Tuesday, 26 July 2011

CEA Review Announcement - Will now be after the Summer Recess

Ministers were due to announce the conclusions of the Review into the Continuity of Education Allowance (CEA) on 28 Jun 11, by means of a written Parliamentary Statement. This date slipped to a new date of 5 Jul 11 was given. This second date has however also slipped with no indication of when the announcement will now be made. UPDATE: We now understand the announcement will be made after the Parliamentary Recess...More information »

Monday, 25 July 2011

"Smarty Smart You will be missed by Everyone"

It is with sadness that the RAF have confirmed that SAC James Smart, from No 2 (MT) Sqn was killed in a road traffic accident in southern Italy on Wed 20 Jul 11.Gp Capt Richard Hill, OC RAF Wittering, said: "SAC Smart, or 'Smarty' as he was affectionately known, was dedicated and always keen to get 'stuck in'. He was blessed with a warm heart and a great sense of humour. He will be sadly missed by everyone who knew...More information »

Thursday, 21 July 2011

More time given to those Voting from Overseas

It has been announced that Service personnel overseas are to be given more time to return their ballot papers under proposals to extend the electoral timetable. Dawn McCafferty said, "All three Federations met with Ministry of Justice officials on a regular basis last year to emphasis the impact a restricted postal window. This proposal if taken forward into legislation, will be a very welcome...More information »

Your Federation is Speaking Out

Following the basing announcements made by the Secretary of State for Defence the RAF Families Federation have been speaking to the media on behalf of RAF families. Dawn McCafferty, Chairman of the RAF FF said "Families have been kept waiting for too long,..This is bad news all round and adds to the misery... There is still uncertainty of the redundancy announcements and of a larger tranche 2 to follow...We have got to continue to represent families and to make the Service staffs know what it all means for Serving families. That is our job. The impact of the cuts in allowances, the pay freeze and other reviews are biting. We ask everyone to let us know, via the website, what they think so we can feed an accurate message up to the top...More information »

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

RAF Loses Leuchars

Liam Fox has made his announcement in the House on the next phase of Defence Transformation. He has reconfigured the military footprint. Liam Fox said: "Today’s funding announcement is part of a broader body of work to implement the SDSR, including the publication of the Basing and Reserves Reviews...This has been an incredibly complex decision and has inevitably been a balancing act...More information »

Monday, 18 July 2011

Basing Announcements expected at 3.30pm

The government is expected to announce further decisions in its overhaul of the armed forces. In an interview with BBC Radio 4's Today programme this morning, Dr Liam Fox was primarily speaking about an uplift in the Reserve force to 30,000 but it is expected that basing announcements will be made at 3.30 this afternoon. Liam Fox said: "We want to have a look at the shape of the armed forces from 2020 and beyond...More information »

Basing Announcements thought to be Imminent

The government is expected to announce further decisions in its overhaul of the armed forces. In an interview with BBC Radio 4's Today programme this morning, Dr Liam Fox was primarily speaking about an uplift in the Reserve force to 30,000 but it is expected that basing announcements will be make very soon. Liam Fox: "We want to have a look at the shape of the armed forces from 2020 and beyond...More information »

Do You have a view on School Admissions?

The Secretary of State for Education is undertaking a review of the school admissions system. He is looking to make it simpler, fairer and more transparent. The Department of Education are asking for views on the draft School Admissions Code and Appeals Code. There is a response form for those wishing to add their voice and to put the case for children of Serving personnel. Closing date: 19 Aug 11..See full details

More on 'Troops to Teachers'

The Schools White Paper outlined the intention to develop a Troops to Teachers programme, which aims to recruit the best and most able Service leavers into the teaching profession. The details of the provision are still being developed by the Department of Education and aim to have options for prospective teachers available from Sep 12. The third, non-teacher, offer will be available from Sep 11. For updates...More information »

Review at the Officers' Association

The Officers' Association is in the process of researching the needs of its clients and beneficiaries to help ensure the right services and resources are developed to meet them in the future. As part of the review they are conducting a research survey and would like to encourage personnel and their families to spend a few moments completing the short questionnaire...More information »

Four more Tornado GR4's to leave within Days

The MoD has announced that within the next few days the RAF is to deploy four additional Tornado GR4s to Gioia del Colle to further support operations over Libya. Maj Gen Nick Pope, CDS's Communications Officer, said: "As the campaign has progressed, the regime is increasingly attempting to conceal troops, equipment and HQs. This latest deployment will bolster NATO's reconnaissance capability...More information »

Thursday, 14 July 2011

SPVA - Delays Processing Childcare Vouchers

New legislation effective from 6 Apr 11 revised tax thresholds restricting the amount of tax free entitlements personnel can receive through the Armed Forces Childcare Salary Sacrifice Scheme. To correctly determine the level of salary that can be sacrificed, all new applicants to the Scheme will now be subject to an earnings assessment and this has led to a delay with implementation...More information »

CAS "We need to employ Smart Power"

Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Dalton has given a keynote speech ‘Air Power in an Age of Uncertainty’. Sir Stephen argues, 'we live in an age of unparalleled uncertainty'; that the RAF needs to employ 'smart power', a force that must be 'responsive, scaleable, discreet and affordable' and move to a more 'streamlined operationally focused and coherent force structure...More information »

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Mull of Kintyre - Aircrew NOT to Blame

An independent review into the 1994 Mull of Kintyre Chinook disaster conducted by Lord Philip has concluded that Flt Lt Jonathan Tapper and Flt Lt Richard Cook, who died in the incident, were not to blame. The concerns expressed by the crew (one even increasing his life insurance days before the fateful flight) and Boscombe Down were seemingly justified...More information »

'YES' to Operation Allowance for Op ELLAMY

Service personnel operating within the landmass, airspace and territorial waters of Libya are now eligible to receive Operational Allowance. The move means all service personnel deployed within the geographical confines of Libya on Op ELLAMY will receive OA. Payments will be backdated to 18 Mar 11. Liam Fox said, "It is important we recognise and reward those Service personnel engaged in the highest conflict...More information »

Service Accommodation - Should There Be Any?

Service housing and accommodation is under scrutiny, not only the current housing stock but more particularly, what the housing provision should be in the future for both family and single living accommodation. The Future Accommodation Project Team is looking at this as one of the work strands of the New Employment Model study ongoing at MoD. The FAP Team is working to tight deadlines and the RAF FF staff are due to provide them with an interim report in September. RAF FF Chairman, Dawn McCafferty, said, "Army and RN families have responded in huge numbers to their respective surveys and clearly wish to influence the debate. Hopefully, RAF families feel the same way and wish to contribute their views and ensure that the ‘light blue’ voice is heard loud and clear during these discussions. Please help us to do this by completing our survey on Future Housing by Clicking on the Blue House icon above. Your views are very important...More information »

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Free Meditation Day for Service Families

There are free places available for Service personnel and their family members on a day of meditation on 25 Jul 11. Catherine Powell of the London Meditation Project says: "We do not promise a quick fix but we believe meditation has something truly substantial to offer in the process of managing stress accumulated through the military experience. The day on the 25th promises to be a very enriching and enjoyable day...More information »

Last Day of our Competition to Win tickets for RIAT

Your chance to win a pair of tickets to see the action. The organisers of the Royal International Air Tattoo have very kindly offered a pair of tickets to attend RIAT on Sunday 17th July 11, (worth £78). All you have to do is to find Bobby the Brave on one of the Federation website pages and answer the question he asks. Click on the link to send your answer, name and contact number. Closing date for the draw is 9am on Wed 13 Jul 11...More information »

Monday, 11 July 2011

Saying Farewell after 37 Years - The Nimrod R1

After 37 years of operational service the Nimrod R1 takes its leave. Following the retirement of the Nimrod MR2 fleet last year, the final two Nimrods, in service with 51 Sqn, bowed out after a ceremony at Waddington. CAS, ACM Sir Stephen Dalton, said: "Today is a day of celebration. There is no question this aircraft has given us the ability to do things that would be very much more difficult, if we hadn't had it...More information »

Find Bobby the Brave

Find Bobby the Brave amongst our website pages for your chance to win a pair of tickets to the Royal International Air Tattoo on Sun 17 Jul 11. Closing date 9am Wed 13 Jul 11. Good Luck! http://www.raf-families-federa​tion.org.uk/

Future Housing Debate - Contribute NOW

By completing the RAF Families Federation questionnaire on Further Housing provision you will be influencing the debate. The Future Accommodation Project Team have been tasked with looking into the future provision of Service accommodation as one of the work strands of the New Employment Model (NEM) study ongoing at MoD. The three Families Federations are acknowledged as key players by the FAP team. They recognise the significance of the evidence they provide on behalf of all of our Service families. The three Federations are asking similar question but answers are likely to be Service specific and we need a good response from RAF personnel and their families. This is not just about SFA but Single Living Accommodation too so please ring for a password go to our online survey and vote…See full details

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

The Last Hercules Leave Lyneham

The last of Lyneham's Hercules fleet have said farewell to the base and flown to Brize Norton. AVM Philip Osborn was there to greet the aircraft, he said: "Today is a truly momentous day, one which marks both the final twilight of four decades of Hercules service from Lyneham and the exciting beginning of the next chapter in the proud C-130 story. I have no doubt the indomitable spirit of the Hercules force will continue...More information »

The RAF is NOT Closed -'The Sky is Still the Limit...'

Following SDSR and the need for the RAF is to reduce in size to a force of 33,500 by 2015, it is assumed by many that recruiting would stop but "Nothing could be further from the truth!" says Gp Capt Ian Tolfts, Head of Recruiting. "Despite the drawdown, the RAF is still looking to recruit some 2,000 people this year across trades and branches from ICT technicians to medics and suppliers. Please help us spread the word......More information »