June 2009 - Royal Air Force

raf.mod.uk

June 2009 - Royal Air Force

99 Sqn and Boeing reach 50,000 Flying Hours

Programme Future Brize - What does it mean to you?

The Falcons and Blue Peter

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Awards For Excellence - Team Work Wins!


Gateway

www.raf.mod.uk/rafbrizenorton

Editors

Sqn Ldr Mark Dover Ext 6618

Sqn Ldr Phil ’Fozzie‘ Foster Ext 7372

Editorial Correspondence

The ‘Gateway’ Editor

Sqn Ldr Mark Dover

Sqn Ldr Phil ‘Fozzie’ Foster

RAF Brize Norton

Carterton,

Oxfordshire

OX18 3LX

Brize net email:

gateway-editor@brizenorton.raf.mod.uk

Distribution

Sgt Hayley Crame Ext 6011

Cpl Phil Thorp

No 2267 (Brize Norton) ATC Sqn

Deadlines

The Editor needs to be in possession of contributions

by the 7th of the month preceding publication.

Please liaise with the Editor to make arrangements

for articles which will miss the deadline as

accommodation can be made up until about the

third week of the month. Text is appreciated on

floppy disk or sent via email on Brize Net to ‘gatewayeditor’.

It is preferred for original photographs to be

used but if sending digital photographs please send

as individual files (maximum quality JPEGS) and not

embedded in a text document. There is no need to

format an article before submission.

Although advertisements are included in good faith,

the Editor hereby declares that the publication of any

advertisement in the ‘Gateway’ in no way implies

endorsements or responsibility, by the ‘Gateway’. The MOD

or any Service Establishment - including RAF Brize Norton,

for the advertiser or its advertised product or service.

Furthermore, neither the Editor nor any Service authority

will become involved in any dispute arising out of any

advertisement appearing in the ‘Gateway’.

The ‘Gateway’ is not an official publication; unless specifically

stated otherwise, all views expressed in the ‘Gateway’ are

those of the author alone and do not necessarily reflect

official MOD or Service policy.

© No part of the ‘Gateway’ may be reproduced in part or

full without the written permission of the Editor or publisher.

Photographs are Crown Copyright - all rights reserved -

unless credited to an individual photographer.

The ‘Gateway’ is the magazine of RAF Brize Norton and

is published monthly by kind permission of the Station

Commander - Gp Capt Ager.

On the cover

© No responsibility for the quality of goods or services

advertised in this magazine can be accepted by the

publishers or printers. Advertisements are included in

good faith.

Published by Forces and Corporate Publishing Ltd,

Hamblin House, Hamblin Court, 92-94 High Street,

Rushden, Northamptonshire NN10 OPQ.

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Editorial director: Ron Pearson

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4 Foreword

5 Editorial

6 Team Brize

16 99 Sqn

18 101 Sqn

22 216 Sqn

24 RAF Falcons

30 DMS

38 Community Matters

50 Activity Zone

56 Brize Sport

60 June Weather Statistics

61 Execs Corner

62 Charity

66 What’s On?

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Foreword BY

As Gateway reaches you this month, 101 Squadron will have

just returned from Al Udeid with its aircraft, crews and support

personnel. But rather than just another routine roulement, their

final return this time marks not just the end of the UK’s military

mission in Iraq, but the end of the Squadron’s 19-year association

with operations over the country. In that time, they have operated

from Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Incirlik, Cyprus and Qatar, with a

whole Squadron of 13 aircraft and crews and, more recently,

with just 2 aircraft. While the RAF can recognise a ‘job well

done’, 101 Squadron in particular will end a unique association

with Middle East operations, as the only RAF squadron to have

deployed and operated in support of Op TELIC unbroken for 19

years. Its success, though, is not just down to the crews and

engineers, but to the support that it has received from the Station,

and also from Industry and the IPT. We have also seen many of

the 4000 personnel recovering from Basrah pass through Brize

on their way home, and while the draw down will certainly ease

the pressure on us, our commitment to Afghanistan continues

to grow. Indeed, 99 Squadron recently generated 4 unplanned

tasks in a week for Aeromedical evacuation missions; and 216

Squadron has just completed its most successful Relief in Place

of UK forces, transporting almost 16,500 troops in just 9 weeks

with 99 Squadron carrying another 5,500. RAF Brize Norton is

at the heart of UK operations and we will continue to have a

pivotal role to play for many years to come, and I am delighted

to see daily the highly professional commitment of all those who

work on the Station.

June is traditionally a period of frenetic activity, as we see a

significant increase in the number of visits and events which are

associated with better weather. This year is no different, and we

will undergo our Annual Formal Inspection on 9 June, our Annual

Formal Reception on 11 June and then Families’ Day on 13 June.

The AOC has recognised both the operational pressure on us and

the fact that he has visited Brize many times in the last few months

and the AFI will be limited to just 3 hours, and that is good news

STN CDR GP CAPT AGER

Gateway - www.raf.mod.uk/rafbrizenorton

for all of us. Families’ Day is looking to be an exciting event and

details are included in the magazine this month. I encourage you

all to make the best of the good weather, fantastic attractions

and flying display, and to spend time with your families and to

show them what we do - you will even be able to see the Execs

in action in the CO’s Cup it’s a knock out! Finally, 27 June will

mark the first official Armed Forces day. I wanted to recognise the

event, by marching through Witney, where we have the freedom

of the town. Sadly, we were not able to secure the services of a

band, and I have not, therefore, been able to support the event

as a Station, but I do encourage those of you who live in local

communities which may be celebrating Armed Forces day to take

part and to fly the flag for the RAF and for Brize Norton.

Thank you again for all your hard work and, as I embark on

another round of briefings to Station personnel at the end of

June and in early July, I look forward to meeting as many of you

as I can, and hearing what you have got to say about life at RAF

Brize Norton.


Editorial BY

Welcome to June’s edition of Gateway, the

‘Official Magazine of the RAF Brize Norton

Community’. This month is again packed with

great articles from all over the Station and our

local community. It is amazing to think that

we are nearly half way through the year and

some sections on station are yet to contribute

to the Gateway this year. No names no packdrill

but if you scan back you will know who

you are! We are keen to share all stories with

our readership no matter how big or small,

so please send them in. We need pictures

and narrative to enable all to see what ‘our

people’ have been up to. We can advertise

for Station Clubs and Societies, providing

publicity for future events and activities as

well as preserving for history the events you

are all taking part in. Therefore, think ahead if

you would like support or visibility for your club or group, please

place an article to grab our reader’s attention and then plug your

future events. The more pictures the better!

This month is packed with ski-diving excitement with the

Falcons and Blue Peter; as well as the awesome achievement of

99 Sqn completing 50,000 flying hours and a party to match.

We continue to host many visitors to the Stn including the Iraqi

Prime Minister, who was on official engagements in the UK and

CO-EDITOR, SQN LDR PHIL ‘FOZZIE’ FOSTER

the AOC who went flying with 101 Squadron

on a mission over Iraq in support of Op TELIC,

to name just two. The Station continues

to support the local community and the

Community Liaison team have a number of

articles on conservation, our local girl’s football

team, Curry at Ely Close and the support of our

local Carterton Social Club supporting Help

for Heroes. It is always impressive to see the

number of charity events and fund raising that

goes on so do not be left out. Congratulations

to Sqn Ldr Al Barnes from 216 Sqn for raising

over £3500 for RAFA; inspiration to all to join

in as the sky is the limit to the amount you

can raise.

Finally, have you tried a new activity this

year? If what you have read so far does not

inspire you to raise money for others then try

your hand at any of the many sporting activities supported by the

station. The Sporting echelons of the Station continue to show

no matter how busy we are there is always time to have fun and

challenge yourself; so whether it is waterskiing or karting have

a go, as plenty of people are! Contact the Physical Education

Flight for details of the clubs on offer and look out for those clubs

advertising in this month’s magazine. Happy reading and keep

the articles coming in.

Gateway - www.raf.mod.uk/rafbrizenorton

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PROGRAMME FUTURE BRIZE

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT?

Many of you may have heard about

a new initiative called Programme

Future Brize. Indeed, some of you will

already have been involved in work to

support the Programme. But what is

Programme Future Brize?

Firstly, Future Brize represents a major

change in the way the RAF has approached the redevelopment

of RAF Brize Norton and drawdown of RAF Lyneham. It is not

just a new name for the now defunct CATARA IPT. Put simply,

as the newly-appointed Senior Responsible Owner (SRO), AVM

Hillier, AOC 2 Gp, now has direct responsibility for ensuring

that the amalgamation of RAF Brize Norton and RAF Lyneham

is achieved in the required timescale without impacting on

operations. To achieve that goal, he has set up a structured

programme with Air Cdre Oborn, AO ATAAR as Programme

Director and Gp Capt David Houghton as his Programme

Manager. The core Programme Future Brize Team is setting

up home in Building S46 (the old Dental Centre) at RAF Brize

Norton. By establishing a structured programme AOC 2 Gp

can ensure that all the activities that need to take place, and

the associated decisions that must be made, are taken forward

in good time.

To make sure those things happen, a huge amount of

time and intellectual effort has been spent ‘baselining’ the

Programme - effectively working out exactly what it is that

we need to do. That baselining, which has now been divided

into 9 Workstream areas (Infrastructure, Equipment, People

& Organisation, Information & CIS, Logistics & Engineering

Support, Relocation, Operations, Lyneham Closure and

Training) has identified a huge number of Projects and Subprojects

which need to be completed in order to ensure that

the amalgamation of the 2 Stations is achieved on time and

as smoothly as possible. The work that needs to be done to

make the Programme happen has already started and will

continue until the amalgamation of the 2 Bases is complete.

But what is it that we are trying to achieve and why do we

need a dedicated Programme?

The focus of Programme Future Brize is the co-location

of all the UK’s current and future Strategic and Tactical Air

Transport, Air-to-Air Refuelling, and associated capabilities on

a single operating base, which will become the UK’s single

military Air Port of Embarkation in support of operations.

The successful delivery of Future Brize is fundamental to the

UK’s ability to support both current deployed operations and

future contingencies at any scale. As you will have gathered,

the Programme is ambitious and highly complex, requiring the

relocation of 2 types of Hercules aircraft from RAF Lyneham

and the integration of their capabilities with the 3 existing

platforms based at RAF Brize Norton. Concurrently, the FSTA

and A400M, major programmes in their own right, will be

introduced to service and integrated into operational use, with

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the associated drawdown of the aircraft they replace (TriStar,

VC10 and C-130K).

In addition to the aircraft, a number of large lodger units

and their people will be relocated; they, like the squadrons, are

required to maintain their operational output throughout the

transition. In all, approximately 2500 serving personnel, civil

servants and Contractors will be relocated from RAF Lyneham

to RAF Brize Norton, alongside their equipment. This will result

in RAF Brize Norton becoming home to around 5500 Service

personnel (over 13% of the RAF’s uniformed manpower), and

their dependents, along with significant numbers of our civil

service colleagues and industry partners. This puts in context

the scale of the challenge we are facing and the critical need

to succeed.

When is all this going to happen? Well, a key milestone

will be the relocation of the C-130 force to RAF Brize Norton

by 30 September 2011, when all flying operations will cease

at RAF Lyneham. This will be followed by the movement of

other major units from RAF Lyneham to RAF Brize Norton,

after which RAF Lyneham will be declared surplus to HQ AIR

requirements by 31 December 2012. Concurrently, new SLAM

will be developed at RAF Brize Norton and planned major

infrastructure programmes (including a new Air Terminal and

Freight Handling Facility) will come to fruition, while Defence

Estates will deliver appropriate and acceptable SFA to meet

the demand expected at Future Brize Norton. Throughout

all this, the critical operational support provided by RAF Brize

Norton and RAF Lyneham must continue without interruption

- no small task.

Programme Future Brize has hit the ground running and will

continue to accelerate over the coming weeks and months.

Nobody is underestimating the size of the challenge we face

over the next 2 years but I am confident that we will make

Future Brize work and, ultimately, develop RAF Brize Norton

into an airbase fit for the next 50 years and a Station at which

people will remain proud to serve.


Team Brize

A row of dilapidated garages have been demolished in the first

stage of a new era for the Officers’ Mess at RAF Brize Norton.

The garages have been levelled to make way for a brand new

SLAM block which will increase the capacity of the Officers’

Mess by 66 bed spaces. The rooms will be fully equipped with

ensuite shower rooms, modular furniture and television and

telephone connection points to bring the Officers’ Mess into

the 21st century.

Gp Capt Jon Ager, Officer Commanding RAF Brize Norton,

officially handed the site over to Debut Project Manager Ed

Larkin and welcomed the development as a vital part of the

Future Brize project.

‘The Officers’ Mess here at Brize Norton is undergoing a

major transformation to provide additional capacity to manage

the increase in personnel numbers expected as part of Future

Brize and also to make it a better place to live for those who

consider this their home’.

The Officers’ Mess has already received a £850,000 investment

New Era for Officers’ Mess

RAF Brize Norton welcomes Iraqi Prime Minister

Photo John Readshaw. Prime Minister signing the VIP book with

Stn Cdr.

to upgrade 2 wings of the building to provide 75 refurbished

rooms with shared bathroom facilities. Officers’ Mess Manager,

Peter Miles, said the ongoing improvements are enthusiastically

welcomed by the Mess population.

‘The accommodation part of the building was well overdue

a bit of TLC and the occupants of the finished wing are very

pleased with the improvements’.

The SLAM block is expected to take 12 months to complete

and should be ready for the first residents to move in by March

2010. The block is the smallest of 9 planned at RAF Brize Norton

as part of major works to prepare the Station for RAF Lyneham’s

amalgamation in June 2012.

RAF Brize Norton played host for the arrival of His Excellency Mr

Nouri Kamil Al-Maliki, Prime Minister of Iraq, on an official visit

to the UK.

Prime Minister Maliki is on a 3 day visit where he will attend

the ‘Invest Iraq: London 2009 Conference’.

On greeting the Prime Minister as he arrived at RAF Brize

Norton, Gp Capt Jon Ager, Station Commander said ‘We are

delighted to welcome His Excellency to the UK. It is a real privilege

for RAF Brize Norton to be able to facilitate this visit at such a key

moment in history, with the cessation of the military mission and

the strengthening of friendly relations between the UK and Iraq’.

Photo John Readshaw. Gp Capt Ager and Lady Lyall Grant meet

Prime Minister.

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8 Gateway - www.raf.mod.uk/rafbrizenorton

The Bird In Hand Inn

Hailey, Witney

The Bird in Hand Inn is a classic Cotswolds country inn located in Whiteoak Green,

Oxfordshire, near Witney on the B4022, just outside of the small village of Hailey. We

are situated in the heart of the country yet only 6 miles from Brize Norton and a few

miles from the major Cotswold attractions and Oxford.

Our award winning restaurant and Michelin trained chefs cater for

individual and party occasions at reasonable cost.

Conference rooms available from 4 to 40.

We cater for wedding parties from 10 to 100

16 modern en suite bedrooms from £80 per room per night bed &

breakfast. Please ask about our special discount for Servicemen &

their families when booking.

For information on the above, please contact Emer Gallagher

who will be delighted to assist.

Hailey, Witney, Oxfordshire, OX29 9XP

Tel: +44(0) 1993 868321

welcome@birdinhandinn.co.uk www.birdinhandinn.co.uk


Gateway - www.raf.mod.uk/rafbrizenorton

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Team Brize

Worshipful Company of Carmen

On Mon 27 April 09, 15 members of the Worshipful Company of

Carmen visited RAF Brize Norton for a Stn visit and AAR sortie.

The Worshipful Company of Carmen is a Guild of the City of

London, whose members are principally from the transportation

industry. The Company has a long standing relationship with

RAF Brize Norton and, in particular, a formal association with the

Defence Movements School (DMS). The visit was at the request

of AOC 2 Gp and the aim was to promote further interaction with

members of the Worshipful Company of Carmen, by providing

them with an insight to daily operations at RAF Brize Norton,

specifically focussing on an AAR sortie.

When Jessie met…

Pic: (Steve Lympany) LtoR: Air Cdr Brecht, AVM Lamonte, ACM Kennedy, AVM Filbey, AVM

Beer, Air Cdr Poulton, Gp Capt Bates, Gp Capt Kearney, Air Cdr Elliott, Gp Capt Ager.

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Station Commanders - past and present

- paid a surprise visit to one of RAF Brize

Norton’s biggest fans - Mrs Jessie Webb.

Mrs Webb, who is a resident at The

Homestead in Carterton, has a long

association with the Station going back

to the early 1960s. It was during an

earlier visit, in February of this year by

Gp Capt and Mrs Ager, that the idea of

arranging for some past Stn Cdrs to visit

Mrs Webb was suggested.

The visit was a great success, and

Mrs Webb was presented with a

beautiful bouquet of flowers. Her, now

legendary, autograph book was also

produced and duly signed. One thing is

for certain, there are not many ladies of

Mrs Webb’s youthful years (she will be

91 in September) who can boast a visit

from no less than one ACM, 3 AVMs,

3 Air Cdrs, and 3 Gp Capts!

AOC 2 Gp was in attendance for the duration of the event,

including the VC10 sortie. Flt Lt Sharon Hall, OC RAF Trg Flt, DMS,

hosted the visit on behalf of the Stn Cdr. The visit commenced

with a luncheon in the Officers’ Mess, which was also attended

by the Stn Cdr, OC Ops and OC DMS. This was followed by a Stn

Brief, presented by OC Ops Wg. The members of the Worshipful

Company of Carmen then participated in a VC10 refuelling sortie,

provided by 101 Sqn. The 3-hour sortie was flown by AOC 2

Gp and Flt Lt Paul Smith and involved refuelling Typhoon and

Tornado aircraft.

Flt Lt S HALL, OC RAF Trg Flt, DMS


On 27 April 09, the Air Traffic Control Sqn at RAF Brize

Norton conducted a planned electrical outage, to comply

with 5-year electrical safety tests. SATCO Brize (Sqn Ldr

John Parfitt) took the opportunity to deploy the airfield

emergency lighting so that familiarization training

could be done.

The lighting (known as MOSKIT) is carried in a self

contained trailer, which houses the lights themselves

and stand-alone generators. All the equipment

is air-portable and has been previously used at

Basrah Air Station and Camp Bastion. With a

trained team of three, it can be deployed within

30 minutes of the main approach and runway

lights failing. Because the lights are powered

(and charged when not in use) by stand-alone

generators, MOSKIT can be operated almost

indefinitely without a mains power source.

The training carried out ensures that ATC

will be able to deploy MOSKIT quickly in

future, as part of the Station’s Business

Continuity Plan. Keeping the airfield

operational in future, during periods when

mains power is unavailable, may prove

essential to maintaining the strategic

airbridge to the operational theatres.

SATCO - Sqn Ldr Parfitt said: ‘I am very

pleased with the way the day has gone

and I am confident that, in the unlikely

event of an unplanned power outage

occurring in the future, we would be in

a position to resume operations quickly’.

Air Traffic Control

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Team Brize

The Learning Forces Learning Awards 2009

Presented by OC BSW Wg Cdr Coton on 11 May 09

The Learning Forces Learning Awards recognise and promote

lifelong learning throughout the Service community and award

prizes for personal development achievements.

There are 4 categories, 3 of which are initially judged at Station

Level. The 4th category (sponsored by The Open University) is only

judged at National level and this is the ‘Open University Award’

as several of our winners studied by that method they will go

forward for that 4th category.

The Station Level winners of the following 3 categories will also

be forwarded to the National Level Awards to compete against

the other Station Level winners from across the RAF.

‘The Service Related Learning Award’

This award is for individuals who have undertaken any form

of learning which has benefited the Service, but which is not

part of their compulsory professional development. The benefits

reflect the learner’s job role or wider aspects of Service life such

as commissioning, secondary duties, charities, sport or anything

that has improved the quality of life for the Service community.

The winner of this award was FS Clive Martland of the P ed

Flight. Clive has shown dedication and commitment to lifelong

learning in achieving:

Certificate in Education - City and guilds Certificate in delivering

learning - NVQ level 4 Management - Level 4 Sports Massage

and Remedial Bodywork - BSC Honours Degree in Sports

Rehabilitation.

His future learning plans lie in Master’s level study.

Second place in this category was Cpl Christopher Hazell of

Structures Bay who has achieved - HNC engineering - ECDL - NVQ

Level 4 Management - University Short Courses to enhance his

Commission application

Third place was Sgt Malcolm Ralph of Junior Ranks’ Mess who

has achieved ECDL - NVQ Level 4 Management. He intends to

complete Environmental Protection Courses in the future.

‘The Significant Individual learning Achievement Award’

This award recognises outstanding achievement that has

proved inspirational to others; It is for higher level learning

studied for outside of normal duties and forms part of a long

term learning plan.

The winner of this award was Sgt Kevin Orrey of our parented

unit JSSU Cheltenham.

Kevin epitomises the lifelong learning ethos, studying with

the Open University over many years maintaining a work/life/

study balance.

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He has achieved - IT undergraduate Certificate and Diploma

- Batchelor of Science Open Degree - Numerous other IT

qualifications - currently completing 2 Master’s level programmes

in ‘Computer Security and Forensics. His goal is to achieve his

Masters degree.

Second place in this category was Sac Lee Tomas of Catering

flight who has achieved - Undergraduate Certificate in Social

Sciences - currently studying to achieve Undergraduate Degree

in ‘Politics Economics and Philosophy’ Lee is also learning Arabic.

Third place went to Sac Julian Bell of 99 Sqn he has completed

- Certificate of Higher Education in Natural Science and is

progressing with other modules his goal is to complete an Open

Degree in Engineering Science and Technology.

‘The Returning to Learning Award’

This award is in recognition of individuals who have successfully

returned to learning after a break of at least 5 years and have

achieved a qualification that has enhanced their career or quality

of life.

The winner of this award was Mrs Trudy Exley of Gateway

House Hotel.

A career change led to Trudy’s desire to start studying again,

after the birth of her children. An Access to Higher Education

course earned her a place at Oxford Brooks University which she

had to turn down and opt for the flexibility of studying with the

Open University - now in her 4th year studying English Literature

Undergraduate Degree, she is an inspiration in achieving so

much whilst juggling home life with work running the St Johns

Ambulance cadets - finding enough time is always her greatest

challenge. Trudy’s ambition is to complete her Degree and do an

AAT course at Abingdon and Witney College.

Second place was Flt Lt Graham Hannam of VC10 Training

flight, who returned to Learning after completing ECDL and

become hooked on the idea of learning he has since gained -

Advanced ECDL - by studying for a Degree in Modern Languages

he has learnt German, French and Spanish his goal is to be fluent

in those languages by retirement.

Third Place was Sgt Sarah Plumridge of Structures bay, her

ambition is to complete an Open University Degree then progress

into teaching primary school education when she leaves the

Service. Sarah has achieved - IGCSE Physics and is currently

studying Maths for her Degree.

W Usherwood

PLA


Henlow Flying Club Visit

Henlow Flying Club visited the Station on 9 May. Five aircraft

flew into Brize from RAF Henlow for the visit, two Cessna 150’s,

a Cessna 172, Piper Archer and a Piel Emeraude. For most of

these pilots it was their first landing on a large airfield, operating

alongside the large jets was quiet a novelty. The 18 guests went

initially to 216 Sqn were they were briefed by Flt Lt Scott Butler

on the role of the Station and the tasks undertaken by the 3

Squadrons. They were also briefed on the role of the Tristar in

maintaining the Operation Herrick air bridge. After this they were

shown around a Tristar KC1 and had the opportunity to have a

look in the cockpit and a walk around the outside. They then

went to the Officers’ Mess for lunch before going across to Air

Traffic Control. Fg Off Adam Morris described the differing role

of the tower and radar controllers and what services Brize Radar

could provide to light aircraft operating near Brize Zone. The

group then went to 99 Sqn were CT Bach gave them a guided

tour of the C17, they were most impressed with the size and

capabilities of the aircraft. They then returned to their aircraft

for the flight back to RAF Henlow.

Flt Lt Scott Butler

The Award for Excellence

The recipient for the Award for Excellence for February

2009 is Mechanical Transport Maintenance Section (MTMS)

Group Award

In maintaining the Unit’s Mission Critical Airfield Support

Vehicles (ASVs), MTMS play a vital and significant role in

ensuring the continued success of the APOE. However, due to

the trade’s poor manning, high Out of Area commitment and

an establishment recognised to be less than that required to

meet its customers’ needs, its personnel have had to develop

a hard-working and flexible approach to their duties to ensure

availability of the Unit’s ASVs is maximised. Moreover, rightfully

recognised as vehicle specialists its personnel are routinely called

upon to support unestablished tasks that have a direct benefit

on Operations, often providing technical assistance for theatrebound

vehicles being transported through the Airbridge, which

often compounds the already fragile manning situation.

Recognising that this small section was already operating above

capacity, only succeeding due to the pure tenacity and dedication of

its personnel, there were several significant challenges throughout

February to test its leadership, management, team spirit and

work ethic. Like much of the Unit, the disruption caused by the

loss of IT added significantly to management and administrative

burdens, stretching already limited resources; however, it was the

impact of the weather that was to demonstrate the true stature

of this section. Through energetic and robust leadership provided

by Chf Tech Spicer and a positive attitude and heightened work

ethic demonstrated by all personnel, including the most junior

technician SAC Dean Anderson, MTMS continued to provide

essential support to the Stn during the heaviest snowfall in 20

years by initiating 24hr BLACKTOP cover. Extended work hours,

cancelled leave, sub-zero temperatures and lack of serviceable

February 2009

Photograph from John Readshaw. Front Row Left to Right: SAC

Dean Anderson, Gp Capt Ager and Flt Lt Ben Smy . Back Row

Left to Right: Mr John Dobson - Availability Manager - BAE

Systems, Fg Off D Ayton, Sgt Bill Mortimer.

heating in their hanger could not sway the Section’s perseverance.

By maintaining good humour and a firm focus throughout, their

continued and unstinting support ensured vital equipment was

kept available, thereby enabling critical Operational sorties to be

met and Station’s roads to be kept clear.

Award for Excellence is supported by BAE Systems.

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Team Brize

The Award for Excellence

Force Protection Training Flight - Winners of Award For Excellence - March 09

The RAF Brize Norton Force Protection

(FP) Training Flt is charged with the

provision of FP training for all Stn

personnel in order that they can

deliver global mobility.

Personnel requiring FP deployment

training, for Ops HERRICK and TELIC,

attend the Individual Reinforcement

Training Category B course, held at RAF

Brize Norton. During the 23-27 February

09, A Staff Assistance Visit by the RAF FP

Centre reviewed the IRT course content.

The report concluded that the quality of

the course was the best seen on Units by

the RAF FP Centre staff during the previous

12 months. Confirmation of practical

training was achieved in a realistic and

operationally minded environment and

the report also stated that a number of

observed best practices will be offered

to other FP Regional Training Centres

providing similar courses. Given that the

RAF Brize Norton FP Flt is currently not a

Regional Centre and has operated with

only 4 JNCOs since Jun 08, instead of the

6 on establishment, this was an especially

strong endorsement.

The FP Flt’s ethos is to provide an

effective and flexible learning environment,

augmented by the operational experience

of its staff. The Flt’s Admin Assistant, Mrs

Gillian Hughes, a crucial and ever-present

team member processes a monthly average

of over 850 FP course bookings. Despite a

current strength of only 8 personnel against

an establishment of 11; exacerbated by the

FS’s 4-month out-of-area deployment, the

professional output of the FP Flt remains

pivotal and fundamental to the successful

preparation of RAF Brize Norton personnel

for operations.

It can be argued that the FP Training Flt

is simply doing its primary task very well,

supported by strong leadership; however,

the effectiveness of the staff reaches

every facet of Stn life. Cpl Chris Fearnley,

Photograph John Readshaw. Left to Right: John Dobson (BAE Systems), Mrs Hughes,

OC Regt Flt, Cpl Fearnley, Stn Cdr, Flt Lt Smy.

employed on numerous unestablished

tasks, has received laudatory praise from

RAF Lyneham for his outstanding

assistance in support of

Op PABBAY, and his

thoroughly professional

approach organising

the ceremonial aspect

for a funeral service at

RAF Boscombe Down.

Another JNCO, Cpl

Chris Collins, raised

£1,000 for charity in the

Great North Run and was

recently applauded by the

SWO for his sense of duty and

moral courage. Further examples

include Cpl ‘Budders’ Budworth, who

prevented a potential late night serious

road traffic accident, by his prompt actions

whilst on guard duty. The fourth JNCO,

Cpl Matthew Griffiths is an exceptionally

effective instructor and also a devoted

The Flt epitomises

the RAF’s core

values of Respect,

Integrity, Service

and Excellence.

Gateway - www.raf.mod.uk/rafbrizenorton

voluntary member of the RAF Brize Norton

First Response medical tea, supporting

the local community.

The Flt epitomises the RAF’s

core values of Respect,

Integrity, Service and

Excellence. Each

member of the team

merits an individual

submission for the

Award. However, in

the finest traditions of

the RAF Regt, the team

places success above self,

with very high professional

and personal standards. For

these reasons, the FP Training Flight

is a worthy recipient of the March 09

Award for Excellence.

Award for Excellence is supported by

BAE Systems.


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15


16

Mr. 10%

Sqn Ldr Keith Hewitt of the Royal Air Force 99 Squadron is

affectionately referred to as ‘Mr. 10%’ by his colleagues. He

is the first UK pilot to have flown 1/10th of the UK’s C-17

fleet of 50,000 flight hours.

With an already experienced career in the RAF, Squadron

Leader Keith Hewitt began flying C-17’s in 2000, as a member

of the cadre of RAF pilots who were trained by USAF in

advance of aircraft delivery in May 2001.

‘To reach 5,000 personal flight hours on C-17 is an honour

Interview with Sqn Ldr Hewitt.

99 Sqn and the Royal Air Forces Association

Last month saw the efforts of Flt Lt Belmont

being delivered to RAFA in the form of a cheque

for £300, after selling the squadron review DVD

to help support all our members. This month,

Flt Lt Wisely has taken on the charge of RAFA

Liaison Officer and is driving forward to make

this year for the Royal Air Forces Association,

a bumper one. Not one to miss a chance to

raise funds, Anton seized the opportunity (along with a few

willing volunteers with buckets and RAFA stickers), and ensured

everybody at the 99 Squadron 50,000 hour party, dug deep. The

that I simply never thought I would have,’ said Sqn Ldr Hewitt.

‘Our missions are varied but many of them are life-saving

critical. Every day, dozens of people make sure that the aircraft

is ready when needed.’

Sqn Ldr Keith Hewitt has received several awards during his

time as a C-17 pilot including the Member of the British Empire,

and the Russian Order of Friendship from President Putin for

his part in saving the lives of seven Russian sailors. He has a

personal career high of over 10,000 military flying hours.

party was well attended with support from 101

and 216 Squadrons. The result of everyone’s good

cheer is still to be announced but at last count

was looking to exceed £300. I’m sure when the

Mosely branch of the Royal Air Forces Association

is hosted by 99 Sqn later on this month, that news

will be greeted with great cheer. Please, if you see

our girls and boys collecting for RAFA, take just

20 seconds to stop and show your support. Thanks.

Sgt Si Mahon

99 Sqn

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Cogges Manor

Farm Museum

Witney, Oxon OX28 3LA

Tel: 01993 772602

www.cogges.org

cogges.manor@oxfordshire.gov.uk

Take a step back in time and enjoy a

unique Victorian experience. Period Manor

House, Walled kitched garden and orchard.

Original farmstead with farm animals

and children’s farm.Tea Room offering light lunches, cakes

and afternoon tea. Free Parking and audio guide.

June Events Include: 6th & 7th - Mini Beasts, Bugs and Bats

13th & 14th - Woodcraft Weekend. 20th & 21st Manor House Tours - Focus

on architecture. 26th Memory Lane - Special day for over 55’s.

July Events Include: 4th & 5th - Dig for Victory - Gardening Weekend.

Opening Times: Tues - Fri 10.30am - 5pm

Sat, Sun & Bank Holiday Mondays 11am - 5pm

C O T S W O L D

G A T E W A Y

H o t e l & R e s t a u r a n t

AT BURFORD

3 Star hotel with 20 en-suite bedrooms.

Bar and restaurant open 7 days a week

serving fresh meals.

Cheltenham Road, Burford, Oxon OX18 4HX

Tel: 01993 822695 Fax: 01993 823600

www.cotswold-gateway.co.uk

Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens

Set in 160 acres of

beautiful landscaped

parkland with a diverse

collection of mammals,

birds, reptiles and

insects. WALK WITH

LEMURS in the

Madagascar enclosure,

see penguins being fed,

enjoy the BIRDS OF

PREY FLYING

DEMONSTRATIONS at

Bank Holidays, ride on

the NARROW-GAUGE

RAILWAY, have a

picnic. Excellent

facilities, wheelchair

friendly, free parking,

dogs allowed on leads.

SEASON TICKETS are

excellent value.

For more information see

www.cotswoldwildlifepark.co.uk or call 01993 823006

Open daily from 10am situated on the A361 2.5 miles

south of Burford

Visiting the leper Salient?

Stay at

Cherry Blossom B&B

Grote Branderstraat 30

8908 Vlamertinge (Brandhoek)

Ieper (Ypres) Belgium

Tel: 0032(0)57 30 15 55

Mob: 0032(0)472 347 694

Tea/Coffee and Bar Available

Contact Elizabeth for information

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www.cherryblossom.be

Cherry

Blossom

17


101 Squadron

AOC 2 Gp flies an AAR mis

AOC Visit 1 - Flt Lt Jim Mason presents AVM Hillier with his 101

Sqn Pilots badge

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On Sunday 10 May, AOC 2 Gp, AVM Hillier, took time out

from his busy schedule to visit Al Udeid Air Base (AUAB),

Qatar. As part of his visit he particularly wanted to fly with

101 Sqn to experience, first hand, current VC10 operations

over Iraq and 101 Sqn was only too happy to help him

achieve that desire. AVM Hillier recently completed

the ‘VC10 Senior Officers’ Course’ which qualified him

to operate the VC10 as left hand seat pilot under the

supervision of a VC10 Training Flight Flying Instructor.

The visit to AUAB provided the AOC with the ideal

opportunity to consolidate his recent VC10 training in an

operational environment. The itinerary included a visit to

the Hercules detachment and the Combined Air Operations

Centre (CAOC); a whistle stop tour to say the least! With

less than 2 days in theatre, a hectic schedule for the visit

was created and the VC10 detachment eagerly awaited

the AOC’s arrival.

AVM Hillier was flown out from the UK on a C-17 from

99 Sqn and arrived in the early evening of Sun 10 May. He

was greeted at the VIP’s Emir Lounge by Air Cdre Barmby,

the Air Component Commander (ACC) and Flt Lt Jim Mason,

the VC10 Detachment Commander, who acted as the host

for the AOC during his time with 101 Sqn. There was just

enough time for the AOC to freshen up before commencing

the pre flight routine with his crew for that night’s Op

TELIC sortie.

As any good ‘Ascoteer’ will tell you, an airman should

Main photograph: AOC Visit 4 - VC10 in the foreground, Hercules in the background, C17 taking off.


sion over Iraq with 101 Sqn

AOC Visit 3 - AVM Hillier at the controls over Iraq.

never go to war on an empty stomach so, in keeping with

tradition, the next port of call was the mess hall for some

slap up nosh American style. The AOC was introduced to

the rest of his crew; Sqn Ldr Andy Scott, Flt Lt Keith Brown,

Flt Lt Kieran Smyth and Fg Off Tex Russi and wasted no time

getting to know his new comrades over dinner.

Before any mission, the operating crew have to check

the briefing documents to see what ‘trade’ they have for

the air-to-air refuelling sequence and check that they have

enough fuel to complete the sortie as planned. They will

also check the weather en-route to and from the operating

area along with destination and diversion airfields to make

sure that the weather is suitable for the task. But before

they could set off, there was one last thing to do. In order

that the AOC felt a true part of 101 Sqn, Flt Lt Mason

presented AVM Hillier with his specially tailored 101 Sqn,

VC10 name badge, complete with pilots’ wings. He was

very grateful for the gesture and wore his 101 Sqn Pilot’s

badge with pride; now officially one of the crew, he set off

on his mission over Iraq.

The sortie was a resounding success and the crew

remained flexible as ever. Due to their doggedness and

determination, the crew managed to extend on task and

give their fuel away to American coalition fighter jets

before returning home: mission accomplished.

AVM Hillier thoroughly enjoyed his VC10 experience and

flew the approach and landing to runway 34 at AUAB to

round off what was a successful mission. The visit provided

AVM Hillier with the opportunity to meet and chat with

both VC10 and Hercules detachment personnel at AUAB

and to discuss current issues. He was able to gain many

individuals’ perspectives on today’s operational challenges.

It was also highly appropriate that the AOC witnessed the

essential contribution that the VC10 tanker force has made

to Op TELIC, providing much needed air-to-air refuelling

to British and coalition fighter aircraft in order to extend

their sortie durations and project air power further into

the AOR; a capability that 101 Sqn stands ready to provide

wherever and whenever in the future.

Article by Flt Lt Jim Mason

Photography by Flt Lt Jim Mason and Fg Off Tex Russi

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19


CARTERTON TOWN COUNCIL

Town Hall, Alvescot Road, Carterton, OX18 3JL

Public information, travel tokens, bus

timetables, Thursday market

Room hire for parties and meetings

Maintains recreational facilities

Welcome packs for new residents

Tel 01993 842156

Email: jeustace@carterton-tc.gov.uk

www.carterton-tc.gov.uk

CHARLIE’S TAXIS Ltd

CARTERTON / BURFORD

BRIZE NORTON

01993 845 253

Long and short stay car park

facilities available

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Carterton Kebab House

9 The Tower Centre, Alvescot Road, Caterton

Tel: 01993 845577

Open 4pm - 12am 7 days a week

Burgers, Doner Kebab, Shish Kebab, Kofte Kebab,

Vegetarian Kebab, In-house Special, Fried Chicken,

Scampi, Chips, Chicken Nuggets and lots more

ALL OUR FOOD IS FRESH


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21


LONDON 216 MARATHON Squadron 26 APRIL 2009

Sqn Ldr

Al Barnes,

216 Sqn

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For the last two and a half years I have

been the RAF Brize Norton Royal Air Forces

Association Liaison Officer (RAFALO),

which has been a really interesting and

enjoyable secondary duty. The duty involves

linking the Association to Station life and

supporting RAFA in general by promoting

membership. There is naturally some

fundraising to be done - which normally

centres around the Wings Appeal collections

in September. After last year’s collections,

and conscious that I would be soon handing

the duty over to someone else, I decided that

I would like to make a notable contribution

to the Association to mark the end of my

RAFALO duty.

So, having always wanted to complete a

marathon - I volunteered to take a Golden

Bond place in the London Marathon in

support of RAFA, and therefore committed

myself to raising around £1500. Training

kicked in around Christmas - not the best

time of year to be out running! It is very

easy to stay indoors with the fire on, a glass

of wine by the side and your feet up when

faced with pounding the streets in the cold

and wet. Nevertheless I cracked on (slowly)

and for the next few months got myself in

to some sort of shape! At the same time

hijacked all of my family and friends and

their friends to start raising some money.

A gate collection here at Brize raised just

over £450.

As the day approached I was confident

that I would be able to do the course in a

reasonable time, but didn’t anticipate the

heat on the day. It was to be a scorcher! The

crowds came out in great numbers to cheer

us all on and almost 40,000 runners had a

fantastic day. All went well up to about 18

miles then I hit my ‘wall’ and it all slowed

down as my legs resisted movement. It

seemed to be happening to all those around

me as well which ‘helped’, but the crowds

kept shouting at us and we eventually got

to the line. My finish time was 3 hours

58 mins 27 secs, which I am quite pleased

with - but more pleasingly I raised just over

£3500 for RAFA. That money gets marked

against RAF Brize Norton as having come

from the Station.

Thank you very much to all who supported

me or donated in one way or another.

Donations can still be made at www.

justgiving.com/albarnes1

I would definitely recommend anybody

who feels up to it to run a London Marathon

as the atmosphere is amazing and the sense

of personal achievement afterwards is huge.

If you can do it for charity as well, you can

really make a difference.


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23


RAF Falcons FALCONS

On 6 April 09 the members of the

RAF Falcons Parachute Display Team

from Brize Norton, travelled to Lake

Elsinore in the USA for a two week

Parachute expedition called Exercise

Freefall Endeavour. The main focus

of the Exercise was for the Team to

train and learn new skills in both 4

way and 8 way formation skydiving.

For many members of the Team this

would be their first real prolonged

exposure to this form of Parachuting,

as their focus and training has been

on Display Parachuting, thus this is

a ground breaking Exercise for the

Falcons.

The Team decided the Exercise

would take place at a different drop

zone than our usual training locations

and Lake Elsinore in California was

the chosen destination. The drop zone

is a friendly and relaxed environment

located close to the Lake itself which

proved a beautiful backdrop for the

Team to perform their jumping.

The Team began jumping on 8 April

09 under the guidance of FS Toby

Goodchild (Falcons Team Coach) & FS

‘Loz’ Cross (JSPC Weston on the Green).

The Team split into two individual

groups which would remain the

same for the full exercise with Toby

and Loz coaching a group each. The

initial concentration was on basic 4

way formation skydives with another

team member acting as cameraman,

this would be rotated around the

group throughout the exercise, which

is another requirement in each Team

members training prior to a Display

season.

In the first two days both

groups had amassed 10

skydives apiece, not a bad

start to the exercise with

both groups seeming to

jump well. However windy

conditions were expected

the following 2 days, and

unfortunately this was the

case and the team were

unable to jump. However,

those days were put to

good use by practicing

skydives on the ground

and exit techniques which

is known as ‘dirt diving’.

Prior to the exercise FS

Goodchild had booked for

the Team to receive expert

coaching from an ex World

Champion competition

skydiver, a John Hamilton

f o r m e r l y o f A r i z o n a

Airspeed skydive Team.

Exercise

24

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Freefall En


deavour

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John introduced himself and what

he would be doing with the group it

showed he had a vast knowledge of

all aspects of skydiving. A valuable

lesson he taught the Team was that the

skydive itself is only a small part of the

process, whereas detailed planning and

practice for each jump on the ground is

paramount. Also following the skydive

a positive, group interactive debrief

is vital to move onto the next Dive. It

was obvious everyone was gaining a

lot from John’s tutelage and after a few

days everybody’s performances in the

sky were noticeably improving.

John then introduced everyone to

8 Way formations; this involved the

whole team jumping together with

1 person on camera, with even more

planning prior to the jump. Initially

the Team had a few unsuccessful exits

which resulted in them having to break

grips with each other, and then join

back together. John decided to don his

Jumpsuit and assist the Team in an 8

Way jump. Unsurprising the Team were

successful on this occasion and it was

evident with the delight of the whole

Team of nailing an 8 Way exit, which

apparently much more experienced

teams struggle to complete. During

the Exercise the Team also had a wind

tunnel training session with John

which had a real positive impact on

everyone’s flying positions and once

again was evident in the transition to

the sky. The Team managed to conduct

some Display Training on the Exercise

which would keep the Team fresh for

their forthcoming Ratification display

on 13 May 09 at Brize Norton. Nearing

the end of the Exercise the Falcons

joined forces with the Parachute

Regiment Display Team ‘The Red

Devils’ to perform a 16 way

skydive which was extremely

successful on the first attempt

and got some excellent footage

and photographs.

In summary the trip was

extremely successful in terms of

the location, the skills learnt and

also the up to date knowledge

which can return back to No 1

Parachute Training School, with

the whole team getting 62 jumps

each. The Team would like to

thank RAF Lyneham medical

support, packing support from

BPS Wattisham and PEF at RAF

Brize Norton and also Skydive

Elsinore in particular John

Hamilton for his time and effort.

Hopefully this is an experience

the Team can repeat next year.

Cpl Brian Wright

RAF Falcons

25


RAF Falcons and Blue Peter

Blue Peter Presenter

Andy Akinwelore

was challenged by

his fellow presenters

to learn to skydive

a n d c o m p l e t e a

formation skydive

with the RAF Falcons

Parachute Display

Team. On 31 March

09 seven members

of the RAF Falcons

a l o n g w i t h t w o

medics from RAF

Lyneham flew out

to Lake Elsinore to

begin Andy’s Initial

training.

Once familiarizing

ourselves with the Lake

Elsinore drop zone it

was straight into it for

Andy. He was soon

getting geared up and

trained ready to do

a tandem Parachute

decent. It was thought

this would be a great

way to give him a taste

of what was to come but with the comfort of being strapped to Mineev and with over 15800 parachute jumps and a former

an experienced instructor. The Instructor given the responsibility two time world champion it was agreed he was more than up

of getting Andy safely down from 13500 feet laid with Mikhail to the task.

26

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26

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All geared up and ready to go, Andy was now starting to

show obvious signs of nerves. He knew this was only the

beginning and if he was to back out now he wouldn’t be

able to complete his ultimate aim of complete a formation

skydive with the RAF Falcons. Well the video said it all and

he absolutely loved it and he couldn’t wait to do it again, but

this time all by himself! After a short refresher on the training

he had been given in the UK Andy was ready to do begin his

Freefall course and learn to skydive all by himself. Conducting

all Andy’s training and ensuring his safety throughout the course

was FS Toby Goodchild (Team coach) and Sgt Steve Spencer

(3rd year team member).

Andy completed the first two jumps with both Instructors

holding him just In case he encountered any problems. However

he had no problems at all and after the first two jumps Andy

was now able to carry out 90º turns and the most important job

of all, to pull his own parachute. The next jump was a big step

for Andy because he knew as soon as he was out the Aircraft,

providing he was stable, the instructors were to let go of him

and he would be free falling all by himself for the first time.

Andy once again progressed through that level with no

problems and it was all looking at bit too easy for Andy, and

then, things changed. Level 5 decent required Andy to dive out

the aircraft by himself with no instructors helping to keep him

stable. After exiting the aircraft all Andy said he saw for the first

3 thousand feet was the ground, the sky, the ground, the sky

as he tumbled out of control! However under the watchful eye

of the Instructors he managed to sort himself out, pull his own

parachute and once again make his way safely to the ground.

This didn’t faze Andy and he went straight back up and

had another go at the exit. It wasn’t a perfect exit but by the

end of this jump, which was only his 8th jump he was able to

Exit, turn, move forward, complete a back loop, pull his own

parachute and then land all by himself.

HE CAN NOW SKYDIVE!

So without wasting anymore time our next progression for

Andy was to do a small formation with three team members.

He really loves it now and can’t wait for the big one, the

formation skydive with the whole of the RAF Falcons Parachute

Display Team.

So then, Andy was ready, the team was ready and the

weather was perfect so on board everyone got. The aircraft

flew to 12000 feet, the green light came on and Andy exit the

aircraft with Toby and Steve. Then following them out of the

aircraft like home sick anvils were the remaining seven team

members. And by 9000 feet Andy was linked together with

the whole of the RAF Falcons Parachute Display Team to form

a large formation in the Californian sky.

CHALLENGE COMPLETE

What made Andy’s performance even more impressive was

the fact that through all the nerves and concentration he was

still required to film a TV programme. So as well as thinking

about what was required during the next jump, he was also

required to conduct interviews into the camera right until the

point he jumped out the aircraft.

The RAF Falcons would like to thank Andy and all the BBC

crew for there professionalism throughout.

Sgt’s Sonia Derbyshire and Richard Scott from RAF Lyneham

for there medical assistance.

And finally all the staff at Skydive Elsinore who very

accommodating throughout the filming of the Blue Peter

programme.

Gateway - www.raf.mod.uk/rafbrizenorton

PFS TRAINING

PRESENTS A NEW

CONCEPT IN

SELF DEFENCE

TRAINING

NO UNIFORMS

NO GRADINGS

JUST SELF DEFENCE

OVER 18’s ONLY

CALL 07977 560086

www.pfstraining.co.uk

27


28

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29


Logistics Officer Training (LOT) is now carried out at

RAF Halton at the Supply and Movements Training

Wing (SMTW). The course lasts 21 weeks and covers

all aspects of training required to prepare junior

Logistics officers for their first tour in the Branch.

These aspects include supply, civilian management,

fuels, catering and mobility.

As part of the mobility module package phase, 12

students from LOT 1 conducted their air related mobility

training at the DMS, RAF Brize Norton utilising SMEs from

both the Army and the RAF to enhance their training

experience. After the initial introductions, the first day

started with ISO Container Management and Husbandry

lessons followed by Movement by Road, Rail and by Sea

lessons. These lessons were delivered by OC Army Trg

Flt, Capt P Watt RLC and he gave the students an initial

introduction to Joint Movements and their procedures.

These lessons were extremely informative and were

received well by all.

The following day saw the students introduced to

Movement by Air under the guidance of Sgt Jase Murphy

from the DMS staff. The course was also introduced to

TRANSOP (BOCS) interpretation and the production of

aircraft flow charts. After lunch, the afternoon was taken up

with LOT 1 being taken through the processes required when

conducting a Brize Norton airfield recce under the experienced

direction of OC DMS, Sqn Ldr P Buxton. This culminated in a

practical exercise held on the airfield which saw the student’s

carry out a recce in syndicates.

On the final day of the course, all personnel were given the

opportunity to visit the Air Cargo hangar and viewed the inner

workings of the AMS first hand. In addition to, a visit to the Air

Terminal was enjoyed by all and the course was impressed by

the hard work carried out at all levels by those involved in the

reception, processing and onward movement of personnel and

equipment at Brize Norton. The day also included visits to Tristars

KC1 and C2 aircraft on the pan in various states of loading and

30

The Defence Movements School (DMS)

Logistics Officer Training Mobility

PHASE 1 - 3 APR 09 VISIT TO THE DEFENCE MOVEMENTS SCHOOL

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unloading. Following an introduction to vehicle preparation, the

afternoon saw the course introduced to cargo restraint and tie

down schemes and the palletisation of loads. To conclude the

air mobility phase, LOT 1 students got the opportunity to see the

Flight Load Simulators at the DMS and viewed several palletised

and flat floor loads on each aircraft.

The opportunity to get some practical exposure to the Branch

and an awareness of core Air Movements responsibilities for

all students was a sound experience and went some way to

preparing them to carry out their first tour, possibly as an OC MSF,

with confidence. Although this was the first time the mobility

phase of LOT has been to be taught at the DMS, the feedback

from students and DS alike was positive. LOT 2 will be coming

back to DMS in Aug for the second joint Wg activity.


Training the RAF of Tomorrow Today

Life at the DMS continues at pace

with the OC and all ranks working

hard to ensure that the delivery of all

core movements training is maintained

in order to meet the requirements

of a very busy and operationally

focussed trade. All DMS personnel

are continually looking for ways

to improve course delivery and to

enhance the training experience

overall - notably, the OMT course has

undergone a major overhaul as part

of this continuous improvement plan.

With OMT 240 due to start in early

May 09, it is hoped that the efforts

undertaken to improve this flagship

course will soon be seen by all.

The first quarter of 2009 has been

a busy period with the culmination

of several courses including FMT and

Army Mov Con courses. Following

the completion of OMT 239 on 24

Mar 09, three students departed the

DMS to assume appointments at 1 AMW, AMS and the Role

Office respectively. This was swiftly followed by the graduation

parade for BMT 29 on 25 March 09. Sixteen successful students,

observed by proud parents and family, took part in a faultless

aircraft loading and unloading demonstration and then, under

the watchful eye of Wg Cdr E M Purcell, OC APOE Wg, graduated

from the DMS. All successful students were posted to either the

AMS at Brize Norton or 1 AMW at RAF Lyneham. Prior to their

graduation, the students of BMT 29 organised a Charity Night.

Attended by all ranks from the school, this was also a great

success and raised over £130.00 for their nominated charity,

‘Help for Heroes’. The month of March was completed by a

DMS ‘Dining In’ Night on Fri 27 March 09 and again was a huge

success. Special thanks go to Sgt’s Mark Vaughan and Callum

Galbraith for organising the evening and to OC DMS for more

bad jokes during his speech!

Moves are afoot to relocate the Army Trg Flt (ATF), currently

based at Princess Royal Barracks, Deepcut to the DMS here at

RAF Brize Norton. Along with the ‘Future Brize’ project, this and

other challenges await all personnel involved with the delivery

of training here at the DMS. Recent movements around the

School have seen FS Baz Murphy arrive from 1 AMW to replace

FS Steve Wright as FS Dev. RAF Trg Flt has also seen the arrival

of several new instructors, all keen to pass on their knowledge

and experience to our students. Sgt Russ Howarth has been

posted to RAFLO Washington and Cpl Monkey Harris is soon to

leave the school in order to commence Initial Officer Training at

RAFC Cranwell. In Spt Flt, SAC Mikey Hunter has left the RAF to

pursue a career in Civvy Street and Ken the Cleaner has retired

after a long and distinguished career at the school - good luck

to all. On the sporting front, Cpl Dave Wanless managed to take

time out from his busy programme to organise a football team

from the DMS to play against the Supply Sqn as part of a recent

FA Referee’s course held at Brize Norton. Whilst not in the flush

of youth, the team put in a fine performance and held out for

a respectable 4 - 4 draw against a much younger team with OC

Spt Flt and FS John Magill both putting in solid displays.

Life at the DMS is a demanding if not a rewarding one. The

training year is already fully programmed with courses and 09/10

looks set to offer many new challenges and opportunities for all.

Gateway - www.raf.mod.uk/rafbrizenorton

31


32

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Gateway - www.raf.mod.uk/rafbrizenorton

Barry’s Family Butchers

Meat for all occasions

Barbecue Specialists

01993 844337

2 Falklands House

Black Bourton Road

Carterton

VICTORIA HILL SCHOOL OF BALLET

Ballet Classes in Witney, Woodstock, Bicester, Ambrosden & Jericho

Exams, Shows & Festivals

RAD Registered Teacher

From 3 Years Upwards

Well established ballet school that teaches advanced vocational graded students

New Adult Beginner Ballet Classes Starting Soon

Come and try a free taster lesson

Tel: 01993 709226 victoria.hill@zen.co.uk

33


34

99 SQUADRON

50,000 hrs? Already?

What can you achieve in 50,000 hours? Well 50,000 hours translates into 2083 days or 298 weeks or 5 years

and 9 months of continuous flying (approximately). It may not be a lot if you’ve been flying VC-10’s. Their

contribution to air power is unmistakeable. But considering the first C-17’s came into service at Brize Norton

in May 2001 with just four (leased) aircraft to flog day in and day out, 99 Sqn have managed to fly 22,500,000

miles (that’s 937 times around the world) in support of UK and allied military exercises and operations,

delivering 1000 helicopters, 4300 vehicles and in excess of 100 million tonnes of freight along with 77,000

passengers. The C-17’s immense power and flexibility has been tested many times and has seen the aircraft

re-role into a hospital ship to fly back our critically injured.

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Oc 99 sqn briefs journalists inside a C17.

Gateway - www.raf.mod.uk/rafbrizenorton

35


More than 80 per cent of its total hours

have been flown into Afghanistan and

Iraq. It has also been called into special

operations such as humanitarian aid

for the Tsunami that hit Indonesia and

an earthquake in Pakistan along with

the rescue of a stricken former USSR

submarine in Kamchatka (resulting in

Sqn Ldr Hewitt receiving the Order of

Friendship, the Russian equivalent to

an MBE, from President Putin). These

landmark achievements for UK C-17’s

could only be reached by the dedicated

complement of engineers, techies and

aircrew keeping it going, whilst not

forgetting the unwavering support from

our Boeing staff. The result of the

squadrons’ endeavours led the Chief of

the Air Staff to state that ‘.....without

the C-17’s contribution, the air bridge

into Afghanistan would be an untenable

proposition.’ High praise indeed.

Officer Commanding 99 Squadron, Wg

Cdr Simon Edwards said:

‘We are enormously proud of achieving

this important milestone. The RAF C17

fleet exists only to support our deployed

forces and we are delighted to have

done so much so quickly. The more we

use the aircraft the more we learn about

what it can do. This only increases the

demand for our services, yet we continue

to exceed expectations. 99 Squadron is

fortunate indeed to have a wonderful

aircraft operated and supported by an

incredible team’.

The celebrations for the 50K party

began in earnest on 30 April 2009, three

days after Flt Lt Telfer and his crew (Flt

Lts’ Flusk and Stubbington, FS Kirkpatrick,

CT Whittaker, SAC Mulvana) flew the

50,000th hour on return from supporting

an operation in Camp Bastion on 27th

April. Boeing generously donated money

to get the party started. OC 99 ensured

max attendance by pretty much inviting

the whole station, not wanting anyone to

miss out on the party and showing once

again that as a Squadron, if you’re going

to work hard you sometimes need to play

hard too! The evening’s entertainment

came off the back of a Squadron training

day to ensure that all but the most

unlucky of us weren’t flying. That said,

99’s camaraderie still ensured that even

those flying the next morning still turned

up for a few ‘softies’ to show support for

such an occasion. To be expected, the

evening started with speeches from OC

99 and from Boeing’s UK C17 Programme

Manager, Liz Pace giving an eloquent

speech finishing up with a gift to all 99

Squadron members as a token of Boeings

appreciation for the excellent working

relationship we share. A limited edition

50,000 hour coin each! Next up was a

band comprising of Boeing staff and 99

36

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OC infront of warrior

Press photographer photographing

a Warrior.

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squadron Engineers. It was a hard act to

follow, but follow the Co-pilots did as Bot

Band Sensations ‘COasis’ stepped into the

limelight. These were Alex Stones (Guitar),

Pete Whitten (Drums), Graham Court (lead

Vocals), Matt Rose (Piano) and Tim Eddy

Guitar.

By the end of the evening, we had

witnessed high jinks, some friendly inter-sqn

banter and in the time honoured tradition,

the smouldering remains of a burnt piano. All

said and done, I don’t think anyone will forget

the celebrations in a hurry and will probably

look forward to the next excuse for a party

at 99. Reports that the Oasis café profits

boomed the next day were not exaggerated.

The Squadron and its crews can now move

past this landmark and confidently look

forward to the future which currently has

us at six C-17’s on 99 Squadron’s pan. Who

knows - maybe even more are on the way.

Sgt Mahon,

99 Sqn Air Loadmaster

37

37


COMMUNITY MATTERS

38

Welcome to Community Matters. The newly

refurbished Families Centre Coffee Shop

is being used and there are a couple of

articles about events that have taken place there

recently. If you would like to book it for a get

together or to hold a children’s party do so. Please

note the contact number and name for booking the

Families Centre Coffee Shop. You can text bookings

to: Cpl Phil Quirk (PEd Flt JNCO) on 07912627848.

Remember, you can still contact me, Lin Kennedy,

the Community Development Officer (CDO) on:

01993 897068, or email me at: kennedyl600@

brizenorton.raf.mod.uk

For advice and guidance or to assist with any

welfare issues that you may be encountering contact

WO Yvonne Conway the Station Community Support

Officer (SCSO) on: 01993 895350 or by email:

conwayy850@brizenorton.raf.mod.uk

If you require information about anything,

including being posted in or out, schools, local

services or any aspect of living in the area, contact

Mel at the HIVE on:

01993 895349 or by email:

brizenorton@hivegb.co.uk

Local Police

The local Police team, working in conjunction

with the Royal Air Force Police and Ministry

of Defence Police continue to provide High

visibility patrols around the Neighbourhood.

Carterton is generally a quiet town, however,

like all towns it does have its moments. The

worst times for the Neighbourhood Team

is a Friday night when anything up to 100

youths gather in the Town Centre. Whilst

these youths are in the main well behaved,

it is the amount of noise they make which is the major problem.

Also, being such a large group can be very intimidating for

members of the public.

The Married Quarter patch at this time is relatively quiet with

the major problem being Criminal damage. A Neighbourhood

Watch scheme has started up in Faulder Avenue and if any other

residents are interested in starting up such a scheme please

contact the local policing team on 0845 8 505 505 and we will

offer advice on how to set one up. It has been proven that these

schemes do work as seeing the neighbourhood Watch signs do

deter prospective criminals.

Finally, with the days getting warmer, please do not forget to

close all windows and lock doors when you go out, even for a

short amount of time. It does not take a thief long to enter and

leave a premise

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Comm

Ely Close

We were very lucky to have a sunny day in April when we

held a celebration party at 10 Ely Close. It was a fantastic

event attended by lots of families and children. There

was a barbecue, Brown Bear, Yoga and Face Painting to

keep everyone occupied, as you will see from the photos.

It was really great to see so many families enjoying the

facility and gave welfare staff an opportunity to meet and

inform lots of people about the facility and all the other

things that happen in Ely Close.

The Thrift Shop opened their doors so that everyone

can see the range of items available for sale and to learn

how to sell unwanted items too.

The RAF Benevolent Fund and SSAFA are also in Ely

Close, with Relate, CAB, HIVE and the SCSO offering a

range of services. You can find out their availability by

contacting Mel at the HIVE on: 01993 895349 or by email:

brizenorton@hivegb.co.uk


unity Matters

Gateway - www.raf.mod.uk/rafbrizenorton

Ely Close continued overleaf…

39


CURRY NIGHT AT ELY CLOSE

Eyes down look in! On Thursday 30 April, in the

Ely Close Families’ Cafe, our second entertainment

evening took place with 38 ladies in attendance.

The bingo calling left a lot to be desired by yours

truly but it gave everyone a chance to wet their

lips not only for legs 11 but for the inbound curry.

This was kindly delivered by Helen’s husband

Simon, who did receive some heckling for some

of the more lively attendees. The event was

generously supported by Barry’s Butchers in Carterton,

who donated a very generous meat voucher along

with donations from Liesel (Anne Summers), Michelle

(Body Shop) and Tamsin (Avon). Many thanks to all for

providing such lovely gifts and bringing some smiles to

certain winner’s faces. Following such positive feedback

from all the participants, The Community Support Team,

predominantly Melanie Bushnell are myself are planning

a Quiz Night (Teams of 4) for Thursday 25 June 2009,

7.30pm-10.30pm, with information and tickets being

available from Melanie at the HIVE Tel: 01993 895349

or Ext 5349. It is a great opportunity to socialise with

friends old and new so your support would be greatly

appreciated.

40

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Carterton Girls U-11 Football

Team does the Double

From L to R. Molly Bishop, Annabel Light, Charlotte Grant, Georgina

Harriss, Lizzie Monk, Rosie Herridge, Mollie Little and Natalie Webb.

Carterton under 11 girls went to Minehead Butlins for a football

tournament the competition was very stiff with teams coming from

all over England and one from Wales. Having won this tournament

last year at Skegness the girls knew that it was not going to be an

easy ride. We kicked off against Writtle Minor’s ‘A’ team and went

straight on the offensive after conceding an own goal. Five minutes

later we scored yet another own goal. Not a very good start to the

tournament. After a half time talk the team went back out and

played some good football but alas the score remained 2 nil to

Writtle. The next game was against Eastbourne, the Carterton girls

were fired up and raring to go, the whistle blew both teams gave

their all fortunately for Carterton Eastbourne returned the favour

by scoring an own goal so Carterton won 1 nil. Our 3rd game was

against Minehead town ‘B’ team the score was 9 nil to Carterton as

the inexperienced team had only played a few times. By now the

girls were brimming with confidence but Writtle had won every game

The last game of the day was against Writtle Minor under 10’s this

game was hard fought with the ball going from end to end but at

the final whistle of the day the score was 3 nil to Carterton. So at

the end of the first day Carterton were second behind Writtle by one

point as they had won every game. The second day started with every

thing to play for with one point in it, it was anyone’s championship.

Carterton’s first game was against Ponypridd a team from the valley’s

of South Wales having played these last year we knew it was going to

a hard game Pontypridd scored in the first half but still the Carterton

team battled but to know avail. Half way through the second half

Mollie Little who was playing on the left mid field struck the ball

from the half way line the ball flew in to Ponty’s goal to the roar

of the Carterton parents. Our last game of the tournament was

against Minehead Town ‘A’ team who themselves had only lost one

match. The tournament was still wide open as Writtle was still one

point above us. Minehead kicked off and went on the attack but

Carterton knew what was at stake and played some of their best

football this season at the end of the game the score was 2 nil to

Carterton. Now we just had to wait to see if Writtle had won their

game to see who wins the tournament News drifted through that

Writtle had lost one nil to Eastbourne it was met with cheers and

applause from the Carterton team and their parents, Carterton had

won the tournament by a one goal difference.

I would like to thank all the parents who supported and helped

out on both days without their help it would not have been possible

and of course I would like to thank Michael Lowe the optician for

sponsoring our tournament T shirts and the Coop in Carterton and

Tesco’s in Stow for letting us bag pack to raise funds to go. Finally

I would like to say a big well done to the Carterton under 11 girls

team you did me and yourselves proud.

By Cpl Mick Herridge


SATURDAY 4 TH JULY

BEACONSFIELD HALL

DOORS OPEN AT 7PM • HOT FOOD • LICENSED BAR

MINI-AUCTION - SO BRING YOUR CHEQUE BOOKS

TO BOOK TICKETS OR FOR MORE

INFORMATION PLEASE CALL

PAM SMITH 01367 718761

The Oxford Pet Company

Pet supplies, accessories & advice.

28 Wallingford Street,

Wantage, Oxon OX12 8AX

01235 772111

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Vale Hydrotherapy & Perfect

Paws Dog Grooming

Canine swimming pool, Challow, Wantage

Controlled swimming is an excellent form of

exercise and extremely beneficial for many

conditions & ailments such as arthritis, hip/elbow

dysplasia, spinal injuries, muscular problems

Perfect Paws Dog Grooming

Local collection and delivery service

All breeds and sizes groomed to your preference or breed standard by a

kind, patient and experienced groomer

01235 766907

www.valehydrotherapy.co.uk

OPEN

ALL YEAR

HONEY

BOTTOM

KENNELS

Run by DOG LOVERS for DOG LOVERS

✓ Heated Kennels

✓ Fully Licensed & Insured

✓ Collection & Delivery Service

✓ Full Cat & Dog Grooming Service

✓ Inspections Welcome

Grassy Play Areas - Special Needs Catered For

Honeybottom Kennels, Hanney Rd, Steventon, Nr Abingdon, Oxon OX13 6AP

TEL 01235 831217 Mobile 07787 526576

Email: gavinpbgv@aol.com

41


Gateway School

Edith Moorhouse School

St John’s School

42

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‘DRAGON’S

DEN’

Carterton Primary Schools’ Young

Engineers in Action on St George’s Day

The ‘Dragon’s Den’ is a new

project aimed at encouraging

young engineers in our primary

schools in Carterton. It is

designed to offer children the

chance to develop what they

learn in technology, science

and mathematics at school,

and to do something really

active, interesting and unusual.

Each of Carterton’s five

primary schools was offered

the chance to build a dragon

which might be able to snap

its jaws, wave its tail and flap

its wings. The schools were Carterton Primary School

given some specially produced base units which had simple

mechanical movements incorporated; they then had to use these

to build on their own interpretations of a dragon. Their aim was

to finish their dragons ready for the ‘Den’ which was held at the

Carterton Mayor’s Reception on St George’s Day, April 23rd. The

effort and enthusiasm from all the schools was exceptional and

the children learnt so much about the science, technology, maths

and engineering as they did it.

The dragons from each school ‘performed in front of a real

‘Dragon’s Den’ of judges on St George’s Day. Among the judges

were Sqn Ldr Cat Thompson and Sgt Adrian Coomber from RAF

Brize Norton. There were two prizes for the winner. These were

£500 from Carterton Town Council to buy science and technology

equipment and the new John Browne Award for Young Engineers

and Innovators in Carterton. The winner was the dragon from

St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, although all the dragons

were amazing!

Special thanks go to all the schools for taking part, the Mayor

of Carterton, Mrs Maxine Crossland and Carterton Town Council,

Isis Training Services for their sponsorship and to Mrs Margaret

Browne who presented the prizes on the night.

Further details about the Community Programme for

engineering at Carterton Community College are available from

Mr Graham Speke - 01993 841611/867269 email gts7794@

cartertoncc.oxon.sch.uk

Graham Speke

Community Director for Engineering

Carterton Community College

Gateway School


Gateway - www.raf.mod.uk/rafbrizenorton

43


carterton social centre club

Early History

The land on which Carterton Social Centre Club is built

was originally one of the plots that Mr. Carter, the town’s

originator and name sake (Carter Town) offered up for

purchase in around 1918. At the time, the town was made

up largely of market gardening; in fact it had more market

gardening plots than in Holland and Lincolnshire! Its main

produce was tomatoes and Carterton is noted in the history

books for this.

The plot the club is built on was originally bought by a Mr.

Johnny Browne, whose family later donated it for the purpose

of building a social centre, sometime in the early 1960’s. Mr.

Browne’s name also lives on in the name of the approach to

the club, Browne’s Lane, and will also soon be remembered

when the club’s current name, Carterton Social Centre Club,

is changed to Browne’s Hall and Carterton Social Centre Club.

The USAF and the Community

The Recreation Area adjacent to the club is protected from

building since a referendum in the early 1980’s. It is still a

much valued and important green area in the town centre

and is used for a variety of events such as fairs, fetes, football

games, car boot sales and so on.

In fact, the ‘rec’ was used to good effect by the USAF when

they were stationed here at RAF Brize Norton. They played a

large part in fund-raising for the original club building; they

held fetes and fairs on the rec. involving the local people as

well as the USAF families who made up a large part of the

community. The combined intention was to build a social

meeting place which welcomed families and was centrally

placed, therefore accessible to everyone. The result was

Carterton and Black Bourton Village Hall, some years later

becoming Carterton Social Centre Club.

There is a plaque to commemorate this combined effort

and its successful outcome in the club. Continuing in the

spirit of the club’s beginnings, this plaque was also a UK and

USA joint effort and in itself is a celebration of co-operation.

It was designed by two men; Mr. Sid Edwards, a local man,

and the USAF Commander at the time (if anyone out there

can assist us with his name we would be very grateful,

thank you.)

Mr. Edwards went on to make and paint the sign, which

hangs proudly over the bar in the function room and is an

important and interesting, as well as pleasant to look at,

piece of Carterton’s history.

44

The Building

Initially the club was much smaller than it is today. In fact the

main bar could not accurately be described as a ‘bar’ at all. Drinks

and supplies were bought in from other sources and sold off on

a long table which took up one side of a small room. Members

of the club who recall these early nights out still joke that at one

end of the table was a barrel of bitter, whilst at the other end

was a barrel of mild. Halfway through the evening, the barman

would declare the bitter temporarily off, because not enough

people were drinking the mild whilst the bitter was going down

fast. The difference in the weights of the barrels was in danger

of upsetting the tables!

What is now an off stage room and the alleyway to the toilets

was at first a small meeting room; and small it was. It just about

accommodated two tables and accompanying chairs. Much of

the building as it is now simply did not exist originally.

As you might expect, over the years the club has grown in two

ways: the building itself has expanded to meet demand and the

number of members has grown.

There were around 40 members at first, made up mainly of

the Management Committee. Out of this, the club committee

was formed, though each had to operate independently of the

other and still do. The numbers have fluctuated since due to the

nature of the community, which is transient and ever-changing.

At one point it reached around 1000 members. Today it has

600 - 700 members.

Yearly membership for a family was originally £2 a year, and

that was regardless of how many children the family might have!

Today, an Adult Membership will cost £10 as of August 1st ‘09

(currently £5,) and a Junior Membership will cost £2 and is valid

up until the holder’s 18th birthday.


The Building Today

Today the club is made up of the Social Club Bar, the more

intimate, management run Lounge Bar, the large and spacious

Function Room and a smaller Meeting Room.

The newly redecorated and refurbished Social Club Bar has

two large screen televisions. It hosts Live Entertainment every

Saturday night and many events throughout the week. Some

of its members are involved in darts, pool, quiz and dominoes

leagues. Weather permitting it has its own Aunt Sally apparatus,

a well known sport locally and a favourite with those in the

know, which may also be of interest to those who have never

heard of it before! Come and have a go - you may be a natural!

The Lounge Bar is smaller and more traditional, with a

television, a pool table and its own licensed bar. It also has its

own separate toilet facilities and its own entrance way. It can

truly be said to be separate from the main body of the building,

which may suit your needs if you just want a quiet night out or

Mrs Christine Kearns donating 42 inch HD TV for Help the Heroes.

a smaller, more intimate function.

The large Function Room is surprisingly spacious and caters

to a variety of needs with ease. Regular groups use this area for

Keep Fit, Line Dancing, Bingo, Country and Western Nights, Horse

Racing Nights, Jumble Sales and Fetes, Discos, and weddings and

private parties to name but a few. It has a large stage, its own,

newly installed bar and links by means of a small passageway,

directly to the kitchen, which is also due to be refurbished soon.

This is the bar which houses the commemorative plaque and it

is worth a look, should you decide to call in.

To the rear of this room is, as has been mentioned, is the

kitchen. The kitchen is directly joined on to the small Meeting

Room. This is used, as its name suggests, for meetings by various

local groups regularly. A playgroup makes good use of the kitchen

facilities, but both the meeting room and the kitchen are open to

anyone who may have use for them. Since the kitchen is adjoined,

this room is perfect for holding young children’s birthday parties.

Should you be interested, contact details for prices and availability

are at the end of this article.

You could, should you want to, go around the club in a circle.

It is all linked whilst at the same time being separate, which

contributes to its great practicality. It’s light and airy and very

welcoming. But why take my word for it? Come and see for

yourself, and contribute to both the ongoing history of Carterton

and Carterton’s most central social meeting club. We look forward

to meeting you!

Browne’s Hall and Carterton Social Centre

Browne’s Lane

Carterton, Oxford, OX18 3JH

Telephone: 01993 842489

Please note: I have attempted to make this brief history as

accurate as possible. Any mistakes or omissions are entirely my

own. With grateful thanks and appreciation to Mr. Alec Wixey.

Gateway - www.raf.mod.uk/rafbrizenorton

Allandale Youth Centre

Burford Road, Carterton

Tel: (01993) 842416

Just Pop in from 7.30 -10pm

Mon (yr 10, & Thurs (yr 11 +)

and on a Wednesday (yr 9) from Sept.

For Young People aged 13 -19

Volunteers are always welcome please contact

Tina Cockroft on the above number.

Young volunteer places available for September.

45


CONSERVATION

On Thursday 19 January 6 volunteers

from Base Support Wing packed their

wellys and wet weather gear and

headed off to Chimney Meadows

Nature Reserve.

Chimney Meadows is a 250 hectare

conservation area on the Thames

floodplain. The site is owned by the

Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and

Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust (BBOWT).

The site is on the Thames 2 miles south

of Bampton and only 20 minutes from RAF

Brize Norton.

Our intrepid team had volunteered to

help plant deciduous trees to enhance the

biodiversity of the reserve.

We all set off from the Station not

knowing what we had let ourselves in for,

in a minibus (thanks MT Section) and a very

shiny new Land Rover borrowed from the

Royal Engineers (thanks DCRE),

We were rewarded as soon as we turned

of the Bampton road into the Chimney

Meadows site. The single lane access road

has the ‘Great Ditch’ on one side and

flooded fields the other, a post and wire

fence runs along side the meadow and

sat on one of those posts was a Barn Owl.

As we approached it took off and flew in

front of us and then alongside the minibus,

flying just above the ditch.

46

On the Banks

of the Thames

Left to right: Dr Kerry Lock, Amy Wheeler, , Sgt Dave Harris, LAC Karl Booth, George Efthymiou

(Mg3(Si2O5)(OH)4), Alan Wood, Flt Lt Vee McMillan and Sqn Ldr Mike Boyle.

A fantastic sight on a bright wintery

morning. What perfect a welcome to the

reserve.On arriving at the Reserve office we

were welcomed by Dr Kerry Lock who is

the Reserve Manager and Amy, her trainee.

Kerry proceeded to give us a brief history

of the reserve and how it relies solely on

donations and volunteers to keeping the

site running. She also explained the longterm

plans for the reserve and how they

are try to link up conservation areas along

the whole of the River Thames to promote

biodiversity.

She then explained that we had had 120

trees ready for planting and if we managed

half of that amount it would be fantastic,

thus the challenge was set.

After a quick health and safety brief we

were issued with gloves, spades forks and

two way radios (they were mad to give

one to Dave?).

At this point the other volunteers arrived

and introduced themselves to the new

faces from that noisy airport up the road.

The volunteers are people who give

some of their spare time on Thursdays and

Sundays throughout the year to do hands

on conservation work. This can involve

planting trees and hedgerows, clearing

ditches, constructing bird hides, walkways,

otter holts and bird boxes.

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After a quick hello we all loaded up a

4x4 and trailer with young saplings and

headed across the field to the first planting

location.

Kerry then drove off along the hedgerow

distributing the saplings and we followed

along planting. We quickly got into teams

of two and sorted out who would dig holes

and who would supervise, they know who

they are!

The planting went so well that we

managed to catch up with the 4x4 and

trailer, at this point we had to wait for

more saplings to be delivered. This is when

Dave was radioing HQ to find out what

time the hospitality marquee was arriving

and was there a carvery, much to the

amusement of the volunteers.

Kerry then decided that we had not

been challenged enough and headed off

two fields away to a new planting area.

This meant that we had a very long walk

across the reserve but it did mean that we

had a chance to see all the work that had

already been done, including replacement

hedges and many nest boxes.

The last field of the morning had a

huge active badger set in a corner above

a drainage ditch. This was an opportunity

for those that had not seen one to have a

quick lesson from the resident volunteers in


the fastidious housekeeping and domestic

habitats of badgers. We were shown how

the badgers change the bedding within

the set daily and all use a latrine area away

form the set to ensure the set stays clean.

The soft mud around the set was also ideal

for showing the unusual footprints left by

the badgers.

After a quick lunch we managed to

convince George that we had brought our

Land Rover along to actually use, rather

just look shiny and green in the car park.

As Kerry was dashing from one field to

another, dropping trees off, it was strongly

proposed we use our Land Rover to follow

her and not trek miles back and forth with

tools, spades and forks trying to keep up.

So we all piled in the back and headed off

to the next planting area.

This was down on the banks of the

Thames next to the lock keepers house.

The resident volunteers had already been

busy in the area and cleared a lot of the

brambles and overgrown banks.

In this area we planted Alder in the

swampy parts and Oaks and Ash in the

meadow areas. When completed we

were shown the Otter holt that had been

constructed to encourage otters back in

to the area. Also close to the otter holt

are two large bird hides, these overlook

areas that have had shallow ponds dug

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Chimney meadows amy instruction with comment ‘Amy and George even found time

to play a quick game of charades!’

to encourage birdlife.

The hides are accessed by raised decking

that allows you to walk through wet

woodland areas that would otherwise be

impassable.

At the end of the long day we had

managed to plant all 120 trees. This came

as a welcome shock to Kerry and the staff

as they were only used to planting about

50 on a weekend. We headed back to the

reserve office for a quick debrief and a

welcome cup of tea. On route we passed

all the trees that we had planted and fitted

anti-rabbit guards to ensure they stood a

Gateway - www.raf.mod.uk/rafbrizenorton

better chance of reaching maturity.

Revisiting each tree really showed

what an achievement the days work had

been and I can now understand why the

volunteers come back each week.

After a steaming hot cup of tea and a

big thank you from Kerry we packed up

our muddy boots and headed off back to

sunny Brize Norton.

As we drove along the access road the

Barn Owl was sat on the same post and

took flight as we came along side. A fitting

end to a good hard working day.

47


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Gateway - www.raf.mod.uk/rafbrizenorton

49


Waterskiing and wakeboarding is a fun, dynamic and

fast growing sport. With a similar split to the snow

sports, wakeboarding comprises of riding a wide

board and pulling off surface, wake and aerial tricks

behind the boat - as long as you are looking good at the

time! By comparison, tournament waterskiing is split

between three disciplines; slalom, tricks and jump.

Slalom skiing involves skiing around buoys on either

side of the boat at ever increasing boat speed and

shortening rope lengths; trick skiing is all about turns

and flips on a short stubby ski; and finally, jump skiing

is only dependant on getting the longest distance from

a 6ft wooden and fibreglass ramp, and skiing away,

regardless of how pretty it is!

How it should be done!.

50

PJ Allen.

Rose Weasthead

Main photograph Matt Larkin.

Gateway - www.raf.mod.uk/rafbrizenorton


During the first week in September,

South Lakes Ski School in Bedfordshire

again played host to the annual RAF

Waterski and Wakeboard Championships,

this being its 21st year. This event involved

some 50 RAF personnel, from Akrotiri

to Wyton, who took the opportunity to

participate in three days of training and

two days of competition covering all of

the disciplines.

Monday through to Wednesday

was dedicated to training. With two

tournament standard boats operating

throughout the day, along with top

standard professional tuition available

from the team at South Lakes,

participants had a great opportunity to

practice and improve their skiing and

boarding, whatever their initial standard.

Wednesday evening played host to a

barbecue and band night, with the

competition in all disciplines taking place

on Thursday and Friday.

2008 saw four Brize Norton personnel

take part in the Champs. SAC Rose

Westhead from 4624 Sqn, who

had only started wakeboarding the

weekend before the Champs, improved

immeasurably over the week and even

learned to ski. Rose managed 10th in

the Novice Slalom, and 15th in Beginner Wakeboard, a great

achievement in her first season. L/Cpl Kev Tait from JADTEU had

been boarding for 5 months before entering the Intermediate

Wakeboard competition, and put in a very credible performance,

but due to Kev being Army he didn’t qualify for any points. SAC

PJ Allen from Eng Ops Supply was in his second season on the

water, and had progressed so fast at wakeboarding that he is a

qualified instructor and entering the Pro competition. PJ managed

5th place in a highly competitive division, and even had a go at the

Novice Slalom event, finishing 2nd and bagging his first Champs

medal. However the highlight was probably his entertaining

Novice Tricks display, which may not have scored many points

but scored highly on laughs. CT Matt Larkin from 101 Sqn was

competing in his umpteenth Champs, and managed a 6th in Pro

Slalom, 3rd in Pro Trick and top step in Pro Jump giving him a

2nd Overall. Matt also had a go at wakeboarding for the second

time in his life, and just missed out on a podium with some very

uncontrolled sliding.

The weather was not kind last year, but it takes more than a bit

of rain to dampen the spirits lakeside. Everyone who attended had

a fun time, with great improvements being made in all disciplines.

If you do ‘wet and fun’ then you may well like to try waterskiing

or wakeboarding, so why not talk to the PEdO or call Matt Larkin

on ext 6095 or PJ Allen on ext 7558.

Gateway - www.raf.mod.uk/rafbrizenorton

51


ACTIVITY ZONE

RAF BRIZE NORTON KART CLUB

FIRST RACE OF THE SEASON

Well, the first weekend of racing of the 2009 season was

upon us and after some feverish last minute work to ensure

the karts were in tip top condition we loaded the lorry with

a Prokart (a two engine 4 stroke kart used for endurance

racing), a TKM 100cc 2 stroke and a Rotax Max 125cc 2

stroke. Of these, the prokart and the rotax would be racing

with the TKM utilised for induction training. Involved in

the racing were FS Campbell Andrews, Sgt Andy Wingrove,

SAC(T) Paul Marshall in the prokart and Mr Rob Andrews

in both the prokart and rotax max with FS Liam Britten

mentoring SACs Rob Baptista and Graeme Cessford on the

TKM. As it happened Liam turned traitor after receiving an

offer of a place in a prokart with an opposing team which

he took up willingly.

After a 2 1/ 4 hour journey we arrived at Llandow kart racing track

approx 5 miles from RAF St Athan. After unloading and setting up

camp, we prepared the karts for the track and the drivers signed

on for practice. Liam advised Rob B and Graeme that a few laps in

the prokart would be prudent to get the feel of the track prior to

being let loose on the TKM. First out for a few laps was Graeme

who enjoyed the feeling of the prokart but was itching to get

into the faster machine. Graeme then transferred to the TKM

and took to the track. Rob A in his Rotax Max, who would be

racing in the RAF Premier class on the Sunday, also took his kart

out for a shakedown and to see how the setup was. Conditions

were perfect with blue skies and temperature in the mid teens.

Graeme’s eagerness to get up to top speed led to a couple of

spins offs. This in turn meant Liam working up quite a healthy

sweat getting the kart back on the track. Andy was next out on

the prokart to test the track and see if our setup was fine. Paul,

Rob A and myself also refamiliarised ourselves with the track in

the prokart. After a few warm up laps in the prokart Rob B had

his first test on the TKM. As with Graeme and an eagerness to

push himself, he also encountered a few problems coping with

the sheer speed of the TKM with the resulting spin-off and the

ever present Liam to recover him and pass on guidance and

Rob A racing away.

52 Gateway - www.raf.mod.uk/rafbrizenorton

tips. By the end of the practice sessions, Rob B was enjoying

putting some laps in. Graeme, however, was limping around

after receiving a bit of a dead leg when he misjudged the rear

width of the kart and clipped a tyre wall, thus ending up in the

tyres. Fortunately, the kart remained undamaged. Both Graeme

and Rob B confessed to enjoying a great day karting and were

keen to repeat the adrenaline rush racing round the track at

break neck speed.

After a long day testing and practice the time arrived for the

endurance race. This would consist of 2 1/2 hours of gruelling

racing, only to hopefully be broken up by the mandatory 3 driver

changes of which one included a refuel around the half way point.

Due to the various weights of the drivers varying from 65Kg to

95Kg we were forced to put ballast on the kart to ensure that

all drivers and kart met the minimum weight of 175Kg after

each leg of driving. With this in mind the team tactics were for

Paul to start, followed by Andy and at the changeover to Rob

A, we would remove most of the ballast for Rob A, and then I

would finish off the race. Paul had a great start and kept up well

with leaders maintaining 4th place for almost all of his session.

The kart was performing beyond all expectation and Paul was

enjoying some great racing. The first changeover went well and

Andy set about trying to improve on our new position of 8th

due to the driver change. He was driving really well and had

propelled himself through the field through some fine driving

and with the other team driver changes he found himself lying

in 3rd. As he was powering on another lap disaster struck as he

clipped a kerb and threw a chain. He limped back to the pits on

one engine and after some rapid pit mechanics with all hands

helping out (including Liam, who was racing for another team),

he got back out racing again albeit, a fair way down the rankings

now in 9th. Andy carried out a ghost walk round the kart which

counted as a driver change. Andy continued to drive well and

eventually came in for his planned change to Rob A along with

a refuel which we believed would last to the end of the race.

Rob A then went out with a full fuel load and 40 minutes to see

what he could do. It soon became apparent that Rob A was the

quickest driver on the track constantly putting in the fastest lap

and began to claw back places. As team manager I consulted

with the other drivers and we agreed to leave Rob out to finish

the race as he was doing so well and we had carried out our 3

mandatory changes. He was in 7th and catching 6th at nearly a

second a lap. We worked out that he could catch and hopefully

pass for 6th place with the time left. With about 7 minutes of

the race remaining we saw Rob come down the back straight

with his arm raised, signalling he was coming in. The rest of us

dashed over to Parc Ferme to see what was wrong as he had

been doing so well. As he pushed the kart in I asked what the

problem was and he yelled with frustration through his visor ‘I am

out of fuel!’. He had driven so hard that the tanks had emptied


faster than we had planned and were virtually dry.

After a hasty splash and dash of fuel he was back

out and came home without losing any other

places. We finished 7th overall, which was a

great result for the team and 3 great drives

by Paul, Andy and Rob A. Another bonus

was that the kart had finished the race

undamaged mainly due to not letting me

loose on it, after the last race where I bent

the axle. Liam came away with a winner’s

medal for his treachery. (We will not forget

that in a hurry). That was the end of day 1

and Rob and I said farewell to the rest of the

guys as Rob was to race on the Sunday in his

Rotax Max.

Rob and I awoke to a glorious day for racing

and returned to the track for the three

qualifying sessions followed by the final.

Although Rob has raced before in Cyprus

he was classed as a novice as this was his

first year racing in the UK. As a novice

you start at the rear of the grid so as not

to hold up the more experienced drivers.

However, this did not stop Rob driving 3

great qualifying heats starting in 14th, 10th

and 12th and finishing 5th, 4th and 5th

position respectively. This placed him overall

4th on the final grid. During practice we noticed a

Rob Andrews at the

start of the final.

Rob A racing hard

in the final.

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Gateway - www.raf.mod.uk/rafbrizenorton

small technical issue on the engine that caused a power

loss in certain conditions. We continued to monitor

the problem, it behaved itself during qualifying,

however, it was to return and haunt Rob during

the final race. As the race started Rob and

suddenly found himself in 3rd place as the

driver in pole position had an engine problem

and failed to start the race. His aggressive

style of driving enabled him to hold onto this

position for 8 laps of the 12 lap race, then,

suddenly as he exited the corner onto the back

straight he found he lacked the normal power

boost and lost his place dropping back to 4th. He

continued to race as hard as he could and finished

the race of high attrition with only 7 out of the original

12 finalists finishing. He left the circuit a tired but

happy man with a 4th place trophy and the best

novice trophy to add to his collection

If you have found the article of interest and

wish to try karting either in the prokart or the

100cc 2 stroke. The club organise induction

days for 2 stroke racing most months and

may be possible to arrange for a prokart to

be available for teams of upto 4 to race at

Little Rissington on the 4 Jul 09. To race in the

prokart a licence costing £30 is required. More

information can be obtained from either FS Liam

Britten on Ext 7670 or FS Campbell Andrews on

Ext 8800.

53


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54 Gateway - www.raf.mod.uk/rafbrizenorton

Cancer Research UK Relay For Life is

coming to Witney again in June 2009!

Be part of ‘Relay for Life’ - it’s a unique fundraising event! Come

and experience fun, friendship and fundraising while supporting

the life-saving work of Cancer Research UK. On 12 noon Saturday

27th to 12 noon Sunday 28 June, hundreds of men, women and

children will converge on Witney Rugby Football Club, Witney to

take part in the 24-hour Relay.

When you get involved with Relay, you’ll be working with your

community to create an amazing event. It involves entertainment,

music and games - and a fantastic community spirit. It’s also a

unique opportunity to pay tribute to and celebrate the lives of those

touched by cancer and to raise money to bring hope for the future.

Explore our webpage and sign-up to be part of it!

http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/relay/

Or email us at: relayforlifewitney@hotmail.co.uk

Or call Debbie O’Sullivan, Committee Chair, on 07711 295468

Relay For Life Witney will bring together the whole community

in one location for 24 hours to celebrate the strides being made

to beat cancer. All you need to do is organise a team of friends,

family or colleagues who are willing to get involved. On Relay

day, members of your team take it in turns to walk/run round a

specially prepared track for 24 hours! Set up your team camp,

take part in activities and events such as the celebratory Survivors

Lap, the Midnight Candle of Hope Ceremony or just turn up and

experience the fun!

Confirmed attractions so far to look forward to:

- David Cameron, MP to open event and will be participating

- Entertainment from Dirty Earth Band and Cosh The Driver


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55


BRIZE SPORT

The 2008-09 Inter-Section Football League concluded with the Final of the Cup and Plate competitions

on Thu 30 Apr 09. The games were played on the Stn No1 & 2 pitches, watched by many enthusiastic

and vocal spectators!

The Plate Final was contested by 99 Sqn and 101 Sqn, with the

favourites 101 Sqn winning 2-0. 99 Sqn battled hard, with plenty

enthusiasm, but eventually were defeated by 2 Mike Bolt goals.

The Cup Final was a very close game between Supply and

JADTEU. Supply were rewarded for a bright start with the first

goal of the game by LAC Miles Mason. JADTEU responded and

soon equalised with a cute volley from Pte Wes Christian. Supply

were determined to get back on top and scored a second goal

just before half-time; a shot drilled in form 18 yards giving Sgt

Stevie Forster in the JADTEU goal no chance. In the second half

JADTEU pushed for another equaliser with Supply playing on the

break. Chances came for Supply, as JADTEU committed players

forward, but they were not converted into goals. With only 2

minutes remaining the inevitable happened and following a long

ball into the heart of Supply’s defence, SAC Chris Drabwell struck

Stn Cdr and Chairman Trophies.

56 Gateway - www.raf.mod.uk/rafbrizenorton

a deserved equalising goal, much to the joy of the many JADTEU

supporters. The game finished 2-2 and into penalties. Despite

the disappointment of not winning the game in normal time,

Supply steadied themselves and secured the Cup by winning 5-4

on penalties. SAC Danny Dixon making the vital penalty save.

The real success of the Inter-Section Football League is that it

provides opportunities for personnel to play regular sport over

the course of the season. 85 games were played over 8 months

on the Gateway Football Pitches. This season 9 teams competed

in the League, League Cup and Plate. For the second successive

season 101 Sqn won the league, but the Fire Section and ESS

pushed them hard; ESS eventually finishing in 2nd place. BSW

entered the league for the first time, but MT was forced to

withdraw due to severe OOA commitments.

Managing an Inter-Section Football team is considerable task,

often taken on by junior ranks. SAC Si Grant, of the

Fire Section, was awarded the Manager of the Season

award. Cpl Mike Bolt of 101 Sqn earned the top goal

scorer award.

All this football would not have been possible

without a small, but dedicated group of Referee’s; FS

Andy Gibson and Sgt’s Kev Barry and Billy Moggach

officiating the majority of the games, which were played

on Thursday and Friday lunch times. Big thanks for

their commitment and support. Thanks also to the PEd

Flt for ensuring the Gateway Pitches were always well

prepared, with the immaculate Stn No1 and 2 pitches

providing an excellent setting for the Cup and Plate

Finals. Thanks to SAC Steve Buckley, of JADTEU, for the

superb photography of the finals. The trophies were

kindly presented by the Stn Cdr, Group Captain Ager.

Sgt Billy Moggach takes over the Chairmanship of

the League. Long may it continue!

FS Tony Dunn


Over the past few years more

and more RAF personnel are

spending time in countries that have

particularly hot climates - not just

week long holidays in the Algarve

and sailing Exped’s to the Caribbean,

but prolonged deployments to areas

with consistently high ambient

temperatures.

Heat acclimatisation is a phrase that

anyone proceeding OOA to Op Telic and

Op Herrick during the summer months

will know only too well - but what

exactly is heat acclimatisation and why

do we bother?

Heat acclimatisation training is

important preparation before going OOA

because it improves aerobic fitness and

so reduces the time taken to acclimatise

when you arrive on detachment. Without

Unfortunately, Brize Buccaneers were

knocked out of the RAF Shield on 29th

April in the Semi-Final.

After taking a lead, our opponents, a

spirited Southwick Park side, came back at

us hard scoring 3 times by virtue of good,

strong support running.

However, the Buccaneers showed

t r a i n i n g p r i o r

to deployment

y o u w i l l f i n d

i t m u c h m o r e

difficult to adapt

to the increased

temperatures and

t h e c h a n c e o f

going down with

heat exhaustion

is increased. To

maximise productivity and reduce heat

related illnesses heat acclimatisation

training is a vital part of any OOA

deployment training package.

The 6-week pre-deployment training

package is designed as a structured and

progressive programme that gradually

raises core temperature and improves the

body’s sweat response. This gives the

individual a greater level of protection

against heat related illnesses when

deployed to places of extreme climates.

Personnel must report to PSF to begin

their Heat Acclimatisation programme.

This 6 week programme culminates with

a VO2 max test. This test is performed be

completing the ‘Bleep Test’ element of the

RAF Fitness Test. It is imperative that all

individuals undertake the MSFT to BEST

EFFORTS prior to their detachment in order

to gain an accurate VO2 score.

This VO2 max score is used to determine

the number of days the individual will

attend in-theatre training. The in-theatre

training programme is broken into varying

lengths consisting of brisk walking

programmes whilst wearing varying

degrees of clothing. The three categories

are as follows:

RAF Shield 2008/09

magnificent dog and determination and

fought back to level the game. Southwick

Park again took the lead with another try,

but with minutes to go the Buccaneers

thought they had it won with a converted

try. Unfortunately, a penalty conceded in

front of the posts gave Southwick Park

the chance to edge the contest by a point

Gateway - www.raf.mod.uk/rafbrizenorton

10 days (Cat 1).

For individuals with a VO2 max score

equivalent to less than 9.07 on the

Bleep Test.

8 days (Cat 2).

For individuals with a VO2 max score

equivalent to 9.08 - 10.09 on the Bleep

Test.

6 days (Cat 3).

For individuals with a VO2 max score

equivalent to over 10.09 on the Bleep

Test.

The first day on arrival should always

be 24 hours TOTAL REST. Those

within category 1 will then start their

programme on day 2 of arrival. Those

in category 2 will start on day 4 of

arrival. Those in category 3 will start on

day 6 of arrival. Therefore, regardless

of which category you fall into you will

finish your training on day 11 after your

arrival. Training programmes gradually

increase in duration and dress states, but

generally should consist of walking from

60 minutes up to 120 minutes per day.

If you have any questions about heat

acclimatisation training please contact

the PEd Flt for further information.

(25-24) and they held on to this lead for

the final minute of the game.

This as a real squad performance and

we are immensely proud of the way they

conducted themselves while fighting back,

but also in defeat.

Bring on the HMW Cup with a change

for a piece of silverware!

57


58

Brize Norton Coarse Angling Club

The Summer League of the South West Angling League is

now under way and after two matches the Station team

is in second place. The weights have been good so far

with 78lb of carp winning the last match at Chadlington

Fishery and back up weights of 50lb and 40lbs of fish

of various species caught. The league events are fished

in a friendly manner with lots of good natured angling

style banter between the anglers. Though the events

are a five hour competition in reality it is five hours of

pleasure fishing with your catch being weighed after

five hours, and if you want to carry on fishing after the

five hours you can!

The league also hosts charity fund raising fishing days plus

social events through out the year. Tuition is always available

from the competent anglers on the bank and club membership

fees currently stand at £15.

If you are new to Brize Norton and would like details of

where you can fish locally please get in touch and I will pass

on information to you. Worth a try is Little Rissington Lake at

Bourton on the Water a venue full of carp and 100lb plus bags

is virtually guaranteed, fishing sweet corn or pellet. The current

price is £6 a day or £3 for the evening and this represents

great value for money for the fishing on this lake. The lake is

located next to the tennis club in Bourton on the Water and

can accommodate 28 anglers with parking beside the lake.

This popular venue will be used on two of the summer league

competitions so get down there and have a practise. New this

season is the introduction of Saturday matches which hopefully

will enable a few more people to attend for those struggling to

get time off during busy weekdays through work commitments

on the Station. The RAF Coarse angling website can be found

here, and does have a SWAL league forum within it you can

register for.

http://www.raf-coarseangling.info/index.htm

Below is a list of the remaining

Summer League fixtures 2009.

SWAAL 3 6 JUN 09 Brimslade K&A (Saturday match)

SWAAL 4 24 JUN 09 Bourton on the Water Little Rissington Lake

SWAAL 5 15 JUL 09 Silverlands, Lacock

SWAAL 6 1 AUG 09 Horton, Kennet and Avon Canal &A (Saturday

match)

SWAAL 7 26 AUG 09 Chadlington Lower Court Farm Carp Fishery

SWAAL 8 16 SEP 09 Bourton on the Water Little Rissington Lake

SWAAL 9 3 OCT 09 Seend Kennet and Avon Canal (Saturday

match)

SWAAL 10 28 OCT 09 Ridgeway Fisheries South Cerney

June weather statistics

Mean maximum: 19.5°C.

Record maximum: 33.5°C on 27th 1976.

Mean minimum: 10.0°C.

Record minimum: -0.3°C on 2nd in 1991.

Wettest June: 105.8 mm in 1971.

Average rainfall: 48.0 mm

Driest June: 2.8 mm in 1962.

Sunniest June: 295.0 hours in 1996.

Average sunshine: 202.7 hours.

Dullest June: 129.2 hours in 1990.

The A-Z of Weather: T is for THUNDERSTORMS.

Sometimes called an electrical storm, a thunderstorm is

defined as a local storm, usually produced by cumulonimbus

cloud, and always accompanied by lightning and thunder. They

can also produce strong gusts of wind, heavy rain, hail and

snow and usually only last a short time, seldom longer than

two hours. Thunderstorms develop in highly unstable air and

in the early stages have a very strong convective updraft. A

strong downdraft and a column of precipitation occur as the

storm is dying.

Thunderstorms often build to heights of 40000 - 50000 FT

in the mid-latitudes and even higher at the tropics but during

the winter, the tops can reach 20000 FT and still produce

Gateway - www.raf.mod.uk/rafbrizenorton

Sgt Duncan Pritchard

216 Sqn

Ext 6657

216-sqn-alm-17

significant rain and winds. The cloud top has to reach -20 C to

be classed as a thunderstorm cloud.

They form when the sun heats land, the air just above becomes

warmer and starts to rise but as it rises it cools and cumulus cloud

form, initially as small white fluffy clouds. These clouds grow

larger and larger in the unstable air as the temperature increases

causing more air to rise. After a time, when the cloud top reaches

far up in the atmosphere, it turns to ice and streams away in

the winds at that level, producing the characteristic anvil shape.

High temperatures and a good supply of moisture are usually

what is needed to form a thunderstorm but orographic uplift

and horizontal convergence of surface air can also trigger them.

Convergence can occur due to a shallow depression, trough of

low pressure or cold front, and can mark the farthest inland

penetration of a sea-breeze.

Thunderstorms are reported depending on the intensity

of the precipitation not on the amount of thunder heard or

lightening seen.

Thunder is caused by the lightning, heating and expanding

the air as it travels towards the ground, and lasts longer than

the lightning because sound is made along the different parts

of the flash. To calculate how far away the thunderstorm is,

count the seconds between the lightning flash and the sound

of thunder. Divide this figure by three and this will give you

the approximate distance in kilometres. Thunder is rarely heard

beyond a distance of 20 km.

Victoria Whatley (Forecaster, Met Office Brize Norton)


FCG Area Audit

Are you satisfied with everything in your neighbourhood?

Did you forget to complete an Audit Sheet?

Recently, occupants of Service Families Accommodation (SFA),

were asked about their neighbourhood. If you are an occupant

of SFA and missed the Audit Sheet, here it is again. You have

until the end of June to send in a sheet and anyone living in SFA

is encouraged to have a good look around and see if there are

From: ________________________ FCG Rep for Area ________

Area Audit Date:

Serial Issue, repair or concern Location Action requested

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

things that need to be recorded.

In the next edition of Gateway we will let you know the

outcome of the audit. If we hear nothing from you we are going

to assume all is well.

Please send completed sheets to; Lin Kennedy, CDO, RAF Brize

Norton, Carterton, OX18 3LX. If you have any questions please

telephone; 07786801107.

Gateway - www.raf.mod.uk/rafbrizenorton

59


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Execs Corner

Which is more important for change -

leadership or followership?

As I complete 19 years service in

the Army, I can think of a great

number of salient lessons and

experiences that I have stored

away for future use, but never so

many as I have gathered during

my command at JADTEU. The

leadership challenges of a truly

Joint workforce providing a niche

market capability was always going

to be testing and enlightening and

it has definitely exceeded all my

expectations especially in light of

the widespread change the Unit has experienced over the last 2

years. The detail of the change is well known by all at JADTEU,

but it is the manner in which it has been undertaken by all

ranks and trades of the 4 Services that has been the real success

story. It is the actions of every single person at JADTEU which

has contributed to our successful growth, and it is the analysis

of the ‘team’ that has lead me to question the way in which

attempt to educate our leaders, within the military system.

I have been fortunate to have a great deal of time, effort and

money spent on my military education and have attended a

wide variety of command and leadership courses the pinnacle

of which was the Advanced Command and Staff Course at

Shrivenham in 2001. On each and every one of these courses, I

was required to study the trials and tribulations of great leaders

such as Viscount Slim, Robert E Lee, Heinz Gudarian, Erwin

Rommel and Vo Nguyen Giap to name a few; I have often

wondered how they played a part in my own development

as a leader. I am now acutely aware that such readings have

added very little to the way I have approached command, and

my research into more modern comparisons of command,

leadership and management and more importantly the newer

theories behind Emotional Intelligence and Followership have

been of far greater utility and value. The longer we spend

looking at leadership, the more complex the picture becomes.

For me, the idea of Followership has been the greatest revelation

because of its simplicity and applicability to us all. Keith Grint

of Cranfield School of Management introduced an idea of

‘Leadership as a hybrid concept comprising of individual

humans and the technologies, ideas and systems that facilitate

their actions’. So is it the leader or the followers that are more

important to success. In history, it is easy to write of the actions

of individual but can be dangerous to base ones own leadership

style on the mythological thought of how one man could have

had such widespread influence.

Within the Armed Forces, we all like to think of ourselves as

good leaders (tests have shown that we all believe ourselves

to be in the top 20%) but struggle to define the underpinning

principles that can aide personal development; unfortunately,

‘leadership is one of the most observed and least understood

phenomena on earth’. If we devoted an equal amount of time

and effort, to develop as ‘followers’ the model for success

may be easier to understand and achieve. In a test of true self

awareness, Grint’s Follower Matrix provides a simple model into

which we all can be placed.

If a team can be built of individuals all in the top half of

the matrix, there will clearly be a better chance of corporate

success, with the nominated leader focusing on vision, intent

and effect. Energy and effort would not have to be wasted

on destructive relationships within the team and harmonious

progress would prevail. Unfortunately this utopian idea is

rarely achieved and it is the leader’s emotional intelligence

and communication skills which are the governing factors in

minimising the toxic influence of the followers in the lower

half of the matrix. Although hard wired character, skewed

perceptions and circumstance can hinder an individual from

changing their position within the Matrix, once personal

situation awareness is reached, it is possible to migrate upwards

in an attempt to add value rather than languish in the lower

half, hindering progress. Whether we like it or not, we all know

where we sit in the matrix and more importantly, it is blatantly

obvious to others!

With a team of constructive followers, leadership is simple

and success comes easily. The Kubler-Ross Curve Change Curve

shows how change initiatives and transformation are strongly

dependant on the attitudes of followers.

Although Western society has a fetish for identifying an

individual to lead, society has proved time and time again

that this often comes from the need to have a single focus

for praise or criticism, dependant on the results achieved.

Often the strengths of a good leader are eclipsed by the

denial and resistance caused by the destructive followers

that prevent immediate exploration, hope and commitment

from the constructive followers on the route to success. It

would be naive to think that the left hand side of the graph

could ever be flattened out and that well conceived change

initiatives would ever result in immediate improvements, but

some believe that the actions of the team have can have a

disproportionate effect over the actions of the leader. If this

view was accepted, it would therefore make eminent sense

for our Joint Service command courses to focus more on the

softer skills of leadership. Education on the tools available

would enable leaders to minimise the disruption of those

resistant to change, understand how best to identify different

personality types and how they interact. Many methodologies

exist to unlock this complex conundrum, but it is often left to

the individual to stumble across the information and follow a

road of self discovery on how to apply it.

In conclusion, more of an emphasis should be placed on

developing our leaders’ emotional intelligence rather than

studying historical case studies. Modern techniques designed

to analyse individuals and team interactions, should be the

staple diet on command courses. Although formal education

will provide a firm foundations for military leaders of all ranks,

and it can never be disputed that true leadership ability comes

from experience, and best learnt from followers. I have been in

the fortunate position to command a highly capable Unit made

up of individuals, the majority of which fall into the top half of

Grint’s Matrix, and have thoroughly enjoyed the experience. A

19 year vocational training course is not so bad - but I do not

think it is finished yet!

Gateway - www.raf.mod.uk/rafbrizenorton

61


CHARITY

62

FLYING SCHOLARSHIPS FOR THE DISABLED

Founded in 1983 in memory of

Group Captain Sir Douglas Bader, it was

intended to perpetuate his indomitable

spirit. After losing both legs in a flying

accident, Sir Douglas persisted in his

efforts against all odds to resume his

flying career with the RAF. He went on

to achieve fame in World War Two as a

fighter pilot and gifted leader, pursuing

a career in civilian flying after war

end. Although the primary aim of the

scheme is to give disabled people the

opportunity to realise their full potential

through the pleasure, the thrill and the

freedom of flying, a few students do

complete sufficient flying to qualify for

a Private Pilots Licence (PPL).

Since 1983 the Charity has helped

over 300 disabled men and women to ‘reach for the sky’.

In the early days FSD enjoyed the support of the late King

Hussein of Jordan as patron, a role which his widow Queen

Noor now assumes. During the weekend of the Royal

International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford each July, there is

a special Presentation Ceremony when the scholars receive

their wings and certificates. Queen Noor or Prince Feisal (one

of the late King Hussein’s sons) always attends this event

and, assisted by our own Chief of The Air Staff, makes the

presentations to the scholars.

It’s a very proud moment for all concerned with the Red

28 April, 2009 (Begins)

Throw a pebble in the water, and watch the ripples extend across the lake! Like the ripples stretching across the

lake, the countless disabled men and women who have been awarded a scholarship through FSD find previously

undiscovered potential which touches not only their lives, but those of family and friends.

Gateway - www.raf.mod.uk/rafbrizenorton

Arrows and members of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight

(BBMF) joining the celebrations. The Charity is very proud of

its association with the ‘Reds’ and the BBMF and each year is

invited to take a few scholars to spend a day with the teams,

seeing how they operate as well as having a really close look

at their ‘machinery’.

The Charity is delighted to report that the RAF Charitable

Trust Enterprises will be funding a scholarship for the next three

years, and will review the arrangement every three years as

long as funds permit. This particular scholarship has a proviso,

however, in that it has to be awarded to someone with a RAF

connection, either themselves or a close relative.


Application & Selection

The whole process for any FSD scholar begins when the

applicant, following submission of an application form, is

invited to a three-day selection process which is kindly hosted

at RAF Cranwell. The selections for 2009 took place just

prior to Easter this year when seven 6-week, four 4-week

and four 1-week scholarships were awarded.

Previous scholars come along to act as mentors, helping to

put the applicants at their ease as they go through various

interviews and tests, and those successful in being awarded

a scholarship are advised a few days later.

Three types of scholarship are available:

A full scholarship consists of 6 weeks of flight training plus

ground school and is undertaken overseas, currently at the

43rd School of Flying in Port Alfred, South Africa.

UK National Private Pilot’s License (NPPL) type courses

are available for those we feel really deserve this special

opportunity, but for various reasons would not be suitable to

undertake flight training overseas. This year 4 weeks flight

training and ground school will be undertaken at Lasham

through the British Disabled Flying Assocation (BDFA).

For similar reasons FSD can also offer 1 week of flight

training at Goodwood, which consists of a 10 hour taster

of flying training and appropriate ground school training.

All scholarships include accommodation and subsistence

at no cost to the student.

Full scholarships are always done overseas for three main

reasons. Firstly the weather is more flying friendly which is

really important when only 6 weeks are available. Secondly,

it is much more cost effective for the Charity but standards

are not in any way compromised. Thirdly many of the

scholars have never had to look after their everyday needs,

always having family and carers for support. A residential

course far from home really helps them regain confidence

and self-esteem.

Like most Charities, FSD depends solely on donations,

local fundraising and sponsorship, which directly relates to

the number of scholarships it is able to award each year.

Today, as in the past, FSD enjoys many associations with

the Royal Air Force. Both the aerodromes at Port Alfred

and Goodwood played their part in the Second World War.

The 43rd Air School was opened in 1942 as part of the joint

air training scheme, using over 100 aircraft, mainly Avro

Ansons and Airspeed Oxford to train navigators,

bomb aimers and gunners.

Goodwood, then known as RAF Westhampnett,

was built as an emergency fighter landing base,

a satellite of RAF Tangmere. It was home to the

No 145 Squadron from 31 July 1940, and No 602

Squadron from 13 August 1940 and it was from

here Sir Douglas Bader left on his last mission during

the Battle of Britain. Unfortunately he was rammed

by a German fighter, forcing him to parachute out

into Northern France, where he was captured and

spent the rest of the war as a prisoner.

Today the FSD offices are situated in Douglas

Bader House at Fairford which is now the home

of the Royal Air Force Charitable Trust Enterprises.

Many of the FSD trustees, both past and present

have been serving officers with the RAF.

Case Studies

Since the charity was formed, the trustees have

been privileged and also humbled by many of the men and

women who have passed through its flight training scheme.

Andy was all set to join the parachute regiment at the age of

16, when he was run over by a truck. Great efforts were made

to save his leg over the ensuing two years, but eventually it had

to be amputated. In his application Andy told FSD why he

wanted to fly: “I have always wanted to fly, ever since I was a

young boy, I used to go to a local airfield and clean the pilots’

airplanes and just do odd jobs, not for money, but for them to

take me up in their aircraft at the next convenient time.

That’s why I have put so much energy in learning to fly and

do my best at it with the only way I know how... KEEP TRYING.

All the bad stuff I have gone through in the last six years with

infection after infection, I have so much to give and this is why

I really want this scholarship so bad”.

The enthusiasm with which Andy tackled his NPPL course

astounded the instructors and his dedication to achieving

his license was 110%. He returned to Goodwood at his own

expense to complete his flight training and the ground school

exams. Gaining his NPPL is just the beginning for Andy, and

FSD has watched him mature and grow in confidence since the

Selections in March 2007.

Martyn was a RAF navigator before a road accident left

him a paraplegic. Martyn gained a PPL through the charity,

and now lives in the USA, where he undertook further flight

training to gain an instructor’s license. He now teaches other

disabled people to fly.

Mark has been confined to a wheelchair for over 24 years

following a motor cycle accident when he was only 18.

Three years ago he was awarded a scholarship and went to

South Africa for his training and astounded everyone when

6 weeks later he qualified for his PPL. He has recently been

cleared for a Class 1 Medical, which means he can now train

for a Commercial License. Mark’s goal is to become a Flight

Instructor teaching other disabled men and women to fly.

FSD isn’t just about teaching disabled men and women to

fly. In fact becoming a Private Pilot is really just the icing on

the cake as far as the Charity’s aims are concerned. It’s about

using the challenge of learning to fly, to show the scholars

how to discover their full potential. It’s about pushing their

personal boundaries and enabling them to measure their lives

and achievements not by their disabilities, but by their abilities.

For further information on the scheme please visit the FSD

website: www.toreachforthesky.org.uk

Gateway - www.raf.mod.uk/rafbrizenorton

63


On Monday 20 April 2009 eight children, aged between nine

and twelve years old, from Belarus visited RAF Brize Norton

for a day of bowling and swimming activities. The children are

currently staying in the UK on a three-week respite care holiday

organised through the Chernobyl Children’s Lifeline charity. All

eight children have recently suffered from leukaemia, an illness

no doubt exacerbated by the still high levels of radiation that

exist for many, many miles around the site of the Chernobyl

nuclear power station which suffered a reactor explosion in

1986. The radiation generated by the explosion

spread over vast areas of Europe, with the

vast majority falling on the Ukraine and

Belarus.

Every year, predominantly during

the summer and Christmas periods,

the Chernobyl Children’s Lifeline

- one of Brize Norton’s officially

sponsored charities - coordinates

holidays for children of the Ukraine

and Belarus to visit the UK in an effort

to boost the immune systems of each

child. For every month spent in the UK

breathing clean air, eating uncontaminated

food and getting plenty of exercise,

the children’s digestive systems are

effectively purged of radioactive

c o n t a m i n a t i o n , p o t e n t i a l l y

increasing their life expectancy by

anything up to two years.

The children, who are all staying

with host families in the Swindon

and Carterton area, travelled to the

UK accompanied by a group leader

and a doctor responsible for monitoring

Following on from our successful fund raising for Relay for

Life 2008 as The Team with No Name, we are now working

hard to raise funds again for the 2009 Event which will

be held in Witney over the weekend of 27 June 09. (See

poster on page 54).

Our team, OWLS, are a group of civilian ladies, mostly based

in Ops, with a strong desire, either through personal experience

or simply wanting to get involved, to raise money for Cancer

Research.

For those of you who have supported us through the many

cake/savoury sales we have held I would like to say a huge

thanks. Those sales alone have brought in £565.00 and in

case you have not yet had the pleasure of enjoying home made

cakes and savouries please note the next and last one for this

year will be on Fri 5 June outside OC Ops Wgs office (upstairs

in the pax terminal).

Other events still planned are:

Car Wash 14 May

Bingo Evening 5 June

Car Wash 11 June

We will also be manning a stall at the Station Families’ Day

on 13 June at which we will be running a Treasure Map for the

64

Chernobyl Children’s Lifeline visit to RAF Brize Norton

Walking for Charity!

the boys’ health.

The visit to Brize Norton

consisted of an hour’s use of the

Station Swimming Pool in the

morning, of which the children

made full use and enjoyed

immensely. The session was

obtained through the help of

the Station P’Ed Flight, which

gave up one of its regular training

slots for the visit’s use.

The swimming session was

followed by an extremely generous

lunch in the Junior Ranks’ Mess. As

with previous visits, the children

were made to feel exceptionally

welcome by all of the JRM staff

and both the children and the

adults participating in the visit

commented on the quality and

quantity of the food!

After the children had eaten,

it was off to the Astra Bowl for a

two-hour bowling session. There

was time for two full games and

some very competitive performances.

The trip, like all previous ones organised

on behalf of the charity, was an immense success and greatly

enjoyed by all of the children. The charity is deeply grateful

for the support of the station, and to all of the managers and

staff at the Swimming Pool, JRM and Astra Bowl who were so

helpful and welcoming.

Sgt Ian Wakeham

Pax Plans

AMS

Ext 6047

The Team With no Name at the 2008 Event.

children, cream teas, and a raffle.

More details of the above events will be publicised through

e-mails/posters/charity website etc, so please come along and

help us to help others.

Gateway - www.raf.mod.uk/rafbrizenorton


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65


Fly the Flag for Our Armed Forces

The MOD is encouraging councils, businesses and

homes across the country to show their support

for Britain’s Armed Forces by flying a special flag

designed for Armed Forces Day.

The Armed Forces Day Flag - available to order from

today - will be flown to mark the first ever national Armed

Forces Day on Saturday 27 June 2009. This new annual

event celebrates the UK’s Armed Forces - past, present

and future.

Hundreds of councils have pledged to raise the Armed

Forces Day Flag at 10.30am on Monday 22 June to

officially commence a week of celebrations in honour of

our Armed Forces and now businesses and homes will be

able to join them in showing their backing for the Forces.

The centrepiece of the celebrations on 27 June will be

the historic dockyard at Chatham, Kent, and dozens of

events are planned around the country to show appreciation

for Her Majesty’s Forces. Major celebrations will take place

in Cardiff, Glasgow, Blackpool, Portsmouth, Nottingham,

Southend, Edinburgh, Caernarfon, Birmingham, Manchester,

Stirling and Plymouth, among others.

Armed Forces Day at Chatham will include fly-pasts by

historic and current aircraft, including the Red Arrows, havea-go

activities with the Armed Forces and a veterans parade

in the Dockyard. Cardiff will see displays from the RAF Falcons

Parachute Display Team and the Red Devils, the Parachute

Regiment Freefall Team, along with music from the Central Band

of the Royal Air Force and the Welsh Guards Band.

The Prime Minister Gordon Brown said in Afghanistan

yesterday:

‘Britain’s armed forces are second to none, and the whole

country owes them an enormous debt of gratitude. Our troops

risk their lives fighting the agents of terror here on the front

line in Afghanistan to keep the streets of Britain safe, and they

are a force for good standing up for the UK’s interests right

across the world.

‘Armed Forces Day is our chance to say thank you. I’m proud

to be out here in Helmand province launching the Armed Forces

DAY/DATE EVENT

Fri 15 May XXX’s Dinner

Thu 21 May Spirit of St Louis Jazz/Swing Night

Wed 27 May Exchange Games Night - Officers’ Mess

Wed 3 Jun Pudding Club Night

Fri 5 Jun Families Happy Hour

Thu 11 Jun Annual Formal Reception and after party

Thu 18 Jun Summer Solstice Celebration

Fri 3 Jul Summer Ball

Thu 30 Jul Themed Night TBC

Thu 20 Aug Themed Night TBC

TBC Aug Wine Tasting

66

Day flags campaign - I urge everyone to send off for this specially

designed flag and fly it with pride.’

Veterans Minister Kevan Jones said:

‘The men and women of Armed Forces make huge personal

sacrifices to defend the UK and their efforts deserve support

and recognition. Flying this new flag gives the public, businesses

and councils across the country the chance to show their

appreciation for the important job that they do.

‘The purpose of Armed Forces Day is to celebrate what our

veterans have already achieved, what our current personnel

continue to achieve, and the opportunities the Armed Forces

offer our future generations. The Armed Forces Day Flag sends

out a clear message of gratitude that will be appreciated by all

our service personnel, past, present and future.’

The design of the Armed Forces Day flag is based on the Union

Jack and it measures 5ft by 3ft. Flags cost £10, which includes

postage and packaging to UK addresses, VAT and a £1 donation

by the flag supplier, Piggotts, to the Forces Children’s Trust, a

charity devoted to helping dependent children that have lost a

parent whilst serving with the Armed Forces.

Those interested in ordering an Armed Forces Day Flag

should visit www.piggotts.co.uk or email armedforcesdayflag@

piggotts.co.uk.

DAY/DATE EVENT

Fri 4 Sep Families Happy Hour

Thu 10 Sep B of B Dining In Night

Thu 24 Sep Themed Happy Hour TBC

Fri 2 Oct Families Happy Hour

Thu 22 Oct Stn Dining In Night

Thu 29 Oct Halloween Party

Fri 6 Nov Bonfire Night Event

Thu 19 Nov Stn Dining In Night

Thu 3 Dec Exchange Drinks - SNCOs Mess

Fri 11 Dec Christmas Draw

Tue 15 Dec Children’s Party


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