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The Forcest'e favourir pape

Win, win Mind-warp Gonzo cult classic

Go Mo The magic of Motown musical

● R'n'R p4-5

● R'n'R p4

Friday November 1 2019 No 1478 70p


Crews fighting terror Reap their reward See Historic first for XIII Sqn

p5 & p18-19

Sports Awards Tri stars shine at Halton

● Sport p30-31

Motor sport Hall flies into season finale

● Sport p33

CELEBRITY RECRUITS broke cover across the capital as the Royal British legion launched this year's Poppy Appeal. The annual fundraiser is aiming to net more than £50 million to support current serving personnel, veterans and their families. TV breakfast show host Ben Shephard joined 82-year-old veteran Frank Plugge at King's Cross station while former EastEnder Ross Kemp hit the fundraising trail with serving Forces personnel. Countdown star Rachel Riley was one of a host of celebrity supporters who went undercover with the help of GCHQ code experts in a public challenge to guess their identities.

Unmasked: Rachel Riley supports the Poppy Appeal

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Royal Air Force News Friday, November 1, 2019 P3

Flash to bang from joining the Air Force to engaging with the enemy is 18 months for Reaper aircrew

You wish you could stay up there forever. It’s incredible what this machine and the team can do

Wg Cdr Mark Jackson, OC 13 Sqn p5

I did five years on the Queen tour. I couldn’t say no to that

Olympus Has Fallen star Gerard Butler falls for the Reds after Hawk flight p13

Rocker Rufus ‘Tiger’ Taylor RnR 4-5

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

THE RAF’S veteran Tucano fast jet trainer retired from service following the last graduation at Linton-on-Ouse. Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Mike Wigston presented the final students with their coveted wings at the North Yorkshire station, which is due to close in the next few years. The veteran turbo prop aircraft, which entered service more than 30 years ago, is being replaced by the new Texan T1 as part of a £3 billion revamp of military training in the UK. As the Tucano landed for the last time, the first student training sortie in the new Texan was launched this month from RAF Valley – now home of all RAF and Navy fast jet training. The upgrade to the new Military Flying Training System and the introduction of a fleet of modern aircraft is expected to dramatically cut the time it takes to get new

LAST FLIGHT: CAS meets pilots at Linton

pilots to the frontline, a spokesman said. The final Linton graduates will now move on to the Hawk T2 at Valley before joining frontline

Typhoon or F-35 Lightning squadrons. The four pilots (left) are: Flt Lt J.M. Bird, Flt Lt A.J. Humble, Flt Lt O.S. Lazko and Lt M.H.R. Clark.

This Week In History 1948

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Polish War Memorial MRAF Lord Tedder unveiled the Polish Air Force War Memorial on the edge of RAF Northolt Airfield. It features the names of 1241 Polish airmen killed on operations. 1938

Balloon squadrons RAF Balloon Command formed. By early 1939 a total of 47 squadrons were in existence, Nos 901 to 947 inclusive, organised on a county territorial system of affiliation.

TRAINER: Hotspur glider


Glider Training School

No. 1 Glider Training School was formed at RAF Thame, marking the commencement of glider pilot training under a permanent scheme. A second school opened at RAF Weston-on-theGreen just weeks later.

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

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

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

Royal Air Force News Friday, November 1, 2019 P5

News Jaguar veteran Skids to a halt

Forces Help to Buy scheme extended

AIR FORCE Deputy Commander Operations Air Marshal Gerry Mayhew joined fellow Jaguar veteran Sqn Ldr Paul ‘Skids’ Harrison who announced his retirement from the RAF after a 35year career. The duo (pictured right) both attended the recent Battle of Britain Day alongside other 41(F)Squadron veterans and Nato combat chiefs from across Europe at the historic Palazzo Roverella in Ferrera, northern Italy.

A GOVERNMENT scheme to help military personnel get on the housing ladder has been extended until the end of 2022, the Defence Secretary has announced. The programme has lent more than £280 million to loan estimated 18,000 Armed Forces applicants since its introduction in 2014. The scheme allows military personnel to borrow a deposit of up to half of their annual salary, interest free, to contribute towards

buying a home, building an extension on their current one or moving to another property. Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: “The extension of this scheme demonstrates the value we put on our Armed Forces and means Service personnel can continue to realise the ambition of owning their own home or borrowing to extend.” The announcement follows a pilot programme to provide cash subsidies to forces families to rent

Reaper crews recognised for Op Shader role

properties in the provate sector for the first time as part of the military Future Accommodation Model. A pilot scheme is being rolled out across three military bases, including RAF Wittering and the Army base at Aldershot, with a view to making it available across the country. Changes to rules to allow unmarried same-sex couples to live together in Forces family housing have also been introduced.

Simon Mander

REAPER AIRCREW have received operational service medals for their role in helping to defeat Daesh Islamist terrorists in Iraq and Syria for the first time. Pilots, sensor operators and mission intelligence co-ordinators from 13 Squadron who had completed 50 hours on mission became the first Remotely Piloted Air System personnel to be given the Operation Shader award. Officer Commanding 13 Sqn Wg Cdr Mark Jackson said: “It’s fantastic being recognised in this way for what the Reaper crews have been doing since 2007 and particularly in Iraq and Syria since 2014. “It’s astonishing how people feel to have the ribbon on their chest. It was a brilliant day not just for those receiving the medal but their families as well, they’ve spent many hundreds if not thousands of hours helping to destroy Daesh in the Middle East.” The Waddington-based outfit is the only UK-based Reaper MQ-9 unit, which it flies using microwave or satellite technology wherever the aircraft are based in the world, along with its sister 39 Squadron which operates out of Creech Air Force base in the USA. Since the Shader campaign began more than four years ago the RAF has conducted more than 1600 air strikes over Iraq and Syria using more than 4300 weapons. “In terms of the numbers of enemy forces killed it’s almost exactly an equal third split between Reaper, Tornado and Typhoon,”

AWARD: Air Mshl Phil Osborn presents Wg Cdr Jackson with his Op Shader medal. PHOTO: LAC SHAUNA MARTIN

said 13 Sqn Executive Officer Andy, whose full name is withheld for security reasons. “I think personally the medal means quite a lot as it’s a recognition that the part we play has had a significant impact on Op Shader and of how technology is changing.” The decision to present the medal without clasp to UAV crews was announced in February after a review of awards criteria 13 Sqn Reaper pilot Teddy is an ex Sea King Search and Rescue helicopter pilot, one of a dwindling band of conventional aviators who switched to UAVs. The Reaper ranks are now increasingly filled by personnel specifically trained for the platform. He said: “The aircraft we operate is an intelligence and surveillance platform, although we take a shot if we need to. “The Typhoon is not designed

to do that, it launches a strike then goes off somewhere else to drop more weapons. “Coming to work here I feel the same way as I did operating a thousand miles away.” Many 13 Sqn aircrew have exceeded 1000 flying hours directly in support of operations – a feat not equalled by many other RAF units. Under the new training programme it can take as little as 18 months between them joining the RAF, completing officer and elementary flying training on MQ-9 Reaper, and joining the frontline. Wg Cdr Jackson added: “It feels a little like 1941, when they were getting Spitfire pilots airborne after 10 hours. “Flash to bang from joining the Air Force to engaging with the enemy is about 18 months for Reaper aircrew. “It’s truly astonishing, but these

SKY EYE: A Reaper operator closes in on a Daesh death squad carrying out public executions in Syria. Inset above – unleashing a Brimstone missile to end the slaughter.

are hugely talented, intelligent people who are really keen to start delivering on the frontline, which is why this squadron really has a buzz about it.” “Slowly and surely I think the

public are beginning to accept that Reaper is anything other than unmanned. There are lots of men and women involved in the process, and effectively it’s no different to a Typhoon or an F-35.”


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Royal Air Force News Friday, November 1, 2019 P7


Air Chief goes for a spin

SCI-FI FACT: The Centrifuge from Moonraker

World-leading training facility hits 9-G to test pilots to limit A WORLD-LEADING RAF training centre which helps pilots cope with the potentially fatal impact of G-Forces has celebrated its first birthday, writes Simon Mander. The £40 million complex at Cranwell, which resembles the centrifuge in the Bond movie Moonraker, has trained 512 aircrew since opening its doors a year ago. And to mark the occasion, Deputy Commander Capability Air Marshal Andrew Turner became the latest airman to try out its state-of-the-art technology. He said: “It looks a bit James Bond and 1950s from the outside, but inside the RAF and Thales have delivered a 21st-22nd century machine – it’s absolutely amazing, if not a little emotional. “I’m a helicopter pilot so I haven’t spent a lot of time in our frontline fast jet aircraft, but this is highly representative of those that I have flown and absolutely identical to the live Hawk High-G experience I flew some five years ago. It’s as realistic as anyone could imagine, accurate and incredibly testing. “As we look to the future, these sorts of facilities – great partnerships, synthetics, data, 21st century look/feel, training beyond combat and all-aspect protection – are precisely how

FEEL THE FORCE: Air Mshl Turner, also inset top

we need to re-tool and re-skill. Tools like this will make us safer and more lethal and are adaptable for future space applications. “For now, I am very happy to return to my rather more elegant 1G life.” The High-G Training and Testing Facility replaces a QinetiQ-run facility at Farnborough which cost £300,000 to build in 1951 but closed in March. The complex, which is run in partnership with defence contractor Thales, gives pilots a safe framework in which to learn techniques

Multi-talented pilots graduate THE FIRST multi-engine pilots to graduate from the UK’s revamped military flying training programme have received their wings at RAC Cranwell. After completing more than 100 hours of simulator and live flying on the RAF’s new Grob basic trainer and advanced Phenom (inset), the four airmen will now move on to the RAF Hercules and A400M transporters, the new P8 Poseidon sub-hunter and the BAE 146. Flt Lt Jacob Weeks, who is moving on to the A400M, said: “The Phenom was

a fantastic aircraft to train on and we all learned so much about flying from a multiengine perspective, in particular how to operate effectively as a crew in the cockpit.” Gp Capt Eugene Moriarty, the Commandant of No 3 Flying Training School, said: “This graduation marks another significant milestone for 3FTS in the MFTS era. “These four new RAF pilots have experienced the benefits of modern training aircraft which more closely reflect the frontline requirement and the supporting synthetics and superb infrastructure which MFTS has brought.”

to protect them from the psychological and physiological effects of G-Forces and may eventually be used by the RAF to train astronauts for space missions. The lessons they learn could be lifesaving. One of the catalysts for building the new centre was the death of Red Arrows pilot Flight Lieutenant Jon Egging (33), killed when his Hawk T1 jet crashed following a display in August 2011. An inquest heard that he may have succumbed to G-Force impairment before attempting to correct his course in the moments before the impact while flying at 6.3 G-Force – 6.3 times the force of gravity – as he broke formation before he was due to land at Bournemouth Airport. The court heard a service inquiry concluded “A-loc” – almost loss of consciousness due to G-Force – was the likely cause of the crash. Air Officer Medical Operations Air Commodore David McLoughlin said: “This training is designed to reduce the risk of loss of life in air operations. Aircrew are here to learn how to counteract the effects of G.” “G-induced loss of consciousness is a very real live risk, not just for RAF aircrew, but

other Air Forces who come here, with whom we may operate in the future.” Among those killed by the phenomenon, was USAF Thunderbirds display pilot Major Stephen Del Bagno who temporarily lost consciousness during a high G-Force manoeuvre and was incapacitated right before a fatal crash in April. About a second before hitting the ground, a report said he started trying to recover his F-16CM, but it was too late. He did not attempt to eject. The accident investigation board found that the ‘push-pull’ effect of quickly going from -2.06 Gs — or twice the equivalent of standing on one’s head — to 8.56 Gs dramatically lessened his tolerance to G-Forces, and substantially contributed to the crash. “We have a world-leading facility here because we can train people in the push-pull effect which the USAF can’t do at this time, which is a truly world leading capability,” said Air Cdre McLoughlin. Among the 512 pilots who have passed through the centre are Omanis, Saudis and Qataris. Former Gulf War RAF Tornado pilot and Red Arrows boss David Bolsover is the Facility’s Thales Training and Service Manager. He said the former Farnborough facility didn’t have a fast enough acceleration rate to meet modern Nato fast jet training standards for aircraft which can perform up to 8 or 9 G. He said: “The main difference is that at Farnborough you had an open windowless gondola in which pilots were strapped into an ejection seat doing nothing except learning how to strain against G-Forces. “Here you have a full Hawk T2, Lightning and Typhoon cockpit, which take about 30 minutes to change, and the aircrew train in WINGS: The new pilots (back row) at their graduation ceremony the one relevant to them, with them actually flying.”


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Royal Air Force News Friday, November 1, 2019 P9

News News bulletin

SUPPORT: Local employers chat to station staff about role of Reserves

Business class at Brize Norton BRIZE NORTON opened its doors to local business bosses whose staff volunteer as RAF Reservists. Wg Cdr Kev Peart said: “We had a valuable exchange of ideas that will enhance the already strong relationship between 4624 Squadron, our PartTime Volunteer Reserves and their employers.”

Twinning deal gives Coningsby a Luft CONINSGBY, HOME of the RAF’s Typhoon Force has been twinned with a German Luftwaffe airbase. Under the agreement signed this month personnel at the Lincolnshire station will run an exchange and training programme with their German counterparts from the Luftwaffengeschwader 73 Taktisches. Gp Capt Mark Flewin said: “The Twinning agreement formalises the relationship we have had with our Nato ally for many years, but it will also create enhanced opportunities to strengthen cooperation and interoperability.”

Loggies award

SPECIALIST LOGISTICIANS netted a special commendation after moving more than 1000 tonnes of freight from Europe to the Gulf and Asia. The Wittering-based Port Liaison Team, who work with customs authorities and embassies to ensure military freight is delivered, received the Deputy Commander Operations Commendation from Air Marshal Gerry Mayhew.

Prince joins air power expo at Waddington A LIFE-SIZE replica of an F-35 Lightning jet was the big attraction for Royalty and young aviation fans at the annual Air Combat Power event at Waddington. Thousands attended the fourday showcase of RAF capabilities, which took six months to plan. Officer Commanding 5 Sqn Wg Cdr Dominic ‘Dutch,’ Holland, managed the event which returned to its usual home after a year away at Coningsby. He said: “The replica F-35 is representative of the real thing, is built on a one-to-one scale, and enables people to get up close and personal to one of our latest aircraft. “If we had a real Lightning out on the pan there would be barriers

and very limited access but with the replica visitors are allowed in the cockpit, so they get a feel of the aircraft – it’s a fantastic advantage it being here” Advanced Command Staff College students attended two days of briefings with senior officers at the event. Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Mike Wigston and Prince Edward arrived at RAF Waddington to watch demonstrations by attack, air mobility, intelligence and surveillance units. More than 100 air photography enthusiasts were granted access to the site to photograph any of the aircraft or vehicles on display. ROYAL VISIT: Prince Edward inspects the F-35

Rookie Matt’s a Texan star Dave Williams RAF Valley

ROOKIE AIRMAN Flt Lt Matthew Kenealey has become the first UK student to fly a training sortie in the new Texan T1. He took off in the tandem seat turbo prop aircraft alongside an instructor from RAF Valley after completing a course on the Grob tutor basic trainer. The Texan replaces the RAF’s veteran Tucano which flew its last sortie from Linton-on-Ouse this month after more than 30 years training UK fast jet pilots for the frontline. Equipped with a digital cockpit like frontline Typhoon and F-35 aircraft, the Texan is expected to reduce the time it takes to train pilots for combat. RAF Valley Station Commander Gp Capt Chris Moon said: “The first student flight in a Texan is a hugely significant moment for RAF Valley and the Whole Force Team that have worked hard to achieve this key milestone. “It reinforces the vital role Valley has in UK defence, providing

LET’S TALK ABOUT TEX: Flt Lt Kenealey makes debut flight in the the Texan T1 at Valley. PHOTOS: SAC NATHAN EDWARDS

world-class, next generation fast jet training of RAF and Royal Navy pilots for the frontline. “RAF Valley is now truly the home of fast jet training in the UK, with both Basic and Advanced Fast Jet training being delivered right

here in North Wales.” Under the Military Flying Training System students start on the Grob Prefect basic trainer before moving onto the more powerful Texan T1 and then graduating to the jet powered Hawk T2. 72 Sqn training chief Wg Cdr

Endurance athletes triumph at Sports Awards ● Sport p30-31

Chris Ball said: “The training process is more efficient and far more representative of the aircraft types they will eventually fly. “The Texan is the ideal lead-in trainer to the Hawk T2 advanced jet trainer that they will move on to here at Valley.”

Royal Air Force News Friday, November 1, 2019 P10


Cake buns power charity cycle crusade AIR FORCE fund raisers have netted more than £20,000 for charity – powered by hundreds of slices of cake. The team of riders from across the RAF’s 1 Group clocked up a combined total of more than 16,000 miles during the sponsored ride. Organisers served up an estimated 230 pieces of cake to keep the charity cyclists on the go as they completed 50 and 80-mile routes across Lincolnshire from RAF Cranwell. Riders volunteered for action to support the Jon Egging Trust which helps disadvantaged youngsters train for careers in aviation.

SADDLE UP: Sqn Ldr McDonnell and Sqn Ldr Suzy Flynn hit the road.

Duncan Mason, Sqn Ldr Sarah McDonnell and Sqn Ldr Suzy Flynn organised sponsorship and

the massive baking operation to get riders over the line. Among the field of more than 200 cyclists was Air Force fast jet chief Air Vice-Marshal Harv Smyth. He said: “The Trust relies on donations and this event has been a brilliant initiative to raise money, whilst enjoying a bike ride through lovely Lincolnshire.” As they hit the halfway mark a vintage Spitfire from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight performed a flypast. As the riders crossed the finish line back at Cranwell the Flight’s Lancaster bomber flew over the college.

PEDAL POWER: Riders line up at Cranwell. Inset left, charity patron AVM Harv Smyth

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Tracey Allen DIRE STRAITS co-founder John Illsley has revealed how playing the forces best loved tune ‘Brothers in Arms’ makes him feel connected to band’s military fans. The bass guitar player, who founded the band with frontman Mark Knopfler in the 1970s, said: “For me it is one of the best the band has ever recorded.” The anthem came top in a poll to find the Armed Forces’ best loved tunes. Knopfler wrote the song, a hymn to the strength and honour on the battlefield, during the Falklands War. Illsley added: “It will continue to have a positive message. This song holds people together somehow. “When I’ve played it live, people from the military, who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan, come up to me afterwards – they all say it’s a song they can really relate to. “Every time I play it live it makes me feel connected. It’s a song about the situations people find themselves in when they are in a warzone but I think it’s also more than that. “It does go outside the military too. It will, perhaps, stand the test of time.” The poll results were revealed by Forces broadcaster BFBS to celebrate its 75th anniversary this year. Illsley also revealed that his great-uncle, Battle of Britain Spitfire pilot Peter Robinson, was one of The Few – his name is listed on the Battle of Britain monument on Victoria Embankment, opposite the London Eye. The rocker said: “He did quite a few sorties and I think he was shot down in France.” He added: “The details

BROTHER IN ARMS: Dire Straits bassist John Illsley, inset below, songwriter and guitarist Mark Knopfler

are a little uncertain but apparently he got through the war unscathed then ironically had a crash delivering a plane in the UK which left him with big problems with his legs. “He was too injured to carry on. People didn’t deal with PTSD in the past like they do now – he just had to grin and bear it. “He was a very kind man. He had a few rather bad habits which was perhaps because of the pain he was in. “He did drink quite a lot of whisky and smoked perhaps about 60 to 70 cigarettes a day, but it was normal then for everyone to smoke.” John Illsley is on tour this month with his show The Life & Times of Dire Straits. OGo to: for details.

Royal Air Force News Friday, November 1, 2019 P11


F-35 starts US sea trials BRITISH F-35S landed onboard HMS Queen Elizabeth for the first time as RAF and Navy pilots head to the US coast for combat sea trials. The stealth jets are sailing in the 65,000-tonne carrier to conduct operational war drills off the East Coast of the USA. This follows successful tests last year with US operated aircraft which conducted 500 take offs and landings from the UK carrier’s deck. The latest exercises will involve mission planning, arming the aircraft using the automated weapons handling system. The programme is part of the ‘Westlant 19’ Carrier Strike Group deployment to prepare the force to be fully operational. The UK carrier is being escorted by Type 45 destroyer HMS Dragon, submarine hunter HMS Northumberland, tanker RFA Tideforce and Merlins from 814, 820 and 845 Naval Air Squadrons, Wildcats from 815 Squadron and will carry Royal Marines from Lima Company, 42 Commando. RAF combat chief Air Marshal Gerry Mayhew said: “This has been a long time coming. This is the two Services working hand in glove to deliver defence output. It is brilliant to see the tests begin.”


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Royal Air Force News Friday,November 1, 2019 P12







S 2019



Home run for Red storming Statesid Simon Mander THE RED ARROWS have returned from their milestone Brexitbusting tour of North America. After covering more than 22,000 miles over 74 days, the team’s jets arrived at Scampton to be met by waiting families. The 11-week tour of Canada and the United States was the biggest-ever in the unit’s 55-season history and spanned more than 25 cities. During the deployment the Red Arrows were seen by tens of millions of people, through 21 displays and by completing 30 flypasts over major landmarks or locations. These included performances over Niagara Falls, San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge and New York’s Hudson River, with Manhattan’s skyscrapers lining the route. Air Officer Commanding 22 Group Air Vice-Marshal Warren James said: “It can’t be underestimated how challenging a schedule the Reds have followed in North America or how well they have been received in every town and city they have visited or flown over. “The Red Arrows have once again proved themselves firstclass ambassadors for the RAF

REDS RETURN: Family reunion as crew touches down at Scampton

and their country, representing the UK far away from home. “After such a gruelling schedule, I hope they all enjoy some well-earned leave and time with their families.” The Red Arrows last performed in North America 11 years ago, but the latest visit was the most extensive to-date – displaying coast-to-coast. The tour helped enhance international trade and investment between the UK, Canada and the

US, worth more than £208 billion in 2018. HM Trade Commissioner for North America and British Consul General in New York Antony Phillipson said: “Over the past three months, the Red Arrows participated in more than 100 events across the US and Canada. “Their being here provided invaluable support to the work of the government in North America, whether connecting UK exporters with

potential buyers, engaging current and potential investors to the UK or helping to build transatlantic partnerships. The tour got underway on August 5 and took the team to 19 US states flying further west than ever before and performing in British Columbia and California. Other RAF units supported them including Airbus A400M Atlas transport crews who moved personnel and equipment. Among the biggest events was the Great Pacific Airshow in Huntington Beach, south of Los Angeles, where up to three million people watched the team display. Wg Cdr Andrew Keith, Officer Commanding, Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, said: “The tour has exceeded all expectations – from the warm reception of the huge crowds at our displays and flypasts, to the packed programme of ground events.” “It takes a massive team effort to plan and then carry out such a farreaching tour and the activity is a fantastic demonstration of the skills, talents and dedication of those involved.” The team’s Hawk jets cannot refuel in the air and do not possess the range to make the transatlantic crossing in one sortie. The return journey took 10 days, starting in California, battling the weather and plunging temperatures as the jets headed east stopping in Greenland – north of the Arctic Circle, Iceland, and Stornoway.

Royal Air Force News Friday, November 1 2019 P13



RROWS 2019

Tribute to Shap crash victims

A LONE Hawk jet flew over the Cumbrian village of Shap to mark 20 years since a crash on the outskirts of the village killed two members of 100 Squadron. Sqn Ldr Mike Andrews and Flt Lt Steve Todd died when their Hawk T1 crashed during a training mission in 1999. Several houses and a vehicle were damaged in the incident, but nobody on the ground was injured. Squadron personnel from Leeming and local cadets marked the anniversary with a church service at St Michael’s in Shap followed by a wreath-laying ceremony near the crash site and a flypast. 100 Sqn’s Wg Cdr Nick Badel


ds after de tour Movie star Butler’s Reds birthday wish MOVIE ACTION man and lifelong Reds fan Gerard Butler says he was blown away after a flight with the RAF’s aerobatic aces as they signed off on their US tour. The Scots-born actor climbed into the cockpit as the team prepared for their last show in Huntington, California, just ahead of his 50th birthday. Butler said: “It was such a rush. When you are up there you just wish you could stay there forever. It is incredible what this machine and the team can do.” Now based in LA, the star of Spartan action romp 300 and terror plot blockbuster Olympus Has Fallen, revealed that he grew up watching the Arrows in Scotland and made a point of catching the team in action in Washington earlier in the latest milestone tour. He added: “I remember being taken to airshows as a kid and seeing them there. “It’s barely even a dream, as you never imagine you’d fly with the Red Arrows.” LIFELONG FAN: Gerard Butler

said: “There are still people in the local community who remember and people still in the Service who knew the individuals who died.

“The ceremony wasn’t just about losing two Servicemen, but the crash’s close proximity to Shap and the impact it had on local people.”

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Royal Air Force News Friday, November 1, 2019 P15


Precious metal Win links made from actual F-35

WE’RE GIVING our readers £15 off these limited edition F-35 cufflinks by Icarus Originals, made from reclaimed aluminium from an operational Lockheed stealth jet – and we have one set to give away. Production is limited to just 750 and each set has been designed, made and hand-polished in the UK by master craftsmen to create a detailed and expertly finished product. Each cufflink has the aircraft details laser-etched on to the bar and highlighted in black enamel. Originally priced at £167, each set is supplied in a deluxe gift box featuring a gold-foil certificate of authenticity, aircraft data sheet and a storage bag made from genuine flying suit material. ● To claim your discount go to and quote the code RAF NEWS with your order. For a chance to win a pair, email your name, address and contact number to: and mark your entry Icarus Competition to arrive by November 15.

e v i s exclu er read r e f f o

Firework PTSD warning Charity issues Bonfire Night survival guide for injured vets

HONOUR: Welsh Lord Lt Sara Edwards unveils Carew memorial to US fighters

Welsh tribute to WWII fallen

Tracey Allen SERVICE CHARITY chiefs have issued a survival guide to help military veterans suffering from PTSD cope with Bonfire Night firework displays. Mental health group Combat Stress is offering a downloadable guide on its website with advice for veterans scarred by their experiences facing fire on the frontline. The charity said fireworks could increase anxiety for war veterans because of the similarity between explosions and gunfire. Calls to veterans’ helplines rise dramatically as communities across the UK mark the date, a spokesman said. Combat Stress Medical Director Dr Walter Busuttil said: “As a charity that treats veterans with mental health conditions including post-traumatic stress disorder, we know that November is a difficult month for them. “That’s not only because of the grief around Armistice but also because the firework displays for Bonfire Night can serve as triggers for those with PTSD.” Research shows veterans can struggle to cope with the smell, sound and sudden unexpected bangs of

Gemma Williamson

fireworks which can cause flashbacks to combat situations where they and their colleagues were exposed to danger during frontline tours. Combat Stress

chief executive Sue Freeth (inset, left) said: “The noise, lights and smells of fireworks can be similar to those of gunfire, but it is important to remember they are different. “By focusing on the differences,

veterans can learn to tolerate fireworks. Preparation is very important to manage anxieties during the fireworks season.” ● Go to: to download the guide. Combat Stress also has a free 24hour helpline for veterans and their families Call: 0800 138 1619.

A MEMORIAL to US troops stationed in Pembrokeshire during WWII was unveiled at the former RAF Carew Cheriton Control Tower. The event was attended by serving members of the British and American Armed Forces, veterans, civic leaders and local school pupils who gave a musical performance in wartime costume. A commemorative plaque mounted on a piece of Welsh granite was unveiled by Lord Lieutenant Sara Edwards before wreaths were laid at the foot of the memorial at the former RAF site which now houses a museum. Organiser Keith Hamer said: “We are proud to have a monument here at Carew from the people of Pembrokeshire and the whole of Wales.” The ceremony was closed by the South Wales Male Voice Choir who sang the national anthems of America, Wales and Great Britain. 614 Sqn Reservist Sqn Ldr Jill Pritchard said: “It’s an honour to attend the unveiling of the memorial plaque that honours the valiant contributions the Americans made.”

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Royal Air Force News Friday, November 1, 2019 P17

News News Bulletin

Hadassah’s grad all over

First Blood on the Pan

AIR FORCE Rookie Hadassah Gesage celebrated with her family after graduating from basic training at the top of her class. The 27-year-old recruit from Sheffield scooped the Mayor of Aylesbury Trophy, awarded to the highest scoring cadet on the testing 10 week Phase I training course at Halton She was presented with the award by Thompson intake reviewing officer Air Cdre Simon Harper. PHOTO: LUKA WAYCOTT ● See p23 for latest graduation news from Halton and Honington.

THE UK team bidding to smash the world land speed record in a 1000 mph rocket car piloted by RAF man Wg Cdr Andy Green have arrived in South Africa. The supersonic Bloodhound will begin testing on the Hakskeen Pan on a 10-mile stretch of dry river bed in the Kalahari desert in South Africa before mounting their record bid early next year.

Vet Stan’s the man

96-year-old takes Cadets crown Simon Mander

Reserves honour the fallen to mark 95th Tony Durrant RESERVISTS GATHERED at the National Memorial Arboretum to mark 95 years since the founding of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force. A service attended by personnel from the 30 Reserve squadrons and five associations was held at the RAuxAF’s dedicated memorial at the 150-acre Staffordshire site. Chairman of the RAuxAF Foundation, Gp Capt Richard Mighall, said: “The men and women of today’s Royal Auxiliary Air Force are, as were their predecessors, a credit to our nation. “In Winston Churchill’s words they are ‘twice the citizen’.” The service was taken by Padre the Reverend Mike Elliott of 600 Sqn and wreaths were presented. Recently-laid memorial plaques were also dedicated to former RAuxAF personnel. 7644 Sqn media officer Flt Lt Cameron Rennie died last year while on a

TRIBUTES: Flt Lt Rennie, above, and SAC Livingstone, inset below.

tour of duty. The last two RAuxAF personnel killed in operationsl action were SACs Gary Thompson, 51, and Graham Livingstone, 23, of the RAuxAF Regiment who were killed in a Taliban bomb strike in Kandahar, Afghanistan, in 2008.

COASTAL COMMAND veteran Stanley Clark is the latest contender for the title Britain’s oldest surviving Air Cadet. Competition was sparked in July by 93-year-old former RAF Volunteer Reserve Flight Engineer Ken Muddimer’s claim to the epithet in RAF News. His bid was challenged by 94-year-old Bomber Command hero Peter Morris on the letters page of the last edition. Now, the family of 96-year-old Stan have stepped forward on their dad’s behalf to state his credentials for the crown. Daughter Pam Lambert said: “Our family read the articles in RAF News on the oldest surviving Air Cadets with interest and realised that our father, Stanley Philip Clark, belongs to this happy band. “He is 96 years old and joined 475 ATC Squadron Birmingham in 1941 at the age of 17. In Dad’s words he became ‘totally involved.’ “They had lectures and training two nights a week, football and cricket on Saturday afternoons and parade every Sunday.” She said Stan enjoyed drill instruction and was soon promoted to sergeant. He joined the RAF later that year and subsequently served in 228 Squadron at Pembroke Dock as a fitter on

Sunderland flying boats. In January 1945 he embarked for India serving in 1431 Special Duty Flight and a year later in 242 Squadron. He was demobbed in 1947. Mrs Lambert said: “Dad loved his years in the ATC and RAF and despite recent failing health is still able, at times, to recall these memories.” The family, Pam, other daughter Sue Collinge and son David Clark all

signed a letter to RAF News paying tribute to ex-airmen and women. “We are Stan’s children and have written this on behalf of our dad and our mum, who is a sprightly 93-year-old, and who have been blessed with a marriage of 72 years. “Our family feels enormous pride and gratitude for our parents’ generation, and we would like to pass this on to all RAF veterans who have served our country so well,” said Mrs Lambert. RECORD BID: Stan Clark above, and, inset left, as a young airman. Inset, above, our story about Ken Muddimer

Royal Air Force News Friday, November 1, 2019 P18

Royal Air Force News Friday, November 1, 2019 P19

Feature Op Shader Medals

Remote warfare first for RAF The story so far Royal Air Force News Friday, January 31, 2014 P7


Don’t fear the Reaper


UAS crews open the control ‘bubble’ at RAF Waddington

Howard Leader RAF Waddington RAF PILOTS operating Reaper in the skies in Afghanistan have spoken for the first time about their controversial role supporting ISAF Forces from their UK base, 4000 miles away. Following moves by Defence chiefs to quell public concerns about the use of unmanned aerial vehicles, two pilots from 13 Sqn have broken their silence to explain how remotely piloted aircraft are saving lives on the frontline. One Flight Lieutenant, ‘Tom’ said: “From the moment we begin preparing for a sortie, in my mind I am in Afghanistan. In my heart and in my mind I am there on operations, flying in support of ISAF personnel on the ground.” Once crews have completed pre-flight checks they walk down a secure staircase to the hangar, dubbed the ‘bubble’ by pilots. There is a large area penned in by a security perimeter containing the cabins which function as the Reaper cockpit. It is designed to look exactly like its counterpart in Afghanistan – even down to the desert camouflage colour scheme. Tom added: “In a single shift my colleagues and I can fly in support of an ISAF convoy from the moment it sets off to the moment it reaches its destination, looking over the horizon for threats, noting if they have any difficulties on the ground FRONTLINE TRAINING

RAF PERSONNEL got to grips with their coalition partners’ weapons at an international day on the ranges. 904 the of Members Expeditionary Air Wing fired a variety of weapons at Kandahar Airfield under the watchful eyes of a team of instructors. Servicemen and women from Australia, Denmark, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Belgium and Denmark as well as the UK received one-on-one coaching on safely handling and shooting. Regiment RAF Organiser, Sgt Wayne Hopewell, said: “It’s a fantastic opportunity for us all. the makes “It international partnership come alive. If something were to happen to one of our coalition colleagues, we would be able to safely take control of their weapon.”

The Forces'e favourit paper

Winter Sport

● Sport p35

Boxing Fighters have real six-appeal


ISTORY WAS made on October 18, 2019, at RAF Waddington when Operation Shader campaign medals were awarded to to RAF Reaper crew members for their contributions to the defeat of Daesh. The awards break with centuries of British military tradition which has until now restricted the presentation of medals to those who had served in specific geographical, operational areas on land, at sea, or in the air above. The campaign medals recognise the crucial contribution to operations in Iraq and Syria by crews who were remotely located at 13 Sqn Waddington, in Lincolnshire, and 39 Sqn, Creech Air Force Base, Nevada.

aircraft was fitted with air to ground bombs and missiles in 2008. Since then it has launched more than 450 attacks. Speaking during a recent visit to Waddington to meet the Reaper team, Defence Minister Philip Hammond said it was crucial to dispel myths he says have blighted the project’s public image.

In my heart and in my mind I am there on operations, flying in support of ISAF personnel on the ground”

and, most importantly, being with them for the whole journey. “It would take a lot of coordination and materiel to

provide the same level of cover with our other manned aircraft types. That, to my mind, is a good day’s work done and we know the guys

He said: “This is battle winning technology that is vital to our efforts to protect our forces and the people of Afghanistan.” 13 Sqn Commanding Officer and Reaper operator Wg Cdr Damian Killeen added: “There is nothing on Reaper that is not already on other platforms. It has many technologies already in use that have been pulled together on one aircraft. “Our rules of engagement are no different from our colleagues in Typhoons or Tornados. “Our relationship with the coalition is exactly the same as our Apache or Tornado counterparts. “We are simply bringing another piece of technology to the mission and on the ground appreciate it.” Since its introduction in 2007 we are operating it in the tried and tested Reaper has flown 54,000 hours. RAF way. It just happens to have a very Originally used for surveillance, the long fly-by-wire system.” RESERVISTS’ AWARD

on Home Court in the act Ian Hislop range the has news for you

● R'n'R p4-5

Outstanding Win! Win!RAF Marham reservists have scooped an annual award for Super guide the most productive auxiliary for flyingsquadron. The intelligence analysts of 7010 Squadron were presented with the icon Inspector’s Cup, the annual award

for the auxiliary squadron with theFriday February 22 2019 tasks. No 1461 70p most outstanding output during the strategic intelligence At the event the OC, Squadron previous year. Group Captain Gary Bunkell, Leader Stuart Talton, was presented the Inspector of the Royal Auxiliary with the Queen’s Volunteer Reserve Medal, awarded to him in the Air Force, handed over the trophy. He said: “The difficulty in New Year’s Honours list for his adequately recognising the work outstanding dedication. Sgt Justin Taylor received 7010’s of 7010 Squadron is that what is extraordinary has become normal.” own annual trophy, the Hollin Plate, As well as providing personnel for his outstanding contribution to for mobilisation the squadron the squadron as well as receiving generated 600 man-days of output the Volunteer Reserve Service for Operation Herrick and other Medal for 10 years in the reserves.

● R'n'R p5


Tonka King Chris takes Tornado title Slope time is a tough call

Mental pressures on Reaper crews acknowledged by award of Op Shader Medals

See p7

Shader medal ruling Staff Reporter

and recognise the role Service personnel in the UK, the US and across the Gulf region have played in the fiveyear fight against the terror group. The move will see RAF Reaper pilots targeting terrorists in Iraq and Syria from Waddington in the UK and Creech airbase in the States honoured for the first time. ● Continued on p5

ROYAL AIR Force Reaper pilots striking Daesh terror fighters thousands of miles from the combat zone are in line for an Operational Service Medal following a landmark ruling on military awards. Defence chiefs are to widen the scope of the Operation Shader medal to include units beyond the battlefield

● Sport p31

How ‘remote’ are they?

Royal Air Force News

Friday, February 22, 2019



RAF WADDINGTON: Reaper (inset, top) strikes it targets (inset left) by being piloted remotely from its Lincolnshire Control Centre by personnel from 13 Sqn (main pictures)

Recognition for pe outside the theatrersonnel of war Waddington

and Akrotiri will benefit

■ From front page The decision follows high-level deliberation months of Armed Forces and couldacross the to an extra 1000 personnel mean up RAF, Army and Navy are from the honoured for their role in the conflict. Under the new rules the MoD will look at the psychological risk to personnel and the contribution their efforts have made to the success of the coalition campaign to wipe out Daesh. Among the RAF units that will qualify for the award without are 13 Sqn and 39 Sqn, who clasp operate the remotely-piloted platform from Waddington Reaper in the UK and Creech Air Base in the US. Personnel with 83 Expeditionary Air Group in Qatar will also along with RAF personnel qualify, in Kuwait, Jordan, Turkeystationed and the United Arab Emirates. Ground crew serving at RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus, where UK VISIT: Defence Secretary 83 EAG: Crew could also air strikes over Iraq be awarded the medal Gavin Williamson at RAF and Syria Akrotiri, where some personnel are launched from, will also qualify for the Op Shader award eligible, as well as Army are also working outside the PHOTO: CPL DAVE PARNHAM and Navy operational from “The expanded medal personnel providing logistic area of Iraq and Syria criteria changing character means that those personnel and have made to the communications support. campaign, the have played who very pleased that of warfare. I am RAF Tornado, Typhoon MoD said. personnel who a vital role in and The award of the medal Daesh but have been baseddefeating previously would not have received Reaper crews have launched more Defence the changing nature of reflects Secretary outside an operational than 1600 strikes since Gavin joining the medal will now do coalition conflict and recognises modern Williamson added: “Our Armed the conventional area of operations so.” mission in Iraq and Syria. the will vital receive Forces the can recognition they contribution be extremely proud of British Forces have that The Operation Shader award personnel the campaign deserve. against Daesh. is 77,000 Iraqi Security also trained the first operational “This new medal reflects Forces in the introduced since 2003.medal to be infantry skills, counter-IED, engineering and medical expertise. Royal Air Force News Friday, August 10, 2018 P7


Reaper strike halts refugee bomb bid


Eagle-eyed RAF crew kill Daesh bombers poised to strike convoy of helpless families fleeing terror in war-torn Syria Simon Mander AN UNMANNED RAF Reaper operating over Syria saved refugees fleeing the country from a Daesh roadside bomb attack, the MoD has revealed. The remotely-operated aircraft was on an armed reconnaissance mission when it spotted a convoy of vehicles carrying families fleeing over the eastern borders of Syria. During the sortie eagle-eyed operators were able to identify a team of Daesh fighters burying deadly IEDs in the convoy’s path just a few miles down the road. Five terrorist bombers were killed when the Reaper team unleashed a Hellfire missile, alerting the convoy to the danger. An MoD spokesman said: “During the mission a Daesh team was observed burying improvised explosive devices. “Given the threat these could pose to innocent traffic, an immediate attack was conducted using a Hellfire missile which put an end to the terrorists’ activities.” Reapers are flown remotely by RAF pilots with 13 Sqn based at Waddington in the UK, and 39 Sqn pilots at Creech Air Base in the US. The high-altitude aircraft are equipped with a range of sensors and high-powered cameras and armed with laser-guided weapons and can remain over a target undetected for up to 15 hours. RAF Typhoons have also been in

TERROR TARGET: Millions of refugees have fled war-torn Syria; left, RAF 13 Sqn Reaper pilot

action again in northern Iraq, where a terrorist hide was spotted, concealed in woodland on the bank of the Tigris river to the north-west of Mosul. A single Paveway IV destroyed the site.

RAF aircraft continue to fly daily reconnaissance missions to identify potential Daesh activity, but have engaged only three targets last month according to MoD operational updates.


The last attack was on a cave in eastern Syria which was confirmed as the location of a stockpile of terrorist weaponry. A Reaper employed a GBU-12 guided bomb which scored a direct

hit on the cave entrance and it was successfully collapsed, denying Daesh access to the arms cache.

SAC Hall is the Air Apparent

p34 Royal Air Force News

s RAF Reaper crew eye fighting terrored operational m al Reaper pilots ROYAL AIR Force fighters striking Daesh terrorthe combat thousands of miles fromcould be in zone in Iraq and Syria award. line for a new campaignto introduce Defence chiefs are medal to an operational service fighters recognise UK frontlinecampaign supporting the coalition Iraq and Syria. against Daesh across rules being qualifying new Under government, considered by the of the more than 3600 members who have British Armed ForcesShader since served on Operation for the medal. 2014 could be eligible that could For the RAF operating mean pilots remotely aircraft the Reaper unmanned from the thousands of miles and battle zone in the UK qualify the US could for the first time. Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon the announced move during a visit to British units in Erbil and Taji in stronghold in Iraq to mark the in the group’s remaining those making a vital Raqqa, Syria, and isolated areas of Iraq. third anniversary of fight contribution outside UK involvement in the Since joining the coalition the battlespace, from against terror, UK crews have fight against the terror and Reaper pilots taking life our launched more than 1500 strikes group. British to those who ensure Explaining proposed changes against terrorist positions. said: “The death decision strike Daesh targets.” also helped train more to the rules Mr Fallon provides planes can currently has hundreds troops have personnel. The RAF changing character of warfare than 60,000 Iraqi military how about Akrotiri just and is only right not Gulf – “It the in new challenges Mr Fallon added: recognise and of personnelwhere Typhoon, Tornado who have performed above we fight but also how we in Cyprus the daily strikes that those Reapers are launching holding out and beyond in this fight against support those who serve. and to how still “We need to examine for against Daesh fighters provide medallic recognition

Friday, October 6, 2017


News In brief

Head start for Gulf charity bid Georgia BIG-HEARTED SAC to raise Wray braved the shave Cancer money for Macmillan of her support in memory after a short stepfather who died . battle with the disease as an Georgia, who works of 901 part admin clerk as Wing in the Expeditionar y Air Macmillan Middle East said: ‘The fantastic. nurse we had was she give my “Not only did also a huge mum support but things like amount of advice on allowances financial grants andgive up work as my stepdad had to during treatment.” tripled her So far Georgia has target of £300. original fundraising

the recognition evil of our time get will do just they deserve. This medal that. made huge “Our troops have fight against contributions to thetyranny in large Daesh, helping end its parts of Iraq and Syria. not over but “The campaign is we rightly for those that have served they have role honour the critical us safe.” played in helping keep

Angie bows out at Digby

Station RAF DIGBY’S first woman Hemlin took Warrant Officer Angie she handed a bow this month asSteve Dixon. over duties to MACr thoroughly She said: “I have role at Digby. enjoyed my time and to have been I have been privileged a diverse and the SWO at such crowd to which sits at the heart Unable to fire into the unit complex Reaper the kill the executioners,missile strike Staff Reporter of defence intelligence.” a Hellfire chiefs have launched building where Daesh RAF COMBAT footage of on a nearby taken up position on released dramatic strike gunmen had slaying. an unmanned Reaper public the roof to watch the brutal fled which halted a brutalby Daesh The terror group fighters the murders execution being staged Syria. before carrying out ing commanders in Easternwas on a and the crowd dispersed.MoD said: An exhibition commemorat sight in The UK aircraft A spokesman for the those who lost their two along the Syria the National a van then unloaded surveillance mission World War I opens at this month. operators “When prisoners in front of the and Iraqi border when shackled in Memorial Arboretum gathering that Daesh with spotted a large group Kamal, in crowd, it became clear execution. Developed in partnership UK, Veterans the Syrian town of Abu were organising a publicnumber of the the charity Blind May this year. “Given the large sentries but also brought halt, it showcases Johanna Domkelive Over the Reaper’s crew roof of a building overlooking the the Commanders monitoring sculpture Victory execution to an immediate by the civilians present, the Daesh fled the Guyot’s public video footage gathered to strike could not target directly out the scene. the Daesh fighters civilians Blindness and is open to the as fired was order carry of to aircraft gave the “A Hellfire missile scene, and the crowd were fighters about until December. and scored a direct dispersed.” as two shackled prisoners of and paraded murders. extremists immediately, not only killed one dragged from a van crowd of “However, two armed on the hit which before a terrified were stationed as sentries onlookers.

halted Moment a remote strike

brutal public executions

Arboretum WWI exhibition opens


STRESSFUL: Piloting Reaper

For those who don’t know or understand the Reaper Force, from afar they might imagine two squadrons who work in an office-like environment thousands of miles away from any of the aircraft they fly and away from ‘real’ action. They see people who get to go home after work whilst those on deployed operations live away for months in austere conditions. What they don’t see is imminent physical danger. Because the Reaper crews – made up of pilots, sensor operators and mission intelligence officers – are not on or near a battlefield. What they also don’t see is the degree of visual, emotional and psychological immersion in a theatre of operations that Reaper crew members experience in the Ground Control Stations for years on end. The acuity of the live video feeds give them a closer, not to mention all-round, view of the enemies they target than an archer had at Agincourt 600 years ago. But there is also the immense professional satisfaction of seeing an immediate impact on operations: protecting friendly forces or civilians under fire, surveilling and attacking crucial enemy combatants and other targets. When the fight against IS started to concentrate in Mosul, Raqqa and other highlypopulated cities, the stakes and the pressures increased. A conventional pilot who fires a stand-off missile at predetermined grid coordinates does not have the same immediate, immersive sense of risk to civilians or friendly forces that they cannot see. Similarly, ground attack aircraft approaching and departing their targets at several hundred knots have more limited visual engagement.

Professor Peter Lee, University of Portsmouth, author of Reaper Force and a former RAF chaplain

Partly that is down to having the added challenge of keeping their jet in the air, and partly down to the nature of the cameras and screens available to them. Reaper crews – plus the watching Authorising Officers and senior mission intelligence officers in the Operations Room – get an immediate and continuous visual reminder of the immediate threat they pose to non-combatants; the need for a missile to hit a target on one side of a wall and not friendlies on the other side, only centimetres away. The intimacy of everyday life on the ground in a warzone impinges on them: ‘Friendlies were taking some mortar fire and as we were watching, a couple of shells came in. I saw a little boy running around the corner, probably about 10-15 metres away. I’ve got a little boy, he’s only two-anda-half, that for me was the most shocking thing I think I’ve seen so far.’ Then the mental images go home with the crews on a daily basis in a way that deployed personnel don’t experience. Of course, there is no equivalence between deployed operations and remote Reaper operations. It was telling, however, to discover that many Reaper pilots and sensor operators who get deployed to the Launch and Recovery Element consider their deployment to be a respite from the pressures and intensity of their daily operational routine at home.

RECOGNITION: Reaper operator Andy receives his Op Shader medal from Air Mshl Phil Osborn

Risk and rigour The award of medals has traditionally taken into account the ‘risk and rigour’ involved in a particular action or campaign. Until now that has meant physical risk and physical rigour. But times change and new challenges and social norms emerge. We all know about the mental legacies of war and I dealt with many affected veterans and serving personnel as an RAF chaplain. The NHS approach to mental health is to ‘provide equal status to mental and physical health,’ and to ‘prevent and treat mental health problems with the same commitment, passion and drive as we do with physical health problems’. The military equivalent is to acknowledge mental hazard in a medals system that has previously only recognised physical risk. By that token, it is only right that Reaper personnel have received Operation Shader campaign medals. Given their immense operational contribution in the fight against Daesh and the potential for psychological and other harms, the awards are wellearned. They’re also not an equivalent of high-ranking gallantry medals. Very few people would argue, for example, that police online child sex crime investigators who spend their working lives analysing potentially traumatising images and videos are not affected by what they do. Yet the parallels with Reaper operators – and others who view and analyse the same footage – are often overlooked. Some individuals can be significantly affected, while others are not. It will take much more research to understand why. Training and adaptation can help, and everyone has a unique degree of empathy towards what they are seeing and doing. It’s part of being human. But there is nothing about a military uniform that confers immunity from such psychological effects.

Making history These awards mark the most significant development in medallic recognition for the RAF since the Second World War. In 1945 the RAF Air Member for Personnel complained of the lack of medals and official recognition of the contribution of the Royal Air Force by the then Medals Committee. This was because war was thought of ‘in terms of battlefields and theatres of war, geographically defined and, of course, everything afloat.’ He added: “They cannot understand the air has changed everything.” Seventy-four years on, and more than 12 years since the advent of the RAF Reaper Force, remote air warfare has changed everything again. Reaper Force by Peter Lee (paperback 2019, John Blake Publishing).



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Royal Air Force News Friday, November 1, 2019 R'n'R 3

R'n'R Music

NEW ALBUM: Coming up for Air

John Illsley UK tour

In Dire Straits? No, life's good Playlist Top 10

Bass king Illsley living the dream Tracey Allen


JOHN ILLSLEY, bass player and co-founder of Dire Straits, one of the world’s biggest bands, is out on tour this month with his show The Life and Times of Dire Straits, featuring interviews, visuals and music. Here’s his Top 10 Playlist:

Presley 1 Elvis That's Alright Mama 2 Them Baby Please Don't Go Dylan 3 Bob Blowin' in the Wind Buckley 4 Jeff Hallelujah Cohen 5 Leonard If It Be Your Will Cale 6 JJ Same Old Blues Young 7 Neil Southern Man Morrison 8 Van And it Stoned Me Tosh 9 Peter Johnny B. Goode World 10 Third 96 Degrees in the Shade

T’S NOT surprising to hear John Illsley say that he’s been ‘blessed’ – the former Dire Straits bass player, who co-founded the band with Mark Knopfler – has led the life of a top rock star and now resides in bucolic bliss in the south of England where he runs a pub, paints and takes his own show out on the road. The Life and Times of Dire Straits is on tour around England and visits Cardiff this month – some dates have sold out already. Illsley, whose great uncle, Peter Hamilton, was one of ‘The Few’ (see story main paper on p10), said: “I had done quite a lot of touring on my own and the idea for this show came up in conversation with one of my old managers, Paul Cummins. “I take some musicians with me, Paul interviews me, we talk about the past, play Dire Straits hits and some of my solo tracks. People seem to love hearing about the beginnings of the band. We play some semi-acoustic versions of the Straits songs, it works really well – I find it very enjoyable.” One of the biggest bands of the 1980s and ’90s, Dire Straits’ massive hits include Sultans of Swing, Brothers in Arms, Money for Nothing and Romeo and Juliet. They sold well over 100 million albums, spent 1,100 weeks on the UK album charts alone and received countless awards. Knopfler and Illsley were the only consistent band members through several personnel changes over the years. He first met Knopfler when Illsley was a student at university in London and shared a flat with Mark’s older brother, David. Illsley said: “I’m still in touch with David and I see a lot of Mark when we’re not working. He’s made more albums as a solo artist now than he did with Dire Straits, I think he seems himself as a songwriter more than a guitar player.” He revealed that it was the band’s original drummer, Pick Withers, who came up with their name. Illsley said: “Our band was called Café Racers, which is a type of motorbike, and we needed a new name. A friend said to Pick ‘you have been in dire straits all your life playing music, so why don’t you call it that?’” The Life and Times of Dire Straits also features images of the band over the years. Illsley said: “We have audio-visual stuff as well, lots of pictures from the past, and videos – and every evening Paul surprises me with something. “Three of my band are with

TOUR: John talks about his days with Dire Straits in front of a picture of the band at their peak. He is centre with Mark Knopfler (left) and guest axe hero Eric Clapton (right)

me – a guitar, rhythm guitar and keyboard player. It’s a simple way of doing the songs, they are a joy to play. It’s like going back to basics.” He added: "I really started the show seriously when Mark and I decided to call a halt to the Dire Straits machine in ’92-’93. I just needed to do something completely different, I was physically and mentally exhausted, I just wanted to follow my other life.”

Illsley, whose daughters Jessica and Dee Dee have provided backing vocals on his latest solo album Coming Up for Air, also paints abstracts – he’s had several exhibitions – and is the proud owner of the East End Arms in the New Forest National Park. He said: “I’ve had the pub for 30 years. I don’t pull pints for the customers as I don’t know how the till works, I might just pull one for

myself.” He added: “I am so blessed with the life I have had it would seem greedy to ask for anything else really. I just hope I can carry on, I love performing, I love the camaraderie of both the audience and the band. “I would have loved to have played with JJ Cale though, I’m very fond of his music.” n Go to: for tour details.

Royal Air Force News Friday, November 1, 2019 R'n'R 4

Royal Air Force News Friday, November 1, 2019 R'n'R 5

R'n'R Theatre

Motown The Musical


Hit show



The Big Interview

Rufus Taylor

trip of a lifetime is Easter rising The magic of Motown Depp's homage to madcap author UK tour

Playlist Top 10

NATHAN LEWIS stars as the legendary Smokey Robinson in Motown The Musical, now on tour and at Oxford’s New Theatre over Christmas and the New Year. Here’s Nathan’s Top 10 Playlist.

1 Kehlani Piece of Mind Hill feat. D'Angelo 2 Lauryn Nothing Even Matters 3 Smino Amphetamine Life Raj 4 Rexx Time & Masego 5 Fkj Tadow 6 D'Angelo I Found My Smile Again 7 4Ever Lil' Mo Jackson 8 Michael The Way You Make Me Feel 9 Noname Forever .Paak 10 Anderson The Waters


HE MAN behind some of the most memorable music of the 20th century, Berry Gordy, is the founder of the iconic Motown music label. His story is told in the massive stage hit Motown The Musical, currently on a UK tour and at Oxford’s New Theatre for the festive season. It’s a knock-out of a show, with first-class performances, unforgettable songs, fabulous costumes and slick choreography – all against a backdrop of serious issues including the civil rights movement in America in the 1950s and '60s. The show’s main cast are West End performer Edward Baruwa as Gordy, ex Stooshe band member Karis Anderson as Diana Ross, former X Factor finalist Nathan Lewis as Smokey Robinson and star of the Lion King in the West End Shak Gabbidon-Williams as Marvin Gaye. As you’d expect, all have stunning voices. Edward said: “The show is loosely based on Berry Gordy’s autobiography To Be Loved, in which he told the story of how he started the record label by borrowing $800 from his family and discovering some of the most amazing artists of all time in 'THE SUPREMES': Featuring ex-Stooshe star Karis Anderson as Diana Ross (centre) popular music, including Stevie Nathan said: “My favourite song Wonder, The Jacksons and, of course, Diana, Smokey and Marvin. in the musical has got to be My Girl “The story is told against the – I just think it’s the best-written backdrop of life in America for song of all time.” The costumes play a major part black people at the time, with the civil rights movement and the in the show. Karis said: “I had a killing of Martin Luther King. gold, shop-bought dress and our It’s an interesting juxtaposition director Charles had a new gold because the music is quite uplifting dress made for me, it’s amazing. and the success of the record label Emilio the designer is fantastic.” Shak added: “When we were was so incredible and exciting for everyone involved, but there was being fitted for the costumes, I also this tragic thing happening really did feel like Marvin Gaye. “He was so ahead of his time outside the bubble of Motown. “But things did change. The in making music that is still so record label grows and the show relevant today.” Edward revealed: “Some of tells its story right up to the point the costumes are complete that Berry Gordy eventually replicas of 'MARVIN GAYE': The West End's Shak sells the label.” what the Shak, who is from Oxford, stars really slip-ups. Shak said: “Last week my said: “I think this is the most wore – trousers ripped, right through the authentic version you’ll see of there’s so seam when I was dancing.” those Motown greats, without it much work Karis said: “My bracelet caught being the real people.” and so much on my dress and scattered into Karis described playing attention to about 10 different bits across the Diana Ross as ‘a dream detail. stage. And in one scene in which role.’ “In this I was supposed to be barefoot I She said: “It’s an show, as forgot to take my pink slippers off honour to play well as and came on stage wearing them. her. Diana and getting to “There are some funny moments The Supremes are see the artists – that’s the beauty of live theatre.” probably Stooshe’s as real human Edward added: “Things like that biggest influence. I feel beings you keep you on your toes, it’s great.” very lucky and very also meet some By Tracey Allen grateful.” of the writers, n Motown The Musical tours to The show is full like Holland-Dozier- Glasgow and Sheffield and is at of hits, including Holland, which is lovely.” the New Theatre Oxford from Heard it Through Although the show is December 17 to January 4. Go the Grapevine, Baby MR MOTOWN: Baruwa very slick, the cast revealed to: for Love and Dancing as Gordy, with 'Ross' that there have been a few more details. in the Street.

Fabulous Films Ltd/Fremantle Media Enterprises


TARRING JOHNNY DEPP and Benicio Del Toro, capturing the insane madness of Hunter S. Thompson’s literary classic was the challenge director Terry Gilliam (12 Monkeys) embraced for the film Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. The novel of the same name is based on two trips Thompson took in 1971 with attorney and activist Oscar Zeta Acosta. In the film version, when a writing assignment lands journalist Raoul Duke (Depp) and sidekick Dr. Gonzo (Del Toro) in Las Vegas, they decide to make it the ultimate business trip. But before long business is forgotten and trip has become the key word. Fuelled by a suitcase of mind-bending pharmaceuticals, Duke and Gonzo set off on a fast and furious ride through nonstop neon, surreal surroundings and a crew of the craziest characters ever. But no matter where misadventure leads them, Duke and Gonzo discover that sometimes going too far is the only way to go. It’s said Thompson himself shaved Depp’s head for the role. They were in Thompson’s kitchen, Depp refused to look in a mirror, and Thompson wore a miner’s hard hat. Thompson developed a strong friendship with Depp and heartily approved of his performance. Before filming, Depp swapped his car for Thompson’s red Chevrolet convertible and spent weekends driving it around California in preparation for the role. The film includes cameo

appearances from Cameron Diaz, Christina Ricci and Gary Busey. We have copies on DVD (certificate 18) up for grabs – for your chance to own one, simply send us the correct answer to this question: Who wrote the novel on which the film Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is based? Email your answer, marked Fear And Loathing DVD, to: or post it to: RAF News, Room 68, Lancaster Building, HQ Air Command, High Wycombe, HP14 4UE, to arrive by November 15. Entrants must be over 18.


UT NOW, the hilarious special edition of Animal House – that made food fights an art form and John Belushi a star – features exclusive bonus content developed and directed by legendary filmmaker John Landis and co-producer Marty Simmons. Landis directed some of the most popular film comedies of all time including The Blues Brothers, Three Amigos and An American Werewolf in London. A raunchy, screwball spoof about college life in the 1960s, Animal House (certificate 15) sees Bhuto (Belushi), Otter (Tim Matheson), Pinto (Tom Hulce) and Flounder (Stephen Furst) lead the way with their outrageous behaviour in the ultimate campus comedy. For your chance to win a copy on DVD, answer this question correctly: In which decade is Animal House set? Email your answer, marked Animal House DVD, to: competitions@ or post it to our usual competitions address (see above) to arrive by November 15.

'Biblical' new Darkness album Taylor-made to be like Queen


F YOU think the first track, Rock And Roll Deserves To Die, from Easter is Cancelled, the new album by The Darkness, is reminiscent of Queen, you’d be right. The band’s drummer, Rufus ‘Tiger’ Taylor, said the flamboyant rockers are ‘more than slightly’ influenced by Queen, whose drummer happens to be Rufus’s dad, Roger Taylor. Rufus, who joined The Darkness in 2015, revealed: “When I met the group for the first time, the first thing [frontman] Justin Hawkins said to me was the faces of all four members of Queen were tattooed on his fingers.” Rufus also revealed that it was Queen’s lead singer, the legendary Freddie Mercury, who gave him his distinctive middle name. Easter is Cancelled has proved controversial because of its cover art. Rufus said the band are ‘really proud’ of the 10-track release and, he added, ‘we want to give it a proper go live’. The Darkness start a UK and Ireland headline tour on November 26 in Belfast, that finishes at London’s Roundhouse on December 20. Easter Is Cancelled is the band’s first concept album and, said Rufus, will be played in full at some gigs – along with their hits, of course, including I Believe in a Thing Called Love and Growing on Me. Justin, the band’s main songwriter, said of the new album (possibly with his tongue firmly in his cheek): “This far-reaching communiqué examines man’s

brutality to man, the dichotomies that we live within and the alternate realities that exist alongside our blinkered comprehension of the universe. The song cycle defines human existence through a parable – the slow lingering death and eventual glorious rebirth of rock and roll. “Endless days in studios, museums, spiritual retreats and places of learning turned into endless months, as deeper and deeper layers of truth were uncovered, translated and set for eternity in sound.  “The result is a literally Biblical record, and those who have said that rock and roll is the Devil’s music should listen and understand that it is, in truth, the voice of God.  “This is the grandest statement any band has ever made.” Rufus said: “The last few albums were more of a collective work. Justin took the reins for this one and absolutely delivered above and beyond. “Dan [Justin’s brother and the band’s rhythm guitarist] and I are very good at coming up with the arrangements and the music behind it. We usually thrash them out on an acoustic guitar in his kitchen before going into the studio. Then we thrash it out in the studio on drums and guitar and present Justin with the finished backing track. He will take just 20 minutes sometimes to come back with some brilliant lyrics that are perfect.” He added: “For me Heart Explodes [track four] was my

ROCKERS: Rufus (barefoot) with The Darkness; and his mentor Taylor Hawkins (inset left)

favourite track on the new album from the very beginning. And Live Til I Die – Justin wrote that about 20 years ago, that’s a really good, lifeaffirming song. I like everything on this album, I really do.” Rufus said his famous father never tried to persuade him to take up the drums. He added: “There was no pushing from my dad. I did about five years on the Queen and Adam Lambert tour – it was amazing, I couldn’t say no to that. Five years on the road was enough for me, I never thought I would get to do that in the first place. That’s something I will never forget.” He cites Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins as a major influence. Rufus said: “He is like

my big brother and he has been a mentor to me for years. He was the guy who really made me decide that this is what I was going to do. He was perhaps my number one influence.” Rufus expressed regret that he never saw the late, great drummer Ginger Baker – who died last month, aged 80 – play live. He said: “I can’t believe he was still going, the way that guy lived. It was very sad when he died. I never got the chance to see him perform.” By Tracey Allen n Go to: for tour details. Taylor Hawkins & The Coattail Riders’ new album Get The Money is out on November 8.


It's Only Rock & Roll But I Like It Galerie Prints, Wimbledon Park

Rock up to Wimbledon to see masters of music A

MAJOR exhibition featuring candid shots of some of rock and pop’s best-known faces from Elvis Presley to the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin to Blondie and Bruce Springsteen to David Bowie has opened in London. Spanning more than 50 years and featuring work from such heavyweight photographers as Terry O’Neill, Michael Putland, Jill Furmanovsky and Duffy, It’s Only Rock & Roll But I Like It! Runs at the Galerie Prints in Wimbledon Park until November 26. Admission is free.

LITTLE RED ROOSTER: Rolling Stones, 1974, by Michael Putland

THE KING: Elvis, 1956, by Phillip Harrington, Alamy Stock Photo

THIN WHITE DUKE: David Bowie, Wembley Arena, 1976, by Michael Putland

Royal Air Force News Friday, November 1, 2019 R'n'R 6

R'n'R Your Announcements

You can email photos for announcements on this page to:


WO PETER BINKS BINKS, Peter (Senior) WO. Born January 15, 1932. Died in the early hours of October 12, 2019. Peter, known to friends and colleagues as Joe, served as an Environmental Health Officer from 1951, serving at Driffield, Iwakuni in Japan with the Commonwealth Division, Kai Tak (FEAF), Acklington, Patrington, Brampton, Cyprus (NEAF), Brampton, Eastleigh in East Africa, Andover, Majunga, Andover, INM Alverstoke and Aktotiri, spending his later year between Halton, High Wycombe and Akrotiri.

As a keen long distance runner he represented the Station/Command on many occasions, retiring in 1989. He spent his retirement returning to his home town of Crook, County Durham with wife Pat until her passing in 2008. He will be sadly missed by sons Peter and Gordon. His funeral was held on October 24. RIP Sir. WARWICK Roy, ex Warrant Officer, BEM. Passed away suddenly on September 28 aged 94. He will be greatly missed by his family and many friends. Roy was a General Fitter and served both at home and abroad in Cyprus, Singapore, Egypt, Muharraq, Coningsby, Benson, Andover, Bicester, Lyneham and Middle Wallop.

Seeking 16 Sqn associates of the late Jerald (Jerry) Winter, are you able to supply any photos of him for a forthcoming magazine article in which he features? Please email Mick Britton: ON behalf of my father Ian

Seaman I am trying to trace a Barry Wrigley who served with my father in Cyprus between 1950 – 1960. Both were air frame technicians. Please contact Phil at: ON behalf of my father, Ernie Bennett, I am trying to trace some of the men who he served with on National Service in Cyprus on Troodos Mountain between 19571958. Ernie was a technician and he served with Tom Richardson, originally from Ashington, and Lonny Fletcher, originally from Jamaica. Also looking to find any other RAF personnel who were on Troodos during this time. Please contact Julie Catton on: 07760 451403. LOOKING for Heather Appleford, Dawn Bryant, Karen Dear, Dawn Greenstreet, Kim Deighton and Julia Coyne who attended Forres Academy between 1970-1976. Their fathers were stationed at RAF Kinloss. Some of us met up last year for our 60th birthday year and are having another reunion this month. We would love to see them or anyone else from our year.

How to use our service

Please contact: alexandra. I am looking to contact Stuart Taylor aged 49 approx. He was based at RAF Brize Norton in the 00s, I think as a member of the ground crew. He lived in Blackpool in the 1980s and worked in Blackpool Tower for a short time in 1987. If anyone can please help with any information please get in touch with Marie via email:

Reunions THE Red Arrows Association is calling for new members. It organises various events, has a Facebook page and biannual newsletter and holds a popular annual reunion. Membership is £5 a year and is conditional on having served on the Red Arrows (including the Yellowjacks) as either aircrew, ground crew or civilian support staff at any time since its formation in 1964. Associate membership is also available to people closely connected to the team. Please email: secretary@ or visit: redarrowsassociation.

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

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

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

RAF church’s concert

31 Group Royal Observer Corps Association Annual Reunion will take place on Saturday, January 25, 2020 in the Magherabuoy Hotel, Portrush, Co Antrim. Email: 158 Squadron Bomber Command. The 158 Association is very active and we want to contact any veteran or relative of a veteran. We are planning a Reunion and Memorial Service for autumn 2020. Please contact: KevB@ COASTAL Command Officers’ Reunion, October 10, 2020. Please contact Ray Curtis, call: 01264 735349 or email: A limited number of tickets are available for all serving and retired members of the Mechanical Transport/Logs Driver Trade for the weekend of Friday, March 20 to Sunday March 22, 2020. Two nights B&B and a gala five

BEAUTIFUL: The interior of St Clement Danes in London’s Strand

THE FRIENDS of St Clement Danes Church Annual Concert, featuring the Band of the RAF Regiment supported by the Choir of St Clement Danes, will take place at 7pm on Thursday, November 28. Tickets are available at the church door on the night or from RAF Charitable Trust Enterprises, Douglas Bader House, Horcott Hill, Fairford, Gloucestershire GL7 4RB; email: or telephone: 01285 713456. course dinner on Saturday with first class cabaret and entertainment both nights at one of Blackpool’s most popular seafront hotels, all for the bargain offer price of £98 per person. For a great weekend in Blackpool with like-minded people ‘pull up a sandbag’… For further details please email: admin at: Tickets are selling fast – first come, first served.

Admin Apprentices RAF Administrative Apprentice Association. Recruiting now. Did you train as an Apprentice Supplier or Clerk at RAF Ruislip, St Athan, Bircham Newton, Halton or Hereford? Please contact: www.rafadappassn. org for details of YOUR association.

interest in attending. Final date to be confirmed but will be held in April, 2020. For further details please email: 5131bd75@gmail. com including name, rank held, and phone number and please indicate whether still serving or not. Once numbers of attendees are known, formal invitations will be sent.

RAF Catering Assoc MEMBERSHIP of the RAF Catering Asoociation is open to those who are serving or have served as a Warrant Officer or Flight Sergeant in Trade Group 19 and former RAF Catering Officers. For more information and an application form please email Eddie Jones: janedjones6@ or telephone: 01487 823480.

5131 Sqn event

RAF Theatrical Assoc

APRIL 1, 2020 will see the formal disbandment of 5131 (Bomb Disposal) Squadron, the last remaining bomb disposal unit in the RAF. To mark the event, the squadron will be taking part in a final parade followed by an evening of celebration at RAF Wittering. Anyone who has served on the squadron or undertaken EOD duties is invited to express an

THE RAF Theatrical Association is looking for volunteers. Contact RAFTA at or visit:

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

Royal Air Force News Friday, November 1, 2019 R'n'R 7

R'n'R Your Announcements

You can email photos for announcements on this page to:

Special museum service Free half-term fun YOUNG ADVENTURERS can explore two free activity trails at the National Memorial Arboretum, in Staffordshire, throughout half-term – to November 3. The Global Friends Trail whisks visitors on a tour of memorials connected to different countries across the world, from the Sikh Memorial to the Royal Canadian Airforce, challenging them to identify animals associated with

each region. A free trail map includes stickers of each animal to attach to a poster to take home. The Stick Man* trail, featuring the character from Julia Donaldson's book, is an interactive learning experience for three to sevenyear olds. Go to: for details. *Stick Man © 2008 & TM. Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler. Licenced by Magic Light Pictures Ltd.

THE RAF Museum Cosford will hold a Service of Remembrance on Sunday, November 10, in tribute to members of the Armed Forces who made the ultimate sacrifice during their tours of duty. Visitors are invited to join the service, led by RAF Cosford Station Chaplain, Wg Cdr Eddie Wynn, to pay their respects and reflect on the sacrifices made by Service personnel. There will be music from the Cosford Military Wives Choir. The remembrance service will take place in the Museum’s Hangar 1 and visitors are requested to assemble no later than 10.30am ready for the service to start at 10.45am. A marching contingent from No 1 Radio School (Phase 2 students), RAF Cosford will begin the proceedings, which will include readings, hymns and the sounding of

TRIBUTE: Last year’s service at the museum

The Last Post followed by a two-minute silence. RAF Museum Cosford Public Events Manager, Abi Betteridge said: “We hope visitors and local residents will choose to join us once again for the RAF Museum’s Remembrance Service which saw more than 500 people attend last year.” Students from nearby Albrighton Primary School will be participating in the

service, reading poems they have written. Year Six students at the school recently took part in a workshop delivered by the Museum’s Access and Learning team. Poems and artwork by the students will be displayed in the Museum’s ‘War in the Air’ Hangar over the remembrance period. During the service, wreaths will be laid by representatives from RAF

Cosford, RAF Museum staff and volunteers, Cosford Military Wives Choir and Albrighton Primary School. To find out about Service personnel who fell serving in the Royal Flying Corps and the RAF during World War I or to dedicate a digital poppy, visit the RAF Museum’s online story vault: uk. Q Go to: cosford for more details.


Founded 1553


generous forces’ bursaries availble One of the country’s leading day and boarding schools Prep School Open Morning Saturday 28th September

Please contact Admissions for details 01527 579679

ISI Inspection: Boarding provision is excellent” and “The quality of pupils’ achievements and learning is excellent” Academic excellence coupled with a wealth of sporting and extracurricular opportunities. Individual visits welcome Co-educational, Day & Boarding 950 pupils aged 13-18 720 pupils aged 3 - 13 500 boarders from the age of 7+

We’re investing in your child’s future At Bromsgrove, we believe pupils are happiest when they are succeeding. We offer an all-round education, combining academic excellence with a richness of opportunity. Pupils engage enthusiastically with knowledge, embrace new ideas and are intellectually stimulated. We pride ourselves on the outstanding opportunities available, both inside and outside the classroom, whether at Nursery, Pre-Prep, Preparatory or Senior School. Facilities at Bromsgrove have been improved beyond measure in the last decade. All sections of the School benefit from state of the art teaching areas. A world-class Performing Arts Centre, comprising a new live performance venue and theatre, a large drama studio and an entire suite of new music classrooms, recording studios and practice rooms was opened in 2017.

Music lessons start in Year 2 with the Strings Initiative and pupils go on to group and individual successes in music. Outside areas are extensive with beautiful, landscaped grounds and dedicated sports areas blending seamlessly. There is Forest School for the younger children and pupils of all ages enjoy outdoors learning spaces. But don’t be distracted by the School’s breathtaking facilities, nestled in over 100 magnificent acres. The heart of Bromsgrove’s success is its people. Over 1,600 pupils, boys and girls, day and boarding, national and international, aged 3-18, are what give the School its vibrancy, with a staff of some of the nation’s finest educators, coaches and caregivers - passionate professionals, as invested in your child as you are. We welcome individual visits so that you can see for yourself what Bromsgrove has to offer.

Royal Air Force News Friday, November 1, 2019 R'n'R 8

R'n'R Prize Crossword No. 260

Solve the crossword, then rearrange the 11 letters in yellow squares to find an RAF station.

Prize Su Doku

Solutions should be sent in a sealed envelope marked 'Prize Crossword' with the number in the top left-hand corner to RAF News, Room 68, Lancaster Building, HQ Air Command, High Wycombe, Bucks, HP14 4UE to arrive by November 15, 2019.

No. 270 Fill in all the squares in the grid so that each row, each column and each 3x3 square contains all the digits from 1 to 9.

Across 6. Be entertained without an article at sea (7) 7. Either way it’s paddled (5) 9. Muscular chap found in the mansion (2-3) 10. Greyish-brown church, a place subject to evacuation (7) 12. Limited company with standing arrangement (11) 14. Memorable flower, presumably (6-2-3) 18. Neighbourhood compassion (7) 19. High-flier puts in lots of time, at first (5) 21. Extort RAF personnel after initial success (5) 22. Gruesome Scotsman murders bear (7) Down 1. Prophet embraces western conduit (5) 2. Aircraft used by a count (6) 3. See 20 Down 4. And 15 Down. Denmark great involved in WWII operation (6,6) 5. See 17 Down 8. In Jaipur, Sue definitely followed (7) 11. Observed Mark and Edward (7) 13. Share bill in Amsterdam? (2,5) 15. See 4 Down 16. Duck Diana, bad actor at station (6) 17. And 5 Down. Snake-fighter in recent RAF exercise (5,7) 20. And 3 Down. Damn me! Upsetting TV show (3,3)

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

The winner of Crossword No. 258 is Mike Nurse of RAF High Wycombe, who wins a copy of The Dauntless In Battle by Peter C Smith ( Solution to Crossword No. 258:

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

Across: 7. Canary 8. Armour 10. Palazzo 11. Drake 12. Cent 13. Idiot 17. Tyres 18. Yogi 22. Ranch 23. Ulysses 24. Norton 25. Mexico Down: 1. Ice Pack 2. England 3. Brize 4. Pride Of 5. Moray 6. Brief 9. Doodlebug 14. Typhoon 15. Toastie 16. Wigston 19. Frank 20. Snore 21. Ryder

RAF station..................................................................... Crossword No. 260

Famous aircraft: Beaufighter

Film Review

Jewish Film Festival

Buddy movie

The Peanut Butter Falcon Out now

....................................................Su Doku No. 270 Solutions should be sent in a sealed Solution to Su Doku No: 269 envelope marked 'Su Doku' with the number in the top left-hand corner to RAF News, to arrive by November 15, 2019. Su Doku No. 269 winner Mr C Jones from Didcot wins a copy ofAeroNeurosis by Mark C Wilkins (

96 films

London and UK tour

SomeFinn sweet Oscar-tipped satire T


AK IS a 22-year-old with Down's syndrome and no guardian, making him a reluctant patient at a nursing home for the elderly. That is until he makes his escape through the barred windows in the dead of night, leaving him greased up with no clothes or possessions, just a dream of making it to a wrestling school run by his hero The Salt Water Redneck (Thomas Hayden Church). Finding shelter in a small docked boat, Zak wakes to find himself on the move, being chased by some frenzied fisherman. Tyler (Shia LaBeouf), the pilot of the boat, has evidently ruffled some feathers and is looking to make an escape himself. This is the meetcute for our soppy-looking buddy movie: two unlikely outlaws on the lamb in the indie film Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Tyler is gruff and grumbling, aggressive out of the gate and unsympathetic towards the nearnude joyrider he finds in the boat. That is until he discovers that Zak is a runaway on a mission,

UNLIKELY MATES: Easygoing Zak (right) and grouchy crab fisherman Tyler

with careworker Eleanor (Dakota Johnson) hot on his tail. And so it seems that this troublestarting crab fisherman has found himself an accomplice and an alibi as they head together to find the wrestling school in the middle of nowhere. The moral lesson and shape of the story might be clear from the outset, but the charm of the actors and their chemistry is utterly disarming, even when it crashes into narrative convenience or cliche. There is a rhythm to the dialogue that feels less filmy thanks to non-

actor Zack Gottsagen, lending itself perfectly to the reality of the relationship, bringing out the humour and the pathos. Tyler is aloof initially but as he becomes ‘buds’ with Zak he makes a point of being intentionally unpatronising and non-coddling, which makes the moments of kindness and flashes of vulnerability resonate. Equal parts funny and sweet, The Peanut Butter Falcon is a charming film that is hard not to like. By Sam Cooney 4/5 roundels

HE TWENTY-THIRD UK Jewish Film Festival will run from November 6-21 at 15 cinemas across London. A UK tour of festival highlights to 20 towns and cities across England, Scotland and Wales will run until December 12. This year’s programme comprising 96 films, plus Q&As and discussions with directors, actors, politicians and journalists, is the largest Jewish film festival programme in the world. It features eight world premieres, a European premiere, 40 UK premieres and films from 24 countries, including 23 from the UK. The diverse range of films includes Oscar-tipped satire Jojo WITH FRIENDS LIKE THAT… Jojo (Roman Griffin Davis) has dinner with his imaginary pal Adolf (writer/ director Taika Waititi), and his mother Rosie (Scarlet Johansson) Photo by Kimberley French. © 2018 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

Rabbit, and The Operative, starring Martin Freeman and Diane Kruger, that receives its UK premiere at the festival. Further highlights include Synonyms, awarded the Golden Bear at this year’s Berlin International Film Festival; documentary The Human Factor, directed by Oscarnominated Dror Moreh; and Flawless, a progressive teen movie by Tal Granit and Sharon Maymon that’s been receiving rave reviews. The festival is part of UK Jewish Film, a registered charity.

n Go to: festival/uk-jewish-filmfestival-2019 for more details and tickets.

Royal Air Force News Friday, November 1, 2019 P20


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

n Please note letters must be a maximum of 300 words and any accompanying pictures sent as attached, hi-res JPEG files

Norway Campaign appeal

Book prize was a great surprise

I HAVE a profound interest in the role Britain played in the largely ‘forgotten’ Norwegian Campaign (April to June 1940) and am currently organising a campaign to seek to encourage the UK government to honour officially the British veterans and their comrades who assisted Norway honourably in its fight for freedom against the German invasion forces nearly 80 years ago. My campaign will also attempt to influence the government to hold a ceremony to mark the 80th anniversary of the Norwegian Campaign, in spring 2020. In Norway in 1940 the Royal Navy and the Fleet Air Arm succeeded in critically weakening the German navy, as a result Germans were unable to launch a seaborne invasion of Britain via the English Channel in autumn 1940. In this way the Royal Navy and the RAF prevented a Nazi invasion of Britain in late 1940. The Allies also gained their first

MY COMPETITION prize of the book Beaufighter Boys by Graham Pitchfork arrived today – and what an appropriate and pleasant surprise. I served on Bristols as an apprentice, 194551, then as an Engineering Officer in the RAF until 1970. I retired as OC Eng. Wing RAF Abingdon, 1970. Many thanks for the book. Winstone Williamson Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucs.

Win bottle of spirits

land victory in World War II in Norway. In May 1940 British, French, Polish and Norwegian forces brought about the expulsion of German troops and naval personnel from the port of Narvik. As a key part of my preparations for this campaign I have tried to find British veterans who saw action in Norway in April to June 1940. I have found five Royal Navy veterans and two British Army vets. I contacted the Royal Norwegian Embassy in London about these men and as a result three veterans were awarded the Norwegian Commemorative Medal, 1939-1945, recently, and two will receive it soon. I am now looking for British RAF veterans who served in the Norwegian Campaign in 1940, so that they can also be honoured. I would be most grateful if any readers could kindly help me. My email address is: timkundu@; call: 0775 7708 544.

Star letter

An error too far

ONE HOPES that I was not the only reader to notice the spelling error on page 10 in the Arnhem article. Glyn Coney Sent by email ATTACK: Smoke billows from a merchant ship and warehouse after being struck by bombs during a raid by RAF aircraft on Bergen, Norway, in April 1940 © Air Historical Branch (RAF)

Editor’s note: We apologise for the production error.

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

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Royal Air Force News Friday, November 1, 2019 P21


The Few Elite people who helped Allies to win WWII Explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes explores some of the remarkable units and key figures of warfare SIR RANULPH: Kicked out of SAS

PILOT: Jamaican William Strachen

Simon Mander


T MIGHT seem strange at first glance to find the RAF included in a book about the world’s Special Forces. But intrepid explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes has no problem placing The Few of the Battle of Britain alongside other elite military units, from the Ancient Spartans to the US Navy Seals. Inspired by the wartime exploits of the father he never knew, the polar explorer, who was removed from the SAS for misusing explosives, seeks to showcase missions in which incredibly brave people overcame impossible odds to change the course of history. Which brings him to the three key figures he sees as central to defeating the Luftwaffe in 1940. First, Hugh Dowding – whose promotion to head up Fighter Command, he notes, ‘was not universally welcome’. He continues: “Dowding was accused of not being a ‘people person,’ and it was this alleged inability to charm that subsequently saw him overlooked as candidate for the role of Chief of the Air Staff. “As such, when Germany looked to invade during the summer of 1940, Britain’s defences were in the hands of someone who had been all

ELITE: Battle of Britain aces and, inset left, Spitfire inventor R.J. Mitchell

but consigned to the scrapheap just a few months before.” But it was the ‘Dowding system,’ he says, of a defensive screen of four operational fighter groups in different parts of the UK, that proved vital to victory. The other two key figures are Spitfire inventor Reginald J Mitchell,

Free copy up for grabs Win!


HE ELITE: The Story of Special Forces – From Ancient Sparta to the Gulf War, is published in hardback by Simon & Schuster priced £20. We have a copy to be won. For your chance to own it, simply answer this question correctly: Which elite military unit was Ranulph Fiennes a member of? Email your answer, marked The Elite book competition, to: competitions@ or post it to: RAF News, Room 68, Lancaster Building, HQ Air Command, High Wycombe, HP14 4UE, to arrive by November 15.

who died of cancer at 42 and never saw his creation in combat, and 11 Group Commander Keith Park, whose tactic of luring the Luftwaffe on with small attacks until their fighters ran low on fuel before attacking them in numbers proved deadly effective. But it’s not just the top brass who Fiennes credits with victory. He notes the role of Women’s Auxiliary Air Force radar operators and plotters who vectored the Spitfires and Hurricanes on to their targets from Bentley Priory. And he pays tribute to the men from the Commonwealth who helped ease the chronic shortage of pilots, including Jamaican William Strachan, who became the only black man serving in the RAF, Dowding’s Kiwi deputy Keith Park and South African 10 Group commander Quentin Brand. Fiennes concludes n Dowding

that the German defeat in the Battle of Britain was ‘one of the costliest strategic errors of the war’, as it left the UK free to become a giant floating base for D-Day forces four years later, without which it is ‘extremely doubtful,’ whether the US could have liberated Europe from 3,000 miles away. While the work is perhaps of limited attraction to older RAF News readers only interested in Air Power and familiar with the events of 1940, for the younger general reader it’s an accessible introduction to that conflict and others involving units from the Knights Templar to the Janissaries and the SAS. Fiennes has an easy and entertaining storytelling style, the mark of a skilled writer, although personally I would have liked him to explore what elite units have in common that make them so successful

– but perhaps that’s material for his next book. n NAMED BY The Guinness Book of Records as ‘the world’s greatest living explorer,’ Sir Ranulph is on a UK and Ireland tour with his show, Living Dangerously, that runs until April 2020. It takes a journey through his life, from early years to the present day. Among his many record-breaking achievements, he was the first to reach both Poles, the first to cross the Antarctic and Arctic Ocean, and the first to circumnavigate the world along its polar axis. The show spans Sir Ranulph’s childhood and school misdemeanours, his Army life and early expeditions, right through the Transglobe Expedition to his current Global Reach Challenge – his goal to become the first person to cross both polar ice caps and climb the highest mountain on each of the seven continents. l Go to: for more details.

Royal Air Force News Friday, November 1, 2019 P23


AC BLUNSTONE: Won the Rothschild Trophy

AC BURBERRY: The RAF Benevolent Fund Trophy

AC FAISAL: The Dusty Miller Memorial Trophy

AC RIDLEY: The Halton Aircraft Apprentice Trophy

AC JAMES: Collects Trenchard Trophy for No. 10 Flt

AC SIMMONS: The Halton Aircraft Apprentice Shield

AC WHITCHURCH: The Station Commander’s Cup

AC WILLIAMS: Lord Lieutenant of Bucks Trophy

Back to the future Former Halton chief sees next generation graduate WATCHED BY family and friends Thompson Intake Graduated from 10 weeks Basic Training. Former RAF Halton OC Air Commodore Simon Harper was the Reviewing Officer. In all 91 recruits graduated, with music from The Band of the Royal Air Force College led by Bandmaster WO Andrew Allott. The flypast was by a Tucano from 72 Squadron based at RAF LintonOn-Ouse. The Queen’s Colour was paraded by Fg Off Sud Ale, with Colour WO Darrel Keane and escorts Sgt Deacon and Sgt Short. Air Cdre Harper presented cups and trophies to: PARADE: Thompson graduates PHOTOS: LUKA WAYCOTT

40 new Gunners storm Honington THE LATEST students of TG 1-19 Salalah Flight have graduated at RAF Honington. After recently assuming command of No.2 Group, Air Vice-Marshal Alan Gillespie was the Reviewing Officer for one of the largest graduations the station has seen in some time, with 40 Gunners having now successfully completed their Phase 2 training. The prize winners were: l The LAC Beard Recruits’ Trophy: Leading Aircraftman Norris. l The SAC Luders Champion Shot Trophy: Leading Aircraftman Burt. l The WO Ramsay Physical Development Cup: Leading Aircraftman Eden. l Best All Round Recruit and Winner of The Frank l The RAF Regiment Association Trophy for Drill Silvester Trophy: Leading Aircraftman Norris. and Deportment: Leading Aircraftman Rapson. l Winner of the Cpl Bradfield Trophy: Cpl Germany.

l AC Blunstone, the Rothschild Trophy – awarded to the recruit who showed the best overall performance in Initial Force Protection Training. l AC Ridley, the Halton Aircraft Apprentice Trophy – awarded for the best Drill and Deportment. l AC Simmons, the Halton Aircraft Apprentice Shield – for the best overall performance in Physical Education. l AC Faisal, The Dusty Miller Memorial Trophy – for showing the most willingness to help others as voted for by the intake. l AC Burberry, the RAF Benevolent Fund Trophy – for showing the best overall effort on number 9 Flight. l AC Whitchurch, the Station Commander’s Cup – for showing the best overall effort on number 10 Flight. l AC Gesage, the Mayor of Aylesbury Trophy – for the best


AC GESAGE: Mayor of Aylesbury Trophy

overall performance on number 9 Flight. l AC Williams, the Lord Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire Trophy – for the best overall performance on number 10 Flight. l And AC James accepted the Lord Trenchard Trophy on behalf of Number 10 Flight who were best overall.






from 63 countries 65,9% of international

65 startups at Eurosatory LAB


Total attendance (exhibitors, visitors, press, organisers)


Official delegations from 94 countries and 4 organisations (representing 760 delegates)



from 44 countries

75 Conferences 2,102 Business meetings made 2018 key figures

Royal Air Force News Friday, November 1, 2019 P25


Hall: One-legged heroine of the French Resistance Tracey Allen


HE WOMEN of the Special Operations Executive – who helped the French Resistance fight the Nazis – included an American socialite who had a wooden leg she called ‘Cuthbert’. Virginia Hall, dubbed ‘World War II’s most dangerous spy’ was something of an unsung heroine whose massive contribution to wartime intelligence was lost in the mists of history – until now. Sonia Purnell’s book about Virginia, A Woman Of No Importance, examines the life of this remarkable woman whose exploits read like the plot of a Hollywood movie. In fact, the book has been optioned for a film by Star Wars director JJ Abrams with Daisy Ridley (Rey in the Star Wars sequel trilogy) tipped to play Virginia. Purnell (above) and fellow authors appeared at the Cheltenham Literary Festival recently to talk about the role of women in WWII, in a discussion chaired by military historian and novelist Allan Mallinson. She said: “Virginia always wanted adventure. For her, war was a liberation. When she was 27 she lost a leg in a hunting accident and ended up with a wooden leg. None of this was going to hold her back. She saw it as her chance to prove what women could do. “She talked her way into the SOE and set up networks across France on her own.” She recruited, trained, armed and sometimes directed the Maquis into battle with the Nazis, rescued numerous secret agents in some of the most daredevil jail breaks of the war and brought in dozens of parachute drops of arms and explosives. Purnell said: “The Great Escape had nothing on Virginia. She came out over the Pyrenees with Cuthbert and went back in, disguised as a milkmaid, as a guerrilla leader. She helped to liberate whole swathes of France without a single professional soldier. She also came up with the intelligence that helped the Allies recapture Paris.” The author added: “I think she was ignored for so many years because she did not fit the post-war narrative, unlike tragic heroines like Noor Inayat Khan (right) and Violet Szabo. “Virginia achieved huge things, hence she

Special women of WWII celebrated in new books was the Allies’ most dangerous spy.” She recruited a VD doctor and the most famous brothel madam in Lyons as her lieutenants. Purnell said: “Her girls, known as ‘filles de joie’, were spiking their German clients’ drinks and rifling through their uniforms. One of her best put 27 German officers out of action in this way. Virginia called them ‘my tart friends.’”


allinson, whose latest book is Fight To the Finish (Transworld) about WWI, said: “WWII was the first time women really moved into military operations in a more active way. This is a step change – we see women being a major part of the war effort rather than home support.” Daniel Todman, author of Britain’s War A New World 19421947 (Penguin) said: “This is particularly true of the Royal Air Force – by 1942, 10 per cent of RAF personnel were female. “There were no female combat pilots but it was women who drove them to the aircraft, who sent the signal that helped bomber crews find their targets and who debriefed them when they returned. “There is no way Britain could have fought the war it wanted to fight without the very extensive involvement of women as auxiliaries in the Air Force.”

I interviewed, aged 99, refused to have her name in the book – she said she did nothing, but she had hidden Jewish people in her flat and then presented them to another safe house.” Under German occupation, many of the women were considered collaborators. Sebba added: “We were not occupied in England – what would we have done? Probably we would not have acted very differently. “What could the women of Paris do? They did multiple small things that collectively really did make a difference. They delivered political tracts to aid the Resistance and hid weapons. “They could not stand by while perhaps their Jewish neighbours had been rounded up and sent to Auschwitz. “The war o f f e r e d liberation for a lot

of French women who did not have the vote then. It gave them bigger social mobility and war was quite exciting for some women; it gave them an opportunity for a life of action which they would not have had at other times.” Purnell said Virginia was very badly treated by the CIA after the war. She added: “The CIA now say they got it wrong, she is almost a poster girl for them for recruitment these days. “M15 now looks for people who have had to fight to get on in life because they are self-reliant, like Virginia. She is known more widely today as someone who inspired others.”


irginia Hall was the only civilian woman of WWII awarded the Distinguished Service Cross. One of the main reasons why her part in the war wasn’t known about for so long was probably because she didn’t want her story told, according to Anne Sebba, author of Les Parisiennes, How the Women of Paris Lived, Loved and Died in the 1940s (Orion). She said: “Many of the women I interviewed were in their late 80s and 90s – they were ready to tell their stories. Perhaps they felt they had not done anything worthwhile compared to the great heroines. They wanted to go back to ordinary life after the war and many felt ashamed of the way France had acted. “One woman

HALL: ‘WWII’s most dangerous spy,’ is the subject of a new book, right

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Timeless desert dream BRITISH MOVIE director Jacob Sutton and Italian race and aerobatic pilot Dario Costa have combined their passion for aviation and cinema to produce an inspirational short film, Dreams of Flight. Excited by the sweeping and sculptural lines of the Namibian dunes, and over a two-year period, US watchmaker Hamilton supported Jacob and Dario to plan and execute this remarkable project. The resulting film is a celebration of flight in its purest form. Jacob was drawn from the world of fashion photographer by the greater narrative and emotional scope of film and started directing in 2010, finding success with online productions such as A-Z of Dance and LED Surfer. The unique tone and energy of this work has led to commissions from brands such as Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Calvin Klein and Nike. Dario’s journey to the fabled Namibian dunes started with his childhood desire to fly. By the age of 16 he was a qualified pilot and by 2018 he was competing in the Red Bull Air Race. He was also the very first and only Italian Red Bull Air Race pilot with flying experience on more than 50 types of aircraft. Jacob was drawn immediately by the

cinematic elements of Dario’s sleek black machine, silhouetted against the majestic dunes, its white smoke trail suspended in the air. Dario’s focus was to fly fast along and above these huge natural sand structures. Their aim to create a film of both beauty and power. The shoot took place in the Swakopmund dunes. For three days an international crew including Europeans, South Africans and Namibians worked with multiple cameras to capture the footage. A helicopter crew, a crew on the ground and cameras mounted on the fuselage were used to record the action. The team used a specially adapted all-black aerobatics plane for the shoot. Though visually attractive, the matte black wrapping caused the temperature inside the plane to be extremely high. In

addition to exterior temperatures of of low-level flying over the snow40°C (104°F), the team contended capped Alps, and prepared at home with high winds, sand and fog that by visualising the scene thousands would roll in from the sea, impairing of times, over and over in my head,” visibility and creating nearly says Dario. un-flyable conditions. For Hamilton, the film is What appears wonderfully both a passion project and a simple on the surface is full huge achievement. of complexity and is a “We are proud to be masterful achievement. the force that has finally The challenges for Dario brought these two creative were manifold. Low greats together to make air density changed a unique movie sure the aerodynamics to inspire others that and reduced engine you can do anything you performance, making this dream of if you put your one of his greatest mental mind to it. and physical challenges “This is exactly the spirit to date, with smooth flight we live at Hamilton,” says proving incredibly difficult. RAF ORIGINAL: Sylvain Dolla, Hamilton No one before has ever The classic W10 CEO. flown an aerobatic plane Hamilton was founded so close to these dunes with a in 1892 in Lancaster, speed of more than 370Km/h. Pennsylvania, USA. Hamilton “Depth perception over sand is watches combine the American so difficult. I used my experience spirit with the unrivalled precision

of the latest Swiss movements and technologies. The aviator essence is fused to the company’s ethos and demonstrated in the drive for precision. Hamilton supplied the US Armed Forces in the 1940s and the British Army throughout the 60s and 70s. The classic W10 timepiece the company produced for Royal Air Force pilots from 1973 to 1976 became a signature product. With that military heritage in mind, Hamilton has just released its Khaki Pilot Pioneer collection – an exact remake of the W10 with a range of 21st Century touches for today’s aviators. Known for its innovative design, Hamilton has a strong foothold in Hollywood, with products appearing in more than 500 films. Hamilton is a member of the Swatch Group, the largest watch manufacturer and distributor in the world.

Royal Air Force News Friday, November 1, 2019 P28


Fighting the new info war Staff Reporter THE NEW frontline in the escalating cyber war against the UK’s enemies sits amongst the fields of rural Wiltshire. MoD Corsham is armed with a budget of £2 billion a year and more than 2000 military and civilian security specialists combating the growing threat from space and the digital realm. In the age of info wars, speed kills according to RAF cyber expert AVM Chris Moore. He said: “If we gain quicker flows of information it increases the chances of gaining advantage over our enemies. “Digital information is the new oil. No modern operational capability can fight effectively without access to robust and secure sources of data.” “If we harness technological advances correctly it will give the us a step-change in combat power.”

The quick flow of information gives us advantage over our enemies

He is the director of the triservice Information Systems and Services (ISS) Operations HQ at Corsham spearheading the fight for advantage on the digital battlefield. He added:”ISS was set up to conduct operational planning, generating battle-winning information services. “We earn our money by protecting our information flows against advanced cyber, electromagnetic spectrum and space threats.” That means providing 200,000 military and civilian defence personnel with cutting edge communications and digital information. ISS currently supplies everything

from satellites, deployable comms systems and battlefield laptops to office PCs, iPads and smart phones. ISS is involved in 30 operations worldwide including Afghanistan, Syria and disaster relief operations in the Caribbean. On the home front defence teams have also been called in to Salisbury following the Novichok nerve agent poisoning and are currently involved in Brexit planning. AVM Moore, said: “We are used to fighting across air, land and sea. We now have space and cyber too and we will work closely with the frontline commands and wider operational community to deliver true five-domain integration. He added: “It is a time of tremendous change. Doing nothing has not been an option. “Defence is transforming its IT infrastructure and digital communications systems at pace. “Technology develops almost daily. “From artificial intelligence to machine learning we are making sure the MoD will be at the cutting edge of operating and defending our systems against the challenges ahead.” IT MAN: AVM Moore:

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Royal Air Force News Friday, November 1, 2019 P29

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7 pages of RAF Sport start here l Table tennis stars table winning bid: p35

ALL STAND TOGETHER Annual Sports Awards at Halton

SPORTING ACHIEVERS: Main, all the nominees for this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s RAF Sports Awards PHOTOS: KATE RUTHERFORD, LUKA WAYCOTT

Champs hook action Mitchell storms to win after 72 hours of intense battle ONE HUNDRED and 34 points was the winning figure for Cpl James Mitchell at this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s RAF Championships at Brasenose Linear Fisheries. A field of 30 anglers battled it out for the 72-hour contest where the biggest cumulative weight marks the winner. With some 1800 carp in the 28-acre lake going into the 40lb bracket, the competitors were set for some intense fishing and the prospect of new personal bests being set. With such a large stock of fish, keeping them fed would be key to catches, and it was Sgt Glenn Beardsall, fishing in the shallower part of the lake, who took an early lead with two fish and added a third

just before the evening on the first day. WO Rich Cooke and Chf Tech Tom Brown managed four fish each on the first night, while Cpl Lee Podmore took top spot after catching three carp. Mixed weather made catches limited, but now Cpl James Mitchell was starting to make a move on the lead and landed several fish to put him clear in front. Cpl Carl Booth also profited with fish of 29lb and a new PB of 31lb 12oz. PBs were being broken across the board, with SAC(T) Tom Jarvis landing a 24lb 15oz and WO Paul Copeland also breaking his, with a fish weighing 32lb 08oz. Continued on page 33:


Royal Air Force News Friday, November 1, 2019 P30

Inside line

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Getting behind the face of RAF sport

Brightest shine out Annual awards celebrates another sporting year Daniel Abrahams HQ Air Command THE BLOOD, sweat and mud gave way to the glitz and glamour at this year’s RAF Sports Awards at Halton. Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Mike Wigstone was on hand to praise the winners and all the Service’s sports stars after another bumper year of success across the globe. This year’s awards provided double-joy for the triathlon association as they brought home the coveted sportsman and woman awards, with Sgt Pete Ellis and Fg Off Hannah Dodwell taking the titles. Both athletes have shone at Service, European and World levels in their sport, with Dodwell being selected to represent Great Britain next year at the 2020 sprint triathlon championships. Ellis, who took part in Elite Continental Championship and World Series level races, and also shines in duathlon, said: “This is amazing, all the hard work has really paid off. I enjoy the challenge of pushing myself to the limits.” After collecting her award, Dodwell, who became a double European champion and has reset her sights on pushing to higher

levels of sporting achievement, said: “I am aiming for Elite Super Series next year and also World Championships.” Following their unprecedented 23-14 Inter-Service win over the Army, on their way to a first IS title, the Service’s women’s rugby union side took the team award. Team captain Flt Lt Chrissy Siczowa, who was present, along with SAC Sian Williams and Fg Off Amy Cockayne to collect the award, said: “It inspires me to see where we were a few years ago and where we are now. “This award is fantastic and

will inspire us to push for further success.” Wg Cdr Sam Moss, RAF cricket coach, who helped the team win the IS 2018 title, won the sport’s official title. Flt Lt Sophie Trotter won the sport’s official award for her tireless work for the swimming association. The day also featured four lifetime awards for Gp Capt Ady Portlock – hockey, Chf Tech Caroline Gray – bobsleigh, Gp Capt John Lawlor – athletics and Wg Cdr Gus Currie – skiing. Wg Cdr Peter Whiting, rugby union, was presented with the special achievement award.

STAR STORIES: Above top, guests chat at the Awards lunch at Halton House, above, the awards waiting to be collected by this year’s sports stars, centre top, the awards winners, right, the Sportsteam of the Year WARAFRU PHOTOS: KATE PARROTT SERCO HALTON



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Royal Air Force News Friday, November 1, 2019 P31

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TOP DOGS: Top, Sgt Pete Ellis with his Sportsman of the Year award, middle, CAS speaks to the Halton audience, below, Hannah Dodwell with her Sportswoman of the Year award PHOTOS: KATE PARROTT, SERCO HALTON

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Royal Air Force News Friday, November 1, 2019 P33



Wales hurrah for Hall Ninth for season is followed by eighth in tough-going Welsh rally for RAF man Phill

MTB stars shine after course qualifications

ABOVE HALL ELSE: Above, Hall has produced some of his best rallying during a tough season

THERE WAS a farewell from the Valleys for Service co-driver SAC Phill Hall after he completed the 2019 FIA Junior World Rally Championship (JWRC) in Wales. The notoriously challenging Wales Rally GB marked the culmination of the season and 30-year-old Hall guided fellow Brit Tom Williams to eighth in North Wales, despite a drama-filled event. Running as high as fourth in the relentless conditions, their event

was hampered by a puncture and roll on the second day. The setbacks left the pair with significant work to do, on the final day. The five-stage Sunday leg demonstrated what the pair are capable of, achieving top three stage times in the final throws of the event. In his fourth JWRC year Hall demonstrated his almost unrivalled experience


to handle the torrential rain and thick mud on one of the biggest challenges of the season, with the already drenched stages becoming waterlogged thanks to the remnants of hurricane Lorenzo. Hall pushed Williams hard throughout, to be the home-heroes of the moment and secured a ninth in the co-driver standings. A delighted Hall said: “Wales was a ‘what might have been’ event in many ways, but to be competing

back home is still very special for me. It’s a great place to round out the year and it’s been one of the toughest seasons for a long time. “I’ve been able to build up so much experience and knowledge throughout the season adding to what I already know. “There is no doubt in my mind that the best is yet to come from me, so I am really excited to see what 2020 and beyond holds for me.”

Champs provide tough tournament for anglers over three days Continued from page 29: On the start of the second day Mitchell was beginning to pull away from the rest of the field with consistent catching. Sgt Andy Whitehead was also starting to put in a run moving into second place. Sgt Al Dixon quickly landed two fish weighing 29lb and a new 34lb PB. Chopping and changing of the top three places saw Sgt Lee Podmore move into third, while Cpl Martin Emery hooked four fish for third place. Mitchell and Whitehead then

pulled away in first and second places. Chf Tech Ian Coleman and Cpl Lee Podmore hooked some last fishes as the final hour of action approached, while Cpl Carl Booth also got in on the action with a 41lb 08oz catch for the sixth PB of the event. Mitchell, on 393lb, beat Whitehead (259lb) into second, while Podmore secured third on 227lb. To join the RAF Carp Team Association contact the membership Secretary Sgt Glenn Beardsall: Glenn.Beardsall897@

605 SQUADRON Cosford can now boast now three qualified Mountain Bike Leaders – Cpl Jason Wheeler, SAC Ed Coxhead and LAC Andrew Wright, following Level 2 course testing by senior MTB instructor AC Paddy Doyle. The trio were tested mentally and physically in harsh weather conditions to successfully pass the course. Doyle said: “605 Squadron should to be proud of the three riders who showed discipline, skill, fitness and technique to pass the Mountain Bike Instructors Award Scheme (MIAS).” Doyle regularly breaks and sets Guinness World Records in his spare time. He is looking to expand provision of the MTB courses at the station over the coming months. Anyone interested in becoming a level 1 or level 2 mountain bike leader can contact Doyle for upcoming course dates, via email:

Royal Air Force News Friday, November 1, 2019 P34

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Just history repeating INVICTUS GAMES

Invictus role for Wyton’s Adapt club

Staff Reporter RAF Wyton THE ADAPTIVE sports club at Wyton has achieved another historic milestone after being nominated to hosts next year’s Invictus team for pre-games training.

The club, the first of its type in the military, will hosts the team from this month until May next year, when the games start. Sgt Peter Lauder, OiC of Wyton Adaptive Sports Club, said: “This is a massive honour for us, and of course we said, yes. “We would be making another little bit of history, as not only

would we be the first Adaptive Sports club to do this, but also the first unit to host such a prestigious event.” The training will encompass sitting volleyball, cycling, athletics, archery, rowing, wheelchair rugby and basketball, swimming and powerlifting. Earlier in the year Lauder was approached by the Head of UK Invictus, the Chef

GAME FOR IT: Left and main, Lauder at previous year’s Invictus Games Trials. PHOTOS: SBS

De Mission, Jayne Kavanagh on whether she could visit RAF Wyton to see the Adaptive Sports Club, something Lauder described as an honour. He said: “It was particularly important for the club to be finally recognised in this environment, with a successful visit, and Kavanagh being impressed with what we have done so far. A short

while afterwards I was emailed directly by her.” Lauder added: “This a great opportunity to see the athletes training in some of the disciplines, and a good way for people who may have an interest in Adaptive sports to see various disabled athletes and how they overcome their disabilities through sport.”



Perkins sounds LRT farewell

Portsmouth’s champion with Service sea anglers

IT’S ALL change at the head of ladies football in the Service, as Sgt Michelle Perkins announced her plans to stand down as manager of the team after 14 glorious years. Following seven hugely successful years in the top post, Perkins (right), will guide the ISA champions one more time, hanging up her tracksuit following the 2020 tournament. She said: “At the end of each season I carry out a comprehensive review of what we have achieved both on and off the pitch as a group, and then what I have achieved in my role as manager. “At the end of the 18/19 season and after winning the competition I felt that it was the right time to step away and allow some fresh eyes in to continue to take the team forward. “However, because I made my decision in March, I didn’t want to leave the team in a position of uncertainty with regards to who would come in, so I decided to stay on for one more season in order to plan and prepare for my departure.” The PTI began her love affair

A MEMORABLE Sea Angling championship, hosted in Portsmouth, saw titles shared evenly among the battling anglers, in windy and challenging conditions. The testing weather impacted both the shore and boat days, with all anglers performed exceptionally well, catching an array of fish. Opening the two-day event on the shore, three Wittering anglers secured the best scoring fish from the shore match. FS Nige Gurney took top slot with a 90-point conger eel, while SAC Dougie Bennet hooked a 66-point dog fish. Chf Tech Mark Jones came in third with a 305-point undulate ray. Other fish of note included a rare specimen Red Mullet caught by FS Al Kennet (Marham), and a specimen 5lb Bass caught by SAC Emma Gillies (Benson). The overall shore team results saw Cosford angler Chf Tech Andy Ogilvie, Chf Tech Noel Dilnot and Sgt Steve Milward come first. The Wittering B team of WO Daz Rose, SAC Dougie Bennet, and SAC Nathan Spink came in runners-up. While Wittering A

with all things LRT when she contacted them in 2006, following her graduation. Having coached a winning High Wycombe team, she began playing for the senior team over a career which reaped 65 caps from seven IS championships, with two successes. She moved on to become Combined Services captain, but retired following a fractured ankle injury.

She said: “The injury stopped me playing at the level I wanted to, so I made the decision to complete my L2 Coaching Certificate, to step away from playing and move into the vacant LRT manager’s position.” From there it is all history, after a few tough years in charge, Perkins adapted to the learning curve of representative football. She led her charges to two wins out of the last three IS events.

team of Chf Tech Mark Jones, Cpl Gus Lambie, and FS Nige Gurney came in third. The individual shore champion title went to SAC Dougie Bennet (Wittering). On day-two the boat winners were WO Daz Rose (Wittering), Chf Tech Mark Jones (Wittering), Flt Lt Gareth Pickard (Waddington) and FS Billy Bowdler (Odiham). The overall boat team results saw Waddington win with Sqn Ldr Stu Bowyer, Sqn Ldr Karl Bird, and Flt Lt Gareth Pickard forging the win, with the Wittering team of WO Daz Rose, Chf Tech Mark Jones and FS Nige Gurney coming runners-up. Flt Lt Gareth Pickard (Waddington), was the individual boat champion.

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Hot shots storm to Inters titles at Army-hosted championships

HANDY WORK: Main, SAC Hart produces a crisp return, below, Chf Tech Johnson is totally focused on the ball during his clash

TITLES WERE tumbling for the Service’s table tennis stars after a fantastic Inter-Services championships, at Aldershot. The always fiercely contested team event produced the usual high quality of matches, with the RAF men’s team of Flt Lt Anthony Barella, Chf Tech Richard Johnson, WO Tony Stead, SAC(T) Ben Law, Chf Tech Johnson and Sgt Andrew Cullen all in imperious form in the qualification, they blitzed a strong Army B team 8-2 in the semi-final, beating a strong Army B Team 8-2. The B team secured a win against the Royal Navy A, but lost to a very strong Army A. This resulted in a light blue face-off in one leg of the semi-finals as RAF A and B teams saw a one-sided affair as the A team won 10-0. The Army A secured their passage to the final, beating RN B. The RAF started strongly in the final, with Barella beating a very good Army star. Johnson followed this with a win over the Army top seed. Stead, playing in his 21st consecutive Inter-Services and remaining unbeaten all day, beat the Army’s fourth seed in a close encounter, however Law lost. At 3-1 to the RAF, Johnson lost in the


Marham storm to Festival cup

singles, while Barella scraped past the Army’s top seed for a 4-2 RAF lead. Stead beat the Army No3, Law lost again. Next up was the doubles and Stead/Johnson started well, winning a close first set, before dropping one on their way to a win that would secure the team title. The ladies team of (SAC Louise Hart, Cpl Hayley Cunningham, Cpl Nichola Hawksworth, FS Tracey Palmer and SAC Lauren Pailing, faced an event that, due to a team withdrawal from the Navy, saw a straight knockout tussle with the hosts, and a strong Army team won 10-0. The second day saw the

individual events and the men continued their dominance, with three out of four reaching the semis. It was an all light blue final, with Johnson beating Barella in a close clash. In the ladies final Hart played really well against the Army top seed, but could not bridge the class divide, coming second. The doubles team of Hart and Cunningham also came up just short in the final. It was the same result for Barella and Cullen also losing to the Army doubles pairing. Ending on an up, the ladies plate final was an all-RAF affair with Palmer beat Hawksworth.

MANCHESTER ONCE again hosted the annual Festival of Football which saw a record 24 teams, from 14 units battle it out for the coveted trophy. The venue of Fives Trafford Soccerdome saw the group stages feature several teams looking to stamp their authority on the tournament with Boulmer and Marham’s ‘A’ teams along with Halton and Shawbury all making strong starts. The top four from each group progressed to the Cup competition and the bottom two, eight in total, went into the Plate competition. Wittering ended up as top scorers in the group stages

with an impressive 22 goals, while Leeming conceded just one goal in five games. The tightly contested competition saw Benson, who only managed a single point in the group stages, facing Waddington B. With the scores level at 3-3 at full time, the match went to penalties and it was Benson who kept their nerve to take home the Plate. In the Cup competition Halton and Marham ‘A’ made it to the final, with Halton storming to an early two goal lead. Marham dug deep to come from behind to take the cup with a 3-2 win.

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Sun sets on UKAF Seniors caught short in Japan

STAFF REPORTER HQ Air Command FORMER RAF senior rugby union captain Flt Lt Stu Philpott was disappointed after losing the Defence Forces world cup final in Japan to Fiji 31-17. Following the defeat at Camp Narashino in Funabashi, Philpott said: “Obviously we were very disappointed to have lost in the final. We got off to a slow start and were playing catch up. I think we just let them impose themselves on us in the early part of the game. “Going to Japan for the World Cup representing UKAF was a once in a lifetime opportunity that had a real British Lions feel to it. The key to us doing well was the fact that all the blokes got on. “I think the younger RAF lads will have taken a lot away from it and hopefully we’ll see the benefits of the experience in the InterSevices next year.

The first win with a fiery clash against Georgia 69-3. SAC Toby Evans drew the scores level after an opening Georgian penalty at Camp Narashino. Flt Lt Rob Bell then went over twice, 31-3 lead at break. Further tries and some good kicking sealed a huge win. RAF captain Sgt Dave Manning, Flt Lt Philpott and SAC Matt Harris were all in the squad for the sides semi-final win over the French Defence Forces side. UKAF took an early lead in the 39-12 win. Scoring the first try, they blasted in two early scores after the break, with RAF man Philpott diving over, under the posts, to secure a final clash with Fiji. The team and side’s head coach SSgt Lee Soper dedicated their win to rugby league star SAC Scott Stevenson, who died recently following RAFRL’s InterService’s clash at Aldershot against the Army. A minute’s silence was observed in memory of Stevenson before the semi-final clash.

The final proved to be a bridge too far for the UKAF side, losing 31-17 to Fiji. They took an early lead and RAF man Rob Bell sparked a fight back, with the team trailing 17-3 at the break, but it wasn’t enough.

FINAL CHARGE : Main, action from the Defence Forces World Cup in Japan, inset, Philpott celebrating the RAF IS win last year


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