Wednesday, 29 February 2012

New Armed Forces Pension Scheme from Apr 15

A new Armed Forces Pension Scheme (currently referred to as Future AFPS) will be introduced from Apr 15. The MoD and HM Treasury have now reached agreement on the protection of accrued rights to Armed Forces Pension Scheme (AFPS) 75 and AFPS 05 pension benefits earned by Service personnel prior to enrolment in the new AFPS. These rights will remain in place until the individual leaves the Services...More information »

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Scaremongering over Service Accommodation

Following media coverage in The Times and elsewhere, several families have been in contact seeking reassurance of the future provision of Service accommodation. Chairman of the RAF Families Federation, said: "As far as I know, no decisions has been made and the MoD staffs are working on the New Employment Model, which could potentially make recommendations regarding the future provision of Service accommodation. These are still at a very early stage, with many options still being considered... Any major policy proposals associated with accommodation provision are likely to take some considerable time, with estimates that elements of the New Employment Model, assuming it is adopted by the MoD, could take ten years to implement in full...I would like to reassure all RAF families that their independent Federation is actively engaged with the policy staff...More information »

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Op Free Ice Cream is Back!

The BFBS Operation Ice-Cream van is deploying again this year, travelling around the UK dispensing a generous dollop of morale to Forces families and topped with a sprinkling of hundreds and thousands… Free ice-creams! Stuart Whitby, MD of Whitby Morrison, who created the bespoke ice-cream van said: “We are delighted to team up with BFBS to support the families of our servicemen and women...More information »

Monday, 20 February 2012

Reservists to be Called Up for the Olympics

Reservists are to be called out for permanent service as part of Defence's overall contribution to security at the London Olympics. Defence Secretary Philip Hammond today informed Parliament that a call-out order has been made under the Reserve Forces Act and that call-out notices will soon be issued. Defence will contribute 13,500 personnel of which up to 2,100, around 15%, will come from the Reserves...More information »

The ins and outs of Voting for Armed Forces Families

This news item explains the arrangements for electoral registration and voting for members of the Armed Forces, their spouses and civil partners under the Electoral Administration Act 2006, which came into effect in Nov 06. It also details the changes made under The Service Voters’ Registration Period Order 2010 which came into effect on 19 March 2010...More information »

Could you provide Victim Support within the Services?

The Court Martial Centre at Bulford and at other centres at Portsmouth, Catterick, Aldergrove, Colchester and Sennelager use victim support workers but are short of those who know the Armed Forces. Lt Col David Rainey, Court Officer, Military Court Centre, Bulford said: "During my tenure here, I have noticed that with the exception of retired military personnel the broader service community may not be aware...See full details

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Set to Revolutionise RAF Flying Training

In a move which is predicted to revolutionise RAF flying training, 4 (Reserve) Sqn, based at RAF Valley, is gearing up for its first student course in Apr 12. Through a combination of synthetic training and 28 Hawk T2 aircraft, the training syllabus is considered to be world-leading. Sqn Ldr Rob Caine said: "I've been to Australia and the USA and seen how they train fast jet pilots and in my view we've leapfrogged them...More information »

Forces tribute for Queen's Diamond Jubilee

In honour of Her Majesty The Queen's 60-year reign Armed Forces personnel will parade through Windsor and muster at the castle on Sat 19 May 12. 2,500 troops will parade in the presence of Her Majesty and the Duke of Edinburgh. Gen Sir David Richards, said: "It is an opportunity to highlight the unique relationship the Queen has with the men and women of the Armed Forces and of the role she fills in in our lives...More information »

Stepping out of the Service with LifeWorks

This week Royal British Legion Industries is raising awareness of LifeWork by showing videos of the journey to employment followed by some members of the Armed Forces Community. Shaun Maloney LifeWorks Coach said: “LifeWorks Journey Week is about showcasing the support available to service leavers and giving veterans an opportunity to tell their stories and encourage others to find out more...More information »

Our Stories in RAF News - I may be forced to pay back £ thousands

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 frustrated physiotherapist on maternity leave who may be forced to pay back her maternity allowance, worth thousands of pounds, when her husband is posted. The lady concerned is required to return to work after one year in order to retain the allowance but has been advised there are no jobs available to her in the new location. Her husband has asked to retain the quarter they are in, for the period, enabling her to return to her current position but was told 'no'...More information »

Prince Harry meets families at RAF Honington

Prince Harry has visited RAF Honington and met station personnel and their families. During his visit the Prince was shown armoured vehicles, surveillance aids and communication equipment and took the opportunity to present a number of awards. Jenny O'Keeffe, whose husband is on II Sqn, said: "It was brilliant that he took the time to see us, I was quite star-struck...More information »

SAC Ryan Tomlin, 2 Squadron, Royal Air Force Regiment

The RAF Regiment gunner killed on Monday has been named as Ryan Tomlin, of 2 Squadron, RAF Regiment. His family said: “Ryan loved and lived life to the full. He gave his life at a very young age doing the job he loved. Ryan will be sorely missed by everyone who loved him. We will remember his cheeky grin and great sense of humour. Our true hero and shining star...More information »

RAF Apprentice Awards

Four RAF apprentices have been recognised for their outstanding achievements at the RAF Apprentice of the Year Awards. RAF apprenticeships can last anywhere between one and three years, in 16 different areas from business administration to aviation operations on the ground. SAC Finlow who won Runner-up Best Advanced Apprentice Award said: "Working in IT is an extension of my hobby, its fantastic...More information »

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

RAF Regiment Lose a Member in Afghanistan

It is with sadness that the MoD have announced the death of a member of the RAF Regiment killed in Afghanistan yesterday, (Mon 13 Feb 12). Lt Col Gordon Mackenzie said: "It is my sad duty to report that an airman from the RAF Regiment was fatally wounded during an insurgent attack in the western Dashte area of Nad 'Ali. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family...More information »

Monday, 13 February 2012

RAF Regiment Destroy IED Cache

Members of the RAF Regiment have found and destroyed a large cache of Taliban IED-making equipment in an operation conducted alongside Afghan and US forces. Wg Cdr Jason Sutton, said: "The RAF Regiment's role is to defend air bases and those who operate from them. Targeting the insurgents and their supply networks takes the initiative away from them so that we can dictate the terms of the fight...More information »

Connecting Forces Families

BFBS has teamed up with The Sun newspaper and Audioboo to launch 'Boost for the Troops'. Using this facility you can record and upload messages for family and friends wherever they are in the forces world. The service is free and simple to use. Ernie Rowe Head of BFBS Radio said: "There's no substitute for hearing the voices of your loved ones when you're thousands of miles apart...More information »

Joanna Trollope's new book is about Military Wives

20 years after writing 'The Rectors Wife', Joanna Trollope has turned her attention to military wives to see if anything has changed for those within a large institution held in high regard by the public. In her new book 'A Soldier' Wife' Trollope writes about an Army major returning from a tour in Afghanistan and asks: Can a man trained to fight adjust again to family and domestic life? And 'How will the family cope if he can't?'...More information »

Air Dogs at War

This evening, Mon 13 Feb at 9pm on Channel 5 is Episode 3 of Royal Marines: Mission Afghanistan. This episode is entitled 'Dogs of War' features Cpl Mick McConnell of the RAF Police and Air Dog Memphis. The duo move around Afghanistan as different military units requested their specialist search skills. The programme takes up their story as they join a Royal Marines patrol on a dangerous journey to search a compound...More information »

"An Equipment Programme that was out of Control"

The media is reporting that according to the Public Accounts Commitee, the UK's 15 largest defence projects are expected to cost £6bn more than first estimated. Responding, Philip Hammond said: "We are now close to eliminating the black hole in the MoD's finances. Scrapping the ill-fated Nimrod MRA4 was one of many tough decisions we had to take to deal with an equipment programme that was out of control...More information »

Flt Lt Wales Prepping for his first Falkland Islands Sortie

1564 Flight, Mount Pleasant Complex, Falkland Islands. Flt Lt William Wales and his fellow crew members prepare for their first sortie of their six week deployment to the FI. Operating the Sea King Mk3 as part of 1564 Flight, their primary duties are to provide cover for the aviation assets based on the island in addition, they can offer assistance to the vast array of shipping around the islands and a mountain rescue role...See full details

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Send a Valentine Message via BFBS

BFBS Radio and TV are offering to help send a Valentine message for that special someone. There are options for messages to appear on their website on television or on air all to be broadcast on the 14th...More information »

Libya Operation praised by Defence Select Committee

The UK's contribution to the NATO mission in Libya has been commended by the House of Commons Defence Select Committee in its report on the operation.The Committee said it commends the UK's Armed Forces for their significant contribution to the successful conclusion of the Libya operation and that they continue to impress with the courage, dedication and professionalism with which they undertook this operation...More information »

MoD Savings allow Purchase of extra C-17

The Prime Minister has announced that the MoD is to order an additional C-17 Globemaster, taking the number of aircraft in the RAF's fleet to eight.Speaking in the House of Commons, David Cameron said: "Because the MoD's finances are better run and managed and because we have found savings, we will be able to purchase an additional C-17. This aircraft is becoming an absolutely brilliant workhorse for the RAF...More information »

RAF FF gives evidence to Defence Committee on Service Accommodation

Dawn McCafferty, Chairman of the RAF Families Federation, has given evidence to the House of Commons Defence Committee on Service Accommodation. Dawn sat alongside her colleagues from the NFF and AFF. The Inquiry, entitled 'The Armed Forces Covenant in Action – Service Accommodation' explored accommodation-related issues, including the value Service personnel and their families place on Service-provided accommodation; the condition and maintenance of Service housing; aspirations for homeownership and barriers to the housing market for mobile families; and some fascinating discussion about the '21st Century Family'. Dawn drew on evidence provided by RAF family members...More information »

Last Known Service person form WW1 Dies - She was RAF

The world's last known surviving Service person from the First World War has died aged 110. Florence Green who served as a mess steward in the WRAF died in her sleep on Sat 4 Feb 12. Gp Capt David Cooper, Stn Cdr at RAF Marham, where Mrs Green served in 1918, said in a statement he was very sad to hear that Mrs Green had died and said that members of the RAF would be at her funeral...More information »

Monday, 6 February 2012

The RAF FF's Annual Report for 2011

2011 RAF Families Federation Annual Report has now been published. Last year was a challenging one for RAF personnel and their families and the Federation team has been kept extremely busy with the many issues family members bring to our attention. Gathering the evidence and presenting it all in the hope of influencing change for the better. Our report for 2011 focuses on the post Strategic Defence & Security Review era and the impact some of those decisions is beginning to have. We comment on the launch of the Armed Forces Covenant, acutely aware of the dichotomy posed by a Government that is seeking to simultaneously reduce its Armed Forces whilst demonstrating how much it recognises the unique nature of military life and values the sacrifices made by the Armed Forces community. The report details the core themes...More information »

Her Majesty The Queen visits RAF Marham

Her Majesty The Queen, in her role as Honorary Air Commodore of RAF Marham, visited the station and its personnel. During her visit The Queen was talked through the story of Op ELLAMY and spoke with members of IX (Bomber) Sqn, Tactical Imagery-Intelligence Wing, community support and welfare teams and had lunch with a selection of Marham personnel...More information »

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Colin and Ewan McGregor explore Bomber Command

Brothers Colin and Ewan McGregor follow up their documentary The Battle of Britain with a film exploring Bomber Command, a rarely-told story from WW2. The programme on BBC One at 9pm, Sun 5 Feb 12, focuses on the men who fought and died in the skies above occupied Europe, with examples of individual heroism and extraordinary collective spirit, and Colin learns to fly the Lancaster bomber...More information »

Policy Change to the Residential Support Scheme

The Residential Support Scheme provides help with the accommodation costs of learners aged 16 and over, who need to live away from home to study because their course is not available locally. The MoD have worked with the Young People Learning Agency and the Department for Education to address an existing unfairness for those serving overseas and have now secured an agreement to make them eligible for RSS...More information »

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Fisher House to be built at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham Charity is working in partnership with American charity Fisher House Foundation and Help for Heroes. Mike Hammond said: "The QE Hospital is the primary receiving unit for all injured British military personnel and so families can travel many miles to be with their loved one. The Fisher House will be a ‘home from home’ for families to stay in at a very difficult and stressful time...More information »