Tuesday, 31 July 2012

The Prime Minister thanks Personnel on Duty at the Olympics

The Prime Minister has paid tribute to all the Armed Forces personnel on duty over the Olympic period. David Cameron said: "The security of the Olympics is absolutely vital. We have worked out plans for all eventualities and I wanted to come and thank some of the people that are responsible for that... A great moment for Britain, a great moment for our athletes, but also a great moment for all of our country...More information »

Hurricane Pilot's Resting Place identified after 71 years

The resting place of a 2 WW RAF Hurricane pilot listed as missing in action for more than 70 years has been found, Fg Off Derek Allen DFC was just 19 when he found himself flying in the skies over northern France in May 1940. Research by the Air Historical Branch shows that the body of the young pilot was removed from his aircraft by villagers and buried as an 'unknown airman'. His younger brother said...More information »

The UK's new Lightning II


The first of the UK's next generation stealth combat aircraft, the Lightning II has been handed over to the MoD. At a ceremony in Fort Worth, Texas, Defence Secretary Philip Hammond formally accepted the first of the jets, The UK is the first country outside the US to receive these aircraft. Lightning II will be operational from land-based airfields from 2018...More information »

A Boot for every Occasion

The MoD has signed a multi-million pound contract for new boots for the Armed Services. As part of a contract worth £80m, personnel will have the choice of wearing five different boots depending on where they are based and what job they are doing. Black boots will continue to be worn with most non-camouflage uniforms such as RAF and RN blues, and by units on parade in full dress uniform...More information »

Thursday, 19 July 2012

The body of Sqn Ldr Samuel Bailey has also been Recovered

The RAF has confirmed that the second body recovered yesterday is that of Sqn Ldr Samuel Bailey. The RAF said in their statement: "The RAF can confirm that the remains of Sqn Ldr Sam Bailey have been formally identified and the next of kin informed. Our thoughts and prayers remain with them at this very difficult time". The RAF also stated the recovery operation and examination of the incident site had now been completed...More information »

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

The body of Flt Lt Adam Saunders has been Found

The RAF has confirmed that the body of Flt Lt Adam Sanders has been found and recovered from the Moray Firth. The RAF statement reads: "The RAF can confirm that the remains of Flt Lt Adam Sanders have been recovered from the area of the Tornado accident in the Moray Firth...Additional remains have also been recovered and are being formally identified...Our thoughts and prayers are with the next of kin...More information »

Most who exit the Service, do so Successfully...

A report in the Daily Mirror at the weekend suggested that there is not enough care provided for those who leave the Services. In response the MoD said: "The vast majority of personnel who leave the Armed Forces each year make a successful transition to civilian life and only a very small percentage have difficulties making the adjustment. There is a wide range of help and support for all those who need it...More information »

Service personnel bedding down at Tobacco Dock.

Tobacco Dock, in East London, will accommodate the bulk of the 3,500 additional service personnel being deployed on security operations during the Olympics. Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said, "We have been working hard to ensure our Armed Forces are accommodated appropriately and as comfortably as possible". He also said: "I am confident they will do a superb job in assisting in the provision of security...More information »

QUICK VOTE

If you have used the new SFA Self-Preference System, do you think it has the potential to improve allocations? Click here

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Nominate for the Millies - acts of grit, determination, resilience or utter selflessness

His Royal Highness Prince Charles has launched the 2012 Sun Military Awards The Prince said: "I find myself putting pen to paper to express my unending admiration for our Armed Forces. No matter what challenges they face, our servicemen and women are ready to give their all; and it seems to me that we are asking more and more of them...The raw courage of our Armed Forces is on display day after day...More information »

The RAF's Lewis Keeble is First Reserve

RAF Regiment gunner SAC Lewis Keeble, has been selected as reserve for the British Olympic Judo Team. Lewis, 21, said: “The fact I am considered by GB as a potential Olympian gives me massive confidence. I will be pushing Colin Oates in training, showing the coaches that if he is injured, I am ready." Coach Darren Warner said, "I expect Lewis to become British no 1. Technically he is one of the best players in the country...More information »

Monday, 16 July 2012

"Ex-Service personnel are not committing crimes shortly after leaving the plane from Helmand"

The Independent on Sunday has reported that one in ten prisoners is a veteran, according to new research. The MoD said: "The number of ex-Service personnel in the criminal justice system in England and Wales is low at 3.4%". Chair of the inquiry, Sir John Nutting QC, said: "To a degree this inquiry has been involved in 'myth-busting'. Ex-servicemen are not committing crimes shortly after leaving the plane from Helmand...More information »

RAF Coningsby is quite safe without the help of Spotters

The Daily Mail has reported that a group of plane-spotters has been drafted in to bolster security at RAF Coningsby because military personnel have been moved to protect the Olympics. The MoD said: "The story in the Mail has no factual basis. RAF Coningsby's security remains robust and has in no way been affected by any Olympics commitments and no approach has been made to local aviation enthusiasts...More information »

Now in place - robust Airspace Restrictions headed by AVM Stu Atha

Extra airspace restrictions around London and the SE are now in place. They form part of the air security plan that will be enforced by the Armed Forces. AVM Stuart Atha, Commander for Olympics Air Security, said: "Our air security preparations build on the decades of RAF experience in controlling the air to secure the UK...this is a robust plan that enables us to respond appropriately to a range of possible situations...More information »

Friday, 13 July 2012

Deployed at the last minute - "No one will be out of pocket"

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond has confirmed that an additional 3,500 service personnel will be deployed as part of the security arrangements for the Olympic Games. He said: "We will ensure that all those taking part receive their full leave entitlement, even if it has to be rescheduled, that no-one is out of pocket because of cancelled personal arrangements, and that all deployed personnel are supported...More information »

Air Cdre Colin Basnett receives top American Honour

Air Cdre Colin Basnett has been presented with the US Legion of Merit to mark his outstanding work in Afghanistan. He received the medal from General Norton A Schwartz, Chief of Staff of the US Air Force, with CAS, ACM Sir Stephen Dalton in attendance. Colin Basnett said: "I am extremely proud, especially as 670 American servicemen and women under my command in Afghanistan. They moved mountains...More information »

What the RAF FF Chairman has been telling the Minister

This week the three Service Families Federations had their 6-monthly Forum with the Minister for Defence Personnel, Welfare & Veterans, Andrew Robathan MP. The RAF FF Chairman, Dawn McCafferty took the opportunity to brief the Minister on current RAF family-related concerns including, Family Morale, Service Complaints, DIO and HASC issues and the RAF FF survey on Impact of the SDSR and the AF Covenant...More information »

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Widow of Tornado Navigator was not involved in the Search Mission

The newspapers report that the widow of one of the aircrew that died in the RAF Tornado incident last week was stood down from the mission to search for him. In response the MoD said: 'Flt Lt Fiona Bailey is a qualified SAR pilot but is not currently operating in a flying role. In her ground-based role she took no part whatsoever in the co-ordination of the SAR response to the recent incident involving two Tornado aircraft...More information »

Awesome Sight in the Skies over Hampshire

An awesome sight over Hampshire as the Vulcan Bomber and nine Hawks from the Red Arrows flew together for the first time since 2010. The aircraft were transiting from the Royal International Air Tattoo at Fairford to the Farnborough Airshow. The RAF Aerobatic Team once again demonstrating the speed, precision and agility of the Royal Air Force to the public...More information »

RAF FF's first 2012 survey is Published - Your views in black and white...


The Federation has now published the findings of the first 2012 survey, 'The Nations Support to the RAF'. We asked RAF serving personnel and their family members to answer questions and make comments to establish the continuing impact of the SDSR and to measure levels of awareness of the Armed Forces Covenant. The report is full of your comments so do take a moment to have a read. You said: "Given the latest cuts to people and equipment I couldn't feel any more de-motivated with morale in general lower than I've ever seen..." "No idea what the Covenant promises. It seems to promise to make things better, but doesn't say how." "Smoke and mirrors...More information »

Monday, 9 July 2012

Tornado Wrecks found on Seabed

The wrecks of two Tornado aircraft that crashed last Tuesday have been located on the seabed of the Moray Firth. The survey vessel Ocean Star, which had been looking for the wrecks, located the two aircraft using imagery equipment. The MoD has confirmed that the minehunter HMS Cattistock has been sent to the crash site and would take further images. It is likely recovery will start next week once the salvage...More information »

Meet Atlas - The next Generation in RAF Transport aircraft

Until now the aircraft has been known just as the A400M but following the official naming at last weekends Royal International Air Tattoo it will be known as Atlas. The aircraft will replace the existing C-130 Hercules fleet and, along with the Voyager and C-17, will provide the UK military's future air transport force. The UK is buying 22 of the aircraft from Airbus Military. The first is expected to be delivered to the RAF in 2014...More information »

Job Vacancy - Director, RAF Families Federation

RAFA are looking to appoint a new Director to lead the RAF Families Federation from their head office located at Wittering. The RAF Families Federation has been established since 2007 to provide serving RAF personnel and their families with an independent voice on the issues that cause them concern. The Director will manage a small team of dedicated professionals and represent RAF families' views at Ministerial level and to senior MoD and RAF policy staff. Applicants must possess excellent leadership, management communication and interpersonal skills and be computer literate. The post also requires a sound understanding of the RAF lifestyle and its impact on families, confidence in managing budgets and an aptitude for public speaking and representation. Salary: c£40,000. Closing date for applications: Wed 25 Jul 12...More information »

Saturday, 7 July 2012

50% increase in Reseves Forces

The Defence Secretary has announced that the Government accepts the broad thrust of the six recommendations made in the review of the UKs Reserve Forces published in Jul 11. An additional £1.8bn is being invested in the Reserve Forces over the next 10 years. The trained strength of the Reserves will grow by 50% or more by 2018 to 30,000 in the TA; 3,100 in the RN and RM Reserves and 1,800 in R Aux AF...More information »

Discount Holidays for 8-16 yr olds - a few places left

Calshot Activities Centre offer exciting water and landbased activities. With help from the Armed Forces Community Covenant Grant Scheme, Calshot are very pleased to be able to offer the children of service families subsidised places on their summer programme. 80% discounts are being offered making fully residential weeks available for less than £90. There are just a few places left...More information »

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Tornado Aircrew Named

Following confirmation that one crew member has died and two remain missing, presumed dead, after an incident in the Moray Firth area involving two Tornado GR4 aircraft from RAF Lossiemouth on Tuesday, it is with great sadness that the MoD confirmed the identities of the three personnel. Sqn Ldr Samuel Bailey, Flt Lt Hywel Poole and Flt Lt Adam Sanders...More information »

The Federation's Latest Quarterly Report

Key activity this quarter has been the launch of our survey, aimed at gathering further evidence on the impact of the SDSR and the AF Covenant. Chairman of the RAF FF Dawn McCafferty said: The emerging theme is one of a lack of confidence in the post SDSR RAF, and a woeful lack of awareness of some of the key family-related Covenant commitments. Work is now focused on our survey – 'Pay, Pensions and Other Stuff'. Having trialled it with a lively audience of SWOs we are hopeful of a strong online response. In the midst of this work, we have continued to respond to calls for help and advice. Many are associated with the DIO Transformation and the difficulties SFA occupants experienced trying to access the new HASC...More information »

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Be on TV - Surprise Surprise

A new series of ITV1's classic show Surprise, Surprise, hosted by Holly Willoughby is being put together. Keira Burgess of ITV said: "Perhaps a member of an Armed Forces family might be interested in being involved, or know someone else who is. Perhaps they want to help celebrate a special occasion with our help, or maybe just give someone they haven't seen for a while a surprise they will never forget...More information »

Two aircrew are still missing, one is confirmed to have died in Hospital

The RAF has confirmed that one of four aircrew involved in a incident in the Moray Firth yesterday has died in hospital. Two others are still missing. Gp Capt Ian Gale, Stn Cdr of RAF Lossiemouth, said: It is with great sadness that I must confirm the death of one of the crew members, an officer from 15 (Reserve) Sqn. A second crew member remains under medical care, where he is in a serious but stable condition...More information »

RIAT - This Weekend - Stealth is Set to Steal the Show

Organisers of this weekend's Royal International Air Tattoo (7-8 Jul 12) at RAF Fairford have announced that one of the most popular and distinctive aircraft ever will be among almost 300 others taking part. Air Tattoo Chief Executive Tim Prince said: "The B-2 stealth bomber is high on the list of people's must-see aircraft because of its distinctive and mysterious, sleek shape and the fact it rarely appears at airshows...More information »

Search for missing GR4 crew hampered by Weather

The MoD are making an assessment as to when to resume the search for the two aircrew still missing after two Tornado GR4s were lost in the Moray Firth yesterday. Visibility in the area is still very poor. Yesterday evening Gp Capt Ian Gale, Stn Cdr RAF Lossiemouth, said: "It is with great regret that I must confirm the loss of two Tornado GR4 aircraft, from this station...This incident involved four aircrew...More information »

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Olympic Military Defence Systems will be in place by mid-July

The Government has confirmed that ground-based air defence systems, including Rapier and high velocity missile systems, will be deployed at six sites in and around London for the duration of the Olympics along with other Defence equipment including RAF Typhoon jets, which will be temporarily stationed at RAF Northolt, Puma helicopters at a TA Centre in Ilford. The systems will be in place by mid-July...More information »

Shadow BFPO Post Codes to help those Overseas

'Shadow BFPO Post Codes' have been instigated by the Royal Mail, in consultation with the MoD, to allow Service personnel to enjoy the same access to goods and services as they do at home. Mike Newnham, Royal Mail’s Chief Customer Officer, said: "Royal Mail is intensely proud of its strong and enduring links with the British Forces and we are delighted we have played our part in implementing this important initiative...More information »

Monday, 2 July 2012

Is the MoD is buying more stocks than it needs?

Several newspapers cover the National Audit Office report titled 'Managing the Defence Inventory' which concluded that the MoD is buying more supplies than it uses and is not consistently disposing of stock it no longer needs. Responding, Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology, Peter Luff, said: "Our top priority is to ensure commanders are not constrained we have rightly increased the kit and spares...See full details

Free Early Learning places for (some) 2 year olds

The Government has confirmed that two-year-olds in England who live in households which meet the eligibility criteria, also used for free school meals, will be entitled to a free early education place from Sep 13. For anyone who does qualify 'The place is typically for 15 hours per week. The entitlement starts from the next 1 Sep, 1 Jan or 1 Apr after the child’s second birthday...More information »

Top up your RAF experience and gain a Degree

Edinburgh Napier University are offering a top up degree in 12 months which recognises existing RAF training and learning. Launching at RAF Waddington, and hopefully also RAF Brize Norton, in Sep 12 this BA in Business & Enterprise has flexible entry, meaning anyone above the rank of Flight Sergeant is eligible. The majority of the course is delivered online with attendance at a university hub one day a month...More information »

Our Stories in RAF News - I just want a House

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 case tells of a frustrated SFA occupant who turned down the HASC's first offer of...More information »

Luncheon for Royal Honorary Air Commodores

The RAF Club in London’s Piccadilly has hosted an extraordinary gathering of Royal Honorary Air Commodores to celebrate Her Majesty The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee year as patron of the Club. Her Majesty The Queen was the guest of honour at the event which saw 11 members of the Royal family, in their roles of Honorary Air Commodores of RAF Stations, attend a reception and luncheon...More information »

Sunday, 1 July 2012

High Profile for Armed Forces Reservists

Reservists across the country have worn their Service uniforms to work, in the week before Armed Forces Day and as they receive their call-out notices to help provide security for the Olympics. Over 1,900 reservists from the three Services are involved in what will be the largest ever single peacetime deployment. Philip Hammond said: "Reservists are a vital part of our Armed Forces...More information »