RAF News Edition 1539, 1 July 2022

Page 1

The Forcesit' e favourer pap


Fighter Pilot, Hawker book & DVDs to win

Friday July 1 2022 No. 1539 70p

See page 21 and R'nR3, 4, 5 & 8


Armed Forces Day: Britain backs our nation's heroes


Pro Master

Pitting pride Kabul crews honoured with medal

See page 27


Tri-Service cup action

See page 29


Gold for the ladies A PAIR of eco-minded Air Force graduates revealed their dream inventions as they celebrated passing out on International Women in Engineering Day. School and university pals Dominique Laundy and Jemma Godfrey are now set to start their Air Force careers in engineering.

See page 31

See pages 16-17

Fg Off Laundy said: “I am passionate about climate change. My dream would be inventing technology that could use the energy from lightning strikes.” Fg Off Godfrey added: “My dream invention would reverse the effects of climate change by finding ways to live cleanly and efficiently to preserve the world we have left."

SERVICE PERSONNEL who launched one of the biggest ever military airlifts to rescue vulnerable Afghans from Kabul have received their medals. Defence Secretary Ben Wallace made the presentation to Operation Pitting veterans at Permanent Joint Headquarters in North London. He said: “As one of the largest humanitarian evacuations in history, Operation Pitting demonstrated the resilience and commitment of our Armed Forces. “I am honoured to award these courageous individuals their medals in recognition of putting the safety and lives of others above their own.” A total of 30 personnel received the Afghanistan operational service medal with an Operation Pitting clasp, with hundreds more expected to be presented in the coming weeks. The award is only given to those who completed five full days of service in Afghanistan during the mission. The largest RAF airlift in more than 70 years began on August 13, 2021, bringing more than 15,000 Afghan and British nationals to the UK in just over 16 days as the Taliban closed in on Kabul.

Royal Air Force News Friday, July 1, 2022 P2

There is no single national memorial to these brave warriors, and we aim to put that right” Former RAF pilot Sam WorthingtonLeese ran 666 miles to honour fallen WWII Hawker Typhoon flyers See page 13

I have spent much of my career in the shadows”

It was clear what the players learnt at training got carried out onto the ice”

Former Para and Army PTI Coach Mike, as he releases a new fitness audio book See R’n’R p4-5

New Pumas ice hockey team boss Cpl Andrew Rourke See page 28

Heroes of the Kabul airlift take a bow at Brize Norton Staff Reporter Brize Norton

RAF News Room 68 Lancaster Building HQ Air Command High Wycombe Buckinghamshire HP14 4UE Editor: Simon Williams Email: editor@rafnews.co.uk Features Editor: Tracey Allen Email: tracey.allen@rafnews.co.uk News Editor: Simon Mander

AIR FORCE personnel who helped evacuate more than 15,000 Afghan and UK citizens from Kabul as the Taliban swept to power took a bow at Brize Norton as they were presented with the Operational Pitting Medal. Brize-based transport aircraft launched more than 300 flights and at one point airlifted 1,000 people in a day and completed a recordbreaking flight, with 439 passengers onboard a C-17 Globemaster. Leading the tributes, AVM Suraya Marshall, Air Officer Commanding Number 2 Group, said: “It is a great privilege to formally recognise the efforts of our personnel during Operation Pitting and I am enormously proud to be

BRIZE AND SHINE: AVM Suraya Marshall talks to personnel after medals ceremony at Brize Norton

awarding these medals. “It was an extraordinary effort in extremely difficult circumstances

operation in the last 70 years and everyone should be immensely proud of what was achieved.”

This Week In History

Sports Reporter: Daniel Abrahams Email: sports@rafnews.co.uk


All advertising: Edwin Rodrigues Tel: 07482 571535 Email: edwin.rodrigues@ rafnews.co.uk

FOUR HARRIERS from 1 Sqn disembark from HMS Hermes and land at Stanley Airport to provide QRA capability. Four more aircraft arrive a week later.

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which demonstrated the best of the RAF. We evacuated 15,000 people in the largest humanitarian aid

Falklands QRA


Meteor arrives

THE RAF’S first operational jet aircraft, the Gloucester Meteor, enters service with 616 Sqn at Manston in Kent.


Piper Alpha rescue mission SEA KING Search and Rescue helicopters are scrambled to rescue survivors of the Piper Alpha oil rig disaster which claimed the lives of 167 people.

Extracts from The Royal Air Force Day By Day by Air Cdre Graham Pitchfork (The History Press)

Royal Air Force News Friday, July 1, 2022 P3


Guardian boost for UK QRA A NEW command and control system designed to protect the UK from aerial threats has been launched at Boulmer and Swanwick. The Guardian programme will provide a real-time map of friendly and hostile aircraft, linking radars and radios across the UK and Nato to tighten national security. Boulmer’s Control Reporting Centre will have 50 dual workstations, with a further 29 at Swanwick, staffed by more than 100 RAF battlespace management personnel at the two sites. Guardian will enhance rapid exchange of real-time information and speed and accuracy of decisionmaking, the MOD said. It also receives early warnings from Nato

DETERRENT: RAF QRA Typhoon shadows Russian SU-30 Flanker


reporting centres to protect the UK from potential threats. The new system will enhance the way the RAF scrambles fighter jets to intercept and identify aircraft closing

in on UK and Nato airspace which are suspected of being a threat. It can also be used to escort aircraft of special interest, such as a passenger airliner that might

have lost communications with Air Traffic Control. 19 Sqn Commander Wg Cdr Misiak said: “The new Guardian system provides a capability which

has more capacity to cope with the demands of Homeland Air Defence whilst also preparing operators to support missions across the globe. It is an exciting time.”

remains trained and current until one is built up. The first air-to-air refuelling exercise was carried out in November 2021 and was known as Exercise Galway. Qatar is the only nation which the UK shares joint squadrons with – Leeming-based 11 (Qatar) Sqn flying Hawk trainers and Coningsby’s 12 Sqn, which operates Typhoons that later this year will support air security operations for the 2022 World Cup.

VOYAGER: Providing air-to-air refuelling to Qatari aircraft in Exercise Soaring Falcon

Voyager fills gap RAF tankers keep Qatari jets flying

Simon Mander VOYAGER TANKERS topped up Qatari fast jets in the latest joint training between the Air Forces of Britain and the Middle Eastern state. A Brize Norton-based aircraft conducted air-to-air refuelling in a range of conditions with Rafale multi-role fighters as part of Exercise Soaring Falcon. It’s the second time personnel

from the Oxfordshire base have carried out the mission under an agreement that sees the RAF providing a tanker service to the Qatar Emiri Air Force by deploying Voyager aircraft and personnel from 10 Sqn and 101 Sqn on occasional, short tours of duty. Currently Qatar does not have a national air-to-air refuelling capability but aspires to have one and this RAF support solution ensures the Qatari fast jet fleet

Royal Air Force News Friday, July 1, 2022 P5


Judge to review effects of historic gay ban

Royal return

mental health issues because of their treatment by the British military. Lord Etherton said: “This is an important review that will provide an opportunity for veterans across the country who were affected by the pre-2000 ban on homosexuality to share their testimonies in a safe environment.” Under a landmark ruling last year gay members of the military who were stripped of their gallantry awards can apply to have them reinstated. Home Secretary Priti Patel has

NEARLY 90 per cent of Brits would welcome the return of the Royal Tournament which was axed in 1999, according to a poll by military website Forces.net The vote follows calls by MP Stephen Metcalfe to revive the event for The Queen’s Plantinum Jubilee. Eighty-seven per cent of those who voted supported his Early Day Motion calling for what was once the world’s biggest military tattoo to be reinstated.

BRITAIN’S FIRST openly gay judge is to lead a review into the effects the Force’s ban on LGBT personnel has had on UK military veterans thrown out of the Services or prosectued for their sexuality. Lord Etherton will chair the investigation following growing calls for compensation for those who fell foul of the hard line ruling, scrapped in 2000. Campaigners claim many Forces veterans suffered severe financial hardship and have struggled with

also announced that a scheme to quash criminal convictions or cautions issuied against gay personnel is to be expanded. Campaigner Caroline Paige said: “The review brings hope to veterans who served at a time when they were not welcomed in the Armed Forces as LGBT personnel are today. “They have faced immense challenges in their lives in consequence of the ban and today’s announcement brings hope for a better future.”

INDEPENDENT REVIEW:Lord Etherton QC will chair investigation

Vet battles on as rivals issue SOS le b u o d s e h c n u la d r a u Coastg s r e w o r it h s m r o t rescue as s CADETS AMBASSADOR Emma Wolstenholme and her teammates attempting to circumnavigate the British coast have vowed to complete the 2000mile challenge after two rival crews were rescued in gale force storms. The RAF veteran’s boat capsized off the Northern Irish coast in the extreme conditions but righted itself before coastguards stepped in and towed the crew into port. Earlier the two other competitors were forced to retire after issuing emergency rescue calls as sea conditions deteriorated. Speaking from Newcastle on the Northern Ireland coast, Emma said: “The conditions were the worst I have ever

seen. As the two other teams had to be rescued we are the last team in the race but we are determined to continue once the weather improves.” “We capsized in the early hours of the morning while three of us were on deck. We were tied on and went all the way round under the water for what felt like quite a while. The boat selfrighted as it should do and we all got back on board without any injuries. “ The team notified the coastguard who stepped in and force-towed their vessel to safety. Emma added: “It took us two-and-a-half hours and we were being towed in the direction we had just come. That was a bit disappointing.


It would have been great for them to tow us north instead.” The first of the three teams taking part in the round Britain rowing challenge hit trouble off the Welsh coast and was forced to retire. Days later the other team issued an SOS off the Irish coast when their boat was damaged forcing them to abandon the race. The 40-year-old Air Force veteran is one of the five-strong crew alongside British pairs world record holder Jason McKinlay, Atlantic rowing veteran Chris Howard, alongside

GALE FORCE: Main, Sea Legs crew brave extreme conditions in Irish Sea before capsizing. Above, in calmer water earlier in the GB Row event

Grenadier Guardsman Lamin Dean and physiotherapist Sophie Harris. Emma signed up for the GB Row challenge, dubbed the world’s toughest rowing race, just three months after being rescued by a transport ship 600 miles from the West African coast when navigation failure ended her solo record bid to row across the Atlantic. While battling it out on the sea, the teams have been collecting scientific data on microplastic levels and noise pollution in Britain’s coastal waters as part of a programme run by University of Portsmouth marine biologists.

Royal Air Force News Friday, July 1, 2022 P7

News REAL STEEL: A Coldstream Guards bandsman performs at Wittering event. Below, veteran Albert Jarrett, who was stationed at the Cambridgeshire base in WWII PHOTOS: CPL CHANTELLE GREGG

Turks test Typhoon firepower F-16s join missile drill ahead of major NATO war games

WITTERING CELEBRATED its historic connections with the Caribbean community in traditional style. 98-year-old veteran RAF driver and weapons instructor Albert Jarrett was the guest of honour at the Cambs station and joined Honorary Air Cdre Dr Marcia McLoughlin and retired WO Donald Campbell, who founded the Forgotten Generations group which records the experiences of British African and Caribbean military personnel.

Staff Reporter TYPHOON CREWS policing the skies over the Black Sea have launched simulated missile drills alongside Turkish Air Force F-16s ahead of largescale multinational Nato war games later this month. 3 (F) Sqn jets, currently deployed to the Mihail

Kogălniceanu air base in Romania, honed their air-to-air combat skills with the Turkish Air Force supported by a Voyager tanker based at RAF Akrotiri, Cyprus, during the latest training sorties. The drills also included simulating beyond-visual-range missile launches as Allied nations prepare for the annual Anatolian Eagle exercise, one of

the largest multi-national combat air events in the Nato calendar. A 3(F) Sqn pilot said: “It is with great pride that we reassure our Nato partners of our commitment to both them and to the wider organisation. “It was a wonderful opportunity to fly over the beautiful western part of the country, whilst continuing to ensure that our fighter pilot skills are kept at the highest level of readiness.”

Scots missed on UK Defence deals, Parliament probe says Museum scales it down A COLLECTION of veteran warbirds including the iconic Vulcan will take to the skies over Cosford as the RAF Museum hosts a large-model air show. A 20ft version of the vintage delta-wing bomber will be one of the star attractions as it makes its final flight, alongside scaled

down versions of a Red Arrow Hawk T1, Bristol Bulldog and Comet DH88. There will also be full-sized excitement as the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight performs a flypast over the airfield. The event takes place on July 2-3. Go to rafmuseum.org/midlands

SCOTTISH BUSINESSES are being overlooked in the fight for UK Defence contracts, according to Westminster MPs. A report by the cross-party Scottish Affairs Committee says small and medium-sized companies are losing out to bluechip international industry giants. According to government figures, while investment in Scotland accounted for nearly 10 per cent of the Defence budget last year, just 2.5 per cent of MOD spending on small and mediumsized projects went to bidders north of the border. And while Scotland plays a

crucial part in UK Defence with RAF Lossiemouth and HMNB Clyde, Scottish industry experts still struggle to get fair access to the UK defence sector. Committee chairman Pete Wishart said: “Scotland’s contribution to UK Defence is undeniable, pivotal to UK security and vital to our military allies. “Scotland’s impressive reputation in defence can be enhanced further if more Scottish subject matter experts are engaged by the MOD to fulfil UK Defence orders. The overlooking of Scottish experts must change so that different areas of the UK can benefit and

VITAL DEFENCE ASSET: RAF Lossiemouth’s new Poseidon P8 complex

contribute to our national security and allow more local economies to thrive.”

Royal Air Force News Friday, July 1, 2022 P9

Dad’s the word for Grads at Cranwell ORD SQN LDR BERESF

Judith Cross A PAIR of RAF Officer Cadets are keeping it in the family – by following in their father’s footsteps and hitting the parade ground at Cranwell for graduation day. Pilot Officer Alexandra Fitzpatrick and Flying Officer Samuel Beresford both grew up in the Service and took a bow in front of their proud parents after completing officer training at the famous Lincolnshire college as the UK celebrated Armed Forces Week. Alexandra, 23, says she was inspired to join up by her dad, Wg Cdr John Fitzpatrick. She said: “The RAF has always been part of my life. “I remember Dad having me on his shoulders outside College Hall Officers’ Mess. It seems almost surreal that I now find myself back at Cranwell, where our family spent many years, and actually graduating as an officer.” Delighted John said: “When I joined the RAF at the age of 16 in 1980, I never thought that I’d be

GRAD ALL OVER: Fg Off Beresford with his proud family at Cranwell PHOTOS: GORDON ELIAS

watching my daughter graduate some 42 years later. “To say I’m a proud father is an understatement. I have had an amazing career in the RAF


FAMILY AFFAIR: PO Alexandra celebrates with parents at Cranwell

Forces honour for Indian heroes of WWI

Eurofighter order boosts fleet to 545 SPAIN HAS signed a deal to buy an extra 20 Eurofighter Typhoons to replace ageing F-16 Hornets stationed at the Gando Air Base in the Canary Islands. The latest contract will see numbers in Europe rise to 545, reinforcing the swingrole fighter’s role as the mainstay of European defences, manufacturer BAE said. The order follows a deal with the Luftwaffe for 38 new Typhoons in 2020. Final assembly of the Spanish aircraft will be undertaken by Airbus in Getafe, Spain, with

forming lifelong friendships along the way.” Sam, whose dad Sqn Ldr Tony Beresford served for 31 years, joined his local Cadets squadron

in Sleaford and signed up with the University Air Squadron at uni. He says growing up in a Forces family made his move from a civvy street engineering job to the RAF an easy decision. He said: “The support from my family has been nothing short of amazing. Mum and Dad were available any time I needed to call them and talk through any thoughts or worries. “My father’s experience was invaluable. He has given me a lot of perspective to the training and activities I was involved in.” Tony, who served as a navigator, added: “At times it was difficult to pull myself away from the family to go on deployments and you could see the disappointment in my children’s faces that their dad was off again. “Yet parcels would arrive on detachment full of drawings, sweets and photos, raising my spirits, and without them realising it, supporting me. Huge congratulations to Sam and his colleagues, who are about to start a great adventure and career.” RAF Honington graduations, see page 23.

deliveries expected to start in 2025. BAE Systems is responsible for manufacturing more than a third of components for every Spanish aircraft, including the front fuselage and tail, under a contract worth in excess of £500m.

THE RAF and Army paid tribute to Indian fallen fighters who died during WWI at the annual service at Patcham Downs near Brighton. Injured troops were treated at the town’s Royal Pavilion during the conflict and more than 50 who died of their battle injuries are buried on the site. Fg Off Saini laid a wreath during the service. He said: “Being a first-generation Indian serving in the RAF it was a great honour to be at the Chattri Memorial commemorating the fallen soldiers of British Indian Armed Forces. It reminded me of my ancestors’ great sacrifices.”

REMEMBERED: RAF representatives place wreaths at the Patcham ‘Chattri’ during service attended by civic leaders and local residents

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Forrces rreign Forces gn on Suffolk Suf ffolk parade para ade AIR R FORCE FORCE and and Army Arm my personnel personneel from from Honington Honington joined joined forces forccees as the station staatio on marked marked 50 years years of of civic civic connections connections with witth Bury Burry St St Edmunds. Edmunds. A Air ir F Force orce uni units ts acco accompanied mpanied by by the the A Army’s rmyy’’s 28 E En Engineer gin i eer e Regiment Regim i ent and and 64 H HQ Q Sqn, Sqn, both both based based at at the the Suffolk Sufffolk station, station, marched marched through through tthe he town town to to celebrate celebrate the the aanniversary nniversary of of receiving recei c ving the the Freedom Freedom of of West Weest Suffolk Sufffolk in 1972. SStation tation C Commander ommanderr G Gp p C Capt apt Dutch Dutch Holland Holland said: said: “It “It is is a h huge uge privilege privilege for for us us to to celebrate celebrate 50 years years since since w wee w were ere aawarded w waarde the Freedom Freedom of of West Weest Suffolk. Sufffolk. k ““Historically, Historically, tthe h freedom freedom of of a town town is is a symbol symbol of of the the trust trust invested invested in the the military military by by tthe he ci civil vil community community and and w wee continue continue to to be be overwhelmed overwhelmed b byy tthe he le level vel of of ssupport upport w wee rreceive. eceive Bury Bury SStt Edmunds Edmunds iiss cclose lo ose to our our hearts. hearts.” Th Thee p parade arade wa wass ffollowed ollow byy a sunset sunset cer ceremony emony aattended ttended b byy personnel personnel ffrom rom HMS V Vengeance, eengeance, Forces Forces cadets cadets and and emergency emergency

NATO DATE: President Macron meets 140 EAW Commanding Officer Wg Cdr Holland during state visit to Romania

service workers. workeers. The Lord rd L Lieutenant ieutenant of of Suffolk, Sufffolk, Lady Lady Clare, Clare, Countess Countess of of Euston, Euston, ssaid: aid: ““II aam m de deeply eply grateful gratefful to to the the Royal Royyal Navy, Navy, Army Army and and RAF RAF

and and our our emergency eemergency sservices ervices ffor or tthe he gift gifft to to us us all all in Bury Bury St St Edmunds. Edmunds. It’s It’s a wonderful wonderful tribute tribute to to mark mark and and celebrate celebrate H Her er M Majesty ajesty Th Thee Q Queen’s ueen’s Platinum Platinum m JJubilee. ubilee.”

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Royal Air Force News Friday, July 1, 2022 P13


Number’s up for Typhoon fan Sam

RUNNING TOTAL: Veteran RAF pilot Sam WorthingtonLeese hopes to raise cash to rebuild Hawker Typhoon; inset left, clocking up his first lap of the route

Tracey Allen VETERAN FLYING instructor Sam Worthington-Leese has clocked up 666 miles to honour Hawker Typhoon pilots who lost their lives flying the D-Day warbird which helped pave the way for the Allied invasion of Europe. The 35-year-old hit the road to cover one mile for each of the World War II aviators who lost their lives flying dangerous low-level missions to destroy Nazi defences in France. Sam, whose grandfather Fg Off Roy Worthington was shot down and captured during a Typhoon raid, set up the Hawker Typhoon Preservation Group which is aiming to restore a veteran airframe. He hopes to raise more than £10,000 towards the project after covering 6.66 miles a day for 100 days, around a route near his Nottinghamshire home. Speaking after finishing the challenge this month, he said: “There is no single national memorial to these brave warriors, and that is something we aim to put right by raising the funds to rebuild RB396, a genuine combat veteran Hawker Typhoon. “Rommel cited the air cover

D-DAY MISSION: Hawker Typhoons launched dangerous low-level raids across Normandy to support Allied troops PHOTO: AHB

provided by the Typhoons as the reason the Allies won the battle of Normandy. But this came at a cost, 666 Typhoon pilots were killed mostly by flak encountered during their low-level attacks. “We also want to honour the scores of ground crew often situated at forward operating bases just miles from the rapidly changing frontline and regularly subject to enemy attack, by shell or by strafing

Saddle-score: FUNDRAISING CYCLISTS across the world have netted more than £90,000 for the Royal Air Forces Association. More than 750 bikers stationed across Europe, the Middle East, the USA, Australia and New Zealand saddled up for the annual challenge, covering distances from 25 to 100 miles. RAFA Ride organiser AVM Gary Waterfall said: “This event is growing each year. The support our community shows to those who need a little bit of help is incredible. It is a truly global event.”

and bombing. “I don’t enjoy running and have never been that good at it but it’s not a challenge if it’s not challenging. I hope I have helped raised some awareness of the project, which is something that I and the team all feel passionately about.” Go to: crowdfunder.co.uk/666miles to support the Hawker Typhoon project.

RAFA riders raise the bar

Falcons drop in RAF PARACHUTE stars dropped in on Worcester school kids for a lesson on aerodynamics. The Falcons landed at the Tudor Grange Academy, built on the site of an old WWII airfield, before joining staff to explain the principles of parachute jumping.


Why is pension satisfaction improving across all services? THE latest Armed Forces Continuous Attitude Survey published in May shows an increase in pension satisfaction across all three services.

The Forces Pension Society is an independent, not-for-profit organisation which acts as a pension watchdog for the entire military community.

Not since 2012 have the figures shown such a positive picture. That said, there’s still a way to go, notably among those serving in the Royal Marines who recorded the lowest satisfaction level. But even here, there is a marked improvement over the past decade. There is no doubt that pension benefits have evolved and engagement with them has increased. Everyone serving is now on AFPS15 and that remains one of the best schemes in the Public Sector. We’d also like to think that the Forces Pension Society has played a modest part in helping to stimulate this improvement in pension awareness. So it’s perhaps no surprise that our membership numbers have increased to the point where we’re now heading toward the 65,000 mark. For many years, we have advocated the importance of taking an interest in your pension – as we put it “it pays to understand your pension”. As the schemes have become more sophisticated, so has the mindset of the serving community. Those serving today are more demanding, more discriminating and more focussed on their long-term financial well-being. There’s a wider recognition of the many trigger points in service

From Maj Gen Neil Marshall, CEO Forces Pension Society careers where critical decisions may impact on what you receive when you leave. I recently outlined in an article to the media, some of the benefits inherent in AFPS15 and how you can take advantage of them. Additionally, there are unplanned events that need to be faced where a degree of expert guidance is helpful. That’s why so many of our Members seek support from our team of experts, our Forces Pensions Consultants. Issues such as Medical Discharge, Divorce, Taxation, Early Departure Payments are among the most frequently asked questions. There are even more basic considerations such as choosing the best time to leave, which can make a significant difference to the pension you receive. As the champions of Armed Forces Pensions for the past 75 years, we’re here to help our Members make the best pension choices and to represent their interests where it counts, on the representative bodies for Armed Forces and Public Sector Pensions. *If you want to discover how to get the most from your Armed Forces Pension, join our growing number of Members by visiting www.forcespensionsociety.org – it could help to improve your pension satisfaction!

GPOSITIVE PICTURE: Maj Gen Neil Marshall

Royal Air Force News Friday, July 1, 2022 P15

F-35 reigns in Spain

News In Brief

Staff Reporter UK F-35 Lightnings launched simulated air strikes on ‘enemy’ jets as Nato crews honed their combat skills during the latest war games over Spain. RAF stealth fighters flown by 617 Sqn joined Greek, French and Swiss fighters over the Bay of Biscay for the latest drill, dubbed Ocean Hit, designed to test Allies’ ability to counter enemy air power. A spokesperson said: “This has been a demanding but extremely productive exercise, where the Lightning has demonstrated its potency. “Working with Nato and European partners in a realistic combat scenario provides an opportunity to integrate complementary capabilities and learn from each other. In particular, we have learnt some valuable lessons regarding fast jet air-to-air integration with partner nations.” During the exercise Marhambased Lightnings rehearsed air-toair combat manoeuvres as Greek F-16s, Swiss F-18s and French Air Force Rafale jets targeted enemy defence systems on the ground, supported by a Voyager tanker from RAF Brize Norton. to Ukraine, and discussed The combat drill comes the recent bids by Finland as Nato Defence chiefs and Sweden to join the met in Madrid, where alliance. they pledged to Speaking at the provide more Madrid summit heavy weapons Nato’s Secretary and long-range General Jans nberg NATO: Jans Stolte missile systems Stoltenberg also

RAF Police Qatar call Staff Reporter

MORE FORCES crime fighters are hitting the Gulf beat as extra RAF Police officers fly out to join UK personnel stationed in Qatar. The latest law enforcers to arrive in the Gulf state will carry out anticrime and counter-intelligence operations, a spokesman said. They form part of the Force Protection team supporting 83 Expeditionary Air Group operations in the Middle East on Operation Kipion. Sqn Ldr Gareth Pattinson, who took over the police unit from outgoing commander Sqn Ldr Tom Connolly, said: “It’s a privilege to take over this role.

HANDOVER: Sqn Ldr Connolly, left, welcomes Sqn Ldr Pattinson and the pair with Flt Lt Jack Weaversmith and WO Cashmore, right

To be responsible for all of the Force Protection operations over the next six months will be challenging and rewarding.”

ANIMAL MAGIC: Military working dogs demonstrate their skills at Honington

Dog team’s peak paw-formance AIR FORCE dog handlers showcased the skills of the UK military’s working animals alongside French and US Force Protection specialists during a training exercise at Honington. Police and Regiment teams staged close-combat, urban fighting and public order operations alongside Allied personnel at the Suffolk station. Military working dogs are also trained to sniff out drugs, explosives and electrical devices on frontline operations.

Move is bang out of order outlined plans to strengthen allied forces operating in eastern Europe as part of a new strategy to counter the threat from Russia. Mr Stoltenberg added: “This will mean more Nato forward deployed combat formations, to strengthen our battlegroups in the eastern part of our Alliance.

“More air, sea and cyber defences, as well as pre-positioned equipment and weapon stockpiles. “And a new force model, with more forces at higher readiness, and specific forces pre-assigned to the defence of specific Allies, to enable much faster reinforcement.”

FORCES BOMB disposal experts were called in after a family moving house found a live WWII hand grenade. Thames Valley Police brought in a military ordnance team which identified the device as a No 36 Mills Bomb, thought to have been handed down through the RELIC: WWII Mills bomb generations.

Royal Air Force News Friday, July 1, 2022 P16

Feature Armed Forces Day, 2022

Thanks for dropping in Public turn out in their thousands to show appreciation for Armed Forces country when we need you, whether you are watching the skies, HUGE CROWDS in Scarborough patrolling the seas or standing over were treated to spectacular air our interests. displays at this year’s National “Thank you to everyone in the Armed Forces Day. vast military family. Thank you After a delay of nearly three years to our incredible veterans. And due to Covid, thousands flocked thank you to the family and friends to the North Yorkshire seaside – whose support is so crucial to town, to see Britain’s military pull ensuring that we have the best out all the stops with breathtaking fighting force anywhere in the aerobatics and displays by warships world.” and armoured vehicles. From Aberdeen to Aldershot, Among the highlights were more than 150 events were held beach landings by the RAF’s Falcons by communities – from parades to display team, a dramatic flypast by salutes, fairs and flypasts – to thank the Red Arrows over the resort’s the Service community. iconic waterfront and appearances In London, a special tribute by the Battle of Britain Memorial took over the iconic billboards Flight and Typhoon fighter jets. of Piccadilly Circus, where Prime Minister Boris Johnson monumental screens showed said: “Our Armed Forces are moving portraits of personnel without doubt the best, most alongside a thank-you message respected and most loved in the from the nation. world. Defence Secretary Ben Wallace “You are hugely admired by said: “Our Service personnel the people of this country – who and their families’ unwavering cheered you most recently at the commitment to the defence of the Jubilee celebrations – because they United Kingdom ensures that we are so proud of everything you do are kept safe, at home and abroad, to keep us safe. 365 days a year. “You are there for us and our “On this Armed Forces Day, I hope the entire nation will join me in saying thank you to this community, who make so many sacrifices to defend the freedoms and rights of British people.” Now in its 14th year, A r m e d F o r c e s Day is the culmination of a week of events w h i c h celebrate the UK’s military IN THE FRAME: and all that RAF snapper SAC they stand for.

Simon Mander

Nathan Edwards

NICE TO SEA YOU ALL: Public fly the flag for the Armed Forces on the seafront

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march in

RAF FALCONS: Aerial synchronisation

CROWD PLEASERS: RAF Typhoon and other military displays



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X MARKS THE SPOT: RAF Falcons made a spectacular entrance

OUT IN FRONT: RAF Regiment Squadron Leader shows way

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By Tracey Allen

Iceland mystery of WWII artist who vanished on RAF mission

New documentary tells story of Eric Ravilious

RAVILIOUS: ‘Undervalued British artist’


NEW FILM about official war artist Eric Ravilious – who never returned from an RAF reconnaissance flight in Iceland – is released in cinemas nationwide this month. Eric Ravilious: Drawn To War is the true story of the enigmatic artist whose work is in public collections around the UK, including the Imperial War Museum, London, Eastbourne’s Towner Gallery and The Fry Art Gallery in Saffron Walden. A spokesperson for Dartmouth Films, who made the documentary, said: “Eric Ravilious is as compelling and enigmatic as his art. Set against the dramatic wartime locations that inspire him, Margy Kinmonth’s film brings to life this brilliant but still grossly undervalued British artist. “Caught in the crossfire of war 80 years ago, Ravilious’s legacy largely sank without trace, until now. Made with the blessing of the Ravilious Estate, this first fulllength feature documentary about Ravilious unfolds in his own words, through previously unseen private correspondence and rare archive film.” Shot on location in the UK, Portugal, and Ireland, the film features artists Ai Weiwei and Grayson Perry, writers Alan Bennett, Robert Harris and Robert Macfarlane and actors Freddie Fox, Tamsin Greig and Jeremy Irons.


orn in London in 1903, Ravilious studied on a scholarship at Eastbourne School of Art, then at the Royal College of Art’s Design School where he met and became close friends with Edward Bawden (who also served as an official war artist). At the RCA Ravilious was a student of Paul Nash, who had been an official war artist during World War I and went on to serve in WWII as a full-time war artist attached to the RAF and the Air Ministry. Nash called Ravilious and Bawden ‘an extraordinary outbreak of talent.’ Director Kinmouth describes


WIFE: With Tirzah painting a mural at the Midland Hotel, Morecombe Bay. Inset, Jeremy Irons

Ravilious as ‘one of Britain’s greatest landscapists’ and cites his work as being on a par with Nash, Turner, Constable and Hockney. Her film features actors reading excerpts from diaries and letters and includes Ravilious’s late wife Eileen ‘Tirzah’ Garwood, also an artist, in the story. Tirzah and Eric set up home in Great Bardfield, Essex, with Bawden and his wife Charlotte. Tirzah’s book Long Live Great Bardfield was published posthumously in 2012 (persephonebooks.com). Initially with the Royal Navy in 1940, Ravilious was sent to Chatham, Grimsby, Hull and then

Norway, joining a flotilla charged with recapturing the Norwegian port of Narvik. Returning from Norway he spent two weeks in Gosport studying a submarine. After his attachment to the Navy, he was taken out to lunch by Gp Capt Willoughby de Broke, the Air Ministry’s representative on the War Artists Advisory Committee. By late February 1942 Ravilious was at RAF Clifton, near York, drawing Lysanders. After only 13 nights away he returned home because Tirzah, diagnosed with breast cancer, had to undergo an operation. On April 7 he was posted to

nearby RAF Debden, moving to RAF Sawbridgeworth in May. He was then invited to RAF Kaldadarnes in Iceland, and in September 1942, went missing on a reconnaissance flight. When Tirzah, who was recovering from her operation, received a telegram from the Admiralty with news of her husband’s disappearance, she got out of bed and, with her friend Evelyn Hepher, walked to the iron bridge nearby that Ravilious had depicted in a watercolour. His painting Ironbridge at Ewenbridge can be seen at the Fry Art Gallery where the watercolour Demonstrating a Machine Gun (unfinished) at RAF Sawbridgeworth, dated May 1942, is also on display. The station, near Harlow, was home to Spitfire and Lysander reconnaissance squadrons.


he book Eric Ravilious At The Fry says: “He had a great affection for the work of Francis Towne, the 19th-century watercolour painter, and he was planning before the war to go to Greenland to paint snow and mountain landscape, the

FILMING: With Grayson Perry at his studio

subject of Towne’s best work. It was this wish to paint similar scenes in his war pictures which took him to Iceland – and it was from his very first flight that he failed to return.” Ravilious’s body was never recovered. Tirzah’s cancer returned and she died in 1951, aged 42. n Eric Ravilious: Drawn To War is at selected cinemas until September 14. Go to: dartmouthfilms.com for more details. The Fry Art Gallery’s collection includes work by Ravilious, Garwood and Bawden – go to: fryartgallery. org. The Towner Gallery has a dedicated Eric Ravilious room: townereastbourne.org.uk

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By Tracey Allen

The CO who qualified on the Spitfire and Lancaster EVER SINCE he sat in the back of a Chipmunk at RAF Woodvale as a young lad, Christopher Colville knew he wanted to fly for a living. The teenage air cadet – who gained his Private Pilot’s Licence while still at school – won a scholarship that led to a permanent commission with the RAF and he went on to fly the Lightning, Phantom and Tornado F3 in the air defence role. He became RAF Coningsby’s Station Commander and flew with the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, becoming the only station commander to qualify on the Hurricane, Spitfire and Lancaster. He also qualified on helicopters and multi-engine aircraft and was made responsible for the quality and displays performed by the RAF’s world-famous aerobatic team, the Red Arrows, flying with them regularly. Colville was promoted to Air Marshal and now he’s written his memoirs, Fighter Pilot From Cold War Jets To Spitfires (pen-andsword.co.uk). He reveals that his distinguished career didn’t necessarily get off to

WE HAVE copies of Chris Colville’s memoirs to win. For your chance to own one, tell us: How long was AM Christopher Colville’s RAF career? Email your answer, marked: Fighter Pilot book competition, to: competitions@rafnews.co.uk or post it to: RAF News, Room 68, Lancaster Building, HQ Air Command, High Wycombe, HP14 4UE, to arrive by July 15.


PILOT: Flying a Lightning in 1973 and with the Reds in 1994, inset

an auspicious start. He said: “When I think back on my three years at Cranwell, I do so with mixed emotions….But the College was a remarkable vehicle for generating friendships, and perhaps most importantly for inculcating values and standards that would stand us in good stead for the future…. I believe it gave me far more selfdiscipline and self-confidence, but I still felt uneasy as I marched up

the steps of College Hall on my graduation that I was made of The Right Stuff. Time would tell.” It turns out he was. Knighted in 2000, in 2001 and about to leave the Air Force he turned down a job offer from BAe to take up the dualhatted post of RAF Commanderin-Chief Personnel and Training Personnel with the Air Force Board post of Air Member for Personnel. He retired from the Service in 2003 after a 39-year career Colville became a vice-president

EARLY START: Cadet Sgt Colville, aged 17

of the Football Association – after serving as president of RAF Football and Combined Services Football – which involved meeting celebrities who he would host to lunch before international matches. He admits to not recognising one very famous pop singer. He said: “Perhaps my biggest blunder in this role was inviting a very attractive lady to my table, as she was sitting alone, and after introducing myself had to admit that I had missed her name, largely

ROYAL VISIT: Hosting Princess Margaret whilst CO at RAF Coningsby in 1987

as she had omitted to mention it. There was a groan around the table; it was Victoria Beckham, then Posh Spice.”

The evolution of Hawker THE FIRST jet designed by Hawker Aircraft Ltd, the P.1040, took to the air on September 2, 1947. The design was conceived towards the end of World War II but was subsequently rejected by the RAF and was developed and used by the Royal Navy. Hawker continued their research into jets and went on to produce their first swept wing aircraft, the P.1052, their first rocket powered example the P.1072 and then the P.1081. When it first flew in 1951 the P.1067 Hunter was the fastest fighter in the world and it clinched the world airspeed record in 1953 before it entered service with the RAF. It was flown by legendary

test pilot and World War II fighter ace Neville Duke. The story of these prototype aircraft is told in a new book, Hawker’s Early Jets, Dawn of the

WE HAVE copies of Hawker’s Early Jets up for grabs. To enter, answer this question: In which year did Neville Duke achieve the world airspeed record? Email your answer, marked: Hawker’s Early Jets book competition, to: competitions@rafnews. co.uk or post it to: RAF News, Room 68, Lancaster Building, HQ Air Command, High Wycombe, HP14 4UE, to arrive by July 15.


Hunter by Christopher Budgen (pen-andsword.co.uk). The author grew up in the shadow of Hawker’s Flight Test Centre at Dunsfold in Surrey, worked there in the 1970s then had a 21year career with British Aerospace. His previous book is Hawker’s Secret Cold War Airfield and he is now an archivist at Brooklands Museum. Talking about the world airspeed record attempt, Budgen said: “…the aircraft was flying again by 7 September, ready for the actual record attempt. Three runs were made over the course just off-shore at Littlehampton, the best run giving 727.63mph, sufficient to gain the World Air Speed Record for the aircraft, Duke, Hawker Aircraft Ltd and the UK. Later in the month, WB188 was used again, this time for an attempt of the 100-kilometre closed course record, this being flown again by Duke, who, on 19 September 1953, achieved 709.2mph, another record.”

FIRST HAWKER JETS: Hunter F1 WT555, above; Neville above Duke in P.1067 WB188, left; and the legendary test pilot flying P.1052 VX272, far left PHOTOS: © BAE Systems, courtesy Brooklands Museum

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The prize winners n L AC WO









HEAT IS ON: Graduates parade in scorching temperatures at Honington, where the Reviewing Officer was AVM Harvey Smyth, below left, who addressed new Gunners and families, below

Welcome to the RAF Regt family Newest Gunners graduate CONGRATULATIONS GO to the 15 members of Trainee Gunner Course 5-21, El Alamein Flight; the newest members of the RAF Regiment to have graduated at Honington. Each graduate is welcomed into a family corps dedicated to the delivery of Force Protection to Royal Air Force assets on a global scale. On what was then the hottest day of the year so far the new graduates were joined by loved ones on the Parade Square. S q u a d r o n Commanders and Warrant Officers from RAF Regiment Units receiving the new Gunners also met and welcomed

new arrivals and their families after the event. They were on hand to answer any questions that the graduates or families might have before they arrive at their new squadrons. The Reviewing Officer was Air Vice-Marshal Harvey Smyth, the UK’s Director Space. He congratulated the new recruits on their future roles within the RAF Regiment. On graduating the

Gunners are posted to either 1 Squadron RAF Regt at RAF Honington, 2 Squadron RAF Regt (RAF Brize Norton), 15 Squadron RAF Regt (RAF Marham), 34 Squadron RAF Regt (RAF Leeming), 51 Squadron RAF Regt (RAF Lossiemouth) or The Queen’s Colour Squadron (63 Squadron RAF Regt, RAF Northolt). Further congratulations go to the Prize Winners: Frank Sylvester Trophy: LAC Woodward, best all-round

Trainee Gunner. The RAF Regt Association Trophy for Drill and Deportment: LAC Chalmers. WO Ramsey Physical Development Cup: LAC Vickery. LAC Beard Recruits’ Trophy: LAC Swain, voted by course peers as the most inspirational and supportive member of the Flight. SAC Luders Champion Shot Trophy: LAC Woodward. Cpl Bradfield Trophy: Cpl Garwood, top JNCO of the course.

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Ford Mustang Mach-E

Quietly impressive It’s no V8 muscle car, but Mustang Mach-E is a capable SUV TIM MORRIS Motoring Correspondent TO DEMONSTRATE the level of sound produced by a V8 Ford Mustang I once started one at 5am on a Sunday, in the quietest part of the UK, and drove like a scene from Gone In 60 Seconds through several coastal villages. The soundtrack for the TV series I was presenting was epic… and the sound recordist was several miles away at the time. Unfortunately, when the film was shown, several beady-eyed viewers spotted where it was shot and complained to the station. A red-faced ‘head of programmes’ subsequently ordered me to write an open letter of apology, which I begrudgingly did with the distinct caveat that I’d conducted a bonafide science experiment, not an act of automotive hooliganism. But then I started to think about it and concluded that that was exactly the point. Mustangs have always been hooligans, they’re all blue denim and lots of gob. Like tornados and hurricanes, the Mustang has always been a force of nature, which is why I’m now baffled. You see, Ford’s latest Mustang, the Mach-E, is an electric SUV that doesn’t make a peep. It’s seriously cool but, come on, a Mustang without a V8? You won’t find a Ford badge anywhere on this thing, just the galloping horse, but don’t be misled. This is not a Mustang in any traditional sense and you’ll be sorely disappointed if you expect it to be. If you’re in the market for an electric crossover however, it’s a ruddy good one. Interior Ford has tried to do something different with the Mach-E and the interior cabin is unlike the rest of the range. The most dominant feature is a gargantuan (15.5in) portraitoriented infotainment screen. In true American style, it takes over the entire centre of the dashboard and easily rivals the system found in Tesla’s Model Y. Through the tablet you can control most of the car’s functions, play games and even let the kids use it as a colouring book.

The controls are well laid out and generally easier to use than most rivals. You get physical steeringwheel buttons that are simple to find by feel, and permanently displayed temperature controls that span the bottom of the touchscreen. There’s also a separate 10.2in digital instrument cluster behind the steering wheel that shows the usual driving information, such as the speed, battery percentage and the remaining range. It’s easy to read and the layout pips Tesla’s Model Y for simplicity. The infotainment software is responsive and graphics are sharp. Our car also came equipped with a Bang & Olufsen stereo. The Mach-E is styled like a coupé so headroom isn’t massive but there’s plenty of leg room in the front, great knee room in the back, and plenty of space for the middle rear-seat passenger too. The driving position is pretty good and the seats are comfortable on a long run. One minor complaint is that you do slide about a bit on tight bends because the

seats lack side support but the eight-way electrically adjustable seats are standard on all AWD models so it’s easy to get comfy. That comfort is even animalfriendly because not a single Texan cow was harmed in the making of your faux-leather seats. On The Road This is Ford’s first venture into the electric vehicle market and it feels decidedly American. It doesn’t drive like a Mustang of course but its weight and power do give it a familiar feel through the bends. There’s certainly enough rearwheel shove to nudge the back end out with the traction control off and that makes it engaging for an EV. Boot it as you exit a bend and a wealth of torque is delivered to the rear wheels, so you hit the straight fast and flat. You soon learn where the line is though. Go in too hard and the high-profile tyres leave the nose struggling to find grip which, in a 2.2-tonne SUV, can take a bit of recovering.

On a run it rides well and the cabin is a very quiet place to be. The tail end experiences a bit too much bounce on uneven surfaces in my book but that’s being picky. Overall Ford has managed to keep the handling taut enough to make it feel, in a small way, like a Mustang. There’s no steering feedback from the road in the Mach-E, but the suspension does a fair job of communicating what’s happening under you at speed. Around town it’s not the most sophisticated ride but it always feels robust, handles predictably and feels better put together than the Tesla. The tech is clever. You can select Active, Whisper and Untamed drive modes to alter the character of the car. In truth, they don’t really change the handling, ride, or power at all. They just remap the throttle, brake performance, steering weight, engine sound generator and, wait for it, the interior ambience. It’s fake but effective. 0-60mph is 7.0 seconds, top end 111mph, max power 294PS and the charge time from 10 to 80 per cent is 45 minutes.

Ford Mustang Mach-E Pros Up to 379 miles battery range Good infotainment system Well-equipped Loads of room Cons Bounce on certain surfaces Oddly weighted An SUV, not a Mustang Verdict: Put any thoughts of smoking tyres, muscle car street races and car chase sound effects out of your head. This is not a Mustang and it will disappoint if you expect it to be. It is however a seriously impressive, large, EV, SUV, with all the right qualities. At £56,480, it’s priced in line with other cars in this segment and it’s wellequipped for the money. It will cover impressive distances on a single charge and you’ll never have to apologise for waking your neighbours when you fire it up at 5am.

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Email: sports@rafnews.co.uk

t h g i r e c n a l a Getting the b MOUNTAIN BIKING KICKING OFF the season at speed the Service’s mountain bikers recently took part in a two-day training camp at the Forest of Dean. The event attracted more than 20 riders from the Service’s Enduro and Downhill teams and featured one day of coaching from Pro Ride MTB and one where the riders consolidated what they had been taught. SAC Jack Welson said: “This was my first MTB coaching session. I always thought I had okay technique, it turns out I had some tweaks to make and executing these benefitted my riding right away. After the session I had far more balance on the bike and less fatigue.” The opening day’s coaching saw riders work through basics then more advanced bike skills, focusing on body position and ‘attack’ positions, before moving on to generating speed while not pedalling. Coaching in the art of cornering and body positioning, coupled

PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT: Tackling a downhill section, and negotiating the marker cones, inset

with race line selections and handling steeper corners, was aimed at developing the riders going into the busy season. The day closed with a timed race, which saw participants ride without pedalling, using the coaching skills they had just learned.

Andy has the Worlds at his feet MOUNTAIN BIKING

Daniel Abrahams THE SERVICE’S first World Championship mountain biker secured two top-20 finishes during the opening rounds of MTB action for the year. Sgt Andy Lochhead was third in the opening round of the Scottish Enduro Series round one at Nevis Range, Fort William. Riding in the masters category, the race doubled as an Enduro World Series (EWS) qualifier, with the first stage held at Tweed Valley, Innerleithen. His finish meant the RAF man had enough points to compete in the Pro Masters category race for the remainder of the season. Hot on the heels of the Fort William

race, Lochhead came home 18th in the practice race on the EWS Pro stage, after what he described as a ‘conservative ride’. Lochhead found a quick pace early on and was pushing up the rankings before hitting a tree on stage five. He said: “I was going well but struggled to find the balance with aggressive riding and bouncing off trees. “Unfortunately I hit a tree and came to a stop and then hit another one and ended up the wrong side of the course tape. This meant I had to push back up and round the tape.” Aiming for a top-10 finish, Lochhead ended up in 12th. The RAF rider now heads off to Petzen, Slovenia for round two of the EWS event.

GO PRO: Sgt Andy Lochhead attacks the course at Innerleithen PHOTOS: JWDT rootsandrain.com

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Shadows steel win in Sheffield despite spirited Pumas display

PUMAS: Hoping for great things with new boss Cpl Andrew Rourke, inset below. PHOTOS: TRISH THOMPSON

Sheffield Shadows RAF Pumas

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Daniel Abrahams COACHING SESSIONS and a tough match saw RAF Pumas women’s ice hockey team’s new head coach finally get to work with his new charges. Cpl Andrew Rourke’s first match in the hot seat saw the Pumas succumb 5-0 to the powerful Sheffield Shadows at Ice Sheffield, hours after he held his first training session. The Wittering-based coach said: “Having recently taken over the RAF Pumas, my intention was to get straight down to business. A training session and game against a wellorganised opposition as soon as possible would be the best way to move

Baptism of fire for new boss Rourke forward. Luckily, timings tied in nicely to have them both at the start of the Tri-Service and InterService competitions." Sheffield Shadows – runners-up at the recent Women’s National Ice Hockey League play-off, gaining promotion to the Women’s Elite flight – were more than worthy opponents. They were, though, faced with some superb defensive Pumas play, as the team tried to put some of Rourke’s positional and offensive coaching into practice on the ice. Team captain Cpl Teresa Robinson (RAF

Lossiemouth), said: “We gave a strong performance, and our defensive lines kept the opponents at bay throughout. We were frustrating their attacks. “They are an accomplished side and managed to put away what goal opportunities they got, but we can walk away from this fixture knowing we gave everything. We have gone from strength to strength and will only get better. We will learn from this and take it into the next fixture during this month’s training camp.” Rourke added: “Our training session revolved around controlling the play. It was clear what was learnt got carried out onto the ice, as the opposing attack were frustrated time and time again. “The result doesn’t reflect the effort demonstrated by the entire team. We have a lot to learn and will continue to strive to be better. Our next focus is the July training camp where we will face Telford Ladies.” n Follow the team on Facebook @ RAFIceHockeyAssociation.


ON THE UP: RAF climbers tackle the walls, above and below


Climbing hits new peaks IT TOOK an awesome RAF indoor climbing championship event to choose the Service’s team for the upcoming season. The day of action at the Awesome Walls venue in Sheffield acted as the launchpad not only for team selection, but to inspire newcomers to the sport and association. Cpl Samuel Fillingdon-Doyle said: “The standard of RAF climbing is now higher than ever. Climbing has boomed in popularity since the 2020 Olympics, influencing a whole new generation of strong climbers. This has seen us represented in greater numbers at UKAF team events. “As an association we are looking forward to a bumper 2022, with a number of training events scheduled, which are now open to the wider RAF.” The training will include expert level coaching by rock climbing icon and British Mountaineering Council ambassador Emma Twyford and BMC stalwart Ian Dunn.

Events this year include the Inter-Service Championships (September) and Tri-Service bouldering league, held monthly from October. n Go to rafmountaineer.com to find out more.

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Service rugby union shows Northern grit RUGBY UNION

Spitfires on Wight path

AIR POWER: RAF tackler stops Army advance

TRI TRY: RAF score on way to victory over Navy PHOTOS: SAC CIARAN McFALLS

A TOUGH 24-5 final defeat to the Army was the culmination for the RAF of the Tri-Services Scotland and Northern Ireland rugby union championship at Edinburgh’s Oriam Centre. After a three-year wait due to Covid the compressed format tournament, which was screened live on Forces TV, saw the teams play out 40-minute matches for the prized Veolia Nevis trophy. Wg Cdr Dougie Potter, the chair of the tournament organisation committee, said: “It was important for Service rugby, that’s often focused in the south, that we were able to host a tournament with such

RAF Army

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high-quality play on show, in this amazing venue. “The players got to experience the next level up of competition and facilities, which will hopefully allow them to develop as individuals and allow us to grow the tournament in the future.” The RAF team made up of personnel either based in Scotland or Northern Ireland, or nationally qualified, saw off a spirited Royal Navy team in the day’s opening clash.

A powerful scrummage proved too much for the Senior Service side, with SAC Ben Collins, Flt Lt Jamie Wilson and SAC Nathan Mason scoring tries in a 19-10 victory. The final score did not do justice to the hosts’ dominance, while a well-drilled Army team steamrollered the Navy in the second game. A healthy crowd throughout the day were then treated to a superb spectacle of rugby in the final clash. A strong start from the RAF saw them launching phase after phase. They were grinding their way up the field, driving the Army back with a demonstration of focused

RAF Navy

19 10

direct power that was difficult to live with. An unconverted try was then cancelled out through a series of Army penalties. Several handling errors then saw the Army extend their lead, and 10-5 became 17-5 going into the break. The hosts produced some great attacking play in the second half but just could not find the final pass, and the Army extended their lead before the end, which was harsh on the RAF men.

“THAT WAS a good start to the season,” said RAF Spitfires manager Flt Lt Michael Hutchinson after his team’s Isle of Wight sevens tournament quarter-final bow. There were plenty of big names competing at the inaugural event. Hutchinson added: “We produced glimpses of excellent 7s, which shows great promise for future tournaments,” after the RAF side left the tournament following a 36-0 defeat by the SA Wild Dogs. The Spitfires got off to a slow start against Apache with their opponents dominating possession throughout. A try from Cpl Mark Williams was the only reward for some excellent attacking play from the Service side, which often was just lacking the final touch. The scoreline ended 28-5 to Apache. The RAF team’s next opponents, Karuta, scored two quick converted tries to leave the Service men shellshocked. Rallying, it took an excellent piece of skill to spark Cpl Will Lamont’s try just before the break to claw back the score to 14-5. Receiving kick-off after the restart, Cpl Lamont produced a superb catch before running a full 70 yards to touch down. From that point the RAF dominated with Karuta not once getting into the opposition’s half with ball in hand. Further tries from Cpls Williams, Sam Breeze and Lamont, who completed his hat trick, sealed a resounding 27-14 victory. Gaining a bye for their last match meant the Spitfires secured second place in the group, resulting in a tough cup quarter-final draw against SA Wild Dogs. An injury-depleted Spitfires succumbed, leaving the event after a 36-0 thumping.

Would you like to see your sport featured in RAF News? Send a short report (max 300 words) & two or three photographs (attached jpegs) to: Sports@rafnews.co.uk

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UKAF honours for RAF fighters

STAND AND DELIVER: SAC(T) Arran Devine hones in on ducking opponent Le Poullain

RAF BOXING took two huge steps forward despite the Service’s stars losing both of their Haringey Cup bouts. In the penultimate event of the boxing calendar, in what has been a highly successful season, SAC(T) Arran Devine (Lossiemouth) and SAC Frankie Lyall (Digby) produced excellent displays against Commonwealth Games qualifier Billy Le Poullain and Canadian international Terri Smith respectively, only losing on tight split decisions. Both RAF fighters were selected to represent the UK Armed Forces in what was the first UKAF team event in more than a decade – the Haringey Box Cup. The Alexandra Palace event hosted more than 300 fighters over four days, making it the largest international boxing cup in Europe. Devine, looking good after his recent Scottish Championship success and GB Tri Nations silver medal, was drawn against the tournament’s number one seed Le Poullain from Guernsey. A master class of boxing ensued from the first bell, with every round closely contested, but it was Le Poullain who was awarded the bout and went on to win gold two days later. Lyall was drawn against British Columbia boxing team’s Terri Smith, an international with more than 40 contests under her belt.

SPLIT DECISION: SAC Lyall (right) goes close against Smith

In only her 14th bout, Lyall utilised her south paw stance and high pace to overwhelm her opponent in the first round. The second round went to Smith and a very tight third also went the way of the Canadian. Next up for the Service’s boxing stars is the Hull Box Cup.

Mohan's riding high


Podium spot for Taylor-Lei

OFFICER CADET Taylor-Lei Mohan blazed a solo trail for the RAF BMX team at the recent National stages. With Covid-19 ruling out Cpl Chris Taylor, and team manager Sgt Matt Haywood riding in America, Mohan took to her home track in Peckham, London, hoping to make the most of any small advantage. On the opening day’s racing she produced a first in the Moto race, which she followed up with fifth and fourth place finishes. Bursting into the semi-final stages, she qualified through to the main final after coming fourth. For the final she crossed the line seventh, on her 20in 17 – 29 Challenge Class. For her 24in Cruiser races, which were merged with the lower-aged class, she posted two seconds and one first before coming second in the semifinal and eighth in the final. On the second day of action in the 17-29 Challenge Class she posted fourth, third and fifth, coming fourth in the semi-final to qualify for the main final again, where she ended up seventh. In the merged cruiser class event, Mohan came second, first and second, before coming third in the semi-final and third in the final – meaning she won her class and grabbed a podium spot.

TEAM PLAYER: RAF rider Taylor-Lei Mohan stepped up and did the Service proud

PHOTO: BMX Widow Photography, FB: BmxRacingPhotography

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New ladies team takes the IS title JUDO

Women only met for first time at April training camp HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH was the impressive venue for the Inter-Services Judo championships, but it was the hastilycompiled RAF ladies team who stole the show, winning gold. The event, hosted on the Royal Navy aircraft carrier in Portsmouth, provided a solid medal return for the Service’s Judo Association, with the men’s A and Masters teams taking bronze. Of the 10-medal haul for the men’s team, six came in double wins, with Sgt Jay O’Rourke taking bronze in the U81 and silver in the Masters U81, Sqn Ldr Steve Milne took bronze in the U100 and silver in the Masters U100 and Cpl Andrew Melbourne won silver in the over 100 and silver in the over 100 Masters.

Having first met at a training camp at RAF Cosford in April, the ladies team of SAC Charlotte Williams, who took silver in the U52kg category, Cpl Zoe Hebden, who took gold in U63kg and AC Karis HoughtonBrown, who took silver in the U70kg+, won team gold to crown the championship. Hebden said: “As a team, we were thrown together and immediately there was a great atmosphere, nobody put anyone under any pressure, and although Judo bouts are a singular contest, we all fought for each other, we had each other’s backs. “We all have our own personal ways to prepare for bouts, for example, I like to watch my potential competitor’s pre-bout and then you discuss things with your coach, at this IS the three of us were advising each other,

TOP SPOT: (centre, l-r) RAF teammates SAC Charlotte Williams, AC Karis Houghton-Brown and Cpl Zoe Hebden

sharing a common goal.” Following their success, Hebden, who only made a return to the sport recently after 15 years away, and AC Houghton-Brown, have been selected to represent the Service at the National Team Championships later

in the year. Hebden added: “For me the championships was going to be a final bow, but now the team is so good, and we have done so well, my perspective has changed.” n Follow RAF Judo on Facebook @RAFJudo


Runners-up at Lord's Daniel Abrahams A 62-RUN defeat was the outcome of a winner-takes-all IST20 clash against the Army as the RAF fell just short at Lord’s. RAF team captain SAC(T) Tom Shorthouse said: “Lord’s was a good day. It was obviously tough to lose the game to the Army, but they proved they were probably the strongest side over the week. “However, it was a great day and great experience. It can be a daunting task playing there for the first time, but the experience will only help us in future tournaments. “We felt on the back foot a bit going into the tournament, beating the Navy in the first game was very satisfying and shows the spirit we have in the group. I couldn’t have asked for anything more from the lads in that game.” Having seen the Army dispatch the Royal Navy in the day’s opening match by 43 runs, the RAF set about trying to defeat the men in red with gusto, but despite early and midgame pressure, the Army managed to post an impressive 168-7 (8.4 run rate) and early promise with the bat was quashed and the game ran away from the RAF.


ON THE ATTACK: RAF put on the runs against the Army, and celebrating a wicket, inset above

In their first game of the tournament three runs were enough to kickstart the RAF’s IST20 charge at Aldershot as the Royal Navy fell short. A strong first innings saw the RAF batsmen set a target of 168 at the

Fleet Road Ground, and despite the difficulty of reaching the score, the Senior Service fell just short on 165. The top scorer for the RAF was SAC Sam Beales (44) with captain SAC(T) Tom Shorthouse (36) and


Cpl Adam Sutcliffe (24) also adding to the score. The Senior Service took eight wickets with the ball and two half century partnerships took them tantalisingly close.

It was a great start at Lord’s for the RAF, having the Army reigning champions one down for just two runs in the opening over and after 18 balls with just 12 runs on the board. Wickets for Shorthouse and Watson – at 67-2 and 69-4 – caused the Army to stutter at 150-6 after 18.5 overs and things looked good for the RAF. The final score of 1687 was achievable, and the captain led his men with a superb 29, taking them to 34-0 before miscuing a delivery from Army captain Boynton. Cpl Ross Diver hit a huge six to see the RAF’s half century come up, but after being bowled around his legs by Boynton the RAF batting slipped away and they found themselves 97-9 for one wicket left, before stumbling to 106 all out. UKAF women beat the MCC total of 115-4 to win their game.

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Royal Air Force News Friday, July 1, 2022 R'n'R 1

Announcements P6-7

Puzzles P8

R'n'R Win!

Win awardwinning film on DVD and Blu-ray See p3

The secret's out – elite fitness coach Mike Chadwick

See pages 4-5

Royal Air Force News Friday, July 1, 2022 R'n'R 4

R'n'R Music

Elvis Costello Cinemas and digital platforms now. Signature Ents

Costello takes a musical trip down memory lane COSTELLO: 50th anniversary of first band


LVIS COSTELLO and his partner in his first band Rusty, Allan Mayes, have reunited for, as Costello puts it, “the record we would have cut when we were 18, if anyone had let us.” Costello – then D.P. MacManus – joined Mayes’ band Rusty on New Year’s Day 1972, and for the next 12 months played dozens of gigs, though never made it to the recording studio. The Resurrection of Rust comprises newly-recorded renditions of six songs drawn from Rusty’s 1972 set lists including two Nick Lowe tunes, Surrender to the Rhythm and Don’t Lose Your Grip on Love. Costello said: “In 2021, my pal and singing partner in the Liverpool clubs, Allan Mayes, wrote to me from his home in Austin, Texas. He wanted to remind me that it would soon be 50 years since I joined his band, Rusty. “We would rehearse in my bedroom or at Allan’s house working our way through two pretty similar stacks of mostly

American albums, looking for songs to sing. Our secret weapon was a stack of Nick Lowe’s songs written for Brinsley Schwarz, not so well‐known then. “For the next year or so Rusty played folk clubs and pubs on either side of the Mersey, or provided background music to nervous conversation at a lonely hearts gathering in the RAF Club on Bold Street. “By the summer of ’72 we were playing up to five or six nights a week. I was still at school, supposedly studying for my A‐ Levels. Once I got a job, we had to schedule our Rusty gigs around my shift work as a computer operator until early in 1973, when I decided

to leave Liverpool. “Allan continued to play the local club circuit after I left, took over a group he named Restless and hit the London pub circuit of 1975, playing the same venue as my own semi‐pro band, Flip City. “He recorded a solo album in the early 80s before travelling the world, playing on cruise ships and in oil worker bars in Alaska, before settling in Texas. He has been a hardworking musician for more than the 50 years since we met.” The Resurrection of Rust is out on CD and digitally now with a vinyl release set for later this summer. n Go to: elviscostello.com for more details.

How to make feel-good rock during Covid pandemic C

URRENTLY ON tour in Europe, Simple Minds have announced the release of Direction of the Heart, the band’s first album of new material since 2018’s UK Top 5 Walk Between Worlds. The new album is due out on October 21 and last month the single from it Vision Thing was released. The song, with music by Simple Minds’ long-term guitarist Charlie Burchill and lyrics by frontman Jim Kerr, is a tribute to Kerr’s ‘best pal’, his late father who passed away in 2019. Most of Direction of the Heart’s tracks were created and demoed in Sicily, where both Kerr and Burchill live. Unable to come to the UK because of quarantine rules, it was recorded at Hamburg’s Chameleon Studios – where it was also produced, with the help of Andy Wright (Massive Attack, Echo & The Bunnymen) and Gavin Goldberg (Simply Red, KT Tunstall). Album guests include Sparks frontman Russell Mael. Kerr said: “How to make a feel-good ‘electro-rock’ record, during the very worst of times? Direction of the

SIMPLE MINDS: Releasing their first new album since 2018

Heart is the result of that challenge. Who would have thought we’d have so much fun creating it?” n Go to: simpleminds.com for more details.



Meet Coach former Para & who's becom fitness traine



T JUST 31, Mike Chadwick has achieved a phenomenal amount. The former paratrooper, now known as ‘Coach Mike’, is a top-class fitness trainer who counts elite sports stars – from Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) fighters to GB rowers – and tactical athletes including UK and New Zealand Special Forces, the New York Fire Service and South African anti-poachers among his clients. Previously working as a ‘secret coach’, the superfit Liverpudlian has stepped out of the shadows to reveal the secrets of his winning approach with the release of his audiobook The Red on Revolution (WFH Original). The audiobook, which Mike narrates, uncovers first-hand fitness insights from the Special Forces, sets the record straight on myths about military fitness, and provides listeners with expert advice on how to train like a tactical athlete – from building a bombproof core to adopting the right mindset. It features special guests including UFC heavyweight Tom Aspinall, reigning World and Europe Strongman champions the Stoltman Brothers and Special Forces and leadership expert Ant Middleton. It also includes interviews with the fittest woman in the military SSgt Charlotte Spence, Paralympian Scott Meenagh and mental resilience coach Simon Jeffries. Coach Mike said: “I have spent much of my career in the shadows, coaching at an elite level and helping individuals go far beyond what they thought was physically possible. “In the audiobook I provide listeners with everything they need to transform how they train to reach and surpass their fitness goals. “It busts myths, challenges preconceptions and motivates all in one go, while exploring how many inspirational experts from all types of disciplines consistently manage to thrive and perform at their peak.” ike, who said he ‘used to jump out of planes for a living’, explained: “The audiobook title came about because ‘red on’ is a concept I’ve always abided by. Red is what happens just before you leave the aircraft, the red light comes on before the green. There’s a lot of things in the build up to that green light. I want everyone I instruct to be prepared for anything. “The revolution part of it comes from all the citations from the awards I was given when in the military, all of them mentioned that I had revolutionised something.” He added: “The majority of my athletes are HEADLINERS: from a tactical Proclaimers background – as The a tactical athlete you have no idea what’s through

Learn ho

WE HAVE cop For your chance What is Mike Email you competition, to it to: RAF News Command, Hi July 15.

that next door, over that next hill. I consider anyone who wants to better themselves physically and mentally a tactical athlete.” The publicity for Mike’s audiobook says he ‘single-handedly revolutionised training in the British Armed Forces.’

Royal Air Force News Friday, July 1, 2022 R'n'R 5

Edited by Tracey Allen



The Michael Bisping Story (15)


On Blu-ray and DVD now. Dazzler Media

Mike, the & Forces PTI me the latest er sensation

CHAMP: Bisping wins his UFC title, and proudly displays his belt, bottom of page. Inset below, celebrity fan Vin Diesel, who appears in the new documentary

FORCES FIT: Mike as an Army Sgt PTI (left) and with Para colleagues (above, front centre)

Training Instructors (PTIs). “We redesigned the way physical pathways worked. Most of my awards came from where I revolutionised the pathways of the Army Foundation College for 16 to 17-year-olds.’ Mike joined the Army aged 16, and went on to serve in Afghanistan, joining the PT Corps in 2017. He left the Service in October 2020 and is now an Army Reservist. He said: “I was spending three out of four weeks away with the Paras and I wanted to come home – I’ve got a little girl now. Things were taking off with my coaching career and it was the right time to broaden my horizons on the tactical scene.”


ow to reach your goal

pies of Coach Mike’s audiobook to win. e to own one, tell us: e’s home town? ur answer, marked Audiobook o: competitions@rafnews.co.uk or post s, Room 68, Lancaster Building, HQ Air igh Wycombe, HP14 4UE, to arrive by He explained: “I created some programmes especially for some of the more arduous courses, where we tripled pass rates. One of my jobs was travelling around the country after I was selected for the Royal Army Physical Training Corps and upskilling the Army’s Physical

e’s moved back to his home town, Liverpool, where, he admits, he ‘didn’t have a great upbringing.’ “My mother wasn’t well and I was bringing up my little sister. I had to join the Army at 16 to help put food on the table. My mother had a lot of addictions, demons, she died while I was enlisting. Signing up for the Army was the quickest way I could get money,” he explained. While still in the Paracute Regiment Mike studied for three years for a degree in coaching with the Open University, which he financed himself. He stressed that you don’t necessarily have to be an elite athlete in order to benefit from his methods of coaching. He said: “Your level of fitness when you begin doesn’t matter. It’s there to get you started. It’s there for absolutely everybody. I want to bridge the gap between education and application.” n Go to: coachmikechadwick. com for more information.

UK tour for Britain's first Ultimate Fighting Champ


ICHAEL BISPING, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Hall of Fame fighter and former Middleweight Champion, is coming home to the UK this October to give his supporters the opportunity to hear his amazing story in his own words with An Evening With Michael Bisping: Tales From The Octagon. His journey has taken him from England’s North West through to the top of the MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) world, becoming the only British champion in UFC history. Alongside a burgeoning Hollywood movie career, the latest chapter in his life sees Michael host a hugely successful podcast, as well as commentating for ESPN, BT Sports and formerly Fox Sports. Opening for the night will be comedian and Believe You Me co-host Luis J Gomez. Bisping said: “After the success of my first oneman show in Toronto in 2019, I am coming home to England so join me as I take you through the highs and lows of my fight career, sharing many unheard stories and i n s i g h t into the f a s c i n at i ng sport of Mixed Martial Arts, which I expect will leave you laughing your

head off while also being inspired to conceive, believe and achieve. “From my early days of working in a slaughterhouse, living in my car and all the way up to winning the middleweight world title in the UFC to retiring nearly blind, I have quite the story to tell.” When working in numerous dead-end jobs to make ends meet whilst all the time training in boxing, kickboxing and Jiu Jitsu, Bisping realised he had the potential to be a world-class fighter and doing so would be his best opportunity to provide for his family. He eventually went on to win The Ultimate Fighter 3 in 2006, kick-starting his professional career, and 10 years later, at UFC 199, he became the first British fighter to become a UFC Champion. As well as being a soughtafter sports pundit, Bisping has launched a successful acting career, having featured in xXx Return of Xander Cage and Den of Thieves and being the lead in the upcoming film The Journeyman. Tour dates include London Indigo at The O2 on October 6, Manchester O2 Apollo on October

8 and Glasgow O2 Academy on October 10. THE COMPELLING documentary Bisping focuses on the man’s life and incredible career. When the fan-favourite lost vision in one eye during a controversial fight, survival mode kicked in. As his loving wife and children pleaded for the battered and bruised fighter to hang up his gloves, he made the only decision he knew was right. Featuring candid insights from Bisping himself, alongside stars from the sport and screen, including Dana White, Georges St-Pierre, Joe Rogan, Vin Diesel, Mickey Rourke, Scott Adkins, Michael Jai White and more, this is a candid portrait of one man’s determination to succeed, and what it takes to be the best. We have copies of Bisping on DVD up for grabs. For your chance to win one, answer this question correctly: In which weight category was Bisping the UFC champion? Email your answer, marked Dazzler DVDs competition, to: comp et it ions@raf ne ws.co.u k or post it to: RAF News, Room 68, Lancaster Building, HQ Air Command, High Wycombe HP14 4UE, to arrive by July 15. Please include your full postal address.

Royal Air Force News Friday, July 1, 2022 R'n'R 6

R'n'R Your Announcements

You can email photos for announcements on this page to: tracey.allen@rafnews.co.uk

Seeking CAN anyone provide information/contact details for Dick Sheasby – Solihull School 1952-58 and subsequently short service commission pilot? Please contact dskidmore@doctors. org.uk if you can help. I am trying to contact Sqn Ldr Charles Slatter (Ret’d), ex C-130 pilot. Please email: j on @ t he p owe rc omp any. co.za DOES anyone know the whereabouts of Steve Welburn and Steve Butterworth? Steve Welburn was the OC RAF Swanton Morley detachment at BAe Woodford Nimrod AEW project. Steve Butterworth was on 16 Sqn Buccaneers RAF Laarbruch in the early 80s. Email: Ron ThompsonPeate: lindaro146@yahoo. co.uk LOOKING for any members of the 47th entry TG19 Hereford 62-64. Any still about? Please contact Jim Cummins on: Carol_ cummins@aol.com or: 01302 532865,07517 416702. LOOKING for any of the class of IFN4/66, nav inst fitters course held at RAF Newton from April 1966 to March 1967. Please contact Malcolm Hodgson on: hodgson8448@gmail.com LOOKING for anyone stationed at RAF Safi, Malta and RAF Idris, Libya, between June 1963 and December 1965. Also, anyone on the RAF flight on Floriana parade ground for Independence Day in September 1964 in Malta. Please contact Geoff Stevens on: moomin33@hotmail. co.uk or (01795) 479803.

Reunions THE RAF & Defence Fire

Services Association was formed in 1995 and would like to attract new members of all ranks, serving and retired. The annual subscription fee is £16 and for that you receive three Association magazines a year called the Flashpoint, to which members are invited to contribute their stories. We meet for a reunion and AGM once a year. For more information about us and how to join visit the website: rafanddfsa.co.uk – we would love to hear from you. The RAF & DFS Association also has close links with the Museum of RAF Firefighting, visit: firemuseum.uk. 60TH Reunion, 45th entry, C. Flight 3 Squadron suppliers reunion July 8 and 9 at 3 Counties Hotel, Hereford. For further information please contact Dinger Bell on: 01482377625. Assoc RAF Women Officers ALL WRAF and RAF Women Officers are invited to the Association’s Annual Reunion Luncheon at The RAF Club, 128 Piccadilly, London on Saturday, October 22. New members of the Association are always welcome to join. Email: suearnold474@gmail.com for further details.

RAFAA Association IF you trained as an RAF Administrative Apprentice (or are related to one) we’d be delighted to welcome you to the RAFAAA. Our aim is to promote friendship and general wellbeing among our veterans, via social gatherings and assorted activities, as devised by an elected committee, and a regular newsletter. Please see the website: rafadappassn.org or contact the Membership Secretary on: 07866 085834 or Chairman on: 01933 443673.

Museum to open new gallery RENOWNED WORK: Gassed, 1919, John Singer Sargent © IWM Art.

THE IMPERIAL War Museum is building new art, film and photography galleries at IWM London, opening to the public in late 2023. The Blavatnik Art, Film and Photography Galleries will be the UK’s first to explore how artists, photographers and filmmakers together bear witness to, document and tell the story of conflict, and demonstrate how artistic interpretation can uniquely shape our understanding of war, said a Museum spokesperson.

Spanning World War I to the present day, new acquisitions will be exhibited alongside renowned works from IWM’s existing collection, including Gassed by John Singer Sargent, They Shall Not Grow Old by Peter Jackson and Steve McQueen’s Queen and Country. Dame Diane Lees, Director General of Imperial War Museums, said: “Art, film and photography provide unique insight into conflict.” n Go to: iwm.org for more information.

RAF Bellringers Guild Coltishall connection seeks new members TWENTY MEMBERS of the RAF Guild of Bellringers met in the Forest of Dean last month to celebrate The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. Also present were two members from each of the Army and Naval Guilds. The day was organised by retired RAF Chaplain Rev Robin Noble. Five bell towers were visited: Blaisdon, Westburyon-Severn, Newnham-on-Severn, Littledean and Mitcheldean. The day ended with a visit to Father David Gill’s mini bellring in his garage. Ringing included rounds and call changes – Plain Bob, Grandsire, Stedman, Oxford Bob Triples, Cambridge and Yorkshire Surprise major. After ringing finished members enjoyed afternoon tea at a nearby pub. The RAF Guild of Bellringers is always keen to see new members join, whether still serving or retired, or have a close relative who has served with the RAF. We also welcome members from the Army or Naval Guilds to join us at our meetings. The next meeting is the three-day Battle of Britain meet on September 15-17, on the Essex/ Hertfordshire border. n Go to: rafgb.co.uk or email: Secretary@rafgb.co.uk for more information.

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. We cannot, under any circumstances, take announcements over the telephone. They can be sent by email to: tracey.allen@rafnews.co.uk. Please note that due to the coronavirus pandemic we are currently unable to accept notices submitted by post.

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.

WERE YOU stationed at RAF Coltishall, the former fighter base a few miles north of Norwich? Were you among the station’s civilian staff? Perhaps you are a historian with an interest in the RAF, a local resident or were a child of RAF personnel, lived onbase and attended the local school? The Spirit of Coltishall Association (SoCA) welcomes enquiries from people interested in joining, whatever their connection to the station. SoCA was formed in 2007, shortly after RAF Coltishall closed. The Association’s objectives are to foster the memory of this unique establishment which remained a fighter base throughout its 66year operational existence,

to ensure its heritage is respected, and to maintain the station’s renowned spirit through providing members with social and other occasions to celebrate comradeship through their connection with the station. The Association holds formal and informal functions throughout the year and organises coach trips and overnight stays to places of interest across the country. Its volunteers act as guides in the Coltishall Rooms housed in the Air Defence Radar Museum at Neatishead and also take an original Jaguar aircraft cockpit to shows in Norfolk and Suffolk. n If you are interested in joining SoCA, or would like more information, email: spiritofcoltishall.com or call: 07930739166.

Battle of Britain memorial service

THE ROYAL Air Force commemorates the Battle of Britain each year at a service in Westminster Abbey. We would very much like to hear from the widows, family descendants and any other family members of those who participated in the Battle. We are seeking to improve our knowledge of this unique demographic and to offer places at the formal Battle of Britain Thanksgiving Service, this year on Sunday, September 18, and in subsequent years. If you are a family member, or know someone who is, please write to: Mrs Michèle Small (RAF Ceremonial Office, Bentley Priory Building, RAF Northolt, Ruislip, Middlesex, HA4 6NG), providing details of your relationship to your relative who served in the Royal Air Force between July and October 1940 and your email address and a contact phone number. Additionally, for the purpose of allocating tickets, please send your full name, home address, date and place of birth and passport or driving licence number. This information is also required for any additional guests who wish to attend the service with you.

Royal R oyal a Air F Force orce N News ews Fr Friday, iday, JJuly uly 1, 2022 202 22 R'n'R 7

R'n'R R 'n' nR Your Y our u Announcements Announcements You Y oou can em email ail photos photos ffor or ann announcements ouncements oon n tthis his pa page ge tto: o: tracey.allen@rafnews.co.uk tracey..allen@rafnews.co.uk

Vets V ets e fly fly high hiigh at at reunion reunion n TWO T WO WORLD WORLD War War II Spitfire Spitfiiree pilots pillots were were re reunited eun niited with witth the iconic iconic aircraft airrcraft recently recently at at former former R RAF AF airfield airffield Halfpenny Halfpenny Green Greeen near near W Wolverhampton, olverhampton, writes writes Harry Harry Burgoyne. Burgooyne. A Att P Project roject Propeller, Propeller, the the WWII aircrew aircrew reunion reu union attended attended by by more more than than 300 30 veterans, veterans, pilots pilots and and guests, gu uests WOs WOs B Bill ill Williams, Williams, 101, 101 and and Eddie Eddie Habberley, Habberley, 98, were were given given the the chance chance tto o look look over over the the Spitfire Spitfiire Mk M XVI XVI owned owned and and flown flo l wn by by George George H Haye. aye. B Both oth vveterans eterans served ser e ved throughout throughout SSouth-East outh-Eas Asia Asia and and discovered discovered they the had had o operated perated ffrom rom tthe he same same b bases, ases, but but had had never never previously previously m met. et. B Bill, ill, who who flew fllew photo photo reconnaissance reconnaissance mi missions, ssio s ns, said: said: “We “We used used to to fly fly unarmed unarmed aand nd dep depended ended o on n our our speed speed to to keep keep us us out out of of ttrouble. rouble. We We normally normally flew fle l w around around 33,000 ffeet eet e b but ut climbed climbed up up to to 38,000 , if there there were were any any JJapanese apanese ffighters iigghters around, around, tthey hey co couldn’t uldn’’t reach reach us us u up p tthere. here.”

FANCY A CUPPA?: Take part in Brew For Two

Make M ake ttime ime ffor or ttea ea COCKPIT CONTROL: Bill Williams, 101, flies the Spitfire again, inset, veterans Rusty Waughman and George Dunn, both DFC, watch the Hurricane flypast

Volunteer Volunteer private private pilots pilots ferried feerried 43 ex aircrew aircrew from from all all over over the the UK to to Project Project Propeller. Propeller. Bill Bill flew fle l w in from from Nottingham Nottingham w with ith pilot pilot Graham Graham Mountford. Mountford. Graham Graham said: said: “As “As soon soon as as we we were were airborne, airborne, I ga gave avve B Bill ill control control and and it it was was as as if he he had had never never lef left ft tthe he cockpit. cockpit.

“He “He flew fllew us us nearly nearly all all the the way waay here, here, I o only nly h had ad tto o lland and it. it.” Running Ru unning since since 19 1998, 98, tthe he event event was was ffounded ounded by by Ian Ian Burnstock Burnstock but but this this year’s year’s Project Project Propeller Propeller was was the the last last as as the the numbers numbers of of surviving sur u viving WWII aircrew aircrew is is d dwindling. win ndling. Eddie Eddie said: said: “I’ve “I’ve had had a many many flights flig l hts w with ith P Project roject Propeller Propeller

over over the the years. years. It’s It’s a shame shame that that it’s it’s finishing fiinishing this thiis yyear. ear. I would would have have liked likeed it it to to have have happened happened next next year year as as that that would would have have been been my my 100th 100th birthday birthday ttreat. reat..” As As the the event event finished fiinished the the veterans veterans were were saluted saluted by by a flypast flypast ffrom rom a B Battle attle of of Britain Britain Memorial Memorial Flight Flight Hurricane. Hurricane.

THE ROYAL ROYA AL Star Star & Garter Garter charity chariity tha thatt ccares ares ffor or mi military liittaryy vveterans eterans and and their their i partners parttners living living with witth disability disabiliity or or dementia d ementia has llaunched aun nched a fundraising fundraising init initiative tiative aaiming iming tto o help he lp p people eople rreconnect. econn nect. Brew B rew F For or Two Two is encouraging encouraging participants particip pants to to invite in nvite a friend, frriend, family family member m mber or me or neighbour neighbour ffor or a ccuppa uppa and and catch-up. catch-up. A Brew Brew for for Two Two pack pack that thaat costs costs £5 includes inccludes two two quality qualiity teabags, teabags, an an invitation invittation card card d to to write writte aand nd a stamped stamped eenvelope. nvelope. S Sophie ophie F Fanning-Tichbourne, anning-T g ichbourne, the charity’s chariity’s partnerships part rtnershiips ma manager, nager, ssaid: aid: ““Community Communiity aand nd ssupport upport ne networks tworks aare re sso o im important porttant ffor or o our urr wellbeing. wellbeing. N Now ow is the p perfect erffect ttime ime tto o in invite vite a friend, fri r end, family fami m lyy member member or or neighbour neigghbour tto o jjo join oin you you ffor or a cup cup of of tea tea over over a ccatch-up, atch-up, w while hille ssupporting upportting th the he vveterans eterans in o our ur ccare.” aree.” Q Go Go to: to: starandgarter.org/brew-for-two starandgarter..org/brew-ffor--two

Royal Air Force News Friday, July 1, 2022 R'n'R 8

R'n'R Crossword

Su Doku

No. 319

No. 329

Solve the crossword, then rearrange the seven letters in yellow squares to find an aircraft

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 7. Is Earth surrounded by water? (6) 8. Tree likely to show pain? (6) 10. Oh! Parma arranged in ancient jug (7) 11. The girl’s working with bird (5) 12. Undemanding exercise and sport yesterday, to start with (4) 13. Some extra cheddar was painful (5) 17. Earliest trees, twigs at first (5) 18. See 6 Down 22. Are maps required on this airbus? (5) 23. Use leaf to get comfortable (7) 24. Pub seats in Cumbria? (6) 25. Battles about northern burrows (6)

Down 1. Ted & Alice lost energy turning into stronghold (7) 2. Before previous insect took majestic flight (7) 3. RAF’s latest aircraft messenger (5) 4. See 6 Down 5. Rose, Violet and Heather’s girlfriend? (5) 6. And 18 Across, 4 Down. Freighter slowing badly for typhoon (5,4,7) 9. In road, group of actors took right plane (9) 14. See 15 Down 15. And 14 Down. His forward coos about RAF event (7,3,4) 16. Reject Ant’s partner in queue (7) 19. Perhaps ex-PM plebeian at heart (5) 20. Wake-up call for Capone, a Royal Marine (5) Solution to Crossword No 318: 21. Try writing (5) Across – 1. NATO 8. Name The Day 9. Airstrip 10. Chad 12. Weasel 14. Dollar 15. Daniel 17. Gasbag 18. Deaf 19. Grandads 21. Hurricanes 22. Crew Down – 2. Alliterate 3. Onus 4. Amoral 5. Stupid 6. Hercules 7. Eyed 11. Adam And Eve 13. Spitfire 16. Legacy 17. Grainy 18. Doha 20. Disc RAF word – Globemaster



The Wind in the Willows (U)/Esio Trot (PG) Out now on DVD & Blu-ray (Fabulous Films Ltd/Fremantle Media Enterprises)

Toad hits the road again 1

983’s The Wind in the Willows – The Original Movie won a BAFTA for ‘Best Children’s Programme’ and an international Emmy Award and set the template for the subsequent TV show, which ran for 52 episodes on ITV from 1984 to 1988. The film was voiced by an all-star cast including Sir David Jason as Toad, Sir Michael Hordern as Badger, Richard Pearson as Mole and Ian Carmichael as Ratty, with Una Stubbs and Beryl Reid in supporting roles.

In the story Toad decides that motor cars are the only way to travel, however his driving skills don’t match up to his enthusiasm. Ratty, Mole and Badger come to his rescue and try to help him stay on the right side of the road, and the law. First published in 1908, Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind In The Willows has become one of the best-loved books of all time, enchanting generations of children and adults alike. It was brought to the screen by award-winning animation team Cosgrove Hall

Films, which also made Danger Mouse, Count Duckula and Chorlton & the Wheelies. We have copies of The Wind in the Willows on DVD and Blu-ray to win. For your chance to own one, tell us: Who was the author of The Wind in the Willows? Email your answer, marked Wind in the Willows competition, to: competitions@rafnews.co.uk or post it to: RAF News, Room 68, Lancaster Building, HQ Air Command, High Wycombe, HP14 4UE, to arrive by July 15. Please state if you prefer to win a DVD or Blu-ray.

Mr Hoppy comes out of his shell JUDI DENCH and Dustin Hoffman star in Esio Trot, the TV adaptation of Roald Dahl’s children’s book of the same name. Gentle, shy Mr Hoppy (Dustin Hoffman) is retired and lives alone, with only his beautiful balcony garden for company. But Mr Hoppy has a secret. He is hopelessly, passionately in love with the lovely, effervescent Mrs Silver (Judi Dench) who lives downstairs. But unfortunately for Mr Hoppy, Mrs Silver is

more interested in her beloved pet tortoise, Alfie. When Mrs Silver confides in him that she wishes Alfie would grow, Mr Hoppy hatches an intricate plan to win his true love’s heart... with a little help from Alfie and 99 of his fellow tortoises. James Corden features as the narrator.


We have copies of Esio Trot on Blu-ray to be won. To enter, tell us: Who Trot?



Email your answer, marked Esio Trot Bluray competition, to: competitions@rafnews.co.uk or post it to the address above, closing date is July 15.

Solution to Su Doku No: 328

Judge Jules is a racing cert to get Newbury party going N

EWBURY RACECOURSE and Ministry of Sound Classical have announced a huge show for the BetVictor Hungerford Day on Saturday, August 13, live after racing. Having celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2021, the Ministry of Sound party is set to continue HEADLINER: Singer Craig David after the racing action when special guest DJ Judge Jules, launched in 2018 and has gone alongside a 34-piece orchestra, on to sell out two shows at takes racegoers through some of London’s Royal Festival Hall the biggest dance tracks of the and its debut UK tour in 2019, past three decades. along with a massive show at He said: “I have been a part London’s O2 Arena for the dance of Ministry Classical shows brand’s landmark birthday last before at the Royal Festival Hall November. and The O2 and I’ve done some Since first hitting the decks marvellous venues that I’d in 1987, Judge Jules has led the never imagined. If you way in the world of dance music. add the right records He has influenced a generation to an orchestration, as a pioneer of the club scene and the magic of and has played sets at iconic an orchestra to an clubs and festivals including amazing outdoor Gatecrasher, Ministry of venue like Sound, Global Gathering N e w b u r y and Creamfields. Craig David Racecourse, headlines Party In The I think it’s a Paddock on July 16. really magical combination.” n Go to: Ministry newburyracecourse. of Sound co.uk for ticket details. Classical DJ: Judge Jules