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The Forcest'e favourir pape

Win! Win! Mel Brooks classic comedy caper

Win! Win! 303 Sqn war story on DVD

● R'n'R p4-5

● R'n'R p5

Friday April 19 2019 No 1465 70p


Big-hearted Jamie triumphs at awards Football

Ladies storm to Inters glory

See p17

Dambusters Cyprus debut ■F-35 milestone Akrotiri mission

● Sport p35

Rugby Union Navy sunk by Union girls

● Sport p29

THE LEGENDARY Dambusters are set to make their return to operations as they prepare to deploy the UK’s new F-35 Lightning to Akrotiri on its first tour of duty. The milestone mission to the RAF’s Cyprus base comes ahead of moves to operate from HMS Queen Elizabeth later this year, in readiness for operations worldwide, the MoD said. ● See p3


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Royal Air Force News Friday, April 19, 2019 P3

I feel very pleased with how things have worked out for me

Racing a Hawk T1 jet against Lewis Hamilton in a F1 car was a very good day at work

Once they left Corfu their lives became even more interesting

Trainee pilot Jake Weeks on being first to fly the new Grob Prefect and Phenom aircraft p13

RAF News Room 68 Lancaster Building HQ Air Command High Wycombe Buckinghamshire HP14 4UE Editor: Simon Williams Email: Tel: 01494 497412 Sports Editor: Daniel Abrahams Email: Tel: 01494 497563 Features Editor: Tracey Allen Email: Tel: 01494 497622 News Editor: Simon Mander All advertising: Edwin Rodrigues Tel: 07482 571535 Email: edwin.rodrigues@rafnews.

Keeley Hawes, who plays matriarch Louisa in The Durrells, on the real Durrell family RnR p4-p5

The Red Arrows’ longest-serving pilot, Sqn Ldr Mike Ling, on a career highlight p9

F-35 milestone mission

l Continued from front CHIEF OF the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier said: “It’s great to see 617 Squadron, the modern day Dambusters, flying the most advanced and dynamic fighter jet in the UK’s history and about to start their first overseas deployment. “I have no doubt that this short deployment will offer many tests, but likewise I am confident that our highly trained and skilled personnel will rise to the challenge.” Britain currently owns 17 F-35s with another tranche expected to arrive this year. It is the first aircraft to combine radar-evading stealth technology with supersonic speeds, the ability to conduct short take offs and vertical landings and operate from land and sea. Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “These formidable fighters are a national statement of our intent to protect ourselves and our allies from intensifying threats across the world.” The posting will allow personnel from the jointly manned RAF and RN Lightning Force to gain experience in maintaining and flying the aircraft in an unfamiliar environment.

GLOBAL REACH: F-35 will be operating from the deck of Queen Elizabeth carrier from 2020

This Week In History

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88 Sqn river drop A Sunderland of No.88 Sqn landed on the River Yangtze with aid for HMS Amethyst.


Spitfires in joint Tunisia attack

Spitfires and USAAF fighters intercepted 80 escorted Junkers Ju52 transport aircraft off Cap Bon, Tunisia. Fifty-nine transports were shot down and 24 Ju52s in a separate attack.


Bombing and air firing range open RAF Practice Camps North Coates Fitties, Sutton Bridge and Weston Zoyland opened for bombing and firing range practice.


Coastal Command November marked the formation of Strike Wings to attack heavilydefended convoys suppling the Nazi war effort from Scandinavia down the coast of Europe

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

SIE RR A. A L PH A . VI C TO R. ECH O. We ’ r e p r o u d t o o f f e r c u r r e n t a n d f o r m e r m i l i t a r y p e r s o n n e l s a v i n g s o n s e l e c t e d v e h i c l e s.† Search: Ford Militar y Sales

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Model shown is a Fiesta ST-3 3-Door 1.5 200PS Manual Petrol with optional Full LED Headlamps. Fuel economy mpg (l/100km): Combined 40.4 (7.0). *CO 2 emissions 136g/km. Figures shown are for comparability purposes; only compare fuel consumption and CO 2 figures with other cars tested to the same technical procedures. These figures may not reflect real life driving results, which will depend upon a number of factors including the accessories fitted (post-registration), variations in weather, driving styles and vehicle load. * There is a new test used for fuel consumption and CO 2 figures. The CO 2 figures shown, however, are based on the outgoing test cycle and will be used to calculate vehicle tax on first registration.

Royal Air Force News Friday, April 19, 2019 P5


Chem plant raid hero is honoured Simon Mander

A TYPHOON Top Gun who played a key role in a raid which destroyed a Syrian chemical weapons dump after more than TURKEY 70 civilians were murdered in a gas attack has been awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. Sqn Ldr Alex Vaughan was the lead pilot for the combat jets formation protecting four Tornado GR4 bombers which launched a longrange attack using Storm Shadow cruise missiles to destroy the military facility 15 miles west of Homs. Raqqa The daring mission was executed at night close to the sea to avoid detection from enemy radar, with surface-to-air missiles and fighter threats targeting the formations. Surprise was vital to the success of the unprecedented low-level raid and so Vaughan led a silent departure from the strike force’s base. But just minutes from the target zone he suffered a malfunction that prevented him refuelling his aircraft. Despite the setback Sqn Ldr Vaughan, then a Flt Lt, guarded the Tornados as they unleased their deadly payload before turning for home. At that point, at great personal risk, Vaughan ordered the Typhoons to shield the bombers from the most threatening enemy airbase despite him and his wingman receiving incockpit warnings that surface-to-air missile systems were targeting them. He said: “It was a privilege to play a small part in the overall success of this mission, driven primarily by the Tornado Force. “Everyone on the squadron, from engineers, operations support and aircrew, had a part to play in making this happen. “It was an honour to work with such a professional team.” The target site, a former missile




RAF Akrotiri





ISRAEL EGYPT News bulletin

F1 race ace’s battlefield bid UK RACE team Williams is working with the MoD to develop battlefield shelters using lightweight F1 technology for frontline troops. Current temporary structures used on the battlefield traditionally use heavyweight materials such as corrugated iron and sandbags. A spokesman said: “Being able to deliver enhanced, lighter protection for the Armed Forces gives us a great feeling.”

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



AFTERMATH: Aid workers move bodies of civilians killed in chemical attack. PHOTO: PA

base, has been used to store deadly materials banned under the Chemical Weapons Convention, according to Coalition intelligence experts. Praising the actions of the airman, a MoD spokesman added: “Unfazed, he ensured the area was safe, and once content that the enemy fighters no longer posed a threat, turned to escort the Tornados through any potential BAGHDAD ambush patrols on their departure. “Throughout the mission, Vaughan showed courage and professionalism to overcome tactical challenges in a complex and dynamic situation. “For his bravery and skill in the delivery of operational excellence he is recommended for national recognition.” At the time Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “The reprehensible use of chemical weapons in Douma is further evidence of the Syrian regime’s appalling cruelty against its own people. “We will not stand by whilst innocent civilians, including women and children, are killed and made to suffer.”

Battle of Britain hero Terry going great guns at 100 Staff Reporter ONE OF the UK’s dwindling band of Battle of Britain heroes has celebrated his 100th birthday. WWII veteran Terry Clark was just 19 when he signed up in 1938 as an air gunner and went on to earn the Distinguished Flying Medal as a Mosquito navigator, credited with helping to down six Nazi aircraft.

Yorkshire-based Terry was joined by Linton-on-Ouse Station Commander Gp Capt Keith Taylor and personnel from his local base and local artist Steve Teasdale as he opened his telegram from The Queen. During his wartime service Terry flew on Fairy Battles, Bristol Blenheims as a gunner and Beaufighters as one of the RAF’s first radar operators before moving across to the Mosquito in 1942 as a navigator. Registered Charity No. 1101767

2019 Anniversary Concert Tour Celebrating the 15th anniversary of the RAF Music Charitable Trust To celebrate the 15th anniversary of the RAF Music Charitable Trust, the charity presents a special concert tour with the Central Band of the RAF, Band of the RAF College and Band of the RAF Regiment, along with RAF Swing Wing and the RAF Squadronaires. Performances will take place in Scarborough, Newark, Doncaster, Weston Super Mare, and uniquely in the cathedrals of Exeter, Chester and Sheffield, along with a series of three concerts in London. With its charitable objects to raise welfare funds through the performance of live music by Royal Air Force musicians, the charity organises fund raising concerts in locations where the bands might otherwise not be able to perform. Through these concerts and the sale of RAF Music CDs and merchandise, the charity raises funds from which donations are also made to various RAF and other Service charities. However, as RAF musicians routinely undertake deployments in support of H M Forces around the world, the charity also provides welfare support to personnel whilst deployed on ‘out of area’ operations. Following the appointment of Air Chief Marshal Sir Michael Graydon GCB, CBE as its President in 2004, the RAF Music Charitable Trust was established by Sergeant (Ret.) Malcolm Goodman MBE, who was then a serving member of the Band of the RAF Regiment, and also Public Relations and Marketing Manager for the RAF Music Services. In his role as Honorary Administrator, organising this concert tour he is supported by two other former RAF musician trustees, Warrant Officer (Ret.) Trevor McDonald and Sergeant (Ret.) John Baigent – all veterans of the First Gulf War, having served together on active service in Saudi Arabia during the 1991 conflict. For further details and ticket information please visit the charity website at

Friday 17 May Grand Hall, Scarborough Spa Thursday 23 May Palace Theatre, Newark Friday 12 July Chester Cathedral Saturday 21 September She eld Cathedral Wednesday 2 October Winston Churchill Hall, Ruislip Thursday 10 October Cast, Doncaster Friday 25 October Exeter Cathedral Saturday 26 October Winter Gardens, Weston-Super-Mare Tuesday 12 November Winston Churchill Hall, Ruislip Tuesday 10 December Winston Churchill Hall, Ruislip

Royal Air Force News Friday, April 19, 2019 P7


Tanker is a Euro-star Voyager fuels Dutch, German and French fighters during combat drill

TANKS A LOT: German Eurofighter refuels from RAF Voyager. PHOTO: SQN LDR CRAIG GIBSON

Toby Watkins TANKER CREWS have taken part in a major multinational air-to-air refuelling exercise for the first time. Brize Norton-based 10 and 101 Squadrons equipped with the A330 Voyager joined their Dutch, French, and German counterparts to hone the vital skills that keeps fast jets flying. Mission Systems Officer Flight Sergeant Paul Riley, who has flown on each of the participating nations’ aircraft, said the job was more than being a gas station in the sky. He said: “Fuel keeps fast jets like Typhoons in the fight. A big part of what this exercise was about was understanding their needs to be more than an airborne petrol station.

“For example, we synchronise our plans with the jets’ missions so that once refuelled we place them in the best location for the next part of their sortie.” Tankers can also carry out out a search and rescue role as their endurance allows them to keep over the area where the pilot would have ejected and coordinate any rescue mission. Dutch KDC-10s, German A310 and French and US KC-135 aircraft took part in the European Air Refuelling Training at Eindhoven airbase in Holland. RAF detachment leader Sqn Ldr Craig Gibson said: “By operating alongside tankers in one formation, we have been able to practice tactics and techniques that

RAF Gherk-ers reach for the sky with charity bid

:we can only do on an exercise like this – refuelling French Mirage 2000 and German

CENTENARY CHALLENGE: SAC Sam Lake, second from left, with fellow team members. PHOTO: Ollie Dixon/RAFBF

Tracey Allen A TEAM of RAF fundraisers got themselves in a pickle – scaling the heights of London’s famous Gherkin skyscraper for charity. SACs Perry Wright, Sam Lake, Alex Driver, Anna Duckett, Joseph Martin and Karl Cassar ran up the steps of the 180m high city building – formally known as 30 St Mary’s Axe – more than 25 times each to raise money for the RAF Benevolent Fund to mark the charity’s centenary year. SAC Lake, who completed 48 ascents, said: “This was by far one of the toughest things I have ever done. There are no windows or air-conditioning, you just have to make it to the top before your legs turn to jelly.” The team have already raised


TALL ORDER: 180m tall Gherkin skyscraper

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Typhoon fighters throughout the two-week duration.”



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Royal Air Force News Friday, April 19, 2019 P9


Retiring Reds ace trades Arrows for Blades BLADES RUNNER: Ling, right, has joined the Blades Aerobatic Team, far right

Tracey Allen THE RED Arrows’ longest-serving pilot has retired from the RAF after a 21-year career. Sqn Ldr Mike Ling was with the Air Force’s world-famous aerobatic team for more than 10 years. Mike, 40, said: “It’s been a true honour serving Her Majesty and this country, working with the most amazing people.” He described being part of the Reds as ‘an incredible privilege.’ And he revealed he’s signed up with the Blades Aerobatic Team, made up of all ex Red Arrows pilots. He said: “We are the world’s only aerobatic airline that can take passengers up doing close formation aerobatics. It’s very good fun.”

INJURED: Mike is stretchered into hospital in the city of Iraklio, Crete, after ejecting from his aircraft

He added: “There have been so many career highlights, too many to list. As a Formula One fan, when I raced a jet against world champion driver Lewis Hamilton at Scampton in June 2013, that was a very good day at work.” During his time with the Reds he has served for 10 display seasons, notched up 1,765 flying hours in a Reds Hawk, visited 46 countries and

appeared at 700 events. Since joining the RAF in May, 1998, Mike has amassed a total of 3,500 flying hours. He flew the Tornado F3 in the air defence role with 111 Squadron, based at RAF Leuchars. He said: “I first saw the Reds perform when I was a boy growing up in Biggin Hill where there was an air show every year. I decided that was what I wanted to do.” He joined the Red Arrows in 2007 and flew as Red 3 in the 2008 season. He became part of the synchro pair, formed of Reds 6 and 7 performing opposition manoeuvres during shows. In 2010 he suffered a dislocated shoulder and cuts and bruises after ejecting from his aircraft when it collided with Red 7’s during a practice session in Crete. Mike went on to complete six seasons as Red 10, which involved being the team’s supervisor and providing commentary at events. He left the team in December 2017 and returned last year to stand in as Red 3 after Flt Lt David Stark recovered from injuries sustained during a crash at RAF Valley.

Valley climbers launch moutain rescue Simon Mander RAF RESCUERS battled sub-zero temperatures on one of Britain’s highest peaks to save a hiker who had plunged from a cliff face. The male walker dropped 15 metres while descending the difficult west face of the mountain. Despite his injuries he remained concious and was able to contact the emergency services Extreme weather forced a HM Coastguard Rescue helicopter to abandon an initial search, but was able to fly in rescuers who located the casualty on foot. The man was treated for his injuries at the scene but it took several attempts to get him down to the edge of Llyn Bochlwyd where the aircraft was able to land and transfer him to hospital. Air Force personnel joined Snowdonia’s Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue Organisation to tackle the rugged crags of Tryfan – which, at 917 metres, is the fifth highest mountain in Wales. RAF Valley Mountain Rescue Team Leader, Chf Tech Ben Wood said: “This was a challenging callout because of the conditions on the day and the casualty’s injuries, which meant that a protracted technical rescue evacuation was required. “Thankfully, the casualty is now recovering from his injuries.”

SEARCH AND RESCUE: HM Coastguard helicopter flew in the RAF team, inset

DOUBLE ACT: SAC Pollard (left) and Dave Ellis cross the line at British Duathlon finals

Duo on target for Tokyo 2020 ELITE RAF endurance athlete SAC Luke Pollard guided Paralympic hopeful Dave Ellis to the British Duathlon title ahead of his bid for a place on the GB team at the 2020 games in Tokyo. RAF man Pollard is currently the fastest triathlete competitor in the UK Armed Forces

Awards shoot- out HENLOW, FYLINGDALES and Odiham are set to fight it out for the Station of the Year award. All three were shortlisted for the accolade by judges for this year’s RAF Benevolent Fund awards ceremony. The winners in all nine categories will be revealed at the event on June 27 in London.

Royal Air Force News Friday, April 19, 2019 P10


Lighting Warrior GAME ON: Virtual reality hardware replicates Red Arrows manoeuvres

F-35 stealth fighter debut on Nato’s UK- based war game

Gamers seeing Reds in cyber showdown Siimon Mander THE UK’S top computer gamers challenged RAF aerobatics aces to put on a display in cyberspace. Nine members of the Virtual Red Arrows team took on the real deal using hi-spec tech complete with aircraft seat, joystick and headset at Scampton. Dale Brewis, who plays ‘Red 5,’ in the online outfit, who practise together three times a week for live displays streamed on the internet, paired-up with his real-life alter ego Squadron Leader Steve Morris and taught him how to ‘fly’ the virtual jet. He said: “I was really nervous before the display but once we had started, l tried to forget that l was displaying for my heroes and just

flew as best as l could.” Sqn Ldr Morris said: “That was a lot of fun, but I fully appreciate how difficult it is to fly a virtual display. What they do is very impressive.” The Virtual Red Arrows Hawk has been specially constructed for the team to match the real aircraft in every detail possible. Red 1 Sqn Ldr Martin Pert who led the Real Arrows for a display in cyberspace said: “Leading the team in virtual reality was very challenging. “The Virtual Red Arrows rely on great teamwork and lots of practise. Just like we do.” The Red Arrows’ UK display season starts in June. Later in the summer the team will be jetting off across the Atlantic to fly the flag and thrill audiences in the USA and Canada.

Simon Mander THE RAF’S newest jet is taking part in one of Europe’s biggest military manoeuvres for the first time. And combat-hardened Typhoon crews back from targeting Daesh on Operation Shader are using the opportunity to team up with the Lightning and the Navy’s newest warships to forge a potent fighting force. Crews from 617 Dambusters Sqn, reformed to operate the UK’s stealth jet, have been used to network combat critical data to

Stateside training lifts Poseidon P-8 RAF AIRCREW who will pilot the UK’s new Poseidon sub hunter have launched a series of low level combat drills alongside the US Navy in Florida Pilots, weapons system operators and engineers from Lossiemouthbased 120 Sqn are taking part in a six-month course ahead of the aircraft’s delivery to the Scottish station in 2020. The latest phase of their training

includes honing anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare skills at medium and low altitude. The UK has ordered nine Poseidon P-8 maritime patrol aircraft which will guard the UK’s nuclear submarines and carry out search and rescue missions. Work on a £132 million facility to house the new P-8 fleet is nearing completion at Lossiemouth. RAF instructors are also

conducting basic pilot training in Texas alongside the USAF on the simulator-based ‘Pilot Training Next’ programme designed to reduce the time it takes for students to get airborne. A spokesman said: “We need to push the envelope and innovate our pilot training pipeline. “Having this partnership and having people here to learn what the US Air Force is doing is invaluable.”

Nato warships, helicopter crews, tankers and other surveillance aircraft. Dambusters commanding officer, Wg Cdr John Butcher, said: “Being able to provide the unique fifth generation capabilities that Lightning has, proved to be decisive in enabling control of the air to be gained.” Officer Commanding XI(F) Sqn, Wg Cdr Paul O’Grady, said: “Exercise Joint Warrior provides vital training. “The Squadron has been conducting essential offensive and defensive missions with

the new fifth generation F-35 Lightning aircraft and our Royal Navy colleagues’ latest Type 45 Destroyers. “This level of training is vital to maintain our ability to face our adversaries, whomever and wherever they may be in the world.” He said aircrews were also honing their Quick Reaction Alert skills in preparation for the squadron’s forthcoming deployment to Estonia on Nato Baltic Air Policing duties later this year followed by a deployment to Iceland.

Royal Air Force News Friday, April 19, 2019 P11

g strikes nations TRAINING MISSION: F-35, top, Typhoon, inset, and Rivet Joint, inset below

AN ESTIMATED 10,000 troops from 13 nations, including 800 RAF airmen and women, are taking part in the multinational joint training mission which takes place in the UK every six months. This year the Air Force is contributing to the 59 aircraft which will operate alongside 35 warships and five submarines from Allied nations. Air units will coordinate with maritime and land forces, exercising Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR), air defence, air mobility and attack. Among the scenarios being played out by the F-35s and

Typhoons is a simulated recovery of a downed pilot under the control of an E-3 AWACS surveillance aircraft supported by Voyager air-to-air refuelling tankers. Typhoons from 1(F) Sqn and 6 Sqn are operating alongside UK F-35s carrying out a range of surface-to-air and air-to-surface combat missions over land and sea. A spokesman added: “We are conducting joint operations against a range of current and future threats. This has involved a range of air, surface, sub-surface, sea control and maritime security roles.” Jets will operate from RAF

Lossiemouth, Prestwick and Stornoway airports as well as from Leeming, Coningsby, Mildenhall, Marham and Brize Norton. Ground forces will focus on working with close air support at the RAF bombing range at Tain, supported by the Spadeadam Electronic Warfare Training Range in Cumbria. The RAF’s Rivet Joint surveillance and intelligence gathering aircraft operated by 51 Sqn is providing communications links across the

battlespace during the two-week exercise. MAcr Ash said: “Joint exercises like this are critical for UK platforms to provide i n t e r o p e r a b i l i t y, share knowledge and develop cutting edge tactical procedures.” The exercise has also delivered a chance for RAF crews to work alongside a US Navy-operated Poseidon P8 ahead of the maritime patrol aircraft’s delivery to the UK in 2020. Joint Warrior is closely aligned to

Nato training aims and forms a crucial part of the Alliance’s exercise programme. Among the nations taking part in Nato’s biannual big-ticket training drill are Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, the UK and the US. Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “Led by the UK, Joint Warrior allows key Nato allies to tackle complex warfare scenarios to ensure that the international community stands fit and ready to work to face any threat together.”

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Royal Air Force News Friday, April 19, 2019 P13


Wycombe welcome for new station chief Harris Rhiannon Morris

CIVIC LEADERS joined personnel at RAF High Wycombe as Gp Capt Shaun Harris was formally handed command of the Bucks station. Air Force combat chief Air Marshal Stuart Atha and the mayors of Wycombe and nearby Princes Risborough welcomed the new Station Commander during a ceremony. Gp Capt Harris takes over from outgoing station chief Gp Capt Rob Woods who has held the post for the last two years. Speaking during the handover Gp Capt Harris said: “It’s a genuine privilege to take over command of a station that has a very proud history and which continues to play an important

News bulletin

Cops hit crime prevention beat

CRACKDOWN: RAF police officers

AIR FORCE police officers have become the first in UK defence to take part in a programme to reduce crime on military bases. A group of 18 RAF police officers at Honington completed the Crime Prevention Academy qualification designed to improve on-site security.

WELL VETTED: 616 Sqn reforms

Vets spy fleet role A SQUADRON made up exclusively of former Forces regulars has been revived to boost the UK’s airborne surveillance capability. The reformed 616 (South Yorkshire) Sqn, which took part in the Battle of Britain and the D-Day landings, will provide specialist support to the RAF’s ISTAR fleet at Waddington.

role in UK defence. “Our people have extremely close ties with the local community. “I am excited about working together to build more mutually beneficial relationships over the next couple of years”.

Super-Rookie nets flying debut double Student clocks up two maiden training sorties in new aircraft Staff Reporter

TRAINEE PILOT Jake Weeks got his military career off to a flying start – making the first training sorties in two of the RAF’s brand new fleet of training aircraft. He was the first to get into the cockpit of the Prefect basic trainer at Cranwell last year – and has just become the first student to fly a training sortie in the advanced twoengined Phenom. Fg Off Weeks, pictured, said: “I feel incredibly lucky and grateful to be on the first instructional sortie for the Phenom less than a year since the first instructional sortie for the Prefect. “I feel very pleased with how things have worked for me. The Phenom is a fantastic aircraft and I am looking forward to the rest of my training with 45 Sqn.” The Grob Prefect and the Phenom are part of a new generation of training aircraft delivered to help the RAF to speed up the time it takes to train pilots for the frontline Other new arrivals include a new Texan fast jet trainer to replace the ageing Tucano and new Juno and Jupiter helicopters under the £1 billion UK Military Flying Training System programme.

BRAND NEW: The Phenom, inset, the Grob Prefect

The new trainers feature digital cockpits like those in the RAF’s Typhoon and F-35 Lightning stealth fighter and could help slash the time taken to train pilots from five to three-and-a-half years. Sqn Ldr Ian Birchall, who was the aircraft captain for the sortie, said: “It was a great honour to take Jake flying on his first sortie. “It’s an exciting time in flying training right now and it has been

a great experience helping to bring a new aircraft into service and then fly the first student sortie. “The Phenom is by far the most capable advanced multi-engine trainer the RAF has ever had, and it’s a lovely aircraft to fly.”

Royal Air Force News Friday, April 19, 2019 P15

News News bulletin

Forces charities in the firing line MILITARY CHARITIES are closing down faster than at anytime over the last decade, according to researchers. A probe by the Directory of Social Change predicts that one in 10 good causes supporting Forces families could fail by 2020. The survey reveals that nationally the Forces charity sector shrank by just under five per cent in the six months between January and July last year. In Scotland twice as many groups are closing down than are opening and the number of association branches across the UK has slumped by 25 per cent since 2012. Forces in Mind charity chief Air Vice-Marshal Ray Lock said: “There is a common myth that there are too many Armed Forces charities. This report shows that this is untrue.”

Gibraltar cops are Rock solid

A TEAM of police officers from Gibraltar scooped an RAF air safety award for tackling a traffic accident which threatened to close the island’s only runway. Members of the Police Red Section were presented with the award by RAF Gibraltar station chief Wg Cdr John Kane.

Triple Typhoon scramble counters Putin bombers

Simon Mander RAF FIGHTER jets were scrambled to monitor two Russian bombers for the third time in eight days amid indicating rising tensions between Nato and Vladimir Putin’s government. Typhoons from RAF Lossiemouth and a Brize Nortonbased Voyager air-to-air refuelling tanker were sent to intercept the Tupolev Tu-160 aircraft, nicknamed ‘Blackjacks,’ flying in international airspace off the northeast coast of Britain. The British fighters monitored the visitors, which did not enter UK territorial airspace, but left heading north. The incident occurred just

JARTS star Clem takes a bow at Boscombe Staff Reporter

AIRCRAFT RECOVERY expert WO Clem Cleminson bowed out of the RAF this month, after 38 years service. He was given a longestablished bowler hat sendoff by colleagues at Boscombe Down – home to the Air Force Joint Aircraft Recovery and Transportation Squadron (JARTS) where he has spent the last 10 years, leading salvage operations all over the world. He donned the traditional bowler hat and brolly for his entry to Civvy Street and was towed to the station gates on board an old military chopper used to train JARTS engineers.

BROLLY GOOD FELLOW: WO Cleminson (left), with Chief of Staff Wg Cdr Vin Thomas, inset right, leaving station with his wife Heather

hours before Foreign Ministers gathered in Washington to mark 70 years since Nato was founded. At the summit, the Alliance’s new Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told the US Congress that the alliance would need to deal with a ‘more assertive’ Russia. It was the third time in eight days that RAF Quick Reaction Alert pilots responded to Russian bombers Typhoons intercepted two long-range bombers of the same type over the North Sea at the end of March and escorted them from the UK’s area of interest. And two days earlier jets were scrambled but not required to intercept other Russian aircraft. A US B52 flying out of Fairford was

NATO MISSION: Voyager tanker deployed to support two Typhoons tracking Blackjacks

also monitored by Russians last month in a move believed to have been a response to RAF missions. After the latest incident, the Ministry of Defence said: “The RAF routinely identify, intercept

and escort Russian aircraft that transit international airspace within proximity to the UK’s area of interest and continue to be on call every day.” At the Washington summit, Ministers agreed new measures to beef up security in the Black Sea region and strengthen support for Georgia and Ukraine. They also discussed Russia’s ongoing violation of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty but drew back from deploying ground-launched nuclear missiles in Europe. The Secretary General welcomed fairer burden-sharing in the Alliance including four consecutive years of rising investment which he said will see European Allies and Canada adding $100 billion dollars to their defence spending by the end of next year.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Royal Air Force News Friday, April 19, 2019 P17


Tears and triumph at military awards

TRIBUTE: Sponsor Steve Utley, RBL winner Susan Coleman and defence minister Tobias Ellwood

Staff Reporter A GRIEF-STRICKEN 11-year-old who launched a fundraising crusade to help Forces veterans fight depression following the suicide of his own father brought high emotion to the Soldiering On awards. Air Vice-Marshal Chris Elliot and RAF veteran John Nichol presented Jamie Small with a Family Values Award after his campaign to help spare other Forces kids from the heartbreak of losing a parent to mental illness touched the hearts of judges. Mum Mandy said “There are no words to describe how proud I am of Jamie right now and how much I love him. To be able to channel his grief at such a young age into helping others was inspirational and to receive such recognition from the people he wants to help is something that he’ll remember forever”. He was joined at the Westminster ceremony by Air Force, Navy and Army veterans honoured for overcoming adversity to achieve their goals on civvy street and a host of military chiefs. The Inspiration Award was shared by ex-Army double amputees Luke Sinnott and Nathan Cumberland who both suffered horrific injuries following separate bomb blasts while serving in Afghanistan. Former airman James Wilthew received recognition for providing an economic lifeline for communities in Afghanistan by setting up his business retailing their traditionally made rugs and crafts from his business, the Afghan Rug Shop in Yorkshire. The Forces in Mind Trust – Working Together Award was won by Unforgotten Forces, run by Poppy Scotland which supports elderly veterans in Scotland.

PERFORMANCE: Singer Carly Paoli steps centre stage at glitzy event

NOMINEE: James Wilthew and wife enjoy the show

OVERWHELMED: Above left, Winner Jamie Small with AVM Elliot, and centre after receiving his award

bert (right) and Ren Kap

JUDGES: Wg Cdr Tal Lam


Royal Air Force News Friday, April 19, 2019 P18

Royal Air Force News Friday, April 19, 2019 P19

Feature Airpower

PROTECTOR GOES GLOBAL RAF’s new remotely-piloted aircraft will be capable of flying anywhere in the world


ROUNDBREAKING work to give the RAF’S new remotely-piloted air system global reach is being conducted in a remote part of Arizona. Air Force personnel are cooperating closely with their US counterparts and manufacturer General Atomics to enable the Protector to fly anywhere in the world. And they are equipping the aircraft with British Paveway IV and Brimstone 3 missiles, advanced sensors and intelligencegathering capabilities. Protector pilot Sqn Ldr Ben Laidlaw said: “Protector is a step change from Reaper as it will bring the ability for us to be integrated into the national airspace system within both the UK and Europe. “We’re certifying the whole aircraft so a Military Aviation Authority certificate can be issued allowing flight in UK airspace.” The Combined Test Team are testing two prototypes to enable Protector to take off and land automatically and become the

first aircraft of its type to be able to taxi over a satellite link. Sqn Ldr Laidlaw said: “The first aircraft was the baseline shape of the Protector. The second aircraft brings some newer elements which the RAF Protector will have, mainly an anti-icing system and lightning protection. “The test programme is going very well, and we will have four test aircraft before the first UK production Protector.”


arlier this year the aircraft achieved a

major landmark by undergoing its first full flight using a new bespoke Certifiable Ground Control Station. The technology enables a three-person crew of pilot, sensor operator and mission intelligence coordinator to operate Protector from the ground using touch screens even though the aircraft itself may be thousands of miles away, being controlled via a satellite link. Sqn Ldr Laidlaw said: “We’ve had to take the old cockpit and change it completely, so we can certify it to civil aviation standards. The new cockpit will allow the aircraft to integrate in civilian airspace along with all sorts of manned aircraft.” The team will also play a key role in the integration of detectand-avoid technology to enable

Protector to fly in much of the civilianclass airspace around the world. Combined Test Team chief Wg Cdr Iain Hutchinson (left) said: “We’re working together to generate evidence to show that the Protector aircraft provides the capabilities the RAF requires and, more importantly, is safe to operate in all the environments in which we want to use it. “It’s quite early days in the test programme but the benefit of the RAF being involved at this early stage is we have influence over the design and development of the aircraft and the systems that support it.” With longer endurance, better load carrying capability for weapons and improved sensors, Protector is regarded as a significant leap in capability from Reaper. Training of frontline RAF crews will begin in the early 2020s in the USA initially, in advance of the type’s entry into Service at RAF Waddington with 31 Squadron.

PILOT: Sqn Ldr Ben Laidlaw

We’ve had to take the old cockpit and change it completely so we can certify it to civil aviation standards. This will allow us to integrate in civilian airspace along with all sorts of manned aircraft

Sqn Ldr Laidlaw THREE-STAR: Air Mshl Sue Gray

Regulars Announcements l p 6-7



Win comedy hits on Blu-ray l p3

Animal magic - The Durrells l p4-5




Royal Air Force News Friday, April 19, 2019 R'n'R 3

R'n'R Film

Mid90s Certificate 12A

Playlist Top 10

SQN LDR Mike Ling is the Red Arrows’ longest-serving pilot. Just retired, he said these songs ignite very happy memories of certain stages of his 21-year RAF career. (See story on p9 of the main paper.)

Jonah’s debut keeps it real


TEVIE (Sunny Suljic) is a 13-year-old boy in need of a role model, with no friends, an absent father and a viciously unpleasant older brother. Attracted to the antics of some older kids running the local skate shop, he sees his opportunity and swaps the Ren & Stimpy poster on his wall for skate brand stickers and two-page spreads from Big Brother magazine. Trading Super Nintendo cartridges for an 80s fishboard, that has by now fallen well out of style, he throws himself around on it until he has enough courage to spend more time at the shop. When runt of the group Ruben passes his water-fetching duties off onto Stevie he can hardly hide his idiot grin: he has found his place. Ruben (Gio Galicia), the boy closest to Stevie’s age, becomes a reluctant mentor teaching the etiquette that he has learnt himself, like not saying thank you or sorry because people will think you’re gay. But Stevie earns respect from the others through his ability to

Crows 1 Counting Mr Jones

Killers 4 The Human Frequencies 5 Lost Are You With Me? 6 Oasis Wonderwall of Leon 7 Kings Sex On Fire Chemical Romance 8 My Welcome to the Black Parade 9 AC/DC Thunderstruck Patrol 10 Snow Chasing Cars

take a slam, perhaps the byproduct of beatings from his brother Ian (a convincing change of form for Lucas Hedges, Manchester By The Sea). Soon Stevie is given a nickname and taken under the wing of the cool kids Ray (Na-Kel Smith) and F*ckshit (Olan Prenatt), two decent skateboarders, though one is set on turning it into a career and the other as a means of escaping life. This coming of age story feels familiar, especially with Skate

Kitchen so fresh in recent memory. But where that had 90s affectations, this film is period; matching square formatted 16mm grain to punchy soundtracking of Wu Tang Clan, Pharcyde and a little Nirvana. Where Skate Kitchen felt like it was suddenly trying too hard to push a ‘storyline’, Mid90s could be accused of not trying hard enough as there isn't much story at all. Instead it remains casually observational, and just like its characters, has nothing much to

say. But that’s okay. Jonah Hill (The Wolf of Wall Street), making his writing and directing debut, manages to get unbelievably real performances from a perfect cast and fits in some nice stylistic flourishes in a film that is bold in its simplicity. Review by Sam Cooney R'n'R Rating: (3 out of 5)

Book review

UK Box Office Top 10

Arnhem by William F Buckingham

Punk 2 Daft Get Lucky 3 Nickelback Rockstar

COOL KIDS: Sunny Suljic, inset, left, stars as Stevie in Mid90s, Jonah Hill's writing and directorial debut

Amberley Publishing

Absorbing account of famous op T

HIS YEAR marks the 75th anniversary of Operation Market Garden, more popularly recognised as ‘A Bridge Too Far’. Just ahead of the anniversary, William F Buckingham has written Arnhem – the Complete Story of Operation Market Garden 17-25 September 1944. This isn’t Buckingham’s first contribution to this event, having previously written a critical insight in Arnhem 1944. For this recent account, Buckingham furthers the analysis but now merges this alongside a very comprehensive narrative that covers the entire Operation. Most authors have tended to focus on the British and Polish action around Arnhem, Oosterbeek and Driel, so this is a very positive contribution, given the time devoted in the book to the US airborne divisions and British ground forces. The author follows up those themes he previously identified,

with criticism directed at General Browning, the delay of XXX Corps and errors in the planning.

In particular, there is considerable ire directed at Lt Gen Sir Frederick ‘Boy’ Browning (husband of the famous novelist Daphne du Maurier). Much of the criticism is supported with some evidence, although sometimes, the author has a tendency to speculate and leap to conclusions. By way of criticism, this version from Amberley Publishing (rrp £30) is unfortunately off-putting. The font size is too small for easy reading and readers may prefer electronic versions of the book. In addition, there are some curious omissions – such as the impact of the loss of Colonel Barlow on 1st Airborne’s attempts to reach Arnhem bridge. Nevertheless, this is an absorbing account, with plenty of theories for readers to consider. Review by Wg Cdr J M Nichols


Dumbo (pictured below)

2 Captain Marvel 3 Us 4 Fisherman’s Friends 5 What Men Want 6

Fighting With My Family


Die Walkure – Met Opera

8 Lucifer 9 The White Crow 10

The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part


Royal Air Force News Friday, April 19, 2019 R'n'R 4


Royal Air Force News Friday, April 19, 2019 R'n'R 5

Edited by Tracey Allen

Competition Blue-rays


Fabulous Films Ltd/Fremantle Media Enterprises

So Wong, that it’s right


ATRICK SWAYZE, Wesley Snipes and John Leguizamo appear as you’ve never seen them before in the comedy To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything! Julie Newmar, just out on Blu-ray. They star in the Steven Spielbergproduced film as Noxeema, Vida and Chi-Chi en route from New York to Hollywood for a drag queen beauty pageant. The movie also features real drag queens Ru Paul, Lady Bunny, Candis Cayne, Coco Peru, Hedda Lettuce, Kelly ‘Deep Fat’ Fryer and Lady Catiria. Travelling across America to the pageant, the trio are forced to make an unwelcome detour. Stranded in the tiny Midwest town of Snydersville, they make the best of an unfortunate situation. Their glitz and glamour shake up the sleepy locals and the stage is set for an outrageously funny weekend of flamboyant fun. Julie Newmar makes only a cameo appearance in the film. She was Catwoman in the television series Batman (1966-1967). The movie’s title came from an autographed picture of Newmar writer Douglas Carter Beane saw on the wall of a Times Square Chinese restaurant called The China Bowl, in the mid 1980s. Wong Foo was the head bartender at the restaurant.


lso released on Blu-ray for the first time is Robin Hood: Men In Tights – a comedy that wipes away the dignity of England’s most infamous stocking-filler, as Robin of Loxley and his merry men bring a dose of mayhem to Sherwood Forest. Robin (Cary Elwes) and his crew battle to bring down the evil Prince John (Richard Lewis) and his hideous sidekick the Sheriff of Rottingham (Roger Rees), to procure the key to Maid Marian’s (Amy Yasbeck) heart. The film features appearances from veteran comedy actor Mel Brookes, who also co-wrote the screenplay, music legend Isaac Hayes, Tracey Ullman and Patrick Stewart. We have three copies of each of these titles, from Fabulous Films Ltd/Fremantle Media Enterprises, up for grabs. To be in with a chance of winning both films on Blu-ray, answer this question correctly: In which 1960s TV series did Julie Newmar star? Email your answer, marked Comedy Films Blu-ray Competition, to: competitions@ or post it to: RAF News, Room 68, Lancaster Building, HQ Air Command, High Wycombe, HP14 4UE, to arrive by May 3.

Drop in on homegirl Joy


OUR-TIME Grammy awardwinner Joy Williams releases her highly-anticipated second solo album, Front Porch, on May 3. The single, also called Front Porch, was released last month and the track has had more than two million streams on Spotify. Williams, half of duo The Civil Wars from 2009-14, said: “When I think of a front porch, I think of welcoming and being welcomed – shoes off, no pretence, no rush, nothing to prove. “I wanted to write a universal song that spoke of returning… to what is real, what is now, what is true, what is loving, deep within… and wherever you call home.” Front Porch alludes to the premid-century American house, where friends and neighbours might interrupt an evening stroll to sit down and catch up on local news. The new album has been described as ‘warm, conversational,

WILLIAMS: Holds a torch for a nice porch

intimate, simultaneously sheltered and open, and deeply dusk-andwine-infused.’ She explained: “I really wanted this album to feel like an easy, open invitation to come and hang out… I want it to sound as real and up close as we can get it without my being too much in your face.” n Go to: for more details.

The Big Interview

Coming to the end

The Durrells


Competition 303 Squadron Dazzler Media

The gentle, Corfu-based, smash-hit drama returns for its final series The heroism

Sunny delight

that put 303 Squadron in Pole position T

HE CRITICALLY-acclaimed film 303 Squadron, an incredible true story of courage during World War II, is released by Dazzler Media on Blu-ray, DVD and digital download from April 29 – and we have a copy on DVD to win. The film tells the story of how the Polish pilots of 303 Squadron, forgotten legends of World War II, turned the tide during one of the most seminal battles of the war and helped pave the road to victory. Overcoming odds at every turn, these heroes performed extreme airborne manoeuvres to hit enemy targets, becoming the highestscoring Hurricane squadron during the Battle of Britain. No one flew quite like them and their extraordinary skills and courage are revered to this day. Showcasing exhilarating aerial action and uncovering one of the lesser known stories of


ANS OF The Durrells are did, after all, swim naked, and delighted the much-loved their friends were mostly louche, drama is back – but sad to loud, different, often drunk, and learn that the fourth series somewhat bonkers. is also the last. “In episode 4 the Durrells Based on conservationist and work hard to win back the trust of author Gerald Durrell’s trilogy the fundamentally conservative of books about his family’s time Greeks.” in Corfu during the 1930s, the final series was written by Simon eeley Hawes said: “I’m so Nye (Men Behaving Badly, Reggie pleased we were able to tell Perrin) and sees the return of the story and take it through to Keeley Hawes as matriarch Louisa its natural end just before most with Milo Parker as young Gerry, of them left Corfu. It feels like the Alexis Georgoulis as the charming right thing to have done, not only Spiro and Miles Jupp as hapless selfishly for us but also because cousin Basil. it’s such a brilliant story for the Since its launch in 2016 the viewers. It’s a very satisfying end. ITV show has proved extremely “Of course, it didn’t end for popular, but, explained Nye, now the Durrells there. Their lives was the correct time for it to end. became even more interesting, He said: “I’ve loved writing the their adventures went up a gear. show so all my instincts would But for this part of their story it normally be to try to keep it going, feels like we’ve done them proud. but it is the right time to stop. The It’s a lovely ending. family were in Corfu for four years, “We’ve reached the spring of from March 1935 to June 1939, so 1939 and the storm clouds have who are we to outlive them? gathered around them. The war is “The show remains, I hope, on the horizon. They sunny and joyful but the threat of have to accept war that hangs over this series that and move makes everything feel more on. But it’s poignant and urgent. still the “Louisa is largely in denial, sunny as a jumpy mother, an optimist, Durrells and because she knows that that we conflict will mean they have to love.” go home. And there’s a lot of S h e unfinished business. added: “The “The love between Louisa n e w and Spiro lurches and grows throughout the series, and we finally meet his wife, Dimitra. I had been feeling anxious about how much screen time their will-they-won’tthey romance was taking up because I thought I’d made it up. But it seems, from interviews for the documentary about the real-life Durrells which follows the last episode, that there really was a romantic frisson between the two of them.” He added: “Also factually based was the animosity felt by some traditional Corfiots towards the Durrells for their perceived decadence. MATRIARCH: Louisa (Keeley Hawes) Larry and his girlfriends


BEST OF THE BEST: 303 pilots, including Josef Frantisek (left)

WWII, 303 Squadron is based on the famous 1942 book by Arkady Fiedler. Maciej Cymorek p l a y s legendary fighter ace Josef Frantisek. For your chance to own a copy


GERRY: Animal fanatic is growing up fast PHOTOS: © ITV/SID

Don't Forget The Driver


of the movie on DVD, simply answer this question correctly: Who wrote the book on which the film 303 Squadron is based? Email your answer, marked 303 Squadron DVD competition, to: or post it to: RAF News, Room 68, Lancaster Building, HQ Air Command, High Wycombe, HP14 4UE, to arrive by May 3.

New comedy


Poor Peter is driven to distraction


BABY LOVE: Callum Woodhouse stars as Leslie,with Elli Tringou as Daphne

opening titles are, yet again, a work of art, with a spot of nudeness. Who’d have thought it? They provide a really lovely start to each episode. So pretty.” Louisa is now running the Durrells’ home as a high-grade guest house. Hawes explained: “It has a new ‘penthouse’ floor, which came off the back of Larry writing an article and encouraging people to come to Corfu, slightly under false pretenses. But Louisa decides to make the most of that and tries to turn it into another of her money spinners. “She is actually very good at it. She was

MILES JUPP: Plays hapless cousin Basil

a brilliant cook and obviously loved surrounding herself with people. “It also gives us a lovely opportunity to bring other characters in that may only have been one line in the book. “Simon Nye has used his artistic license and imagination to bring in some fabulous characters along the way.”


ver the course of four series, Hawes has seen the younger cast members grow up. She said: “Gerry gets long trousers later in the series. Louisa is not ready

for that. I recognise that as a parent myself. It’s just awful how fast they grow up. “There’s a sense this series of the children all coming back to where they should be, to where they belong, which is what happens in life. “Your children go off because they have to and you need them to. But also, wherever Louisa is, that’s their home, even thought it might not be in Corfu. It’s wherever she is.” n The Durrells continues on ITV at 8pm on Sundays.

HE NEW BBC Two dark comedy Don’t Forget The Driver not only stars Toby Jones (Detectorists), it’s also his first piece of writing for television. Co-written with Tim Crouch, the six-part series is set in Bognor Regis and, says the BBC, ‘observes the beauty and ugliness of life in small-town Britain, following a group of people struggling with their sense of identity and place in the world.’ Jones plays coach driver Peter Green, a single parent who is estranged from the mother of his daughter. He said: “Peter takes his job very seriously. He has to be responsible about timings. He has to worry about the safety of strangers. He has to take care in life. These responsibilities weigh quite heavily on him. “During the course of the series’ six episodes, other responsibilities begin to appear to him – not least his mother, who is ailing; his daughter Kayla, whose situation is becoming more complicated; and by a strange visitor who appears to him at the end of episode one.” Jones and Crouch met at the

STRESSED: Peter Green (Toby Jones).


National Theatre 20 years ago, Jones explained: “We got on very well and talked a lot about the challenges of writing and performing your own work. We then left it for two decades – but he got in touch to say he’d had an idea for something. “Tim grew up in Bognor and mentioned it had a webcam on its beach. He said he sometimes communicates with his brother, who lives in Sweden and is homesick for the town. He’ll go down to the beach and speak to him on his mobile while waving at him. His brother watches him live on the webcam.

“I found this idea strange and slightly unsettling, but also quite touching. So we sat down to see if we could write something together, and the story emerged really quickly, around webcams and coach drivers.” The versatile Jones has played a whole range of characters – from house elf Dobby in the Harry Potter films to American writer Truman Capote. To prepare for his role as Peter he had coach driving lessons and even took his test a few times. He said: “You think it’s just an everyday job, but there’s this central idea that you have to be responsible for the safety of strangers – and often misbehaving strangers, or strangers who don’t even acknowledge your existence. “However serious or farcical the situation Peter gets into, he has to show up for work and he cannot be late. And like a lot of people in the world of work, he’s under pressure – he can’t lose his job. He has responsibilities. “It requires a certain level of patience and they train you in this. That’s a big part of playing Peter.” n Don’t Forget The Driver is on BBC Two at 10pm on Tuesdays.

Royal Air Force News Friday, April 19, 2019 R'n'R 6

R'n'R Your Announcements

You can email photos for announcements on this page to:


website: www.rafadappassn. org

SULLIVAN John WO Air Traffic Control, Ret'd. Passed away April 2 in Doncaster. He will be greatly missed.

MY name is Keith Degnan Service No: A8084906 based at 5 Sqn, Lightnings, RAF Binbrook. I am trying to find ex-colleague Cpl John Kitchen from the same Sqn. John and I were propulsion fitters who worked and went out together. While at Binbrook John lived with his parents in Brigg Scunthorp. The period at Binbrook was between 1969-76. John left the RAF around 1976, we carried on being good friends until we drifted apart. 5 Sqn have an annual reunion and it would be good if we could grow the number of personnel that attend. 5 Sqn also has a Facebook page where personnel keep in touch. Does anyone knows John's whereabouts? He moved to Lincoln after his RAF service and time spent in Saudi Arabia. Please contact: Keith Degnan, Apartment 4, Lido Grange, Sandy Lane, Prestatyn, LL19 7AX; call: 01745 887275; email: keith.degnan601@


In Memoriam CLEARY Steve Junior Technician April 29, 2000. Still missed beyond words by Mum, Dad and Neil.

Seeking SEEKING all Administrative apprentices who trained at RAF St Athan, Bircham Newton, Halton, Ruislip or Hereford. For details of your association please visit the

I am trying to find a photo of my father, FS Edgar Mann,

as due to a fire none exist. He enlisted in July 1935 and served at stations including RAF Leighton Buzzard, Henlow, Gutlersloh and Northolt. He left the Service in July 1958. My Dad had a great tenor voice and I remember him going to Mess dos at Henlow where he would sing. My brother has dementia and I think that photos of Dad would be a great help to his long-term memory. Email Irene Moir:

Reunions THE 2019 Reunion and AGM of the Coastal Command and Maritime Air Association is taking place at the Cheltenham Chase Hotel, Gloucester over the weekend of April 26-28 with the Reunion dinner being held during the evening of Saturday, April 27. For further details please contact Bob Hall (Functions Member), email: functions@ RAF Changi Association (inc. HQFEAF). The 23rd Annual Reunion and AGM will be on May 10-13 at the

How to use our service There is no charge for conventionally-worded birth, engagement, marriage, anniversary, death, in memoriam seeking and reunion notices. For commercial small ads contact Edwin Rodrigues on: 07482 571535. Help us to avoid errors by typing your announcement or using block capitals. We cannot, under any circumstances, take announcements over the telephone. They can be sent by post to: RAF News, Room 68, Lancaster Building, HQ Air Command, RAF High Wycombe, Naphill, Buckinghamshire, HP14 4UE or by email to:

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

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

Novotel Hotel Nottingham NG10 4EP (off M1 Jnc. 25). Membership is open to all ranks ex RAF/WRAF/ WAAF and civilian personnel who served there during 1946-72 and we are always looking for new members. Please contact our Membership Secretary: Malcolm Flack on: 01494 728562 or email: or visit for more details. EX-BRATS 82nd Entry Reunion 2019. The ex-82nd Entry RAF Halton, annual reunion 2019, will be staged at Hotel Port Dinorwic, Y Felinheli, Gwynedd, LL56 4XA (01248 671122) on May 14-16. Details from: michael. or RAF Bawdsey Reunion Association. The annual reunion lunch will be held on Saturday, June 1 at Bawdsey Manor. Anyone who has served at RAF Bawdsey is invited to join our Association and attend the reunion. For details please email: doreen. bawdseyreunion@btinternet. com or call: 0751 3301 723. RAF Administrative Apprentices Association. Weekend of June 14-16, Northampton Marriott Hotel. For full details please contact: CSDE F4J(UK) Project reunion. Interested? contact Ted Stickley: 01271 377159. or: 07889 680041. COASTAL Command Officers' Reunion, RAF Club, October 12, 2019, October 10, 2020. Please contact Ray Curtis, call: 01264 735349 or email: CALLING all Clerks, Cooks and Suppliers from No 320 Admin Apprentice Entry RAF Hereford. January 2021 marks the 50th anniversary of our entry into the RAF and the start of our 12 months initial training. In celebration we are looking to organise a reunion of all members of No 320 Entry in January 2021. If interested in attending please forward your contact details to ex Apprentices: Chris Short e-mail: chrisj.short@; or call mobile: 07922 077864; landline 0115 9899366; Bob Williams email: user20robert@aol. com; or call mobile: 0776 8717420.

230 Sqn Assoc £6 gets you full membership of 230 Sqn Assoc and details

of annual reunions. Go to: for details.

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

Thanksgiving services A Thanksgiving Service in memory of Air Chief Marshal Sir Anthony Skingsley GBE KCB will be held at St Clement Danes Church, The Strand, at 2 p.m. on Thursday, May 30. It will be followed by a reception at the RAF Club, Piccadilly. The dress for the occasion for civilians and retired officers is: lounge suit. If you wish to attend the Service, ACM Skingley’s family ask that you inform them by email to siraskingsley.thanksgiving@ by April 30. THIRTIETH Anniversary Thanksgiving and Remembrance Service at the RAF And Allied Air Forces Monument, Plymouth Hoe on Saturday, June 29, starting at 9.10am. The service will be the opening event of the Armed Forces Day celebrations hosted by Plymouth City Council.

Memorial service THE Sibsey Lancaster Memorial Trust Annual Service is at the Memorial in the Field on Sunday, September 29 at 2.30pm. For more information call Stu Davidson on: 07704 777 756.

Remembrance weekend 419-420-428 Squadrons RCAF Remembrance Weekend June 14,15,16 at Durham Tees Valley Airport (formerly RAF Middleton St George). Further info from John Hardy, email: or Fred Jackson, call: 01740 622433.

Cosford Air Show Every year the RAF Cosford Air Show plays host to serving and ex-serving Armed Forces members in the Squadron Reunion Enclosure. The enclosure is

in the showground’s centre, where, hosted by Cosford personnel, guests can enjoy the best air display views. Tickets for the June 9 air show are still available for the Squadron Enclosure. For £50, guests will have a great base for their day out, say show organisers, in the enclosure which has its own dedicated garden, toilets and food and refreshments available to purchase. Guests will also receive a complimentary Air Show Souvenir Programme. Go to: to buy tickets. SHOW STAR: Typhoon

Berlin Blockade event REGISTRATION is now open for the Royal British Legion event at the Imperial War Museum Duxford on May 12 to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of the Berlin Blockade. The Berlin Blockade was one of the first major international crises of the Cold War. Interactive activities for youth groups including Scouts, Guides and Cadets start at 10am and there is a VR session which includes the Lancaster Bomber 360 experience of Berlin Blitz. The day will finish with a flypast poppy drop (to be confirmed, weather dependent) or a poppy drop in the IWM venue. Go to: rbl. to register.

The Memorial Mob THE provisional date for the 2020 memorial event to remember victims of the Sutton Wick Air Crash is March 8. Eight RAF Policemen and their dogs were killed when their 53 Squadron Blackburn Beverley with a 'slip crew' from 47 Squadron, crashed on March 5, 1957. Two local residents also died. Memorial Mob founder Iain Henderson said more members from 47 and 53 squadron and their Squadron Associations and anyone else interested are welcome to attend the memorial event to pay their respects. You can follow The Memorial Mob on Facebook and Twitter @Thememorialmob and go to: thememorialmob.

Royal Air Force News Friday, April 19, 2019 R'n'R 7

R'n'R Your Announcements

You can email photos for announcements on this page to: ON CAMERA: Pathfinder pilot Ernie Holmes DFC is filmed for Lancaster

WAAFs wanted LAST YEAR as part of the RAF100 celebrations, a documentary Spitfire, was released in cinemas across the country. Following its success, the producers have started filming for their next project about Bomber Command. The film Lancaster takes a close look at the key role played by all those who worked in Bomber Command during World War II as well as the aircraft

that helped to win the campaign. The producers are keen to speak to any veterans who had a role in Bomber Command during this time, particularly any WAAFs who were stationed with any of the Bomber Squadrons. Anthony Palmer from Tall Boy Films said: “Please do get in touch as we’d love to hear your story.” Q Contact Anthony via email at: ant@tallboyfilms. or call: 01962 676129.

Couple’s RAF romance

Chocs away at Cosford

A COUPLE WHO met while they were both serving in the RAF during World War II have celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary. John, known as Jack Thomas, now 94, first met his future wife Marion, while they were both working at a base at Malvern, near Worcester. Jack said: “I was in the canteen with my mate and Marion was with her friend; the attraction was there from the moment we met.” He worked on radar installations on aircraft while Marion was a draughtswoman in the engineering drawing office. He described his work with the RAF as ‘exciting’ and said he was privileged to have worked with some interesting scientists including Bernard Lovell, the lead scientist for the giant telescope at Jodrell Bank. Jack’s team were involved in inventing the first two magnetrons now used in freezers and microwaves.

A CHOCOLATE reward is waiting for every child who successfully manages to track down all the missing animals on the Animal Easter Trail at the RAF Museum, Cosford. There are 12 animals to find across four huge hangars packed full of aircraft on the museum site – the missing animals all share the name of items from its collection. You will also receive an ‘I’ve completed the trail’ sticker and you could be in with a chance of winning an eggs-clusive RAF Museum family eggs-perience – look out for the lucky roundel on your chocolate egg, say the organisers. Some of the prizes up for grabs include: a 4D Experience family pass, Cosford Air Show tickets, a £50 gift voucher for the RAF Museum shop, outdoor cinema tickets for the whole family and a top prize worth £300 for a family of up to six people to experience a VIP day out at the Museum. The search is on until April 28.

SPECIAL: Jack and Marion enjoy their anniversary. ß, on their wedding day

After the couple married in 1949, Jack left the RAF for a career in the motor industry until his retirement. They had three children and now have six grown-up grandchildren. Jack is currently a shortstay resident at Redwalls Nursing Home in Northwich and the couple celebrated

their platinum anniversary with a party and a special cake – and an anniversary card from The Queen. He added: “On three occasions we have celebrated landmark anniversaries by going back to Malvern with the whole family and revisiting the Methodist Church where we married.”

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Royal Air Force News Friday, April 19, 2019 R'n'R 8

R'n'R Prize Crossword No. 248

Solve the crossword, then rearrange the 14 letters in yellow squares to find an RAF activity.

Prize Su Doku

Solutions should be sent in a sealed envelope marked 'Prize Crossword' with the number in the top left-hand corner to RAF News, Room 68, Lancaster Building, HQ Air Command, High Wycombe, Bucks, HP14 4UE to arrive by May 3.

No. 257 Fill in all the squares in the grid so that each row, each column and each 3x3 square contains all the digits from 1 to 9.

Across 1. It still erupts in Tibet, naturally (4) 8. Place for kings, queens and knights (10) 9. Tree Cate climbed, among others (2,6) 10. Find out missing student will make money (4) 12. Savage fire swirling outside Cologne (6) 14. Ordinary technique used by Andrew or George, say (6) 15. Company graduate left outside, kind of blue (6) 17. Aircraft on guard? (6) 18. Emperor originally tried subjugating all Russia (4) 19. Mole almost feels spasm at sea (8) 21. After weighing Bill, we leave famous airfield, perhaps (6,4) 22. Oriental monster loses head (4) Down


2. Stop titles influenced by RAF personnel (4,6) 3. A revolutionary pain (4) 4. Critical English river goes from north to east (6) 5. Even Caesar’s alarm at these missiles (6) 6. Sub-hunter with trident? (8) 7. Two-thirds of Scandinavian country is paradise (4) 11. RAF personnel ready to step in (10) 13. Roger & Ada affected by steering problem (4,4) 16. Originally the bad weather affected public transport (6) 17. Is bear endangered in this country? (6) 18. An objection over brass (4) 20. Talented second son, by the sound of it (4)

Name.................................................................................................................... Address................................................................................................................ .............................................................................................................................. .............................................................................................................................. :......................................................................................... Crossword No. 248


The winner of Crossword No. 245 is Steve Clulas from RAF Brize Norton who wins a copy of The Polish 'Few' by Peter Sikora ( Solution to crossword No. 245: Across – 1. Swap 8. Above Board 9. Adorable 10. Colt 12. Au Pair 14. Rebuke 15. Snares 17. Canine 18. Slur 19. Unmanned 21. Put Forward 22. Echo. Down –2. Wind Tunnel 3. Pair 4. Bomber 5. Meteor 6. Log Cabin 7. Edit 11. Lakenheath 13. Aircraft 16. Scurry 17. Combat 8. Sips 20. Nude. RAF word – Frontline

Film review Styx

Released April 26 Certificate 12A

Rike goes to the rescue


TYX FOLLOWS German first responder Rike as she embarks on a solo sailing trip from Gibraltar to a remote island in the tropical mid-Atlantic, looking for an escape into a paradise of wild untouched nature. During the voyage however she makes a discovery that plunges her deep into a moral dilemma. The first half of the film is masterful, with an almost dialogue-free series of scenes that demonstrate Rike’s proficiency on her small yacht, the Asa Grey. A fleeting prologue already having revealed her competence treating someone under pressure, and then faced with navigating through a storm, she is shown to be extraordinarily capable. This film is sure to collect comparisons to All is Lost with Robert Redford, but where that was concerned solely about self and survival, Styx is able to tackle questions of morality that have a resonant sting. It is when Rike nears Cape Verde that she spots a large trawler ship that doesn't appear to be moving or communicating through its radio. It becomes clear that there are many people on this boat, refugees,

Address................................................................... ................................................................................. Solutions should be sent in a sealed ....................................................Su Doku No. 257 envelope marked 'Su Doku' with the Solution to Su Doku No: 256 number in the top left-hand corner to RAF News, to arrive by May 3. Su Doku No. 256 winner Chas Wallace from Wimborne, Dorset, wins a copy of RAF On The Offensive by Greg Baughen (frontline-books. com).

Canada on film

GOING SOLO: Suzanne Wolff stars as solitary sailor Rike in Styx

TROUBLED: Tanaya Beatty stars as Annie in Through Black Spruce

in desperate need of help. The film is very clever in the way that it aligns you with this one extremely competent and compassionate character, crystallising the heroic human instinct. This is played in contrast to the largely faceless authorities, the coastguard to whom Rike persistently leaves distress calls and demands attention. Suzanne Wolff plays a pivotal role as Rike with a raw authenticity, from her fighting instinct to her helplessness – evidently she is not superhuman.

On screen for the duration of the film, she anchors questions of morality, having to decide whether to follow seemingly immoral instruction or risk her own safety. Styx is a lean, stripped back thriller that relies on camerawork and performance over special effects, and yet it manages to craft an involving social commentary whilst looking and feeling completely realistic. Review by Sam Cooney R'n'R Rating: (4 out of 5)

TALES OF restless youth, indigenous stories of tragedy and healing, compelling personal dramas and documentaries about the search for social justice and freedom of speech are among the films featured in this year’s Canada Now festival – bringing the best of new Canadian cinema to the UK. Alongside eight UK premieres, Canada Now also includes a performance from Canadian filmmaker Daniel Cockburn of his surreal, autobiographical show How Not To Watch A Movie. Launching on April 24, nine films will play across five days at Curzon Soho and Phoenix East Finchley cinemas in London, followed by a national tour of UK cinemas.

The festival will show titles including Through Black Spruce, based on an award-winning novel that tells the story of a young Cree woman whose disappearance triggers events in two worlds: in Moosonee, the remote Northern Ontario community she fled years ago, and Toronto, where she modelled before vanishing. Her twin sister, at home hunting moose in the North but a fish out of water in the city, reluctantly heads south to retrace her sister’s steps. The two worlds collide when the fallout from the missing woman's troubled life comes to a violent head, back in Moosonee. n You can see the full Festival programme at: http://canadanow.

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Royal Air Force News Friday, April 19, 2019 P21


The hole truth Secrets of 11 Gp’s Battle of Britain bunker revealed in new tours

s ael Abbis

R: Dr R ach CUR ATO

KEITH PARK: 11 Group’s wartime boss

Tracey Allen RAF Uxbridge


INSTON CHURCHILL’S famous words paying tribute to ‘The Few’ were first spoken when the wartime Prime Minister came out of the Battle of Britain Bunker at RAF Uxbridge on August 16, 1940. Churchill had been observing the defence of the skies at the bunker, where WAAF plotters worked around the clock tracking the size and direction of incoming German raids. The underground bunker of No 11 Group’s operations room – known to the RAF personnel serving there as ‘the hole’ – was built in 1939, designed to withstand bomb and gas attacks so that work could continue uninterrupted. It was fully operational 10 days before war broke out and saw its first action six days after the outbreak of hostilities. Now the public can visit the original operations room in the bunker, which appears exactly as it did at the height of the Battle of Britain on September 15, 1940, at 11.30am. A new visitor centre tells the story of the bunker from its topsecret construction to all the crucial RAF Fighter Command operations throughout World War II, including the evacuation of Dunkirk, the Blitz and D-Day. Displays feature a 3D representation of the world’s first integrated air defence system, named after Fighter Command’s ACM Sir Hugh Dowding. He brought together Britain’s fighter aircraft, ground defences and cutting-edge technology to create a single, coordinated defence system. The bunker at Uxbridge was at its centre. The system gave Britain a crucial advantage over the Luftwaffe during the Battle of Britain.


he development of modern air systems can be traced to the lessons learnt during the

PLOTTERS: Working in the Battle of Britain Ops Room

Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few”

ON CALL: Telephonists on duty in the bunker PHOTO: AHB and above

development of the Dowding system and the work of the bunker. Dr Rachael Abbiss, the bunker’s military history curator, said: “The success of Britain’s air defence system and the work of the bunker during WWII owes much to the skill and creativity of individuals who served during WWI and the inter-war period. “The air defence system Dowding put into operation in 1939 represented decades of hard work, innovation and experimentation.” AVM Sir Keith Park took command of 11 Group in April 1940. Although not based at Uxbridge, Park was a frequent visitor to the bunker. Members of the Royal Family, including King, George VI, also visited and a

TRIBUTE: 11 Gp boss AVM Ian Duguid lays a wreath at the memorial

Royal Box was built in the bunker especially for the occasion. The visitor centre features a Polish Air Force Heritage Trail – RAF Uxbridge was the HQ of 11(F) Gp throughout WWII and during the war always included at least one Polish Air Force fighter squadron. The medal ribbons of fighter pilot Sqn Ldr Franciszek Kornicki, voted ‘The People’s Spitfire Pilot’ are also on display. 11 Group WAAFs were often extras in films produced at nearby Denham Studios and the museum’s collection includes a photograph signed by The First of The Few star Leslie Howard to WAAF Betty Kingston. There is also an area featuring Luftwaffe memorabilia that

includes a section from a Luftwaffe aircraft, a Luftwaffe NCO uniform and a propaganda poster from 1938-39.


n a recent visit to the museum and bunker, 11 Group head AVM Ian Duguid laid a wreath at the Battle of Britain memorial. He said: “Like the bunker utilised the intelligence that was gained from radar back in 1940, we will also use new technology to defend ourselves against new threats, across air, space and cyber.” He added: “The 11 Group badge depicts the clock tower of the Palace of Westminster surrounded by an astral crown. The tower indicates London, the heart of the Empire, whose safety the Group

Winston Churchill Battle of Britain Bunker RAF Uxbridge August 16, 1940

was charged with during the Second World War. “The hands are at 11 o’clock to represent the time of the Armistice of the First World War and the number of the Group. The Group motto is tutela cordis ‘defence of the heart’, this is where the Group firmly stands today, reaching across defence in supporting multi domain operations.” ■ Go to: battleofbritainbunker. for admission details. Entry to the visitor centre and bunker is free for holders of the Defence Privilege Card or military ID and under-18s, £7 for adults and £5 for over-65s. You must book to visit the bunker and it is unsuitable for those with mobility problems.

Royal Air Force News Friday, April 19, 2019 P23 ■ Please note letters must be a maximum of 300 words and any accompanying pictures sent as attached, hi-res JPEG files

Nothing has changed over medal awards

RE: ‘VETERANS have been let down about medals’ (RAF News 1463). Reading this letter and the previous one I’m sorry to say it brought a smile to my face and I said to myself, ‘what’s new?’ In the Far East in the aftermath of World War II the very same subject was often raised when they decided who should receive the Burma Star. I was one of a very big unit (14,000) who were responsible for the major servicing of both engines and airframes. Our output was 20 Liberators and up to 400 Dakotas a month. Our war effort did not qualify but a military policeman patrolling the ‘red light’ districts east of the line qualified. I believe it was similar when it came to the Africa Star – in transit for 48 hours you were entitled, so nothing has changed. Ray Moore (RAF 1942-1973) Wirral

Win bottle of spirits

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

RAFA needs to tread carefully IN LAWRENCE McGowan’s many of those who do not turn article and Alan Mudge’s up anticipate being pressurised or letter about RAFA (RAF News coerced into taking jobs. Getting Nos 1461 and 1462), both people to serve on committees advocate intervention for is notoriously difficult. those branches that are in How welcome, then, Star apparently terminal decline, letter would a RAFA official from but they did not give any Leicester HQ be who arrived examples of what actions they with a heavy-handed attitude would propose to modernise out- to ‘show the branch the error of its of-date branches or revitalise and way’ (A Mudge)? transform ‘old men’s drinking I do, however, agree with Alan clubs.’ Mudge that it does not help that Branches are autonomous with some branches are unwelcoming entirely voluntary committees. while others are in the grip of dieEvery month the emailed hard clinging to yesteryear. newsletter from S and SE Area HQ Many of today’s young people shows many advertised vacancies, are put off by formality. They from Wings Appeal organiser to could well join a branch-supported befrienders and welfare officers. community litter-pick or clear Both Mr McGowan and Mr overgrown vegetation to enable a Mudge mention poor attendances 90-year-old veteran to drive his at AGMs. I believe it is because mobility scooter to his front door,

but ask them to sit through a branch monthly meeting listening to committee reports and going down a boring agenda and it would be unsurprising if they were missing. The RAF had one million in uniform at the end of World War II – now it is down to 33,000 Regulars and 3,000 Volunteer Reservists. It is surely unarguable that RAFA must inevitably shrink year by year. The best that all branches can do is to look after their members – how many phone someone who has not been seen for a while? RAFA has very good PR and a proud and honourable history of comradeship, friendship and welfare to both serving and ex-RAF personnel. It deserves to be kept going for as long as possible. David Cobbold Wisbech, Cambs


France tribute to Stirling lost

TO CELEBRATE my son’s recent 50th birthday, we both cycled across France, from the Channel to the Mediterranean. We found ourselves on the Canal de Berry cycle path north of the small town of Montlucon, when we came across a memorial to an RAF crew of a Stirling bomber which was shot down whilst trying to bomb the nearby Dunlop factory. The plaque was in excellent order – clean and with a flower attached. Should anyone wish to discuss this, please feel free to contact me on: Alan Fisher (WO Retd) By Email

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

Chinook Display Team photo books to be won Win!

WHAT DOES it take to fly the RAF’s tandemrotor, heavy-lift helicopter – the mighty Chinook? Have you ever thought about the amount of work that goes into preparing for the annual airshow display season? Throughout 2018, Tom Mercer had unprecedented access to the RAF Chinook Force, based at RAF Odiham, and has produced a book that takes the reader behind the scenes of the Royal Air Force Chinook Display Team. Blade Slap (Amberley Publishing) describes the work that goes into the display work-up, the all-important Public Display Approval and key moments from across one of the team’s busiest ever airshow seasons. It also shows what daily life on an operational RAF squadron involves. This superb title provides a fascinating insider’s look at the award-winning display team and is illustrated with stunning original photography. We have three copies to win. For your chance to own one, just answer this question correctly: At which station is the RAF Chinook Display Team based?

CAUGHT RED-HANDED: Waving to the crowd at RIAT. Inset top, Mercer’s book, Blade Slap

Email your answer, marked Blade Slap book competition, to: or post it to: RAF News, Room 68, Lancaster Building, HQ Air Command, High Wycombe, HP14 4Ue, to arrive by April 24. Some of the proceeds from sales of the book (rrp £18.99) will be donated to the RAF100 appeal. Go to: for more.

Royal Air Force News Friday, April 19, 2019 P25


Teenage Air Gunner downed over France went on to win the DFC


OM MAXWELL, who has died aged 94, was still a teenager when his Lancaster was shot down over northern France. He baled out, and with the help of the French escape lines, he evaded capture and reached Spain after crossing the Pyrenees. Born in Belfast, Maxwell joined the RAF when he was 17 years old and trained as an air gunner before joining 622 Squadron at Mildenhall. He attacked Berlin and dropped mines around the Frisian Islands. On the night of March 15, 1944 his crew were tasked to bomb Stuttgart – it was their sixth operation and Maxwell was in the rear turret. After successfully dropping their bombs, the crew turned for home but very soon after the Lancaster was hit by flak and badly damaged. East of Rouen, a fire intensified and the crew baled out. Five were captured but three, including Maxwell, evaded and eventually returned to the UK. Maxwell landed in a field and for the next 10 days he was sheltered by a farmer and his wife before he was taken to Paris. Like all Bomber Command crews, he was carrying a set of ‘passport’ photographs and one was used to provide him with a forged identity card. He joined two American airmen and a young girl escorted them to

BOMBER COMMAND HERO: Tom Maxwell was invited to sign on at the RAF Wall of Gallantry at Cranwell last year. PHOTO: GORDON ELIAS

the railway station where they were joined by three more Americans and a courier. They travelled by train to Toulouse and on to Pau. Taken by bus and taxi to the foothills of the Pyrenees, he joined a larger group of British and American evaders and guides

took them over the snow-capped mountains into Spain where they were arrested by the Spanish police. After a week of house arrest, where he met two other members of his crew, they were picked up by the British consul and were eventually taken to Gibraltar. Maxwell was

flown back to the UK on May 22 Maxwell re-joined 622 Squadron and immediately tracked down the WAAF who had packed his parachute to thank her for saving his life. Over the next few months he completed another 26 operations

including one to Heinsberg, a town he visited many years later when he was serving at Wildenrath. He was commissioned and in December was awarded the DFC. During early May 1945 he flew on Operation Manna, the air drop of food to the starving Dutch population. At the end of the war he was serving in India before leaving to be a teacher. In 1952 he re-joined the RAF as an air traffic controller and served in Northern Ireland, Germany and in Libya. After three years at El Adem, he and his family drove across North Africa and into Spain and France before reaching Marham in a Volkswagen Beetle with a roof rack, an unprecedented road journey at the time. He retired from the RAF in 1978 before spending 10 years with the Sultan of Oman’s Air Force. After retiring, Maxwell worked tirelessly with supporters to get a Bomber Command campaign medal but he had to settle for a clasp to his 1939-45 Star. He was a strong supporter of the Bomber Command Association and the Mildenhall Register and attended the commemoration of the Bomber Command Memorial in Green Park. In 2016 he received the French Legion d’Honneur from the French Government in recognition of his service during the liberation of France.

Fighter pilot and Sultan of Oman’s Air Force commander


IR VICE-MARSHAL Les Phipps had a wide variety of appointments as a Cold War fighter pilot and during his service overseas he saw action in Oman and during the Indonesian Confrontation. He went on to work in the export aircraft industry. During his National Service he was selected for training as a pilot and in June 1951 he joined his first jet fighter squadron and flew the Meteor with 19 Squadron. He qualified as a pilot attack instructor and performed as a solo aerobatic display pilot. In 1956 he served in command of the RAF detachment at Aqaba in Jordan during the Suez crisis. He remained in the Middle East for three years, first flying Meteors in the fighter reconnaissance role with 208 Squadron based in Malta before joining 8 Squadron at Khormaksar in Aden where he flew Venoms in the fighter ground attack role. During a deployment to Sharjah in the Persian Gulf he saw action during the Battle of Jebel Akhdar

when the mountainous strongholds of the rebels supporting an uprising were attacked with bombs and rockets. On his return to the UK he converted to the Hunter before taking command of 19 Squadron when his leadership and efficiency was recognised by the award of the AFC. His above average assessment as a fighter pilot saw him posted to the Central Fighter Establishment where he developed tactics and trials with the Air Fighting Development Unit and the Day Fighter Combat School. After attending the Royal Naval Staff College at Greenwich, he widened his joint Services experience when he became wing commander operations at HQ 1 (British) Corps based in Germany. Always keen to fly, he did not allow this ground appointment to prevent him keeping in flying practice and, whenever possible, he flew Hunter fighter reconnaissance sorties with the squadrons based at nearby Gutersloh. In 1966 he headed for the Far East to command the RAF airfield at Labuan in Borneo during the


final phases of the Confrontation with Indonesia. A wide variety of aircraft and helicopters were detached to the base and he took every opportunity to fly them. His return to the UK saw him appointed to command 29 Squadron flying the Lightning from Wattisham in Suffolk where he formed the Lightning Display Team, which demonstrated the aircraft’s spectacular rate of climb. In 1970 he was promoted to Group Captain and served on the

staff at the RAF Staff College at Bracknell, an appointment which gave him the opportunity on most weekends to fly air cadets in Chipmunk aircraft at nearby White Waltham. By early 1973, Phipps had gained wide experience as a fighter pilot and operational service in the Middle East. His appointment as Commander of the Sultan of Oman’s Air Force (SOAF) saw him in action again. His aircraft and helicopters supported ground forces and the attack squadrons of Hunters and Strikemasters were often scrambled to support them. One of his British officers, and a veteran of SOAF operations, wrote: “The SOAF Commander, Gp Capt Les Phipps, frequently visited the squadron from his office in the north. He flew operational sorties in the Strikemaster and would put himself on standby during his visits.” After attending the Royal College of Defence Studies (RCDS) in 1975 he spent a year in Saudi Arabia in command of the UK MOD Team supporting the introduction of the Lightning into Royal Saudi Air

Force service. After two years in MOD as the Director of Air Defence and Overseas Operations, he was promoted in March 1980 to be the Director General of Personnel Management where he focused on the recruitment, training and retention of frontline aircrew. He encouraged his staff to conduct effective talent spotting and career development of young Servicemen and women. He was appointed CB. After two years as the RAF Director at the RCDS, he left the RAF to join British Aerospace, first as Deputy Director of the Saudi Project, supplying Tornado and Hawk aircraft to the Royal Saudi Air Force before he became Head of Training Systems, providing training programmes and support to countries acquiring British military aircraft. He retired a second time in 1991 and invested his considerable experience and talents in charitable work, which included being President of 459 (Windsor) Squadron Air Training Corps. He died on March 3 aged 88.

Royal Air Force News Friday, April 19, 2019 P26

Graduations PARADE: Thompson Intake 629

O’Neil bags a hat-trick

Three trophies for top recruit on No. 10 Flt

RECRUIT TRAINING Squadron at RAF Halton has graduated its latest intake. Thompson Intake 629 marched into the Burton Drill Facility behind Flight Commander, Flight Lieutenant Clarke, to the sound of The Central Band of the Royal Air Force, under direction from Bandmaster Warrant Officer Terrence Gardner. The Colour Bearer was Flying Officer Kyle Sugden, with Colour Warrant Officer Andrew Cashmore and escorts Sergeant Deacon and Sergeant Martin. The Reviewing Officer was Group Captain Jason Sutton, Commanding Officer of Northwood HQ. He presented trophies and awards to: FAMILY DAY: Congratulating new recruits PHOTOS: KATE RUTHERFORD n AC O’Neil, who scooped three trophies: The Rothschild Trophy for the highest overall standard in Initial Force n AC Dickie: The RAF Benevolent training on No. 9 Flight. Protection Training; The Dusty Miller Fund Trophy, for displaying the n Finally, The Lord Trenchard Memorial Trophy, as voted for by fellow greatest effort and determination on Trophy for the best Flight was recruits; and the Lord Lieutenant of No. 9 Flight. awarded to No. 10 Flight and Buckinghamshire Trophy, for the best n AC Crossley: The Station collected on their behalf by AC overall performance on No. 10 Flight. Commander’s Cup, for displaying Bullock. n AC Bullock: The Halton Apprentice the greatest effort and determination The parade was composed Trophy, for drill and deportment. on No. 10 Flight. of 92 males and 14 females, n SAC Greasley: The Halton n AC Buckley: The Mayor of with 362 family and friends Apprentice Shield, for determination and Aylesbury Trophy, for the best spectating noisily in the achievement in Physical Education. overall performance in all aspects of stands.

Royal Air Force News Friday, April 19, 2019 P27

Subaru XV

NO CHOICE: It’s automatic or nothing for the XV

TIM MORRIS Motoring Correspondent SUBARUS HAVE been known as Scoobys for many years now and it’s a nickname of which their owners have become very fond. This is the latest ‘Scooby Doo’, Subaru’s ‘small’ SUV, the XV. It’s actually a facelift but it’s being hailed as a brand new car due to an extensive makeover. If you happen to be a loyal Scooby enthusiast you will marvel at its increased length and width. You’ll also appreciate its new nose, wheel arches and upgraded interior. More importantly, despite the changes, it still has all the essential ingredients that make a Scooby a, er, Scooby. The symmetrical 60/40 all-wheel drive system and the classic flat-four engine remain, so it has a familiar feel. There’s also techy stuff going on that will interest the engineers amongst you. The XV now sits on a brand new platform and Subaru says this is what will underpin new models in the future. Possible variants include hybrids and EVs, so a lot of thought has gone into futureproofing this car. It has a more dynamic, safer underside that channels energy better in the event of a crash and results in the car feeling slightly sharper.

Subaru need to step up a gear..

Lineartronic auto box a letdown

MUD LOVER: Motor comes into its own off-road

The XV comes with a clever twin-camera ‘Eyesight’ system as standard. This looks for indications that the driver may not be fully alert and responds accordingly. Reactions range from warning bleeps to automatic braking and the latter can be quite sharp, as I discovered. When a motorist ahead changed lanes unexpectedly and almost caused a collision with the vehicle in front the car took over and stood itself on its nose. The computer had come to the conclusion that my pressure on the brake pedal was insufficient and took evasive action. As a result the van behind almost ploughed into the boot. The XV also sports adaptive cruise control, blind-spot assistance, keyless entry, LED headlamps (that follow the steering) and an 8in touchscreen infotainment system. The graphics could be sharper but it does what it says on the tin. On base models you don’t get sat nav as standard but the SE Premium and anything above will fix that. It will also give you leather and a decent-sized sunroof.

Pricing Henry Ford once famously said ‘you can have any colour you like, as long as it’s black’ and Subaru has a similar line with the XV. You can have any standard colour you want as long as it’s white, anything else will cost you £550 extra. The entry level model will set you back £24,995 but with options you’re looking nearer to £28,000. That might not sound like a big deal but when it’s your own money and you’re looking at the XV against its nearest rivals detail often becomes a biggy.

Handling Subaru has tinkered with the XV’s steering, which makes it a little more sophisticated than the previous car. It’s now surprisingly precise for a car with this sort of ground clearance and will hold a line through corners pretty well. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not outstandingly good fun to drive but in relative terms it is pleasantly agile on tarmac. Put it around a winding country road in the wet with a bit of enthusiasm and you soon appreciate that it’s far more precise than a big SUV and reassuringly sure-footed in comparison to most crossovers. Off-road, in a spooky wood, Scooby’s X-Drive system comes into play. This becomes invaluable when you push off the track and into the thick stuff (presumably to escape the Black Knight Ghost or something similar). It’s only available at low speed but it really is pretty effective (the X-Drive not the ghost). It’s essentially a package of electronic diff-locks that will keep you moving as long as at least one wheel has traction. It also has hill-descent control so it will easily get over terrain that would stop most pretend 4x4s in their tracks.


Subaru XV LACKS OOMPH: The XV is a sheep in wolf’s clothing

Transmission This car has many positive points but in my book it has one major Achilles heel, it’s only available as an automatic. That’s a problem because the marriage between the 1.6-litre boxer petrol engine and Lineartronic CVT box is only really effective for geriatric pottering. As soon as you ask the XV to get you out of a mess in a hurry it all goes south sharpish. Attempting to slot yourself into tight gaps in fast-moving, rush-hour traffic raises your blood pressure a bit because the lethargic response takes you by surprise. You slam your foot down expecting the same kind of punch that we’ve come to expect from Subaru but what you actually get is the kind of response you’d expect from an invalid scooter. There are obviously designers out there somewhere who think this is a good idea, but trust me on this, they are WRONG.

If you do everything with a feather-light right foot and wait for a BIG gap you’ll get by but any attempt to give it some welly simply makes the XV sound like it’s got a badlyslipping clutch. On open roads this makes you think twice before attempting to overtake anything, which really frustrates the heck out of me because I want to like this car. It has so many things going for it and is otherwise so well thought out that such an oversight is glaringly obvious.

Equipment Inside there’s plenty of space, with nicelystitched seats and a stylish dashboard. Japanese cars, for many years, tended to present a sea of cheap plastic in the cabin but the XV is miles away from that bland heritage. You won’t be entirely convinced that the leather hasn’t been harvested from an acrylic bovine but the cabin is a comfortable environment with more headroom than the previous model.

Pros l Good looks l Well-equipped l Decent handling l Class-topping off-road l Five-year warranty Cons l Gearbox lets it down l Not great value l Not particularly economical Verdict The soft-roader market is a feeding frenzy and although the Subaru XV is head and shoulders above the rest offroad, it’s let down on-road by that Lineartronic box. It has a lot going for it and Scooby enthusiasts will, I’m sure, learn to live with the auto. For the rest of us it’s a closer call and the XV is fighting for attention against Volvo’s XC90 and Skoda’s Karoq, where it really needs an edge. I want you to pay attention Subaru, because you’ve got a great little car here. Just give us a manual or a full EV version and you’ll have a winner.

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7 pages of RAF Sport start here l LRT seal IS crown: p35 RUGBY UNION

CHARGE: Main and below, action from the games at The Stoop PHOTOS: SBS

Some you win It’s T time some you lose CRICKET

Men falter, while girls shine at Stoop A HUGE crowd at The Stoop, Twickenham were treated to an evening of exhilarating rugby union, but the Service’s men’s team could not repeat last year’s win, while the women’s team crushed their opponents 65-3 on a day of mixed results for the RAF. Following his side’s 25-10 defeat, men’s team manager Wg Cdr Howard Parr said: “I do not like losing, and neither I or my players are happy with the result, despite an evening of great rugby for the fans.” Bath star Cpl Josh McNally said: “I am gutted to lose. We will rebuild before throwing everything at the Army in our final game.” The day had started well with the veterans team (Vultures) winning 29-5, before the girls ran riot in a thumping win, which saw a brace of tries from Red Roses star Plt Off Amy Cokayne while SAC(T) Charlie Murray, ran in the last of the 11-tries scored. Team captain Sqn Ldr Chrissy Siczowa said: “It was an honour to play on a pitch like that. To be performing at such a great stadium, and to win like we did is terrific. Some of our new caps got on the scoreboard as did some of our

experienced players. Women’s service rugby is in a terrific place and it is now up to us to keep things going against the Army.” The hosts put on 24 unanswered points before a battling Navy team kicked three points just before the break, with Murray producing an amazing burst of speed out wide to crash over. The men’s clash, which closed out the day’s action, was a nip and tuck affair early on with Sgt Andy Byrne cancelling out a Navy penalty in the 14th minute.

Playing catch-up throughout the RAF levelled after the ball was bundled over on the halfhour mark, with Byrne once again kicking the extras to make it 10-10. A long Navy kick put them ahead again, before a rare second half foray into RAF territory saw the game put beyond the light blues. The RAF will face the Army at Kingsholm, Gloucester on April 27, with the women’s clash kicking off at 11.30 and the men’s game at 3pm. For updates on Twitter visit: @rafnewssport. MEN’S CRICKET captain Flt Lt Adam Fisher set out his plan to retain the IST20 trophy his team so brilliantly won last year at Lord’s, speaking at the event’s launch at the Home of Cricket. Fisher said: “Of course it’s a pleasure for me to be sat here as the trophy-holding captain, but May 30 will be a new game, I am not thinking about last year at all, or about how it will feel personally to walk out as captain of the champion side. This is a clean slate, we start again and I cannot wait.” Fisher, who captained the team to the win last year, believes the bond between his players, increased during a highly successful pre-season tour to Malaysia: “We had a terrific tour, our recent development day was also a massive success, players old and new are bonding so well, it’s a great time to be involved”, he added. The opposition captain’s Cpl Jonathan Boynton (Army) and Navy Sgt Jon Parker will be looking to wrestle the title from the light blue team on May 30. For tickets visit:

Royal Air Force News Friday, April 19, 2019 P30

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Four goal salvo for SRT

Thumping win is perfect end to IS Staff Reporter Shrewsbury

SENIOR MEN’S football head coach Sgt Kev Barry was rightly proud of his charges as they thumped the Royal Navy 4-1 in their final Inter-Service clash of 2019. Barry said: “My decision to go with youth over experience really did pay off. I asked the lads to buy into a game plan and above all outwork the Navy. “Although we conceded after seven minutes you could already see that the work rate was of the highest order and it got stronger after the equalising goal. “It was a pleasure and an honour to see the group respond after the Army defeat in such an emphatic manner, to say I was proud when the final whistle went would be a real understatement.”  Determined to finish on a high Barry’s changes saw Cpl Michael Campbell given the captain’s armband, and he was called upon to lift the side after AB Mike Smith struck to put the visitors ahead. There was great play from SAC Gareth Barber, whose cross flashed across the box, SAC Moxon returning the ball for Cpl David Webb to level after seven minutes. Barber continued to make it hard for the Navy right back, with Campbell going close, before SAC Cullan found the net in the 23rd minute after good work from

Moxon. SAC Dan Gorman, recalled to the starting line-up, then made a one-handed save to deny the Navy on the half-hour mark, a feat he repeated just before the break to deny Navy forward Smith. The second half started quietly, with most of the play confined to the middle of the park. Cpl David Webb then saw his cross narrowly miss the head of SAC Cullan, before the hosts won a 67th minute free-kick. Webb spotted a gap in the four-man wall and sent in a

curling effort that nestled into the bottom corner for 3-1. The play was now all RAF, with the wingers linking up well with Campbell and Cullan and in the

88th minute some great work on the left from Cpl Campbell saw him find SAC Barber who lobbed the keeper from an acute angle for 4-1 to win the Casser Cup.

AIR POWER: Above, action from the 4-1 win in the final Inter-Service clash aganst the Navy, below, Barry talks to his substitute PHOTOS: SBS

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History made by Ramm in Poland FS LAURENCE Ramm secured a silver medal at the eighthWorld Indoor Masters Athletics Championship in Torun, Poland. The championship was the largest ever International Indoor Athletics event with more than 4000 competitors covering a record 82 countries. Ramm, competing in the Pentathlon, had a very successful recent European venture, securing another silver in Madrid. It was an early start, arriving at the stadium for 8.15am to make sure he was fully prepared for his first event. Ramm, competing in the 45-49 age group, begun

with a SB of 8.84 seconds in the 60m Hurdles, this followed quickly with a solid long jump. Doing well in the shot, he performed well in the high jump, the penultimate event, followed by a onekilometre run. Ramm got off to a decent start, and holding his own he stormed to the win, which saw him become the number four all-time GB 45-49 Indoor Pentathlete. FS Ramm, RAF Athletics Track and Field Assistant Manager, is always looking for new and veteran athletes to come to the sport. If interested and for further details please contact: Laurence.ramm816@

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Hall in Corsica challenge TOUR DE Corse lived up to its reputation as one of the toughest co-driver challenges of the World Rally Championship, as SAC(T) Phil Hall guided fellow Briton Tom Williams to a confidenceboosting fifth place in the Junior WRC category of the event. Hall, who headed off for a lifechanging adventure in climbing Mount Everest following the end of the race, knew what laid ahead on the Corsican island, having driven the course’s 14 stages three times before. The RAF Reservist said: “Corsica certainly lived up to its reputation this year and as you start to climb the rallying ladder and become faster, the challenge increases as well which makes

this result so very rewarding. “It was an immense challenge though with the highlight most certainly the 47km of the Castagniccia stage. “It offered insane levels of note reading which is unrivalled really. “It was most certainly a tough, but thrilling rally which delivers one of the biggest challenges a co-driver can endure, but I loved every second of it.” After a career-best fourth place at the opening Rally Sweden last month, Hall was aiming his impressive start to the season as 17 identical M-Sport Ford Fiesta R2’s went head to head across the winding Mediterranean roads on the first Tarmac test of the year. The opening day provided the

toughest test of the event with tyre conservation critical. Hall climb to fourth place during the leg, although fifth would be his standing at the end of the day. Day two was the longest of the rally with 175km on offer, mainly due to the Castagniccia test which would be tackled twice. A puncture early on hampered the pair’s progress, but Hall’s knowledge of the track saw the pair remain in fifth at the close. Trouble-free driving on the final two stages meant the duo head into round three of the series in sixth place in the championship. LAKESIDE DRIVE: Hall and Williams, above and right. PHOTO: M-Sport/JWRC


New boy Irlam makes huge impression DAZZLING DEBUTS were the highlight of the RAF Festival of Table Tennis at RAF Cosford recently. The event, which saw a field of 21 competitors battle it out, provided the perfect showcase for the very best and developing grassroots players. Several new faces made an irrefutable impact and none more so than SAC Liam Irlam who had an impressive debut, being deservingly awarded the title of Best Newcomer.

Mixing up the annual roundrobin event provided the typically close competition, with Cpl Mathew Faulkner taking the prized trophy after remaining unbeaten for the entire tournament. During the action, an afternoon coaching session was provided by ex-RAF stalwart Ian Denton. The RAFTTA is always looking for players of all abilities, it holds several successful Academies throughout the year. Anyone interested should

contact SAC Nicola Hawksworth on email: Nichola.Hawksworth100@ Next up for the association is the Inter-Station Championships at RAF Halton, with the Festival of Table Tennis coming in November. More information can be obtained via WO Martin Jones: or on Facebook search ‘RAF Table Tennis. SHOT: Right, Liam Irlam

Royal Air Force News Friday, April 19, 2019 P32

Inside line

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Getting behind the face of RAF sport


Fantastic return of two wins sees as

BLOODY BATTLE: Cpl Hall produced a display that stood him in good stead for next year

TEAM TOGETHER: Above, the team following a hugely succesful UKAF event, L-R, Sqn Ldr Andy Par Axe, Sgt Stu Mack and SAC Ricki Lyon

STAFF REPORTER HMS Nelson, Portsmouth

STRETCHING: SAC Lyons on his way to victory


A WARNING salvo was defiantly fired across the bows of Army and Royal Navy boxing after a fantastic return of two RAF title wins at the recent UKAF Elite Boxing Finals at HMS Nelson. With a team of three boxers representing the Service and two, SAC Ricki Lyon and team captain SAC Kieran Bailey successfully defending their crowns at the Royal Navy hosted event, the return is a massive step forward for the ever-improving association, off the back of a superb overseas warmweather training camp in Tenerife. With the Army already three titles ahead of the chasing pack, due to walkovers in various weight categories, the team trophy was no longer within reach of the light blue boxers; although places in the National Championships was at stake for the individual winners. First up for the RAF was England’s top five ranked flyweight, SAC Lyon, who repeated his dominant victory from last year, against the highly skilled Army fighter Cpl Shamim Khan. This was quickly followed with a convincing win for SAC Kieran

This was an top-class boxing bittersweet taste remain the only in the competiti

Bailey against the surprisi Jordan Bracken of the Arm In his first UKAF Elit Axe was up against the LCpl Josh Plummer.A gu tenacity saw Axe test one o for national glory. With bo packed arena applauded th RAF Boxing Associatio Whalley, said: “This was boxing, that had a bitters remain the only amateur

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ssociation close the gap on others

GYM WORK: Ring time is always time well spent, whether at home or abroad (above)

rker, SAC Keiran Bailey, Chf Tech Darren Cullingford, Cpl Nathan Hall, Sgt Russ Turnbull, SAC Brad PHOTO: SBS

who deservedly attained second place, nestled between the professional teams of the Army and Royal Navy/Royal Marines.”

evening of g, that had a e for us, as we amateur team ion

ingly less experienced Pte my Elite Team. te appearance, SAC Brad vastly more experienced utsy display of skill and of the Army’s best chances oth men giving their all, a he tight split decision. on chairman, Sqn Ldr Karl s an evening of top-class sweet taste for us, as we team in the competition,

We deservedly attained second place

In his first contest for the RAF, Cpl Nathan Hall competed against the Royal Marines’ Mne Keiran Chapman in a support bout. A composed display from the skilful airman secured a win by way of a split points decision. The win ensured that this capable boxer had placed a strong marker for next year’s Championships. The winners of the UKAFBA Title now form the combined team and head to the National Championships and the pre-quarter finals in Nottingham. n Follow the UKAF Champs on Twitter @ RAFBoxing and Facebook: RAF Boxing Association.

CAPTAIN FANTASTIC: SAC Bailey defended his title in style


Royal Air Force News Friday, April 19, 2019 P34

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RN Presidents XV put to the sword by buzzing RAF men RAF Academy RN Preidents XV

44 7

STAFF REPORTER RAF Halton A RESOUNDING win was the reward for the RAFRU Academy’s players as they romped to a 44-7 win over a Royal Navy Presidents XV side at RAF Halton. The Service men went on the attack from the off, with standoff SAC Luke Armstrong kicking into touch on the Navy 22m line. The first line-out of the game was followed by quick-hands from SAC Rhyan Scott-Young on the wing, offloading in the tackle to scrum half Cpl Joe Parkin to score in the corner after only two minutes. SAC Armstrong converted for 7-0. The restart saw the same result with the RAF again securing good ball, following a Navy clearance they went on the front foot with Cpl Joe Parkin again releasing the backs. Great running lines in the centre saw the Navy defence sucked in creating a three on two overlap with SAC Danny Bournes going through the gap for the RAF’s second converted try in five minutes for 14 – 0. Continued pressure from the RAF saw the Navy concede several penalties which again had the Navy pinned in their 22m. Following a good driving ball from a lineout the RAF, playing a penalty advantage SAC Armstrong found SAC Scott-Young who had come in off the wing. Gathering the ball he again showed his pace and power to get past the first man and fend off two tackles to score in the right corner for 19 – 0. The dominance continued from there, with Cpl Willy Wilton, pictured, seeing a lack of defenders breaking away from the maul to score a converted try. Cpl Parkin and SAC Scott-Young added to the score for 36 – 0 at the break. The second half saw the Navy come out more disciplined and better organised, retaining a lot of possession in the opening exchanges, but when SAC Nick Arnell, on as a replacement at fullback picked up the ball and made a strong winding run, it ended with another score. The game continued with neither side exerting any great control, before the hosts secured their first points with a well-worked converted try. The last minutes of the game saw the RAF win a penalty on the Navy 10m line which SAC Arnell elected to kick at goal for the final score of the game.

WILLY WON’T HE: Above, Cpl Willy Wilton dives over for a try in the Academy team’s thumping win over the Navy



Cricketers use Academy day to show how bright future is for summer game SAC James Bairstow Birmingham WITH THE start of the cricket season only weeks away, Development Squad Head Coach Flight Sergeant Curtis Dixon was full of optimism following an excellent turn out at last month’s trials at the Forward DrIve Academy in Birmingham. Dixon said: “We had 23 players at the trials and I was very pleased with the standard on show. I expect some of the trialists to work their way up to the Senior Representative Team this season. “I cannot thank and praise Academy owner Farukh Kazi enough for his generosity. He goes beyond the call of duty and he goes that extra mile for us. It is a privilege to practice here and we are very grateful for everything that he has done for us. The location is perfect for us because it is very central. The players love it here and the facilities are second to none too.” The RAF Cricket Squad’s relationship

I had a vision that we would make steady improvements every year and I think we have done

with the Academy, is now in its third year, Kazi said: “We are absolutely delighted and honoured to help the RAF Cricket Squads out. We are extremely proud to help the Royal Air Force out in any way that we can, because they do an amazing job for the United Kingdom, just like the rest of our Armed Forces do. This is the third year of our partnership and hopefully we are only just at the beginning of it. The standard of cricket on show today was amazing and that bodes well for them for the coming season.” FS Dixon is approaching the start of his third season in the role as Development Squad Head Coach and he is confident that

his side will show some improvements from last season: “When I was given the job, I had a vision that we would make steady improvements every year and I think we have done that in my first two seasons in charge. “We have improved in all areas of the game and we are here to make the step up to Senior Representative Team a smooth process and it seems to be working as we work closely with them. We want the players, old and new, to be able to play their own games, express themselves and push on. We are hoping for a good run in the IS T20 Competition this season and hopefully we will be able to dethrone The Army,” Dixon added. The Development Squad’s season gets underway with an Engagement Tour in Birmingham that runs between 20 – 23 May, and Dixon is currently trying to finalise his squad. He said: “This is the hard part because there is so much talent to pick from and it’s not easy whittling it down, and it’s always hard when you have to tell a few people that they haven’t made it.”

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Sport Boxers shine at UKAF finals

Hall tames tough Corsica course

Festival is the perfect platform for stars

l Sport P32-33

l Sport P31

l Sport P31

Draw hands LRT IS championship FOOTBALL

Win seals second IS in 3 years

HEADS I WIN: RAF star clears against the Army in Aldershot PHOTOS: Graeme Main Soldier Magazine

STAFF REPORTER HQ Air Command “IT IS a fantastic achievement to win the competition again for the second time in three years, said Ladies Representative Team Manager Sgt Michelle HarveyPerkins after her team’s InterService title win. She added: “It shows that we are becoming a dominant force within Representative football. This then fuels the hunger and determination to make everything better for the players year on year, and raise the bar and standard of football that the LRT are playing. As manager I am extremely proud of the achievement, but the plaudits should be equally shared among all the staff and players for the hard work and effort they put in throughout the season, and winning the trophy makes it all worthwhile.” The result came after the Royal Navy lost 2-0 to the Army in the final game of the championships. Harvey-Perkins, who now holds the mantle of the Service’s most successful current coach, saw her team’s campaign get off to a frustrating start with a hard-fought 1-1 draw against the Army at Aldershot Stadium. The visitors were pegged back by a 30-yard, 20th minute shot which beat Sgt Nicola Davies in the RAF goal. Despite the early setback Sgt Rachel Griffiths levelled just before the break with a superb free-kick from 20-yards. Griffiths again went close after the break, but despite territorial dominance the RAF could not alter the scoreboard. A must win clash against the Navy was the order of the day as the

RAF took to the pitch at New Saints FC Oswestry ground and the hosts produced a brilliant 3-1 result. Griffiths was once again lively, but it was an own-goal that set things going for the RAF, though a harsh penalty decision for handball saw the visitors’ level going close again minutes before the break. Cpl Zara McIntosh extended their lead in the 54th minute following a quick-paced move. Cpl Lauren Impey then went close for

the RAF who were in full flight. Harvey-Perkins’ charges kept pushing for a third until the final minute, with Fg Off Natasha Kenny she latched on to a loose pass and quickly went for goal with a fine left footed strike into the net to finish the game on a high. The result secured a fabulous Inter-Service championship victory, but it meant the side walked away with the Casser Cup for the win over the Navy.

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