Thursday, 28 June 2012

If Money means Something - Please respond. Only 3 days left...

There are only three days left to respond to our pay and pension survey which closes on 30 Jun 12. Please take a few minutes to answer the questions on money issues giving the RAF FF evidence to try and secure a pay increase for Apr 13. As the Armed Forces is relinquished from the two year pay freeze there is not much on the table but we need the evidence to say that RAF personnel deserve something...More information »

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Memorial to Commemorate the tragic loss of 55,573 young Bomber Command airmen

A major public Memorial to commemorate the tragic loss of 55,573 young Bomber Command airmen in the Second World War will be unveiled at a ceremony in Green Park at 12noon on 28 Jun 12. Dennis Wiltshire, 93, said: “The Bomber Command aircrew have always been in my mind. The fellas are still gone but this means families have a place to come and hopefully give younger people a better understanding...More information »

RAF FF Loses its Chairman to the Air Cadets!

After five years at the helm, Dawn McCafferty, Chairman of the RAF FF, is to leave the Federation to take up the appointment as the new Commandant of the Air Cadet Organisation. The current Commandant, Air Cdre Barbara Cooper, said: “I am delighted to announce that Gp Capt Dawn McCafferty RAF (Ret'd) is the preferred candidate to become the next Commandant Air Cadets. Dawn McCafferty said: “I am...More information »

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

You have filled in the Pay Survey - But has your other half?... IT IS REALLY IMPORTANT!

For the month June we have been running a survey on Pay, Pensions and other money issues. If you are Serving, or are a spouse/partner of someone who is, we would would really like you to complete it. Please also add your thoughts. The answers are anonymous but the results and your comments will form part of the evidence we present to AFPRB in oral session as they make recommendations on the next pay...More information »

The Big Sound of the RAF Red, White and Blues Band

The RAF Red, White and Blues Big Band is the latest sound from the first class musicians of the Central Band of the RAF. The band has already wowed in-house audiences with its musical expertise and ‘swing’. If you like the sound of Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Glenn Miller, there is an opportunity to see them when they visit the Charter Hall in Colchester on 7 Jul 12...More information »

"The MoD is sending the wrong signals to Forces Families on Accommodation"

'The MoD is sending the wrong signals to Forces families about the value it places on providing good accommodation.' These are the words of the Defence Committee in its report, published today (26 Jun 12), on Forces Accommodation. Evidence given to the Committee showed that Armed Forces personnel and their families valued accommodation very highly and saw it as part of their terms and conditions of employment...More information »

Monday, 25 June 2012

Raising the Flag for Armed Forces Day

The Armed Forces Day flag has been raised at the RAF Families Federation offices at Wittering. In the week leading up to Armed Forces Day on Sat 30 Jun 12 the flag will fly on public buildings, churches and schools in support of the UK Armed Services. In addition, many Reservists will wear their uniforms to work on Wednesday...More information »

The Summer Issue of Envoy is available to view online

In this issue: We celebrate The Queen's Diamond Jubilee, look forward to the Olympics from an officials point of view, remember the Falkland conflict 30 years on... 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.

Or if you would prefer your own copy register and we will deliver it FREE of any charge to your door - Why? Because we, and the RAF, would like you to read it! ...Click here

RAF Win the InterServices Cricket at Lords

The Inter services 20/20 cricket tournament was held at Lords cricket ground this week. The RAF won the tournament beating the Army and the Navy. The Report on the RAF Cricket Assn website reads: "On a Glorious day at Lords, the RAF were defending their T20 Crown and they didn't disappoint...More information »

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Worries over Pension Changes

Many newspapers have reported that Armed Forces personnel may have to serve for 23 years before they are able to collect their pensions. In response the MoD has said: "Changes are likely to include an adjustment to the amount of service required to become eligible for an Early Departure Payment. The earliest this can be drawn by anyone joining the Armed Forces today is at age 40. No final decisions have been made...More information »

RAF Scampton to remain Home of the Red Arrows and ASACS

RAF Scampton is to remain the base for the Red Arrows and the RAF's Air Surveillance and Control System until at least the end of the decade. Armed Forces Minister Nick Harvey said: "On cost and capability grounds, the ASACS infrastructure should remain at RAF Scampton. Additionally, the most effective way of operating the RAF Aerobatic Team without impacting on other flying is to stay at RAF Scampton...More information »

Guardian critical of use of Drones in Afghanistan

The Guardian reports that the British military is increasingly relying on drone attacks in Afghanistan, firing more than 280 Hellfire missiles at insurgents. Also, Human Rights Watch claims the system for civilian complaints is 'nonsense'. In response the MoD said: 'Every effort, including in some circumstances deciding not to release weapons, is made to ensure the risk of collateral damage, including civilian casualties...More information »

Up for Grabs – Your (your partner’s) Pay!

The RAF FF survey on Pay, Pensions and other money issues has so far not stuck a chord and the response has been disappointing – With a week to go please complete our short survey. If you are Serving or a spouse/partner of someone who is then we would particularly like to hear from you. It is anonymous but we ask enough about your profile for it to make a difference. Results will be presented as evidence to the Armed Forces Pay Review Body who will be recommending to the Government whether or not the Armed Service merit a pay rise or not. Also up for its 5 year review is X-Factor – this could go up, it could go down. It depends on how persuasive we can be on your behalf – but to do that we need your opinions. Please click on the link – please do it now!…More information »

Up for Grabs - Your (your partner's) Pay!

The RAF FF survey on Pay, Pensions and other money issues has so far not stuck a chord and the response has been disappointing - With a week to go please complete our short survey. If you are Serving or a spouse/partner of someone who is then we would particularly like to hear from you. It is anonymous but we ask enough about your profile for it to make a difference. Results will be presented as evidence to the Armed Forces Pay Review Body who will be recommending to the Government whether or not the Armed Service merit a pay rise or not. Also up for its 5 year review is X-Factor - this could go up, it could go down. It depends on how persuasive we can be on your behalf - but to do that we need your opinions. Please click on the link - now!...More information »

HASC Closed in preparation for Self-Preference.

In preparation for the launch of the new e-1132 Self Preference System on Wed 20 Jun 12, the HASC telephone lines are closed today, Tue 19 Jun 12. In addition, the existing e-1132 form is also unavailable to users on Tue 19 Jun 12. The new e-1132 Self Preference system and the HASC telephone lines reopen for business at 8.30am on Wed 20 Jun 12...More information »

Monday, 18 June 2012

30 Years after the Falklands Conflict

Services of remembrance for the 255 British military personnel who lost their lives in the brief but bloody Falklands conflict in 1982, as well as for the survivors, have been taking place in the UK and in the South Atlantic. Commander British Forces South Atlantic Islands, said: "The tremendous achievement of 30 years ago is now part of the fabric of these islands. Only by walking the battlefields physically understanding...More information »

Confirming the end of RAF SAR

In a written ministerial statement, Armed Forces Minister Nick Harvey, has confirmed the MoDs intention to end the military provision of search and rescue helicopter services. Military provision of SAR cover of the UK and Falkland Islands will end in Apr 16 with the retirement of the Sea King. The announcement comes as part of the long running Defence Rotary Wing Capability Study...More information »

The Duke of York drops in on RAF Lossiemouth

Children of Service personnel at Lossie received a surprise on when The Duke of York dropped in to a Garden Party in their honour. 11-year-old Emily White said: "I was so excited to meet Prince Andrew because I wrote to him last year when we visited London with Airplay and he invited us to watch the Changing of the Guard from inside the gates of Buckingham Palace. I thanked him for remembering us. I can't wait to tell my Dad...More information »

The Queen's Birthday Honours List

The Queen's Birthday Honours for Service Personnel and Defence Civilians has been announced. Honours going to RAF personnel are listed. Other RAF honours and awards, by unit, are also included...More information »

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Self Preference of SFA goes Live next Wednesday

The introduction of the Self Preference of SFA has been suffered delays but is now due to be launched on Wed 20 Jun 12. Its aim is to enhance the existing electronic application system to allow Service personnel to view online estate agent style details of available SFA properties that match their entitlement and posting location, and to register their top three preferences. HASC phone lines will be closed the day before...More information »

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Redundancy - 'Will lead to Loss of Crucial Expertise in the Armed Forces'

There is widespread coverage in today's media of the redundancy notifications. The Daily Telegraph states it will lead to a loss of crucial expertise in the Armed Forces. In response the MoD has said: 'We have been clear that we will ensure the right balance of skills and expertise are retained across all rank structures so that we continue to meet the demands of current operations and future threats. The number of officers...More information »

RAF Families Federation - Quick Vote

Quick vote - Was the outcome of the Redundancy Announcement what you were hoping for?

Take a Seat in the Lancaster

Footage taken from the Lancaster Bomber taking part in The RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight formation as it flew down the Mall during the Jubilee celebrations. The Royal Family watched from the balcony of Buckingham Palace, along with thousands gathered outside. The flypast included the Dakota flanked by two King Air aircraft, the Lancaster, Spitfires and Hurricane, ahead of the Red Arrows...More information »

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

New Contract for Hercules

The MoD has announced a £350 million contract with Marshall Aerospace to maintain the Hercules fleet until 2015. Defence Equipment Minister, Peter Luff said: "The Hercules is a key part of our long range RAF air transport force and supports thousands of troops on ops across the globe. This agreement will save money and ensure the fleet has continued support to maintain aircraft availability, especially for Afghanistan...More information »

International awards for RAF Doctors working in Aviation Medicine

Two RAF doctors have received international accolades for their operational work in aviation medicine at the Aerospace Medical Association's annual scientific conference in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. Wg Cdr Mollan said: "It is a delight that the work of the RAF aeromedical evacuation service has been internationally recognised as being of the highest quality during the busiest operational period on record...More information »

726 RAF made Redundant

Today 726 RAF personnel receive their redundancy notices. 70% are volunteers, 30% are not. For those who have volunteered and have already started making plans, the news will be welcome. For those who volunteered but have been told they are required for further service the news will be bitterly disappointing and some may well opt to PVR. For those who did not volunteer, the news will be devastating...More information »

Monday, 11 June 2012

RAF Redundancy Selection Announcement TOMORROW

Tomorrow, Tue 12 Jun 12, RAF personnel will hear if they are to be made redundant, either voluntarily or compulsorily. The Redundancy announcement made on 17 Jan 12 indicated a further 900 were to go from the RAF. Volunteers were 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...More information »

Hague will not rule out use of UK Troops in Syria

The Foreign Secretary has warned that Britain could be forced to send troops into Syria if the situation there escalates. William Hague said: “The reason I don’t rule things out is because we really don’t know how this situation is going to develop or how terrible it is going to become. We are on the edge of that kind of sectarian murder on a large scale so who knows what may be required by the international community...More information »

Send a Message for Father's Day

Father’s Day is on Sunday (17th Jun 12) and BFBS has a host of ways to keep families connected, wherever they are. Recorded messages are played on BFBS to Forces listeners around the world, and in the UK on DAB Digital Radio. The messages are also uploaded onto the Boost for the Troops webpage on Audioboo, meaning you can listen again to your message if you miss it on BFBS...More information »

Flt Lt Wales gains his Operational Captaincy

Prince William has qualified as a Search and Rescue Operational Captain. The qualification means Flt Lt Wales is now able to lead rescues in a RAF Sea King in all weathers, day or night. OC 22 Sqn Wg Cdr Mark 'Sparky' Dunlop, said: "Flt Lt Wales demonstrated the required standards needed for the award of Operational Captaincy. Because of the nature of SAR ops, the required standards are always set very high...More information »

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Let’s Secure a 1% Pay Increase and Protect the X Factor - RAF FF Survey on Pay

Along with other public sector employees, the Armed Forces are restricted to a max 1% pay rise in the next pay round but even that 1% it is not guaranteed... We need to make sure we put persuasive evidence to the AFPRB this Autumn that demonstrates that, after 2 years of pay freeze it is time to redress the balance. 2012 is also a year to review the X-Factor, an important element of Service pay, which is currently valued at 14%. We need to maintain...More information »

The Cosford Airshow - Sun 17 Jun 12

Highlights of this year's Cosford Airshow include the Red Arrows and two Tornados performing a role demonstration accompanied by a pyrotechnic display, and an appearance by a P-51 Mustang which saw service with the Tuskegee airmen in World War II. Ground entertainment includes military bands, Field Gun displays, interactive exhibits from the RAF and the famous Sunday market and Craft Fair...More information »