth and interest from so many people, and the realisation that what happened 75 years ago is still so fresh in my memory. It has been wonderful to meet and talk with the different generations and relatives of other squadron members.”

The veteran, who lives in Bristol, is now one of only two survivors to take part in the raids on the Mohne, Eder and Sorpe dams in Germany in May 1943. He said returning to the Flight’s Lincolnshire base was always a great experience and gave him time to reflect on his previous experiences there. A total of 133 Allied aircrew of 617 Squadron left for the raid codenamed Operation Chastise aboard 19 Lancaster bombers, carrying Barnes Wallis's bouncing bombs. During his visit to RAF Coningsby he was expected to board the Flight’s Lancaster bomber – one of only two surviving airworthy examples of the type. The BBMF hopes to fly the Lancaster over RAF Scampton, the original home of the Dambusters, the Derwent Valley and Eyebrook Reservoir where the aircrew practised for the raid.

Fit for Heroes – The Forces' favourite newspaper






Royal Air Force News Friday, May 18, 2018 P3


If you can get people to identify with your emotions, it’s a brilliant feeling

Music legend Joan Armatrading on the secret to song writing – Rn’R p4-5

It was so hot out The Spitfire there, both teams gave belongs to all of their all. I think we us. The emotion it deserved it evokes is intrinsic

Cpl Michael Braniff, on Coningsby’s 3-2 RAF Cup win – Sport p35

Nichol on Britain’s love affair with the Spitfire – p18-19

CPL Jon Ward, who has run 100 marathons, now aims to run 10 ultra marathons in 10 days– p28

” Gulf War veteran and author John

I had a good level of fitness but I wanted to raise the bar

Black Sea combat drill tests Typhoon Nato forces step up capability to counter Russia maritime threat in Eastern Europe

RAF Typhoons stationed in Romania to counter possible military threat from Russia have launched simulated air strikes in a major Nato maritime exercise in the Black Sea. The UK combat jets joined Romanian Air Force MiG fighters to protect Navy vessels from enemy attack during the realistic combat drill involving HMS Duncan – a Royal Navy Type 45 Destroyer. Exercise Sea Shield was launched to test the agility and reaction of Nato forces deployed across the Black Sea region, a spokesman said. As part of the exercise RAF Typhoons tracked and destroyed ‘enemy’ aircraft closing on in the British Navy vessel. Four RAF Typhoons are currently based with the RAF’s 135 Expeditionary Air Wing at Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base in Romania. Typhoon pilot Sqn Ldr Roger Cruickshank said: “HMS Duncan used her sophisticated systems to maintain full awareness of my position and simulated enemy aircraft trying to attack the ship. “I was able to stop the advances of the oncoming aircraft trying to attack the friendly ships by HMS Duncan’s excellent team who were ready to simulate launching her own weapons in protection. “The mission was a success and proved how integrated we are in times of crisis and that we can work so cohesively with our Romanian partners.”

It’s going to be an extremely versatile and well proven platform Sqn Ldr Jon Ryder on Britain’s latest sub hunter, the P-8A Poseidon – p10

Next issue on sale June 1, 2018 Royal Air Force News Room 68 Lancaster Building HQ Air Command High Wycombe Buckinghamshire HP14 4UE Email: Tel: 01494 497412 Editor: Simon Williams Sports Editor: Dan Abrahams Features Editor: Tracey Allen News Editor: Simon Mander Sport: Tel: 01494 497563 All advertising: Edwin Rodrigues, Tel: 07482 571535 Email: edwin.rodrigues@ Subscriptions: Adelle Johnson Sheffield Web Caxton Way Dinnington Sheffield S25 3QE Tel: 01909 517331

Nato exercise: HMS Duncan tracking threat from the air, inset above, RAF Typhoon and Romanian MiG move in for the kill PHOTO: SGT NEIL BRYDEN

Exercise Sea Shield is led by the Romania Navy Fleet Command to test the readiness of Nato forces deployed to the region. Chief of the Romanian Naval

Forces, Vice Admiral Alexandru Mirsu, added: “Nato has provided a partnership under which we can maintain the security and stability of all our nations.

“This is an opportunity for us all to work together ensuring Nato readiness is upheld and proving that it is a credible and effective alliance.”

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.

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



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Royal Air Force News Friday, May 18, 2018 P5

Weddy for action

News News bulletin

Honington team drilled to perfection for Royal couple’s big day RAF personnel have been put through their paces in preparation for their role in Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s big day. Air Force chefs, medics, intelligence analysts, police and Regiment gunners from Honington will line the streets during the carriage procession following the Royal wedding. Drill Instructor Flight Sergeant Richard ‘Brom’ Bromell spent the day bellowing in the Jimmy James hangar to make sure his team are drilled to perfection. He said: “It’s a great honour to be selected to take part and I know the personnel on parade will do the station proud.” RAF personnel rehearsed foot and arms drills with a ceremonial rifle weighing 13.4Kg, the equivalent of a toddler, and Parade Commander Flt Lt Jess Donnelly practiced her sword techniques. She said: “I was thrilled when I was selected to lead the RAF Guard of Honour at the Royal wedding, it will be an honour to represent my Service on such a special occasion.” Another parade member, Afghan veteran RAF Police dog handler Sergeant Adrian Dickson, patrolled areas of Helmand Province searching for roadside bombs on the same Op Herrick tour

Nam grand slam

as Prince Harry. He said “Providing security for the Royal wedding is the highlight of my career. Prince Harry was serving in Afghanistan at the same time I was, in his Apache helicopter. He was there for me when I needed him, now I can be there for him on his special day.” Prince Harry is Honorary Air Commandant of RAF Honington and has paid numerous visits to the Suffolk base.

DIPLOMATS and Service personnel braved intense heat to complete a gruelling 100-nautical -mile bike ride across Vietnam to raise money for the RAF100 Appeal. Defence Attaché Gp Capt David Houghton, his American counterpart and Foreign Office staff toiled through temperatures topping 37 degrees, and humidity levels of more than 90 per cent to complete the 185km challenge. Gp Capt Houghton said: “Riding along rugged Vietnamese countryside roads the nine riders all managed to complete the course – with me, selflessly bringing up the rear and finishing last.” Royal Honour: Left, FS Brom Brommel makes himself heard during wedding drill, above left, Parade Commander Flt Lt Jess Donnelly practices her sword technique. PHOTOS: CPL ANDY HOLMES

royal flypast

Reds Royal salute as Charles makes historic Greek visit Staff Reporter The Red Arrows took a break from their air show warm-up to mark Prince Charles’ historic Royal visit to Greece. The colourful aerial salute was watched by the Prince of Wales at Flisvos Marina, Athens and highlighted the longstanding military links between the United Kingdom and Greece. Nine Hawk jets followed a Hellenic Air Force Mirage aircraft in front of assembled spectators. Earlier, Prince Charles had arrived on the UK Border Force vessel HMC Valiant and he saw the display from a Greek trireme moored alongside.

The flight was also in memory of the late Hellenic Air Force pilot Captain Giorgos Baltadoros, and Red Arrows engineer Corporal Jonathan Bayliss – both of whom tragically died in recent, separate incidents. The Red Arrows are in Greece as part of an annual preseason training pro g r a m m e Exercise Springhawk, flying up to three times a day from Tanagra airbase to prepare for the forthcoming UK display season.

In the money A NEW SET of £2 coins featuring iconic RAF aircraft has been released to mark the 100th anniversary of the Service. The Royal Mint collection includes the Sea King helicopter, Spitfire and F-35 Lightning II as well as the RAF crest.

Forces gambling probe launched

Visit: Prince Charles arrives at Flisvos Marina, Athens, on HMC Valiant. Left Arrows fly over Royal party PHOTOS: SAC ROSE BUCHANAN

A Forces charity has launched a major study into the problem of gambling in the UK military. The Forces in Mind Trust has awarded Swansea University more than £250,000 grant to fund the two-year study. A spokesman said: “The problems posed by gambling are growing and we hope this research will start a conversation about how we understand problem gambling in members of the Armed Forces in more detail.”

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News News bulletin

Nato role: Romanian airman welcomes RAF Typhoon crews to Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base in Romania PHOTO: SAC CHARLOTTE HOPKINS

Minted: David Taylor with Cpl Stuart Crichton

Squippers coin it in THE RAF’s Survival Equipment Association has minted its own commemorative coin – to celebrate 100 years of saving lives. Former 18 Sqn Squipper and association founding member David Taylor presented a batch of the tokens to crews at Odiham as the RAF celebrates its centenary. The group, set up 10 years ago, is also despatching the specially commissioned coins to veterans in Australia, New Zealand, Dubai and Bahrain.

Nato jets scramble for Putin spy plane Simon Mander

Freedom march: 51 Sqn on parade

Parde tribute to WWII heroes A FORMER Bomber Command unit has renewed its close relationship with a small Yorkshire town forged during WWII. Waddington-based 51 Sqn personnel exercised their Freedom of Snaith remembering their forebears who flew the Handley Page Halifax on missions from the now defunct Snaith airbase. Officer Commanding 51 Sqn, Wg Cdr Simon Cloke, said: “Snaith is our spiritual home. “The freedoms we enjoy today are, in part, down to the many that risked so much from the airfield a few miles away.” This year further acts of remembrance were conducted at Pollington Airfield Memorial Garden, which commemorates the 687 personnel of 51 Squadron killed during World War II.

RAF TOP GUNS scrambled to intercept a Russian spy plane closing in on Black Sea airspace within days of being given the green light to resume air patrols over Romania. Typhoons from Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base near Constanta were launched in response to a Russian Federation Air Force IL-20 Coot and tracked it as it departed North East but did not come within visual range. The mission came less than a week after Alliance chiefs accredited RAF Lossiemouth-based II (Army Co-operation) Sqn as the latest UK unit to take up the enhanced air policing role begun in response to Russia’s illegal annexation of the Crimea in 2014. Typhoon pilot Squadron Leader Roger Cruickshank was on Quick Reaction Alert duty when the scramble was called. He said: “My wingman and I were able to get airborne within minutes, well within our Nato approved response timing, due to the incredible job the ground crew did and quickly climbed to height and nearly supersonic speed.” Wg Cdr Chris Ball who leads

intercept mission : RAF Typhoons take off from Romania base, inset above, Russian IL-20 Coot surveillance aircraft

135 Expeditionary Air Wing, said: “This scramble, so early in our mission, proves that we are providing effective air policing for the Alliance.” At a time when Britain’s withdrawal from the EU is grabbing the headlines the UK is seeking to assure Nato that its commitment to the alliance remains as steadfast as ever. Operating alongside Romanian Air Force MiG-21LanceR and American-built F-16 fast jets the

Typhoons conduct Quick Reaction Alert sorties like those they carry out at home and have previously conducted from Estonia as part of the same mission. Romania has conducted its own Air Policing under Nato control since its accession in 2004. Both nation’s jets are under command of the Alliance’s Combined Air Operations Centre in Torrejon in Spain, which is responsible for protecting airspace south of the Alps.

Centre commander Spanish Air Force Lieutenant General Ruben Garcia Servert said: “Such deployments showcase the ability of the Alliance to interoperate, share and pool capabilities, and to adapt and scale our defensive deterrence posture”. UK Ambassador to Romania, Paul Brummel, added: “Air policing missions ensure we would be able to rapidly and efficiently tackle any potential aggression or threat against the Alliance or its members.”

Tragic Shabz unites military and muslim communities Muslim community leaders joined RAF station chiefs at Leeming to remember airman SAC Shahbaz Saleem who tragically lost his battle against cancer in 2016. Elders from the Saleem family’s mosque in his home town of Burnley were given a tour of the

North Yorks station as part of an exchange set up after the popular SAC’s death. Imam Qari Khalid Mehmood said: “It has been wonderful, we have been so enlightened by everything. While the rest of the country sleeps, they are doing

their duty.” Station Commander Gp Capt David Arthurton added: “One of my first acts at Leeming was going to meet ‘Shabz’ and getting to know the young man who was a real inspiration to everyone on this station.”


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Royal Air Force News Friday, May 18, 2018 P9


RAF commando’s fight with cancer

veteran’s battle

D-Day hero, 97, honoured with name on Wall of Honour A CANCER-stricken former RAF commando has been honoured on Cranwell’s Wall of Honour. The 97-year-old veteran, who defied German artillery and Luftwaffe attacks to keep Allied fighters flying during D-Day, was prevented from attending in person by doctor’s orders. So, a modern-day RAF hero, who autographed the famous gallery of gallantry after winning the Distinguished Flying Cross, stepped in to append his signature for him. Aircrew Survival, Evasion and Resistance (SERE) Training Centre trainer Mark Fairhead said: “Regrettably, one of our Guests of Honour – Stan Hartill of Bournemouth – had to decline our invitation to sign the Wall of Honour as he has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and, despite his own protestations, his doctor said he is too unwell to travel. “Undeterred by this sad news, I asked Stan to send me his own signature on stickers, which

VETERAN: Stan meets the Red Arrows on a previous occasion and, inset top, Gp Capt Fin Monahan does the honours for the former RAF commando at RAFC Cranwell

he graciously did, and then approached Central Flying School Commandant Group Captain Fin Monahan to ask him to place Stan’s signature on the Wall of Honour for him. “Stan was delighted that the

Commandant was able to step in on his behalf.” Mr Hartill joined the RAF on February 22, 1940, and served with 609 Spitfire Squadron at Middle Wallop throughout the Battle of Britain.

FAMILY AFFAIR: Jon and son Harry

Three-year-old Harry BurtMatthews has ordered his RAF dad to take a hike – to raise funds for a toddlers’ charity. Benson-based parent FS Jon Burt-Matthews has signed up to complete the 1000ft ascent of Mount Snowdon to raise funds for the Little Troopers group. Harry will be joining him on the trek, along with RAF colleague FS Matt Lingham and his three-year-old daughter Poppy. Jon said: “I’m hoping Harry will do a good amount of walking, otherwise he’ll be on my back all of the way. He was definitely a lot lighter when I signed up for the challenge.” Little Troopers is the first Triservice children’s charity.

MPs on tour

A group of MPs flew into the UK’s Top Gun academy at Valley to see how the RAF trains its frontline fast jet combat pilots. They were given a tour of the IV Sqn facility, which operates a fleet of Hawk T2 jets and a digital synthetic training centre to hone rookies’ flying skills.

Stan’s the man

A ONE-OFF: Sqn Ldr Butler, inset signing the wall, has flown all UK variants of the Chinook

A HELICOPTER pilot who braved storms to rescue 17 personnel trapped in remote Afghan mountains has signed Cranwell’s wall of honour. Squadron Leader John Butler – the only RAF pilot to have flown all UK variants of the Chinook Marks 1 to 6 – was invited to add his name and talk to aircrew survival training graduates. The rotary veteran, known as ‘Stan’, told

Later, he was selected to become a member of a relatively unknown RAF unit – 3205 Servicing Commando. The unit was the brainchild of Lord Mountbatten and was formed to keep frontline combat aircraft flying. Its personnel, after completing Royal Marine commando training, were based on the edge of airfields all over Britain and later Europe. “Stan was one of the first RAF personnel to land during the Normandy landings and was part of the team that ran the first airstrip – known as B3 – which was always in range of German guns and aircraft,” said Mr Fairhead. Mr Hartill was awarded the Legion d’Honneur for his part in D-Day and was on the airstrip when General Dwight D Eisenhower was flown in by Deputy Commander of the Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force Air Chief Marshall Arthur Tedder.

Harry’s hike

23 military pilots and Weapons System Operators of the mission that earned him the Air Force Cross. Aircrew Survival, Evasion and Resistance (SERE) Training Centre instructor Mark Fairhead said: “Stan was decorated for his leadership and courage during the rescue of US Special Forces and Afghan National Army personnel trapped in freak extreme cold and wet weather.

“He flew his aircraft in conditions that had forced another helicopter to pull out, to save 17 comrades trapped by flash floods in a mountainous area north east of Kandahar – two of whom were near dead with hypothermia.” Mission co-pilot was Matt Springford, who has also added his name to the list of RAF Greats after being awarded a Distinguished Flying Cross. Other crew members were

former RAF Gunner, now Loadmaster Steve Davie and Royal Navy exchange crewman Royal Marine Shane Knight. Stan has served on all the frontline Chinook units and has more than 6,000 flying hours – 5,500 of them on the twinrotary workhorse. He was awarded the AFC in 2008 and an MBE in 2014. He has served in Iraq, the Falklands, Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Kosovo and Afghanistan.

Royal Air Force News Friday, May 18, 2018 P10


UK ready for Poseidon adventure Simon Mander RAF PERSONNEL training with the US Navy maritime surveillance teams say Britainâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s latest sub hunter will be combat-ready when it arrives at Lossiemouth later this year. An eight-strong Air Force team is part of the UK test team at Naval Air Station Patuxent River in Maryland preparing the P-8A Poseidon for UK service. Sqn Ldr John Ryder, pictured, one of two RAF pilots on the team, said: â&#x20AC;&#x153;By the time the UKâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first aircraft leaves the production line, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s going to be an extremely

versatile and well proven platform.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;I flew anti-submarine warfare serials on P-8A from Scotland during Nato exercises in 2012 and the aircraft did the business. From that point onward, P-8A has only got better.â&#x20AC;? The team will also provide fully trained RAF crews to fly Poseidon, having already clocked up 15,000 hours on the aircraft Stateside. Electronic Warfare Expert Master Aircrewman Tristan

P8 PLEDGE: Defence Minister Guto Bebb and Norwegan counterpart Tone Skogen check out the P8 at Lossiemouth

Bushell added: â&#x20AC;&#x153;The aircraft is already deployed with US frontline squadrons so itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s got a pedigree. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Because weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re embedded in the programme we already know how to get the best out of its sensors. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Being able to see the latest software before we get our aircraft is a real bonus for us, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll hit the ground running.â&#x20AC;? The RAF will receive nine Poseidon maritime surveillance aircraft to be operated by 120 and 201 Squadrons.

Norway joins UK with sub hunter pact SUBSIDISED W SUBSIDISED WELFARE ELFARE B BREAKS RE A K S F OR SERVING SERVING PERSONNEL PER SONNEL FOR We know how stressful Service life can be. Deployment, separation and continuous moves can all add to pressures at work and home. 7RKHOSWKH5$)%HQHYROHQW)XQGKDVODXQFKHGDSLORWRÎ?HULQJQHZVXEVLGLVHG breaks across the UK this summer for RAF personnel and their families.

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Agreement will reduce costs of new ÂŁ3 billion maritime patrol aircraft Simon Mander BRITAIN AND Norway have advanced plans for increased international Maritime Patrol Aircraft co-operation in the North Atlantic to counter the threat from hostile submarines. The two nationsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; defence ministers discussed how to work together on a flight in an American P-8A Poseidon from RAF Lossiemouth. Both countries will soon operate their own P-8 fleets, with the Moray base hosting nine of them after a ÂŁ3billion investment, while the UKâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Scandinavian ally will buy five. Defence Minister Guto Bebb hosted his Norwegian counterpart Tone Skogen to discuss joint P-8 maintenance, training and operations to save money and boost the Poseidon squadronsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; operational power. Defence Minister Guto Bebb said:â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re investing ÂŁ3bn in our own capability, but working alongside Norway takes this to a higher level. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Not only could we cut costs by sharing training, spares and repair facilities, but we can patrol the seas together, meaning weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve got more eyes and ears on any potential

aggressors.â&#x20AC;? Norwayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Secretary Tone Skogen said:â&#x20AC;&#x153;Norway and the UK are natural partners given our shared values, as well as our history and geography. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We can further strengthen bilateral defence cooperation in operating the F-35 fighter and the P-8 maritime patrol aircraft. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The UK and Norway continue to stand together in training and exercises in the North Atlantic and the Northern region, as well as being partners in the Joint Expeditionary Force.â&#x20AC;? British Poseidons will protect the countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s submarinebased nuclear deterrent and its two new aircraft carriers by deploying sonobuoys to detect submarines, and carrying anti-ship missiles and torpedoes which can destroy them. Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson recently cut the first turf on a ÂŁ132m base for the force at RAF Lossiemouth to be completed in 2020, to coincide with initial operating capability of the P-8A. At the peak of construction, the project will support 200 local jobs. When the fleet is fully operational, 470 additional RAF personnel will be based at the airbase, taking the total number of people employed there to 2 200

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Royal Air Force News Friday, May 18, 2018 P12


Strikes roc Daesh figh

PRECISION STRIKE: Tornado GR4 armed with Paveway IV guided bombs after refueling over Syria, below, unmanned Reaper finds its target. Inset right, inside a RAF Voyager tanker PHOTOS: CPL LEE MATHEWS

Eastern honour for bomber crew Sarah Parker Romania RAF PERSONNEL currently on Nato Air Policing duties joined local people to remember the wartime crew of a 150 Squadron Wellington shot down by German anti-aircraft gunners. The bomber was brought down on the night of May 6-7, 1944 while on a bombing mission from Amendola in Italy to the Romanian oilfields near Ploieşti. Despite being on opposing sides in the war, locals recovered the bodies from the crash site and gave them a Christian burial in the local monastery. The ceremony was organised by a local businessman whose mother witnessed the aircraft in flames heading directly for the village when, at the last minute, the pilot

changed course and plummeted into nearby marshes. The story was largely unknown until after the fall of the Communist regime, when the aircraft wreckage was rediscovered and the people of Comana held a commemorative Orthodox religious ceremony in honour of the aircrew. The service has been held annually ever since; attracting hundreds of local people, senior Romanian politicians and British Embassy personnel. In 1946, the bodies of the five airmen: Warrant Officer Stanley Clarke and Sergeants Leonard Cox, Robert Scott, George Vaughn and Clifford Walker were disinterred and moved to the British Military Cemetery at Tâncabeşti, near Bucharest.

Royal Air Force News Friday, May 18, 2018 P13


ck die-hard hters Crisis: Research shows seven per cent of frontline UK fighters develop PTSD symptoms

Staff Reporter

Die hard Daesh fanatics using drones to target security forces and terrorise civilians in isolated areas of Iraq and Syria have been wiped out in the latest UK air strikes. Unmanned RAF Reaper aircraft and Typhoon and Tornado combat jets launched a series of high precision attacks on remaining Daesh terrorists along the Euphrates valley bordering the two countries. In a strike in Eastern Syria a Reaper tracked down and destroyed a drone team

Baton hits its peak climbers scaled Britain’s three highest peaks carrying the RAF Baton to mark the Service’s 100th birthday. A group of 11 RAF Mountaineering Association members reached the summits of Ben Nevis in Scotland, Scafell Pike in the Lake District, and Snowdon in Wales. The challenge coincided with the arrival of the nationwide RAF100 Baton Relay in Snowdonia and training for an expedition to the Nepalese Himalayas by five teams of Service climbers in September. on a high: RAF climbers celebrate after conquering UK’s three highest mountains. PHOTO: SGT NEIL BRYDEN

operating from the roof of a building. In a separate attack a Typhoon unleashed a Paveway guided bomb obliterating a Daesh team attempting to launch a remote control quad-copter style device. The terror group has lost more than 95 per cent of the territory it once held across the region. Iraqi leaders declared the end of the groups’s ‘fake caliphate’ last year, following the fall of the Daesh de-facto capital in Mosul in 2017. In Syria, the group has been

reduced to small units operating in remote parts of the country close to the border with Iraq. A small group of extremists operating 25 miles from Qayyarah were killed in a double Tornado strike after they were tracked by Coalition surveillance teams, an RAF spokesman said. Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has pledged to wipe Daesh ‘from the map’ to protect British streets from terror attacks by violent extremists fleeing Iraq and Syria. Since joining the Coalition mission four years ago RAF crews based at Akrotiri in Cyprus have carried an estimated 1770 air strikes.

Party drug ecstacy hope for Forces PTSD victims The main chemical ingredient in the illegal party drug ecstasy could be used to treat Forces fighters battling post traumatic stress disorder. The latest drugs trials in the US have shown that MDMA – the psycho active component in the banned class A drug – can help reduce symptoms when combined with psychotherapy sessions. The claims following a small scale study involving Forces veterans in the US and could lead to the drug being licenced for use for those with acute PTSD symptoms. In the UK an estimated five per cent of military personnel suffer from the condition – the same rate as the civilian population. However, for frontline fighters and those deployed on combat operations, that figure rises to seven per cent. The study by a US-based charity in South Carolina is one of six that has led the US Food and Drug Administration to approve clinical trials. Dr Neil Greenberg, Professor of Defence Mental Health at Kings College Hospital, said the drug could help bring relief when used with traditional therapy sessions. Prof Greenberg, who was not involved in the trials, said: “It is not the drug itself that has shown to be effective in the treatment of the symptoms of PTSD – it is its role in assisting psychotherapy.

“Sufferers often find it hard to discuss the details and the nature of the trauma they have had which is an important part of psychotherapy. “For people with chronic symptoms there is emerging evidence that giving them a dose of MDMA helps them overcome that barrier. “The trials suggest that it has a role in enabling effective treatment through psychotherapy. “The latest evidence shows that when people leave the Services the prevalence of PTSD rises. “That poses the question of whether people are leaving the Services because of PTSD – or are developing the symptoms when they leave because they do not have the same network of support outside the Forces. “These findings are interesting and we should not ignore them. What is important to make clear is that there is no evidence that scoring some MDMA and taking it will make you better.” Other groundbreaking treatments include the use of virtual reality software to simulate the trauma events that have caused the condition. Prof Greenberg added: “There is strong evidence of the value of using virtual reality in treatment. “Instead of asking people to imagine the images that may have led to their PTSD we can use computer generated animations.”

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Royal Air Force News Friday, May 18, 2018 P15


Iraq vet has all the write stuff

Tracey Allen

MOVE OVER JK Rowling, there’s a new children’s author in town – and he’s in the RAF. WO Trevor Leck started writing fantasy adventure The Cubit Quest to stave off boredom during downtime while on operations in Iraq back in 2002. When it was published the book hit the No 1 spot on top online booksellers Amazon and now he’s written a sequel, The Tyrant Clause. He said: “Writing was just a hobby, I wasn’t writing to be published. “After having read the first four Harry Potter books while on deployment I thought I’d have a go at writing a novel for young adults myself. “I carried on with it when I got home, spurred on by the positive response from my children when I read them drafts. “The completed novel then sat on my PC for about five years until my wife Cara encouraged me to get it published.”

The Cubit Quest features 12-year-old hero Charlie Watkins who has to rescue his dad from danger after he’s pursued by a gang of suit-wearing thugs determined to find out where Watkins senior has hidden the Cubit – a mythical object men have sworn to protect and even died trying to possess. Trevor said: “Although the book is aimed at readers aged 10 and upwards, most of the reviews online have come from adults who really like it too.”

FRONTLINE FICTION: Communications specialist WO Leck started writing when he was deployed to Iraq

He is donating all profits from sales of The Cubit Quest to military charity Help for Heroes. Trevor added: “I have given five copies to the Community and Welfare Centre a t RAF Odiham where I’m now based. “The Community Support Team plan to give the books to young adults when a parent deploys. It’s great to give something back.” O We have five signed copies of The Cubit Quest to win. For your chance to own one, answer this question correctly: What is the name of the young hero of The Cubit Quest? Email your answer, marked Cubit Quest book competition, to: competitions@ or post it to our address on page 3, to arrive by June 1.

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Royal Air Force News Friday, May 18, 2018 P17


Spit joy for battling John RAFA bears all CHARITY MASCOT Warrant Officer Rafa Bear will be making guest appearances at public events around Staffordshire before getting a new posting on Armed Forces Day at Cannock. Two feet tall sitting, the cuddly toy was donated to The RAF Association by the town’s local Morrisons supermarket. Pensioner and amateur seamstress Polly Harris handcrafted the bear’s uniform, complete with genuine Warrant Officer badges and peaked hat. WO Bear is the brainchild of branch vice-chairman Valerie Loughrey, who said: “He is unique and likely to be sought after. “I imagine there will be a lot of interest from teddy bear collectors.”

AN RAF veteran with terminal cancer had a childhood dream come true when he sat in the cockpit of a Spitfire at Biggin Hill. Former armourer 76-year-old John Llewellyn was shocked when the RAF Benevolent Fund arranged the visit after an appeal by his family. His daughter Tracy Weager said: “When I first told dad ‘get your flying jacket cleaned, we’re going to Biggin Hill’ he burst into tears. He asked me how I knew it was on his bucket list. “Dad is usually a really talkative man, and he was just overwhelmed and sat back and took it all in.” The Vulcan ground crew veteran joined the RAF at 18 after watching the iconic World War II fighter operating out of Manchester airport as a boy. But his Service career was cut short when he contracted a disease in Borneo that led to a loss of hearing in both ears and he was medically discharged in 1965. Then in the early 1980s he was diagnosed with meningitis which stopped him working full-time. Watched by his entire family including eight grandchildren, including one viewing online from Taiwan, staff at Biggin Hill Heritage Hanger helped Mr Llewellyn into

IN THE HOTSEAT: Above, John and his wife Magdalene, inset, with all the family

PHOTOS: Adrian Brooks/Imagewise/RAFBF

the aircraft. Spitfire pilot Don Sigournay paid his own respects dipping the wings of his aircraft in tribute to John’s service as he flew past the hangar.

Tracy added: “Dad may not be a war hero, but he’s our hero and we can’t thank the RAFBF enough for all they have done for him and our family.”

The RAFBF has been supporting Mr Llewellyn and his family since 1987 including recently installing a stair lift in their Gloucester home within a week of his diagnosis.

Royal Air Force News Friday, May 18, 2018 P18

Royal Air Force News Friday, May 18, 2018 P19



Truly, madly deeply

Iconic: A 92 Sqn Spitfire based at Biggin Hill in action in 1941. The aircraft was originally a Mk1 but later converted to a Mk 5

Gulf War veteran John Nichol probes the UK’s love affair with the Supermarine Spitfire


HE SPITFIRE holds an almost unique status in the history of military hardware – a weapon of war described exclusively in the lexicon of love. RAF Tornado veteran John Nichol isn’t about to break with tradition and challenge that paradox with his personal tribute Spitfire A Very British Love Story. The Gulf War navigator – shot down in the first sortie of the conflict, captured and tortured by Saddam’s interrogators – has penned his own heartfelt eulogy to the world’s most famous fighter plane. What emerges is a stirring portrait of a piece of aviation art in motion flown by the bravest of the brave. Nichol’s Spitfire is still a skyborne prima ballerina that kicks like Bruce Lee. Nichol said: “Spitfire has something nothing else has. I wanted to find out just what it is about this aircraft that evokes such love. “It is not a story about rivets and switches. This is a book about people who loved and still love what is surely the world’s greatest aircraft. “I have tried to tell the story through the eyes of

those who built, flew and serviced it.” It is 78 years since the Battle of Britain which earned the iconic Spit its military spurs and its place in history. The Few have become fewer and their stories are fading. But it is Nichol’s own horrific war experiences he says that have helped him reveal and perhaps revitalise the real story of the aircraft and those who used it in anger. The author was shot down on the first low level daylight raid of Gulf War I and later paraded on Iraqi TV – his bruised and battered face became one of the conflict’s enduring images. He said: “My own background is an advantage. The people I spoke to know what I have been through and it definitely made my conversations with them easier. They tend to open up a bit more. “This is a generation which usually says things like ‘we just got on with it’ and will tell you that they didn’t think about it.” Using detailed firsthand pilot accounts of wartime sorties and meticulously researched detail of the

upgrade: 41 Sqn Spitfire MkXII in formation over the South Downs in 1944. The aircraft were the first to be fitted with more powerful Griffon engine and feature wings clipped at the outer edges for improved high altitude performance

The Spitfire belongs to all of us. The emotion it still evokes is intrinsic to us all”

Pioneers: Below, Nichol with Mary Ellis (left) and Joy Lofthouse, members of the Air Tranposrt Auxillary, who delivered Spitfires to frontline squadrons

evolution of the Spitfire from its Mk1 incarnation to the final technologically peerless Mk 47, Nichol tells the full history. But it is the testimony of those who graced the cockpit in the dark days of war that capture the true spirit of the Spitfire story. Among the seat-of-the-pants tales of survival and triumph against the odds is that of Kiwiborn Sgt Alan Peart who left his homeland to defend Queen and another country with 610 Sqn, in France, Europe and Africa. Nichol said: “Ever since the day

he had seen a picture of a Spitfire in his father’s cigarette packet, Peart had been spellbound. “Although he lived among the mountains and lakes of New Zealand he had never seen anything so beautiful.” The story of Peart’s survival in the skies over North Africa in 1942 pay tribute to the Spitfire and those who flew it. With a dozen Me109s coming at him there was nowhere to hide. The only good card he held was that he knew he was flying in a highly agile Spitfire.

Nichol recounts how the airman, facing seemingly unbeatable odds, calmly thought of his WWI veteran father’s advice when in a tight spot: ‘Give them everything you’ve got. Sell your life dear. They’ll remember you after that’. The Kiwi pilot took his old man’s wisdom to

heart and used the Spit’s unmatched turning ability to keep inside the Germans. As the first pair approached he squeezed off a few shots and broke away. Now aware that he was facing some capable and experienced pilots he knew he was in dire trouble. Nichol’s account of the 20-year-old Spit

V Bomb terror: Spitfire takes on a V1 rocket. If they were out of ammo, pilots would deliberately touched the flying bomb’s wing tips to bring them down.

ace’s showdown is a classic tale of the Spitfire spirit. The author tells how Peart felt sweat dripping down his face but had no time to wipe it off. He was using every skill and piece of aerial combat knowledge to keep the enemy off his tail. Nichol recounts: ‘He pulled tighter turns than he’d ever made, feeling the G-forces press on him. ‘The sheer mental and physical application began to drain him. He knew the end was not far away. The Luftwaffe boys were far too good to let him get away with it.’ Peart was now set on one course: ‘I decided that none of these bastards was going to get me without well and truly earning their victory.’ He used the Spitfire’s agility to

the full, pulling extreme rolls and dives. The 12 fighters came at him in pairs but could never quite get him square into their sights. A pair of 109s would execute an attack while the next pair got in position to follow on. The twisting and turning went down and down until the 20-yearold pilot found himself close to the ground with little room left to use the Spitfire’s superior manoeuvrability. He broke to starboard to slip away from another pair on his tail with guns blazing and felt sweat dripping down through his sleeves. He did not want to die. He was good at this. He flicked into a dummy role to port then hauled violently to starboard glancing around as he turned. His mouth went dry. The sky was empty behind. He braced himself for the inevitable onslaught of rounds from an enemy fighter he assumed had got beneath him. He rolled again and searched the sky. Something caught his eye higher up. A formation of 12 fighters heading east. The 109s were going home – short of fuel and astonished by the Spitfire’s ability to elude them. Peart landed to be greeted with a torrent of invective. His CO, who summoned him to appear before him, stormed: ‘We have not been sent here to become a shabby load of cowboys…’ before giving him a big wink of approval. Nichol added: “Peart came to Britain from New Zealand in 1939 knowing that Britain was in peril. “A 19-year-old came here to

homage to WWII heroes: Author John Nichol beside a Tornado F3 during his days as an RAF Navigator

fly. He wanted to defend what he considered his homeland even though he was from New Zealand thousands of miles away. “Like with so many others there was a cost. He told me he was on the beach during a rare day off when he was in his early 20s. “He said he saw a naked woman – something he had never seen before. He had never even been kissed by a girl. And here he was fighting for freedom, winning a DFC and becoming a Spitfire ace. It is incredible.” The enduring love for the Spitfire will no doubt express itself again as the RAF celebrates its centenary in July with a mass flypast over London. Nichol said: “The Spitfire belongs to us all and it is absolutely crucial to the RAF and our national history. “It is like listening to a concerto. It is orchestral and melodic, and so beautiful. There

is nothing like it. “To me the Tornado is beautiful and sounds great but nothing has the effect of a Spitfire overhead. The emotion it evokes seems to be intrinsic to all of us. “People who flew it or worked on it will tell you that it is the perfect aircraft. It was not something you climbed into – it was something you strapped on. “You became part of it. People who have flown other iconic aircraft don’t tell you things like that. Not even Lancaster pilots describe their affection for their aircraft as love. “Why should that be the case for the Spitfire? When people hear it at airshows they come running – almost like they have been scrambled to defend our skies themselves.” l Spitfire A Very British Love Affair by John Nichol is published by Simon & Schuster. See R’n’R p8 to win a signed copy.

Regulars Announcements ● P6-7

R'n'R Win!

War hero's Spitfire story ● P8

She's lucky - Joan Armatrading ● p4-5



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Royal Air Force News Friday, May 18, 2018 R'n'R 3

R'n'R Gigs

Britrock Must Be Destroyed UK Tour 2018

TERRORVISION: Found the 90s all a bit of a blur… and nothing to do with Damon Albarn

dodgy geezers: But this 90s four-piece is certainly not middle of the road. Inset centre, Reef are making waves on UK tour

90s greats on search and destroy mission


ind a table to hide under, put your dog in its basket with its favourite soft blanket, lock up your daughters… there's some unsavoury characters on their way to disturb your peace. In a glorious collision of frantic riffs and wild licks, four of the most entertaining, feel-good and party-hard bands the UK has ever produced have come together to wage war on boredom, mediocrity – and probably each other – across the UK. Reef, The Wildhearts, Terrorvision and Dodgy are halfway through their combined Britrock Must Be Destroyed tour – and they may be devastating a venue near you soon. We caught up with Ginger from The Wildhearts, Tony Wright of Terrorvision, Reef 's Jack Bessant and Nigel Clark of Dodgy to find out if they're still as revved up as they were in those halcyon times of their 90s heydays. Ginger (inset, right) was talking big from the start, telling RAF News: “We are honoured to be a part of this legendary tour. Mainly because it means that we’re still alive, but also because it gives us a chance to prove that we were always the best band of this whole bunch.”

something greater than a generic rock 'n' roll band, which I’d always planned to do. The band made a popular debut and were constricted to fit that shape for our career in the 90s. It wasn’t until I self-sabotaged the band's career with the ’97 album Endless Nameless, that I felt like I was making any kind of musical statement. Once Oasis blew up all people wanted were nursery rhyme simple singles, or forget it.

What are your stand-out memories of the 90s music scene in the UK?

Nigel: Yeah, I think bands in the 90s secretly hated other bands, it made it all that much more interesting. Then you would meet them and they would be really nice, ha, ha, ha.


Ginger: Severe disappointment, to be honest. I wasn’t allowed to let The Wildhearts expand into

Tony: Erm, a bit vague. Had some great times at Top of the Pops and festivals. Loved touring. Reading/Leeds was a highlight. Donington of course. It was all a blur really – nothing to do with Albarn, though. A few of indie acts of the day seemed to get pitted against each other in the media, but were there any band rivalries you may have had back in the day that we may not have known about?


Jack: We were/are just out there doing our thing… no rivalries, just doing what we love/loved.

Looking back, do you think it was the perfect time to be in a band, given people bought records, you had TV shows like Top of the Pops and The Word and there seemed to be no shortage of labels willing to sign acts?


Ginger: It was a great time to be in a band, but the perfect time was the early 70s, when bands were allowed to experiment with their direction, and the record companies were happy to fund it just as long as it found a market. In the 90s, record executives seriously thought they knew how the music business worked. They, unfortunately, forgot about their real bosses, namely the audience. Too much coke made everyone so overconfident that they never even saw the huge wall hurtling towards them. I miss Top of the Pops. The Word was f**king s**t. Tony: Yes, it was a more colourful and vibrant time but it was a different time and things change. Most bands and the like back then did what could only be described as

an apprenticeship by playing little venues and dives and getting their s**t together that way till they got to the bigger venues; now it seems to be more celebrity-based and competition winners who probably will lose out on that experience. This tour is being billed as Britrock Must Be Destroyed, did you feel part of the Britpop/ rock scene back then?


Nigel: Not really. I suppose we ticked most of the boxes but to be honest it felt like if you donned a Parka, a Fred Perry and  Adidas trainer you would fit the Brit pop bill. We never really did that. Jack: We were/are just out there doing our thing… letting our own freak flag fly. You are all still performing, what differences do you see touring now compared to the 90s?


Tony: T-shirt sizes are bigger. Nigel: In the 90s we had a whole marketing and PR department, a tour bus and managers, clothes shops wanting us to wear their gear, videos and interviews wherever we went – now we prefer to keep that all in-house, ha, ha, ha.


Do you still enjoy touring?

Ginger: Right now I honestly think it is keeping me alive. Tony: Love it. Personally, I could

live on a bus and just travel and play for the rest of my life and die happy. Nigel: I love playing gigs. I still get the buzz, whether playing a pub or a festival. The only problem is there are like 10 million more cars on the roads, so getting to the gig can be sometimes pretty close. Especially on a Friday on the M6. Jack: Yes, I still enjoy touring… if I have my skateboard and a guitar with me, I’m happy. What’s happening with new music, are you recording at the moment?


Ginger: I’m recording a new album with The Wildhearts in November, which we hope to have out early next year. I’ve also finished recording the follow up to my current solo album, Ghost in the Tanglewood, which I hope to release later this year. Tony: I’ve just recorded an album of country tunes with a guy called Ryan Hamilton from Texas – the place, not the band. Nigel: We will be releasing a new album in the near future. Jack: Yes, we have a new album called Revelation, and it's out now. The Britrock Must Be Destroyed tour is still to visit Glasgow, Newcastle, Leeds, Bristol and Portsmouth. Go to: britrock. for bookings.

Royal Air Force News Friday, May 18, 2018 R'n'R 4

Royal Air Force News Friday, May 18, 2018 R'n'R 5



Edited by Tracey Allen


A Very English Scandal

The Big Interview Joan Armatrading


The Battle Proms

I won't be Trading a guitar for The gay MP who slippers… was charged with BBC1

Summer 2018

Battle Proms is celebrating a 100th, too


he Battle Proms are back… and we have six pairs of tickets to give away. Known as the UK’s premier picnic concert series, the event will return to five of our most celebrated stately homes this July and August. Last year the Battle Proms celebrated their 20th anniversary season, and this year they reach another remarkable milestone as they perform their 100th concert at Highclere Castle (the real Downton Abbey) in August. To celebrate, we've teamed up with our friends at the Battle Proms to give six lucky RAF News readers the chance to attend one these fabulous events. Each winner will receive two tickets and can choose which of the 2018 Battle Proms concerts they would like to attend: l Burghley House, Stamford, Lincolnshire – Saturday, July 7. l Hatfield House, Hatfield, Hertfordshire – Saturday, July 14. l Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, Oxfordshire – Saturday, July 21. l Highclere Castle, Newbury, Hampshire – Saturday, August 4. l Ragley Hall, Alcester, Warwickshire – Saturday, August 11.

SCANDAL: Thorpe (Hugh Grant) was found innocent but his reputation was ruined

plotting murder W ritten by Russell T Davies, directed by Stephen Frears and starring Hugh Grant and Ben Whishaw, it’s not surprising that the much-anticipated three-part BBC drama A Very English Scandal has been causing a bit of a stir in the national press. Adapted from the book by John Preston, Davies’s script tells the extraordinary story, based on real events, of the clandestine love affair between high-profile MP Jeremy Thorpe (Grant) and the much younger Norman Scott (Whishaw) in the 1960s, before homosexuality was legal in the United Kingdom.

But if there’s one thing that I feel about Norman Scott, it’s that he’s a really strong person. I think he’s really tough

When the relationship turned sour, Thorpe, whose went on to be leader of the Liberal Party, was fearful that his affair would become public knowledge and was increasing desperate to keep it a secret. In 1979 Thorpe went on trial at the Old Bailey for conspiracy to murder Scott. He was the first British politician to stand trial for murder and was sensationally acquitted but his reputation was irreparably damaged and he was never able to return to public life. Ben Whishaw said: “Norman is very young when we first meet

SURVIVOR: Norman Scott (Ben Whishaw)

him at the beginning of the story. He meets Jeremy Thorpe, who is a Liberal MP, and he is quite taken by him. He is quite impressed by his charisma and status. Norman is in a dire situation – he has nowhere to stay – and Jeremy takes him in. Norman survives on his wit and imagination – and the sympathy of other people. But if there’s one thing that I feel about Norman Scott, it's that he’s a really strong person. I think he’s really tough. “I met the real-life Norman with Stephen Frears in London shortly before we started shooting, it was really fascinating to get his version of events and to chat with him. “He’s a very funny, clever, naughty guy. He’s very delightful in person. “That was really important because so much of what happens to him in the story of the film is quite dreadful.” n A Very English Scandal starts on BBC1 at 9pm on May 20.

But I've done with world tours

Tracey Allen Entertainments Editor


rom sharing the famous red sofa with David Beckham and a bunch of Hollywood A-listers on Graham Norton's chat show to performing for Nelson Mandela, nothing, it seems, fazes Joan Armatrading. And why should it? Throughout her four decades in show business, the peerless singer-songwriter, whose long list of evergreen hits includes the classics Love and Affection, Show Some Emotion, Drop the Pilot and Me Myself I has always been content to just be herself. She rejected advice early on in her career to change her name, she refuses to talk publicly about her private life and describes herself as 'quite a peaceful person'. It doesn't sound very rock'n'roll but it's worked for Joan, who is cited as one of our most influential and pioneering musicians. The very first British female singersongwriter to gain international success, she's just released her 21st album, Not Too Far Away and is heading out on tour at the end of the month – first to the USA then in the autumn around the UK. In 2014-15, she played an incredible 235 dates and announced it would be the last time she did such massive world tours that took her away from home for a year at a time.


his is one of the shortest tours I have ever done in my career – only two months in total – but when I tell people that they say it doesn't sound short to them," she laughed. "I have been doing this for 46 years now and even the very first time I went to America around 1973-4 that was a three-month tour. I just didn't want to be on the road for that long anymore." Now 67, she stressed that withdrawing from touring the world doesn't mean


To enter just tell us in which year Battle Proms celebrated their 20th anniversary. Email your answer, marked Battle Proms competition, to: or post it to: RAF News, Room 68, Lancaster Building, HQ Air Command, High Wycombe HP14 4UE, to arrive by June 1. Please mark on your entry which venue you would prefer to attend.

FIREWORK SPECTACULAR: The breath-taking concert finale

real treat: Spitfire display to Elgar's Nimrod is simply sublime

The concerts include a full programme of classical music from the 60-piece New English Concert Orchestra, complemented by vintage vocals, a Spitfire display to Elgar's Nimrod, a freefall demonstration by the Red Devils parachute team, a dramatic WWI cavalry display and groundshaking live fire from more than 200 cannons. These quintessentially British 'party in the park' concerts feature magnificent musical firework displays, culminating in a flag waving, sing-a-long spectacular including all the Last Night of the Proms finale favourites such as Jerusalem, Rule Britannia and Land of Hope and Glory. n Don't want to leave it to chance? Book online at www. Adult tickets cost £39 each until midnight the day before the concert and a £3 military discount is available via Defence Discount Services.


RAF100: The Official Story

NEW ALBUM: Joan's 21st release is out now

she's going to hang up her guitar for good. She said: "I'm never going to retire. There's no reason for me to stop writing songs so that part of me will always happen. “Writing is my favourite thing to do. It's the whole process: coming up with the words, the music, doing the arrangements, getting the feel of what you've written, getting the right expression so that others can be involved in it. "If you can get people to identify with the emotion in your song, as an artist that is the biggest compliment ever – to see someone express what you want them to through a song, you feel on top of the world, it's a brilliant feeling." She added: “I’m very lucky in how I write, I tend to write when I feel like writing, but I very often feel like writing. I can go for months without doing anything, then it will come to me when I have to do it and that’s kind of how I’ve always been.”


orn on the Caribbean island of St Kitts, she moved to Birmingham aged seven, and took her first musical


Carlton Books

Signed RAF100 book to be won steps on the piano her mother had bought as a 'great piece of furniture'.

I'm never going to retire. There's no reason for me to stop writing songs so that part of me will always happen

Although her father had a guitar, it was strictly out of bounds so when Joan saw one for £3 in a pawn shop window she pestered her parents to buy it. Her mother swapped two old prams for it, Joan taught herself to play and started writing her own

songs at the age of 14. In 1973 she was named outstanding new artist in Music Week and she's gone on to amass a long list of accolades including a coveted Ivor Novello Award for songwriting, an MBE, nominations for Grammys and Brit awards and, in 2007 she became the first female British artist to debut at number 1 in the Billboard blues charts. Despite her stellar success, she said one of her proudest achievements is nothing to do with music at all. She said: "One of the things I am most proud of is getting my BA Honours degree [from the Open University] in History in 2001. It was something I had always wanted. I studied when I was on tour and it wasn't easy because even though

email was around at that time, they wouldn't let you email. "I had to get all my casework in early because I would be on tour in Australia or wherever and I would get it posted back to Britain. "I would stay up late after a show writing essays and stuff. For my final exam, I finished the tour and drove straight to the exam hall to sit it – so that was something." She added: "It made me so proud of myself when I went to the ceremony in London to receive my degree with all the other people who were getting theirs, that felt special. "I felt we had all gone through the same experiences to get to that point, we'd all done the hard work – it was an absolutely brilliant day." n Go to: for tour details.


ward - winnin g historian, writer and broadcaster James Holland is the author of RAF100 The Official Story, celebrating the Royal Air Force's centenary this year. In association with the RAF and with unique access to the Service's historic archives, Holland's latest title, published by Carlton Books (www., tells the story of the people, aircraft and missions as never before. From its genesis in the horrors of World War I – when pilots flew in aircraft open to the elements and made of wood and fabric – to the Battle of Britain in WWII, through to the life-saving missions carried out in today's trouble zones, RAF100: The Official

the first 50 years of the RAF – they went from flimsy biplanes to supersonic jets. Incredible." The author of several best-selling histories including Dam Busters and The Battle of Britain, Holland has written television programmes and series for the BBC, Channel 4 and the National Geographic, History and Discovery channels. To be in with a chance of winning a copy of the book, signed by the author, just send us the correct answer to this question: Who publishes RAF100: The Official Story? Story looks at the men, women and aircraft at the heart of the Royal Air Force. Holland said: "When writing this book I was reminded of the fantastic rate of development, particularly

Email your answer, marked RAF100 book 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, to arrive by June 1.

Royal Air Force News Friday, May 18, 2018 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

Death DREWRY – It is with great sadness that we regretfully announce the passing of F8225798 SAC Kevin Stephen Drewry, after a long and courageous battle with cancer. Kevin fought until the very last, and his loss will leave gaping holes in the lives of his wife Alison, his children, family, friends and loved ones. His funeral will be held at Bedford Crematorium, Norse Road, Bedford, MK41 0RL at 3.15 on Friday, May 25, followed by a celebration of his life at The Airman pub and hotel, 16 Hitchin Road, Meppershall, Shefford, Bedfordshire, SG17 5JF from 4.30 - 7pm. All are welcome to attend; his family request that donations be made to RAFBF or Sue Ryder St John's Hospice. Bright colourful clothing is welcomed – no mourning attire is required. MASSIE JGL, known as Gordon, Flight Sergeant, KO686141, passed away on April 11. He will be greatly missed by his wife, Mabel, his sons, Gordon and David and

granddaughters, Heather and Stephanie. Joined Royal Air Force January 1960 at Halton as a propulsion technician apprentice, retired April 1994 from Swanton Morley. Served at Kinloss, Muharraq, Brize Norton, Luqa, Wyton, Halton, Valley, Wildenrath, Swanton Morley, Coningsby and Leuchars. Funeral service held at Mintlyn Crematorium, Kings Lynn on May 8.

Germany, Cyprus, Singapore, Borneo, Gan, Lyneham and Princess Alexandra Hospital, Wroughton. Bill was landlord of The Swan Inn, Wroughton, for 13 years. In his later years he served as a Swindon Borough Councillor. His 89 years were well filled and we all shall miss him.

Diamond wedding Diamond wedding anniversary. Roy and Margaret Taylor married at RAF Kuala Lumpur on May 3, 1958. 155 Sqn. Congratulations from all of the family.


GORDON MASSIE Morton William, Chief Tech MT passed away peacefully on March 7 at home with Ida, his wife for 65 years, at his side. Will be missed by his daughters Judith, Sandra and Gill. Bill served for 26 years with the RAF. His postings included India 1947-49, Egypt,

Seeking Kathleen Fenton (née Hibbert) formerly of the Women's Royal Air Force (SACW) in 1961. Please contact Kevin Mallon at: kevin741mallon@btinternet. com or call: 01244 812071 regarding family member trying to make contact. Seeking Milton Clement Henry aka Milton Clement Robinson, a retired Sgt stationed at RAF Gütersloh,

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.

late 1980s and early 1990s. We’re seeking him with regards to the estate of his aunt, Violet Guishard Hallpike. He is roughly 75 years old, retired from the RAF, and would likely be residing in England or Germany. We kindly ask anyone who has any information to call Anton Young, toll free, at: 1-800663-2255 ex. 6704.

RAF Museum run means family fun

Seeking RAF Boy Entrants of the 43rd Entry RAF Saint Athan from 1961-62. Contact: don43rdentrysaints@yahoo. com or via our website: 43rdentr yrafstathan. Seeking whereabouts of John Bellsmith, Halton Apprentice 209th Entry. Later worked at Stansted. Location urgently required on behalf of sister Flt Off Bellsmith PMRAFNS. Any info please contact Mike Plimmer: 01403 275176. Seeking Richard, Pete and George from Billet 77, RAF Fayed, Canal Zone 1954/1955. Remember the good old days in the Education Dept? Many years gone by but memories have not faded. How are you all? Please contact Brian on: 07980 189726 or email: RAF Administrative Apprentice Association. Seeking all Administrative Apprentices who trained at RAF St Athan, Bircham Newton, Halton, Ruislip or Hereford. For details of YOUR association go to:

KEEP ON RUNNING: Taking part in last year's Museum Spitfire Challenge

TO CELEBRATE the RAF’s centenary, the RAF Museum in north London is staging a new event on September 1 – a Spitfire Family Run. Suitable for both keen runners and novices, it will take place around the Museum’s site and each registered runner will receive a special medal on completion. Organisers are encouraging those taking part to do so in style by wearing wartime clothing. The race is open to all ages, but children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Standard entry (for all ages) is £5. All proceeds will go towards the RAF100 Appeal. After the event, runners and their supporters will have the chance to visit the free museum that has more than 75 historic aircraft on display. Go to: for more information and to register.

Memorial service

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


RAF 100 events

45th Entry C Flt 3 Sqn Suppliers reunion July 13 and 14 at Three Counties Hotel, Hereford. Anyone interested please call Dave Bell in Hull on: 01482 377625.

RAF100 charity concert. The London Concert Choir is presenting a concert to celebrate RAF100 at the Barbican on June 11. The concert will include a new choral work by Roderick Williams, Per Ardua ad Astra – Through Hardship to the Stars, which is based on verse from across the history of the Service. The Central Band of the RAF will be accompanying the new work and will also be performing in the first half of the concert. The concert has been sponsored by RAF100 (with LIBOR funds provided by the Chancellor) and proceeds are being donated to charity with the RAF100 Appeal as the main beneficiary. Tickets are available from the Barbican Box Office: 020 7638 8891, open 10am-8pm Mon-Sat

249 Squadron. The final Association reunion on the 100th anniversary of the Squadron's formation is at North Weald on August 18. For more information, please contact Hon Sec Tommy Cullen on: 01914550229. 313 Entry RAF Hereford Supplier General. 50 years since we were at Hereford. Interested in a reunion? Please email David Johnson: CSDE F4J(UK) Project reunion. Interested? Please contact Ted Stickley: 01271 377159 or: 07889 680041.

Service to unveil VC commemorative stone for Major Edward 'Mick' Mannock (pictured above) – 11am, July 24, Old Steine War Memorial, Brighton, BN1 3OQ. All welcome. Contact: diane.coe@brighton-hove.

ARAFWO The Association of RAF Women Officers (ARAFWO) has been providing opportunities for women officers to maintain contact with the RAF and each other since its formation in 1955. As relevant as ever, ARAFWO membership

Royal Air Force News Friday, May 18, 2018 R'n'R 7

R'n'R Your Announcements You can email photos for announcements on this page. Send small jpg files (less than 1MB) to (Sun 11am-8pm). STOW Maries Great War Aerodrome hosts a programme of talks â&#x20AC;&#x201C; continuing to May 2019 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; to commemorate 100 years of the RAF. Each monthly talk focuses on different aspects of World War 1 and will be presented by Eric Simonelli, from Stow Mariesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; curatorial team. The talks take place on the last Sunday of every month at 2pm and will be held in the newly refreshed â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Dope Workshopâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. It was in this building that war-torn aircraft were repaired with the thin Irish linen and â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Dopeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; treatment, before being wheeled out, back into the war. On May 27 the subject of the talk is The First Daylight Gotha Bomber Raids and on June 24 Medical Services of the Air Forces in the Great War. Talks cost £12 per person and include full access to the site plus a tour. Refreshments will be available in the Airmenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Mess but not included in the entry price. There is no need to pre-book, just turn up to attend. For more

information visit


A concert at Lincoln Catherdral on May 24, featuring The Band of the RAF College under the direction of Principal Director of Music Wg Cdr Piers Morrell (pictured below) and Director of Music Sqn Ldr Richard Murray, will mark the 100th anniversary of the RAF. Organised and funded by the RAF Musical Charitable Trust the concert will be introduced by the Trust's President ACM Sir Michael Graydon and compered by TV personality and Air Cadets ambassador, Honorary Gp Capt Carol Vorderman. The event will raise funds for the Trust and other Service charities.

are available from Lincoln Cathedral Shop with a 15 per cent discount for all RAF Personnel, Air Cadets and Defence Discount Service cardholders on production of a valid membership or HM Forces ID card or go to the website: lincolncathedral. com

RAFA service NOTTINGHAM RAFA are holding their annual Battle of Britain service and parade on Sunday, September 16 at St Mary's Church and would like to hear from Commonwealth veterans in the Nottingham area who would like to take part. Please contact Mrs M Bell, 107 Leyton Crescent, Beeston, Notts NG9 1PS.

RAF Changi Assoc



RAF Changi Association (inc. HQFEAF), looking for new members, all ranks and civilian personnel who served 1946-72. Contact Malcolm Flack on: 01494 728562; email: MemSecChangi@ £15-£35,

The Force is with you NEWARK AIR Museum hosts a Tribute to the V-Force event on May 19. It will be the sixth time that the Nottinghamsnire museum has hosted a V-Force Reunion for former personnel who operated Valiant, Victor and Vulcan aircraft. On the day an area will be set up for former V-Force personnel to sign in and collect their badges. The event is also open to the general public and museum trustees, volunteers and staff have put together a range of visiting special displays and activities. A number of museum aircraft will be open for people to visit â&#x20AC;&#x201C; including the Vulcan, Hastings and Varsity. A small additional charge will be made for each aircraft visited (proceeds will go towards the museumâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s various aircraft restoration projects). There will also be a Vulcan XM594 systems

demonstration, which uses the Rover APU to operate various systems on the aircraft, including opening and closing the aircraftâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s huge bomb bay doors. And there is a programme of four free V-Force related talks in the Dambusters Hut, but please book a ticket when you arrive at the event. Weather permitting and subject to serviceability there

will be a flypast by the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Dakota. Normal museum admission rates apply: adults £9, over 65s £8, children £4.50 and family ticket (two adults and three children) £24. For more details call: 01636 707170, email: enquire@ or go to:




Royal Air Force News Friday, May 18, 2018 R'n'R 8

R'n'R Prize Crossword No. 226

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

Prize Su Doku

Solutions should be sent in a sealed envelope marked 'Prize Crossword' with the number in the top left-hand corner to RAF News, Room 68, Lancaster Building, HQ Air Command, High Wycombe, Bucks, HP14 4UE to arrive by June 1, 2018.

No. 235 Fill in all the squares in the grid so that each row, each column and each 3x3 square contains all the digits from 1 to 9.

Across 6. And 12 Across. Fit a truer bobsleigh to this aircraft, maybe (7,11) 7. Having embraced the right, encouraged avarice (5) 9. Garcia almost misplaced this traditional prize (5) 10. And 17 Down. Slow, emphatic change to this plane (7,5) 12. See 6 Across 14. Smooth drape in Soviet bloc (4,7) 18. 18 holes the Spanish mark on aircraft (7) 19. Sully originally stayed mindful entering a river (5) 21. Snow is essential for this kind of Christmas (5) 22. Supersonic way to travel (4,3) Down 1. The first bar on the path (5) 2. Points to tip of Africa during flight (6) 3. Either way it’s commercial music (3) 4. Stubble that’s increasing on a daily basis (6) 5. Let bees disturb these insects (7) 8. Hit goal against Biblical fall guy (7) 11. I leave diamonds sure in a way they’ll help wounds to heal (7) 13. Be around choir changing its roll (7) 15. A number of asinine types (6) 16. At home, mother meets the heartless patient (6) 17. See 10 Across 20. From Niagara flew with this centenary force (3)

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

The winner of Crossword No. 223 is Francis Brown who wins a copy of Jet Flying Boats by David Oliver ( Solution to crossword No. 223:

Name.................................................................................................................... Address................................................................................................................ .............................................................................................................................. .............................................................................................................................. Aviation term:...................................................................Crossword No. 226

Across – 7. Stamps 8. Appeal 10. Origami 11. Ebony 12. Test 13. Shoot 17. Sound 18. Spur 22. Using 23. Noticed 24. George 25. Karate. Down – 1. Escorts 2. Harissa 3. Speak 4. Speed Of 5. Decor 6. Lloyd 9. Lightning 14. Long Ago 15. Special 16. Grudges 19. Judge 20. Pilot 21. Steal. Bomber – Blackjack

Competition Spitfire A Very British Love Story

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 June 1, 2018. Su Doku No. 234 winner Michael Noble wins a copy of The Harrier by David Oliver (

Address................................................................... ................................................................................. ....................................................Su Doku No. 235

Solution to Su Doku No: 234


Tribute to a legend


ULF WAR veteran John Nichol is now a wellrespected author – he has written five novels and his highly acclaimed World War II history books include The Last Escape, Tail-End Charlies and Home Run.

The former Tornado navigator’s latest title is Spitfire A Very British Love Story, his very personal tribute to the iconic aircraft that found fame during the darkest days of WWII. The book looks at what happened to the redoubtable fighter and its crews beyond the Battle of Britain and asks why the aircraft is still so loved today. In the late spring of 1940, Nazi Germany’s domination of Europe had seemed unstoppable. With Britain in easy reach since the fall of France, Hitler was convinced the country would be defeated in the skies over its southern coast, confident his Messerschmitts and Heinkels would outclass anything the RAF threw at them. But he hadn’t planned for the agility and resilience of a marvel of British engineering that would quickly pass into legend – the Spitfire, designed by RJ Mitchell. N i c h o l (pictured right)

includes edge-of-the-seat stories and amazing first-hand accounts of battling pilots forced to bail out over occupied territory, plus tales of sacrifice and wartime love. See our full feature on the book and interview with Nichol on p1819 of the main newspaper. n We have two copies of the title, rrp £20, to win. For your chance to own one, simply tell us: Who publishes Spitfire A Very British Love Story by John Nichol? Email your answer, marked Spitfire Book Competition, to: c o mp e t i t i o n s @ r a f n e w s . or post it to: RAF News, Room 68, Lancaster Building, HQ Air Command, High Wycombe, HP14 4UE to arrive by June 1. Please remember to include your full postal address with your entry, whether by post or email.

Young actors needed SUMMER'S HARDLY begun so it might seem a little early to start thinking about Christmas…but not for the producers of hit musical Nativity! They’re looking for children to star in the New Theatre Oxford’s production from December 11-15 and auditions will be held in the city on June 9. Debbie Isitt, the musical's writer and director, said: “We are looking for characterful but disciplined children who can 'act' as snobby and superior and yet have a sense of fun and can give over the top performances if required. “They need to have good movement ability – marching, basic

choreography and have excellent posture. They should also be able to sing confidently, have basic acting ability and enjoy performing.” All children auditioning must be aged 9-12 by September 1, be strictly no taller than 4ft 7in, live within 45 miles commute to the venue and be available to perform all dates in Oxford. To audition, children must be pre-registered with Keston and Keston, the Children’s Regional Casting Directors, via the iOS App ‘Keston Casting – downloadable’ which can be downloaded free via the App Store or registration can be via: www.kestonandkestoncasting. com




)RU \HDUV &$( KDV FHQWUHG LWV HÎ?RUWV RQ servicing its longstanding defence customer base while simultaneously expanding it by entering new global markets. The United Arab (PLUDWHV 1HZ =HDODQG DQG %UXQHL Č´JXUH DPRQJLWVPRUHIDUČľXQJLPSRUWDQWPDUNHWV but closer to home the company has a strong footprint in what it considers to be its â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;homeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; markets: Canada, the United States, Australia, Germany and importantly, the United Kingdom.

activities. He emphasises the fact that CAE in the United Kingdom â&#x20AC;&#x153;is a UK company in the defence, civil aviation and healthcare PDUNHWV RÎ?HULQJ D EURDG VSHFWUXP RI ZHOO crafted training and simulation solutions. We are seen, I think, as a truly global company which, while headquartered in Canada, makes DKXJHHÎ?RUWWRSURSHUO\XQGHUVWDQGRXUKRPH PDUNHWFXVWRPHUVWRVLJQLČ´FDQWO\HQKDQFHRXU capability of being a valued partner.â&#x20AC;?

Č&#x160;:H DUH FKDVLQJ VRPH SUHWW\ VLJQLČ´FDQW programmes in the UK,â&#x20AC;? says Andrew Naismith, a retired Royal Air Force Group Captain and recently appointed as Managing Director for CAEâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Defence and Security business in the UK. In this role he oversees all the considerable business the company is currently delivering to support the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) as well as steering the business development

Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s easy to say, of course, but in CAEâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s case, Naismith can back that up with indisputable fact. The Medium Support Helicopter Aircrew Training Facility (MSHATF), which CAE runs at RAF Benson in Oxfordshire, ZDV WKH YHU\ Č´UVW PLOLWDU\ Č&#x2020;SULYDWH Č´QDQFH initiativeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; (PFI) programme and has been successfully running for very nearly 20 years.â&#x20AC;&#x153; The MSHATF remains a fantastic programme

well-known and respected around the world as a showcase for how a true public-private SDUWQHUVKLS FDQ ZRUN HÎ?HFWLYHO\ WR GHOLYHU FRVWHÎ?HFWLYHUHDOLVWLFDQGUHOHYDQWWUDLQLQJČ&#x2039; Naismith observes. Another great example of CAEâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s longterm support in the UK involves the C-130J programme. The Royal Air Force (RAF) was the launch customer for the C-130J â&#x20AC;&#x201C; an aircraft that now has two dozen international operators â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and CAE has been with the RAF from the beginning to support the training of Hercules aircrews That training solution required CAE and the UK MoD to work in extremely close collaboration â&#x20AC;&#x201C; what Naismith describes as â&#x20AC;&#x153;partnering and innovative developmentâ&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and that pretty much describes the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ethos and vision. CAE is quick and proud to point out

that the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s vision guiding its strategy is to be the training partner of choice for its customers. There are a number of relatively simple principles the company seeks to follow in order to achieve this vision. Among the most important is what some executives at CAE are fond of saying -- â&#x20AC;&#x153;we help put old heads on young shoulders.â&#x20AC;? In other words, CAEâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s simulation-based training solutions accelerate experience and allow professionals in mission critical occupations to be better and more prepared to do what they need to do. That applies to just about everything CAE does, in any of its markets. It resonates more completely, perhaps, in the UK, where recruitment and retention problems, coupled with challenging budget and resource availability, are forcing defence planners to consider new methods of achieving and maintaining force readiness.

them as possible into closer harmony via networking and interoperability initiatives. The integration and interoperability of synthetic training systems is an area where &$(KDVVLJQLČ´FDQWH[SHULHQFHVRLQ1DLVPLWKČ&#x2021;V YLHZLWRÎ?HUVRSSRUWXQLW\IRUERWK&$(DQGLWV industry partners.

The issue of ensuring that defence forces KDYHWKHRSSRUWXQLW\WREHQHČ´WIURPVSHFLČ´F mission-oriented training solutions becomes an imperative when one considers the changing WKUHDWHQYHORSHDQGWKHHÎ?HFWWKLVZLOOKDYH RQIXWXUHFRQČľLFW7KHODVWWZRGHFDGHVKDYH seen great strides in the ability of armed forces to wage expeditionary, counterinsurgency, asymmetric and hybrid warfare. But British planners today â&#x20AC;&#x201C; alongside many of their NATO peers â&#x20AC;&#x201C; eye a growing China and resurgent Russia with alarm, and are forced to consider methods of revisiting training solutions for DYDVWUDQJHRIFRQČľLFWVFHQDULRVLQFOXGLQJ potential cyber warfare threats.

The fact that a company like CAE would pursue a programme like DCS&S should not surprise the UK MoD. Quite the opposite, it should please the MoD that a training specialist with focus and expertise is one of the options available. Naismith certainly agrees. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Training and simulation is what we do, so we are not distracted building platforms. We are also independent and platform-agnostic, which can be critical for networking and interoperability. We can speak from experience after 20 years of training operations at MSHATF where WKUHHGLÎ?HUHQW2(0KHOLFRSWHUSODWIRUPVDUH involved. Consequently, being training-focused has led CAE to be a strong proponent of open, industry standards which support the delivery of modern solutions that are not proprietary RUUHVWULFWHGLQDQ\ZD\E\LQWHUQDWLRQDOWUDÉ?F in arms (ITAR) regulations.â&#x20AC;?

This means that there is currently the will WR FRQVLGHU ZKROHVDOH PRGLČ´FDWLRQ DQG enhancement of existing training solutions â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and the possibility of bringing as many of

â&#x20AC;&#x153;The UK MoDâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Defence Operational Training Capability (DOTC) initiative has a number of programmes looking to truly enable the total force â&#x20AC;&#x201C; maritime, land and air â&#x20AC;&#x201C; to better train together synthetically, thus allowing the UKâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s defence forces to rebalance its live and synthetic training,â&#x20AC;? said Naismith. â&#x20AC;&#x153;An important part of DOTC is the Core System and Services (DCS&S) project which will establish the foundation for enabling networking and interoperability. This is something squarely in CAEâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s experience and expertise.â&#x20AC;?


All of CAEâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s internal research and development L V  L Q  V S H F L Č´ F  W U D L Q L Q J  D Q G  V L P X O D W L R Q techniques, capabilities and solutions for live, virtual and constructive (LVC) training, cyber warfare, individual and collective skills training â&#x20AC;&#x201C; â&#x20AC;&#x153;things that matter to training,â&#x20AC;? as Naismith says. The opportunities now being pursued by CAE give hope that the UK market is ready for a fundamental change. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It is time to challenge some of the established business models where it has been easy to simply bundle training capabilities into the overall package with the original equipment manufacturer. Particularly when it comes to cross-platform networking and interoperability, we believe VSHFLDOLVWVXSSOLHUVOLNH&$(FDQRÎ?HUDPXFK better focus, service and value for money,â&#x20AC;? says Naismith. That the company has a distinctly British ČľDYRXU D 8.FHQWULF SHGLJUHH DQG WKH resources, capabilities and vision to bring the British taxpayer the best possible value for the investment they seek to make cannot now be doubted. Britain is a CAE â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;home marketâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; and the company hopes to earn the opportunity on new programmes to demonstrate why its vision is to be the training partner of choice. Â&#x201E;


Royal Air Force News Friday, May 18, 2018 P22



D-Day pilot

pedal power: Cyclists with Baton in South West

PHOTO: Cpl dave blackburn

Two Royal Air Force veterans, including a D-Day fighter pilot, joined celebrations of the Service’s 100th anniversary at RAF Northolt and London Biggin Hill Airport. Retired Squadron Leader Martin Grugeon and retired Squadron Leader Tom Rosser DFC enjoyed a flight on an RAF aircraft as part of the 100-day RAF100 Baton Relay. Mr Grugeon flew Hurricanes on four missions during D-Day on June 6, 1944, and was badly wounded in an air-to-air skirmish with enemy aircraft. He and Mr Rosser flew to Biggin Hill from RAF Northolt in a BAe 146 aircraft from 32 (The Royal) Squadron. “Today was very enjoyable indeed. It was a nice moment to remember those who didn’t make it. I realise I was very lucky to survive,” said Mr Rosser. RAF Air Cadets also joined the ceremony, representing the next generation of young people who might serve in the Royal Air Force. RAF Northolt’s Station Commander, Group Captain Mike Carver, said: “Everyone here at RAF Northolt was proud to host

Hurricane hero and DFC winner pass RAF Baton on to the next generation

D-DAY HERO: Martin Grugeon

two inspirational veterans as part of the RAF100 Baton Relay. Their sacrifices and courage provide an

uplifting example to serving RAF personnel to this day.” Colin Hitchens, from London Biggin Hill Airport, said that more than 150 Air Cadets attended the RAF100 Baton Relay event. “We hope that we have inspired some of them to look to a future within the aviation industry, and perhaps some may join our Aviation College – planned to open in the near future,” he added. Red 10 – an Aston Martin Vanquish S (Red Arrows Special Edition) – was also a visitor to Biggin Hill. It created a unique ‘Diamond Nine’ formation in honour of the RAF Red Arrows and to mark the arrival of the RAF100 Baton Relay to the airport. Ex-serviceman Humphrey Bradley – who retired from the

Royal Air Force News Friday, May 18, 2018 P23

joins celebrations Army in 2013 – won the car after paying £20 for a Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund (RAFBF) raffle ticket. He said: “I am delighted to be able to take part in the RAFs centenary celebrations. “Being an ex-serviceman, I am keen to help recognise the national significance of the RAF as part of the UK’s military forces.” A convoy of Aston Martins left Biggin Hill and travelled to RAF landmarks in Kent, including former RAF West Malling (Kings Hill), the Kent Battle of Britain Museum (formerly RAF Hawkinge) and ended their day at the National Memorial to The Few. RAF Northolt and RAF Biggin Hill were both home to RAF Fighter Command squadrons during the Battle of Britain in 1940. The RAF100 Baton Relay team also travelled through the South West to the tip of mainland Britain – Land’s End.

It’s been a great week for the relay team as we have travelled by foot, bike, boat, motorbike and zip-line through the South West of England

“It’s been a great week for the relay team as we have travelled by foot, bike, boat, motorbike and zip-line through the South West of England,” said team member Flying Officer Sarah Lucas. “We have been supported by the great people of Wiltshire, Devon and Cornwall on our journey. We look forward to more support as we travel through Somerset.” The RAF100 Baton Relay Team met with personnel attending adventurous training, run by 22 Training Group. “We had a great evening spent with the RAF100 Baton, on the beautiful Cornish coast looking out over the Atlantic commemorating those who served in coastal command and celebrating Cornwall’s past and present links with the Royal Air Force,” said Steve Riley, SO2 Eagles. The Baton continued on to Plymouth before joining Air Cadets as they practised for their Ten Tors Challenge. “It’s been a great week for the relay team as we have travelled by foot, bike, boat, motorbike and zip-line through the South West of England,” said team member Flying Officer Sarah Lucas. “We have been supported by the great people of Wiltshire, Devon

DFC: Tom Rosser hands on the RAF100 Baton PHOTO: LAC SARAH GREGORY child’s play: Girl takes a turn holding the Baton, earlier at RAF Hendon

TEN OUT OF TEN: Aston Martin prodriver with Red 10 at the Battle of Britain Museum

crest of a wave: Air Commodore Mark Hunt, Director General of Ground Training, at Land’s End before taking the Baton out to sea on his surfboard, inset PHOTOS: Cpl dave blackburn

and Cornwall on our journey. We look forward to more support as we travel through Somerset.” The relay team also visited RAF Cosford and the Museum.

Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier, the Chief of the Air Staff, said: “2018 marks a unique moment in the RAF’s long and proud history of service to our nation.

“This important moment allows us to re-affirm that the inspirational spirit of our men and women remains as strong today as it was a century ago, and has been


throughout our rich history. We now look forward with confidence and pride to a future of aspiration, opportunity and success for the entire RAF family.”


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Royal Air Force News Friday, May 18, 2018 P25


Former Chief of the Air Staff dies


ARSHAL OF the Royal Air Force Sir Keith Williamson, who has died aged 90, joined the RAF as an aircraft apprentice and was appointed as Chief of the Air Staff in 1982, the only ‘Trenchard Brat’ to do so. He was born in Leytonstone on February 25, 1928 and educated at Bancroft’s School. In February 1945 he enlisted as an aircraft apprentice and spent three years at Cranwell training to be an air radio fitter. Graduating as one of the top apprentices, he was given a cadetship at the RAF College where he trained as a pilot and was commissioned in 1950. The next few years were dominated by his time as a fighter pilot. His first tour was in Germany at RAF Fassberg where he flew Vampires with 112 Sqn. After a course as a pilot attack instructor he volunteered for service in Korea and was attached to the Royal Australian Air Force when he joined 77 Sqn to fly the Meteor. The fighter was outclassed by the MIG 15 and had been relegated to the ground attack role and Sir Keith flew a number of operational sorties. In April 1956 he converted to the Hunter and returned to his old Sqn at Bruggen. Shortly afterwards, a Defence White Paper resulted in the decimation of the RAF’s fighter force, including the disbandment of the Bruggen Wing. He was made a flight commander of one of the few remaining units in Germany, 20 Sqn based at Oldenberg.

PAYING RESPECT: Sir Keith pictured at San Carlos Cemetery in the Falklands

In 1958 he embarked on a series of appointments as a flying instructor, which culminated in his time as an examiner at the Central Flying School. After a year at the RAF Staff College he spent two years managing the careers and appointments of aircrew officers. He returned to operational flying in May 1966 when he assumed command of 23 Sqn flying the Lightning fighter from RAF Leuchars. He always recognised this period as one of the most fulfilling of his career as a fighter pilot. After two years he was awarded the AFC and was promoted to return to Germany, this time to command Guterlsoh, the home of two Lightning

squadrons and two Hunter fighter reconnaissance squadrons. After a year at the Royal College of Defence Studies, he filled the post of Director of Air Plans responsible for the future size and shape of the RAF. Arriving in September 1972, the RAF was undergoing a major restructuring following the withdrawals from east of Suez. At the centre of the re-equipment programme was the new Tornado which he defended. On promotion to Air ViceMarshal, Sir Keith was appointed as the Commandant of the RAF Staff College in August 1975. After two years, he left to be the Assistant

Chief of Staff Policy and Plans at the Supreme Headquarters Allied Forces Europe, working closely with allies at a time when Nato defence ministers were reviewing the increasing Soviet threat. He returned to the UK in August 1978 to become the C-in-C of RAF Support Command which, apart from flying training, was a new world for him. He recognised the value of a new scheme to give junior airmen appropriate training for promotion to NCO rank. In September 1980 Sir Keith became C-in-C of Strike Command and paid close attention to the improvements being made to the UK’s air defences with new sensors, communications and computerisation. During the Falklands War he felt that other military chiefs lacked understanding of the importance of air power and that the contribution made Vulcan, Victor, Nimrod and Hercules aircraft were not fully appreciated by the public. As CAS he recognised the need for an effective air defence force to counter any further Argentinian air attack of the Falklands. He confirmed the need to maintain the recently arrived Phantom fighters and the requirement for modern radars. He also appreciated the limitations of the airfield at Stanley and persuaded the government to build the modern airfield at Mount Pleasant. Much of his time as CAS was spent on longer-term issues. The negotiations to sell the Tornado to

Saudi Arabia depended heavily on RAF support. Sir Keith was keen to capitalise on the aircraft’s success and he supported the project. There were doubts about the future of the Nimrod airborne early warning project but the most important future development concerned the European Fighter Aircraft project. Potential European partners included the French whose position created numerous difficulties for the multi-national working parties. Sir Keith joined other air force chiefs in an attempt to resolve the issues but the French decided to withdraw from the project. The UK Germany, Italy and Spain proceeded and the EFA was developed into the highly successful Typhoon. As CAS he had to contend with proposals by Defence Secretary, Michael Heseltine to reorganise the MoD. This involved the single services losing their policy and operational requirements staffs to a centralised body; a measure that he felt was unwise. He felt political policy decisions took insufficient account of the needs of national defence and that the reorganisation was ill-conceived. He retired in 1985 after three years as CAS but continued his support as the President of the Royal Air Forces Association. He was also President of the Officers’ Association and a Vice President of SSAFA. He was appointed KCB in 1979 and advanced to GCB in 1982. He died on May 2.

WWII Lancaster Flight Engineer who attacked Berlin nine times


LIGHT LIEUTENANT Humphrey Phillips, who has died aged 97, flew as a flight engineer on Lancasters at the height of Bomber Command’s main offensive against Berlin. Born in North London, he joined the RAF in June 1940 and became a fitter/mechanic serving on bomber squadrons in Lincolnshire. With the introduction of the four-engine bomber, a new aircrew category of flight engineer was created who was responsible to the pilot for the management of the engines, fuel system and aircraft services. The initial candidates were drawn from serving RAF mechanics and in April 1942 Phillips was one of the first to volunteer. After a brief course he joined 102 Sqn Conversion Flight where he served as an instructor. He often claimed that flying with student crews was more dangerous than flying on operations. On the night of May 30-31, 1942, Bomber Command launched the first of a series of ‘Thousand Bomber’ raids. To make up the numbers, the bombers in training units had to be used and Phillips flew in a Halifax

with a scratch crew on the raid to Cologne, his first operation. A few

nights later he flew on the second raid, this time to Essen.

During his time as the engineer leader on the conversion unit, Phillips supervised the training of flight engineers and he also invented a number of training aids. At the end of his tour he was commissioned and mentioned in despatches. In November 1943 he joined 626 Sqn just as the main bombing effort was directed against the German capital. The Luftwaffe night fighter force was at its most formidable and losses amongst the bomber crews were higher than at any other period of the war. Within the first five days of joining the squadron Phillips and his crew made three hazardous sorties to the ‘Big City’. Over the next few weeks, he went on to complete nine operations to the city in addition to attacking other major industrial centres. On the night of April 26, 1944, he was flying with the deputy squadron commander when they were tasked to bomb an armaments factory in Essen. Just as the attack from 18,000 feet was completed, bombs from an aircraft flying just above them hit their Lancaster. Phillips grabbed an oxygen

bottle and moved down the fuselage to investigate and discovered extensive damage near the gun turret and bomb bay. He found the mid-upper gunner unconscious, having lost his oxygen mask and he was badly wounded in the head. He reported to the pilot who immediately descended to a safe altitude. With another crew member, Phillips administered oxygen to the wounded gunner and they managed to get him to the rest bunk. At the end of the long journey back to Lincolnshire, the pilot landed the badly damaged bomber and the gunner was rushed to hospital where he eventually recovered. A few weeks later Phillips and his New Zealand pilot, Sqn Leader Johnny Neilson, were awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross He left 626 Sqn in the summer of 1944 having completed 27 operations when he returned to be an instructor and engineer leader at a bomber training unit where he was awarded a second mention in despatches. Phillips was demobilized in April 1946 with the rank of flight lieutenant. He died on April 26.

Royal Air Force News Friday, May 18, 2018 P27



Listed status for monuments honours Armed Forces and RAF100 Simon Mander


AR MEMORIALS across Britain marking the exploits of the nation’s greatest fighter pilots are to be listed and upgraded. A total of 14 monuments commemorating, among others, Britain’s top World War I ace and the first airman to shoot down a German Zeppelin airship have been given new ratings by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, on the advice of Historic England. They include unusual tributes like The Aviator’s Memorial in Kent, with its central figure of Zeus ‘God of Thunder’ and Captain Eric Lubbock’s aircraft-shaped tribute in the London borough of Bromley. Historic England chief executive Duncan Wilson said: “The listing and upgrading of these war memorials, dedicated to members of the air services, helps to tell the story of Britain’s wartime aviation history. “They commemorate the bravery and sacrifice of Britain’s pilots, of both the First and Second World Wars.” The move means the sites will be included on the National Heritage List, managed by Historic England. Heritage Minister Michael Ellis said: “From the pioneering pilots of the First World War, to the heroism of the Battle of Britain, the RAF has a proud and distinguished wartime history. “As we mark its centenary, it is right that we remember the stories of the brave pilots and personnel who served in defence of Britain. These listings commemorate this legacy and preserve these historic memorials for future generations.”

War memorials make the grade from Stow, of 37 Squadron, and Captain Henry Clifford Stroud, from Rochford, of 61 Squadron, killed when their aircraft collided at night in bad weather on March 7, 1918, trying to intercept a German bomber heading for London. Catterick Camp and Aerodrome War Memorial, High Street, Catterick, Richmond, North Yorkshire This memorial featuring Christ being crucified on the Cross honours the officers and men from the army camp to the west of the village and RFC Catterick airfield to the south. St Matthew’s Oxhey War Memorial, St Matthew’s Church, Eastbury Road, Oxhey, Hertfordshire Another intrepid airship hunter – Sub-lieutenant Reginald Alexander John Warneford of the Royal Naval Air Service, whose skill and aggression in intercepting and chasing German Zeppelins and attempting to shoot them down before they could get to Britain won him the Victoria Cross – is remembered by this memorial.

The 10 aviation war memorials newly listed Grade II are: McCudden War Memorial and Grave in Maidstone Road Cemetery, Chatham, Kent An important symbol of the role of the Royal Flying Corps and the sacrifices of its pilots and dedicated to the four McCudden brothers: RFC pilots William, James and John, and RAF test flight engineer Maurice. RFC ace Major James McCudden shot down 57 enemy aircraft and became the most decorated British pilot of World War I, winning one of the 11 Victoria Crosses awarded to the Corps, the Distinguished Flying Order and the French Croix de Guerre. Leefe Robinson Memorial Obelisk, East Ridgeway, Cuffley, Potters Bar, Hertfordshire Another RFC hero, Captain William Leefe Robinson, became a national celebrity when he downed the German airship SL11 on September 3, 1916. It was the first successful destruction of a Zeppelin over Britain and he was awarded the Victoria Cross.

Memorial Obelisk for Captain Hamilton and Lieutenant Wyness Stuart, Willian, Hertfordshire This memorial marks the deaths of RFC pioneers Captain Hamilton and Lieutenant Wyness Stuart, who died on September 6, 1912, when they crashed during an exercise.

proud of THE uk’s armed forces: Defence Minister Gavin Williamson (left) and Heritage Minister Michael Ellis at the newly-upgraded RAF Memorial on the Embankment

Captain Eric Lubbock’s Memorial, High Elms Country Park, Shire Lane, London Borough of Bromley Captain Eric Lubbock’s memorial was erected after he was shot down over Belgium in March 1917. It was commissioned by his grieving mother, Lady Avebury, who asked that it take the form of an aircraft and be placed in the family graveyard at High Elms.

It was restored and re-sited in 2010 in what was the walled kitchen garden of the family estate and now forms part of High Elms Country Park. Memorials to Captain Alexander Bruce Kynoch and Captain Henry Clifford Stroud, Dollymans Farm, Rawreth, Essex Erected in memory of RFC aces Captain Alexander Bruce Kynoch,

Egton Bridge Cross, Castle Hill, Egton Bridge, North Yorkshire Another RNAS hero, Probationary Flying Officer Francis Titcomb, took off from Redcar Aerodrome on April 15, 1917, for his first solo training flight. Disorientated over the Yorkshire moors, he crashed near Egton Bridge. He was buried in Brompton Cemetery in London. RAF Wickenby 12 and 626 Squadron War Memorial, Wickenby Airport, Lincolnshire This World War II memorial commemorates 1,080 aircrew of

12 and 626 Bomber Command squadrons killed in raids during the liberation of occupied Europe. It contains a bronze figure based on Icarus, the mythical figure who fell to earth after flying too close to the sun. Aviation memorials upgraded from Grade II to Grade II* are: Aviator’s Memorial, South of All Saints Church, junction of High Street and Church Road, Eastchurch, Kent (pictured above) Has a central figure of Zeus, the God of Thunder‚ and marks the impact of the Royal Aero Club – based at Eastchurch and Leysdown Flying Grounds – on the development of aviation. St Saviour’s War Memorial, Southwark, Borough High Street, London (pictured) Unveiled in November 1922, this memorial comprises a stone plinth topped by a crouching bronze infantryman and carved reliefs by sculptor Philip Lindsey Clark. He was badly wounded in World War I and intended the memorial to ‘express the same dogged determination and unconquerable spirit displayed by all branches of our forces on land, on the seas, and in the air’. Bootle War Memorial, King’s Gardens, Stanley Road, Bootle, Merseyside (pictured below) Comprised of heroic life-size bronze symbolic figures it features a mother and child representing the motherland and the future generations of the British Empire, guarded by the three Armed Forces. Royal Air Force Memorial, Victoria Embankment, London The RAF’s national memorial, featuring a gilded bronze eagle with wings outstretched on a zodiacal globe looking across the River Thames towards France. At the top of the plinth are the words of the Royal Flying Corps’ motto ‘Per Ardua Ad Astra’ (Through adversity to the stars), adopted by the RAF 100 years ago.

Royal Air Force News Friday, May 18, 2018 P28


Running man hits his stride medallion man: Cpl Jon Ward shows off some of his ever-growing medal collection PHOTOS: LAC CONNOR TIERNEY/ RAFBF

Corporal clocks up 100 marathons…and just keeps on running Dan Abrahams TWO YEARS ago Cpl Jon Ward was looking for a new physical and mental challenge.

Now, after wearing out seven pairs of trainers and covering 2,620 miles, you might say he has found it. The Lossiemouth logistics worker completed a mammoth 100

long distance runner: Above, Ward crosses the line in Barrow right, RAF man celebrates after completing his 100th 26-miler as the Air Force celebrates its centenary on April 1

marathons on April 1, to coincide with the Royal Air Force’s centenary celebrations. But, like movie star Tom Hanks’ Forrest Gump, he has just kept running. The airman will be carrying the RAF Baton during the Edinburgh marathon in August, to mention just a few of his challenges in the coming months. Ward, 33, said: “I had a good level of fitness, but I wanted to raise the bar. Marham, where I was serving, was celebrating 100 years as an airfield, so I decided to run six marathons in six days for the Royal British Legion. I sort of fell into it. “It was similar for the hundredth anniversary challenge, I also combined it with joining the 100 Marathons Club, so to link it in with the celebrations was perfect.” Despite Gravesend Cyclopark in Kent not being the most salubrious of venues to mark completing his one hundredth 26.2-mile run, he did follow up with marathon number 101 in Paris, then London and most recently Hamburg, with Copenhagen coming soon. “If I am not working, I am probably looking for another event to take part in, but being posted at Lossie the closest place for major events is London, meaning it’s cheaper for me to travel overseas,” he said. Running has meant Ward, who sports his RAFBF jersey across

the globe, has pounded the streets of faraway places including the Caribbean – where he completed seven marathons in seven days making friends along the way and spreading the word for his Service. “Knowing people are seeing me sporting my RAF jersey or simply representing the Service inspires me to push myself faster and harder in a bid to show people how fit military personnel are,” he said. “I have watched countless motivational videos talking about talent versus skill. “I do not have talent, I have a skill that I have put a lot of hard work into honing, this has led to me running four-hour and 56 minute marathons and not walking for a week, to a sub three-hour and 10 minute one. “I am looking for two hours and 45 minutes, that will enable me to qualify for any marathon in the world.” Ward’s main aim on the horizon now is to run from Land’s End to John O’Groats, but using his own route, avoiding organised groups. To get into the right shape for the mammoth effort he will

be competing in the Edinburgh Marathon Festival, running a half marathon in the morning in Musselburgh, before making the 10-mile journey to Edinburgh to receive the RAF100 baton and run the city’s marathon event. He will then be completing 10 ultra marathons in 10 days in the shape of the Great Barrow Challenge in July, before the Race Across Scotland – which will see him tackle an ultra run of 214 miles in 100 hours. Ward said: “I will be using these runs to slow my pace down, which is what is needed to run for these lengths of time. “I will start on the west coast of Scotland, finishing on its east coast, but you need more time on the ground, so I have to adjust my approach. “It’s great to know that completing these and learning how to do it is down to me, that’s the challenge.” n Follow Jon Ward at: raf100marathons on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

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Royal Air Force News Friday, May 18, 2018 P29


Email: Telephone: 01494 497563


7 pages of RAF Sport O Awesome Walls and awesome climbing: page 33 CRICKET

LORDING IT: Left, Flt Lt Fisher, Cpl Pollard and Cpl Broyton at the IST20 launch in front of the media stand, below, action from last year’s day PHOTOS: SBS

Get ready to rumble IST20 launch signals kick-off to summer’s big one-day event NEW RAF IST20 cricket captain Flt Lt Adam Fisher is gunning to halt seven years of hurt at Lord’s this June. The new man at the helm, replacing spin king Flt Lt Jim Iago, will take his charges onto the field at the Home of Cricket for the summer’s kick-off short game event on June 14, aiming to unlock the Army’s stranglehold on the day. Toppling Army skipper Cpl Jay Boynton and the Navy’s Cpl Alvia Pollard will be no easy task. He said: “We have underachieved in the past two years, so we are planning now and looking at the

best way to put that into action on the day and execute a win on what is a brilliant day for everyone involved and those watching.”

It’s lovely for the new guys coming along to see where they will be playing – Lord’s

a few key players from previous years, Sean McCabe is currently on his PTI course, so we are unsure about him. “I hope to have him if he is available, but we will see Adam Sutcliffe return after a good season in the 50-over discipline.” “The launch at Lord’s was really good, I thoroughly enjoyed doing that for the first time in my new role, superb day out and venue. “It’s lovely for the new guys coming along to see where they will potentially be playing.”

He added: “Our line up hasn’t changed much. We are missing

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Royal Air Force News Friday, May 18, 2018 P30

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Sport rugby union

JUST CHAMPION: Above, cheers after winning the Calcutta Cup, right, training on the beach

Spitfires fly Service flag Staff Reporter HQ Air Command The RAF Rugby 7s blazed to a series of straight wins to take the Calcutta Cup during a sweltering 10-day tour of India. Opposition from Indian Police, military and local teams melted away in the searing 35 degree heat as the UK guests romped through to the knockout stages. After despatching the Indian Army 7s in the semis the Spitfires faced their only real opposition in the final from a well-drilled Dheli Daredevils side in Kolkata. After

a strong first half the hosts were outplayed in later stages, eventually going down 22-7. The unbeaten UK team shared their tournament winning skills with a series of training camps – organised through sports charity groups Jungle Crows and Khelo Rugby. The RAF men travelled from Kolkata to Darjeeling and the foothills of the Himalayas, working with the organisers at Khelo Rugby to bring the rugby message to sports fans at orphanages and local childrens’ charity groups. The tour also gave the heat-

during a reception at the British High Commission. Sqn Ldr Tim Barlow added: “This tour has provided an incredible opportunity for the RAF Spitfires to hone their own skills in a challenging environment

and also to take their skills out to some of India’s more vulnerable communities. “We hope we have created longlasting links with India defence and look forward to developing those relationships.”

Arrow drops short on Solent

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drained RAF players some R’n’R in the form of an elephant ride and tour of local tea plantations. Fg Off James West said: “It was so nice to see children from a small village in such a secluded location having a great time playing rugby and running around with their friends. “It was a truly exceptional experience for everyone to be a part of an effort to promote the game and get the youngsters involved in something they enjoy.” The Spitfires were also able to showcase their skills and give another local side, the Jungle Crows, a few match-winning drills

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LATE ISSUES with wind ended the RAF Sailing Association Offshore Racing Team’s Nab Tower race on board RAFSA Yacht Red Arrow. The 35-mile race across the Solent, which is part of the national Junior Offshore Group series of races, saw the team competing in the race from the very beginning, only falling away in the last eight miles after a close battle with the Just So team. Following a very early start transiting to the start line at Cowes, the team produced a great start just in front of competitor yacht Just So and punched out ahead of the fleet into clean wind. Red Arrow then dropped out of the top five for the majority of the race, but still left others far behind in what was a highly competitive class. With a consistent speed of 0.5 knots over the predicted rate, the

boat felt fast with the crew working hard, rounding Nab Tower and hoisted the new RAF100 spinnaker for the downwind run. The team pushed through the yachts that started before them and soon found their way to the front of everyone along with the rest of the top five in class four. Just as Red Arrow approached the Horse Sands and No Mans Fort gate the wind shut down to just one knot. From here Just So gybed out about 100 metres in front of the RAF boat and went to the north side of the Solent, albeit slowly. The wind filled back in on the north side first allowing Just So and followers to eat up the last eight miles while Red Arrow drifted. The Service team then began another close battle with team Jybe Talkin all the way up the south side

in the last two miles until they got a spinnaker wrap and dropped back. RAFSA Yacht Red Arrow races every weekend in both inshore and offshore races. The next offshore event sees the team racing overnight to Northern France. New members are very welcome, for further information email: RAFSA_Racing@outlook. com or follow on Twitter @ RAFSailingAssoc and Facebook at: RAF Sailing Association Offshore.

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Royal Air Force News Friday, May 18, 2018 P31




Blanford blast off Tug of war stars off to a winning start again

FOLLOWING ON from a devastating season last time out, the Service’s tug of war stars continued the gold rush with medals at the prestigious Jack Smith memorial trophy at Blandford Camp. The trophy event, that attracts every Service team, saw the Air Force sporting their new RAF 100 team kit, facing off against 11 other teams. The heavyweights got the event underway with the Service expecting to do well. They didn’t disappoint with dominant performances securing

a final berth where they met the Royal Artillery for a chance of a gold medal finish. It was sadly not to be as the exhausted RAF men lost out to a better drilled team on a hot day in an inspiring test of stamina and commitment In the lighter and middleweight groups the light blue teams battled their way through the event surprising their rivals. In the men’s finals the RAF teams beat all-comers convincingly to two golds with the men’s light heavyweight and combined RAF/ RN ladies teams taking silvers. A

team spokesman said: “This was a great day to get the season up and running with lots of prestigious events ahead including an RAF 100 event at High Wycombe in July. “Before that we have the RAF champs at Cosford on June 13, before the Royal Highland Games on September 1 plus there are many more league events. “We are always on the lookout for anyone wanting to come and give the sport a try.” O Tug fans can contact the team manager at: gareth.davies599@mod. or follow us @RAFTUG.

Get set to tumble at Lord’s Continued from page 29: “Tom Shorthouse, who was away last year, is back. It is a big bonus for him to come back into the fold, along with Tom Chapman, who is devastating in T20, although we are still not 100 per cent on his availability as yet.” The action starts at midday and the event charity partner is once again Blesma. OTickets are priced £17 for adults, £5 for under 16s and £8.50 for over65s. They are available at and on the day at the gate.

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Royal Air Force News Friday, May 18, 2018 P32

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Sport wakeboarding

BROTHERS IN ARMS: Above and main, the Phillips brothers show their skills, they make up part of the Service’s GB contingent

Wake stars to rule Britannia Super six aiming to shine at upcoming European event after national selection Staff Reporter Air Command SIX RAF wakeboarders are celebrating winning selection to represent Great Britain. The six Service personnel will now look to shine at the upcoming European championships event in Rome, from July 30 – August 4. Sgt James Cook, current RAF team captain, who has been selected for the first time, said: “I

feel an immense amount of pride following the announcement of this year’s team, having worked with most of these guys and girls, some of them since they first ever strapped on a wakeboard, it’s been a pleasure to help them progress. “Having now made it to Team GB myself it really does show that all the effort that I have been putting in over the years has been worth it.”  Cpl Sarah Partridge, marking her second selection, said: “After

making it on to the team last year I couldn’t have been happier, but then to go on and compete at the world championships in Argentina and take home the bronze medal well I was over the moon. “It gave me a new sense of drive and determination and I am really looking forward to getting the chance to win a medal at the Euros later this summer.” SAC Mathew McCreadie said: “I wasn’t expecting to get selected this year to be honest, so when the team

sheet came out I was bit shocked, it took a couple of minutes for it all to really sink in. “I was a bit nervous when I first tried the sport out, but I’ve now managed to channel those nerves and use them to my advantage, progressing my riding as much as possible to really make an impact my first year on the team.” Flt Lt Simon Revell, OIC RAF waterski and wakeboarding said: “It’s been great watching everyone progress over the years, I’m glad that

rugby league

Police feel the force in Cup clash UKAFRL40 GB Police 8

Sgt Stuart Norrie-Bland Wigan A THUMPING 40-8 win saw the UKAF rugby league team win the Presidents Cup opening clash against GB Police at Wigan St Jude’s ARLFC ground. New head coach Danny Johnson selected five RAF players to be part of his squad, with a try coming for Cpl Nathan Barker, and SAC Conall Barningham making his debut. Barningham (RAF Regt) said: “It was a great experience to play, a great test for me and a good opportunity to develop my skills.” The match, played under floodlights, started as expected

with relentless pressure from UKAF pinning the Police in their own half. The pressure soon resulted in a try after 15 minutes, with two more run in before the break for a 16-0 score line. Only five minutes after the restart UKAF added to their total points tally, followed by a quick rally and an opportunist break from the Police team that notched up an unconverted try to their score line. The team, bolstered by Service stars SAC(T) Adam Flintham, SAC(T) Jake Starbuck and SAC Ben Mellor, found a weakness in the opposition’s defensive line and exploited it with a barrage of tries. The Police did manage to run over again, while a missed conversion out wide failed to add to their tally. There was time for one last push from UKAF, which led to a try just as the final whistle sounded.

power age: Cpl Nathan Barker drives forward despite GB Police attention PHOTO: sbs

the time and effort they have put in has been noticed and they now have the opportunity to represent their country in our sport.” The six riders selected to represent GB are: Sgt James Cook  Sgt Ross Phillips  Cpl Rich Phillips  Cpl Sarah Partridge  Cpl Erin Pollinger SAC Matthew McCreadie. 

Wittering wades in IT MIGHT have been a charity boxing night, but there was none shown in the ring with some excellent Service glove action. The RAF Benevolent Fund and the RAF Association benefitted from the eight bout contest at Wittering which raised £2000. Station boxers SAC Thomas Falconer from 71 Inspection & Repair Squadron and SAC Adam Close from 5001 Squadron received huge support from the partisan 250-strong audience.

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Royal Air Force News Friday, May 18, 2018 P33


Sport indoor climbing

UP AND DOWN: Clockwise from above, action from the recent indoor championship climbing event at Awesome Walls, Sheffield, where a bumper crowd battled it out for medals and RAF100th anniversary glory


Climbers show steel in Sheffield Indoor battles are perfect set up selections for IS challenge Cpl Lee Thistleton and Flt Lt Sophie Foxen Awesome Walls, Sheffield THERE WAS no hanging around at this year’s RAF Climbing Championships at Awesome Walls, Sheffield, with 102 competitors producing some excellent action. Marham topped the action with Flt Lt Dan Heath the overall winner, taking the men’s senior title, while Sgt Paul Easton won the male Masters and bouldering competitions. SAC Anne Duckett took the women’s crown. Each climber faced three different ascents, with 100 points for reaching the top hold across advanced, intermediate and beginner categories. An association spokesman said: “The event was a further step along the road in our relationship with the Royal British Legion. Members of our climbing team proudly wear the poppy whenever they climb. It was also brilliant to see so many ranks and trades at this year’s event. “Training is now well underway for the upcoming IS event with climbers working on core, finger strength, footwork and stamina. This championships has provided a great opportunity put them into effect in a challenging environment.” The RAF Climbing Team will next compete at the Inter-Service Competition on July 18. For more information on RAF Mountaineering Association email: or on Twitter at: @RAFMountaineer.

Royal Air Force News Friday, May 18, 2018 P34

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Sport fishing

lined up: Above, the Sampsons show off their catches, right, Sgt Wright looks pleased with his catch

indoor rowing

New term cast off St Albans two-day clash kicks things off in style Staff Reporter St Albans ACE RAF angling duo Paul and Emrys Sampson beat 26 competitors by landing 20 fish weighing a total of 242lb, 6oz at Albans Fishery in the opening round of this year’s Service angling competition. Sgt Tom Brown and SAC Luke Doswell were close on the winners’ tails, finishing second with nine fish weighing 106lb, 12oz, while

the pairing of Cpl James Mitchell and SAC Si Cunningham came third with a total catch of 10 fish weighing 94lb, 12oz. FS Matt Hunt landed the first carp after just 15 minutes in peg 14, with two areas of action at the top end of the lake producing the higher number of catches. Brown and Doswell landed a 12lb mirror carp, before Mitchell and Cunningham hooked two 8lb mirror each to take top spot on the leader board. The tit-for-tat action saw further

catches until the Sampsons finally opened a lead on the morning of the second day with a 94lb total weight. The final night saw the biggest fish of the match landed, as Sgt Lee Hasbury hooked a 21lb 8oz mirror carp. With only the last few hours remaining on the second day there was only 3lb separating Brown and Doswell and Mitchell and Cunningham. Doswell then slipped the net under a 12lb mirror carp to secure second place.


Splashing effort comes up short

30th worth weight A TOTAL of 46 competitors celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Service’s powerlifting association at Cosford, with male and female category medals and top three places in the squat, benchpress, deadlift and full power disciplines up for grabs. SAC Natalie Marsh dominated the women’s class, winning all four titles with a world class full power total of 425Kg across all three lifts, comprising of a 157.5Kg squat, 92.5Kg benchpress and 175Kg deadlift at a bodyweight of 75.4Kg. SAC Jo Drew put in an impressive performance finishing second in all four events, putting in a full power total of 307.5Kg together at a bodyweight of just 60.2Kg. The male category was a closer

fought affair with SAC Raymond Thompson, pictured above, taking first place in the squat, deadlift and full power disciplines with a full power total of 582.5Kg. SAC Ben Marsden finished a close second with a total of 667.5Kg

at a bodyweight of 92.2Kg and Pilot Officer James Roberts rounded off the top three. Service lifters who gained qualification from the championship will now be looking to star at the upcoming BDFPA UK Nationals in July.

ROWERS at RAF Linton-onOuse just missed out on a world indoor 100km record to mark the 100th anniversary of the Service. A total of 17 personnel from 13 units at the Station took part in the effort which raised more than £420 for the RAF100 Appeal. They needed to beat a time of four hours, 26 minutes and 17.6 seconds, but came up short by six minutes despite posting the second ever fastest known 100km time for a large team or a military unit. In the end it was the changeovers that cost the team dearly and by the halfway mark it was clear that they were off target.

Despite digging deep and battling niggles and strains the team’s effort was not enough.

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Royal Air Force News Friday, May 18, 2018 P35


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Sport Indoor event gets climbers gripped

Fisher wants to deliver at Lord’s in IST20

World can wait as record slips away at Linton

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Spot on football

Last gasp penalty wins cup

IN SAFE HANDS: Above main, Coningsby keeper SAC Daniel Gorman produces a miraculous save to keep his side in the game at Vicarage Road, Watford, his brace of last gasp saves then led to his team taking the Keith Christie Cup with a last minute penalty kick, above top, all cheers for the victorious team as Coningsby celebrate their win PHOTOS: STEPHEN LYMPANY

RAF Coningsby  RAF Brize Norton

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Daniel Abrahams Vicarage Road, Watford AS A cup final goes the 2018 RAF FA Cup final (Keith Christie Cup) really had everything: classy solo goals, biting challenges and a last minute penalty that sealed the deal for Coningsby as they beat Brize 3-2 at Watford FC’s Vicarage Road. It was the calm boot of SRT pace man Cpl Steve Norton who finally sealed the ding dong cup clash, stroking home an 89th minute penalty, his second of the game, as extra time loomed to take the cup home. Coningsby captain Cpl Michael

Braniff said: “It was so hot out there, it definitely took its toll. I thought we were going to have extra time, but then we got that late decision. “I felt we deserved it, but both teams gave their all, it’s tough on Brize to lose so late on, but I think we deserved it overall.” The Premier League sun-soaked ground was the perfect setting for the Service’s main inter-station cup competition, but temperatures on the pitch threatened to boil over as they soared in the ground early on. A heavy late tackle by Coningsby forward Cpl Stuart Longbone on Brize captain SAC James McGowan came inside five minutes as the target man looked to impose himself. Lucky to receive only a yellow, Longbone struggled with an injury for the next period of play. Ploughing a long furrow upfront and looking to spring the other

Coningsby forwards with flick-ons or holding the ball up, Longbone should have found the next in the 24th minute from a superb diagonal cross into the box from Cpl Steve Norton. With the defence turned and the Brize keeper SAC Andrew Sandall caught off his line, the forward’s looping header could only find the roof of the net. It took Brize until the halfhour mark to make an impression upfront, with SAC James Morrison unleashing a thunderbolt shot from 22 yards that SAC Dan Gorman did well to parry away for a corner. Buoyed, the team in red then took the lead in the final minute of the half with a wonder goal from Sgt Dave Wanless. A brilliant run from Morrison on the left, shadowed by SAC Ross Longridge, saw him square the ball across the Coningsby defence.

There Cpl Dan Chillington looked set to score, but his effort from three yards was somehow saved. Recycling the ball back out to Wanless on the edge of the box, the forward flicked his way through the defence and calmly slotted home when one-on-one with Gorman. Longbone missed another chance just after the break having been found by another diagonal ball, but his side levelled on 52 minutes after Cpl Tom Hig was fouled by SAC Jack Bown-Porter. From the spot SRT speed merchant Norton blasted the ball high into the net. A cheeky back heel from Braniff on 53 minutes, which struck an upright, was eclipsed when a moment of indecision from the Brize keeper saw him slot home for 2-1 after 55.

The game was now wide open and the Brize skipper levelled four minutes later with a brilliant flicked far post header following a beautifully curling corner from Morrison. Chances began to come for both sides now, but the heat was taking its toll and may have played a part in the winning goal after a foul on Cpl Lee Gemmell. With Gemmell waiting for the ball to drop on the edge of the Brize area, he was brought down. Norton kept his nerve to nab his brace, the cup and break Brize hearts. Brize captain McGowan said: “It is so hard to lose like that, we thought we had done enough, but just could not push on after levelling. I thought we had the game to win it, but fair play to them to win it late on.”

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RAF News 18.05.2018  
RAF News 18.05.2018