Thursday, 27 September 2012

Our Stories in RAF News - The added pitfall of a Pension Sharing Order

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 The cases illustrate where policy is deemed as not quite fair or is outdated, or where there is disadvantage purely because that someone is a member of an RAF family. In this edition a correspondent wishes to point out the added pitfalls of a Pension Sharing Order for the Serving member. An out of pocket individual wishes to draw the attention of Service personnel to the added financial burden of a pension sharing order.  In his case he agreed…Click here

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

2012 BFBS Big Salute Charity Auction goes Live

BFBS Radio begin their Big Salute auction on Fri 5 Oct. And today (Wed 26 Sep 12) more than 60 auction items go live on eBay A Manchester United shirt signed by Rio Ferdinand; a meet and greet with Status Quo; a short break in Cyprus, tickets to watch the filming of Celebrity Juice, a riding lesson with Olympian Lucinda Fredericks – these are just a few of the exclusive items up for grabs...More information »

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Our Stories in RAF News - Second Class Citizen or what?

An outraged family member tells of her disgust at having her Dependant's Pass taken from her by the RAF Police on the gate with no warning and no explanation, only that the policy had changed and these passes were no longer valid. She said: "I was made to feel very much like a second-class citizen and it angered me and my serving husband in equal measure, particularly in light of the years of support I have given to the Service..." More info

The last week - Please add your vote!

We have so far received an enthusiastic response to our survey looking specifically at the support given to RAF Families - if you have not already voted we would really like to hear from you.  The RAF FF is preparing to engage with the RAF and those who provide welfare.  In this survey we explore the support that is available to RAF families. What do RAF families  expect?  Are these...Click here

School names Wing after Excluded Pupil turned Hero

Students were encouraged to 'grasp every opportunity' by a RAF Military Cross hero at the opening of a new school wing named after him. Sgt David Hayden was guest of honour at Sir John Gleed School in Spalding -the same school that excluded him years before... He said: "It was a bit of a shock... and I can't thank the school enough. It has the potential to change lives without a shadow of a doubt because it is taking the time..More information »

Monday, 24 September 2012

Thetford HASC offline - Mon 24 Sep 12

We have received the following information for the DIO Ops team: "In order to carry out essential maintenance, the Thetford HASC IT system will be offline on Mon 24 Sep 12. 'The phone lines will remain open, however, customers should be aware that HASC staff may not have full access to details relating to their enquiry. 'It would be advisable for any non-urgent calls to be made from 8.30am on Tue 25 Sep 12...More information »

Finding you have a Baby on Ops

There have been widespread media reports of the birth of a baby boy to a UK servicewoman at Camp Bastion Field Hospital in Afghanistan. Some reports are calling for mandatory pregnancy testing of all female Service personnel before deployment. In response the MoD said: "It is the individual's responsibility to inform the chain of command of any changes to their medical condition...All female personnel are asked...More information »

More 'good ideas' receive Covenant money from the MoD

More communities across the country are coming up with innovative ideas and initiatives to improve the lives of Service personnel and their families. Launching the next set of Community Covenant Grant projects, Mark Francois confirmed the MoD would give £1.3m to communities across the country - funding 36 new projects. This brings the total MoD spend on the Community Covenant Grant Scheme to £5m...More information »

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Quick Vote

Quick Vote – Do you think there is enough support given to RAF Families? -If you have an opinion please complete our survey (green button on the right on home page) and write your comment(s) in the boxes provided. With thanks.  Click here

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Philip Hammond on 'partnering in Afghanistan'

The Defence Secretary has addressed the House of Commons in response to reports that NATO's policy regarding ISAF and Afghan troops working together has changed. Philip Hammond said: "There has been no change of policy in Afghanistan. In respect of the International Security Assistance Force...not for the first time the media have become a little overexcited...See full details

51 Sqn RAF Regiment's account of Friday's attack on Camp Bastion

Members of No 5 RAF Force Protection Wg, working alongside the US Marine Corps have spoken about quickly regaining control of Camp Bastion Airfield following an insurgent attack on Friday killing 14 and capturing one of the enemy. Sgt Al Bedford said: "We were attacked from multiple firing points...we quickly co-ordinated ground troops and air assets to suppress the enemy...More information »

MP's Concern at Maritime Surveillance 'Capability Gap'

A Defence Committee Report has expressed serious concern at the MoD’s capacity to manage the capability gap in maritime surveillance. The Chairman, Rt Hon James Arbuthnot, said: "We are unconvinced that the MoD has the capacity to respond to any escalation in the risks that may appear beyond UK’s shores...The MoD must explain why it is satisfactory to wait until 2015 or beyond before deciding how to close the...More information »

RAF Concert Tour - "Reflecting the Excitement, Pride and Success"

The RAF is offering audiences the chance to enjoy an evening of unbridled patriotic pride to mark an incredible year that has seen the ‘Great’ put back into ‘Britain’. The tour starts on Fri 19 Oct 12 at the Bridgewater Hall, Manchester. Wg Cdr Stubbs said: “The Bands of the Royal Air Force have been at the heart of events in this Diamond Jubilee year, we are looking forward to reflecting some of the excitement, pride and success...More information »

A Day at the Races to Honour Armed Forces Personnel

Newbury Racecourse is celebrating the hard work and dedication of the men and women of the Armed Forces, with an aviation theme at its annual Worthington’s Armed Forces Day and offer free entry for all Armed Forces personnel. Stephen Higgins, Managing Director of Racing and Events, said: “At this important time of the year we want to ensure that all our visitors recognise the hard work of our Armed Forces...More information »

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

RAF Marham leads the Way - when it comes to giving Views!

We are asking RAF personnel and their family members to give their views on the Support available to RAF Families and at the moment it is RAF Marham that is leading the way. Marham have a very clear lead over RAF Brize Norton in second place and Boulmer in third. Of the overseas votes 71% have come from Denmark - thank you to Finderup for that impressive contribution. We hope more and more of you will help us shape the debate by giving your views before the survey closes at the end of Sep 12. It will only take a few minutes and your opinions will count. The important point is that the 21st Century RAF family comes in very many shapes and sizes. Some live on base, others do not; Some are married, others are not; Some have children others do not. So what type of support do these differing family members need and are these needs being met? Please add your voice by clicking the the green survey button...More information »

Attack on Camp Bastion - Defence Secretary interviewed on Newsnight

Jeremy Paxman interviewed the Defence Secretary, Philip Hammond, on BBC 2's Newsnight programme last evening on the attack carried out on Camp Bastion by the Taliban over the weekend. Five RAF Regiment Gunners were thought to have been injured during the counter attack in which at least 14 Taliban were killed...More information »

Number 1 (Fighter) Squadron returns to Active Service

Number 1 (Fighter) Squadron, one of the oldest squadrons in the RAF, has been returned to active service. The stand-up of the sqn, marked by a magnificent parade and flypast during the RAF Leuchars Airshow over the weekend, sees the Sqn being equipped with the advanced multi-role Typhoon. Stn Cdr, Air Cdre Gavin Parker said: "This is a very proud day...More information »

Public Urged to 'Think Twice' before sending Parcels to Troops

The generous public are being urged to Think Twice before sending unsolicited Christmas gifts to Armed Forces Personnel. With the Christmas countdown now underway, the MoD is reiterating its plea to the general public. A MoD Spokesman said: "Whilst undoubtedly well intentioned, such generosity has a multitude of unintended consequences...More information »

Tribute to RAF Fighter Command

At Westminster Abbey yesterday, (16 Sep 12), The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall led the nation in paying tribute to the massive sacrifice of the men and women of Fighter Command. The Venerable Raymond Pentland, Chaplain-in-Chief of the RAF described the aircrew from 1940.He said: “The few did not let us down; they displayed courage over fear and hope rather than despair...More information »

Monday, 17 September 2012

The Defence Secretary - in Afghanistan, on Afghanistan

Defence Secretary, Philip Hammond has been speaking in Afghanistan. Speaking about the reasons behind the UK's continued presence there he said: "We didn't come here to defeat the insurgency. We came here to ensure that international terrorists that had been using Afghan territory were denied access to that territory...In my opinion, we came here to protect our national security...More information »

Red Arrows Line-Up for 2013

The Red Arrows have announced their line-up for the 2013 season. Training will begin in earnest in October and the three new pilots selected to join the Team during Exercise SPRINGHAWK have now joined the Sqn. The three new pilots are: Flt Lt Mark Lawson, Flt Lt Steve Morris, Flt Lt Oliver Parr. Additionally, the Team have a new Manager, Sqn Ldr Ruth Shackleton, who joined the Team earlier this month...More information »

Stronger Together

The Military Wives Choirs Foundation has been launched as 650 women from 24 choirs joined choirmaster Gareth Malone at Wellington Barracks. Nicky Clarke said: "Despite all the apparent glitz and glamour, the Military Wives Choirs Foundation is here simply to support women in the military community and bring them closer through singing. In what can be a lonely and isolated life, having a choir that is open to every lady...More information »

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Scottish Government commits to the Armed Forces

Scotland’s Minister Keith Brown has announced an Armed Forces Commitments Paper. Brig Paul Harkness, said: “I warmly welcome the Scottish Government’s support for servicemen and women in Scotland, families and veterans. The Armed Forces Covenant established by the UK Government set out unwavering commitments to our Service community, and I am pleased the Scottish Government has set out their commitments to meet these obligations...More information »

'Our Greatest Team' Parade in London

The Armed Forces have been honoured to take part in ‘Our Greatest Team Parade’ yesterday. Serving and former members of the Armed Forces have competed in both the Olympic and Paralympic Games, but the Armed Forces contribution to London 2012 has been widespread and extensive.Some 18,200 members of the British Armed Forces have supported the Games, providing air, land and maritime expertise...More information »

Monday, 10 September 2012

BBMF Lancaster recast as Thumper MkIII

The RAF BBMF Lancaster, PA474, has taken on a new identity as 617 Sqn Lancaster B1, DV385, 'Thumper Mk III'. The nose art features the cartoon rabbit – from ‘Bambi’ – holding a foaming pint of beer. Wg Cdr John Bell DFC, the bomb aimer on Bob Knights' crew with both 619 and 617 Sqn has been invited to see the aircraft, he said: “I am shaking with excitement at this news that my old warhorse is reincarnated...More information »

General Parker sums up The Armed Forces contribution to the Games

Commander Land Forces Gen Sir Nick Parker has reflected on the contribution Britain's Armed Forces have made to the success of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Gen Parker said: The contact with the public has been invigorating. The bond between the public and Services has been strengthened, the Armed Forces' contribution to homeland operations recognised and the value of military career reinforced...More information »

The Autumn Issue of Envoy is available to view - ONLINE.

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.  In this issue: We introduce Bill Mahon, the new Director of the RAF Families Federation, celebrate the RAF at the Paralympics, report your strong views on pay and much, more...

Paralympic Medal Winner thanks her RAF Coach

A RAF sergeant has had the honour of raising a Paralympic Union Flag at the Olympic Stadium for a medal-winning Team GB athlete she coached. Five years ago Sgt Thomas helped establish the Suffolk Spartans Powerlifting Club. A young athlete, Zoe Newson joined and was coached by Sgt Thomas. The same Zoe Newson went on to win the bronze medal in the 40kg class of the women's powerlifting at the Games...More information »

The New Director speaks to BFBS

Bill Mahon, the new Director of the RAF Families Federation, talks to Patrick Eade on BFBS about his new role, his view of the RAF Families Federation and the importance of Serving RAF personnel and their families completing the survey on Support given to RAF Families. THE SURVEY: Now open on our website, and for the 30 days of Sep, is the RAF FF survey ‘Support given to RAF Families’. The RAF FF is preparing to engage with the RAF and those who provide welfare and in this survey we explore the support available to members of RAF families. The 21st Century RAF family comes in all shapes and sizes. Many live on base, others do not. So what type of support do these differing family members need and are these needs met? Are serving personnel and families aware of the support already available? Our survey seeks to answer these questions and help the RAF develop welfare support for the future...More information »

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Improved HASC Opening Hours

Revised opening times have been announced for the Housing Allocations Service Centre (HASC). With effect from Mon 3 Sep 12, the Housing Allocations Service Centre telephone opening times will be: 8.30am - 3pm Mon, Tue, Wed and Fri and 8.30am - 12noon Thu, to allow for staff training and development.A spokesman for the service said: 'The opening times will continue to be reviewed with the single Services...More information »

A Reshuffle for the MoD

In the Government reshuffle the Prime Minister's Office has announced a change to the ministerial team at the MoD. Under the Sec of State for Defence, The Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP now sit two Ministers of State: Rt Hon Andrew Robathan MP and Rt Hon Mark Francois MP. There are now three Parliamentary Under Secretaries of State - Dr Andrew Murrison MP, Philip Dunne MP and Lord Astor of Hever DL...More information »

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

31 Sqn Tornados head to Gulf for Ex Shaheen Star

RAF personnel and aircraft from Marham are departing for Ex Shaheen Star, taking place in the United Arab Emirates. Wg Cdr Andy Turk, said: "These operations and exercises underline the need for good training and the RAF Tornado Force is delighted to have been invited. We last flew with our Arab partners during the coalition operations over Libya last year. This is a good opportunity to renew our professional...More information »

Monday, 3 September 2012

Is the RAF Supporting its Families?

Open now, and for the 30 days of Sep 12, is the RAF FF survey ‘Support given to RAF Families’. The RAF FF is preparing to engage with the RAF and those who provide welfare support. The 21st Century RAF family comes in all shapes and sizes. Many live on base, others do not. So what type of support do these differing family members need and are these needs met? Are serving personnel and families aware of the support already available? Our survey seeks to answer these questions. As a serving member of the RAF or a close family member please add your voice… spouses, partners, children, siblings, parents, you all have views and we are interested to know what they are! We know from our work that personal views from the Service do influence MoD and Government thinking - it should only take 10 mins! Without you we have no voice... More information »