Wednesday, 30 January 2013

How seriously do you take your online security?

The MoD has issued guidance to assist individuals with their online security. The guidance suggests that social networking sites are great for keeping in touch and letting the world know what you’re up to but that there are those who use such sites for unsavoury reasons. These range from criminals looking for ways to con you or steal your identity to those who may wish you harm...More information »

Giving Evidence to the House of Commons Defence Committee - Educating the Children of Service Personnel

At 2.30pm his afternoon (Wed) Bill Mahon, Director of the RAF Families Federation will give evidence to the House of Commons Defence Committee on 'Educating the Children of Service Personnel'. Bill will use evidence given to the Federation by members of the Serving RAF and their families...More information »

Defence Secretary clear about risk of Mission Creep

In response to an urgent question in the House of Commons, Defence Secretary Philip Hammond has confirmed the UK military commitment and numbers of Service personnel, aircraft and equipment assisting the situation in West Africa. He also very clear about the the risks of mission creep...More information »

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

350 Military Personnel to deploy to Mali

Downing Street has announced that 350 UK military personnel are to deploy to Mali and West Africa to support French forces. Also offered were: the continued deployment of the RAF C17 and Sentinel aircraft; allowing the US to operate air refuelling platforms from the UK...The UK also offered to set up a combined joint logistics HQ in Mali but the French have declined this offer...More information »

100 Typhoons and counting...

No 1 (Fighter) Sqn, reformed just 4 months ago at RAF Leuchars, has taken delivery of the 100th Typhoon to enter service. OC No 1 (Fighter) Sqn, Wg Cdr Mark Flewin, said: "There can be no better example of the strides we are taking to growing the Typhoon Force than the stand-up of 1 (Fighter) Sqn and it is fantastic to have taken delivery of this brand new, milestone aircraft...More information »

UK poised to contribute more to Mali Mission

A meeting in Brussels today (Tue) is likely to result in the UK agreeing to send more Armed Forces personnel to Mali as part of a joint EU mission. The Prime Minister is said to be awaiting a specific request but it is thought UK personnel will be given in a training role with further uplift of assistance with logistics, surveillance and intelligence already provided by the RAF. There is still insistence that no combat role...More information »

Monday, 28 January 2013

Found Guilty of fraudulently Claiming CEA

A senior Army officer has been found guilty at Swindon Crown Court of falsely claiming Continuity of Education Allowance to the tune of £188,000. Lt Col Robert Henry Jolleys was claiming CEA to send his three children to school at Stonyhurst College but failed to report a change of circumstances when he and his wife separated...More information »

RAF Sentinel deploys to Africa in support of Op in Mali

A Sentinel aircraft from No 5(AC) Sqn has deployed from RAF Waddington to an airbase in Africa, in support of French military operations in Mali. Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said: “Following discussions with the French, we have decided to deploy Sentinel, a surveillance capability that proved its worth in Libya and on an ongoing basis for counter-insurgency operations in Afghanistan. We have also agreed...More information »

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Franchise Opportunities

The British and International Franchise Exhibition are showcasing franchise opportunities both in the UK and abroad. There are three exhibitions:15 & 16 Mar 13 at Olympia, London; 22 & 23 Feb 13 at the NEC Birmingham; 21 & 22 Jun 13 at Manchester Central. The exhibitions are supported by the British Franchise Association (bfa) and only companies adhering to the bfa’s code of ethics are able to exhibit...More information »

Air Marshal Sir Andrew Pulford is appointed Chief of the Air Staff

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond has today, 24 Jan 13, confirmed that Her Majesty The Queen has approved the appointment of Air Marshal Sir Andrew Pulford KCB CBE, who is to be promoted to Air Chief Marshal, to be appointed Chief of the Air Staff in succession to Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Dalton GCB ADC in Jul 13. Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach KCB CBE ADC is to be appointed Vice Chief of the Defence Staff...More information »

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

A continuing RAF relationship with the United Arab Emirates

The RAF's relationship continues with the UAE as 906 Expeditionary Air Wing Stands Up there. Based at Al Minhad Air Base, 906 EAW tasks will include support to air transport between the UK and deployed operations in Afghanistan and logistic support to deployed forces. Air Cdre Phil Beach said: "The standing up of 906 Expeditionary Air Wing underlines the continued strong relationship that we share with our UAE friends...More information »

Increases in National Insurance - reports are misleading

It has been reported in the media that Armed Forces personnel will have to pay more tax on their pensions as a result of changes to National Insurance contributions. In response the MoD has said: "This story is misleading. The 1.4% increase in National Insurance contributions relates to the State Pension - it has nothing to do with the entirely separate Armed Forces Pension Scheme...More information »

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

RAF assistance of Mali situation likely to be stepped up

It is reported the Government is to discuss offering more assistance to French forces fighting Islamist rebels in Mali. The RAF is already giving logistical support with two C-17 aircraft assisting but it is thought David Cameron is likely to offer more assistance with further transport and surveillance. The MoD says there are no plans to offer ground forces...More information »

RAF SAR Busy all Weekend

With extreme weather conditions affecting most of the country, RAF Search and Rescue teams have had a busy weekend and been on at a constant state of readiness. One rescue involved a heavily pregnant woman. Captain of the aircraft, Flt Lt Taff Wilkins said: "When the crew arrived, conditions were near zero visibility... We popped a smoke grenade onto the ground next to the landing site as we overflew it...More information »

Monday, 21 January 2013

David Beckham and Ray Winstone visit Patients and Staff

Patients and staff at the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine have been treated to a visit from a footballing legend David Beckham and a Hollywood star Ray Winstone. David Beckham said: "To come here today and see the work of the nurses, the work of the doctors, I think it’s a pretty amazing place..." Ray Winstone said: "These kids are out there protecting my children and whatever the world is going to be when...More information »

Thursday, 17 January 2013

New Challenges for Children with Additional Needs

SSAFA is once again offering their Summer Activity Breaks for Children with additional needs or disability and their siblings and young carers. It is an opportunity for the children of Service personnel to make new friends and try exciting adventure activities. Rick Cooke from RAF Shawbury said: "Or son Ethan absolutely loved it. We are so grateful for the continuing support of SSAFA throughout the years...More information »

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

MoD Announces £14 million Brimstone Contract

A new £14 million contract to deliver hundreds of precision attack weapons to the RAF has been announced by the MoD. The Dual Mode Seeker Brimstone (DMSB) missile allows RAF crews to engage moving or static targets by day or night with pin point accuracy and is already used by RAF Tornado aircraft in Afghanistan and were used on operations over Libya. Wg Cdr Andy Turk said: "It is very popular with air crews...More information »

OPERATION NEWCOMBE

The National Security Council are meeting to discuss the situation in Mali amid continuing ministerial assurances that UK ground forces will not be drawn into the combat operation against al Qaida-backed rebels. OC 99 Sqn, Wg Cdr Stu Lindsell, said: "We started doing some contingency planning on Saturday... the first aircraft left within 24 hours...I have been very impressed by how everyone on the sqn...More information »

Monday, 14 January 2013

6 Sqn on Exercise in UAE

Typhoons from 6 Sqn have been exercising with a multinational contingent at Al Dhafra Air Base. Wg Cdr Mike Baulkwill, OC 6 Sqn, said: "We have been sent out here to conduct this multinational exercise that looks at large scale air operations involving many aircraft. We have seen the ground crew and pilots from 6 Sqn lead and operate in a very different environment. Everybody at every rank is learning something...See full details

RAF Tornado Fleet benefit from new Rolls-Royce facility

Rolls-Royce has opened a new Service Delivery Centre at RAF Marham to support the RAF Tornado fleet, enabling engineers from RR and the RAF to work side by side. Chief of the Air Staff said at the opening: "This state of the art facility will provide critical support to the RAF’s Tornado fleet so that it can continue to deliver the first rate operational capability for which the Force is justifiably famous...See full details

RAF fly in Support of the French

Two RAF C17 aircraft from 99 Sqn have flown to France in support of the French military efforts in Mali. The aircraft will be used to transport French hardware and equipment to Barnako in the West African state of Mali where the French are in support of the Malian government in attempting to contain Islamic rebels. David Cameron says no UK Service personnel will be used on the ground in Mali...More information »

Sunday, 13 January 2013

New Glock pistol replaces the Browning

The MoD has signed a £9m contract to provide the Armed Forces with more than 25,000 new Glock sidearms. The Glock 17 Gen 4 pistol is not only much lighter than the Browning, which has been in service since 1967, but is also more accurate, can be brought to bear more quickly and its magazines can carry more rounds...More information »

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Do you know about the Defence Medical Welfare Service?

DMWS is a charity that has been providing practical and emotional support to the Armed Forces, their families and other entitled civilians who serve Defence since 1943. It became an independent charity in 2001. The mission of the charity is to provide a high-quality hospital welfare service to the military community both serving and their family members...More information »

Reduction in Pension Relief likely to hit Senior Officers

It is likely that George Osborne's announcement in the Autumn Statement that he is to reduce pension tax relief will affect more than just the very rich. The changes are also likely to hit some long-serving public sector employees on final salary pension schemes. Those within the Armed Forces most likely to be affected by the changes are long-serving senior officers...More information »

Your Views on Service Childrens Education - DEADLINE EXTENDED

Several parents have asked us to extend the deadline on this - so we have! The House of Commons Defence Committee is conducting an Inquiry into ‘Educating the Children of Service Personnel’. We have very little time left but this is your opportunity to tell us your views. The Committee would particularly like to hear your experience and thoughts on: The difficulties facing Service families in achieving the same standard of education for their children as they would if they were civilians; The provision of education for all Service children from pre-school to age 19; The transfer of information about pupils between schools, in particular pupils with Special Educational Needs; The effectiveness of the financial support schemes for all Service families; The adequacy of oversight and monitoring of Service Children’s education. Please let us know your thoughts before the 22 Jan 13. Click here to register your views...More information »

Please register your views on Reserves - Last Call

The MoD launched a formal, written, public consultation on the future of the UK’s Reserve Forces, ‘Future Reserves 2020: Delivering the Nation’s Security Together’. The consultation period closes on 18 Jan 13. So only a few days left. Many have already said their piece but if anyone else would like to contribute please do so before next Fri...More information »

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

The Armed Forces and Cyber Security

The media today covers the House of Commons Defence Committee's report into cyber security. The Committee questions the Government's preparedness for a large scale cyber attack and whether the Armed Forces would be compromised by such an event. Defence Minister Andrew Murrison said: "Far from being complacent, the MoD takes the protection of our systems extremely seriously...More information »
The House of Commons Defence Committee is conducting an Inquiry into ‘Educating the Children of Service Personnel’. We have very little time left but this is your opportunity to tell us your views. The Committee would particularly like to hear your experience and thoughts on: The difficulties facing Service families in achieving the same standard of education for their children as they would if they were civilians; The provision of education for all Service children from pre-school to age 19; The transfer of information about pupils between schools, in particular pupils with Special Educational Needs; The effectiveness of the financial support schemes for all Service families; The adequacy of oversight and monitoring of Service Children’s education. Please let us know your thoughts before the 10 Jan 13. Click here to register your views...More information »

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Schools - Apply now for a share of £3M to assist publicly funded schools

The MoD’s Support Fund for State Schools with Service Children has been made available to help mitigate the effects of exceptional mobility and/or deployment of their Service communities; Applications for 2013 are now being accepted from publicly funded schools, Academies and Free Schools throughout the UK who meet the eligibility criteria. Local Authorities are also able to apply in support of these schools...More information »

Spitfire crash-lands at East Midlands Airport

A Spitfire has crash-landed at East Midlands Airport closing the airport. The pilot was unharmed. Edward Coxon who saw the incident said: "I was just looking at the planes coming in when all of a sudden there were loads of blue lights coming in from the other end of the runway. The incident seems to have happened when the undercarriage of the aircraft collapsed...More information »

Back at School - Say they are 'Service' and the School can claim £300

Service parents with children in State funded schools in England are encouraged to ensure that the Head Teacher of their Child(ren)'s school is made aware of their 'Service' status for the Spring School Census which will be conducted on 17 Jan 13. This is the only way the school can then claim the Service Pupil Premium, worth £300 per child, to provide pastoral and/or other additional support for their Service children...More information »

Ex- RAF Sqn Ldr and longest-serving British POW dies at 98

Alfie Fripp, thought to be the oldest surviving and longest-serving British prisoner of war, and a former RAF Sqn Ldr has died at the age of 98. Alfie Fripp was one of the '39ers', the unfortunate few taken prisoner in the first year of World War II. Remembering his former crew mate in 2009, Alfie said: "We were forced to hedge hop at six feet to avoid being attacked again by a Messerschmitt in a cloudless sky...More information »