Thursday, 29 March 2012

Troops pledged to Op ALTHEA

Up to 120 UK troops are to be made available to the EU-led peacekeeping mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina ready to deploy at short notice to the region if required as part of EUFOR (European Union Force) Op ALTHEA. Gerald Howarth MP, said: "While the security situation in the region remains calm and stable, it is essential that we provide EUFOR with the necessary resources to perform the mission's mandate...More information »

RAF Cottesmore becomes 'Kendrew Barracks' on 2 Apr 12

The 2nd Battalion the Royal Anglian Regiment will be the first Army unit to arrive at RAF Cottesmore in Jul 12 and are on standby to move from their base in Cyprus. 7 Regiment Royal Logistics Company will follow a year later from Germany. Ahead of time, RAF Cottesmore will transfer from RAF to Army command on 2 Apr 12 and will be renamed ‘Kendrew Barracks’. The RAF Ensign is lowered at 6pm on 31 Mar 12...More information »

Home to Duty - Some Good News!

The personal contribution for Home to Duty (Public) rose to 3 miles each way from 1 mile on 1 May 11 and was due to increase further to 6 miles on 1 Apr 12 and to 9 miles on 1 Apr 13. The personal contribution will now remain capped at 3 miles and the planned increases in personal contribution towards HDT (Public) occurring on 1 Apr 12 and 1 Apr 13 will not now take place...More information »

Fuel Strike - for 'Army' read 'RAF'

The media is full of stories that the Army will be trained to drive tankers in the event of a tanker driver's strike. But it is the RAF that are going into training. Eighty RAF personnel will embark on an eight day training course starting today...More information »

Taking longer to get through to the Housing Allocations Service?

As DIO move from 7 Housing Information Offices around the country to one Housing Allocations Service Centre it is causing issues. DIO are aware that some customers are finding it takes longer to get through to a customer adviser. They apologise for any inconvenience and say they are urgently addressing the situation to re-establish their customer service levels...More information »

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Meet RAF Olympic Hopeful - Fg Off Andy Hadfield

Andy Hadfield is preparing for the opportunity of a lifetime - competing in next month's Kayak Slalom trials for a place in Team GB. A international athlete he has competed in world cup races and European championships, he's now going flat-out training six days a week at the National Water Sports Centre in Nottingham in the hope of making the British Olympic team...More information »

Monday, 26 March 2012

Driver who killed Gp Capt Barrett to be Sentenced today

The van driver who knocked down and killed Gp Capt Tom Barrett outside RAF Northolt in March last year is to be sentenced today. Driver Paul Luker, 51, was convicted of causing death by careless driving at Harrow Crown Court on 22 Feb 12 and will be sentenced at the same court. Father of two Gp Capt Barrett was cycling home when he was hit from behind. He was rushed to St Mary's Hospital, but died later that evening...More information »

12 Sqn (B) Crew Attack Insurgents

A Tornado GR4 crew from 12 (B) Sqn launched a Brimstone missile attack on an insurgent attempting to lay improvised explosive devices in the ground in Kandahar. In the same mission, crews tracked and destroyed a suspect vehicle carrying explosives. Wg Cdr Jim Frampton said: "The successful engagement put another consignment of homemade explosives, destined for use in IEDs out of reach...More information »

Operational Honours and Awards for the RAF

22 members of the RAF have received honours and awards in the Operational Honours List dated today, 23 Mar 12. The awards recognises service on operations in Afghanistan and other national operations for the period 1 Apr 11 to 30 Sep 11. CBE: Air Cdre Gary Waterfall. DFC: Flt Lt Daniel Cullen, Flt Lt Jonathan Singh, Flt Lt Luke Flemington; Mention in Dispatches: Cpl James Hudson...See full details

Ceremonial Role for the RAF in Jubilee Celebrations

The ceremonial role of military personnel in the celebrations for Her Majesty The Queen's Diamond Jubilee weekend from 2-5 Jun have been announced. Gen Sir David Richards said: Our Service personnel have a unique relationship with the Queen, and I know that those taking part, and their families, will remember these celebrations with great pride...More information »

RAF Help Combat Fires on Slopes of Mt Kenya

RAF and Army personnel are helping to put out a fire on the slopes of Mount Kenya. A RAF Puma was scrambled to carry out an initial reconnaissance of the blaze following a request for help by the Kenya Wildlife Service. Wg Cdr Polly Perkins, said: A joint RAF/Army team has deployed to the Mt Kenya to take command of the military operation to put out the fires already reported to have consumed hundreds of acres...See full details

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

MoD Too Slow at Dealing with Complaints

Dr Susan Atkinson, the Service Complaints Commissioner for the Armed Forces has criticised the MoD in their dealing with Service complaints, saying they take far too long to resolve. Dr Atkins also said the system was not efficient, effective or fair and called for it to be simplified. She added that it was hugely stressful for Service families and corrosive in the workplace...More information »

Budget Impact on the Armed Forces

In his budget speech, the Chancellor has identified a £2.4 billion saving by withdrawing troops from Afghanistan earlier that originally planned. Specifically for the Armed Forces: Family welfare grant to be doubled; Council tax relief for armed forces to be doubled; Extra £100m to improve Service accommodation - funded by £2.4bn savings...More information »

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Unforgettable Holidays for 8-16 yr olds at 80% Discount

Calshot Activities Centre in Hampshire offer an unrivaled number of exciting water and land based activities. With help from the Armed Forces Community Covenant Grant Scheme, Calshot are pleased to be able to offer the children of service families subsidised places on their popular and established residential summer holiday programme. 80% discounts are being offered for Armed Services but places are limited...More information »

Budget warning from the Armed Forces Pension Society

The Forces Pension Society are concerned that announcements made in tomorrow's budget may have an adverse effect on Service personnel. A Society spokesman said: "A military pension is the only substantial, tangible recompense personnel receives for foregoing a number of employment rights others outside the military take for granted. Therefore, any change to pension terms will have a disproportionate impact...More information »

Monday, 19 March 2012

RAF Concert Tour - Diamond Jubilee Salute

The RAF Music Services will go on the road this Autumn for a special 13-date Diamond Jubilee salute to Her Majesty The Queen. The tour will feature the Central Band of the RAF, the Regiment Band and the College Band along with dance bands Swing Wing and the RAF Squadronaires. Lead compere will be BBC Radio 2 broadcaster Alan Dedicoat. Wg Cdr Stubbs said: “The concert tour is always a highlight of our calendar...More information »

Thursday, 15 March 2012

"Families Federations are very important in the formation of policy"

Andrew Robathan MP has visited the RAF Families Federation. The Minister was introduced to the team of eight staff who demonstrated how they gather evidence from family members and briefed the Minister on their plans for 2012. The Minister said: “I welcome the opportunity to visit the RAF Families Federation, and I value greatly the work that they do. I recognise it remains a very unsettling time for many Service families. As we continue to transform Defence, the advice of all three Families Federations will continue to play a very important part in the formulation of future policy and I pay tribute to the excellent work of everyone involved...More information »

Government accept Armed Forces Pay Review Recommendations

The Government have accepted in full the recommendations made in the AFPRB Report for 2012. Changes will come into effect on 1 Apr 12. Headline recommendations are: An increase of £250 in military salaries for those earning £21,000 or less; A reduction in the qualifying interval between levels of LSA from 240 to 180 days; A 2.9% increase to grade 1 charge for SFA and SLA; 4.9% increase in the Daily Food Charge...See full details

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Falklands Most Daring Raid

'Falklands most Daring Raid' is on Channel 4 at 6pm on Sun 18 Mar 12 and is the unbelievable story of a mission that changed the outcome of The Falklands War. This gripping 1 hour film tells the humorous and heroic account of how a crumbling, Cold War-era Vulcan flew a classic British derring-do raid that denied Argentinean invaders of the Falklands access to the Islands main airport...More information »

"Pay cuts eroding morale in the Armed Forces"

The Telegraph reports that an official review [AFPRB] has found that pay cuts and other reductions in allowances 'risk damaging the morale and motivation' of Armed Forces personnel. A spokesman for the MoD said: "Tough decisions have had to be made to tackle the MoD's financial black hole...In addition, the report itself says 'morale and motivation among those serving on operations appear generally to be good...More information »

Rumours surrounding the Joint Strike Fighter

In the Times, Telegraph and Financial Times there are reports that the MoD is considering changing its mind over which variant of the Joint Strike Fighter to purchase. In response the MoD has said: "As part of this process we are reviewing all programmes to validate costs and ensure risks are properly managed. The Defence Secretary expects to announce the outcome to Parliament before Easter...More information »

Quick Vote

Are you aware that X-Factor, the element of pay that compensates for the comparative advantages and disadvantages of military life, is being formally reviewed this year? (current level 14%)...Click here to vote

Monday, 12 March 2012

Military Wives Album - Sales Rocket

The debut album from The Military Wives 'In My Dreams' is rocketing to the top of the chart. It features a new Paul Mealor song, 'In My Dreams' as well as Dylan/Adele's, 'Make You Feel My Love’. On the album the Military Wives choirs from Chivenor and Plymouth are joined by choirs from Catterick, Lympstone and Fareham. There are now a dozen or so choirs on military bases and it is hoped to establish more...See full details

Eight HICs become One HASC

It has been announced that the Housing Information Centres (HIC) will be renamed to better reflect the services provided and the role the staff undertake and will be known as Housing Allocations Service Centres (HASCs). The eight offices will be amalgamated into one HASC split over two sites at Aldershot and Thetford and between them handle all UK SFA allocations. The change happens on 1 Apr 12...More information »

Airing YOUR Views on the Airwaves - RAF

Chairman fo the RAF Families Federation, Dawn McCafferty has been speaking to Patrick Eade of BFBS Radio. The topics of conversation were: RAF Redundancies; The Armed Forces Pay Review Body; The Imminent collapse of the 7 Housing Information Offices (HICs) into one Housing Allocation Service Centre (HASC) split over two sites at Aldershot and Thetford; The new self-preference scheme for SFA; A look back at the 2011 RAF FF survey activity; Military and Community Covenants; Visiting the Falkland Islands, UK bases; What is a RAF Family in the 21st Century; Envoy Magazine...More information »

MoD info on Pre Deployment Sperm Preservation

The elevated IED threat on current operations is associated with an increase in lower limb polytrauma which may include injuries to reproductive organs. When deemed appropriate, access to NHS-funded ‘sperm harvesting’ and storage is offered. Some personnel however are electing to utilise commercial services to store sperm prior to deploying. As such, a DIN has been issued to give information...More information »

"Moments of Tragedy focus our Minds"

Chief of the Defence Staff General Sir David Richards writes that every person in uniform understands the importance of the mission with which they are charged. He said: "Moments of tragedy understandably focus our minds on the many sacrifices that have been made by our Armed Forces, why such courage is required, and for what cause our soldiers, sailors and airmen are bravely putting their lives at risk...More information »

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Have you Received the Families Survey for 2012?

The Families Survey for 2012 should now be hitting the streets. It is a comprehensive survey issued by the RAF and they would encourage those who receive it to respond as the completed surveys are taken very seriously by the Service and help the chain of command and policy staffs shape future policy. The survey is distributed to spouses and civil partners on a random basis via the serving family member...More information »

Chocolates for Military Mums

For many of us on Mothering Sunday we will either be taking our mums out for a spot of Sunday lunch or be taken out ourselves. Some wives and mothers however will be spending Mother’s Day without their loved ones. Red Lion Foods is offering troops serving abroad the chance to let their mums or partners know they care this Mother’s Day by sending them a box of chocolates and a Mother’s Day message....More information »

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

The Spring Issue of Envoy is available to view ONLINE

The Spring Issue of Envoy is available to view ONLINE. In this issue: A sgt sums up her reasons to go and reasons to stay in the RAF; The Federation reports from the Falklands; We hear from the Sikh Chaplain to the Armed Forces and learn what a well trained pup can do... and much, much more...  Envoy, the quarterly magazine of the RAF Families Federation, is delivered to Stns/Units where there are RAF personnel and is always available from the HIVE. Click here

James Blunt criticises the RAF Air Bridge

In today's Telegraph James Blunt criticises the RAF Air Bridge with the line: 'To understand why the troops might be demoralised, just try flying to Afghanistan with the RAF'. The comments follow his and Katherine Jenkins' aborted trip to Afghanistan. The MoD said: "It should be noted that our air bridge aircraft work exceptionally hard and operate in tough environments...More information »

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Tongan PM meets his troops working alongside RAF in Afghanistan

His Excellency Lord Tu'ivakano, the Tongan Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Tonga, has been greeted with a Sipi Tau war challenge during a visit to Tongan troops working with the RAF in Helmand.The fifty-five personnel serve alongside the RAF Police and RAF Regiment to provide security for Camp Bastion. The Tongan Prime Minister said:"It was a unique experience to see my troops in Afghanistan...More information »

Monday, 5 March 2012

Bond between RAF Man and his Dog - Tonight at 9

RAF Cpl Mick McConnell, of the RAF Police and his hound Memphis, features again in tonight’s ‘Royal Marines: Mission Afghanistan’ (Mon 5 Mar 12) the last in a series of six programmes about life on the front line in Afghanistan.The series continues to reveal the very strong bond between man and dog. All those who enjoy a shaggy dog story with a great ending should once again get hankies at the ready!...More information »

Red Arrows to Display with only 7

For the 2012 season the Red Arrows will display with only seven aircraft. Flt Lt Kirsty Stewart has been posted to a ground tour. A MoD spokesman said: "The Red Arrows will conduct aerobatic displays with seven aircraft rather than the usual nine in 2012 because of to the unavoidable posting of one of their pilots. The team will still carry out official flypasts with nine aircraft. The Red Arrows will return to a full aerobatic...More information »

AFPRB Recommendations for 2012

Each year the Armed Forces' Pay Review Body provides independent advice to the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for Defence on the remuneration and charges for members of the Armed Forces. We understand that the AFPRB have concluded their report for the 2012 round and submitted it to the Prime Minister and Secretary of State for Defence on 3 Feb 12. It is now for Government to decide when...More information »

In the Skies above Waddington

Philip Hammond observed Armed Forces personnel in Lincolnshire training for their role in providing air security for the Olympic Games.AVM Stu Atha, the senior RAF officer charged with delivering the Air Security Plan, said: "The exercise, sees us operating alongside both Army and Royal Navy colleagues and assets, allows us to develop our existing procedures to meet the particular requirements of the Olympics...More information »