RAF News 14 Jan 2022 Edition 1527

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The Forcesit' e favourer pap



Family fun with The Larkins Win!

Lundgren is back Win! in action

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Friday January 14 2022 No. 1527 70p


NEW YEAR HONOURS Forces teams on call to ease NHS

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NHS BOOST: RAF Gunners are among more than 2,000 military personnel supporting NHS staff across the UK PHOTO: SAC RYAN MURRAY

Ice Sports

Games bids

Simon Mander

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NHS AMBULANCE services and hospital trusts across Britain are to receive further military support as the number of staff off work soars due to Covid. The increase is on top of the 210 personnel deployed to London hospitals and covers the rest of the UK, with 150 extra Servicemen and women assisting the North West Ambulance Service. NWAS director of operations Ged Blezard said: “The ambulance service, along with the NHS as a whole, has been under extreme pressure for several months. “We are also experiencing high numbers of staff absences with around 25 per cent of the workforce currently affected. “We can make a request to the military for support and feel now is the right time to put the arrangements in place.” Last winter the military deployed to more than 4,600 non-life-threatening 999 incidents in the region and moved patients approximately 1,700 times. An MoD spokesperson said: “UK Defence is working hard to identify where it can most effectively assist other government departments and civil authorities. “The Armed Forces have personnel including specialist planners, medics and logisticians ready to assist with the response to the outbreak.” l Forces Covid latest – p5



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Cop that!

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Royal Air Force News Friday, January 14, 2022 P2

As he brought the drone down, she looked up at the camera”

I was told there was a full away kit somewhere, but when I looked it had gone away”

WO Ian Danks whose rescue dog Juno was saved by a search drone See page 9

Sgt Bobby McDowall struggles to equip new Police football sides at RAF Lossie See p26

It’s an iconic game and I used to enjoy playing it with my cousins when I was younger” Michelle Collins stars as Miss Scarlett in the stage version of Cluedo See RnR p4

Shawbury nets ATC upgrade ahead of UK Defence roll-out

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

SHAWBURY IS to get a major Air Traffic Control upgrade under a £1.5 billion programme to improve safety and radar capabilities across UK Defence. The RAF’s helicopter training station will be the first to switch to the new digital system dubbed Marshall ahead of a planned roll-out across 60 sites in the UK, Cyprus, Gibraltar and the Falkland Islands. The new kit designed by Aquila will deliver improved situational awareness with digital upgrades including touch screen communications, clearer radar pictures and improved flight information and positioning, a spokesman said. The air traffic system includes a £400 million investment in advanced surveillance radars and a wide range of sophisticated equipment such as tower systems, new surveillance and navigation aids and radios. Shawbury ATC officer Sqn Ldr Steve Leech said: “As the first unit

to transition to full operational been both a challenging and service, the last year has naturally exciting period of change. I am

proud of my team in turning it into an operational capability.”

This Week In History

Sports Editor: Daniel Abrahams Email: sports@rafnews.co.uk Tel: 07966 429755


North Korea mission

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ATC FIRST: Rotary training station Shawbury


88 SQN Sunderland captain Flt Lt Houtheusen is awarded the DFC for landing his aircraft just 200 yards off the enemy-held harbour at Wonsan, North Korean, to rescue a US Navy pilot who had ditched.

Malta attacks WELLINGTON BOMBERS operating from Malta attack the Italian fleet at Naples after the first blitz by German dive bombers against the Mediterranean island begins.


RAF Regiment combats IRA 2 SQN RAF Regt establishes a long-term presence at RAF Aldergrove to counter the growing threat from the IRA.

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

Royal Air Force News Friday, January 14, 2022 P3


Chocs away Cadets champion Emma sets sail on solo Atlantic world record row bid CADETS AMBASSADOR Wg Cdr Emma Wolstenholme is set to launch her daring bid to row solo across the Atlantic – powered by her favourite chocolate spread. The 39-year-old RAF veteran is hoping to set a new world record by covering the 3,000 nautical miles between Tenerife and Port St Charles in Barbados in less than 55 days in her 20ft boat, burning a massive 4,200 calories day. Intrepid ex-navigator Emma loaded up her specialised rowing boat on the ferry to Santander in Spain this week and will start her record attempt from Tenerife in the Canary Islands on January 25. She said: “Rowing at least 14 hours requires a massive calorie count. All of my supplies are freeze dried so I just add hot water, but I’m also taking a 3kg tub of Nutella which I can happily eat with a spoon to give me the energy I need.” The oarswoman will also be loading up her favourite tunes to help her cope with nearly two months of isolation, including the sound track from Pirates of the Caribbean. She said: “I have slow music for when the sea is scary and I need to be calm, fast dance tunes for when I need some motivation to get back on the oars, and soundtracks to movies like Pirates of the Caribbean and some musicals for when I’m bored.” Emma retired from the RAF three years ago and was appointed as an Ambassador with the Air Cadets last year, joining TV presenter Carol Vorderman in the high-profile role. A former Cadet herself, she launched her record attempt to promote the RAF youth organisation and has already hit her £80,000 fundraising target thanks to donations from aerospace giant Lockheed Martin UK, the Saxa Vord UK Space Port and Air Force supporters group the April Fools Club.

Emma’s Atlantic Challenge





The target: EMMA: Nutty about chocolate spread

The super-fit veteran had a low-key Christmas and New Year with her partner and has been following strict social distancing rules to minimise the risk of Covid derailing her plans. Emma is following the same route as the four-strong Atlantic Flyers team of RAF pilots currently riding high in the annual Talisker Whisky Challenge – billed as the world’s toughest rowing event. She added: “I went through nav training with one of the guys on the support team and they inspired me to do this. If I hadn’t seen their social media posts I wouldn’t even know about ocean rowing. It’s great to see them doing so well.” Emma credits the RAF Cadets

with kick-starting her high-flying career in the military and hopes her fundraising voyage will help inspire other youngsters. She said: “Since becoming an Honorary Ambassador I have been the guest speaker at a couple of events and I’m so impressed by the dedication of the adult volunteers and everything they do to support the next generation. “It has been a pleasure getting to meet so many Cadets and showing them the boat. They are such a great bunch of polite, eloquent and engaging young people. I have also conducted a few online science and technology events talking about the design of an ocean rowing boat, the stability and communications and

3,000 nautical miles Under 56 days navigation systems.” Once she arrives in Santander, Emma will travel by ferry from Cadiz in Southern Spain to Tenerife, off the West Africa coast. After checking her communications, navigation and water systems she will notify the Ocean Rowing Society – which will adjudicate her record attempt – and set off on January 25. She aims to arrive in Port St Charles on March 21 after 55 days at sea. Emma added: “Hopefully my parents will be there to greet me and I think there might be a few locals who will watch my final row in to Port St Charles. “A few friends have said they will try to get across to see me, but it all

INSPIRATION: RAF Atlantic Flyers

depends on the timings and I can’t predict exactly when I’m going to get there, so flights will have to be booked last-minute.” l Follow Emma at facebook.com/ soloatlanticrow

Royal Air Force News Friday, January 14, 2022 P5

News News Bulletin

Boeing lands £460m frontline supply deal Simon Mander MILITARY OPERATIONS worldwide will be supported under a new five-year £460 million contract with Boeing Defence UK to improve logistics from the warehouse to the frontline. The deal is expected to deliver £54m in efficiency savings by giving all three Services access to a single technology-enabled inventory system covering everything from washers and bolts to replacement parts for nuclear missiles.

CBE HONOUR: Wg Cdr Kirsty Bushell

Vet on song for a gong

FORCES WELFARE chief and RAF veteran Kirsty Bushell has been awarded a CBE for her work with charity SSAFA and the Military Wives Choir. Wg Cdr Bushell served in the Air Force for 24 years before joining the group, which campaigns for serving and retired military personnel. She was also involved in setting up the Military Wives Choir Foundation following the success of the Forces singing sensation launched by TV choirmaster Gareth Malone. Kirsty, who is the charity’s vice-chairwoman, said: “I am hugely privileged to accept this honour as it recognises the great organisation and SSAFA’s thousands of supporters, volunteers, staff and beneficiaries, and our role at the heart of the Armed Forces Malone community.” COACH: Gareth

MoD defends Reaper strike THE MOD has hit back at claims of a government-targeted killing policy after an RAF Reaper carried out a Hellfire missile strike on a known terrorist in northern Syria. The claims were made by human rights group Reprieve following publication of details of the operation near the city of Ras al-Ayn in October. The attack, on arms dealer Abu Hamza al-Shuhail, is reported to have been conducted in conjunction with Turkey. An RAF spokesperson said: “The UK has a robust target clearance process, operates under strict rules of engagement, and is fully compliant with international law. The UK publishes regular updates on air strikes to ensure full transparency.”

Defence Procurement Minister Jeremy Quin said: “This contract helps ensure our Armed Forces can rapidly deploy personnel and equipment on operations at home and abroad whenever required.” Director Support Transformation at UK Strategic Command, Air Vice Marshal Richard Hill, said: “Securing this contract will provide the means to deliver and modernise Logistic Information Systems. This in turn will enable our defence transformation programme by integrating with industry partners.”

C-17: Transporter is vital for RAF deployments around the world

Forces join capital Covid battle Simon Mander HUNDREDS OF military personnel have been deployed to London hospitals to support the NHS as Covid cases continue to rise sharply. A total of 210 members of the Armed Forces including 40 medics and 160 on general duties will plug staff shortages caused by the pandemic. The three-week operation involves 40 teams of five personnel distributed to target areas where the need is greatest. Military medics will assist NHS staff with clinical care while others will help maintain stocks, check in patients on arrival, move oxygen around, help patients contact their families and assist at mealtimes. Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: “The men and women of our Armed Forces are once again stepping up to support their dedicated colleagues in the NHS, as they work hand-in-hand to protect the nation from Covid-19. “They have shown their worth time and again throughout this pandemic, whether driving ambulances, administering vaccines or supporting patients in hospital and they should be proud of their contribution to this truly national effort.” Defence is also providing 32 military co-responders to work alongside South Central Ambulance Service paramedics until the end of March. Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said: “Our brilliant Armed Forces have supported the country throughout the pandemic, bolstering the teams at testing sites, vaccination centres and hospitals. “Once again, they are stepping up to assist NHS workers who are working round the clock across the capital, helping the health service

CAPITAL COVID SURGE: London Ambulance teams face a huge increase in calls as Covid cases continue to rise

through this difficult winter period where the need is greatest. This extra help is in addition to the 1,800 military personnel already deployed on counter-Covid duties across the UK. They include 313 backing up the Welsh Ambulance Service NHS Trust and 96 supporting the Scottish Ambulance Service. More than 1,000 Service personnel have assisted the vaccine booster programme, including 730

in England, 221 in Scotland and 98 in Wales. Standing Joint Command Chief of Staff, Air Commodore Anthony Lyle, said: “This is the NHS’s lead and we will go to wherever they need us to support them.” He added the deployment will allow the hospital staff to focus on specialist practices and take advantage of military planning and logistical expertise. The move is the first deployment

to hospitals in England during the current wave of the pandemic. The last time military medics went on the wards was in early 2021. Air Cdre Lyle said: “We can’t really forecast too far ahead, we know that it’s particularly difficult in London at the minute but we are aware that this is impacting all across the United Kingdom and potentially there could be further military support required in other areas.”

Royal Air Force News Friday, January 14, 2022 P7

News News Bulletin

SECURITY: UK-developed technology tested by NATO defence chiefs

Drone busters

NATO IS trialling new Britishbuilt technology to combat the threat posed to military operations by the misuse of drones. The Alliance is testing Sapient software, developed by the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, that helps disrupt flights by rogue unmanned air systems. Recent tests have led many suppliers to adopt the system, which is already the MoD standard for counter-UAS technology.

Jim on guard VETERAN SQN LDR James Cowan (above) has been appointed a ceremonial bodyguard to the Mayor of Durham. The retired airman, who served for more than 41 years, will join the ceremonial team which dates back to 1602 and carries Swiss-designed ceremonial knives, like the Vatican’s Swiss Guard.

Tribute to BoB hero who saved Royals Campaign to honour WWII pilot who rammed Nazi crew targeting Buckingham Palace Simon Mander A MEMORIAL to a Battle of Britain pilot famous for saving Buckingham Palace from being bombed by ramming a German aircraft with his Hurricane has been unveiled. Sgt Ray Holmes was hailed a national hero after his encounter with a Dornier Do 17 over central London on September 15, 1940 after he had used up all his ammunition attacking two other enemy aircraft. Now SAC Andy Blezard, a member of the same unit – 504 Sqn now based at Wittering – has raised £6,000 for a plaque to mark the exploit 70 years ago which he hopes to erect on Buckingham Palace Road close to where Holmes crashed. The RAF chef, who served 22 years as a regular, said: “I joined the squadron four years ago and was immediately taken with the fantastic story of Sgt Holmes. “Two years ago I set myself a project to commemorate this iconic historical event by raising money for a plaque to be mounted above the crash site.” His campaign was boosted when Holmes’ daughter Jill Bone contacted him offering to help. The Bern cast plaque was unveiled by her at a recent squadron

DARING: Artist’s impression of Sgt Holmes’ attack

NATIONAL HERO: The plaque dedicated to Sgt Ray Holmes campaigners hope will mark the crash site; above, organisers SAC Blezard and Sgt Holmes’ daughter Jill Bone PILOT: Sgt Holmes

function at the Cambridgeshire base in front of her son David and his son Charlie, representing three generations of the Holmes family. SAC Blezard said: “The evening Jill unveiled the plaque was a truly emotional event. The plaque will be

mounted on the wall of the building at the pedestrian crossing where Ray’s aircraft is still interred.” Sgt Holmes was commissioned shortly after his exploit and became the King’s Messenger until he was posted to Benson as a high-altitude

reconnaissance pilot. In that role he took many famous pictures of targets attacked by Bomber Command including photographs used to brief the crews of 617 Sqn before the Dambusters raid.

UK pledge for 20,000 Afghans who fled Kabul Simon Mander AFGHANS RESCUED by the RAF in the biggest emergency evacuation in recent history are to get help from a resettlement scheme. More than 15,000 people were plucked to safety by Brize Nortonbased transport aircraft as part of Operation Pitting – the biggest airlift since the Berlin blockade in 1948. Some of them, including women’s rights activists, journalists, and prosecutors, will be the first to be resettled under the Afghan citizens resettlement scheme and granted indefinite leave to remain in the UK, with rights to work and study. Up to 20,000 people are expected

to benefit from the programme that and stood up for democracy, builds on the relocation of British women’s rights, freedom of speech nationals and those who supported and the rule of law, extremely the UK’s Armed Forces through the vulnerable women and girls and Afghan Relocation and Assistance minority groups. Policy. All settlers will be Afghan Resettlement subjected to strict Minister Victoria security checks. Atkins said: “The Local authorities scheme provides a safe have been given and legal way for the £20,520 per person most vulnerable and over three years to at risk people from support refugees and Afghanistan to come will get additional to the UK and rebuild funding for children their lives, as part of the n entering education and SAFE: Brize Norto New Plan for Immigration.” healthcare. It will prioritise those who have So far, more than 300 councils assisted UK efforts in Afghanistan have pledged support.

KABUL CHAOS: Families fleeing Taliban reprisals at Karzai airport

Royal Air Force News Friday, January 14, 2022 P9


Drone home Missing hound Juno is reunited with heartbroken RAF family after being spotted by Search and Rescue UAV Simon Mander A SEARCH and rescue dog belonging to an RAF engineer that vanished on a family walk has been reunited with her owners after being tracked by a drone. Female German shorthaired pointer Juno, who is trained to help police find vulnerable people, sparked a massive hunt herself after disappearing into a bed of tall reeds in Fritton Woods, near Great Yarmouth. “I saw her go in, whistled and called her, but she never came back which was very unusual as she’s incredibly obedient being a trained search and rescue dog,” said owner Warrant Officer Ian Danks. After scouring the area himself on December 21, he was joined by fellow members of the Norfolk and Suffolk search and rescue team the next day using a drone equipped with a thermal imaging camera. As news of the drama went nationwide they were joined by volunteers from Kent, Cambridgeshire and Buckinghamshire.

“After 24 hours social media was going absolutely crazy with appeals to help find Juno,” said WO Danks. “I was contacted by both the BBC and ITV and spent Christmas Day monitoring media feeds hoping for a sighting of her.” After putting up posters asking for help at local businesses and appearing on local news bulletins on Boxing Day, WO Danks was joined by 85 searchers and a Red Cross support vehicle on December 27. “She was found by Paul Wesley from Suffolk Search and Rescue who was flying his drone for the first time over an area I’d already searched twice,” said WO Danks. “He spotted Juno’s hi-vis jacket and, as he brought the drone down, she looked up at the camera.” A Search and Rescue boat picked her up from the small island on which she was found. Juno lost 5kgs in weight during her almost six-day ordeal. It remains a

RETRIEVERS: Juno is brought ashore after six-day ordeal

complete mystery how she got to the island but WO Danks’ two daughters Bella, 11, and nine-yearold Rosalyn were delighted to have her home. “They both burst into tears when we got her back,” he said. “Like many other families, we have been affected by Covid and had been looking forward to a quiet family Christmas.” But the drama won’t stop him and Juno continuing to volunteer for the Norfolk branch of the National Search and Rescue Dog Association. “I feel incredibly lucky to be able to work for the charity which is only possible because of the support I get from Honington station and the Force Protection Force,” he said.


Valkyries land Lakenheath upgrade Simon Mander

RAF HISTORY: Daughter Jacqueline Assheton in her father’s wartime office. Inset left, with Air Marshal Andy Turner PHOTOS: SAC RYAN MURRAY

Bomber mastermind remembered Staff Reporter RELATIVES OF Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur ‘Bomber’ Harris visited his preserved wartime office that has now been converted into a small museum commemorating his RAF career. Grandson Thomas Assheton and daughter Jacqueline Assheton joined Deputy Commander Air Marshal Andrew Turner in the historic room at Air Command where Harris initiated and directed mass raids on Nazi Germany.

Harris became commanderin-chief of Bomber Command in February 1942 and developed saturation bombing by clouds of bombers over individual cities that completely demolished civilian quarters. Conducted in tandem with American precision attacks on specific military and industrial sites it was intended to break the will and ability of the German people to continue the war. He retired in September 1945 and the following year was made Marshal of the RAF.

THE ARRIVAL of the US Air Force’s first four European based F-35As has generated a multi-million-pound upgrade of RAF Lakenheath. It’s estimated that around £83 million worth of investment will be generated by work to upgrade aircraft aprons and build maintenance hangars, training and storage areas. The Suffolk base, already home of the USAF’s 48th Fighter Wing, will become the first permanent international site for two squadrons of American F-35As as well as its existing F-15s. The 495th Fighter Squadron, nicknamed ‘Valkyries’ was reactivated in October and will have 60 personnel. The Defence Infrastructure Organisation awarded contracts for the upgrade to a joint venture of Kier and VolkerFitzpatrick in November 2018, with construction beginning in July 2019 employing between 500 and 600 people daily. DIO’s programme director Steve Rix said: “The arrival of the first US F-35 at RAF Lakenheath is an exciting point for all involved at

the base. This is a very large and complex programme, which has continued construction through Covid-19, so it’s great to see this very visible sign of progress. “We are seeing the first glimpse of the future of RAF Lakenheath when this project is complete and all of the F-35s are here. “However, our job is not yet done, and we look forward to continuing

to work with our American partners on this important project.” Kier Construction managing director James Hindes said: “We’re delighted to deliver the crucial infrastructure to create the first international base for the F-35 and to have taken the opportunity to build a lasting legacy through actively supporting the local economy.”

Royal Air Force News Friday, January 14, 2022 P13


Doha drills lift UK Qatar deal Staff Reporter

TYPHOONS SIGNED off after the latest joint combat exercises in the Gulf with a flypast over the Qatari capital Doha. The 12 Sqn aircraft were joined in the air by Qatar Emiri Air Force Rafale jets, to celebrate 50 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries. Qatar is due to take delivery of the first of an order of 24 Typhoons from the UK later this year under a deal which includes nine Hawk T2 fast jet trainers and a UK-based pilot training programme. Stood up in 2018, 12 Sqn is the first joint unit to be established since World War II to train Qatari fast jet pilots. More than 120 RAF personnel took part in two air combat and refuelling exercises in the Gulf state in December. 12 Sqn Commanding Officer, Wg Cdr Chris Wright, said: ‘These exercises have allowed the joint squadron to focus more closely on the challenges that lie ahead for our deployment later this year.

JOINT TRAINING: UK and Qatari engineers

“We are honing our own skills and those of the wider Qatari and UK Armed Forces, in fantastic weather conditions that would certainly not be available in the UK.”


Tempest powers up as Japan joins 6th-gen fighter bid

Tributes paid to ‘proud’ RAF dad AIR FORCE chiefs have paid tribute to 70 Sqn engineer Acting Sgt Nathan Tiller who died during a deployment to Akrotiri with 903 Expeditionary Air Wing. A spokesman for the RAF said the Brize Norton-based 37-year-old technician died of natural causes at Limassol in Cyprus last month. Paying tribute to A/Sgt Tiller, 903 EAW commander Wg Cdr Dutch Holland said: “Nathan displayed excellent leadership, professionalism and technical expertise. A highly talented and experienced engineer, he will be missed by all who had the privilege to serve alongside him.” A/Sgt Tiller joined the RAF in 2010 and was posted to Odiham as a first line avionics engineer on 18 and 27 Sqn, later deploying to Afghanistan on Operation Herrick. Described as a natural leader, he graduated from DCAE at Cosford and was posted to Benson, deploying to Kabul with the Puma detachment on Operation Toral, before his final move to 70 Sqn at Brize Norton. RAF Brize Norton Air Wg Cdr, Gp Capt Simon Blackwell added: “He was a true gentleman and a great friend to many and his passing

TALENTED NATURAL LEADER: A/Sgt Nathan Tiller with his son Elijah

leaves a void in the lives of those left behind. Our condolences go to his partner Kate, their son Elijah and his family and friends.” Brize Station Commander Gp Capt Emily Flynn said: “Acting Sgt Nathan Tiller was a talented engineer and stalwart member of 70 Sqn. His passing will be felt widely by all those at Brize Norton who knew him, and the tributes paid by his family and colleagues speak volumes of his contribution to his squadron and the Royal Air Force.”

Staff Reporter BRITAIN AND Japan have announced plans to develop a future fighter aircraft engine demonstrator and agreed to explore further combat air technologies. Work on the project will start early next year after a UK pledge to invest £30 million in planning, digital designs and innovative manufacturing developments. A further £200 million of UK funding is expected to go towards developing a full-scale demonstrator

power system, supporting jobs at Rolls-Royce’s Filton facility in Bristol. Britain is investing more than £2 billion in national and international programmes to design a worldleading Future Combat Air System, while Japan is looking to develop a future fighter with its F-X programme to replace its F-2 aircraft. The joint project will be led by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) and IHI in Japan, and Rolls-Royce and BAE Systems in the UK. UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: “Strengthening our

partnerships in the Indo-Pacific is a strategic priority and this commitment with Japan, one of our closest security partners in Asia, is a clear example of that. “Designing a brand new combat air system with a fighter aircraft at its heart is a highly ambitious project so working with like-minded nations is vital. “Building on the technological and industrial strengths of our two countries, we will be exploring a wideranging partnership across nextgeneration combat air technologies.”

Royal Air Force News Friday, January 14, 2022 P14


New Year Honours 2022 – Military Division



AS KNIGHT COMMANDER Air Marshal G. M. D. Mayhew CBE AS COMPANION Air Vice-Marshal C. S. Walton PROMOTIONS IN AND APPOINTMENTS TO THE MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MOST EXCELLENT ORDER OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE AS DAME COMMANDER Air Marshal S. C. Gray CB OBE AS COMMANDERS Gp Capt J. B. Crawford OBE Gp Capt G. P. Hellard AS OFFICERS Gp Capt N. C. J. Brittain Gp Capt W. E. Dole Gp Capt S. Gee Gp Capt R. D. Grimshaw Wg Cdr D. F. O. Holland Wg Cdr (now Gp Capt) S. C. Moorehead Wg Cdr P. L. Morrell AS MEMBERS Sqn Ldr M. Discombe AFC Sqn Ldr (now Wg Cdr) N. Foster Sqn Ldr A. Hemlin Sqn Ldr K. A. Lee Sqn Ldr T. M. Rowlands Flt Lt S. M. Hewer Flt Lt J. P. O’Rourke MAcr J. Fowler WO 2 M. R. Price British Army Chf Tech L. O. Betts Sgt (now Flt Sgt) C. Barker Cpl C. S. Rimmer SAC S. C. Brownlee AS A MEMBER OF THE ROYAL RED CROSS, FIRST CLASS Gp Capt F. M. Bradley

MERITORIOUS SERVICE MEDAL WO P. Bass WO P. Bath WO M. Chapman WO A. L. Creeth WO A. J. Culley WO M. R. Fraser WO L. B. Gascoigne-Harding WO A. Grant MAcr P. Granycome WO J. E. Johnson WO T. L. Kenworthy MAcr A. C. Lyes WO L. A. Mogford-Banks WO C. D. Proctor WO S. Y. Sibley MAcr I. M. Strawson WO A. Talbot WO J. G. Wilding WO 2 N. A. Baber-Hall British Army Flt Sgt (now Acting WO) R. E. Davies Flt Sgt (now Acting WO) C. M. Davison Flt Sgt (now WO) G. J. Elliott Flt Sgt M. Clifford Flt Sgt W. J. Conabeare Flt Sgt R. M. Thomas Flt Sgt G. P. Trainor Flt Sgt D. Wilkinson Sgt A. R. Quinlan

CHIEF OF THE AIR STAFF COMMENDATIONS Sqn Ldr (now Wg Cdr) T. W. Robbins Sqn Ldr N. J. Castle Sqn Ldr R. Peppiatt Sqn Ldr R. A. Perry Sqn Ldr V. Woodhead Flt Lt M. C. Clarke Flt Lt S. S. Todd WO M. Firth Flt Sgt (now Acting WO) L. Potter Flt Sgt N. F. Southey SAC (T) (now Acting Cpl) N. T. C. Jones Mr G. P. Cheshire


KCB: Air Mshl Gerry Mayhew

COVID FIGHT: RAF personnel continue to help UK efforts to control coronavirus pandemic

DEPUTY COMMANDER CAPABILITY AND AIR MEMBER FOR PERSONNEL AND CAPABILITY COMMENDATIONS Sqn Ldr K. G. Hughesman WO A. L. Semmence TEAM COMMENDATIONS l SkyGuardian To the UK 2021 l Defence and Security Equipment International Delivery Team l Programme HYDRA Team DEPUTY COMMANDER OPERATIONS AND AIR MEMBER FOR OPERATIONS COMMENDATIONS Lt Col K. Hussey US Space Force Lt Col A. Mellman US Marine Corps Lt Cdr D. P. Breward Royal Navy Sqn Ldr (now Wg Cdr) M. P. Clarkson Sqn Ldr G. F. Cowen Sqn Ldr T. W. Forster Lt Cdr I. J. E. Houlston Royal Navy Sqn Ldr E. R. S. Jones Sqn Ldr A. W. Robson Lt Cdr L. Sanders Royal Navy Sqn Ldr M. Williams Flt Lt K. M. Davies Flt Lt C. J. Newnham Flt Lt J. K. O’Doherty Flt Lt K. E. Wright RAAF WO G. Dallamore Sgt D. C. Clarke Sgt R. Williams Cpl T. A. Sharp

TEAM COMMENDATIONS l Number 71 (Inspection & Repair) Squadron Non-destructive Testing Technical Support l Royal Air Force Lossiemouth – Operation Monoptic Logistics Support Team l RAF St Mawgan G7 Summit Operation Trelawny l 651 Squadron Aircraft Maintenance Platoon l 5001 Squadron Expeditionary Airfield Facilities Flight

DBE: Air Mshl Sue Gray

AIR OFFICER COMMANDING NUMBER 1 GROUP COMMENDATIONS Sqn Ldr (now Wg Cdr) A. N. Watson Sqn Ldr S. P. J. Allen Sqn Ldr D. W. Godwin Sqn Ldr J. M. Porteous Sqn Ldr L. F. Rimmer Sqn Ldr P. J. Smith Sqn Ldr C. C. Thomas Lt Cdr J. Wylie Royal Navy Lt J. E. W. Balcam Royal Navy Flt Lt J. Clarke RAAF Fg Off A. E. Magee WO K. Mathison WO R. O. Sanders Flt Sgt (now Acting WO) S. A. Gates Flt Sgt N. A. Batey Flt Sgt P. S. Elderkin Flt Sgt B. George Flt Sgt E. Harrison-Beckett Flt Sgt N. Nolan Acting Flt Sgt D. W. Gordon MBE Chf Tech D. V. Graham Chf Tech R. Heaney Sgt (now Chf Tech) A. S. Wheeler Sgt N. Hayton-Williams Sgt S. J. M. Rolfe PO D. Temperton Royal Navy Sgt M. J. Scott BEM Cpl L. J. Jefferies LH K. D. Joseph Royal Navy Cpl P. G. McKinlay Cpl S. L. Purdy Cpl O. J. Scullion Cpl L. A. Whittaker SAC N. C. Fuller SAC J. D. Simpson Mrs D. Bird Mrs V. Bye Mrs L-A. Kloed Dr C. Millns

Royal Air Force News Friday, January 14, 2022 P15

OR THEIR DUTY TEAM COMMENDATIONS l Battle of Britain Memorial Flt Engineering Support Cell l RAF Coningsby Science Technology Engineering and Maths Committee l RAF Coningsby Lateral Flow Device Testing Team l Human Resources Executive Team, RAF Lossiemouth l Poseidon Line Squadron Scheduled Maintenance l RAF Lossiemouth Explosive Storage Area Team l Rivet Joint Flt, 54 Signals Unit l 14 Squadron Engineering Team l Number 17 Test & Evaluation Squadron Trial Churchill Fit 6 Team l Parachuting Launch Acceptability Region Trials Team AIR OFFICER COMMANDING NUMBER 2 GROUP COMMENDATIONS Wg Cdr I. K. Evans Sqn Ldr (now Wg Cdr) M. E. Williamson Sqn Ldr B. J. Ervine Sqn Ldr J. R. McKay Sqn Ldr D. L. Ryllo Flt Lt S. F. Bethell Flt Lt F. M. Maybury Flt Lt M. S. Shoesmith WO R. W. Dean WO T. Isherwood Flt Sgt (now Acting WO) C. J. Slator Flt Sgt P. D. Donaldson Flt Sgt P. R. Welsh Sgt (now Acting Flt Sgt) S. R. Ball Sgt (now Acting Flt Sgt) M. Bevan Sgt (now Acting Flt Sgt) B. D. Key Sgt (now Flt Sgt) S. K. Sparkes Acting Chf Tech (now Sgt) M. V. Matthias Acting Chf Tech M. J. Tuach Sgt C. Baccino Sgt D. M. N. Bell Sgt P. M. J. Butterfield Sgt M. L. Coupar Sgt D. I. Kennedy Sgt D. J. Shead Sgt J. C. M. Taylor Sgt R. J. Taylor Sgt D. J. Wright Cpl (now Acting Sgt) S. J. Rodgers Cpl (now Acting Sgt) B. I. Sutherland Cpl C. P. R. Gager Cpl L. E. Hogarth Cpl J. J. Holmes Cpl R. A. Keightley Cpl J. M. Leyland Acting Cpl (now Lance Cpl) A. W. Fenn Mr G. Dick Mr D. Keyes Mr D. G. Norman Mrs S. Pollard TEAM COMMENDATIONS l 90 Signals Unit Human Resource Modernisation Application Development Team l 90 Signals Unit Operation Toral Detachment l Battlespace Management Standards & Evaluation (STANEVAL) l Battlespace Management Force ASACS ELS – CRC Engineering Flt l Air Mobility Operations Centre l Number 2 Group Air Mobility Force Dangerous Goods Training Team

l RAF Brize Norton

Information Exploitation Team l Civil Airhead Duties l Aviation Security Flt, Number 7 RAF Police and Security Squadron l 1 Air Mobility Wing’s Passenger Team

AIR OFFICER COMMANDING NUMBER 11 GROUP COMMENDATIONS Sqn Ldr R. G. Causer Sqn Ldr T. Creasey Flt Lt H. P. A. Else Cpl B. Parker AIR OFFICER COMMANDING NUMBER 22 GROUP COMMENDATIONS Sqn Ldr C. Sharp Lt Cdr (now Cdr) C. SloanMurphy Royal Navy Sqn Ldr M. R. Whitfield Sqn Ldr P. F. Wylde Flt Lt L. D. Bexon Flt Lt C. A. J. Coomber Flt Lt H. E. Clubb Flt Lt D. J. Goodman-Mathews Lt T. J. Griffin Royal Navy Capt S. W. Mallison British Army Flt Lt L. N. Minnikin Flt Lt R. D. Scothern WO C. A. Blunden WO D. J. Iliffe WO A. P. Walters Flt Sgt M. J. Barrow Flt Sgt C. F. Gaffney Flt Sgt R. Gormley Flt Sgt W. P. Hobster Flt Sgt J. G. Stroud Acting Flt Sgt C. L. Sandells Staff Sgt C. Stanton British Army Sgt G. J. Downey Cpl G. R. Williams Ms A. Elvins Miss N. Mayger

TEAM COMMENDATION Air Resources and Plans

CHIEF OF THE STAFF (PERSONNEL) AND AIR SECRETARY COMMENDATIONS Sgt K. A. Hitchens Cpl J. Moran Cpl C. Rankin Miss D. Reid Mrs P. Robinson-Lobbett

Mr P. McTeague Mr R. Percy Mrs A. Prince TEAM COMMENDATIONS

l Project Occasio (Redesign of

Headquarters Number 22 Group floorplate) l Yorkshire Universities Air Squadron Relocation Team RAF OFFICER TRAINING ACADEMY EXERCISE ASTRA EDGE TEAM l Number 45 Squadron Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Training Team l Multi-Engine Pilot Training Outsource Team l Defence School of Aeronautical Engineering Quality Assurance and Continuous Improvement Team l Number 4 School of Technical Training Vehicle Inspection Improvement Team l Royal Navy Air Engineering and Survival School LEARN Delivery Team l Aerospace Battle Management Training Squadron, Surveillance Training Flt l RAF Valley Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Information Squadron ASSISTANT CHIEF OF THE AIR STAFF (PLANS) COMMENDATIONS Wg Cdr D. K. Dawson Mr S. Rafferty

TEAM COMMENDATION RAF Recruiting and Selection – Support to Army Selection Test Trial CHIEF OF THE STAFF (SUPPORT) COMMENDATIONS Flt Lt R. G. Carter Flt Lt G. P. Curtis Flt Sgt (now Acting WO) W. Nicolson TEAM COMMENDATION Armament and Survival Equipment Role Office CHAPLAIN-IN-CHIEF (RAF) COMMENDATION Mr S. Rae COMMANDER UNITED KINGDOM SPACE COMMAND COMMENDATIONS Sqn Ldr M. Platt Mr G. Lindoe AIR DIRECTOR OF RESOURCES COMMENDATIONS Mrs N. Evans Miss M. Sage

CHIEF OF THE GENERAL STAFF COMMENDATIONS Staff Sgt (now WO 2) D. R. Fothergill Staff Sgt L. Milne STANDING JOINT COMMANDER (UK) COMMENDATIONS Sqn Ldr S. Jessup COMMANDER JOINT HELICOPTER COMMAND COMMENDATIONS Sqn Ldr A. G. Parker Flt Lt R. F. Charles Fg Off C. A. Smith Sgt J. A. Bracewell Sgt C. J. M. Maisey Sgt S. P. Myers-Evans Sgt N. R. Pickup Sgt J. A. Weeks Cpl S. M. Saunders Cpl M. K. Wakefield Acting Cpl D. Lee-Davis SAC (now Acting Cpl) S. R. Sanderson SAC Z. K. Hoursoglou Ms W. Tomlinson

AIR OFFICER COMMANDING NUMBER 22 GROUP COMMENDATIONS – RAF AIR CADETS Sqn Ldr J. J. Botting Sqn Ldr A. J. Jones Sqn Ldr R. K. Patel Flt Lt (now Sqn Ldr) D. P. McGlynn WO C. Paton Flt Sgt E. Yucelt Sgt N. L. Anderson Mrs S. Elson

CHIEF OF THE STAFF (CAPABILITY) COMMENDATIONS Wg Cdr P. F. English Wg Cdr R. J. Wilson Flt Lt (now Sqn Ldr) H. G. Griffiths

MBE: Sqn Ldr Mark Discombe

COMMANDER UK STRATEGIC COMMAND COMMENDATIONS Sqn Ldr A. M. Avery Sqn Ldr S. N. Kirk Sqn Ldr J. Marlowe Flt Lt M. Kinton Flt Sgt N. J. Dehavilan

TEAM COMMENDATIONS l Force Protection Training Flt – Base Support Wing, RAF Benson l Logistics (Suppliers) Junior Ranks – Mobility Support Section, RAF Odiham


TEAM COMMENDATION Air Capability Portfolio Office – Centre of Excellence

VICE CHIEF OF DEFENCE STAFF COMMENDATIONS Gp Capt R. S. Norris Wg Cdr T. I. Monk Wg Cdr S. C. Willis Cdr (now Sqn Ldr) J. M. F. Worthington Sqn Ldr D. P. Smith

MBE: Sports star SAC Shona Brownlee

TEAM COMMENDATION 645 VGS Aerospace Ground School Team

Royal Air Force News Friday, January 14, 2022 P17



Silva lining as 84 new officers graduate from RAF Cranwell

INSPECTION: RAF Police Sergeant makes sure graduates pass muster

Cranwell EIGHTY FOUR new officers recently graduated from RAF College Cranwell. Assistant Chief of the Air Staff (Plans), Air Vice Marshal Colin Da’Silva was the Reviewing Officer at the graduation of The Queen’s Squadron; consisting of officers from Modular Initial Officer Training Course Number 8, Specialist Officer Initial Training Course Number 6 and Reserve Officer Initial Training Course Number 67. AVM Da’Silva said: “It was a great honour to be the Reviewing Officer for No 8 Modular Initial Officer Training Course, No 6 Specialist Officer Initial Training Course and No 67 Reserve Officer Initial Training Course and to see them celebrate the result of their hard work. “I was truly impressed by the high standards of dress and drill displayed on the parade and I was uplifted by their collective sense of enthusiasm and optimism for the future. “The graduating officers have coped well with the additional challenges of training in a Covidsafe environment and shown a level of flexibility and resolve that shows that Cranwell continues to attract, train and graduate the officers that we need. “May they move forward in their careers with the cheerfulness, curiosity and resolve that they showed today. I wish them all the very best of luck in their careers.”

Royal Air Force News Friday, January 14, 2022 P19


Space of change

FOR MOST people, mention space and what usually comes to mind are astronauts, robotic spacecraft exploring the solar system and speculation about the existence of life and intelligence elsewhere in the Universe. But there is far more to it – and many people are unaware of just how critical space science and capabilities are to our everyday way of life. Prince William recently asked why we are investing in space with so many environmental challenges here on Earth, here is my answer to him, and perhaps many of you. For me, space science has three areas, only two of which have a high profile with the general public: astronomy – ‘looking out there’ with telescopes and exploration; and ‘going out there’ – with both robotic and human missions.

UK National Space Academy Director Professor Anu Ojha visited Valley for a Hawk flight and told RAF News that space is a domain in which the Air Force will play a key role

Satellites timestamp every international banking transaction. Switch off this capability and the UK economy would lose more than a billion pounds a day

Finally comes the category that so many people are unaware of – satellite applications providing data and services that have revolutionised weather forecasting, monitoring climate change and land use, and give us so many services and capabilities we often take for granted. In terms of monitoring the Earth’s environment, space platforms are giving us data and capabilities at a resolution, refresh and data rate which is unprecedented and akin to the scientific instrumentation we have in an ICU unit monitoring the health of critical patients in hospital. Most people are aware of satellite navigation systems such as GPS which don’t just underpin apps like Sat Nav systems, Google Maps and Uber but also regulate national power grids, traffic light networks and timestamp every international banking transaction. Switch off this timing capability and the UK economy would lose more than a billion pounds a day. That’s why space capabilities are part of the UK’s Critical National Infrastructure, and communications and satellite reconnaissance platforms are essential to the planning and real-time execution of military

HIGH FLYER: Prof Ojha experienced Hawk flight at RAF Valley

operations as well as informing wider defence strategic planning. The UK has had civil and military space programmes for several decades now, but with very little interaction and cross-fertilisation between the two ecosystems. The new approach sees the MOD Space Directorate and newly established UK Space Command (led by the RAF) working much more closely with industry, academia and Government, in a joined-up approach to significantly accelerate progress for the benefit of the UK as a whole. I was invited to brief Air ViceMarshal Harv Smyth and his team and this marked the beginning of a much closer engagement covering areas from satellite operations to international partnerships, to the ongoing European Space Agency astronaut selection campaign. AVM Harv and Gp Capt Andy Turk then invited me to RAF Valley to brief aircrew and ground personnel on space topics combined with an Air Experience Flight in a Hawk T2. My impressions were:

Firstly, I was struck by the commitment shown by personnel to the challenges of maintaining operational capability and morale during the pandemic. This came as no surprise given the RAF mindset and ethos. Secondly, across all professional fields from fast jet operations to engineering to Air Traffic Control to vital support areas such as physical training, there was a tremendous level of interest in the role of space within the RAF, as well as a lot of questions concerning why and how this would be implemented. Thirdly, looking to the skillsets needed for UK Space Command roles ranging from operations specialists to engineering, cyberspace communications and intelligence analysts, it’s clear to me that, in addition to the recruitment of new personnel, there is a significant reservoir of existing personnel with interest and skills that lend themselves to these roles. Finally, the training I experienced, along with the actual Hawk T2 flight experience, have profoundly transformed the way

I will teach certain themes related to aerospace/human spaceflight physiology and training. Having now personally experienced these countermeasures and training protocols in action I have a much better understanding – beyond the purely academic – of the physics, engineering and human factors that apply in both high-performance aviation and human spaceflight training and operations. This is an exciting time for

Defence Space in the UK. The establishment of both MOD Space Directorate and UK Space Command, the high level of interest in human spaceflight programmes (with several Tri-Service candidates progressing through the ESA’s astronaut selection campaign) and the ambitions for the UK in space through an integrated Defence and Civil Space Strategy all mean that the next 10 years will be a time of transformation for UK defence space capabilities.

Royal Air Force News Friday, January 14, 2022 P21


BUAS: bridging FORMATION FLYING: BUAS students in de Havilland Chipmunks practise over the Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol with an RAF North American Harvard IIB, circa 1955

uni-to-RAF gap Squadron marks 80th anniversary with new leader and new alumni association


OW IN its 80th anniversary year, Bristol University Air Squadron (BUAS) operates from The Artillery Grounds in the city and conducts its flying training from MOD Boscombe Down. Open to all students at the universities of Bristol, Bath, Exeter, Plymouth and the West of England, BUAS has 50 members. The squadron was formed in February 1941 and the past year, besides marking its landmark anniversary, has seen the handover of command from Sqn Ldr Simon Brewis, after more than five years in the role, to Sqn Ldr Piers Hammond, as well as the official formation of its new alumni group, the BUAS Association. Squadron member Off Cdt Charles Cole has overseen the development of the association alongside Sqn Ldr Brewis. Off Cdt Cole said: “BUAS alumni have gone on to careers in many different fields, from military aviation to PhD studies. “Our association aims to gain an insight into what our incredible alumni have achieved, whilst potentially making contact with our current student cohort to assist,

HANDOVER: Sqn Ldr Simon Brewis (left) and Sqn Ldr Piers Hammond

motivate and encourage them. “It is hoped the BUAS Association will be a forum for ex-Squadron members to keep in touch, both virtually and in person.” BUAS acted as an Initial Training Wing for airmen during World War II. It was briefly disbanded in 1946, before being reformed in 1950, when it was based at RAF Filton, equipped with four Tiger Moth T2s. These were replaced in 1975 with Scottish Aviation Bulldog T1 aircraft. In 1993, the Squadron moved to RAF Colerne, now Azimghur Barracks, equipped with its current aircraft, the Grob Tutor T1. Flying

was relocated to MOD Boscombe Down in 2016. Sqn Ldr Brewis said: “There have been numerous highlights during my time on BUAS, and that is down to the drive and determination all students have shown throughout my tenure. I cannot thank them enough for making this the best tour of my 30-year career.” New OC Sqn Ldr Hammond said: “It is a huge honour, having been involved with BUAS in a number of guises since 2012, to take command of this fine squadron from Sqn Ldr Brewis and continue his great work. “Si has worked tirelessly to keep the squadron on an even keel, despite the phenomenal challenges presented by the run-down of Colerne. “It is testament to his drive, determination and the quality of students he has recruited that BUAS continues to deliver around a quarter of the UAS-to-RAF input, despite being just one of 15 University Air Squadrons in the UK.” Former squadron members can resume contact by emailing: association@bristoluas.com or via BUAS social media sites. The BUAS Association currently has more than 260 members.

OLD SCHOOL: Early squadron picture, 1941

MODERN DAY: Squadron dinner with Air Marshal Gerry Mayhew, Dec 2021

New Year message from CEO of the Forces Pension Society O UR vision at the Forces Pension Society is to enhance Armed Forces Pension clarity for our Members and influence policy, now and for future generations.

GOUR VISION: Maj Gen Neil Marshall

With these objectives in mind, 2022 promises to be an extremely busy year for the Society. And for many, there will be added layers of intricacy to face, making pension choices even more complex. That’s why we will maintain our laser-focus on holding the MoD and wider government to account for the successful implementation of the so-called McCloud remedy. This affects thousands of currently serving and recently retired members of the Armed Forces. The government’s decision to implement the Deferred Choice Underpin (DCU) option to redress the age discrimination issue from 2015, involves significant, wider issues that will dominate the pension landscape over the next two to three years, impacting the speed at which the remedy will be applied. Without going into the technical details, I can assure you that the Society will track events closely and be ready when the time comes to provide individual guidance to our Members about the implications for them. Those in Resettlement will be particularly concerned to understand how this affects them during what is already a challenging period ahead.


Neil Marshall, CEO, Forces Pension Society

An important milestone in this process will be the MoD’s release of the revised McCloud Calculator “anticipated early in 2022”, designed to enable people to answer the question “how will it affect me?” But here I counsel patience as the volume of work required by MoD and Veterans UK goes way beyond the development of the calculator. Entire systems, policies and processes must be updated ahead of the October 2023 remedy implementation deadline. Our Forces Pensions Consultants, who respond to over 15,000 enquiries every year, are well prepared to provide the guidance our Members will need in the year ahead. We go into 2022 with a record number of Members – more than 62,000 and growing steadily. This strengthens our ability to influence events as we represent the interests of the Armed Forces Community on the representative bodies for Armed Forces and Public Services Pensions. Finally, in wishing you a Happy New Year, I would urge you to take control of your pension and discover how to do that by joining us. As we always say, it pays to understand your pension. G For information about how membership of the Society can benefit you, please visit www.forcespensionsociety.org

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

Royal Air Force News Friday, January 14, 2022 P23

Land Rover Defender 110


World-class Defender World-class Defender UPMARKET: Di scovery cabin is plu

sh and high-tech

Posh Landie’s in Premier league TIM MORRIS Motoring Correspondent WHEN LAND Rover’s brand new Defender 110 arrived 12 months ago it was a very rare sight on the roads of the UK. I felt sorry for Jaguar Land Rover at the time. The biggest launch of a model for decades and they couldn’t show it to anyone thanks to the pandemic. Even the latest Bond film, in which it had a starring role, was delayed. So I was proud to let people look around it at every chance I got, in a socially distanced, essential travel kind of way. I was amazed by the level of interest. In traffic people would constantly turn to stare at it and take photographs whenever they could, such is the fame of this automotive icon. Up in the Scottish coastal town of Lossiemouth the car became photographed almost as much as our Typhoons for a while, a rare distraction from the boredom of lockdown. I managed to keep hold of the Defender long-term and in the year that followed the new

model became a more common have all provided feedback. We’ve sight on our roads but there was given it one hell of a run during this always a lot of interest and I was sad extended test and it survived with to eventually say goodbye to it. no mechanical or electrical issues Having clocked up almost to report. 20,000 miles with the car and put it It hasn’t been all plain sailing to every test that I could think of I for the Defender globally in finally came to the conclusion that terms of reliability of course, it’s brilliant. It’s the best of British, other journalists have reported as perfect as the first cup of tea on a sunny Sunday morning or that wellearned pint with your best friend at the end of a long day. High praise you may think but let’s look at the evidence. I’ve used this car for everything BIG BROTHER: Modern from towing boats to Discovery and its more mountaineering and compact Wolf predecessor carrying paragliding kit. It’s dealt with heavy snow, floods, sand and heat, all with ease. a few issues. These range from From navigating the Cairngorms ‘check engine’ lights to gearboxes National Park in the highlands to shifting noisily between modes. It’s fording through Welsh valleys, it’s therefore important to make the tackled just about everything. caveat that it’s still too new to know I’ve invited people from all just how reliable it will be over time walks of life to drive too. Die-hard but ours certainly seemed bomb Defender fans and Range Rover proof. enthusiasts have given me their Die-hard Landie fans naturally thoughts. Members of the RAF moaned about the fact that modern Regiment, architects, sports people regulations have all but destroyed and sceptical motoring journalists the boxy shape, that the inevitable

upgrades in technology make it practically science fiction and that you now need to have Range Rover -sized wads of cash to afford one, but everyone who’s driven it was impressed. It’s not belt and braces engineering like the old Defender of course, it’s a sophisticated car for a modern age. It’s much bigger too, as you soon notice when you park it next to an old Wolf. It has several styling elements that make it feel like a classic Defender and its offroad capabilities are beyond question. In these respects it remains true to the values of its ‘tractoral’ ancestors but no longer do you have to put up with brutal suspension and agricultural levels of comfort. On my many 400-mile runs to Scotland it was as refined and agile as a Range Rover, effortlessly eating up the miles. The new ‘monocoque’ chassis is, Land Rover claims, three times stiffer in terms of structural rigidity than its rivals, which helps this big SUV to feel surprisingly nimble on winding roads. Combine that with the 85 ECUs that are constantly

talking to each other at 100 Mb/s to optimise the car’s performance and you get a graceful long distance runner. As a business vehicle its brilliant, if you’re into adventure sports its brilliant and if you have a family it’s brilliant. Interior space is massive and we regularly managed to fill the boot with luggage, equipment, bikes or dogs. It even came with a power shower to hose down muddy fur or wash off salty wetsuits. The auto box was slightly frustrating in the way it pulled away from a standstill, clinging on to the first gear for far too long, but the rest of the range was brilliant. It always had plenty of power on tap and largely returned the claimed combined fuel economy figure of 33 mpg. After living with the car for months on end, my initial views have been hardened. The Defender is, in my book, the best off-road vehicle in the world. If you want a real 4x4, why would you buy anything else?

Royal Air Force News Friday, January 14, 2022 P24


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4 pages of RAF Sport start here l RAF Police Football back at Lossie after five-year hiatus: p26

BOBSLEIGH: SAC Shanwayne Stephens competes for Jamaica

BOBSLEIGH: Cpl John Stanbridge

Personnel battling it out for Winter Olympics places

CHINA IN YOUR HANDS Daniel Abrahams WITH FOUR of its athletes in the white heat of battle for Olympic selection, RAF ice sports chair Sqn Ldr Heather Ratnage-Black knows the value that 2021 provided. The difficult sporting landscape has not halted the Ice Sports Association, with a recent training day at Bath University being testament to that, alongside its global involvement. Ratnage-Black said: “I’m really proud of the people I work with in ice sports. It LUGE: sp eaks SAC Luke Farrar volumes t h a t

during all of this, they don’t just give up and find a sport locally to them. “The strength of our bonds built through our sport made this happen and it’s a credit to them, what they have achieved and how they have handled themselves throughout this. I hope their efforts are returned in silverware in 2022.” A training day in July was followed by a novice camp in La Plagne, France and Ratnage-Black now believes that event has shown the association’s personnel what is achievable in the current climate. On the i nte r nat i ona l stage in the four disciplines the


SKELETON: Daredevil SAC Benji Fulker

association covers – luge, bobsleigh, skeleton, and natural luge – personnel have been vying for selection for the Beijing Winter Olympic Games next month. Ratnage-Black said: “We have L/Cpl Shanwayne Stephens (Jamaica bobsleigh), Team Stanbridge (Cpl John Stanbridge, GB bobsleigh development team), SAC Benji Fulker (skeleton) and SAC Luke Farrar (luge) Team GB, all gunning for China, which is a terrific situation. “Their success makes you want to keep delivering CHIEF: Sqn for sport. I really hope it Ldr Heather inspires other personnel, Radnage-Black who can see these athletes

have been helped all the way through by the Service.” Of the Inter-Services, she said: “March is the target for the IS with training and RAF Championships the fortnight leading up to that. Iglis, Austria has been chosen because although it’s still a world-class track, it is the safest and with many sliders having spent two years off the ice we have mitigated that risk. “Having seen our personnel at the training camp they are keen to get the rivalries ignited with their sister Services and come away with the important stuff.” n Follow RAF Ice Sports on Facebook @RAF.Ice.Sports.

Royal Air Force News Friday, January 14, 2022 P25


Virtually unstoppable Tech and slopes training give boarders the edge Daniel Abrahams FUTURE-PROOFED is how the Service’s snowboard association will be heading into the cauldron of IS competition next year. During the cessation of sport in 2021, the association wasted no time in finding ways to help maintain the fitness of its members, both physically and mentally, through virtual means. The move would not only help with the issues they were facing then, but also set up the best chance of victory at the Inter-Services championships at Meribel in early February. Association chair Wg Cdr Nicola Duncan spoke with RAF News about the initiatives and what lies ahead for her beloved sport. “It’s been a strange time for sport and snowboarding. When Covid hit, we immediately looked at all the aspects that would impact on our personnel,” she said. The introduction of virtual fitness sessions came in the shape of a six-week bespoke training programme.

The online sessions gave riders a renewed sense of purpose and community

Duncan added: “The online sessions gave riders a renewed sense of purpose and community, and it really helped them get ready for the season ahead.” Following that success, association members were given activity tracked MyZone belts so they could better monitor their training and progress. “The benefit of this work was seen immediately. For the first time in a long time, we have around 35 athletes ready to compete in the coming season for us,” said Duncan. Highlighting the ends to which the association is

TUITION: Training camp in Breckinridge, Colorado (above & top)

going to improve its members, it has worked alongside famed Slice and Dice YouTube channel boarding sensations Dave Crozier and Lewis Sonvico, and WO Scotty Duncan and MAcr Paul Granycome. September featured a series of training camps at The Hemel Hempstead Snow Centre, attracting 20 riders to each. The success of these has led to initial planning of a new grass roots development programme. A winter camp in Manchester followed, before a weeklong overseas event to America in Breckinridge, Colorado. Duncan said: “The US camp has been brilliant and enabled us to have all-level training.” All of the hard work has not only set up a bright future for the sport, it’s also lined up the Service’s boarders for a crack at podium spots in a season that ends with the UKAF event in late February. n Follow RAF Snowboard on Instagram @raf_ snowboarding.

Royal Air Force News Friday, January 14, 2022 P26


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RAF police team set for kick-off at Lossie Daniel Abrahams IT MAY not have reached full flight, but RAF Police football has risen from its slumber of the last five years thanks to Sgt Bobby McDowall. The former police footballer has kept the ball rolling since he landed on Scottish soil earlier this year to start a posting at Lossiemouth. The team now have a sponsor, overseas fixtures in the pipeline and plans to restart a three-team tournament featuring RMP, which it is proposed will be played at a Football League stadium. The adventure so far has also seen McDowall buy balls and kit from a well-known sports store so he could host the first training camp in October.

Sarge buoyed by demand for sport as men and women sign up for squads

I was told about a full away kit, but when I looked it had gone away

MAKING A GOOD FIST OF IT: Ex-RAFFA Chairman Air Cdre Keith Minton meets players

Win double for vets University of South Wales RAF Over-50s

0 1

A TIGHT Over-50s game against a University of South Wales team in Cardiff ended the year for the senior veterans side. With both sides having chances to win, it was coolheaded Chf Tech Rory O’Hagan who slotted home the decisive strike for a 1-0 victory. Manager Sqn Ldr (Ret’d) Craig Gill said: “The game was very much touch and go, so it was great to get the goal and subsequently the win. “It sets us up perfectly looking into this year. Going into the Christmas break with a win under our belts was the best thing we could have asked for.” In the second clash the Over 35s had a resounding 5-0 win against a Welsh Veterans team, in a fiery affair. A tremendous display from front to back saw the Service side produce a great display, with Man of the Match Sgt Steve

Welsh Veterans RAF Over-35s

0 5

Norton bagging a hat-trick. Sgt Michael Duerden and Cpl Lee Croft added the other two goals to complete the rout. The military men didn’t have it all their own way though, going down to 10 men after 67 minutes when captain FS Scott Taylor was sent off for reacting to a high challenge. Manager Sgt (Ret’d) Matt Beattie said: “Every player was absolutely superb. The game was a stunning way to end the year, which has seen us improve at every turn, and what a way to line up 2022. “With six players missing for this game, it bodes really well for our IS build up and that first fixture against the Royal Navy at St George’s Park in the first ever IS game held at the Football Association’s national football centre.” n Follow the team on Facebook at: RAF Veterans Football.

He said: “It’s been a bit ‘jumpers for goalposts’ to start. We had a couple of cones and a few bibs to our name when I arrived. I was told about a full away kit, but when I looked it had gone away. So, we had a few ramshackle shirts and no balls. “The flip side was that when I posted about the camp, I received more than 70 responses. So, it was obvious that the RAFP was crying out for the football to start. “I had some great memories of my time playing for the trade and I want that same opportunity for those coming through.” McDowall, who is also in the process of starting up a women’s police team, added: “I have had some superb support throughout. Poor Vince Williams at the RAF FA, for one, has been inundated by my messages. “I know the positive impact this team is having in all sorts of ways from helping with mental health issues, to getting personnel out and buzzing over discussing this new project. “The latest developments have seen us invited by exprofessional footballer Steve Crane to participate in the World Police Soccer 7s. “We’ve opened dialogue with

AMBITIOUS PLANS: RAF Police Football advocate Sgt Bobby McDowall at Ibrox

the US Airforce about a friendly match and I am waiting on word back from the Spanish Guard to

play them in Madrid.” n Updates from the team will be posted on Twitter @RAFFPForce.

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

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Royal Air Force News Friday, January 14, 2022 P27


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Falklands posting is not going to unseat jump ace Pritchard Service star rider vows to overcome challenge of islands deployment

Daniel Abrahams SERVICE SHOWJUMPING sensation SAC Amy Pritchard won’t be letting a posting to the Falklands stop her from further equine glory in 2022. Pritchard, 24, who works in Flight Ops at RAF Brize Norton, is used to lofty achievements, having led the entire Services’ show jumping qualifying season in 2021. She eventually came an impressive fifth in the final jumping event at the London Excel Arena as part of the London International Horse Show. And all of this was achieved in


THE START of the Service Alpine sports year has hit the buffers after the cancellation of this month's RAF Championships, to have been held in Austria. The precursor to the InterServices in France was called off because of the pandemic. The RAF Alpine association said on its Facebook site: “The committee and our hosts in Austria have tried hard to keep the event alive with suitable Covid mitigation in place, but it is now clear that this will be impossible.” Director of RAF Sport Rich Fogden added: “We couldn’t be sure of being able to protect our people and our outputs, as well as our hosts and others, so reluctantly the decision was made to cancel.”

her debut year for the RAF, on her beloved horse Fred. She said: “I am aiming for a return to Olympia [last December’s event was moved from the usual venue of Olympia to the Excel]. I’ll be missing the first few rounds of qualifying, but I am hopeful I will have enough in me to turn that around. “It is such a great event to be involved in and after last season I will be giving it my absolute all to get back to the final.” Pritchard previously rode at the famous equestrian event when she was 12 years old. In 2021, having gone clear in her first round, her second time of 47.35 seconds would have placed her third overall. Sadly, eight penalty points during her second round in the final event over nine fences at 1.10-1.20m high saw her finish fifth. She said: “I am posted to the Falklands early this year, which means I will miss the start of the season, which is in May. I know there isn’t anything I can do until I return, but I will keep my eyes on what is going on and hit the ground running when I get back. “I cannot wait for it all to start. I put myself under a lot of pressure in London last time because I didn’t want to let anyone down after everyone has helped me so much. Next time I will be prepared and of course Fred knows the scenario now, so that’s great.” n Follow RAF Equitation on Facebook @RAFequitation.

STAR COUPLE: Amy in action with Fred at the Excel, and relaxing, below right. Below left, success at the Windsor Horse Show MAIN PHOTO: REAL TIME IMAGING

Royal Air Force News Friday, January, 14, 2022 R'n'R 1

Announcements l P6-7

Puzzles l P8

R'n'R Win!

Win: Top TV show on DVD l p3

Scarlett woman – Michelle Collins l p4

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R'n'R Film review

Paradise lost

The Lost Daughter (15) In cinemas and on Netflix now


The Larkins (PG)


On DVD, Blu-ray and download now (Dazzler Media)

Motherhood trials under spotlight in The Lost Daughter

Colman faces off with Johnson in Greece

TIGHT KNIT: Ma, Pa and family

Larkin about with Brad


EMEMBER DAVID Jason, Pam Ferris and the then littleknown Catherine Zeta Jones in The Darling Buds of May, the big TV hit of the early 1990s? The Larkins is the heartwarming new TV adaptation of that much-loved H.E. Bates novel with Bradley Walsh, Joanna Scanlan and Sabrina Bartlett now leading the cast. Set in the late 1950s, The Larkins follows golden-hearted wheeler dealer Pop Larkin (Walsh, Doctor Who, Law & Order: UK) and his wife Ma (Scanlan, How to Build a Girl, The Thick of It) together with their six children, including the beautiful Mariette


Castle Falls (15)

HER PEACE IS SHATTERED: Leda (Olivia Colman)


LIVIA COLMAN stars as Leda Caruso, a middleaged language professor taking her working holiday alone in Greece, finding a peacefulness that will very quickly evaporate. The fruit bowl in her apartment is mouldy, her apartment’s neighbour is a working lighthouse, and some undesirables, from a villa just up the way, have taken over the beach. Not shy of confrontation, Leda politely refuses when asked by the matriarch of this rowdy group of

(Bartlett, Bridgerton, Victoria) as they bask in their idyllic and beautiful patch of paradise in Kent. We have copies of The Larkins on DVD up for grabs. To be in with a chance of owning a copy, tell us: Who stars as Pop in The Larkins? Email your answer, marked The Larkins DVD 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 January 28. Please include your full postal address with all entries.

On Blu-ray, DVD and download now (Dazzler Media)

New Yorkers if she could make space for them, instigating a feud that underlies the rest of the film. Even when Leda helps to find the group’s young daughter when she goes missing, there remains an unshakeable tension. Actor Maggie Gyllenhaal makes her debut as writer and director on The Lost Daughter, adapting Elena Ferrante’s novel of the same name. Through this complex central character, Gyllenhaal weaves together two timelines to explore reflections on motherhood,

BRASH NEW YORKER: Nina (Dakota Johnson)

identity and regret. Leda is self-assured, if not combative, so when she stands her ground, the young mother of the group, Nina (Dakota Johnson) takes an interest. This connection runs both ways as Leda observes Nina struggling with her young daughter, exasperated by her constant need of care and attention. These moments serve as a springboard into flashbacks, in which we see a young Leda (played by Jessie Buckley), trying and failing to manager her independence and her two daughters. Through Leda’s exchanges with Nina, she is reckoning with her past self, offering reassurances, but edging ever closer to danger. The film paints a picture of socalled ‘unnatural mothers’ enduring trials of parenthood that are messy and punishing, normalising these ideas and expanding the scope of female relationships on screen. The Lost Daughter is an impressive piece of filmmaking with challenging characters and ideas, and solid performances across the board. 4 out of 5 roundels Review by Sam Cooney


Who'll be king of Castle? G

ET READY for a thrilling new and action-packed outing starring Scott Adkins (The Expendables 2, John Wick 4) and Dolph Lundgren (Rocky IV, Aquaman), who also directs for the first time in nearly a decade. After years of neglect, Castle Heights Hospital, a symbol of the city’s segregated past, has been packed with dynamite and is ready to be demolished. No one knows that a gang leader, now in prison, hid the three million dollars in cash he stole from his rivals inside the abandoned building. Now, three desperate parties want the money: a blue collared ex-fighter (Adkins) who finds it while working as part of the demolition crew, a prison guard (Lundgren) willing to do anything to pay for his daughter’s cancer treatment, and a ruthless gang who claim to be the rightful owners. The demolition charges are set, everyone clears out and the Castle

RIVALS: Dolph Lundgren and Scott Adkins

is due to fall in 90 minutes. The clock is ticking. Who will find the cash and will they get out alive? We have copies of Castle Falls on DVD to add to your collection. For your chance to win one, simply send us the answer to the following question: Who directs Castle Falls? Email your answer, marked Castle Falls DVD 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 January 28. Please remember to include your full postal address.

Royal Air Force News Friday, January 14, 2022 R'n'R 4


It's Showti Michelle's back as judge Anto a Scarlett woman where he b on the dan Who dun it?

Theatre Cluedo UK tour


THE LADY IS A VAMP: Soap siren Michelle Collins sticks it to 'em as Miss Scarlett in new play Cluedo

AS IT Miss Scarlett, with the revolver, in the dining room…? Actress Michelle Collins, star of EastEnders, Coronation Street and 2000 Acres of Sky, is to head the cast as the glamorous Miss Scarlett in the UK tour of the new play Cluedo later this month. Based on the classic Hasbro detective board game loved by generations and the hit 1985 Paramount film Clue, the new comedy thriller opens on January 28 at Bromley’s Churchill Theatre and will then visit theatres across the country until the end of July. Collins said: “I’m thrilled to be joining the cast of Cluedo. It’s such an iconic game and I remember how much I loved playing it with my cousins when we were younger. “I’m delighted that it’s being brought to the stage – and having really enjoyed reading the script, I’m sure audiences across the UK will love it.” When Miss Scarlett, Professor Plum, Mrs Peacock, Reverend Green, Mrs White and Colonel Mustard arrive at a country house one dark and stormy evening, they are surprised to find they have all received the same intriguing invitation from Lord Boddy.

It’s such an iconic game and I remember how much I loved playing it with my cousins when we were younger

It soon becomes clear that they all have something to hide as the mystery and hysteria grows and the inhabitants and guests of Boddy Manor are killed off one by one, with a variety of familiar weapons, leaving everyone to wonder, who will be next? The hilarious spoof of a thriller promises to keep you guessing right up to the finale as both the guests and audience try to work out whodunnit…. with what... and where… This UK premiere production is directed by Mark Bell, the man behind the award-winning The Play That Goes Wrong and A Comedy About A Bank Robbery and, just like the game, it promises audiences of all ages a nostalgic, fun and a thrilling evening of entertainment. Based on the screenplay by Jonathan Lynn, the play is written by Sandy Rustin with additional material by Hunter Foster and Eric Price. Producer Josh Andrews added: “We wanted an iconic actress to play such an iconic character and we could not be happier to have Michelle starring as Miss Scarlett in Cluedo. Both the game and Clue the movie are much loved by all ages, so it’s a privilege to bring this new play to the UK stage.” n Go to: Cluedostageplay.com for more information.


T’S BEEN a long time coming, but the nation’s favourite ballroom couple are back on the dance floor with a brand new tour, writes Jules Boyle. Anton Du Beke and Erin Boag have been household names since they appeared on the very first episode of Strictly Come Dancing on BBC One back in 2004 and are still as popular as ever, both on screen and performing live. The pair had to postpone their 2021 tour because of the coronavirus restrictions, but are now delighted to be back this year with Showtime, which starts its tour at Northampton’s Royal & Derngate Theatre on January 28 and finishes at the New Wimbledon Theatre on March 20. It’s a glittering celebration that pays tribute to some of the world’s greatest icons of entertainment, inspired by an array of classic performers including Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, Charlie Chaplin, Shirley Bassey, Tom Jones, Liza Minelli, Elton John and more. Anton, fresh from his judging stint on Strictly Come Dancing, couldn’t be SHOWTIME: Anton and Erin are back together again

more excited to get back to doing what he and Erin do best, putting on a show that makes people smile.


e said: “The bottom line is you’re putting on a show that’s really entertaining, one where people will walk out saying: ‘What a great night!’, so you don’t want to reinvent the wheel with obscure music or make it a contemporary dance thing, because that’s not what it says on the tin, it says Showtime. It’s a song and dance show that’s purely about entertainment. “So the music has to be familiar with some pieces that people won’t massively recognise, or won’t have heard for a long time, but will love all the same, as they are iconic pieces. “The choreography has to be spectacular and entertaining, too. Even the dresses are iconic. So what’s being played, and what you’re seeing, everything has to come together. We want people just to be able to sit down comfortably and be taken away.” Both Anton and Erin are very involved in every aspect of the production, but the pair insist it’s very much a team effort.

Royal Air Force News Friday, January 14, 2022 R'n'R 5

ime as TV on is Beke belongs – nce floor

The Big Interview


rin said: “We’re pretty hands on do that. Anybody who thinks they can to a certain extent. We have a do it from onstage, well they’re either lot of involvement and everything better than me at it, or better than us at is run past us. We discuss the music it, or they’ve got three eyes.” and what’s going to happen, but we have a director now who comes in, s always with Anton and Erin’s live makes suggestions and puts the pieces shows, there’s also a Q&A section together, which goes down a storm with the “If we wanted to, we could do audiences. Sure, the dancing is the a lot less and just turn up, do the main attraction, but the interaction pieces and go, but we like to have a with the crowd is just as important in lot of involvement. I go in and do its own way. all the costumes with them and we Erin said: “Yeah, of course it is. all get together to do the music with Three quarters of the show is dancing, everybody.” with music and singing obviously. Anton added: “Yes, the music Then there’s a moment in the second choice is very much a group affair. So half where we just tone it down and we have the MD, Richard Balcombe, it’s always a funny moment. It’s a great Nikki Woollaston, our choreographer moment, in fact. and director and us all in a room “People laugh because it’s their talking about musical choices and the own questions and they always want shape of the show. to know simple things like what MOTOR MAYHEM: The Top Gear lads are back causing chaos “We are very involved in the five happens to the dresses after Strictly ballroom numbers, but the rest of or what kind of underpants you wear, the show is down to Nikki. She puts or what cheese you eat! There’s lots of together all the ensemble pieces, the those silly questions, but they cause flow and the run of it, because you a reaction. We used to get a lot of can’t do that when you’re in it. We marriage proposals, too!” tried that first year, and learnt pretty n Go to: antonanderinlive.co.uk for quickly that you need to be out front to tickets and tour information.


BELLES OF THE BALL: Dance favourites turn on the style

Royal Air Force News Friday, January 14, 2022 R'n'R 6

R'n'R Your Announcements

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


btinternet.com 07513 301723.

LOOKING for anyone stationed at RAF Safi, in Malta, and RAF Idris, in Libya, between June 1963 and December 1965. Also, anyone on the RAF flight on Floriana parade ground for Independence Day in September 1964, in Malta. Please contact Geoff Stevens, on: moomin33@hotmail. co.uk or (01795) 479803.

RAFAA Association

Reunions RAF Admin Apprentice Association Annual General Meeting and Reunion June 17-19, 2022, Northampton Marriott Hotel. For full details and options please contact the association’s social secretary on: 01403 581324 or email: socialsecretary@ rafadappassn.org. This will be our first reunion since lockdown and will be a great chance to catch up with old friends and indeed make new ones. THE RAF Changi Association (inc. HQFEAF) founded May 1996 welcomes new members from all ranks, ex RAF/WRAF/WAAF and civilian personnel who served at RAF Changi (inc. HQFEAF ) during 1946-72. For more information please contact our Membership Secretary: Malcolm Flack on: 01494 728562 or email: MemSecChangi@outlook. com or visit: www.rafchangi. com for more details. RAF Bawdsey Reunion Association. Having cancelled our 2020 reunion, we have provisionally planned the next reunion for Saturday, May 21, 2022, before The Queen’s Jubilee celebrations and the extended public holidays in early June, and we look forward to seeing our friends again then. Any queries please email: doreen.bawdseyreunion@



IF you trained as an RAF Administrative Apprentice (or perhaps you are related to an ex-RAF Administrative Apprentice) we would be delighted to welcome you to the RAFAAA. Our aim is to promote friendship and general wellbeing among our veterans, via social gatherings and assorted activities, as devised by an elected committee, and a regular newsletter. Check our website for details: rafadappassn.org or contact the Membership Secretary on: 07866 085834 or Chairman on: 01933 443673. We we want to hear from you.

Catering Association RAF Catering Warrant Officers’ and Seniors’ Association (RAF CWO&SA): All serving or retired TG19 WO or FS and all former Catering Branch Officers are invited to join the RAF CWO&SA. We meet twice yearly with a vibrant gathering of retired and serving members. Why not join us? Email: davescott10@hotmail.co.uk for more information or a membership application form.

Can you help RAFBF? THE RAF Benevolent Fund is looking for volunteers to support its Telephone Friendship group service. The charity said the service became a lifeline during the pandemic, when vulnerable older people were asked to shield to protect themselves from Covid-19. The calls are managed by a volunteer facilitator there to support the group throughout the call. All

facilitators are given training before being introduced to their group. If you can spare one hour a week to support the service the RAFBF wants to hear from you. If you are unable to commit to one hour a week, the Fund also need facilitators to provide ad-hoc cover for holidays. Email Welfare Services Executive Sally Austin at: sally.austin@rafbf.org.uk

SSAFA appeal ARMED FORCES charity SSAFA is calling for volunteers to support Service personnel and their families in seven locations as it expands its footprint in the community. The charity is running a pilot scheme in seven key areas of the UK incorporating RAF, Royal Navy and Army bases with volunteer opportunities available. The seven pilot areas are: Catterick, Colchester, Digby, Waddington & Cranwell, Portsmouth & Gosport, Salisbury Plain, St Athan and Woolwich. SSAFA has created a number of new roles from supporting operations to community engagement and fundraising to help support the local serving community and is encouraging the public to step forward and volunteer, said a spokesperson for the charity. Julie McCarthy, SSAFA’s Director of Volunteer Operations, said: “This pilot scheme is designed to create new and exciting volunteer opportunities, whether you are currently serving, a family member or live in the local community. We hope that our new Serving Community Teams will help to tackle loneliness and isolation in the serving community, including supporting those who are single, reservists and their families.” n Go to: ssafa.org.uk/sct for more information.

How to use our service There is no charge for conventionally-worded birth, engagement, marriage, anniversary, death, in memoriam seeking and reunion notices. For commercial small ads contact Edwin Rodrigues on: 07482 571535. We cannot, under any circumstances, take announcements over the telephone. They can be sent by email to: tracey.allen@rafnews.co.uk. Please note that due to the coronavirus pandemic we are currently unable to accept notices submitted by post.

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

Cadet chief who donated a kidney awarded an MBE A MEDIA officer who donated a kidney to a seriously ill child has been recognised for his community work whilst in charge of Omagh and Fermanagh RAF Air Cadets. Squadron Leader Graham Dodds has been awarded an MBE in the New Year Honours for his services to the community in Northern Ireland. The former Northern Ireland Police Chief Inspector read about nineyear-old Joshua Dolan’s plea for a kidney donation in his local newspaper and discovered he was a suitable match. Young Joshua had only one, poorly-functioning kidney and had to travel from his home in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, to Belfast three times a week for a four-hour dialysis session to keep him alive. His mother Mary said the dialysis left her son feeling very tired and excluded him from normal things, like going to school or taking part in social activities. Medics told the family a kidney donation was his only chance. Despite family members and friends being tested, no match had been found for Joshua and the outlook for him was bleak. She added: “He’s had a hard time these past months. It’s very heartbreaking for a mum to watch.” Flt Lt Dodds said: “When I saw Joshua’s appeal I just thought ‘that’s perfect for me, it’s a local lad and if I can help I will’. “To me as a RAFAC Commissioned Officer my whole raison d’être is to help young people and to do all I can to help make my local community a better place. “My relatively small act of giving up an organ that I didn’t actually need will have a massive impact for his life and his family, when it will have a fairly minor impact on mine.” Sqn Ldr Dodds commanded the Omagh and Fermanagh RAF Air Cadets between 2014 and 2021 before moving on to take on the role of media and communications officer for Scotland and Northern Ireland RAF Air Cadets. He served as a police

GONGS: Sqn Ldr Dodds will soon have an MBE medal to add to the British Citizen Award of Honour he received earlier this year when he was a Flt Lt

officer for 24 years and is also Head of Road Policing for the Police Service of Northern Ireland. His previous police service included the Metropolitan Police in London, district policing postings in Ballygawley, Dungannon, Castlederg, Strabane, Enniskillen and Omagh as well as two periods as commander of the specialist Tactical Support Group. Sqn Ldr Dodds has also supported the RAF Benevolent Fund, Combat Stress, Royal British Legion and other charities. He was recently honoured with the British Citizen Award Medal of Honour for his many efforts to support local communities and focus on improving community relations. He said: “I am humbled and delighted to receive this honour from Her Majesty The Queen. “It has been my privilege to serve Her Majesty and many communities in my Police and RAF roles.

“I have been particularly focused on improving crosscommunity and crossborder relations. “This honour is shared with all those who have supported my efforts and generously given of their time to help me make our communities better. “In particular, I wish to express my sincere thanks to Flying Officer Conchubar McHugh and Pilot Officer Kathy McHugh of Omagh Squadron for the fantastic support, dedication and friendship that has made my RAFAC community relations work possible. “Finally, I wish to thank my wife, Nicola, and sons, Ethan and Alexander for their support to me in both my PSNI and RAFAC roles. “I could not have succeeded in either role without their understanding and kindness.” Sqn Ldr Dodds will receive his MBE at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace later in the year.

Royal Air Force News Friday, January 14, 2022 R'n'R 8

R'n'R Crossword

Su Doku

No. 307

No. 317

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

Fill in all the squares in the grid so that each row, each column and each 3x3 square contains all the digits from 1 to 9.

Across 7. Throne dismantled by Swiss jet (6) 8. During summer I notice sheep (6) 10. Seems even couple cuddle (7) 11. Colour for putting on (5) 12. Capone to find his voice (4) 13. Primate Spice Girl returns to ancient city (5) 17. Affirmative! Eliot was a poet (5) 18. Doctor of Divinity leaves fruit cake on bank (4) 22. Duck forbidding smell (5) 23. He has these suckers work after beginning of tenth month (7) 24. Endless courage destroys helicopter (6) 25. Light aircraft which flies too close to the sun, we hear (6) Down 1. Revolutionary may hate speedy creature (7) 2. Praise tiny red insect burrowing under the earth, at first (7) 3. Sat back, embracing old partner in this state (5) 4. Bulge I’m shifting in country (7) 5. And 6 Down. Aircraft to fascinate club? (5,5) 6. See 5 Down 9. Rommel’s 1998 bombing campaign (6,3) 14. Rumour has year called into question (7) 15. And 19 Down. New RAF unit to drink wine with vigour (5,5) 16. Essentially super sister will keep going (7) 19. See 15 Down 20. Madonna’s favourite magazine? (5) 21. Keep English city burning (5)

Name....................................................................... ................................................................................. Address................................................................... ................................................................................. ....................................................Su Doku No. 317

Solution to Su Doku No: 316

Solution to Crossword No 306: Across – 6. Striker 7. Magic 9. Texas 10. Airport 12. Wellingtons 14. Helicopters 18. Voyager 19. Sneak 21. Venus 22. Wallace Down – 1. At Sea 2. Mirage 3. Ben 4. Carpet 5. Migrant 8. Dignity 11. Bloomer 13. Devotee 15. Icarus 16. Rankle 17. Dance 20. Tap Aircraft – Lancer


BASTILLE: Two new arena dates


ASTILLE HAVE announced two new dates to the first leg of their Give Me The Future tour – visiting Bournemouth International Centre on March 31 and Hull Bonus Arena on April 1. The dates join a headline run of shows across cities including Manchester’s AO Arena and Birmingham O2 Academy. The shows will give fans the opportunity to hear the band’s hugely anticipated fourth album, Give Me The Future, for the first time live. Bastille’s frontman Dan Smith said: “We’re all massively excited to head out on tour with this new album that we love. After everything that’s happened over the last couple of years, we’re buzzing to play for everyone at these brilliant venues and can’t wait to have some fun back on the road again." Give Me The Future is set for release on February 4 and explores both the opportunities of new technology and the dark side of lives lived online. Songwriter Smith came up with the idea pre-

pandemic. The album was already underway and the band on hiatus from touring when the world shut down, forcing interaction solely through screens. “Working on these songs in such an apocalyptic period, with everyone stuck at home, glued to screens, fed into the feeling that what is real and what is not has become pretty difficult to discern sometimes,” he said. “We’re in the age of deep fake, fake news and lying world leaders. But online, you can be anyone. What that does to our sense of self and to our relationships is huge and it’s fascinating.” The Brit-winning four-piece are one of the world’s best live bands. Last summer they headlined two UK festivals – Latitude and Standon Calling, and played two sold-out shows at Hampton Court Palace Festival. With more than 11 million records sold, six UK Top 40 singles and 1.5 billion video views, Bastille continue to be one of the world’s most streamed bands. n Go to: bastillebastille.com/live for more details.

Guess who's at an arena near you? T

V'S GUESS the vocalist hit is being transformed into a live stage show and is coming to an arena near you. The Masked Singer Live – hosted by comedian Joel Dommett – will tour the UK in April for 10 supersized shows across the country. Opening on April 2 at Liverpool’s M&S Bank Arena, the tour will then visit some of the biggest entertainment venues in the UK including London’s O2, Glasgow’s OVO Hydro and Nottingham’s Motorpoint Arena. The show’s promotors say this is a unique chance to see your favourite characters from the hit TV series brought to life on stage, as different mystery celebrities are unmasked at the end of every performance – having been judged by a panel of guest celebrity judges, to be announced soon. Dommett (pictured), host of The Masked Singer TV series, said: “This tour is going to be absolutely incredible. I’m so thrilled to be hosting proceedings, as we bring all the excitement and drama of the TV series live to an arena near you. “And being in arenas means it’s going to be bigger than ever! I’m excited to see who the different celebrities are at every show. I don’t know their identities, so I’ll be guessing along with the arena audiences. I can’t wait to get this show on the road in April, it’s going to be epic.” n Go to: TheMaskedSingerLiveUK. com for more details. Tickets are on sale now.