New Zealand: Poppy Day appeal to help post-Vietnam veterans The annual Poppy Day appeal is as important now as it has ever been with many young veterans suffering from post traumatic stress, the RSA says. Royal New Zealand Returned and Services Association's annual Poppy Day Appeal is being held today. The association is tapping into new ways to raise money via the digital world and hopes to raise more than the $2.6 million raised last year. RSA chief executive David Moger said money from this year's appeal would go On Sunday, May 1st, the RCN will nationally commemorate the longest campaign of the Second World War — the Battle of the Atlantic. On April 28th, the annual Battle of the Atlantic Gala, held at the Canadian War Museum, will reflect, with our veterans, their Navy’s accomplishments, past and present. By looking to the past, we seek inspiration from the brave men and women who sacrificed so much in service to Canada. We can see echoes of the RCN’s contributions to global peace and security throughout the decades. We see how the Canadian Government has, over and over again, called upon its Navy as the towards providing assistance dogs to young veterans suffering from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). While it was not viewed as a physical wound, research showed the disorder changed the structure of the brain, and the support and care required - and the impact on their families - was significant. There are about 31,000 veterans in New Zealand and about 20,000 are from the post-Vietnam era. Read more on this story here US: 22 female officers approved for Army Infantry and Armour The Army just announced the first female officers who will be commissioned for infantry and armour. Twenty two women are close to completing their training that will allow them to be commissioned as second lieutenants for infantry and armour units. In order for them to assume these positions they still have to pass the specialty schools and meet the physical requirements, Only one of the women is in the 12- week officer candidate school at Fort Benning, GA while the rest are in college ROTC programs or at West Point. Canada: Royal Canadian Navy to commemorate Battle of Atlantic instrument of “first resort”, responding in times of crisis and threats to global instability. Today’s RCN remains faithful to the spirit of our motto “Ready, Aye Ready”. The importance of being prepared for anything is reinforced daily. Whether in counter-trafficking missions in the Caribbean, keeping tonnes of drugs off the streets in North America, or NATO security operations in Eastern Europe, adaptive and flexible naval capabilities continue to enable Canada to play its desired role in the world. Read the full article here Thirteen of the twenty two women will become armour officers and the remaining nine are headed for the infantry. Many officers appointed to the Infantry are graduates of the Army’s Ranger school but it is not known how many of these women will attend the school at this time. Ranger school is not required for infantry officers but all infantry officers are able to volunteer after training and many consider it to be an “unofficial requirement” to lead infantryman in land combat.
How does the F35 Compare to the F2a Ancestor Quite where to start is difficult - two high performance aircraft, but from differing eras. The Lightning concept dates back to a period just after the end of WWII, though it was not until 1947 that an experimental study contract was approved, and another two years before a contract was given for two prototypes and an airframe to be used for static tests. As a typical aircraft enthusiast I have formed my own opinions in this field and it is in no way an accurate account or official report. This is simply how I see it. I may be very wrong, I don’t think so, but I may be. To begin with we have to realise that it differs massively in it’s operations. The F35 is a Joint Strike Fighter being designated to our Queen Elizabeth Carrier fleet. It’s main distinguishing feature being VTOL (Vertical take off and Landing). Umm, didn’t we already have one of those? Ok my gripe aside at the demise of my favourite aircraft of all time, lets look at this baby. The first prototype took to the air way back in 1954 where it would stay in service until 1988. It’s concept was so extreme back in the 50’s that the MOD handed the programme over to Shorts to find out it’s flaws not wanting to believe it was perfect. History has learned that this was to prove to be one of the most effective fighter jets of the Cold War. Even when it was retired it could still out climb and in many ways outperform the American fighter, the F15 Strike Eagle. Not bad for a airplane 20 years it’s senior. It could boast a top speed of Mach 2.27 at 40,000 ft (Approx 1,500mph). It carried Two 30mm cannon plus two Firestreak AAMs or four 30mm cannon and could also carry rocket pods and bombs on the wing pylons. During it’s service life it was feared by any pilot that would have to consider taking it on. The Russian equivalent Mig 25 Foxbat was certainly no match even when it was upgraded to the Mig 31. Of course in this day and age technological advances in modern air warfare has taken performance and strike capabilities to a different level. We sit on the brink of our latest fighter to enter service in the UK. The second Lightning, indeed it’s designation is the F35 Lightning II. So the question is will the F35 be as devastating today as the F2a was 30 years ago. Top speed is Mach 1.6 (Almost twice as fast as it’s Harrier predecessor) It has stealth mode and a 450 mile operational range. That is where the good points end in my opinion. It has been tested against the ageing f16 Falcon designed and brought into service in the 1970’s. Recent testing saw the f16 outperforming, outmanoeuvring and outgunning the F35. Manoeuvrability has been greatly hampered by the f35’s lack of ability to go beyond a 5g turn. Other issues have seen the entire US fleet grounded due to cracked turbo fans, software difficulties and a fuel tank venting system that will not allow a steep dive below 20,000ft. Surely this cannot be a ‘Fighter’ with so many restrictions and flaws. Oh yes, it melts the flight deck of carriers when it’s hovering So, my personal opinion is the F35 has an awful long way to go to earn it’s title as a Lightning. The old girl would be turning in her grave at the thought!! The F2a was renowned as being an absolute joy to fly and a British Aircraft that could hold it’s own against anything of it’s day. While the F35 would have problems outperforming a Cessna at the moment. But hey, what do I know. To be fair to the F35, it is still early days but I get concerned that this thing is due into service very soon and I fear that it’s not up to the job. Can somebody please tell me why we got rid of the Harrier when although it wasn’t as fast, at least it worked.