Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Our Stories in RAF News - Isolated Overseas

Periodically in RAF News the Federation uses the evidence someone has provided to illustrate a topic of concern. The cases illustrate where policy is deemed as not quite fair or is outdated, or where there is disadvantage purely because that someone is a member of an RAF family. This time we feature a lady who has accompanied her husband on an overseas posting but now feels isolated and abandoned by the RAF. She says they were ill-prepared for the challenges that faced them and didn't realise how difficult it all would be...More information »

ITV Commission Drama about Service Wives

ITV has commissioned a new six part drama about the battles fought by wives and girlfriends of those serving in Afghanistan. Executive Producer Kieran Roberts said: “SWAGS is an emotional and heart-wrenching drama about the women who fight their own battles while their loved ones are risking their lives. Seeing how these remarkable women cope with survival, triumph, love and loss will make compelling viewing...More information »

Monday, 30 January 2012

Falklands Commander Defiant

In yesterday's Sunday Telegraph former Chief of the General Staff, warned that military cuts would render Britain unable to retake the Falklands should Argentina mount a new invasion. Brig Bill Aldridge said: "I am fully confident I have the capability to defend the Islands. I am not expecting to hand the Islands over to anybody and therefore put us in a position where we would have to retake them...More information »

Technical issues

We apologise for problems that occurred on our site over the weekend. We became aware of them this morning. Problems were rectified on the long email address: www.raf-families-federation.org.uk but persisted on the short address: www.raf-ff.org.uk Hopefully now the service is fully resumed to normal...

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Training for the Olympics...

RAF aircraft are in operation over the skies of Yorkshire as part of a major training exercise to prepare for the Olympic Games. Wg Cdr Paul Godfrey said: "Policing the UK skies is something the Typhoon Force does 24-hours a day, every day of the year, so this week's exercise is business as normal for us. That said, we take great pride in the fact that we have a key role to play in providing airspace security for the Olympics...More information »

The MoD is 'Committed to the Joint Strike Fighter'

The Times is reporting today that the MoD is questioning whether it should go ahead with plans to procure a fleet of new Joint Strike Fighter because of speculated delays in the programme. In response the MoD said: "The MoD is taking delivery of the first JSF for test and evaluation this year. Our plans remain on track to have a new Carrier Strike capability from around 2020...More information »

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Making 40% Compulsorily Redundant is 'Grotesque'

A row has broken out amongst MPs over the number of Service personnel being made compulsorily redundant. James Arbuthnot, Chairman of the Commons Defence Committee said: "The MoD should consider whether the terms of redundancy offered are fair and appropriate. For military redundancies to be compulsory in 40% of cases, yet for civilian redundancies to be compulsory in none is so grotesque that it requires...More information »

The Cost of Inviting Celebraties to the Front Line

The Telegraph and other media sources report that celebrities visiting troops in Afghanistan cost the taxpayer £437,637 last year. A MoD spokesman responded by saying: "Entertainment of members of the Armed Forces is, and has for many years been, an important element of the Deployment Welfare Package. It helps to maintain morale and thereby the combat effectiveness of Service personnel...More information »

MoD Pay £1.1m for the advice to sell Harrier

The media, including the Telegraph, London Evening Standard and Mail are today reporting that consultants were paid £1.1m to provide 'commercial advice' to the MoD to cut the Harriers and sell them to the States. A MoD spokesman said: "The amount spent on the necessary commercial advice represents just 0.1% of the total £1bn savings made from the sale and early retirement of the Harrier...More information »

Activity Breaks for Bereaved Families

Families' Activity Breaks (FAB) is a non-public funded, tri Service initiative in partnership with the Youth Hostel Association providing fun and challenging activity holidays around the UK for bereaved military families. If your child is aged 19 or under and has suffered the loss of a loved one serving in the Armed Forces, then this may be for you. The holidays offer an adventure, and a break, for all the family...More information »

Monday, 23 January 2012

Tribute to Cpl Marcin Wojtak

Following the inquest into the death of Corporal Marcin Wojtak who was killed by a Taliban roadside bomb during a patrol in a Vector vehicle, Gp Capt Philip Lester said, "Marcin was a brave young man who rose to all the challenges placed before him... He was a highly-skilled airman who earned himself a reputation as a popular, dependable and committed gunner...More information »

Child Maintenance Changes

All partnership breakdowns involving children are likely to be stressful and distracting and there is a move to do more to encourage Armed Forces personnel to be better informed of the implications and to encourage them to make their own maintenance arrangements, rather than have the CMEC system chase them...More information »

Directorate Children & Young People Explained

The Directorate Children & Young People has the MoD lead for Service children and young people. It exists to ensure that every Service child, wherever he or she is living in the world has the best possible opportunity to achieve their full potential. The Department works at the highest levels within the MoD and across Other Government Departments and Devolved Administrations to make sure Service Children achieve...See full details

Thursday, 19 January 2012

'World's Greatest Heroes', Channel 5 This Evening

A TV programme of possible interest is on this evening on Channel 5 at 8pm. 'World's Greatest Heroes' It features RAF Search and Rescue personnel and counter-IED forces in Afghanistan...More information »

Policy Change for RAF Reserves

Air Member for Personnel has agreed to amend the current policy relating to the Normal Retirement Age for some Terms and Conditions of Service for Reservists, which is currently age 60, to ensure the RAF has access to the best talent for the types of Reserve service it may wish to use. The Normal Retirement Age (NRA) for most members of the RAFR should rise immediately to age 65...More information »

Phantom Dismanted but not Scrapped

The gate guardian at RAF Brampton has been removed in advance of the Station's closure. Staff went out to say a fond farewell to the Phantom XT914 before it was taken apart. The Stn Cdr said: “It is very sad to see the Phantom go but I’m delighted that it will not be scrapped but will return to its original home at Wattisham where it will be restored and displayed as part of their historical aircraft collection...More information »

Celebrating the Achievement of Captain Robert Falcon Scott

Members of the British Services Antarctic Expedition 2012 yesterday marked the 100th anniversary of the day Captain Robert Falcon Scott's ill-fated team reached the South Pole by beginning their own journey. Lt Cdr Paul Hart said: "100 years ago Scott was approaching the South Pole and was surely in a state of excitement and trepidation Every one of us believes we will succeed in this...More information »

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Philip Hammond: "We have No Choice"

On the Armed Forces redundancies being announced today Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said: "Difficult decisions had to be taken in the SDSR to deal with the vast black hole in the MoD budget. The size of the fiscal deficit we inherited left us no choice but to reduce the size of the Armed Forces". He also went on to say, "The redundancy programme will not impact adversely on current operations...More information »

RAF Redundancy - Another 1,000 likely to Go

The Redundancy announcement will be made later this morning but it is widely expected that a further 1,000 will go from the RAF. This is another bitter blow for the Service. Volunteers are being asked for but in the event of there not being enough personnel in the right fields willing to go, compulsory redundancy will again take place. The last tranche of redundancies saw half of the requirement go against their will...More information »

Monday, 16 January 2012

Tomorrow - 2nd and Final Tranche of Redundancies

Tomorrow, Tue 17 Jan 12, the Royal Air Force, Royal Navy and Army and will publish single Service DINs detailing the arrangements for Tranche 2 of the Armed Forces Redundancy Programme. Tranche 2 will be the last tranche of redundancy for the RAF although a small number of further redundancies may be required. The tranche is likely therefore, to be larger than originally thought...More information »

Short Breaks from SSAFA

Details of the 2012 SSAFA Forces Help Short Break Scheme for young people have been announced. If you have a youngster who might benefit from a sibling and young carers holiday or a UK short break for children with additional needs and disabilities then contact Jane Barnes at SSAFA. Both holidays are taking place during the June half-term week...More information »

Thursday, 12 January 2012

£3M given to benefit Service Children

Projects to make sure children of Service personnel are not disadvantaged by moving to different schools have received funding from the MoD. 139 UK schools have shared the first £3M allocated under the Support for State Schools Fund. This is one of the key commitments of the Armed Forces Covenant. Lynda Fisher said: "We know that moving from one school to another can challenging for the children of serving personnel...More information »

Chruchill Medal Winner

Flt Lt David Ramsey has won the Professional Engineering Institutions' Churchill Medal Award. This prestigious award has previously been presented to Sir Frank Whittle and Sir Geoffrey de Havilland. David won the award after devising an engineering solution for the transfer of information between theatre and the UK leading to IED-makers being identified and detained and thus reducing the threat to coalition forces...See full details

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

The future of the Puma

A story in the Sun about the possible chopping of RAF Pumas has attracted the following comment from the MoD: "Final decisions have yet to be taken, but this annual review process rightly considers the status of all our key programmes to ensure continued coherence and balance.The Defence Board is considering a number of recommendations looking at the military's priorities for how the equipment budget should...More information »

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Military Working Dogs will be on Duty at the Olympics

A story in the Daily Mirror reports that British military working dogs will be used to provide increased security during the London 2012 Olympic Games. The MoD confirms that it will be supporting the police with explosive ordnance disposal teams, military working dogs and military search capabilities and Defence support to the Games has been planned around current operations and other core activity...More information »

Pupil Premium Deadline is 19 Jan 12

The Department of Education are keen to remind Service parents that the deadline for registering their child in order that their state funded school in England can claim the £200 pupil premium is drawing closer. Registration must be made at the school by Thu 19 Jan 12...More information »

Monday, 9 January 2012

Will Someone Else be looking after your Child?

Air Command have issued advice on private fostering. If personnel are going on deployment or detachment for longer than 28 days and are intending to leave a child(ren) under the age of 16 (under 18 if disabled) with someone who is not a parent or close relative of the child, the arrangement is regarded as private fostering. Regulations require the arrangement to be notified to the Local Authority or equivalent...More information »

Friday, 6 January 2012

Conference for those with Additional Needs or a Disability

The Forces Additional Needs and Disability Forum is for Service families who have children or adult family members with additional needs and or disabilities. They are holding their conference at MoD Main Building on 23 May 12 and invite anyone who would like to attend. Speakers include Dave Rutter, the Armed Forces lead from the Dept of Health and Linda Fisher, Director, MoD Children and Young People Division...More information »

Difficultly accessing Financial Products?

The MoD are keen to point out that personal finances are an individual responsibility, however, they do acknowledge that Service personnel can experience difficulty in accessing financial products and services. One aspect of the Armed Forces Covenant was to ensure personnel have equal access to commercial services and the MoD have published working to address this...More information »

Free Tickets to see Steven Spielbergs 'War Horse'

Members of the Armed Forces and their families have been invited to share the experience of Steven Spielberg’s epic ‘War Horse’ through two initiatives. At the UK Premiere, held this Sun 8 Jan, Service personnel from RAF Search and Rescue and RAF Coningsby, amongst other,s are being invited and 600 personnel are invited to apply for tickets for screenings from Mon 9 Jan...More information »

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

New Year Honours for the RAF

31 Royal Air Force personnel have been granted state honours by Her Majesty The Queen in the annual New Year's Honours list. Other awards within the RAF are also listed....More information »

Round-up of Op Ellamy

The RAF has produced a summary document of Op Ellamy. CAS said: “This flyer captures the major themes of Air Power’s contribution to the Libyan campaign and I commend it to you. At the end of the Operation, a people in a country on another continent are free to decide their own destiny... it is our air power that provided the environment, the space and the time for that ‘force’ to assure the people's freedom...More information »