Page 1

The Forcest'e favourir pape

Win, win Copies of classic 80s Scot romp ● R'n'R p8

Get Carter See star Helena at festival

Friday September 20 2019 No 1475 70p

● R'n'R p4-5


Tattoo crew bare all at the Arboretum Secrets of military ink revealed

Rugby Union Big Mac talks golden years and future

● Sport p35

Football SRT kickstart IS campaign

● Sport p30

See p23

Protector nets £100 million lift CPL TIM Laurence has been crowned the Service’s top photographer for the second year running. The 36-year-old airman took top honours in this year’s competition with his images from the frontline in the war against terror. ● See p18-19 for the winners

Simon Mander THE RAF’S new unmanned Protector will be the first remotely controlled aircraft capable of attacking targets anywhere in the world from its Lincolnshire base. Defence chiefs made the claim after signing a £100 million contract to test the unmanned Reaper replacement to its limit ahead of its introduction to the frontline in 2024. Speaking at the DSEI conference Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Mike Wigston, said: “Through embedding experienced RAF operators in the programme, we are helping bring to life a worldleading capability. “Protector will provide the Royal Air Force with a remotely-piloted air system that can operate worldwide in unsegregated airspace.” ● Continued on p3

Official Licensee of the UK Armed Forces

Time honoured

Commission a bespoke limited edition watch from Christopher Ward to commemorate your years of service and keep alive the esprit de corps you shared with comrades. We’ve created over 50 bespoke watch designs for Navy vessels, Army battalions and RAF squadrons. Choose from our British designed, Swiss made collection and we’ll work with you to customise the design to your specifications – it’s the perfect memento to honour your elite unit and all those who served in it.

Discover more at christopherward.co.uk/bespoke

(Minimum quantity of 25 pieces applies to all bespoke orders)

Royal Air Force News Friday, September 20, 2019 P3

We have international players, IS wins and coaches at pro clubs, this really is the gold generation for our sport

It means a lot to me to know that I have been able to give you something back

It’s really cool. Being part of this project is awesome

Flt Lt Natasha Kenny, on taking part in the Tribute Ink exhibition at the National Memorial Arboretum p23

Dire Straits legend Mark Knopfler on composing the Forces’ favourite song p4

Cpl Josh McNally on RAF rugby union and signing for Bath RFU p35

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

lContinued from front The platform will be the world’s first certified remotely piloted aircraft capable of operating in civilian airspace using its ground-breaking detect and avoid enhanced sensors to avoid other aircraft. Defence Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan said: “Our intelligencegathering and surveillance capabilities will be critical to staying ahead of our adversaries.” “This contract represents a welcome step towards our worldbeating Protector aircraft giving us the upper-hand.” Replacing the Reaper, Protector will be the world’s first certified remotely piloted aircraft capable of operating in civilian airspace using its ground-breaking detect and avoid enhanced sensors to avoid other aircraft. It will be able to fly for up to 40 hours and will carry out combat, surveillance, search and rescue, flood prevention and disaster response missions. Protector uses enhanced data links and carries next-generation precision strike weapons, including the UK-made Brimstone missile and

REAPER REPLACEMENT: Protector will operate in the UK, (inset right), pilots command centre at Waddington

Paveway IV laser guided bomb. The aircraft is fitted with antiicing and lightning strike protection to operate in all conditions and the latest design enables almost unlimited payload options, the MoD said.

Protector achieved a first last year flying non-stop from North Dakota to Gloucestershire in just over 20 hours. The first Protector aircraft will be delivered to the RAF in October

2021. The aircraft will be based at Waddington, which is set to benefit from a £93 million programme to construct a new purpose-built hangar and crew accommodation.

This Week In History 1962

Subscriptions and distribution: Johnstone Publishing Ltd 26 Whitehall Road Leeds LS12 1BE Tel: 0207 855 7574 Email: rafnews@jpress.co.uk

Blue Steel flies in

No.617 Sqn was given Controller Aircraft (CA) Release to carry the operational warhead on Vulcans in case of national emergency.


Spitfire debut bow The first engagement between the RAF and the Luftwaffe took place. Three Messerschmitt Bf109s of Jadggruppe 152 attacked three No.88 Sqn Spitfires. Two were shot down.


Wellington rises again from Loch Ness

Wellington bomber (N2980) of No.20 Extracts from The Royal Air Force OTU was raised from Loch Ness, after Day By Day by Air Cdre Graham Pitchfork (Sutton Publishing). ditching in the loch 44 years earlier.

Royal Air Force News Friday, September 20, 2019 P4


Classic hymn to F fallen tops Forces Tracey Allen MIRACLE ESCAPE: Military cop Caroline was shot four times during raid

RAF honours Belfast gun attack hero A WOMAN soldier who survived being shot four times by an IRA terrorist has signed on at Cranwell’s Wall of Honour. Caroline Beazley was shot in the face and back with an AK47 rifle while operating as a searcher in Belfast. She has broken her 25-year silence to reveal details of her ordeal to the latest graduates from the RAF’s tough military survival course. Caroline was part of a military police team of unarmed female soldiers attached to patrols to search women and children for weapons and explosives. She was gunned down at close range after a fake tip-off to investigate an address. She was shot through the face, her back and her hand while another round narrowly missed her head and was embedded in her helmet. Describing the event she said she heard the crack of the bullets and being on the ground looking at a pool of blood and teeth, feeling an overwhelming urge to go to sleep. Colleagues managed to drag her out of the line of fire and throw her face-first into an RUC vehicle. RAF survival training expert Mark Fairhead said: “She spoke to the troops of what kept her going through those difficult days in hospital, and of her need to focus on the positives. “She described her relief at not having been taller and not taken the fourth round through her head.” Caroline is still receiving treatment and support 25 years later with help from the charities Not Forgotten and Help for Heroes. “It is hard for anyone to be facially disfigured but perhaps particularly more so at that time for a woman,” Mr Fairhead added. “Despite it all she holds no bitterness or enmity towards her attackers and has found the strength to move on and inspire others. “Her words; ‘I am what I choose to become; not what happened to me’ say it all really.”

THE DIRE Straits anthem Brothers In Arms has been voted number one in a poll to find the military’s best loved tunes as classic old school acts outgun today’s performers. Dire Straits frontman Mark Knopfler said: “I’d like to thank you all for voting Brothers In Arms the best song to ignite your own military memories whatever they may be. It means a great deal to me to have given something back to so many, however small.” Knopfler wrote the song, a hymn to the strength and honour on the battlefield, during the Falklands War. The results of the poll were revealed after research by the British Forces Broadcasting Service (BFBS) to celebrate its 75th anniversary this year. More than 1000 serving military personnel, veterans and their families

STRAIT TO THE HEART: (Main)Brothers in Arms composer Mark Knopfler, below left, Thin Lizzy frontman Phil Lynott, right, Queen legend Freddie Mercury

voted for the songs that ignite their military memories to create a Top 75.

Hunt is on for war art duo Simon Mander THE SON of a wartime Air Gunner who painted an iconic piece of nose art on his Wellington bomber is trying to trace his comrades. The picture of a soda siphon squirting bombs was daubed by former commercial artist Pilot Officer Ted Wilcox who flew 25 missions with 75(NZ) Sqn. The image was captured by a photographer and appeared in newspapers in Britain and New Zealand along with two unidentified crewmen. Now Ted’s son Michael is appealing to RAF News readers to help him trace the mystery pair. He said: “For quite some time now I have wanted to bring together the story behind the painting, identify the two officers in the photograph and for my father to be recognised as being the painter of this now famous art work. “So many aircraft have sported nose art, but not many of the artists are known.” Mr Wilcox has traced veterans including Sgt Jack Wakefield, who

took over from his father as the rear gunner, and trawled Imperial War Museum records in his quest. He said: “I believe the two pilots are Pilot Officer Oliver Rayner Matheson DFC who is looking down from the cockpit to Pilot Officer George Eric Fowler DFC. “I am quietly confident that they have been identified correctly, but I would very much like to have it confirmed if at all possible.” He hopes his appeal will reach surviving friends or family members of Pilot Officer Matheson – who survived being shot down whilst flying a Lancaster – who might be able to confirm that it is him in the photograph. The grandson of Pilot Officer Fowler has already confirmed that he is the Observer on the ground. Sadly, the Wellington bomber R1162 was lost during a raid over Bremen with all her crew during the night of June 23/24, 1942 whilst taking part in the third Thousand Bomber raid. ● Anyone with information can contact Mr Wilcox at: menwilcox@ yahoo.co.uk

Second on the list was Bat Out Of Hell by Meat Loaf, third was Sailing (1975) by Rod Stewart and the top 10

ART OF WAR: Soda syphon design became famous during the conflict and was featured in newspapers and magazines.

also featured songs by The Eagles, Thin Lizzy and Queen. Other songs in the list of 75 tracks

Royal Air Force News Friday, September 20, 2019 P5

Falklands s playlist include A Horse with No Name by America at number 12, nominated by one veteran who remembered it playing in Saudi Arabia. He said he could ‘still smell the desert air when it comes on the radio’. Kenny Rogers, The Gambler, came in at number 28 and reminded one RAF member of the time when he signed up in 1979, as it was playing in the Southampton recruitment office. Jethro Tull’s, Living in The Past (number 37), brought back memories of singing ‘pack up your troubles’ in a Chinook, just before one regiment landed in the Falklands – bringing the song’s nominator to tears. It still has the same effect years later, he said. Most of the list is made up of classic nostalgic tracks but more recent songs also feature including Dry Your Eyes by The Streets (number 34), Where is the Love? from the Black Eyed Peas (36) and Love Yourself by Justin Bieber (46). When asked what were the most important things about music during their military life, 36 per cent of the serving military and veterans polled said it cheered them up, and 47 per cent of military families said music helped them through difficult times. Nearly half (48 per cent) of serving military personnel said the most important thing about music was ‘keeping up morale and reminding me of home’ when deployed.


Dire Straits Brothers in Arms


Bat out of Hell Meat Loaf


Rod Stewart Sailing (1975)


Eagles Hotel California


The Moody Blue Nights in White Sas tin


Thin Lizzy Boys are Back in To wn


Queen Dont Stop Me Now


Dexy ’s Midnight Come on Eileen Runners

Rookie Sid makes the grade with US first

A FUTURE fast jet pilot has become the first RAF graduate from a fast track US Air Force course. Fg Off Sid Janota was awarded his wings after passing the ‘Pilot Training Next’ program, scooping the ‘Top Stick’ Trophy for the best student at Randolph Air Force Base. The scheme uses synthetic technology to speed up flying training. Fg Off Janota will now move to the Typhoon Operational

Conversion Unit following a short course on the Hawk T2 at Valley. RAF Director of Flying Training, Air Cdre Jamie Hunter (pictured, awarding Fg Off Janota his wings, right), said: “This is a groundbreaking programme. “Virtual reality and artificial intelligence are being assessed by the RAF with a view to incorporating the benefits into our own training system. “This will lead to a shorter,

Who dares gyms

John Denver 9 Leaving on a Je t Plane 10 Band of HMS Ark Royal Sailing

NAVY FAVOURITE: Veteran rocker Rod Stewart earned third place in the poll with his military themed 70s hit Sailing

better system delivering the necessary quantity of pilots to our e x p a n d i n g frontline”.

RAF SUPERMUM Sophie Bole has launched an incredible fitness charity bid – just months after giving birth. The 23-year-old fundraiser is hoping to net more than £4000 for the RAFBF by completing an incredible 100,000 reps at the Waddington gym. She kicked off her challenge last month and will be doing 500 squats and barbell reps a day until she hits the target in March next year. She is taking on the gruelling challenge just four months after giving birth and barely 18 months after fracturing her spine when she fell down the stairs. “I was lucky to have the support of the RAF Benevolent Fund who helped me back on my feet after I injured my spine. I don’t know where I’d be without them.” Last year she completed a 100mile challenge in memory of Red Arrows engineer Jonathan Bayliss who died in a crash at RAF Valley. She added: “I’m trying to keep all my exercises separate so do arms one day and legs another, just to minimise the strain. “I’ll be doing this every single day, including Christmas Day.”

Royal Air Force News Friday, September 20, 2019 P6


Jacob’s Kiwi ace tribute Tracey Allen

AFTER NETTING £6,500 with his charity trek five-year-old Jacob Newson is already planning to pay tribute to a Kiwi Sptifire ace by marching to Dunkirk. The Leeds-based youngster and his dad Andrew will be setting out to walk from the crash site of a World War II aircraft in Belgium to the French port next May, 80 years to the day after New Zealand fighter ace Al Deere was shot down in his Spitfire by a Dornier Do 17. Proud dad Andrew said: “Jacob had a great time climbing Pen-y-Ghent, one of the highest peaks in Yorkshire, at the end of August. “He did the trek in his flying suit and lots of people were asking what it was in aid of. “When we told them, and that it’s the RAF Benevolent Fund’s centenary year, they started giving us money, which was wonderful. “He was so excited to get to the top – he ran the final stage, it was quite emotional. “It took him just an hour and 40 minutes with two or three breaks – it was a fantastic day.”

TRAILBLAZING RAF engineer WO Karen Pinnion took a bow from the RAF after more than 36 years service. She joined up in 1983 and became the first airwoman to be

appointed by the elite Wittering based 71 Sqn engineering unit. Station Commander Gp Capt Jo Lincoln said: “Karen is a trailblazer and an inspiration.”

Tangmere hangar tragedy memorial Working with BAE Systems Marine Ltd Submarines

AFISO Vacancy. – Walney Island, Cumbria. Full-time, permanent BAE Systems in Cumbria has a vacancy for a UK licensed Aerodrome Flight Information Service Officer. Come and join the established team on Walney Island to support the UK submarine build program. Located at BAE Systems Barrow/Walney Island Aerodrome (EGNL), Barrow-in-Furness. Cumbria. LA14 1AF. Applicants must be UK residents and be able to accept security vetting prior to starting employment at Walney. Starting salary: £32,000 per annum (including shift allowance). FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Captain M. Sewell, Head of Flying. BAE Systems Marine Ltd Flight Department. Walney Aerodrome. Barrow-in-Furness. email: malcolm.sewell@baesystems.com LA14 1AF.Telephone enquiries to 01229 872847

A MEMORIAL to the crew of a wartime bomber killed in a horrific crash has been unveiled near where it came down. Six Typhoons, three Spitfires and Lysanders were also destroyed in an inferno after the Halifax hit a hangar at the former RAF Tangmere near Chichester on 19 November, 1943 which resulted in the base being temporarily evacuated. The 10 Squadron aircraft was returning severely damaged after a raid on chemical works at Leverkusen, south of Cologne, when, unable to reach its Yorkshire home base of RAF Melbourne, it diverted to Tangmere. The black, granite memorial to the men on HX 181 (ZA-K) was the brainchild of Mrs Aly Etherington, the great-niece of the crew’s air bomber Sgt Albert Oudinot, from Morden, South London. Relatives of the crew were among a crowd of 200 people who made up the congregation

at the Memorial site on the edge of the former Battle of Britain airfield, not far from the old Air Traffic Control Tower. The ceremony was attended by the present-day Officer Commanding No 10 Squadron, Wg Cdr Alastair Scott from Brize Norton and 10 Squadron Association chairman, Group Captain Gerry Bunn. The 10 Sqn Association’s historian, Wg Cdr Ian Macmillan, read a dedication compiled from his research. As the unveiling ceremony ended a lone Harvard aircraft from nearby Goodwood, flew overhead, rocking its wings in salute. A short private ceremony followed in the Tangmere Museum Garden of Remembrance, where Poppy crosses were left after a plaque was unveiled by former 10 Sqn Halifax air gunner Peter ‘Andy’ Andrews who was shot down during a World War II bombing raid and made a PoW.

Dambuster boosts Scampton appeal A CAMPAIGN to raise cash for a stainedglass window to mark 100 years of links between RAF Scampton and the local church has been launched. Fundraisers have produced a film promoting the appeal featuring the last surviving Dambuster Sqn Ldr Johnny Johnson, and the station commander and Red Arrows boss. Documentaries showing the history of RAF Scampton and a special edit to coincide with Remembrance Day are being produced by Lincoln University media students.

The design features the station crest alongside a winged RAF badge which sits proudly on the 107 war graves in the churchyard. Also included are representations of the iconic Avro Lancaster, Avro Vulcan and the Red Arrows Hawk Jets. Local schoolchildren are creating glass tiles based on facets of the window design. O To help the crowdfunding campaign see: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/ rafwindow

Royal Air Force News Friday, September 20, 2019 P7


KEPT BUSY: RAF Typhoons have had to intercept Russian transporters and fighters


XI(F) Sqn home after Nato mission TYPHOON JETS have returned to their Lincolnshire home after completing a four-month Baltic Air Policing tour. RAF Eurofighters will now begin training for a similar Nato mission in Iceland later this year. During their deployment in Estonia Coningsby-based XI (Fighter) Squadron – the world's oldest dedicated fighter unit – scrambled 21 times to intercept a total of 56 Russian aircraft. Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: “Our presence in the region has served to reinforce that the UK

remains ready to support our allies wherever and whenever required.” The Typhoon squadron was supported by 121 Expeditionary Air Wing – responsible for keeping four state-of-the-art aircraft operating for several months away from home. During the tour, the jets intercepted Russian transports and Flanker fighters and, on June 25, launched twice in a single day to monitor three potential intruders. It’s the third time the UK has committed aircraft to Baltic Air Policing missions following

deployments in 2015 and 2016. The Nato operation to provide Quick Reaction Alert protection now passes to Czech Air Force Gripen multi-role fighters at Amari airbase, operating under the overall lead of the Belgian Air Force. Nato spokesperson Oana Lungescu said: “In recent years, we have seen a considerable increase in Russian military air activity along the borders of Nato allies in the region. “Nato aircraft routinely intercept Russian military aircraft that fly close to our borders, which are not following international air safety norms; such as filing flight plans and communicating with air traffic control.” The three detachments replace Hungarian, British and Spanish air force units which have patrolled the region since May. Nato’s air policing mission in the Baltics was launched in 2004 after Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia joined the alliance. Since then, allies have taken turns to guard their skies as the three countries do not have their own HANDOVER: 121 EAW chief Wg Cdr Dave Boreham hands over Baltic policing duties to the Czech Air Force and its Gripens fighter aircraft.

EASY DOES IT: Chinook carefully carries its unusual load on Belly Bands 


Chinook crew’s special delivery CHINOOK personnel fresh from shoring up a breached dam faced a more unusual challenge – transporting an iconic jet to an aviation museum as an underslung load. Experts from the Joint Air Delivery Test and Evaluation Unit had just finished helping to deliver more than 620 tonnes of aggregate to fill a hole in the Whaley Bridge flood defences in Derbyshire when they were asked to airlift an original Hawk T1 without scratching it. The 3,300kg aircraft was   donated to Old Sarum Air Museum 45 years to the day that it was first flown with the RAF. Technicians at MoD Boscombe Down rebuilt the aircraft with an

Empire Test Pilot Scheme paint theme. And an Odiham-based 27 Squadron Chinook was tasked with moving it, secured by bespoke 10,000kg USL Bands, known as ‘Belly Bands.’ The helicopter’s lift and precision make it the perfect aircraft for transporting unusual loads. Using its three hooks, the aircraft can lift nearly its own weight, and deliver it precisely to a location within less than one foot of accuracy. All Chinook pilots regularly train on unusual loads from shipping containers to artillery guns, which   allows them to turn their hand to almost any situation. Pilot Flight Lieutenant Chris Greensides said: “This particular load came with its own set of unique challenges; its relatively unconventional shape makes it more complex to rig for transport, also, by design, it can create its own lift. To overcome this, we flew slowly to ensure these effects were minimised while under DOWN THE HATCH: The view of the Hawk T1 from inside Chinook the aircraft.”

Royal Air Force News Friday, September 20, 2019 P9


ALL YOURS: Gp Capt Knight (right) accepts pennant

Knight has his day as new OC

Bomber boys are honoured MEMORIAL: Families look at the plaque (enlarged below)

A VETERAN helicopter pilot who led the RAF’s relief operation in the wake of the Nepalese earthquake has returned to Odiham as the new station boss. Former 27 Squadron chief Group Captain Nick Knight, who originally joined the Army to fly Lynx aircraft, takes the hot seat at the Hampshire base after a tour as Personal Staff Officer to the Chief of the Air Staff. He said: “The Chinook is iconic with an exemplary reputation both at home and on operations overseas. I am delighted to be working alongside Odiham’s talented and dedicated people” Outgoing Gp Capt Lee Turner joined the station just weeks before the Chinook Force was sent to help hurricane victims in the Caribbean. His tenure has seen squadrons deploy on new operations in Mali supporting the French, containing flooding in Lincolnshire and, most recently, bolstering the breached reservoir at Whaley Bridge in Derbyshire. After a traditional pennant hand-over ceremony and Guard of Honour, Gp Capt Turner was escorted off the station. He said: “It has been an enormous privilege to have commanded Odiham and the Chinook Force for the last two years during an incredibly busy operational period.”

I’M DONE: Gp Capt Turner (right) is escorted off

Memorial at Odiham to 8 killed

EIGHT AIRMEN killed when their B-25 bombers collided in mid-air are remembered by a new memorial at Odiham. Families of the crews who died after returning from an attack on a Nazi V1 missile site near Cherbourg joined serving personnel at the Hampshire base. The tragedy unfolded on January 7, 1944, above Rudgwick in West Sussex as two formations of six bombers approached the former RAF Dunsfold in bad weather. Researcher Adam Tudor-Lane discovered a year ago that his great uncle Flight Sergeant George Ormandy perished on one of the aircraft.

Both crash sites are just grass, you’d never know there were the remains of a 12-ton B-25 below your feet, let alone that four men perished in each

FR396 dead

FL682 dead

l Flying Officer Ernest Fooks, 32, pilot, from New Zealand l Pilot Officer Leonard Taylor, 24, navigator, from Birmingham l Flight Sergeant Charles Forsyth, 23, wireless operator/gunner, from Peacehaven l Flight Sergeant George Ormandy, 20, gunner, from Beckenham

l Warrant Officer Terence Riordan, pilot, 22, from Abergavenny l Flight Sergeant Douglas Morris, 23, navigator, from Abergavenny l Flight Sergeant Stanley Charles Norton, 22, wireless operator/ gunner l Flight Sergeant William Cross, 22, from Preston

Since then he has located both crash sites and recovered some of the wreckage. He said: “Both crash sites are just grass, you’d never know there were the remains of a 12-ton North American B-25 below your feet, let alone that four men perished in each.” Relatives of the crew of FR396 attended with the Mayor of Abergavenny, who represented crew member Flight Sergeant Douglas Morris who had no traceable relatives. Mr Tudor-Lane said: “It’s taken a year and a half to get to this point. My family knew nothing of George and his fate until January 2018, since then I’ve located the crash sites of both planes, traced seven out of the eight relatives – some as far afield as New Zealand – fundraised to build the memorial and today marks the final chapter. “I hope we’ve done the lads proud and secured their future so that their sacrifice will always be remembered.”


ÂŁ20.9M ÂŁ 20.9M



53,000 5 3,00 00


ÂŁ15.1M ÂŁ 15.1 1M


ÂŁ5.8M ÂŁ 5 8M 5.


97% 97 %

It would have been a real struggle for me if the Fund had not stepped in to help. I needed to be with my family and they made that possible.� We stepped in when Senior Aircraftman Balamurugan Jayaraju needed support to Ⱦ\KLVIDPLO\EDFNWR India when his father was diagnosed as terminally ill.


FREE CALL L 0800 169 2942 | info@rafbf.or info@rafbf.org.uk rg.uk | rafbf.org rafbf.org/help g/help RAF Benevolent Fund is a registered charity in England and Waless (1081009) and Scotland (SCO38109)

@rafbf @r rafbf

Royal Air Force News Friday, September 20, 2019 P11


Mum’s the word for bros in arms Staff Reporter FORCES TWINS John and Hugh Britten have made it a full house – by following in their RAF reservist mum Kirsten’s footsteps and signing up. John was the first to take the plunge, joining up as a Royal Air Force chef in 2017 after Kirsten recommended Service life. Now Hugh has followed his bro (pictured, far right) into the British Forces as an Infantryman with the Royal Regiment of Scotland’s Black Watch. He finished the Regiment’s tough 26-week training course while Kirsten (inset, right) was on an eight-month

tour at RAF Akrotiri supporting the UK fight against terror with Brize Norton’s 4624 Movements Squadron. She said: “I was lucky enough to be able to return from Cyprus to attend Hugh’s big day. “It was wonderful for the whole family to tun out to support him.� During her latest frontline tour in Cyprus SAC Kirsten also volunteered for search and rescue durites with 84 Squadron and helped out with a universityled excavation close to the Royal Air Force station.

New face for Spit ace Simon Mander SPITFIRE ACE Johnnie Johnson has been immortalised in a silver bust presented to Wittering. The legendary pilot, Air Vice-Marshal James Johnson, nicknamed Johnnie, shot down 34 enemy aircraft during World War II and flew 700 operational sorties. The bust was presented by Johnnie Johnson Appreciation Society organiser John Edwards who first met his hero 25 years ago and remained in contact until Johnnie’s death in 2001. Mr Edwards said: “We’ve given RAF Wittering the bust to safekeep because this is the place where he would have loved it to be kept. “He was an exceptional man, he was one out of the ordinary. They’d got to be that way to win the day.� Johnnie Johnson was the highest scoring RAF pilot against the Luftwaffe and saw action in Korea before commanding the former RAF Cottesmore. The bust (right) will be kept in a specially lit cabinet just outside the main dining hall. Wittering Mess Committee President Wing Commander Nick Maxey said: “We have had the privilege of hosting Mr Edwards and the Johnnie Johnson Appreciation Society for

HERO: Johnnie Johnson when a young airman

Goggle box AIRCREW HEADSETS may soon be a thing of the past thanks to super specs being developed by engineers. Manufacturer BAE says the product will fit like regular glasses and use tracking technology to display video and targeting and mission data. Nigel Kidd said: “We’ve made significant progress since the conceptual demonstration of the augmented reality glasses.� Developed with the military, the prototype includes a fullcolour display, a two-fold increase in the field of view, and a high brightness setting so the screen can be read easily in normal daylight. Navy safety officers are expected to be the first to test the device goggles which will allow them to see vital information from anywhere on board.


DGPLQ#DGPVWRUJXN &ORVLQJGDWH2FWREHU almost 10 years. “We will keep the bust of Johnnie under our care and it will be our privilege to do so.�

Royal Air Force News Friday, September 20, 2019 P12


Husband-wife handover Liz takes reins at Engineering Wing… from other half Sean

Trenchard’s truck rolls into Cosford

ON SHOW: Truck at museum, and towing Trenchard’s coffin, left

THE TRUCK which towed the trailer carrying the coffin of the ‘Father of the RAF,’ Lord Trenchard, to Westminster Abbey on February 21, 1956, has gone on display at Cosford. Nearly 66,000 examples of the 15 tonne Bedford were produced during World War II as general crew and transport vehicles, with some adapted as anti-aircraft gun platforms and mobile water tanks. RAF Museum Cosford assistant curator Clare Carr said: “We’re delighted to add the Bedford MWC 15cwt truck to our collection. “It was a versatile military vehicle and this

example played an important role in Viscount Trenchard’s funeral. “The truck was last on display for the RAF’s 50th Anniversary Royal Review at RAF Abingdon on June 14-15, 1968, and was acquired by the RAF Museum shortly after. “Now, after more than 50 years in storage, it can be seen on display alongside other aircraft and vehicles in Hangar 1.” The RAF Museum Cosford is open daily from 10am and admission is free. Further information can be found at: rafmuseum.org/cosford.

KEEPING BRIZE Norton’s transporters flying is a family affair after the boss of the base’s Engineering and Logistics Wing handed over the reins of command to his wife. Outgoing Wing Commander Sean O’Sullivan is succeeded in the top job by his other half Liz – also a Wing Commander – who is now in charge of providing maintenance, survival equipment, weapons technology and other essential services for the station’s A400M, C-17, C-130J and Voyager fleets. The couple married in 2011 having met while Sean was in a Fast Jets Plans role at Headquarters Air Command and Liz was a Jaguar Junior Engineering Officer on No. 6 Squadron at RAF Coningsby. Sean said: “It has been a hugely demanding and rewarding tour commanding more than 600 engineering and logistics personnel. No two days have been the same, with each aircraft type and parachute system presenting

HANDOVER: Family affair for the O’Sullivans

their own unique challenges. “I will miss the role and working with such a dedicated and hardworking team, but I am sure I will get a daily debrief from my successor for the next two years.” Liz said: “It is an absolute privilege to have been selected to command Engineering and Logistics Wing at RAF Brize Norton. For the past two years I have had an appreciation of some of the challenges and late nights in such a diverse role, but I am aware of the fantastic team that I will be so fortunate to have the opportunity to work with.”


Combining outstanding teaching with excellent examination results, some of the best boarding accommodation in the UK and a great location midway between London and Cambridge, Bishop’s Stortford College enables pupils to reach their full potential. Forces families, qualifying for CEA are required to pay no more than 10% of fees for full boarding places. Come to an Open Morning or arrange a private visit. We look forward to welcoming you.

%XLOGLQJ&RQɄGHQFHIRU/LIH 6L[WK)RUP2SHQ0RUQLQJWK2FW10.15 - arrival Consistently within the Top 100 Independent Schools (Telegraph/ISC League table 2018)

+44 (0)1279 838604 admissions@BishopsStortfordCollege.org

Royal Air Force News Friday, September 20, 2019 P13


International stealth service REAPER: Crews recognised with ops medals

Reaper crew medals first

BIT OF ALL WHITE: RAF F-35s and USAF B-2s at Dover’s famous cliffs

BRITISH LIGHTNING jets have been conducting integrated flight training for the first time with American Spirit stealth bombers. The joint sorties are the first time USAF B-2s have trained with non-US F-35s and is part of a long-planned Bomber Task Force Europe deployment at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire. Task Force Commander Lieutenant Colonel Rob Schoeneberg said: “Our Royal Air Force friends are integral to the 509th Bomb Wing mission.

“The beauty of our partnerships is that we can get to understand something of how they see the world. “Working alongside international fifthgeneration aircraft provides unique training opportunities for us, bolsters our integration capabilities and showcases the commitment we have to our Nato alliance.” UK Air Battle Staff Chief of Staff Group Captain Richard Yate said: “We’re delighted that our F-35 Lightning pilots have the chance to fly alongside and train with the B-2 bomber crews.

This is the first time that any other country has done this. This flying integration builds on the work of Exercise Lightning Dawn in Cyprus and the visit of RAF F-35 Lightning to Italy in June, where it proved itself among other Nato allies who also operate the aircraft.” Armed Forces Minister Mark Lancaster said: “Nato is the bedrock of Euro-Atlantic defence, and those secure foundations continue to be reinforced by the training exercises between the Royal Air Force and our special friends in the US Air Force.”

Big Lizzy’s Lightning date

LIGHTNING THE LOAD: HMS Queen Elizabeth II will host up to seven F-35Bs during the tour

BRITAIN’S biggest warship has set sail for its first-ever trials with F-35B fighter jets. HMS Queen Elizabeth II will be home to up to seven Lightnings during her visit to the east coast of North America. RAF, Navy and US Marine Corps jets are expected to take part in five weeks of testing in preparation for full operations in 2021. UK Carrier Strike Group Commander Commodore Mike Utley said: “The success of last year’s deployment during which we embarked and operated the F-35B for the very first time put us ahead

of the curve in terms of developmental testing between the jets and ship. “We have a significant switch in focus this year, towards putting this national defence capability into operation; turning this ship, the jets for which it has been built and all supporting units into a cohesive, agile, efficient force, whether that’s warfighting at one end of the scale, peacekeeping at the other end or delivering humanitarian support across the globe. “Our first operational deployment in 2021 is not far away and we will be ready for any eventuality.”

REAPER CREWS have received Operational Service Medals for the first time. A total of 56 medals were awarded to members of 39 Squadron, 54 Squadron and the Protector Team for their part in conducting airstrikes against Daesh terrorists in Iraq and Syria on Operation Shader. Air Officer Commanding No 1 Group, Air Vice-Marshal Harv Smyth, said: “We should not give out medals lightly, they should only go to those who are deserving. “The idea of the rigour and the risk of participating in combat operations is absolutely right. I am really happy that we’ve got to the point where the decision makers in this area have agreed that the contribution made by those who operate RPAS is worthy of that medal. “I do agree that our Reaper personnel get it without the clasp, because they’re not necessarily directly in harm’s way. It’s also absolutely right and proper that they get recognition through the medal because their contribution to the success of the operation is just phenomenal.” Officer Commanding 39 Squadron, Wing Commander Colin Welsh, said: “Reaper and the people who are behind them are absolutely vital to the way we fight war today.” The ceremony was held at Creech Air Force Base, Nevada, where 39 Squadron fly Reaper in the Middle East. The event also saw the award of flying badges to four Reaper pilots and the re-issue of badges to four others who previously had RPAS wings. Former Harrier pilot AVM Smyth said: “Giving wings is a big deal, it’s a big milestone in a young pilot’s career. “For the Reaper Force the fact that we’re now in a place where they get exactly the same wings as any other pilot in the Royal Air Force, from my perspective that’s frankly been a long time coming. “It’s an overt recognition that what you do remotely piloting an air vehicle is equally as challenging, is equally as dynamic as flying a fast jet – it’s just different.”



Every day Every day our our teams teams of of S SSAFA SAFA v volunteers olunteers a are re changing c hanging the the lives lives o off tthose hose in n need eed ffrom rom tthe he Armed Armed Forces Forces a and nd ttheir heir families. families. F ind out o out more more about about volunteering volunteering w ith Find with SS AFA a nd h ow y ou c an make make a difference. difference. SSAFA and how you can V isit s safa.org.uk/volunteer Visit ssafa.org.uk/volunteer

Registered as Registered as a charity charity in in England England and and Wales Wales Number Number 210760 210760 in in Scotland Scotland Number Number SCO38056 SCO38056 and a nd in in Republic Republic of of Ireland Ireland Number Number 20006082. 20006082. Established Established 1885. 1885. S378.0619 S378 .0619

Royal Air Force News Friday, September 20, 2019 P15


The Eagle has landed ISRAELI fast jets will fly in United Kingdom airspace for the first time ever as part of Exercise Cobra Warrior. The F-15 Eagles will join German, Italian, British and American aircraft in highintensity large force tactical training. Around 50 aircraft of various types will participate in the exercise and is controlled by directing staff at RAF Waddington. Exercise director Group Captain Robert Barrett said: “The RAF welcomes the opportunity to train alongside all of the participating nations’ forces on this challenging exercise.” German Air Force Weapons Instructor training chief, Lieutenant Colonel Dirk Pingel, said: “Cobra Warrior offers us the opportunity to complete training for our future Weapons Instructors.” Italian Air Force 4th Wing Commander Colonel Urbano Floreani said: “We are honoured to participate again in this very

UK FIRST: An Israeli F-15 lands at RAF Waddington for Exercise Cobra Warrior PHOTO: SGT NIK HOWE

demanding and well-organised international exercise. “It will be a chance to fly with the best Weapon Instructors of

the participating countries.” Exercise Cobra Warrior is the Royal Air Force’s premier tactical training event, designed

to develop the tactical leadership skills of aircrew within a complex air environment. Personnel develop, plan and

practise tactics, techniques and procedures in challenging scenarios against similarlyequipped adversaries.

PM’s dad honours the other ‘Jonny’ Johnson

Boris’s grandad was a true hero, like Dambuster Johnny BORIS JOHNSON’S hero pilot grandfather was remembered at a memorial service in Devon. Flight Lieutenant Wilfred ‘Jonny’ Johnson won the DFC for avoiding further loss of life after his Wellington bomber crashed 75 years ago. At the event his son and the Prime Minister’s father Stanley Johnson said: “Boris regrets not being able to attend today. The accident was my first childhood memory on the eve of my fourth birthday. My mother woke me up to see the conflagration, little knowing that my father was the pilot of the aircraft.” The Wellington Mk XIV came down after returning from an aborted antisubmarine patrol. The navigator and air gunner died but Flt Lt Johnson and three others survived. Local historians Rob Palmer and Graham Moore said the aircraft had taken off at 22:30 but the pilot abandoned the mission when the radio failed shortly after take-off. Returning to the former RAF Chivenor on only one engine and knowing there was a large dance taking place on the base, the crew realised that crashing into it with a full load of fuel and depth charges would be catastrophic. Instead they circuited the airfield to

avoid nearby villages and safely ditch the explosives, but on their final approach the aircraft clipped a telegraph pole and crashed. Mr Johnson said: “I am very proud to be here today. Graham and Rob have documented the extraordinary feat of flying that resulted in my father being awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross you see me wearing today. “I had not known that my father had crashed two weeks before this event and was back flying two days later.” The service was attended by the families and descendants of the crew. Carolyn Bacon’s father, Flight Sergeant Lewis Wilding, was a wireless operator and air gunner on the aircraft. She said: “I came here first when I was six and was shocked to see my rufty-tufty dad cry and that was when I realised what this place meant to him. He didn’t speak much about the accident until late in life.” Sarah Brooks, the granddaughter of copilot Flight Lieutenant William Broadley who lost an arm in the crash, said: “It is something I talk about now when I am teaching the younger generation that do not have the family links with people who were in World WarII. To be able to share that real-life story helps to keep their memory alive.”

PRIDE: Stanley Johnson at the memorial service, wearing his father’s DFC


Working hard for your family We know just how important family is. With your support, we can lend serving parents a helping hand and keep families connected when duty calls them away.

Become a member for just ÂŁ2Â per year.

Patron: Her Majesty The Queen Registered Charity 226686 (England & Wales). SC037673 (Scotland).

Call 0800 018 2361 or visit rafa.org.uk/join

Royal Air Force News Friday, September 20, 2019 P17


U.S. Falls for Reds NEW YORK JETS: Reds fly over New York’s Statue of Liberty

CHICAGO, CHICAGO: The Windy City just got a whole lot wilder

SPECTACULAR DISPLAYS by the Red Arrows The British aircraft flew in a large formation, over iconic landmarks including Niagara Falls, led by F-16s of the US Air Force Thunderbirds the Hudson River and the Chicago skyline demonstration team, followed by the nine Red have proved the highlights of the team’s most Arrows Hawks, two F-35 Lightning IIs and a pair ambitious North American tour. of F-22 Raptors. Travelling coast-to-coast, the tour backs the It’s the first time this combination of jets has Government’s GREAT Britain campaign and aims been brought together in such a way. to boost international Team leader Squadron trade between the UK, Leader Martin Pert said: Canada and the US, “To have the opportunity worth more than £208 to fly along the Hudson billion in 2018. in a fast jet – with The Red Arrows Manhattan’s skyscrapers joined their American lining part of the route counterparts in an and so many famous historic 19-aircraft flight landmarks as a backdrop – around the Statue of was a fantastic, rewarding Liberty, during which experience.” they painted the Big The Reds visit 25 cities Apple’s skies with their on the 11-week tour of the signature red, white and United States and Canada JUST LIKE HOME: Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Canada blue smoke trails. – their first since 2008.

Tour dates ● Portland (including displays at The Oregon International Airshow) – September 18-23 ● Seattle – September 23-24 ● Vancouver (including a flypast on September 26) – September 24-27 ● Victoria – flypast on September 26 ● Miramar Airshow, San Diego – displays September 27-29 ● San Francisco – October 1-2 ● Long Beach – October 2 ● The Great Pacific Airshow (Huntington Beach) – displays October 4-6 ● Rapid City – October 8

MAIN PHOTO: Cpl Adam Fletcher OTHERS: SAC Hannah Smoker & Sgt Ashley Keates

Royal Air Force News Friday, September 20, 2019 P18

Royal Air Force News Friday, September 20, 2019 P19

Royal Air Force Photography Competition 2019: The winners IMAGE OF THE YEAR: Concorde – Cpl Ashley Keates, RAFAT The Red Arrows perform Concorde over the deep blue sea of Greece.

MALLETT STUDENT: Heroes – LAC Harry Roberts The National Memorial Arboretum commemorates the 75th Anniversary of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy.

CURRENT RAF EQUIPMENT: Split Break – SAC Chris Thompson-Watts, Photo ACSSU The new XXV(F) Sqn livery on the BAE Systems Hawk T Mk2. The photo was taken over North Wales.

RAF PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR: Centurions of the Night – Cpl Tim Laurence, Photo ACSSU A pair of RAF Typhoons – equipped with the new ‘Centurion’ weapon configuration – wait to taxi out and depart from RAF Akrotiri on an Op Shader night mission.

FEATURE: Badge of Honour – Mr Paul Saxby, RAFC Cranwell Portrait of Warrant Officer Balbir Flora.

RAF OPERATIONS AND EXERCISES: Plugging the Gap – Cpl Tony Hawke, RAF Benson A 27 Sqn Chinook lowers bags of aggregates into the breach of a riverbank in an effort to stop the River Steeping causing further flooding in Wainfleet, Lincolnshire.


PERSONNEL: There’s No Place Like Home – Cpl Lee Matthews, Photo ACSSU A pilot celebrates his final flight in the retiring Tornado with his daughter at RAF Marham.

PHOTOGRAPHIC SECTION: RAF Odiham (Photo shown is Respect, by Cpl Rob Travis) The Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund celebrates its 100th anniversary, at RAF Odiham. Then-CAS ACM Sir Stephen Hillier is pictured meeting veterans. TECHNICAL/ ENGINEERING PHOTOGRAPHY: The Missing Bond – SAC Ben Mayfield, RAF Coningsby This composite image was created using a focusstacking technique. It shows the rifling of a Mauser gun barrel during a technical tasking at the Gun Bay, RAF Coningsby.

SPORTS PHOTOGRAPH: Bam, Right in the Kisser – Cpl Rob Travis, RAF Odiham SAC Arran Devine, a supplier from RAF Lossiemouth, uppercuts opponent Royal Marine Captain Martin during an evening of boxing at 18 Squadron, RAF Odiham

See the next edition of RAF News for the winner of the People’s Choice category, voted for online by members of the general public


Regulars Announcements l p 6-7



Win story of remarkable restoration l p8

Hot stuff – Gorka and Karen l p4

Royal Air Force News Friday, September 20, 2019 R'n'R 3

R'n'R Good for a laugh


Brittany Runs A Marathon Out November 1 – 15 rating

Brittany Runs… out of steam Promising start, but then this one just limps home


OOTBALL, IT was once said, not without a certain amount of irony, is a game of two halves. Brittany Runs A Marathon – directorial debut from Paul Downs Colaizzo – is a film of the same. It starts as an irreverent laugh-aminute dive into the sloth-like life of New Yorker Jillian Bell (22 Jump Street, Fist Fight), who uses humour to battle her way through her own idleness and chaotic existence in the Big Apple. She cannot laugh off losing her job and a visit to a doctor, who she originally sees to tap up for drugs to help her party harder. The doctor tells her a lifestyle change is needed with Brittany drinking too much and failing to exercise, living her life vicariously through her ‘glamorous’ friends on social media. Here is the nub of the film’s story – Brittany is not happy, behind her smiling Instagram facade (other social media apps are available). This well-worn storyline fat girl wanting to be thin, blah blah, would struggle if it was not for Bell’s excellent comic quips and timing. The humour is, in many ways, how most of us deal with life, avoiding the head-on issues and


Friendly Fires Inflorescent


laughing through the dark times. It is this common link that helps Brittany Runs A Marathon stand out. Well, the opening half at least. From here, it sadly does not have the courage of its own convictions. From this point the film prefers to tread a rom-com path, deviating not far enough to lose itself, but just enough to feel it needs Americancringe plot lines. Brittany becomes friends with her neighbour, one-time enemy Catherine, played excellently by Michaela Watkins, a jogger who is, of course, dealing with her own personal battles. The two, along with gay fatherof-two Seth, played by Micah Stock, decide to enter and run the NYC Marathon. I mention the sexuality of Stock’s character because the film drops LGBT+ and characters of race into the plot with an obvious clang. You definitely get the feeling that the writers began filming, then stopped to alter the script and add in new angles to make it appeal to all. Tick boxing never works in films and Brittany Runs A Marathon does not manage to break that rule. If you can overlook the loss of conviction, there are still some

WELL-WORN SCRIPT: The out-of-shape lead woman (Brittany, inset) gets her act together and decides to run a marathon (main photo)

very good belly laughs to be had. Bell’s relationship with fellow pet sitter Jern (Utkarsh Ambudker), a job she takes in a bid to pay for her entry fee into the marathon, is well played, if cheesy and clunky.

Several toilet humour jokes work well, but the marathon scenes at the end are confusing, as the viewer is left trying to see if the story is based around a real character, or if Bell is actually running it.

The cast are solid throughout, the humour constant, making this worth a view, just don’t expect too much. Review by Daniel Abrahams 3 out of 5

It's a blooming banger

AVING ALWAYS had a liking for Friendly Fires, I was excited to bathe myself in the warm glow of the upbeat disco-esque pop of their latest long play release, Inflorescent. I had already bought second track Heaven Let Me In, which is a corker and a ‘I double dare you not to tap your toe’ tune, as Samuel L. Jackson, with his best Pulp Fiction headphones, on might say. From there it has seemed like a lifetime for the LP, which comes eight years after their second album, Pala. Yes, there was also Love Like Waves, which is a nice touchback to the band’s original sound, but the LP release has been an age. It has been worth the wait though, and some. In this time of single downloads as the modern music currency, Friendly Fires have made an entire album that seems like one long party tune. Can’t Wait Forever is all slamming disco, while Silhouettes and Offline – tracks three and four – are floor fillers that smack of George Michael pop sensibilities before Sleeptalking touches on a jungle with muted, almost Herbie Hancock keyboards. Once you’ve nailed your head spin to the fifth track, Kiss and Rewind takes the tunes outside with sun-soaked salsa-style. Kiss and

A STEP UP: Friendly Fires

Rewind is the most pop chorus- type track of the album, it is vaguely reminiscent of 80s pop and will have you singing along and waving

your arms above your head. Love Like Waves is a quality tune and has a real Good Life vibe going on, it tips its hat to the cult classic

throughout. It is then straight back on to the dance floor with Lack of Love. The g is a poppy delight slow one – all LP: Offerin albums have one, come on – is Cry Wolf, and the full-sounding classic may take its foot of the gas slightly, but not off the quality. The tempo is straight back up with Almost Midnight as the band get into full flight, the only down part to this tune is that it is the penultimate one of the LP. Some say banger, some spanging – one a reference to the type of tune, one to the way you will be dancing to it – Almost Midnight is both, as is the whole album. With Inflorescent, Friendly Fires have inadvertently created a new game, it’s called pick your favourite tune. Safe to say mine changed with each song and the last tune, Run The Wild Flowers, is no different; a full anthemic farewell, it is a sublime way to end this belter of an album. n Inflorescent, released by Polydor, is out now. Friendly Fires are on a European tour which kicks off in the UK at London’s Roundhouse on October 30. Visit: friendlyfires.co.uk for details. Review by Daniel Abrahams 5 out of 5

Royal Air Force News Friday, September 20, 2019 R'n'R 4

Royal Air Force News Friday, September 20, 2019 R'n'R 5


edited by Tracey Allen

Be part of Secret Cinema

Theatre Firedance UK tour



ICKETS HAVE just gone on sale for the sizzling new live show Firedance, featuring Strictly Come Dancing's Gorka Marquez and Karen Hauer. The duo are ready to set temperatures soaring with their new Latin spectacular, touring the UK from next March. The show – with a live band featuring Latin musicians and a dynamic dance ensemble performing Argentine Tango, Flamenco, Contemporary, Paso Doble, Samba and Salsa – promises seductive choreography and passionate performances. Karen said: “I am beyond excited to be going on tour with a brand new show alongside Gorka. We have been working very hard to put on a show that will leave everyone feeling all the passion, excitement and energy that we feel when we are dancing. “We can’t wait to travel around the UK and to meet you all.” Born in Venezuela and having grown up in New York from the age of 10, Karen joined Strictly in 2012 and has been partnered with household names including Westlife’s Nicky Byrne, Hairy Biker Dave Myers, reality star Mark Wright, presenter Jeremy Vine, singer Will Young and Sunday

Theatre Grease UK tour

STRICTLY STARS: Karen and Gorka (with DJ Mark Ronson)

It's Strictly Latin Brunch chef Simon Rimmer. In 2018 she reached the quarter-finals of the series with actor Charles Venn. Gorka added: “I can’t wait to get out on the road with Karen for this very exciting new tour. We are both really passionate about Latin dance, and this tour will really showcase that. We’ve worked really hard on the numbers and I think everyone is going to love it. See you in 2020.” Originally from Bilbao, Spain, aged 11 he attended Ballroom and Latin dance classes, where he quickly excelled and became one of the top dancers representing his

country across the world. Gorka appeared in the 2016, 2017 and 2018 series of Strictly. His debut saw him paired with EastEnders star Tameka Empson. In 2018 he was partnered with TV star Katie Piper after having waltzed singer Alexandra Burke to the final the previous year. Firedance starts at the High Wycombe Swan on March 6 and visits venues including Guildford, Bromley, Northampton, Glasgow and Cambridge, finishing at Southend on April 5. n Go to: firedancelive.co.uk for more details.

Andre's a real angel


REASE IS the word this autumn… and singer and TV personality Peter Andre stars as Teen Angel in the musical at Oxford’s New Theatre and the Churchill Theatre, Bromley, next month. The show was choreographed by former Strictly Come Dancing judge Arlene Philiips. She said: “This production is edgy, vibrant and certainly takes a new look at this very exciting musical. The cast are incredible, many of them fresh out of college and ready to burst onto the stage.” Grease originally opened in Chicago in 1971, followed by a move to Broadway in 1972. During the show’s eight-year run at the time little-known actors, including Patrick Swayze and John Travolta, appeared in the production, with Richard Gere understudying many roles before starring as Danny Zuko in the 1973 London premiere. The 1978 film adaptation starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John celebrated its 40th anniversary last year. The musical features the much-loved songs Summer Nights, Hopelessly Devoted To You and You're The One That I Want. Andre said: “Teen Angel is such an iconic part in the stage production and the film. The message he brings is strong. As teenagers we all go through that phase of ‘I don’t want to go to school’, but what we’re saying is ‘listen, it’s not cool to drop out,’ and getting that across in a way that they will listen. “I was offered the part of Danny years ago but couldn’t do it because of the length of the tour. When the show came up again I told my manager I’d love to do something, but again I wouldn’t be able to commit to the whole thing. Colin [Ingram, the producer] mentioned the role of Teen Angel and I said that was perfect.” Why does he think the show has had such an impact on generations of young people? He said: “I think it encapsulated most teenagers; what they were really thinking and feeling. You start getting feelings for other people, your bond with friends is really tight, and I wanted to be Danny. I felt

AF News readers have a special invitation to a Secret Cinema event to see the classic James Bond film Casino Royale, the first starring Daniel Craig as 007. Join the ranks of MI6 and unravel the dark underworld of the most infamous criminal organisations as your mission takes you across the globe. How the story plays out is down to you: follow the trail, gather intelligence and become part of the chase as the film is brought to life in an immersive, truly interactive experience. You can buy tickets for 25 per cent off the full price for the final two weeks of the event’s run but hurry, only while tickets are available. l Visit tickets.secretcinema.org/casinoroyale l Select a date between September 26 and October 6, 2019. l Use discount code 2019TWENTYFIVE Taking place in a secret London location. Must end October 6, 2019.

The Big Event

Stratford Literary Festival November 1-3

Cheltenham Literary Festival

Jaw jaw and war war, plus former PM David Cameron Max Hastings discusses his controversial new book about Operation Chastise

the list of illustrious names at Cheltenham this year, which marks the 70th anniversary of the world’s oldest literature festival. The event brings more than 900 of the best writers, thinkers and performers of our time to the vibrant Regency town. Among the stellar line-up is former Prime Minister David Cameron in his first event for his memoir For The Record, bestselling novelists Ian McEwan and Jessie Burton, screen icon Helena Bonham Carter, Lenny Henry talking about his long-awaited autobiography Who Am I Anyway? and writer, comedian and TV presenter Sue Perkins on her new book East Of Croydon, Travels Through Southeast Asia. Both Helena and Sue will be interviewed by Emma Freud and Blondie co-founders Debbie Harry and Chris Stein will be talking to artist and director Rob Roth about their incredible story and Debbie’s long-awaited memoir Face It. There will be up-to-the-minute political analysis fresh from the party conference season from Cameron and David Lammy, with The Times debate – joined by MPs Jess Phillips and Rory Stewart SCREEN STAR: Movie icon Helena Bonham Carter – questioning the future of our

COMEDIAN: Novelist Jenny Eclair

Sir Trev, news & views

political parties, and The Sunday Times considering White House contenders with journalists Adam Boulton and Sarah Baxter. In October 1944, the end of the war was in sight at last. While the Allied armies, navies and air forces largely consisted of men in uniform, what did the war really mean for people – and especially women – on the home front, and those caught up in the German Occupation of Europe? In conversation with Sonia Purnell (A Woman of No Importance), Anne Sebba (Les Parisiennes) and Dan Todman (Britain’s War 19421947), Allan Mallinson will unearth extraordinary stories of individual courage and heroism for the discussion The People’s War. From current affairs to food, history to fashion, sport to art, science to travel, the festival guarantees something for everyone, say organisers, with the fun extending long after dark with the eclectic Off The Page series of curated events. This year’s festival includes a packed programme of world-class authors and illustrators to inspire toddlers to teens, plus a Secret Seven Mystery Trail celebrating 70 years of the world’s favourite detective club. Elsewhere on site there will be free events for all ages including Daily Crossword, Cheltenham Writes and Very Short Introductions.


I could identify with him in some ways, where he was kind of acting cool, but was really a softy and a lot of it was bravado – that was me. “Really liking the girl but not wanting to show he was too keen, that was me too. I think it really sort of made us feel like we were them.” n Go to: atgtickets.com (for New Theatre Oxford) and churchilltheatre.co.uk for more information.


JOURNALIST: Sir Trevor McDonald

EADING WAR historian Max Hastings will be appearing at both the Cheltenham Literary Festival and the StratfordUpon-Avon Literary Festival this autumn, discussing his controversial new book Chastise, The Dambusters Story 1943. The former Evening Standard and Daily Telegraph editor is among

ANDRE: Plays Teen Angel

Reader offer

MAX HASTINGS: New book (top right) offers a different perspective on Op Chastise

n The Cheltenham Literary Festival runs from October 4-13. Go to: cheltenhamfestivals.com/ literature to see the full programme and to book tickets or call the Box Office on: 01242 850 270.


IG NAMES at this year’s Stratford Literary Festival, from November 1-3, include appearances from veteran broadcasters Sir Trevor McDonald and John Humphrys (also at Cheltenham). Both will be discussing the highlights of their careers, the interviews they have conducted with world leaders and the global affairs they have covered over the decades. Outspoken Birmingham Yardley MP Jess Phillips will be campaigning for more open government in her book Truth to Power, and the BBC’s Carrie Gracie will tackle the equal pay debate, over which she left her role as China editor. Historian Tom Holland will be discussing how Christianity has endured since the earliest times, as outlined in his new book Dominion, and Oxford University Shakespeare expert Emma Smith will bring a new slant to the Bard’s work. And comedian Jenny Eclair will talk about life as a novelist.

We're offering up a platter that includes fair pay and fair play

For families, there’ll be half-term fun for all ages with comedian Ben Miller meeting Father Christmas, Andy Seed exploring all things gross and celebrating 50 years of The Very Hungry Caterpillar with the chance to help build a giant one. Festival director Annie Ashworth said: “Our Winter Weekend is crammed this year, with loads to see and do. We're offering up a platter that includes fair pay and fair play, the future of broadcasting, Father Christmas and cheese – so a bit of everything.”

MEMOIR: Former PM David Cameron

n Tickets are available by phone on: 0333 666 3366, online via the festival website: stratlitfest.co.uk or in person from Stratford Play House.

Royal Air Force News Friday, September 20, 2019 R'n'R 6

R'n'R Your Announcements

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

Deaths BYRNE, ROBERT FELIX MBE RAF (Jock), August 26, peacefully at his home at 1 The Rise, Trearddur Bay, aged 86. Beloved husband of Audrey. Devoted father of Ralph, Hamish, Katherine and the late Clinton. A much loved grandad to Ryan, Daniel, Sophie, Jeffrey, Jamie, Rachael, Brandon, Elizabeth, Colin and Scott and a fond great-grandad. Funeral was held on September 5, service and committal at Bangor Crematorium. Donations if so desired, gratefully received towards SSAFA (The Armed Forces Charity) in his memory, c/o OR Jones & Co (JM & ML Walsh) Penrhyn Yard, Holyhead, call: 01407 762136. HERITAGE Michael (Flight Lieutenant BEM) passed away peacefully at Petworth Cottage Nursing Home West Sussex on September 5 aged 86. He served in the RAF in Admin/Supply from 1952 until his retirement in 1983 and then continued as a Civilian Instructor at RAF Hereford until 1992. He was passionate about cricket,

playing and latterly umpiring and was a familiar face to many at RAF matches, including several RAF vs Lords Taverners matches.He will be sadly missed by his three children their partners and six grandchildren. Funeral details can be found on the website detailed below as well as a link to donations in lieu of flowers which will go to the RAF Benevolent fund. www.freemanbrothers. co.uk/remember.

In Memoriam


MUTTITT In loving memory of my dear wife Pamela who died September 15, 1981. So sadly missed, Mick (MAeop Ret'd) and family.

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 me via email: whiskymac73@gmail.com.

PATTON Michael Charles (Mick/Mike). Sergeant Air Loadmaster with 7 Squadron (S.F Flight) at Odiham. Died September 22, 1996, aged 29, near Castlemartin, Pembrokeshire – during a night tasking. “His laughter was better than birds in the morning, His smile turned the edge of the wind...” In loving memory of a very dear and much-missed son, brother, husband and father.

MICHAEL HERITAGE LONG, Bob, Warrant Officer, Med Admin (19591988) passed away August 21. Served in Germany, Cyprus, Oman, last post AMTC. Was first Chairman of the Association of RAF Medical Warrant Officers and Senior NCOs. Greatly missed by his wife, Marjorie and sons Kenneth and Mark.


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

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.

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 in October. We would love to see them or anyone else from our year. Please contact: alexandra. bayne@yahoo.co.uk. XIII Sqn are looking for family members of Flt Lt Peter John Michael Mosley (pilot), killed on September 1, 1994 in the crash of Tornado ZG708, along with fellow crew member, Flt Lt Patrick Peter Harrison (navigator). This year is the 25th anniversary of the crash and XIII Sqn will be holding a commemoration service at the crash site in Scotland. We are in contact with the Harrison family, but have so far been unable to contact anyone from the Mosley family. If you can help, please contact: Lorraine. raanes725@mod.co.uk. I am seeking some former colleagues who worked with me at the Flying Refresher School at RAF Finningley, Yorkshire in 1949-50: Ron Welsch, who came from Bermondsey (RAF No 2426169); Roy Wilkin, who came from the Woodseats area of Sheffield (RAF No 2438595); Len Hagens (RAF No 2424749); and Norma Pritchard, who came from Horley, Surrey, (RAF No 2810376). Please contact Nobby Hill on: 01869 252903 if you can help to locate any of these people or their families. LOOKING for Andy Blanchard from Hull who was with me at RAF Swinderby 1967 or 69 and the Moyse Brothers (boxers) 67; Clyde Anderson (Gaedor 67), Peter Morell. Please contact: Rick Pinto, 34 St Pauls Square, Preston, Lancs PR1 1XA.

I am trying to trace ex 97th Entry ex Halton Aircraft Apprentices Jan 61-Dec 63: Derrick Loughran, George Rowan, Doug Thorne and Eric Murphy. Please call David Truscott on: 01752 778474.

Reunions 45TH Entry C Flt 3 Sqn Suppliers annual reunion Friday-Saturday September 27-28. Three Counties Hotel, Hereford. Contact: Dinger Bell, Hull: 01482 377625. 314 CA Telegraphist 50th Anniversary Reunion. A reunion of the 314 CA TELEG entry will be held at RAF Cosford in October. Any former 314 Entry members who have not yet been contacted should contact Mac Halliwell by email: definitas@gmail.com. 23 Sqn Association Reunion AGM and Dinner will be held on Saturday, October 19 at the Double Tree Hotel, Lincoln LN1 1YW. For more information please contact Colin Woolfson by email: woolfsonc@googlemail.com or phone: 07803 617818. COASTAL Command Officers' Reunion, RAF Club, October 12, 2019, October 10, 2020. Please contact Ray Curtis, call: 01264 735349 or email: hjn3@btinternet.com. RAF Boy Entrants 45th Ground Wireless Reunion We s t o n - s u p e r - M a r e , October 12. Email: suddesr@ aol.com or call: 07840125396. RAF and Defence Fire Service Association Annual Reunion and AGM, October 18-21 at the Ettington Chase Hotel, Banbury Road, Ettington, Stratford-UponAvon. Details from: Neil via email: crashmark6@sky.com; Mike via email: fire.bucket@ btinternet.com. 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@ redarrowsassociation.co.uk or visit: redarrowsassociation. co.uk.

31 Group Royal Observer Corps Association Annual Reunion will take place on Saturday, January 25, 2020 in the Magherabuoy Hotel, Portrush, Co Antrim. Email: paddyj31@btinternet.com.

ROC Day SEPTEMBER 22, 10 to 5, Royal Observer Corps Day, Norfolk and Suffolk Aviation Museum, Flixton, NR35 1NZ. All ex ROC welcome. BofB Hurricane flypast, live music/singing, raffle, tombola, many new exhibits. Admission free.

Memorial event 100 Squadron will be commemorating the two pilots (Sqn Ldr Mike Andrews and Flt Lt Steve Todd) who lost their lives in the Hawk T1 crash on October 22, 1999. All family and friends are welcome to join the Sqn in Shap for the memorial event. For further information contact Flt Lt Miriam Aicheler: Miriam. aicheler877@mod.gov.uk.

5131 Sqn event 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 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.

Tucano celebrations

AFTER 62 years, Fast Jet training is leaving RAF Linton-On-Ouse. If you’ve ever been involved with Tucano, past or present, across the Whole Force, please come and join us for an End of BFJT Hangar

Royal Air Force News Friday, September 20, 2019 R'n'R 7

R'n'R Your Announcements You can email photos for announcements on this page to: tracey.allen@rafnews.co.uk Party on September 28, 2019. Email for more information and ticket requests: LINTucanoOSDHangarParty@ mod.gov.uk.

Memorial service THE Sibsey Lancaster Memorial Trust Annual Service, Memorial in the Field, September 29 at 2.30pm. Call Stu Davidson on: 07704 777 756.

Catering Assoc MEMBERSHIP is open to those who are serving or have served as a WO or FS in Trade Group 19 and former RAF Catering Officers. Pleas email Eddie Jones: janedjones6@tiscali.co.uk or call: 01487 823480 for more information.

Theatrical Assoc THE RAF Theatrical Association is looking for volunteers. Contact RAFTA at info@rafta.co.uk or visit: RAFTA.co.uk.

Halton hosts open house THE PUBLIC have the rare opportunity on Sunday, September 22, to view the ground floor rooms of Halton House (pictured), previously the fabulous country residence of Alfred de Rothschild between 1883 and 1918, now RAF Halton’s Officers’ Mess. Halton House has been used extensively as a filming location and can be seen in a wide range of TV and film productions including scenes from Downton Abbey, Evita, Poirot, The King’s Speech, The Queen and The World Is Not Enough. It featured prominently in the Disney production of The Nutcracker and the Four Realms. RAF Halton’s Trenchard Museum, the James McCudden Flight Heritage Centre and the Reconstructed Trenches will also be open. They tell the story of RAF Halton in World War I and the RAF Apprentice Scheme. A shuttle bus will run

CELEBRATION: Shackleton Association President AVM Andrew Roberts cuts the cake at the launch

Shack boys reunited between Halton House, the trenches, the museum and the flight heritage centre. Light refreshments and souvenirs will be on sale. Plentiful parking is available at Halton

House only. Go to: heritageopendays.org.uk for more information. Q Please note: Halton House has very limited disabled access and no disabled toilets.

TWENTY-TWO FORMER Shackleton air and ground crew attended the launch of Steve Bond’s latest book Shackleton Boys Volume 2 at Newark Air Museum recently, with some of the veterans meeting up again for the first time in 50 years. The event also celebrated the aircraft’s 70th birthday and the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight provided flypasts by one of their Hurricanes. Steve is available to give talks to interested groups. Contact him via email at: meteor@outlook.com.

By Appointment to Her Majesty The Queen Medallists Worcestershire W orcestershire Medal Service Ltd Bromsgrove

Specialists Sp ecialists in Orders, Orderss, Decorations and Medals

Suppliers of replacement and minia miniature ature medals. Medal mou unting in Court and Ord dinary Style mounting Ordinary M framed for displ lay. Medals display. For all your medal relat related ted needs including the su supply upply of ribbons, ribbons storage cases caases and other related item items. ms. Bespoke B Medal Manufactu Manufacture ure

Worcestershire W or o cestershire Medal Serv Service vice Ltd Street, Sidemoor, Bromsgrove, 56 Broad Stre et, Sidemoo r, Bromsgr rove, B61 8LL www.worcmedals.com w www .worcmedals.com m Tel: 835375 email:: sales@wo sales@worcmedals.com T el: 01527 835 5375 email orcmedals.com

Royal Air Force News Friday, September 20, 2019 R'n'R 8

R'n'R Prize Crossword No. 257

Solve the crossword, then rearrange the six 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 October 4, 2019.

No. 267 Fill in all the squares in the grid so that each row, each column and each 3x3 square contains all the digits from 1 to 9.

Across 1. Loafer was pointlessly bright (4) 8. Be a flavour maybe expressing approval (10) 9. Sari adjusted at speed RAF protects it (8) 10. Test once morning ends (4) 12. Dear commanding officer outwardly steely (6) 14. Subservient superhero? (6) 15. Pets come back before exercise on unforested grassland (6) 17. Crazy soldier’s favourite curry? (6) 18. Odd group uses odd tyre-iron (4) 19. Let audit determine lofty heights reached by plane (8) 21. Flowers from gas-guzzling countries? (10) 22. Eager knight enjoys every night initially (4) Down 2. Cheer pilot disorientated by aircraft (10) 3. Some left-sided newts (4) 4. Enter Bologna via Ryanair: that’s for the birds (6) 5. Wonderful Brideshead, really wonderful (6) 6. Skilful story on northern heath (8) 7. Period of the heartless Royal Marines (4) 11. Most original couple (4,3,3) 13. Shop Tony destroying planes (8) 16. Demands precise sums, at first (6) 17. Encountered ore-burning missile (6) 18. Diplomacy required for the first performance (4) 20. Volunteers start skiing assignment (4)

Name.................................................................................................................... Address................................................................................................................ .............................................................................................................................. .............................................................................................................................. RAF word........................................................................ Crossword No. 257

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

The winner of Crossword No. 255 is Wg Cdr PF Green (Ret'd) from Romsey who wins a copy of The Trans-Atlantic Pioneers by Bruce Hales-Dutton (frontline-books.com). Solution to crossword No. 255: Across: 1. Hill 8. Apocryphal 9. Wireless 10. Road 12. Biggin 14. Notice 15. Disarm 17. Parade 18. Ayah 19. Mordaunt 21. BriteCloud 22. Silo. Down: 2. Incivility 3. Lame 4. Govern 5. Prison 6. Operator 7. Plod 11. Accidental 13. Graphite 16. Mimics 17. Parson 18. ABBA 20. Adds. RAF word: Scrambled


Local Hero on Blu-Ray


Out now Certificate PG

Win new collector's edition H AILED AS a late twentieth century classic, Local Hero, directed by the legendary Bill Forsyth and featuring a future Doctor Who, has just been released as a newly remastered Collector’s Edition Blu-Ray. This not to be missed release, which includes limited edition postcards, also comes with special features including audio commentary with Bill Forsyth and film critic Mark Kermode, an interview with Forsyth, who also wrote the film, plus Getting In On The Action (1982) – a 29-minute behind-the-scenes documentary; The Music of Local Hero (2019) a brand new interview with composer Mark Knopfler; a Conversation with Peter Capaldi & John Gordon Sinclair (1982); The South Bank Show – Making of Local Hero (1983) and an original theatrical trailer. This utterly charming, heartwarming comedy-drama tells the story of young American executive Mac (Peter Riegert), who flies to the west coast of Scotland to purchase an entire village on behalf of the oil company he works for, run by near-psychotic Happer (Hollywood icon Burt Lancaster).

The townsfolk seem happy enough to part with their town,

Denis Lawson and Fulton Mackay. Forsyth won the 1984 BAFTA award for best direction for his work on the movie. A new musical adaptation of the much-loved film, featuring music and songs by Dire Straits’ Knopfler, takes to the Old Vic stage in London from June 18, 2020. The stage adaptation received its world premiere at the Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh, earlier this year. We have three copies of the Local Hero Collector’s Edition on Blu-Ray to up for grabs. For your chance to win one of these great prizes, simply answer this question correctly: Who wrote and directed Local Hero?

although they drive a hard bargain. Meanwhile Mac, who was wrongly thought by his boss to be of Scottish descent, begins to take a liking to the little village. The gentle comedy also stars Peter Capaldi, Jenny Seagrove,

Email your answer, marked Local Hero competition, to: competitions@rafnews.co.uk or post it to: RAF News, Room 68, Lancaster Building, HQ Air Command, High Wycombe, HP14 4UE, to arrive by October 4, 2019. Please remember to include your full postal address.

....................................................Su Doku No. 267 Solutions should be sent in a sealed Solution to Su Doku No: 266 envelope marked 'Su Doku' with the number in the top left-hand corner to RAF News, to arrive by October 4, 2019. Su Doku No. 266 winner Roger Pierce wins a copy of Escape From Stalag Luft III The Memoir of Bram Vanderstok (greenhillbooks. com).


DH9 From Ruin to Restoration Guy Black (grubstreet.co.uk)

Story of a remarkable find IN 2000, quite by chance, aircraft restorer Guy Black of Aero Vintage located the hulks of at least two Airco DH9 bombers in a remote part of India – hidden away in what had been a Maharaja’s elephant stable at his palace in Bikaner, Rajasthan. They were remarkable finds, and extremely rare examples of a nearextinct and important World War I aircraft type – none of which had survived in Britain. Recognising their importance to the UK’s aviation heritage, and excited by the challenge of restoration, Guy set about negotiating their purchase and returning them to England. His colleague and author, Andy Saunders travelled twice to India to compl,ete the transaction and dismantle and pack them – a process not without massive difficulties and challenges. Now one of them will fly again. The whole story is told in DH9 From Ruin to Restoration fully illustrated step-by-step – – from discovery to recovery, through to research, restoration, reconstruction and first flight. Also covered is the account of the restoration of the first DH9 to be completed, now housed as a non-flying exhibit at the Imperial

War Museum Duxford. We have copies of DH9 From Ruin to Restoration by Guy Black to win. For your chance to own one, just send us the correct answer to the following question: In which part of India did Guy Black discover the hulks of two Airco DH9 bombers? Email your answer, marked DH9 book competition, to: our usual email or postal competition addresses to arrive by October 4.


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

† Selected vehicles only. Eligibility criteria applies. See ford.co.uk/militarysales for more information.

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, September 20, 2019 P21


How we’re winning fight against terror F

OR OVER five years, the RAF has been at the forefront of international operations to counter and defeat Daesh in Iraq and Syria. The operational contribution provided has been vital to the coalition’s success; the experience gained across all our forces and a significant part of the Service has, and will, inform much of its future development. Among a raft of insights and lessons, 10 key themes can be identified:

Modern Battlespace The battlespace within which the RAF has operated is the most complex that any of us can recall: multiple conventional, special forces, militia and insurgent forces on the ground, Coalition aircraft and drones operating in the same airspace as Russian, Syrian and Iranian platforms (and at times with closing speeds of 1000 mph+), and a pervasive and unblinking information environment. Dense urban environments as well, with our enemy seeking shelter amongst the innocent. This is now the ‘new normal’ and poses significant challenges both to how we operate and integrate at the tactical level, and how we command and campaign at the operational level.

Air Combat chief Air Cdre Johnny Stringer (now AVM) ran RAF operations in Iraq and Syria at the height of the UK campaign against Daesh. As the Air Component Commander for two years he was instrumental in bringing down the fake caliphate. Here, he explains what is giving the UK and its allies the edge in the ongoing war on terror Sophistication in targeting The UK developed the most sophisticated targeting enterprise yet fielded in the fight against Daesh. We had to: the complexity of the environment – especially in key urban centres such as Mosul and Raqqa – required the fusion of multiple intelligence sources and exceptionally calm and cool judgement on the part of our targeting teams and our aircrews. We weaponeered (how one models the delivery of and effects to be achieved by our precision munitions) thousands of targets, seeking the correct weapons, right fuzing, optimum delivery profile to

Persistent competition All of our activities generate effects and messages, both intended and unintended. The explosion in digital media in all it forms serves to amplify this many fold and underlines the UK’s emphasis on Information Advantage. We need to recognise that below the threshold for conventional armed conflict, we are in a state of persistent competition with a variety of actors and we need to calibrate, explain and exploit what we do accordingly, always mindful that our adversaries and competitors are doing the same. ISR role Success on Op Shader would be unthinkable without the contribution of air-breathing and space-based Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance assets; but remember too that product is nothing without the ability to make sense of it. Our imagery analysis and intelligence personnel have been at the forefront of our fight against Daesh; they are recognised as world class by our allies.

ANALYSIS: Air Cdre (now AVM) Stringer


ensure the right weapons effects. Integration On a number of occasions, and at key moments in the campaign, we achieved the most integratedß array of effects – kinetic weapons, non-kinetic effects and information operations – to ensure the required physical and cognitive effects on our adversaries’ mind and will. Much of the detail must remain classified, but our operations against Daesh drones and against their propaganda activities represent exceptional work between UK and Coalition militaries and agencies. Tactical Excellence Given the above, it will not surprise that the tactical excellence and judgement shown by our aircrews on all our platforms and types was deeply humbling. They made sense of confusion, showed unfailing discipline in all that we asked of them, routine innovation in employment and cool and correct decision-making, often in a matter of seconds. The missions flown by our Tornado, Typhoon and Reaper aircrews might most obviously attract attention, but they would have been for little without the

contribution of our other ISR, Air Refuelling and Air Transport Forces: aircraft and people. Outstanding engineering too in challenging circumstances. I am delighted that the Op Shader medal will be awarded to recognise their achievement and their contribution. Campaigning However, tactical excellence is of limited use unless it is properly employed to meet the objectives of the campaign. We need to have the Command and Control apparatus and structure and we need to have developed the commanders who can make sense of, operate in and direct the air power at their disposal. This requires the blending, application and exploitation of experience, judgement, knowledge, understanding and applied and emotional intelligence... the whole exercised through first-class leadership. And away from tactical employment, and largely unrecognised, airmen and women have held key senior posts across Defence that have ensured we have obtained every last drop of operational output and effect from our aircraft and people. Without this, our contribution would have been not nearly as effective; second only to the

US in capability, quality and employability. Coalitions and Interoperability More than 70 nations support the fight against Daesh. It is in the nature of air forces that they are inherently interoperable and support the joint (and now integrated, working with our colleagues and allies across governments) fight across all domains. Almost 20 nations contributed to the Coalition combined air component and the friendships, understanding and experience built up over decades allowed for rapid integration and delivery of effects. It remains a key strength and tenet of air power that this is our default setting – our shared experiences over the last five years have only reinforced and strengthened this. Imagination and Innovation At times the cutting-edge technologies employed by air forces in the air and space domains can blind one to the fact that they are nothing without the people who fly, fix and support them, who understand and exploit the information they harvest, and who command and control them. The need for our brightest and most thoughtful has never been stronger, all the more so against a competitive civilian market. The RAF has recognised this and is at the forefront of imaginative career opportunities and management across the Whole Force; our experiences from Op Shader should give pride and purpose to those in the Service and inspire those we would seek to attract. The Next Generation Finally, it is tempting at times to see air forces through the lens of the platforms they operate and the technology they employ. As noted above, this is only part of the story and the vital importance of our people is the essential and deciding factor in whether we succeed or fail. Our experience on Op Shader – how we have operated and succeeded, what we have done and what we have learnt – speaks to many of the key elements and themes of the Next Generation Air Force. The next generation is already here, is in build and in employment. Our operational activity, understanding and lessons – and our people and what we operate – are shaping the RAF for the extremely challenging defence and security environment of the present and future. It has been and is a privilege to be part of it.

BIS - a useful snapshot of your pension benefits It is a good idea to keep an eye on your pension as it grows and, in this short article, Mary Petley of the Forces Pension Society explains the tools that are available to help you with this and the difference between them. Benefits Information Statements (BIS) were introduced in August 2015 and all serving personnel (including members of the Part Time Volunteer Reserve or PTVR) should receive a fresh BIS annually, shortly after their birthday. The idea is to provide a concise statement of your pension earnings up to the date of the BIS and offer the opportunity to identify and correct any errors you find. If you have not been receiving them or you have received one but found errors, contact your Unit Admin staff. The BIS is a snapshot of your pension as if you were leaving service on your birthday that year and the spouse or civil partner benefits which would become payable if you were to die in service at that point. It separates the benefits clearly so that you can see which benefits result from which scheme, and when they are payable. It does NOT show benefits transferred in from other schemes, the value of any Added Years or Added Pension purchased, or the impact of divorce-related orders on the pension.

Further, it does not mention the benefits payable for dependent children or unmarried partners. These are omitted to keep the BIS simple. The eligibility rules for children under AFPS 75 differ so markedly from those of AFPS 05, AFPS 15 and RFPS, and AFPS 75 does not feature pensions for unmarried partners. To cover everything would make the document too complicated, and discourage the owner from reading it! So, in a nutshell, the BIS is a useful tool, but it is a snapshot of your benefits at the time it was issued, it is not a forecast of benefits payable at an exit date in the future and should not be used for financial planning. The Pension Calculator A handy on-line tool but its accuracy depends entirely on the data that you input and it, too, has some limitations.

If you change your rank, your rate of pay or the number of days worked within a scheme year, a separate Service history will be required for each change within that scheme year. BUT there are notes on the screen to help you complete the projection. The message here is that the Pension Calculator is a terrific tool in many respects, but it is not foolproof and it comes with a disclaimer! Formal Pension Forecast calculates your benefits using your data as held by DBS and the actual rules of the scheme or schemes in which you have accrued benefits. Everybody is entitled to one free formal pension forecast a year and to get it you must apply on an AFPS Form 12 (while still serving) or an AFPS Form 14 (once discharged).

For example, it will assume that your rank for pension is the rank that you have told it you hold. The problem is that under AFPS 75 rules your rank for pension is:

If you require the pension value for divorce purposes, you should apply using an AFPS Form 2 (CEV) – but this forecast is not free. Again, when you receive your forecast check it – errors can occur.

For Other Ranks - the highest paid rank held for two years in the last five; or For Officers – the highest substantive rank held for two years or acting rank held for three years.

To summarize, you have three methods of pension monitoring available to you – the BIS annual snapshot, the online Pension Calculator and the formal pension forecast provided by Glasgow on request.

Periods of more than one year of the two or three required, a proportionate uplift in the pension is applied.

All are useful in their own way but the most useful one to rely on for financial planning is the formal pension forecast – but even that contains a disclaimer – and none of them talk back to you.

The Pension Calculator cannot deal with this and will always assume that the AFPS 75 rank qualification criteria have been fulfilled. Further, it cannot deal with split service, transfers in, Added Pension, Added Years or Pension Sharing Orders. It CAN deal with PTVR calculations but the input is extremely time-consuming and more demanding. The scheme year runs from 1 April to 31 March and you will need to enter all your Service history for each scheme year.

It’s Your Place in London Whatever your reason to be in London, as a serving, enlisted member of Her Majesty’s Armed Forces, with your military ID card you have exclusive access to the Union Jack Club. With comfortable rooms and a relaxed and friendly atmosphere, it's your place to enjoy right in the heart of London.

020 7928 4814 www.ujclub.co.uk

Dedicated to Outstanding Service for Enlisted Members of Her Majesty’s Armed Forces

Of course, there is a fourth method – the Forces Pension Society. If you are a Member and have any questions on this or any other pension issue, please contact us on pensionenquiries@forpen.co.uk If you are not a Member but would like to know more about us, visit www.forcespensionsociety.org


Royal Air Force News Friday, September 20, 2019 P23


Service is etched on our souls – and on our bodies

FLT LT KENNY: Spit-ting image

AT WORK: Halton Security chief Natasha CRAIG DANIELL: Injured in Service

Tracey Allen


IR FORCE personnel are stripping for action – baring their souls and their bodies in a striking new exhibition at the UK’s home of remembrance. A group of seven airmen and women are revealing all for the Royal British Legion’s photographic display Tribute Ink at the National

SAC DUNNING: Lots of inking

REMEMBRANCE: Craig at the arboretum

Memorial Arboretum exploring how Britain’s warriors express their military codes of honour and loyalty through their tattoos. Marham-based SAC Bethan Dunning is one of those willing to bare all. She said: “I feel so honoured to be included in the exhibition. It’s not often you get the chance to show off your tattoos in the military and to do it for the Royal British Legion is a massive honour.” She has tattoos on her leg, stomach, the top of her back and a few on her left arm, plus a full sleeve. She explained: “I promised my dad, a RAF veteran, that I wouldn’t get any until I had finished my training. Two weeks later I got my first one, in 2015, and I had my latest ones done about two weeks ago. “I have a penguin on my leg diving into water – I got that following a six-month

tour of the Falklands.” Flt Lt Natasha Kenny, OC Police and Security Flight at Halton, has also posed for the exhibition. She said: “The whole project is really cool and being a part of it is awesome. I have a fair few tattoos now, perhaps 10 or 11, including a full sleeve on my arm. “I think tattoos are important in the military because they are a way that people can express themselves and share stories – they are quite personal.” Sgt Abby Winchester, a survival equipment technician instructor at Cosford, was nicknamed ‘the machine’ by her RAF colleagues because of her physical prowess and love of sport. She said: “I already had a tattoo on my upper arm but I didn’t like it on display. I decided to get a coverup done and, with my tattooist, developed a design on a mechanical theme that also reflected my nickname and represented so much more; my determination to keep going, be strong and also included my Service number to indicate how proud I am to serve.”

life-sized replicas of some of the tattoos, which have been meticulously transferred onto 3D sculptures. Also featured is veteran Craig Daniell, 29, a former SAC in the RAF who completed two operational tours of Afghanistan with the RAF Regiment. He was on his third deployment when he was injured by a blast and was medically discharged due to his injuries. Craig said: “For me, my tattoo is a visual memory of my time in service, allows me to commemorate those I lost along the way and reminds me of how lucky I am to be here today. Remembering isn’t just one day and I see my tattoo as my own symbol of Remembrance.” n Tribute Ink is at the NMA, Alrewas, Burton-on-Trent, until December 1 then transfers to the National Army Museum, London from January 17 to April 19, 2020.

The images were taken by renowned photographer Charlie Clift, who was given unprecedented access to military-inspired locations to capture Service personnel and veterans. These ranged from RAF Aircraft hangars to the decks of Royal Navy ships. Clift said: “Diving into the lives of the many Forces members and veterans I photographed was an honour. Their stories are important, and I was eager to do everything I could to help tell them. The project has changed my perception of remembrance completely. I hope my pictures can help honour those who serve and encourage others to remember in new ways.” Alongside Clift’s photographs are MILITARY MACHINE: Squipper Sgt Abby Winchester

ADVANCE YOUR CAREER WITH THE OPEN UNIVERSITY Preparing for the move to civilian life? Whether or not you already have a career option in mind, take a look into the H[FLWLQJDQGUHOHYDQWTXDOL¿FDWLRQVWKDWZHRႇHU<RX¶OO HQMR\WKHUHDVVXUDQFHWKDWZH¶UHDZRUOGOHDGLQJSURYLGHU of distance learning and that over 1,500 forces personnel DUHFXUUHQWO\VWXG\LQJZLWKXV

Find out how we can help you develop your career path for civvy street visit openuniversity.co.uk/rafnews

Royal Air Force News Friday, September 20, 2019 P25


Last Canadian Battle of Britain pilot dies at 102 Sqn Ldr John Hart: DFC

again on patrol when his formation of three aircraft attacked a Junkers 88 south of Beachy Head. Their combined attacks resulted in the German bomber crashing into the sea. After a few days of reduced activity, the Luftwaffe mounted a large-scale attack at midday on October 29. Five Spitfire and four Hurricane squadrons were scrambled. In the ensuing battle over Kent, 11 enemy fighters were shot down including one by Hart. This proved to be the last major action of the Battle of Britain. In November 1940 he shared in the destruction of a Junkers 88 bomber before joining No. 91 Squadron. In October he was rested and spent almost a year as a fighter instructor before he left for India. In February 1943 he left for Burma and joined No. 79 Squadron, flying Hurricanes on ground attack operations in support of the Fourteenth Army. Three months later he took command of No. 67 Squadron, flying escort to bomber formations and transport aircraft


QUADRON LEADER John Hart was the last surviving Canadian Battle of Britain pilot. Born in New Bruswick, he travelled to Britain and obtained a short service commission in the RAF in June 1939. After completing his flying training he was posted to an Army co-operation squadron but a serious car crash interrupted his training. Once he had recovered he trained on Spitfires before joining No. 602 Squadron on September 24, 1940, when it was flying from Westhampnett, near Chichester. Although the intensity of the fighting had eased, Hart and his colleagues were scrambled on a daily basis to intercept raids approaching the south coast. On October 12, Hart’s Spitfire was badly damaged during an engagement with Messerschmitt Bf 109s in fighting over the English Channel, but he was able to return safely. During the afternoon he was

Flier ejected and Harrier flew off A

IR COMMODORE Peter Taylor, who has died aged 82, was a Cold War fighter pilot who saw action in Aden and served in Germany before commanding a Harrier squadron. He graduated from the RAF College Cranwell in 1958. After converting to the Hunter in the air defence role he joined No. 19 Squadron before transferring to No. 92 in 1961. At the time, the squadron was the official RAF aerobatic team in the days before the Red Arrows and Taylor was a member for two years. The squadron, known as the Blue Diamonds, flew 16 aircraft and performed at numerous air shows in Europe and at the Farnborough Air Show. In April 1963 he was made the adjutant at RAF Chivenor. After two years he left for Aden to be the flight commander on No. 8 Squadron flying Hunters, but now in the ground attack role. Over the next two years he saw action along the Yemini border and during the period leading to the final withdrawal of British forces in November 1967. After the departure of his squadron to Bahrain in September, Taylor remained in Aden to fly strikes against dissident targets and to mount patrols until a few days before the final withdrawal on November 29, 1967.

Air Cdre Peter Taylor: AFC, CBE In 1971 he converted to the Harrier before leaving for Germany to be the flight commander of No. IV Squadron based at RAF Wildenrath near Monchengladbach. On May 4, 1972, he was flying a low-level training sortie over northern Germany when he sighted a formation of three large birds. He tried to avoid them but one was ingested into the Harrier’s single engine, which immediately lost power. Despite his efforts to regain control of the engine, the aircraft lost height and, at 100 feet, he was forced to eject. Within seconds he was safe on the ground when, to his astonishment, he saw the Harrier recover and climb away. Eventually it flew into cloud and disappeared at 7,000 feet. It climbed to 20,000 feet before it ran out of fuel, 38 minutes after Taylor had abandoned it, eventually crashing in open ground in southern Denmark. He was uninjured after his ejection and was later promoted to command No. 1 Squadron. In 1975, soon after returning from an exercise in Tromso in Norway, he was ordered to prepare the squadron to go to Belize following aggressive overtures by the Guatemalan

government. In November eight Harriers left to cross the Atlantic as Taylor headed for Bermuda, where he took over command of the formation on its arrival and, with rested pilots, headed for Belize using Victor tanker aircraft for air-to-air refuelling on the non-stop flight. By Easter 1976 the Harriers had completed their task and were returned to their UK base. When Taylor handed over command of the squadron a few months later he was awarded the AFC. He spent the next three years on an exchange appointment with the USAF and returned in 1979 to convert to the Jaguar ground attack aircraft. In December he assumed command of RAF Bruggen in Germany,

the home of four Jaguar strike/ attack squadrons and a Rapier air defence squadron of the RAF Regiment. He was appointed CBE at the end of his tour. After a year in MoD, where he was involved in operational requirements for the next generation of fighters, he was promoted to Air Commodore. For the next two years he was responsible for the career management and appointments of RAF aircrew officers. He decided to take early retirement and left the RAF in 1987. Initially he worked for British Aerospace, where he was the project officer for a major development programme for the Royal Saudi Air Force. Later he joined the Society of British Aerospace Constructors and for some years was the organiser of the Farnborough Air Show. Taylor was a fine cricketer and represented the RAF as a batsman. On one occasion he struggled to make 12 runs, but was able to use the excuse that he was facing Frank Tyson, the English fast bowler. Peter Taylor was recognised as an outstanding pilot and leader. He was described as, ‘an RAF officer of the old school for whom loyalty and duty were his prime concerns.’ He retired to Stamford in Rutland, where he died in July.

parachuting supplies to the ground forces. Hart continued to fly on operations until September 1944, when he left for Egypt to command an air gunnery school. In March 1945 he joined No. 112 Squadron based in Italy. After just two familiarisation sorties in the Mustang, he flew his first operation in the American-built fighter. On March 3 he led a formation to attack the Carsara rail bridge, which carried one of the principal railway lines into Italy from Yugoslavia. The raid was a success and the railway line was cut. A second attack in the afternoon hit the bridge.

It handled like a logging truck – nothing like the nimble Spitfire.

In early April Hart assumed command of the squadron and, during the final weeks of the war, he led many ground attack sorties. On April 9 he was strafing gun positions near Bolognese when his aircraft was badly damaged. His wingman reported: “He flew home with a man-sized hole through the tailplane and a smack in the ammo bay.” As the Germans retreated north of the River Po and towards the Austrian border, Hart and his pilots attacked their transport and the temporary pontoon ridges across the numerous river obstacles. He led formations to attack the railway system and, on one sortie, 11 locomotives were successfully targeted. A few days later more were damaged. On May 2 he led an attack into Austria when five railway engines and three trucks were damaged. The war in the Balkans continued into early May and Hart led patrols over the Istrian peninsula. On the 3rd – two days later – the squadron was stood down. A few weeks later Hart was awarded the DFC, the citation highlighted his ‘skilful leadership, great determination and devotion to duty.’ He was released from the RAF in 1946 when he returned to Canada and settled in Vancouver. On his 100th birthday the Royal Canadian Air Force marked the occasion with a flypast over his home. Later in the day he took off in a Harvard wartime training aircraft. When asked how it flew, he replied: “It handled like a logging truck – nothing like the nimble Spitfire.” With the passing of John Hart there are now just four survivors of ‘The Few.’


We are excellent. We are QE.

The Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) has found Queen Ethelburga’s Collegiate to be ‘Excellent’ across all schools, praising our pupils’ outstanding academic achievements and personal development.

Queen Ethelburga’s has a long-standing relationship with the British Forces, welcoming students from military families for over 100 years. We currently have over 300 such students living as part of the QE family. We welcome day students from 3 months to 19 years and boarders from 6 years to 19 years. We are CEA accredited and in recognition of our commitment to Forces families, we offer a significant reduction in fees. In 2017/18 this meant that our Forces families paid just 10% of fees. In 2018/19 Forces families will pay just £955 per term, per child (with the benefits of Childcare Vouchers this figure can be as low as £614 per term). We pride ourselves on our wrap-around specialist pastoral care for our students, providing a secure and supportive home from home. We are focused on creating the right learning and living environment so that every one of them can thrive. For further information or to arrange a visit contact our admissions team on: Tel: 01423 33 33 30 Email: admissions@qe.org

Royal Air Force News Friday, September 20, 2019 P27


the crate escape

hes up ten catc ron Aus a A l p C gton EAD: WELL Re news at Honin with th

Show some bottle and win a round on us


HE BRITISH military thrives on tradition – but there is one Air Force custom RAF News is happy to call time on. Getting ‘crated’ by your pals for appearing in the Forces’ favourite newspaper could cost you more than a few quid these days. So we’ve teamed up with the UK’s oldest brewer Shepherd Neame to offer readers the chance to win a crate of Spitfire Ale by featuring in the paper. Show some bottle and send us a pic of yourself or your colleagues reading RAF News and we’ll pay your debt to society by buying YOU a round of beers.

THATCH THE DAY OF news regula: RAF Paul Brown r from Wiltsh ire

● To be in with a chance of winning a crate of Spitfire Amber Ale send your pictures to: editor@rafnews.co.uk along with your postal address and phone number.

Become a RAF News regular

Make sure of your copy of RAF News by taking out an Annual Subscription. Just fill in the form below and you will receive the best coverage of the RAF every fortnight. Payment by Credit/Debit Card and Direct Debit is now available and we offer a special rate to members of the Royal Air Forces Association in the UK.

✂ Name Address


Telephone number Please send, post paid, one copy of RAF News each fortnight for one year. I wish to pay as follows: I enclose a Sterling Cheque/Postal Order/Money Order payable to JPIMedia

To pay by credit/debit card or direct debit please call 0207 8557574 Get the Forces favourite paper direct ● Available by Bank Card or Direct Debit ● Special offer for RAFA members ●

Subscription Rates UK and BFPO £16.50 ● RAFA Member in the UK £14.50 ● Air Mail (Europe) £28 ● Zone 1 Air Mail (outside Europe) £43.50 ● Zone 2 Air Mail (Australia, New Zealand etc.) £49 RAFA Membership Number (if appropriate) Send to

RAF News Subscriptions, JPIMedia, 26 Whitehall Road, Leeds LS12 1BE Tel: 0207 8557574 email:rafnews@jpimedia.co.uk

Follow us



Royal Air Force News Friday, September 20, 2019 P28

Email: sports@rafnews.co.uk Telephone: 01494 497563


6 pages of RAF Sport start here l Buccaneers in raid on Clayton’s Cup: p31

Wilding strolls into big time at Sarries RUGBY UNION

Prestigious post for RAF Women’s head coach John WHAT A year it’s proving to be for RAF rugby union, with the announcement that WO John Wilding is moving to Premiership rugby. Wilding, head coach of the Air Force’s women’s team, became the latest Service name in the vanguard of the sport after he was appointed women’s team assistant head coach at Saracens for the 15s Premier season and the Development League. Having led the women’s RAF team to an historic first-ever InterServices win earlier in the year, which included a victory over the Army, Wilding said: “I was asked by the club’s head coach to come and have a chat, that was very flattering and I am delighted to go to the best team in the country. “We have players from our Service in the team, among some Army girls, which is excellent Sqn Ldr Chrissy Siczowa and SAC(T) Kate Robinson. “I have seen how (Saracens

JOHN: Now on a bigger stage with Saracens

women’s head coach) Alex Austerberry works in camps they have held at RAF Halton, so I know the level that is expected and how good the set-up is.” A former Saracens player himself, Wilding will work under head coach Austerberry at the double championship side. Austerberry said: “I am delighted that John has joined the coaching team, he brings with him immense experience and has a great approach to coaching. “He has a very unique way of finding how to get the most out of people and challenge them to be better. I am excited to see the positive impact he will have on the players and the club as a whole.” Wilding added: “We pushed the girls to get into league teams, we have players at Wasps and the step up and challenge has been met superbly. “We set a target five years ago, we achieved it by winning the Inters. I stood on the shoulders of managers that have gone on to help achieve that, and my appointment cannot hurt RAF rugby union as a whole.” Sqn Ldr Chrissy Siczowa, RAFRUW team captain, said: “John’s role at Saracens reflects his years of dedication and hard work as a coach and is thoroughly deserved. It’s a measure of where the RAFRUW squad, as a whole, is these days. “We have both players and coaches competing at the highest domestic level in England. Saracens is a fantastic club and their core values of honesty, discipline, humility and work rate reflect the same ethos we have in the RAFRUW squad.” Wilding will retain his post as RAFRUW head coach. l McNally roaring to go for Bath, see back page


Follow us


Royal Air Force News Friday, September 20, 2019 P29



It’s seventh heaven for comeback king Vickers Best ever finish for injury-hit RAF rider Cadwell Park THRILLS REPLACED spills for Ryan Vickers and the RAF Regular & Reserve riders after a brace of crashes during qualifying at Cadwell Park. Disaster turned to joy for the Kawasaki team when it turned things around in the races proper to nab two top-10 finishes. The superb seventh and tenth were just reward for the team, who have been through the mill recently, with Vickers side-lined through injury and other finishing spots stolen after further collisions. Having his first outing at the Lincolnshire venue on the Kawasaki ZX-10RR superbike, Vickers’ lack of experience never showed and throughout practice and the early stages of qualifying he comfortably ran inside the top 10. Crashing out at the hairpin towards the end of the first qualifying run, he was back out on track for the next session – only to suffer the same fate at the same corner. It meant he started Sunday’s first race from 18th on the grid and, with overtaking notoriously difficult around the challenging 2.18-mile circuit, it left him with plenty of work to do. Undeterred, the 20-year-old Thetford rider set about his task and in the first five laps of the race immediately gained seven places.


After sitting in 11th for five laps, he moved up into the top 10 at half race, a spot he held until the finish for six well-earned points. The strong ride saw him rewarded with a position of 11th on the grid for race two, and a superb start enbled him to leap up the order to seventh – the best British

Superbike (BSB) finish of his career. Vickers said: “Overall, it was a great weekend and we showed great pace in the practice sessions. “I made two mistakes in qualifying, but in race one I made a good start and was able to pick the riders off one by one. I used my head for the entire race distance,

rather than trying to make up positions.” His plan paid off as Vickers took a solid 10th place, securing 11th on the grid because of his fastest lap time. He added: “I made a mega start to get up to seventh by the first corner and I stayed there for much



39 SQUADRON had all bases covered as FS Andy Campbell was invited to parade the Union Flag at a recent Las Vegas Aviators AAA League clash. The hosts lost the game 9-6 to Albuquerque Isotopes. Based at Creech Air Force Base, Nevada, 39 Squadron operate the Reaper remotely-piloted aircraft system (RPAS). At the invitation of US Air Force colleagues, FS Campbell paraded the flag alongside the Stars and Stripes at Las Vegas Ballpark, home to the Aviators, alongside two members of a USAF Reaper squadron. The Aviators are a feeder team for Major League side Oakland Athletics.

FOLLOWING ON from strong RAF representation at this year’s Henley Royal Regatta, the RAF Rowing Club kept its momentum to close out the season on a high at the Henley Town and Visitors Regatta. A total of 32 rowers from across the men’s, women’s and masters’ squads competed in 22 events. The Service’s rowers did exceptionally well, reaching several finals and winning four events. Both men’s and women’s squads recorded success, with the men winning the Open Single, Double

of the race, briefly moving up to sixth. “I rode a strong race and managed the distance to the riders behind home to take seventh. To end the weekend with my best ever BSB result is amazing, especially as Cadwell is the toughest track on the calendar.”

Reaper squadron support for Aviators Oar-some, four-some and Eights events, while the women were victorious in the Open Quad. The Club also came third in the overall competition. Sqn Ldr Chris Nash, RAF Rowing Club spokesman, said: “Although everyone who took part contributed to this fantastic result, special mention should go to Ed Wilkinson, who won all three of his events. “We are now looking forward to mirroring this success against rowers from the Army and the Royal Navy at the Joint Services Regatta on September 26.”

Royal Air Force News Friday, September 20, 2019 P30

Follow us




Barry’s men signal intent with cool Hartpury win THE SERVICE’S Senior Representative football stars continued their winning streak against Hartpury College with a 1-0 win following on from last year’s 4-3 victory at Cosford. The win, thanks to a goal from the penalty spot from Cpl Dave Webb, was the perfect start for manager FS Kevin Barry and his team as they kick off their InterServices 2020 campaign. Barry, who fielded three debutant and two MDS players, in his starting 11, said: “This was a great opening fixture with lots of new faces around the squad for this season. We had a good three days together and the spirit in the camp was very high. I asked for commitment this season as always, it will make us stronger as a group and give us the opportunity to try new things. I was pleased with the game and in particular the clean sheet.” Early visitor

ALL HART: Action from last year’s fixture against Hartpury

pressure saw SAC Dan Gorman forced into an early save, but minutes later Sgt Mike Campbell struck the bar following a wellworked corner. The pressure was building, and debutant SAC Ashley Rowley then made a good run in to the box before being brought

down by a Hartpury defender. Webb stepped up and slotted the ball home. Debutant centre back SAC George Birbeck then limped off injured, and SAC Elliott Smith followed him minutes later. Both sides created chances after the break, with the RAF, playing on the

break, looking the most likely to net. Rowley created another chance for himself, before shooting just over. He was quickly added to the growing injury list, limping off to be replaced by another debutant SAC Josh Brown. Webb then went close, shooting

across the keeper from the edge of the box, before hitting a post, with Cpl Mike Campbell putting the rebound just wide. SAC Terran Moxon, Webb and Campbell all went close, with replacement keeper SAC Matt Cape pulling off a great reaction save.


Club shows class

NO HOLDS BARRED: Above, Cooper shows moves during one of the Akrotiri classes

THE FURTHER development of RAF Akrotiri Judo Club continued as senior British Judo Association Coach Dave Cooper visited to conduct Judo masterclasses and further develop engagement opportunities in Cyprus. RAF veteran Cooper, a 6th Dan Black Belt in the British Judo Association and Brown Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, a former RAF sergeant, conducted two well-attended masterclasses at the clu, from where he was invited to lead the Cypriot National Judo Squad training event. A class of 30 club members learned new tactics and techniques, with the sessions including standing and ground techniques that can be used within future competitions and training sessions. Cooper then led a national training camp in Nicosia, with the club also present along with more than 35 elite squad members from across the island learning. Cooper said: “It was an honour to coach the Cypriot national squad. To hold two successful masterclasses at Akrotiri, not only to enhance judo techniques and introduce new ideas, but also to improve coach education at this expanding grassroots club was an absolute privilege.” Anyone interested in Judo can visit Akrotiri Judo Club on Facebook or the British Judo Association website: britishjudo.org.uk. Chairman of the Club, Squadron Leader Steve Hemsley said: “Having such a senior member of the British Judo Association visit has been fantastic for the Club. The training session with the Cypriot National Judo Squad has given members the opportunity to practice techniques against different opponents. It has also been good to further develop our relationship with the Republic of Cyprus. In terms of the masterclasses, they have been great at enhancing the skills of our players, both young and older. We are grateful to Mr Cooper for taking the time to visit us and we look forward to further sessions in the future.”

Follow us


Royal Air Force News Friday, September 20, 2019 P31



Rampaging Buccaneers turn tables on Cosford

Lions mauled by Brize in raid on Clayton’s Cup A SWASHBUCKLING finish to the season saw Brize Norton Buccaneers gain revenge on Cosford Lions to take the Clayton’s Cup 38-28 at RAF Cranwell. Having won the 9s final in June, where a last-gasp try saw them defeat Brize, Lions – winners of all three of the previous Clayton’s Cup finals – went into the game as favourites. So the win was all the sweeter for RAF Senior Men’s manager and Brize team captain Chf Tech Garry Dunn. He said: “It has been a really pleasing season for RAF Brize Norton Buccaneers in the Cup. We have competed well in the 9s competitions and even though we didn’t manage to win any of them, the experience stood us in good stead for this final. “It was a tough game against a well-drilled Cosford, who had some real talent in their ranks. I thought our energy and attitude to defend for each other, coupled with an ability to manage the game at crucial points, laid the foundations for our ultimate success. It was really pleasing to see so many lads play throughout the summer, and then perform and taste victory in the final. “We will be looking forward excitedly to defend our title next year.”

Brize Norton Buccaneers Cosford Lions

38 28

hookers, Chf Tech Richie Craig (Buccaneers) and SAC(T) Ross Downs (Lions), exchanged tries, both converted, by SAC(T) Wood and Cpl Mike Lee respectively, to tie the scores 1212. Brize scored next, with a try from winger Cpl Andre Hardy, with Wood converting for what seemed like an 18-12 lead at the break, but the lions had other ideas. Lions speedster SAC Ryan Crowley raced the clock to touch down, with Lee converting. A tactical opening period saw the Buccaneers hoping to lay a platform for their halves Dunn and Sgt Evans and the Lions hoping to lay the platform for their speedsters Cpl Chris Ambo and Crowley. The Buccaneers got over the line, hooker Craig for

BRIZE FIGHTER: Battling Buccaneer shows strength ALL PHOTOS: SBS

his second of the game, with the conversion again added by Wood. Cosford once more came back, through Ambo going over, but, vitally, they missed the conversion. There was daylight for the first time, as captain Dunn went over for Brize, making it 28-22. With 10 minutes left Crowley went close for the Lions, before a try from Brize winger

Cpl Jon Bebb added to their advantage. Crowley was unbowed, this time touching down after getting round Wood at full back to make it 34-28 with five minutes left. Both sides tried to keep their cool and get that key score. The momentum then swung in Brize’s direction, as SAC Wayne Cooper secured the win.

It was a tough game against a well-drilled Cosford

Glorious weather and similar rugby made for a fitting Clayton’s Cup Final that demonstrated Inter-Station Rugby League at its finest. A tight and competitive start saw Brize open the scoring through centre Sgt Paul Bartlett, with SAC(T) Kieron Wood adding the extras for a 6-0 lead. The Lions’ response was almost immediate with a try from SAC Bradley Keegan, converted by Cpl Mike Lee, levelling DETERMINED: up the scores. In full flight On a day for

TRY TIME: Grounded

Follow us


Royal Air Force News Friday, September 20, 2019 P33



A golden age for RAF rugby union RUGBY UNION

McNally shows his peers the way l Continued from back page lucky to have the opportunity at the right time. There were others who possibly could have done it, instead of me, but I was lucky and have taken the chance with both hands.” The Service, which won the IS title in style during its anniversary year, was then on the end of two heavy beatings in its attempts to retain the title. The defeats still rankle with McNally, who said: “There have been a lot of debriefs over the last few months of our last season. It was the first time we went in as champions with this side, but I don’t think we prepared properly or dealt with that properly. We have to learn from that and build a new momentum, so it is not a shock for some players when they come up against the likes of the Army’s L/ Cpl Semesa Rokoduguni.” Of his new Gallagher Premiership club, Bath, McNally said: “I am settling in really well here, it’s been pretty tough, but we are looking to break the mould that Bath have been attached to. They have been finishing around midtable, and I feel great to be part of a team that want to move up from that.

GOLDEN BOY: Main, Cpl McNally talks to BFBS’ Cath Brazier, top right, in action for RAF, below right, McNally having been selected to train with England PHOTOS: SAC EMMA-LOUISE WADE/SBS/DAVID ROGERS RFU

“The training has seemed endless due to the season being put back because of the World Cup. We have about five weeks until we get to go over the whitewash for the start of the season, so it’s been tough, physically and mentally. “It’s great to see the military involved at this level, and it’s

something I’d love to see more of. There are a handful of players in the current Service set-up who would be able to adapt to this level, so I am delighted if people like myself and others like me are the catalyst that helps some get to cross that line. “For me, I am here now and have higher aims and the desire to

achieve those, which can only bode well for the Service game.” McNally was chosen to train with England by current boss Eddie Jones earlier this year, but has yet to make the full England squad. On the topic of playing for his country, he said: “People ask me about international rugby, but I can

only answer that by saying coming to Bath was my aim. I wanted to fit in here, this club, well just walk around the city to know what rugby means to it. I want titles, European rugby, and I really am just focusing on the journey Bath are on and my part in it. We will see what happens from there.”


It’s a Broome clean sweep DAVID BROOME Centre, Chepstow, was the venue and a storming win for the Service the result from the Royal Navy-held Equitation Championships. The win, in the third leg of the InterServices championship, saw the team of Sqn Ldr Sam Martin, on Cruise Hero, Sqn Ldr Caitlin Wroe, on Max Reserve, FS Keeley Martin, on Rachan Wind Dancer, and Sgt Kathy Froom, on Hamberlins Indigo, prove too hot to handle for the competition. Held in a Combined Training format, each rider performed dressage before completing a round of show jumping. The combined score gave the individual result, with the top three riders then making up the final tally. Undaunted by thunderstorms and gusty

winds, the RAF team started strongly taking the lead after the opening discipline. With the Army in close pursuit, all was still to play for going into the Show Jumping with all four riders needing to jump well. Martin and Wroe led off, jumping two of only three clear rounds in the competition, while FS Martin and Sgt Froom took just one fence down. The final tally saw the service take the event, with the Army second and RN third. To complete the day, Martin secured the overall Individual winner’s title. The Service now hosts the fourth and final leg of the 2019 Loriners IS competition, which will take place at the RAF Championships held at RAFC Cranwell later this month.

OLYMPIAN EFFORT: Sqn Ldr Caitlin Wroe in action at Olympia last year


Royal Air Force News Friday, September 20, 2019 P34

Follow us




Pairing Matt & Rich always in the Hunt ANGLING

Monster 200lb+ haul for winners Linear Fisheries THE BATTLE lines were drawn at Hardwick Smiths on the Linear Fisheries for the final league match of the season. The Oxford venue was the perfect setting for the season finale, as 12 pairs battled it out to earn those extra-valuable points. The eventual winners, FS Matt Hunt and WO Rich Cooke, were also among the first scorers on a day of intense action. The venue is known for being challenging, with depths down 30ft in places, large gravel bars and weed beds; meaning anglers would have to think carefully about bait presentation and tackle required. With the match underway it wasn’t long before the first flurry of action across the lake Chf Tech Matt Whittaker and Cpl Martin Emery got off the mark with a 22lb mirror, closely followed by Hunt and Cooke in Peg 10 with a middouble. Flt Lt James Vaughan and Cpl James Mitchell then hooked a 41lb

BIG FISH: Hunt and Cooke

catfish. It did not count, as not a carp, and Sgt Lee Hasbury and Cpl Carl Booth went into an early lead with 43lb 04oz in catches. Vaughan and Mitchell then

Sports Lottery September 6, 2019 1st Prize

Flt Lt Wilcock

Ticket no.



2nd Prize

Sqn Ldr Liron

Ticket no.



3rd Prize

Awaiting Contact

Ticket no.



4th Prize

SAC Hillsdon

Ticket no.



5th Prize

Awaiting Contact

Ticket no.



6th Prize

Sqn Ldr Walden

Ticket no.



7th Prize

Flt Lt Steele

Ticket no.



8th Prize

Flt Lt Love

Ticket no.



9th Prize

Sgt Spark

Ticket no.



10th Prize

Sgt Davey

Ticket no.



For further information visit rafcf.org.uk

bagged a carp weighing 21lb 04oz. Early evening saw Hunt and Cooke land two more fish, putting them on 67lb 09oz, with Liam Oldcroft and SAC Tom Jarvis right on their tails, landing two fish to sit on 30lb 12oz. What had been a relatively quiet night around the lake broke when Hunt and Cooke added to their tally with another fish at first light weighing 31lb 08oz, to put them into a commanding position over the rest of the field. A battle for second place was taking place with several pairs all in the mix. Another two fish in quick succession for Oldcroft and Jarvis, including a 28lb mirror, put them in the runners-up spot. Also chasing were the pairings of Vaughan and Mitchell on three fish and FS Reg Verney and Sgt Glenn Beardsall, on two. Hunt and Cooke hooked another three fish to total 181lb 08oz and Vaughan and Mitchell added another two, separating them by 9lb from Oldcroft and Jarvis into the final morning. Hunt and Cooke went over the 200lb barrier, with Sgt Killian Hallett and Cpl Lloyd Moore sliding into fourth.

THIRD: Flt Lt James Vaughan and Cpl James Mitchell totalled almost 83lb

Results from Hardwick Smiths 1st) FS Matt Hunt & WO Rich Cooke 2nd) Mr Liam Oldcroft & SAC Tom Jarvis 3rd) Flt Lt James Vaughan & Cpl James Mitchell

203lb 10oz 91lb 08oz 82lb 12oz

Follow us


Royal Air Force News Friday, September 20, 2019 P35


Email: sports@rafnews.co.uk Telephone: 01494 497563

Sport Brize take Cup prize

This is the one that ‘got away’

Comeback king Vickers roars to best ever results

l Sport P31

l Sport P34

l Sport P29

Moment of truth for RAF League


FROM FRONT to back, the Service’s rugby league stars are in perfect form to right the wrongs of last term in the upcoming Inter-Services championships. Unbeaten in four warm-up matches, scoring 176 points and conceding just 16, the side, this year captained by SAC Ben Mellor, are on target to take full advantage of their momentum. The charge begins with a two-week training camp at RAF Cranwell. Mellor said: “The Inter-Services is a great part of the calendar for rugby league. When else do you get chance to get one over on the Army and Royal Navy? I personally feel privileged to be selected as captain, knowing what the Inters means to the association and everyone involved.

“I feel as a team and a group of players we have had a great preparation this year. We’ve learned and improved, resulting in some pretty decent games and wins. “After the disappointment of last year, we want and need to turn things around. It will be a great chance to show people what we are actually capable of, hopefully we can do that in both fixtures.” An opening warm-up crushing of former Championship side Gloucester All Golds RFL, before humbling Leigh Miners

COME MELLOR HIGH WATER: RAF Rugby League captain SAC Ben Mellor (centre) is determined to drive his players forward to IS glory

48-4 in July, proved that head coach Chf Tech Garry Dunn’s attacking playing style was working. The team followed things up by winning the annual Wills Way fixture over Stanningley 28-6. A 32-0 win over North Wales Origin ended their brilliant run. Dunn (left) said: “We left the Army game last year extremely disappointed, the first team performance was way below the standard we set for ourselves.

“On review of last season, we identified a number of areas that needed to be improved upon and highlighted that our player pool was probably too shallow. This led to us as coaches re-evaluating our approach and trying to implement some different systems. We now have joint first team and A grade training camps, a fresh approach to on-field play and are continuing to grow our relationships with strong community clubs in the shape of Leigh Miners Rangers and Stanningley. “This year we feel that we are in a stronger place, we have 10 new

caps and are more experienced across the board, especially after the pain they felt last year – that will be a fantastic tool for this year’s challenge. “We are also really excited to have new faces in the playing roster. We have a detailed plan of what we want to achieve and are really confident with the attitude and endeavour shown in this group of players. There is a feeling that we are about to perform at the levels that we know we can. Hopefully, we will peak as a group at the right time for us and that will be for the two-week IS competition.”


McNally soaks up Bath Dan Abrahams Bath AS THE sun beat down on the back of Cpl Josh McNally, speaking at Farley House at the media launch of his new club’s season, Bath RFU, you could be forgiven for thinking this is a new dawn for both player and RAF rugby union. McNally, who has been a shining light for the Service, believes recent military milestones in the professional game provide a launch pad for even greater success. The airman, who signed from Championship side London Irish – where he played for two years, recording 44 appearances – to Bath at the close of last season said: “Six, seven years ago we changed the whole dynamic of RAF rugby union, we now have the girls winning the Inters, WO John Wilding (RAF women’s coach) appointed as women’s assistant coach at Saracens, myself here, this is the golden age of RAF rugby union. “The IS games are being played at major venues

such as The Stoop and Kingsholm. The women beat the Army for the first time last year and then for John (Wilding), who was a massive part of that win, to go to Saracens [see page 29 for full story]. It will be massive what he can bring back for the Service. “We have girls in the Championship and regulars at international level; it all increases the wealth of experience. We also have a good number in the UKAF squad going to Japan for the military World Cup. Everywhere you look, something major is happening. “There is always transition, but hopefully this will not just be the golden generation, it will be pushed forward to achieve greater things. We need the U23s to follow the path I trod and we need to find the new upcoming talent to push RAF rugby union on further and further and it can and will be done, with more of our players making professional grade rugby as well. “On a personal level, the RAF really took an interest when I was at Henley Hawks (2012-14). I was massively l Turn to page 33

CPL McNALLY: Keen to make a big impact at Bath


In partnership with

We’ve been where you’re going We believe the outdoors is something to be shared. We take every opportunity to discover new adventures and to bring you expert advice born from experience to help you love every moment spent outside. This is our outdoors and it’s yours too. Let’s go somewhere, together.

15% discount

for all Armed Forces personnel, veterans and cadets Full T&Cs apply. Not to be used in conjunction with any other offer or discount. Selected lines are exempt. Partnership discount is only valid for customers signed up to our free Explore More benefits scheme. Maximum 10% discount on bikes. Only valid upon production of your military identification in-store or use of code AF-MOD-4A online. Offer expires 31.03.20

Stores nationwide

cotswoldoutdoor.com Let’s go somewhere

Profile for RAF News

RAF News 20 Sept 2019  

RAF News 20 Sept 2019  

Profile for rafnews