The Veteran - March


The Veterans Newspaper

The Veteran

In Support of The Tommy Atkins Centre

07 March 2019



Kerry Dedman

1961 - 2019

Official Magazine to AFVBC’s




The Royal Navy sent HMS Defender warship to follow Russia's missile

frigate Admiral Gorshkov, reportedly equipped with a weapon

that can cause dizziness, nausea and hallucinations

Story: The Mirror - Chris Kitching

Image: Royal Navy/ Twitter

It is with great sadness

that the Sandbag Times

reports the passing of

SBT Blog writer and Open

Door Training Network,

Kerry Dedman.

Kerry passed away

suddenly on Sunday 24th

February 2019 in

Petersfield, Hampshire.

Meet The UK’s New

Rocket Man


Team Dynamics Launch

Through her company,

Open Door Training, Kerry

supported many veterans

by assisting them with CV

writing and through

interview and career

transition mentoring. Her

passion and generosity

was second to none in this

field. She also set up her

own networking platform in

which she brought many

organisations together in

the benefit of veterans of

the Armed Forces. She will

also be fondly remembered

by her friends for her

production of the famed

‘Chilli Jam’, a unique recipe

loved by so many.

Kerry’s funeral will be

taking place on 21st March

2019 in her hometown of

Petersfield. The SBT

would like to pass on our

heartfelt condolences to

her family and friends.

Anew Russian warship

reportedly fitted with a

vomit-inducing ray was

shadowed by the Royal Navy as

it sailed close to the UK's

territorial waters

The Royal Navy scrambled a

warship, HMS Defender, to

follow a Russian naval task

group, including the missile

frigate Admiral Gorshkov.

HMS Defender intercepted the

Russian vessels in waters north

east of Scotland and escorted

them as they passed the UK

coastline and sailed through the

English Channel.

The Admiral Gorshkov, which

is on its maiden mission, is

alleged to have been fitted with

the Filin 5P-42 visual optical

interference weapon which can

blind enemies and cause

nausea, feelings of

disorientation and

hallucinations. It is said the

"non-lethal" weapon fires

strobe-like beams to disrupt the

enemy's vision and prevent an

attack, and is part of an arsenal

that includes guided Kalibr

missiles. The SNP , meanwhile,

claimed the UK's Ministry of

Defence was "failing Scotland"

by allowing Russia to conduct

"provocative drills" off the

country's coastline.

Russia's Ministry of Defence

said the Admiral Gorshkov -

named after Soviet Navy

Admiral Sergey Gorshkov - is

sailing with the supply ship

Elbrus, the rescue tug Nikolay

Chiker and the tanker Kama.

The Admiral Gorshkov entered

service last year and is

expected to join Russia's fleet of

ships in the Mediterranean.

HMS Defender, a Type 45

destroyer equipped with a Sea

Viper missile system, was

scrambled over the weekend to

keep watch on the Admiral

Gorshkov and three auxiliary

ships. Read more on this story

SBT Reports


Mrs Fox Goes To War


Agony Aunt, Hilda Ffinch

Answers your Letters

Page 11






The Veteran 07 March 2019


Judge backs Essex WW2 veteran's fight to

end his days at home

Story: BBC News Image: PA Images

Ablind 97-year-old World

War Two Royal Navy

gunner has won his legal

battle to die at home after

receiving support from a judge.

work closely with Mr Meyers to

offer a range of support to cover

all his social care and

healthcare needs once he has

returned to his home."

Douglas Meyers, who lives near

Southend in Essex, has twice

been refused permission to

return home.

At the High Court, Mr Justice

Hayden concluded the "ideal

solution" would be for Mr

Meyers to return home with a

"suitable package of support".

Southend Council said it would

support his return home.

Tony Cox, cabinet members for

adults, said: "We will continue to

Barrister Katie Scott, who led

council's legal team, said he had

gone into a care facility a few

months ago after being found in

difficult circumstances at home.

But former Royal Navy gunner

Mr Meyers told a judge he was

unhappy living there.

Southend Borough Council's

social services bosses said they

had "discharged their

obligations" to Mr Meyers under

legislation relating to social care

and human rights. More here...

Inquest into death of Perham Down Soldier Louis Kelly

Story: Salisbury Journal Reporter: Katy Griffin

A soldier who was found dead in his

room has been remembered for being a

“kind hearted and loving” man who had

an “unsurpassable sense of humour”.

Louis Kelly was found hanged in his bathroom

at Swinton Barracks in Perham

Down on Sunday, October 14. He was a

sapper in the 26 engineer regiment of the

Royal Engineers.

A statement from his family said: “Louis

was a truly kind hearted and loving man.

He had an unsurpassable sense of humour

and used it to always help people

feel better about themselves.

“With his warm smile and big hugs there

is no doubt that Louis filled many people’s

lives with goodness and love

throughout the 20 years of his life.”

The statement added: “The world is a

lesser place without Louis who went

through life trying to fix other people’s

worries and make the world seem better

and brighter to all his friends and family.

“He will continue to live on in the hearts

of all who loved him; never forgotten- always

missed - loved forever.”

An inquest at Salisbury coroner’s court

on Friday, February 22, heard the 20-

year-old had had an on-again-off again

relationship with his former fiancee Iesha

Neal and the couple had broken off their


Read the full story here...


07 March 2019

Armed Forces & Veterans News...

F-15 fighter jets in 'near-miss'

with glider near Lakenheath

The Veteran

North Yorkshire Army fraud case:

charges dropped

Story: Northern Echo - Neil Hunter

Image: Google

Story: BBC News Image: 142 Communications Flight

Two fighter jets flew just

100ft (30m) above a glider

taking part in a contest, a

report has shown.

The military aircraft were

travelling in formation to RAF

Lakenheath in Suffolk when the

lead pilot saw a glider making a

turn in front of them. The F-15

jets levelled off to avoid the Duo

Discus but the pilot rated the risk

of collision was "high". An Air

Accidents Investigation Branch

(AAIB) investigating panel said

the "emergency" manoeuvre by

the F-15s had created the

separation between the aircraft

during the incident west of

Thetford in Norfolk. While the

fighter pilots had been warned of

some glider activity in the area

they had not been given specific

details, the recently published

report said. Since the incident on

14 August the gliding club, which

did not have a contact for

Lakenheath Air Traffic Control at

the time, has agreed to give

notice to the aviation authorities

when any competitions involve

more than 20 aircraft. Read more

CHARGES have been

dropped against a

Sergeant in the army air

corps who was accused of

theft and fraud.

The development came

more than three years

after Brian Morris first

appeared in court and after

numerous hearings.

Sgt Morris was accused of

conning the army out of

more than £35,000 while

at a North Yorkshire base.

The 47-year-of, from

Whitley Bay, North

Tyneside, faced four

charges of fraud while he

was a regimental

accountant for the 9

Regiment Army Air Corps,

based at Dishforth near

Thirsk, between 2009 and


Read more here...

Key army reports ‘hidden’ from Deepcut

Inquest Story: The Guardian Photograph: Peter Jordan/PA

Female Recruit who died at Sandhurst

was found hanged Story: Mailonline

A female army cadet

was found hanged at

Sandhurst military

academy after being

told off for failing to return

to her barracks following

a party, an

inquest heard. Olivia

Perks had attended a

party on February 6 this

year but was later found

dead in her room. It was

understood that the 21-

year-old had been spoken

to after failing to

return to her barracks

following a weekendlong

party on the base

at the elite academy.

Read the full story...

An inquest into the

death of a

teenage army recruit

has been plunged

into controversy ahead

of its opening this week.

The Ministry of Defence

has been forced to deny

claims that key internal

reports cataloguing life

at Deepcut barracks,

where four trainee soldiers

died from bullet

wounds over a sevenyear

period, will not be

submitted as evidence at

the inquest into the

death of Private Geoff


The 17-year-old died

from two gunshot

wounds to the head

sustained while on guard

duty in September 2001.

As with the three other

trainee deaths, the

original inquest recorded

a verdict of suicide.

But the Gray family have

questioned this verdict

and campaigned for a

second inquest after

receiving thousands of

pages of material from

Surrey police which

shone new light on life at

the barracks.

Last year at the preinquest

review, John

Cooper QC,

representing his family,

said there was evidence

of “systemic failings” and

a “lack of procedure and

lack of protection” for

recruits at Deepcut.

Read more on this story


SBT News View...

Isn’t about time

that the system got

to the bottom of

this now. I can’t

help feeling that

there is so much

more to this than

meets the eye and

so much has not

been told about all

four death at

Deepcut Barracks.

It’s about time the

full truth was

known purely so

the families can finally

have peace

and say goodbye

to their lost children.

So much

hasn’t added up on

this. Lets hope

this time the answers

are found.



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07 March 2019

The Veteran

Former Harrier pilot becomes UK’s

first commercial astronaut

Story: UK Defence Journal - George Allison

Police called after woman aims

abuse at soldiers in Lancaster

Story: LancsLive - Olivia Baron

Aformer Royal Air

Force Harrier pilot

has become the

UK’s first commercial

astronaut when he flew

into space aboard the

Virgin Space Ship Unity,

say the RAF.

Dave MacKay (61), is

Virgin Galactic’s Chief

Pilot, and also a former

RAF Harrier pilot.

“He flew into space on

the 22 February, when

Virgin Galactic’s VSS

Unity makes its second

successful flight into

space above California.

Dave has therefore

become the became the

569th human in space

and the first Scottish-born


Before becoming an

astronaut, Dave joined

the RAF in 1979 and

spent 16 years in the

Service, flying the

Harriers. He was also a

test pilot at Boscombe

Down and was awarded

the Air Force Cross in

1992. On leaving the

RAF he joined Virgin

Atlantic in 1995 as a

commercial pilot and then

moved to Virgin Galactic

in 2009.”

Dave MacKay, Virgin

Galactic’s Chief Pilot,


“I am incredibly proud of

my crew and the amazing

teams at Virgin Galactic

and The Spaceship

Company for providing a

vehicle and an operation

which means we can fly

confidently and safely.

For the three of us today

this was the fulfilment of

lifelong ambitions.”

Following re-entry and a

glide back home, Dave

and his crew mates were

met after landing by

Virgin staff and a kilted

piper say the RAF.

Visit main story...

Female soldier comes within two miles of becoming UK's

first woman paratrooper

Story: The Mirror - Bradley Jolly

Soldiers have been greeted with verbal

abuse as they stood in the centre of

Lancaster .

Stood at a recruitment stand in the city

centre, soldiers from the Duke of

Lancaster's regiment were yelled abuse

at by a woman passing by.

Police were quick to the scene on

Monday (February 18) as the situation


A man then became involved in abusing


Onlookers were shocked by the incident

and some filmed and recorded the


The woman was warned about her

behaviour and the pair later left the

scene, with no arrests being made.

Officers were then spotted chatting to

the soldiers at the recruitment stand

following the incident.

A spokesperson for Lancashire Police

said: "It looks like a woman was verbally

abusive towards the soldiers on the stall.

"Police arrived and then a man became

involved in abusing police.

"The woman was warned about her

behaviour and eventually both the man

and woman left the scene.

"No arrests were made."

A soldier nearly became

Britain's first female member

of the Parachute Regiment

this week.

Captain Eva Howard, of the

Royal Army Medical Corps,

came within two miles of

being the first woman to

complete the gruelling

selection course. But in a

rare honour, military top

brass immediately invited

her to retake the Armed

Forces course. Capt

Howard and 73 other

hopefuls this week faced

eight challenges, including

having to complete a 10-mile

march over rough terrain in

full kit in less than an hour

and 50 minutes, at Pegasus

Company in Catterick, North

Yorkshire. Read more here

(Image: Getty Images/Aurora Creative


The Veteran 07 March 2019

Leading from the front


Matt Neal

Patron and 3 time BTCC Champion.

Winner of the 60th ‘Double Diamond’ BTCC Anniversary Race

“Life is short and we need to live that life to the maximum, the freedom we enjoy in the UK is in no uncertain part down

to our armed forces, whether active, retired or recuperating and that is why I am so proud to be a Patron of the Sandbag

Times. What you do and have done for this country goes beyond words…”

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TeamDynamics @teamdynamics Team Dynamics Motorsport Ltd


VAT registration no. GB 223 8311 34, Registered in England no. 7193279


age 1

07 March 2019

The Veteran

Off The Grid

Team Dynamics Motorsport & SBT Patron, Matt Neal Reveal

2019 BTCC Challenger - Honda Civic Type R FK8

The Sandbag Times Patron and three times BTCC

champion and Team Dynamics Motorsport revealed their

contenders for the Kwikfit 2019 British Touring Car

Championship at the Droitwich HQ yesterday. The Halfords

Yuasa Honda Civic Type R FK8 has been given a brand new,

stunning livery following the winter developments.

Team Boss, James Rogers along with Steve Thompson hosted

the event along with Matt and fellow driver Dan Cammish at the

factory in front of a private audience of sponsors and VIP’s.

Team Dynamics Motorsport have been brimming with

confidence at the new package with high hopes of adding

another championship

winning combination,

James told the


“Last year was challenging but we have learnt a great deal and

are looking to be constantly at the front throughout the new


Speaking of the rest of the field, Steve Thompson said “The

competition is very tight this year with only a third of a second

separating the top 15”.

Despite the high profile event, Matt still took the time to speak to

the Sandbag Times about the veterans he supports and also to

catch up on the progress on the Tommy Atkins Centre, his local

veterans centre which he officially opened last month in

Worcester. Matt is a long time supporter of veterans with many

of his friends having served in the Armed Forces.

Team Dynamics Motorsport kick off their campaign on 6/7 April

2019 at Brands Hatch. For those not able to get to the circuit,

full coverage will be on ITV 4 and on SBT Radio


The SBT’s Team Dynamics

2019 Season Guide. All of

the circuits, the drivers, the

car and so much more...

Don’t miss it!

BTCC 2019


Your Guide to the 2019 BTCC Season. The

Team, the Drivers, the Car and the Circuits

The Kwikfit British Touring Car Championship 2019

A story of old and new, pain and glory and the most exciting field ever

Igenuinely couldn’t be more excited for

the start of this year’s racing. This

year truly does have it all. Loads of

new drivers, one or two old faces

(present company accepted, Matt), one

or two new set ups and a whole load of

promise for totally exciting , off-the-wall


Looking at the circuits, we have one

change to speak of, the old Rockingham

circuit is no longer on the calender,

instead, we visit Thruxton twice. For

those who were stationed on Salisbury

plain somewhere, will be very familiar

with this classic circuit off the A303.

Great news for our lads, this is one of

our most successful tracks. Remember

Matt breaking the qualifying record last

year and then going on to a win and a

second podium position. Dan also

managed a little silverware here last

year, just a few races into his rookie


So what about the drivers and Teams?

Well, during the past few months I have

been compiling the list as the teams

have released and there are one or two

surprises. My first big shock was Ex-F1

driver, Mark Blundell coming across to

BTCC with the Trade Price Audi. Hmm,

not sure how that one will pan out. The

field this year is very hot and hungry

and, with respect, I don’t believe Mark

will cut it but we will see. Another chatty

point is that of Nicholas Hamilton, yes

the brother of F1 Champion, Lewis. Nic

is well accustomed to BTCC and even

though he has a modified car to suit his

condition, he could be one to watch.

Changes have been thick and fast over

the winter, not least Matt’s old rival,

Jason Plato swaps rides to PMR

Vauxhall along with Rob Collard. Not a

surprise really following the awful

season Jason had with the Suburu last

year. Ash Sutton remains with Suburu,

BTR, now void

of Norlin changes up to the FK8, I do

believe there is support from Team

Dynamics, although I am not quite sure

to what degree.

But let’s take a look at the pointy end of

the grid. In my opinion (which is

normally wrong) I can see a six horse

fight for the title. Matt is after his fourth,

make no mistake. He want’s this. If he

should win, he will be the first driver over

50 to take the title. Dan is so hungry it’s

unbelievable and after his first season,

he will be there or thereabouts.

Challenging will be Champion Colin

Turkington, Tom Ingram, Ash Sutton and

Tom Chilton. I can see these being the

threats for our lads but there is also a

whole host of talent behind. ‘Absolutely

anything can happen, and it usually

does’, to quote our Murray. The first

round is at Brands Hatch on the

weekend of 6/7 April. Bring it on!


The Veteran 07 March 2019

Come Unto Me all you who are weary - Pt3

“Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46

If you read the entire Psalm 46, you will realise that God is a

God to be feared. Not the marshmallow God that is created by

some churches, the type who welcomes anyone and lets anyone

do what they want – a bit like the parents who let their kids

run out of control and ruin the peace and quiet of a restaurant or

family gathering (everyone else gritting their teeth). In Proverbs

9 we are told the “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.”

For years in my teens and early twenties I ran astray like

the young man who went away with his inheritance. Then when

I was 23 I read in Hebrews about how God is a jealous God who

is not despised and that for some who go completely astray

there can be no return. I was terrified that I had lost my salvation

but the remembered that even in my youthful wanderings I

had always prayed at night and read parts of scripture from time

to time and on one memorable occasion I read all four gospels

the day before a series of actions (really a running battle)

against terrorists that began that night with an ambush. However

I had been the like the son who had gone astray and came

back to my Lord in deep sorrow. Well that re-awakening taught

me a lesson about the fear of God. Psalm 6 became my personal

example of my fear before God. O LORD, rebuke me not

in thine anger, neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure.

Have mercy upon me, O LORD; for I am weak: O LORD, heal

me; for my bones are vexed. My soul is also sore vexed: but

thou, O LORD, how long? Return, O LORD, deliver my soul: oh

save me for thy mercies' sake. For in death there is no remembrance

of thee: in the grave who shall give thee thanks? I am

weary with my groaning; all the night make I my bed to swim; I

water my couch with my tears.

Proverbs 3.

Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from

evil. It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.

Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of

all thine increase: So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy

presses shall burst out with new wine. My son, despise not the

chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction: For

whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son

in whom he delighteth.

We have established that with this fear we should depart from

evil, nor should we despise the chastening of the Lord. In his

great love for us he will chasten and correct as a father corrects

his own son in whom he delights. But read it again, this is not

just advice, this is written in the imperative. So too “be still”. Be

still and know that I am God. He is not saying “well you can do

this but don’t bother if you don’t want to”. In today’s world of relative

values it is sad that even in the church this relativism has

crept in (2 Tim do read this entire chapter and you shall see that

we have the ultimate yardstick in scripture) – which is why some

modern “wolves in sheeps clothing” like to undermine the scriptures

today and the last thing they want is for people of God to

be still and contemplate, read, learn scripture.

Be still – this is written in the imperative – why? Because it is

GOOD for you. Take time out to read the word of God. Pray on

it, meditate on it. Over time, what was a fear of God becomes a

great deepening love. There are times I sit silence, pray and

worship my Lord. I feel for his wounds and death for me more

and more. Frances of Assisi wanted to be like Jesus and emulate

him in every way to the extent of being obedient to the word

and giving up all his worldly goods, to live like him on poverty.

Through that the Lord taught him to have a burning love and

compassion for the outcast – the lepers and the poor of his day.

Like Francis, if you feel like praising the Lord in song then do so,

it is not just for church to do this. Two years after my reawakening

at 23 I was walking down a street in South Africa singing

some hymns and gospel songs. Then suddenly the Lord spoke

to me verbally, one sentence, that was all and is was of great

encouragement to me. Like Samuel I had a quick look around

(in case it was Eli), there was no one but me and the few cars

on the road and then I realised with great joy that it was the

Lord. Since then there has been the occasion that the Lord has

come to me in a dream with a message, like once a particular

verse in scripture glowing gold on a page, I woke up and wrote

the scripture down, collect my thoughts, make a cup of tea then

look up the scripture. He speaks to his people in many different

ways. Most often it is through scripture and thus as time goes by

you will find you will remember scriptures more and more – one

reason why I use the King James Bible as it is easier for me to

memorise like Shakespeare’s plays than a modern version. For

ease of reading I like the Living Bible.

Be still and know that I am God. Be still and you shall become

aware of many things that you paid no attention to before. A

wonderful verse from the book of Revelation is “Behold, I stand

at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the

door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with


A great artist Holman Hunt made a painting of this, here is the

copy of the one in St Pauls Cathedral. It depicts Christ knocking

on the door of a person’s mind. This door has remained shut for

ages and is overgrown. There is no handle on the outside, it can

only be opened from within.

If you have read this and heard these things for the first time,

then I implore you, can you hear Christ Calling? If so will you

open the door and invite him in? Do not be afraid. If you, like all

good sheep, have gone astray, do you hear him calling for you.

Be still and know that I am God.

Peace and all Good

Brother Andrew Hall (TSSF)




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The Veteran 07 March 2019




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The Veteran 07 March 2019


07 March 2019

Mrs Fox Goes

To War...

The Chronicles of Little Hope

1939 - 1945

Hilda Ffinch:

The Bird With All The Answers

Hilda Ffinch, Little Hope's very own Agony Aunt (page 5 of the

Little Hope Herald) was easily bored and terribly rich. She

loved nothing better than taking on the problems of others

and either sorting them out or claiming that she'd never

heard of them if it all went tits up and they had to leave the

district under cover of darkness having followed her sage advice.

Letter Of The Month

If you were to ask me on the 8th of August (for example) why

the Bishop of Rochester hadn’t appeared to open the village

fete as promised, I might give you a sideways glance before

nodding towards the vicarage and replying knowingly:

“Oh, he’s sure to come soon dear, he’s just in there celebrating

Palm Sunday’...”

Or possibly

“He’s rather busy auditioning the Archdeacon at the moment,

tricky when in a hurry, but I’m sure he’ll pull it off as quickly as


You know, that sort of thing.

The Veteran

Of course the above are merely examples of the exquisite art of

the euphemism and the Bishop of Rochester always comes on

time when judging the cake stall.

My dearest Miss Ffinch,

I do consider myself both well travelled and well educated, but I

recently came across an expression which has me perplexed.

My 15 year old son was out late one evening and on looking

through the village for him, I espied him running from the bus

shelter where the local youth tend to congregate. I heard one

of the lads call out to him that he was a Five Knuckle Shuffler.

Now I know he doesn’t play any card games, so I was wondering

if you could help with an explanation of that particular phrase?

Many thanks in anticipation,


Dear Arabella

Another hypothetical example might be based upon our own

Constable Clink’s inevitable personal proclivities. Supposing a

small crowd had gathered outside the Little Hope Police Station

and you, unsure of the cause, asked of me “What on earth is

going on, Mrs Ffinch?” I might then raise an eyebrow and tap

the side of my nose before replying discretely that the good

constable had been caught “Badgering the witness” or was possibly

apprehended “Tipping off the Inspector.”

Are you following me, my dear?

For further clarification – Mr Peabody the greengrocer might be

caught 'Curing the cucumber' or 'Waxing the carrot' upon occasion,

Mr Trotter the butcher from the Meat Emporium in the

High Street may enjoy 'Wrestling the eel' or very possibly 'Seasoning

the sausage' when he has a moment to himself and I

think that we all know that dear Major Boothe-Royde from the

Salvation Army enjoys 'Blowing his own trumpet' round the

back of The Royal Oak at least twice a week.

I do hope that this has cleared matters up for you, Arabella.

Five knuckle shuffling has nothing whatsoever to do with card

games, although one might still categorise it under the heading

‘sleight of hand’.

The male of the species, my dear, can be particularly feral at times,

especially when young and caught in the merciless glare of a full

moon, and I’m guessing that that was what set these callow rapscallions

off. Really, they ought not to be congregating in bus shelters at

all, rather twilight should find them perched in a pillbox, developing

haemorrhoids and shivering manfully with a large pair of binoculars

in their mitts scanning the evening skies for our old friend jerry!

As it is, however, the question has been asked, and without wishing

to offend the sensitive and maidenly (and also those who find such

a topic a little too stimulating for their own good) let me reply in

couched terms.

Yours conspiratorially,

Hilda Ffinch

The Bird With All The Answers

P.s. If you do happen to come across the Bishop at the cake

stall this year and decide to shake hands, perhaps still best you

keep your gloves on.

You can catch more of Mrs Fox and Friends at or on Twitter



The Veteran 07 March 2019

Hercules Fleet Given New Lease Of Life

The C-130J fleet based at RAF Brize Norton is having a

major upgrade to extend it's service into 2030

Story: Forces.Net

The first C-130J Hercules to

undergo a major upgrade to

extend the life of the fleet has

been delivered to Marshall

Aerospace and Defence Group

in Cambridge.

ZH867 was flown from RAF

Brize Norton in Oxfordshire by

Officer Commanding No. 47

Squadron Wing Commander

Andy Johnson on 1st March. It

marks the start of the

centerwing upgrade

programme, which will see all

14 aircraft in the fleet receive

the upgrade over several years

at Marshalls. The Hercules

fleet first came into service

with the RAF back in 1967 as

the C.Mk 1, later known as the

‘K’ model, and has been the

backbone of UK operations

ever since. Marshall have

been an instrumental cog in

the Hercules machine right

from the off, having performed

all fleet conversion work

throughout the aircraft’s history

and today supporting the C-

130J in this latest upgrade


Wing Commander Andy

Johnson told Forces Radio


“It is the aircraft that’s always

called on for a great number of

tasks by defence and

constantly delivers.

These aircraft have lasted 20

years and giving them this new

lease of life is superb.”

The C-130K models were

retired from service in 2013

after almost 5 decades of

service, accumulating many

more flying hours than

predicted during Operations

Telic and Herrick alongside the

newer C-130J models.

The C-130J was due for

retirement in 2022, however

the 2015 Strategic Defence

and Security Review saw a

need for the life of the fleet to

be extended and this

programme will ensure

Hercules continue to deliver on

operations for the UK up until


Read the full story here...

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