Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Our Stories in RAF News - 'Crass and Unforgivable' - A Broken Covenant?

A wife at RAF Kinloss considers it crass and unforgiveable that RAF serving personnel and their families should have found out about the closure of Kinloss, the lose their homes and jobs without warning, via an announcement in Parliament, broadcast live to the world....... For more information

Reserves Under Review

Work has begun on the review of the Reserve Forces commissioned by the Prime Minister as part of the SDSR. It will look at their role and structure to ensure the MoD makes the most efficient use of reservist skills, experience and capabilities. Organised into three phases it will announce its findings in Summer 11. Gen Sir Nicholas Houghton said, "I intend to approach the study as open-mindedly as possible... 

Women to Remain away from Ground Close Combat

The MoD has completed its latest eight year review into the policy that excludes female members of the Armed Forces from carrying out GROUND close-combat roles. It concludes that the policy should remain unchanged despite operations in Iraq and Afghanistan having generated considerably more evidence of women serving on the front line. Andrew Robathan said, Their capability is not in doubt...More information »

Monday, 29 November 2010

Urgent Call to Battle Back Swimmers

"Guys, just a few days now until Battle Back Swim champs at Aldershot Garrison Pool, Thur 2 Dec pm. I need swimmers in preparation for Gibraltar and Jersey in 2011. 50M and 100M Front crawl only. Please, please let me know if you can make it, any ability welcome and you can claim traveling, if you need time off work then I can speak to your bosses...More information »

The Best Way to Support those in Afghanistan

There is only five days left for families to send presents and cards to their loved ones in Afghanistan in time for Christmas. A strong plea has been issued by the MoD urging the public to keep the postal system clear and to give to charities which help instead. Sally Little of uk4u said, "We send 22,000 Christmas boxes to personnel. It means a great deal to them knowing the public are thinking of them...More information »

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Troops to Teachers Programme

Plans to encourage personnel leaving the Services to become teachers has been announced as part of the Schools White Paper released by the Department for Education. Michael Gove MP said, "Service leavers have a great deal to offer young people. I can't think of anything better than getting people who know all about self-discipline, teamwork and a sense of pride into our schools...

The Christmas Party Goes On...

'The Sun' claims the MoD is 'cancelling Christmas' for personnel. The MoD has hit back saying, "All crown servants are reminded every year that it is not appropriate to spend public funds on Christmas". Lt Col David Eastman, in Afghanistan said: "To suggest COs do not have the support they need to help their troops enjoy Christmas is wrong. Significant effort is put in to ensure troops enjoy the best possible Christmas...

More information »

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Heartfelt from Moray

Dear Families Federation. 'As part of the RAF family, I feel totally let down... We have gone from a family looking forward to life, to a family that has to put on a brave face for our children heading up to Christmas... This country is falling apart... My husband has been told that most of the aircrew should be looking for jobs outside the RAF... Tossed on the unemployment heap... What a perk the Armed Forces provides... I am sorry but that is how the Moray area feels at the moment... Thank you to listening to me... I know that I will be writing not just for myself but for other families in my position...  

CDS Talks of 'Decisions Made'

Chief of the Defence Staff, General Sir David Richards, has given a speech focusing his words on the SDSR and decisions made. "You must see the SDSR not as an end state but as a stage in the evolving role of our Armed Forces..." He also spoke of the decision to decommission the Harrier fleet and retain the Tornados. He said, "Our finances required us to remove a complete fast jet type...More information »

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

HIC Closing Times Over Christmas

Housing Information Centres HICs will retain normal opening hours until Thu 16 Dec 10 and close at 12 noon on Fri 17 Dec10. All HICs, excluding the Rosyth, will reopen at 8.30am on Tue 4 Jan 11. Rosyth HIC reopens at 8.30am on Wed 5 Jan 11. For duration of Christmas period the Repair and maintenance helpdesks will remain open.....More information »

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Help when Leaving the Services

A partnership of forces charities and mental health organisations has been given the green light to form a £35 million lottery-funded 'Forces in Mind' Trust to give long-term support to UK military personnel and their families as they move out of the Services. "Making the transition back into civilian life from the strong family community of the armed forces is a hugely significant life changing experience...  

UK Troop Withdrawal from Afghanistan

Over the weekend, newspapers and broadcasters have focused on the discussions held at the Lisbon Summit on the timelines for withdrawal of NATO troops from Afghanistan. The MoD have made the following comment: 'Many commentators picked up on the Prime Minister's change in sentiment of talking about withdrawal of troops being 'conditions-based' to a fixed date...  More information »

Sunday, 21 November 2010

The Winter Issue of Envoy should be on units or through your letter box shortly.

In this issue: Getting Ready for Christmas, the RAF FF's view on the SDSR announcements so far, the man who gave up an island paradise to join the RAF and much more...
Envoy, the quarterly magazine of the RAF Families Federation is bulk delivered to Stns/Units where there are RAF personnel. On some units they are delivered to Sections and SFA otherwise they are available from the HIVE.

If you register for your own copy it will be delivered FREE of any charge - Why? Because we, and the RAF, would like you to read it!  

PAX Insurance Increase

PAX is an optional insurance scheme for Service personnel and their families. As part of the Budget in June this year the Chancellor announced a 1% increase in Insurance Premium Tax from 4 Jan 11. As a result there will be a 1% price increase to the PAX insurance scheme prices. This will take effect from 4 Jan 11 and will be reflected in PAX premiums for January onwards...

'NOW' Magazine would like to Hear from You...

NOW magazine is looking to put together a Feature Article on Christmas Reunions and would like to interview Service personnel who have recently returned from Afghanistan and their partner about their Christmas ‘reunion’. The magazine would particularly like to hear from a couple who have a newborn baby making their Christmas quite different from last year. If you would like to find out more...More information »

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Activity Update from Op Herrick

Each week an Update is disseminated on the Key Activity undertaken in each Combined Force Area of Operations. In this issue: 'Prince William pays a surprise visit to troops at Camp Bastion to lead the tributes on Remembrance Sunday. He laid the first wreath, with a personal written tribute from him, before spending time meeting British Forces who are currently serving in Afghanistan.....  More information »

Join the Choir

The Spitfires is a newly formed voluntary choir. The choir's inaugural concert is taking place at St Clement Danes at 7pm on Sat 27 Nov 10 and is free to Service Personnel and their families. The choir already has members with a rank range from Air Cdr to SAC but is on the lookout for new members (especially males!). To find out more about this special group contact Flt Lt Harriet Tadikonda....   More information »

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Telford HIC is Moving

Telford HIC is relocating and will be closed from 3pm on 23 Nov 10 until 8.30am on 30 Nov 10. During the period general enquiry calls will be handled by Rosyth or York HICs. Emails will be picked up and processed by Telford HIC staff as soon as the new office is open for business. Telford HIC staff will endeavour to clear as many SFA applications as possible before moving

Air Rank and Command Appointments

The latest Air Rank Appointments have been promulgated. All these selections have been formally approved and are are available to be discussed openly. These appointments may also be viewed on the RAF website and the Senior Appointments Team Site for those with access to DII.....  More information »

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Recognising the Armed Services

The Service Personnel Command Paper External Reference Group have published their 2nd Annual Report. Established to oversee progress against commitments in the Service Personnel Command Paper this 2010 Annual Report recognises good progress made in delivering improvements for the Armed Forces community. The Coalition Government believes it vital to reward what the Armed Forces do....  More information »

Wales are in Support

Personnel based in Wales or with their family domiciled there, may wish to note that the Welsh Assembly Group is taking the needs of the Armed Forces community very seriously. Spurred on by the ‘Nation’s Commitment’ Paper, they have established an Expert Group to do as much as possible to remove any disadvantage and recognise the particular demands of Service life...

More information »

Monday, 15 November 2010

We Stand by the SDSR Decisions

A letter written by the Chiefs of Staff has been published in the Times. In it they stand by the decisions of the SDSR. 'No-one would pretend that the SDSR has been painless...It has led to decisions that we would not have otherwise chosen to make...the decision to withdraw Harrier and to retain a Tornado force had to balance our needs in Afghanistan with the intent to rationalise our fast jet fleets....  More information »

Armed Forces Pensions "Will not be Protected"

The BBC are reporting that Armed Forces pensions will not be protected from the spending cuts. The Prime Minister's spokesman has said today that 'a policy decision had been taken'. The Forces Pension Society claim that Service widows and injured service personnel are likely to lose thousands of pounds if the inflation measure alters....  More information »

Armistice Day

Armistice Day has been marked by millions across the world. At the Cenotaph memorial, LCpl Matt Croucher, who was awarded the George Cross after throwing himself onto a bomb to smother the explosion in Afghanistan said: "It's great there is so much support, it means a lot. As long as that public support is there, people will continue to serve their country...More information »

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Hit by a Speed Boat

The MoD have confirmed that SAC Scott Hughes died of his injuries on Sunday morning after being hit by a speed boat while swimming on Friday. 'Scotty' along with the other members of 1 Sqn were taking part in a period of decompression in Cyprus after operations in Afghanistan. He was due to fly home the following day. Sqn Ldr Dave Crook said, His death is a tragedy, and words cannot express our sense of loss and shock..  More information »

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

RAF Regiment Lose a Member of 1 Squadron

The MoD have announced the death of an airman from 1 Squadron Royal Air Force Regiment. He died in Cyprus on Sun 7 Nov 10. Wg Cdr James Hill said, "It is particularly tragic that he died while returning home from a tour of duty that was dedicated to protecting his comrades and Afghan civilians while part of the Force Protection Wing. Our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family. He will be sorely missed.....  More information »

Emotional Distress

Doctors estimate that 1 in 4 of us suffer some kind of mental health problem. In Andrew Murrison's report into mental health in the UK Armed Forces he cited Big White Wall in one of his recommendations. A pioneering on-line service Big White Wall offers support to those suffering emotional distress. The site is anonymous and safe to access and is there for Service personnel and their families...  More information »

Monday, 8 November 2010

Programmes for Remembrance Week

Every morning from 9.15am to 10am this week BBC1's Rav Wilding remembers those that have given their lives for their country and hears the stories of those who march past the Cenotaph. Rav also travels to Afghanistan where he experiences life for our brave men and women, and tells stories of Forces on the front line.....  For more information click here

MHS Turn up the Heat

Up until now if the heating failed in your quarter MHS contractors would leave only two heaters per property. In an attempt to improve customer satisfaction, as of 1 Nov 10, contractors will now leave one heater for the main living room (unless there is an alternative/focal point fire) and one per occupied bedroom up to a maximum of .......Click here for more information

How Will You Fare if Redundancy Hits?

At this stage, no one knows which ranks and trades/branches will be targeted for redundancy and the uncertainty is unsettling. If you were to leave the Service prematurely where would you stand in terms of compensation payments? Some ground rules for these are already in place and are linked to the two pensions schemes in operation......   Click here for more information

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Register for your FREE RAF Families Federation Envoy magazine

Envoy is a magazine specifically written for currently serving RAF personnel and their families (that includes spouses, partners, parents, siblings and children).  We would ask you not to register if you do not fall into this category.  You are still able to read Envoy and all back copies online.

To register for Envoy click here

Jointery with France

A new programme of defence co-operation between the UK and France has been announced by the Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Nicolas Sarkozy. The measures build on commitments made in the Strategic Defence and Security Review to create stronger strategic defence relationships with the UK's main allies whose security interests and military capabilities are closest the UKs........More information »

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

For Maximum Tax Benefit, Join before April!

From April 2011 there will be changes to Employer Supported Childcare (Childcare Voucher Scheme) that will affect some employees. If you are a higher rate tax payer and intent to join the scheme, it is to your advantage to do so before April 11! After this date, irrespective of whether you are a higher or lower rate tax payer, the gain will only be at the basic rate tax payer level...More information »

Keep JCCC Details on the Fridge

Emergency contact cards issued by the Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre are now available in magnetic form. The JCCC is the first point of contact for Service families in the event of a family emergency or domestic crisis that requires the return of a Service person from deployments overseas. The magnets are designed attach to fridges or other metal surfaces so it is available to hand if needed...

More information »

On Your Bike - A Walk will do You Good...

The cycle ergometer test, which forms part of the current RAF Fitness Test will be replaced with the Rockport Walk Test on 1 Jan 11. The new test is a scientific, valid and reliable predictor of aerobic capacity; it is also sub-maximal and suitable for older persons and those with medical conditions. The new test therefore bring health-based fitness testing to a greater proportion of the RAF...

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

In Recognition of Contribution and Sacrifice

Royal Mail has issued a special commemorative sheet of stamps to recognise the sacrifice and contribution made by all those who have served in the Armed Forces and will be donating all profits from this to the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire...

Monday, 1 November 2010

Our Stories in RAF News - 'Frozen Pay' really means 'Pay Cut' Doesn't it?

The wife of a member of the RAF speaks out about her concerns when the next pay round is announced. There is already a two year pay freeze in place for most and she is concerned that in real terms this will effectively turn it into a pay cut once charges and cuts in allowances are made.

Click here to read the story... 

Quick Vote

Quick Vote - If eligible, would you or your serving family member wish to be
considered for redundancy in the forthcoming round of force reductions? 

Click here for Quick Vote