Thursday, 23 December 2010

Spouses Give their Views

The Families Continuous Attitude Survey for 2010 was sent to married Service personnel who were asked to pass them on to their spouses for completion. For the first time, the survey was co-ordinated on a tri-Service basis. Some common questions were included but there were also single Service-specific questions. The data was collected at the beginning of the year. Here is what was said...

Monday, 20 December 2010

Do You Know about the Pupil Premium?

From Sep 11 schools will receive an additional sum of £200 for every Service child on their roll. This payment is in recognition of the unique challenges and stresses facing service children. The trigger for this payment to schools however, will be taken from the roll from the Annual School Census of January 2011. So please, ensure the school is aware of your child's Service connection...

Christmas Message from the Chief of the Air Staff

" thoughts are focused on those of you who will be spending Christmas on duty, but especially for those who will be on operations in or over Afghanistan, the Falkland Islands and the Arabian Gulf more widely and for your forbearing families who are waiting for you at home...The past year has demanded much from you...I know that we can, together, continue to be the high performance air force that this country needs and wants...

Friday, 17 December 2010

The Harrier Flies into the History Books

"Today has been a tribute to everybody involved with the Harrier family." Gp Capt Gary Waterfall's words as 16 Harriers took to the skies for their final flight of their 41 years service. The aircraft flew over seven RAF bases, Lincoln Cathedral and the towns of Stamford and Oakham. "The Harrier is a true icon and stands testament to the innovation and excellence of British design and engineering and the skill and courage of our airmen...More information »

The Rules Change for 'Boarding School Allowance'

Changes to the Continuity of Education Allowance (Board) (CEA) have been announced by Armed Forces Minister Nick Harvey. The allowance is paid to ensure that the children of mobile service families receive a continuous education. Rates have not been cut but there are changes to the eligibility rules. Those in receipt of CEA will retain the support as long as they meet the new rules. The new rules come into effect on 1 Apr 11...More information »

Christmas Messages from the Secretary of State for Defence

"I would like to express my gratitude to all the Service personnel and their families..."This year has seen many changes; we have had to make some difficult decisions and more will have to be taken in the future. Whilst this is likely to mean that we will all face some tightening of belts I am committed to making sure that our Service personnel and families continue to be well looked after...Thank you all for your support for and commitment to our Servicemen and women and a particular thanks to those who will be separated from their loved ones over the holiday period. We are all very proud of our families...

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

RAF Say 'PR Nightmare' is Not the Reason

Many media reports cite avoidance of a 'PR Nightmare' as the reason why repatriation flights are being moved away from Lyneham. The MoD state 'The decision to close RAF Lyneham was announced in 2003. Its use as a base for the airbridge to and from Afghanistan was never a permanent arrangement'. The statement goes on to say, ' We continue to be grateful for the support Wootton Bassett shows in paying tribute...More information »

RAF Regiment Train Togan Warriors for Afghanistan

Following the decision between the King of Tonga and the UK Government, fifty-five Tonga service personnel have completed pre-deployment training with the RAF Regiment and are now ready for Afghanistan. Flt Lt Dave Martin said, "The Tongans have done exceptionally well. They are very good at working together and their discipline is beyond reproach. We have learned a lot from them...More information »

Guardian Report on Service Children

The Guardian has featured an article on Service Children with a parent away in Afghanistan over Christmas. Dawn McCafferty, Chairman of the RAF Families Federation, spoke to the reporter and is quoted, "It is a huge decision to send your child as young as eight to boarding school and one that is not made easily. Parents who decide to do this are trying to protect their children from the impact of mobility...More information »

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Federation Chairman Gets on Her Bike

Follow me on this cycling Challenge as I bike from Vietnam to Cambodia! This breathtaking bike ride will take me from Vietnam's Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) to the ancient temples of Angkor Wat in Cambodia. Two fascinating countries - one awesome Challenge! Please follow my progress as I endeavor to raise money for Ambergate Sports College in Grantham and Grantham Autism Information Network. My target is to raise £2,000 and I will personally cover the costs of my flights and accommodation so those sponsoring me do not feel they are not funding a freebie holiday. If you can support my efforts with a donation then any sum would be gratefully received... More information »

"We Need to go the Extra Mile for our Armed Forces..."

The Prime Minister has welcomed the publication, today, of an independent report by Professor Strachan which looks at support that can be provided across Government and throughout society in support of the Armed Forces. He said, "Our Service personnel make an extraordinary contribution to British life. Those serving on the front line risk their lives for us on a daily basis. We need to go the extra mile for them....  More information »

Monday, 6 December 2010

Heating and Plumbing

The MHS contractor for heating and plumbing response repairs in the South East area has changed. From 1 December 10, all heating and plumbing repairs transfered from Kinetics to Carillion Planned Maintenance under a new contract arrangement. Customers should also expect to see a change of branded vans and uniforms across the area...

Friday, 3 December 2010

Heart on Your Sleeve

Chief of the Air Staff, Sir Stephen Dalton, is backing a RAF Benevolent Fund initiative to 'Wear Your Heart on Your Sleeve' by encouraging people to buy a pair of heart roundel cufflinks this Christmas and allowing personnel to wear the cufflinks on duty. He said, "I am delighted to back this important initiative. The RAFBF provides tremendous support for serving RAF families...

Official RAF Review 2010 is Now Available

Royal Air Force 2011 magazine - The Official RAF Annual Review is a 132-page magazine that provides behind the scenes insight into the aircraft, equipment and people of one of the world's premier air forces. Serving personnel receive a £1 discount on the cover price of £4.99. In this issue: Mastering the Typhoon; The RAF in Afghanistan; the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight; The Career of the Tornado F3...

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Rewiring Faff

The RAF Families Federation office is to undergo total rewiring. This major electrical work will disrupt our normal working and we ask that you bear with us for the period. The work is likely to take up to three weeks to complete. From Monday 6th - Thursday 23rd December 10 we will do all we can to provide our normal service but it may not be possible. We will update on progress once the work starts. With thanks...

FPS Push PM for a Rethink on Pensions

The Forces Pension Society have hand delivered a letter to the Prime Minister calling on the government to reconsider the change in pension indexation from the Retail Price Index to the Consumer Price Index for the Armed Forces. General Sir Roger Wheeler, President of the FPS said, "The Armed Forces was not looking for special treatment but for fair treatment...  

Olympic Dream

"We now have less than two years to the Paralympics and I am sure that many of your servicemen would like to be involved in some format. I am a performance athletic coach and currently coach both able bodied and athletes with disability. I would like to help them achieve their ambitions and I am willing to help by coaching, talking to and offering my training facilities... 

This Weather...

The severe weather conditions around the country are adversely affecting some systems. The Housing Information offices, HICs, at Rosyth and York are closed and the Defence Estates computer system is down. The remaining HICs can assist over the phone but without the use of their computers they may be limited in their ability to respond to some questions...