Thursday, 28 February 2013

Launch of new RAF Families Federation website

Fri 1 Mar 13 sees the launch of the new RAF Families Federation website and mini site for smart phone and mobile device users.The new intuitive design offers a wealth of information at your finger tips. Never has it been easier to find exactly what you are looking for. Packed with the latest information, helping you and your family stay up to date with developments and news relevant to RAF serving personnel and their family members. Catch up on the latest from your Federation, find out what the RAF is up to, what the latest policy is and how development will affect you and your family. Explore our new website as a one stop shop for all you need to know about families issues. Read the latest articles in the RAF Families Federation magazine 'Envoy' both online and on the move. And now there is the RAF FF new mini site – perfect for your smart phone or mobile device. Take it anywhere. Click on the website tomorrow and see it for yoursel...More information »

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Brand New Arctic Star and Bomber Command Clasp

The Defence Minister Mark Francois has announced that World War II war heroes who served on the Arctic Convoys and in Bomber Command will begin receiving brand new awards in recognition of their heroism and bravery within weeks. The new Arctic Star and Bomber Command clasp will be awarded a quarter of a million veterans, or their families, in recognition of the unique contribution they made in protecting Britain...More information »

Bank fines given to support the Armed Forces

The Chancellor has announced that the fines levied on banks for attempting to manipulate the London Interbank Offered Rate benchmark are to be given to causes and charities supporting the Armed Forces community. George Osborne said: "Our servicemen and women make huge sacrifices on behalf of our country and represent the best of British values. That’s why it is right money received from fines banks are...More information »

Complaints about Complaints

The House of Commons Defence Committee is calling on the Government to change the role of the Service Complaints Commissioner to one of an Armed Forces Ombudsman. Chair of the Committee James Arbuthnnot said “The Service complaints system is an important part of ensuring the duty of care owed to personnel...There are too many reports of personnel being reluctant to raise genuine complaints and grievances...More information »

Our Stories in RAF News

Our Stories in RAF News - We often hear from serving personnel who have claimed, or tried to claim, allowances, such as Disturbance Allowance or the Continuity of Education Allowance (CEA) as they believed they are entitled only to discover later on that they are not. In many instances it is because of a particular family circumstance or because they do not meet the criteria. Some cases then require the service person to repay monies or...More information »

Our Stories in RAF News - NHS braces, now pay or have them removed...

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 we hear from a family who were posted from Scotland to England and were told their daughter's NHS Orthodontic treatment would not continued to be supported in England. The family could either opt to pay for the treatment themselves or have their daughter's braces removed...More information »

Monday, 25 February 2013

Money available for Armed Forces Day celebrations!

Communities across the UK are invited to apply for MoD funding to host events to celebrate this year's Armed Forces Day on 29 Jun 13. Last year events took place, including tea parties, parades, big band concerts, civil war military re-enactments and live and static demonstrations, all designed to attract people to come along and show their support for the men and women of the Armed Forces...More information »

RAF Top in Telemark

RAF Regiment Reservist, LAC Chris Stewart, based at RAF Leeming has beaten off tough competition to be crowned the British Telemarking Champion. Chris emerged the clear winner as the overall British Telemark Ski Champion 2013 following a closely fought battle over three days of racing. Chris said of his short time with 609 (WR) Auxilliary Sqn, "The experience has been fantastic. Even better than I imagined...More information »

Redressing Service Disadvantage. Is it just empty words?

Dr Hugh Milroy, Chief Executive of the charity Veterans Aid, says in an interview with BFBS News that the Armed Forces Covenant does not work and that it is just empty words. He says it promises to address the disadvantage of those who are serving in the Armed Forces and those who have served but then allows local authorities to pick and choose...More information »

Friday, 22 February 2013

Blue Peter's Helen Skelton Flies with the Reds for Red Nose Day

Blue Peter presenter Helen Skelton has taken off with the Red Arrows in the third of her 'Magnificent 7' challenges to raise money for Red Nose Day 2013. Red 1, Sqn Ldr Jim Turner said, "It was a privilege to fly with Helen and for such a good cause. She really stepped up to the challenge, had a permanent smile and took a really keen interest in our role and what was required to fly...More information »

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Mouldy SFA?

Throughout the winter months each year the RAF FF is inundated with evidence of damp, mould and condensation in MoD accommodation. We know the problem is extensive and wide-spread but think we are probably only receiving some of the evidence. We are compiling a report for the Chief Executive of DIO on this pressing issue and would like further information and evidence...More information »

Most advanced bionics for Service personnel

Service personnel who have lost their legs will now have access to the most technologically-advanced prosthetics available, thanks to new £6.5 million funding announced. Headley Court’s CO, Gp Capt Clare Walton, said: "Some of the technology is awesome...we’re giving our patients the best care available and this is it. The Defence Secretary said: "I’ve talked to some of the guys...they have their shopping lists...More information »

Tributes to Sqn Ldr Rimon Than

Wg Cdr Ian Richardson, Chairman of the RAFMA said: “Rimon was a unique and talented individual: a fine doctor and a hugely capable climber with extensive experience of the demands of mountaineering at high altitudes. He had only recently returned from a highly successful expedition to the Sichuan Province of China, where his team summited the virgin peak Wupingfen. Seemingly a quiet individual, Rimon had...More information »

Tributes to Flt Lt Fran Capps

Wg Cdr Ian Richardson, Chairman of the RAFMA said: “Flt Lt Fran Capps was a bubbly and enthusiastic member of the committee and Association gaining high altitude experience on an expedition to the Indian Himalayas in 2006. Fran was always smiling, always enthusiastic, always welcoming and always willing to get involved and share her love of the hills with everyone in the Association and beyond. She will be sorely...More information »

Red Arrows 'Safe' - for the time being

No 10 has said the Red Arrows are safe 'For as long as David Cameron is Prime Minister'. The news emerged during David Cameron's trip to India. During the visit the Indian government have shown an interest in purchasing a third order of Hawk aircraft for its Surya Kiran display team. The PM also offered RAF assistance in helping the Indian display team fit smoke pods...More information »

Monday, 18 February 2013

We're only talking 50 DAF trucks and some Land Rover parts...

The Daily Mirror columnist Paul Routledge claims the UK will sell or gift armoured vehicles to Uzbekistan in order to secure a route to return military equipment to the UK. He also alleges that 40% of the UK's 'arsenal' in Afghanistan will be left behind and millions of pounds worth of kit scrapped. The MoD said: "This is not true.The gifting consists of 50 surplus Leyland Daf 4x4 trucks and spare parts for Land Rovers...More information »

Friday, 15 February 2013

The Children (or you!) might be interested to watch Wg Cdr Andy Green on SUPERHUMANS

Join RAF Wg Cdr Andy Green – the fastest man on earth – as he shows his fighter pilot skills and physical qualities on the CBBC channel this Sunday, pitting himself against presenter Tim Fitzhigham. Andy, who works within 22 (Trg) Gp is already the only man ever to have broken the sound barrier on land, and he also holds the world speed record for a diesel car...More information »

Seriously Injured Personnel to receive £7,000 pa for Life

In Apr 13, the MoD and DWP will introduce the Armed Forces Independence Payment, a new benefit for current and former members of the Armed Forces who have been seriously injured as a result of their service. Work and Pensions Minister Esther McVey said: "A considerable sacrifice is made by a number of courageous members of the Armed Forces who have been injured as a result of their service to the Nation...More information »

RAF Lose two exceptional Climbers


An avalanche in the Caingorms has claimed the lives of two members of the RAF Mountaineering Association who were on a meet there this week. The tragedy happened at Charlamain Gap near Aviemore on Thu. Two men and a woman were airlifted to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary. All three have lost their lives...See full details

RAF Support African Mission


A RAF C17 aircraft has flown troops from Ghana to Bamako as part of the UK’s support for the international intervention in Mali. The move was in response to a Ghanaian request. Peter Jones, British High Commissioner to Ghana, said: "This is a moment where the international community is coming together for a shared challenge...See full details

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Pay Recommendations expected

We are expecting the recommendations of the Armed Forces Pay Review Body (AFPRB) to be announced soon. Along with other public sector employees, the Armed Forces are restricted to a maximum 1% pay rise in this coming pay round and even that 1% it is not guaranteed. 2012 was the year X-Factor was due for its 5 year review, currently valued at 14%...More information »

Newspapers criticise Armed Forces for lack of French speakers

It has been reported in the Sun and Times newspapers that only 101 individuals in the Armed Forces speak French. In response the MoD said: "This figure is misleading and only reflects those that have been tested in the last three years. A more accurate representation would be the number of personnel who have previously taken the language test or have declared that they can speak it; in total, 1,450...More information »

Heart-shaped Heart-Throb

'LOVE IS ... A Vulcan at the Air Tattoo'. That’s the belief of the airshow organisers who have chosen Valentine’s Day to announce the participation of an iconic aircraft that continues to inspire strong feelings of passion among its army of supporters.Air Tattoo Chief Executive Tim Prince said: “It was people’s love for the Vulcan and their desire to see it fly again that enabled the incredible fundraising team to do the impossible...More information »

Are You Money Fit? asks Dame Kelly Holmes

The Royal British Legion in conjunction with Standard Life Charitable Trust and with the full co-operation of the MoD have launched a new Money website especially for Armed Forces Personnel and members of their family. Dame Kelly Holmes on the introductory video says: "You might be really fit, really strong or even really fast but how fit are you when it comes to your money?...More information »

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Units to Deploy on Herrick 18 are Announced

The units due to deploy to Afghanistan as part of Operation Herrick 18 have been announced by the Defence Secretary Philip Hammond. The next changeover of UK forces in Afghanistan is due to take place in Apr 13. RAF forces deploying include: 31 Sqn, RAF; Elements of 5 (Army Co-operation) Sqn, RAF; Elements of 32 (The Royal) Sqn, RAF; Elements of Engineering Logistics Wg, RAF Odiham...More information »

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

3 RAF teams involved in Cairngorms rescue

A major search operation was launched over the weekend involving three mountain rescue teams from RAF Leeming, Leuchars and Kinloss. SAR teams and dogs were all involved in the operation to seach for a group of students from Leeds University who had not returned. Five of the party were airlifted by a RAF Lossiemouth Sea King...More information »

Monday, 11 February 2013

Calling 14-18 yr olds for high adventure on the Annington Challenge

After a hugely successful trial of the Annington Challenge last year. Children of Service parents are again invited to take part in an 8 day outward bound adventure. With only £50 to pay, it would seem too good an opportunity to miss... Find out more by reading Josh Booth's account in the RAF FF magazine, Envoy. Aged 14 and living at RAF Benson, Josh said: "I had an amazing time and met some great people...More information »

RAF accused of blowing £6m on Runway for Reds

The Sun on Sunday reported that the RAF is 'blowing' £6m on a runway for the Red Arrows at the same time thousands of soldiers are being axed. In response the MoD said: "As stated to Parliament in Jun 12, the RAF had planned to relocate two major units, namely the Air Surveillance and Control System, responsible for the policing of UK airspace, and the RAF Aerobatic Team from Scampton to Waddington. However,...More information »

RAF Police investigate alleged child sex offences at RAF Gatow in the 80's

Historic allegations of sex abuse at the former RAF base at Gatow in Berlin are being investigated by the RAF Police Special Investigations and Intelligence Branch. The alleged offences took place during the period 1981-89 and involve a former RAF serviceman who was stationed in Berlin during that time. Wg Cdr Mike Dixon said: "We are appealing to potential victims or witnesses to come forward. Anyone who...More information »

"Transition is on Track"

The Secretary of State for Defence, Philip Hammond, has visited UK troops in Helmand as part of a two-day trip to Afghanistan.Philip Hammond said: "Transition is proceeding very well - it is on track, the Afghans are taking more and more responsibility for planning and executing operations and British forces are more and more in an advising and assisting role...More information »

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Tornado Role Demo Team will not display in 2013

Following a review of operational priorities the Tornado GR4 Demonstration Team will not be operating this year. A spokesman for the team said: "We can confirm that the Tornado GR4 Demonstration Team will not be operating this year. This decision has been taken following a review of our operational priorities. No decision has been made regarding the 2014 display season...More information »

French and British fast jet 'Exchange'

Two pilots, one from the RAF and one from the French Air Force, have achieved a ‘double first,’ by qualifying to fly each other’s fast jet aircraft. Typhoon pilot FLt Lt Matt ‘Johno’ Johnstone became the first RAF pilot to go solo on the French Rafale, while Rafale ace Capt Marc-Antoine Gerardhas become the first l'Armée de l'Air officer to fly the Typhoon. Wg Cdr Andre Adamson said it showed 'a remarkable degree of trust...More information »

The House of Commons Defence Committee invite your views

The House of Commons Defence Committee invites Service personnel and their families to take part in an online forum they have set up. The National Audit Office is running two online surveys for the HCDC until the end of Feb 13 or you can access them through the parliament website. They are keen to hear your views - please take this opportunity to tell them your experiences of: The education for Service children and The education of Armed Forces personnel...More information »

HCDC criticise MoD Procurement

A number of media reports cover the findings of a House of Commons Defence Committee report into Defence Acquisition and about the MoD's procurement process. In response Philip Dunne said: "This government has worked tirelessly to eliminate the multi-billion pound black hole we inherited and transform the way we fund and manage the delivery of military equipment...More information »

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

The RAF Families Federation Annual Report 2012 is available to view online.

Click here

Please tell us how effective you think the Armed Forces Covenant is by completing our quick online survey

This RAF FF survey focuses on the Armed Forces Covenant. The two key principles of the Covenant are that: The Armed Forces community should not face any disadvantage compared to others and that special consideration is appropriate in some instances. The 2012 Armed Forces Covenant Annual Report identified progress already been made towards removing disadvantages and outlines the steps...More information

RAF and Navy recruit as Army dismiss

A story in the Sun newspaper reports that recruitment adverts for the RAF and Royal Navy were shown on television on the same day the MoD announced the third tranche of Armed Forces redundancy fields. The story claims that advertising alongside announcing redundancies is 'crass and insensitive'. In response the MoD said, The Armed Forces must continue to recruit...More information »

RAF Neatishead goes on sale on eBay

Ebay: 'We have a unique opportunity to purchase a former RAF base used until recently as a Radar Monitoring Station...' RAF Neatishead together with the underground bunker has been put up for sale on eBay. The asking price £2.5 million. The agent from Barlow Associates said: "The base had been on the market for some time and its is hoped the eBay listing will attract extra interest...More information »

The new Black Hornet Nano UAV - an asset in the palm of your hand

British troops in Afghanistan are the first to use state of the art hand held nano surveillance helicopters. The Black Hornet measures 4 inches by 1 inch and is equipped with a tiny camera which gives troops reliable full motion video and still images. Sgt Christopher Petherbridge said: "Black Hornet is definitely adding value...It is very easy to operate and offers amazing capability...More information »

99 Sqn update from Evreux Airbase

RAF C-17 operations in support of the French military in Mali are continuing from Evreux Airbase near Paris. Since the short notice commencement of Op Newcombe, C-17 Globemaster aircraft operated by 99 Sqn have been flying 5000 mile round trip missions on a near daily basis. Wg Cdr Simon Bellamy said: "I genuinely think the French have warmed to us and enjoyed having us around...See full details

Service Justice and Service Complaints

A story in The Times looks at the Service justice system as well as the issue of Service complaints. In response the MoD said: "These two issues are often conflated when they should not be and it is important for us to set out why we have both. Our Armed Forces can be asked to deploy anywhere in the world, often in unstable areas. This kind of agility and reach, coupled with the professionalism that is their hallmark...More information »

True value of the 'War Pension Scheme'

The Telegraph has reported that injured veterans will see the value of their pension fall compared with the state pension this year. It is reported that the Government is protecting state pensions with a rise of 2.5%, while pensions of injured veterans and widows - through the War Pension Scheme - will rise by only 2.2%, the level of inflation. In response the MoD said:The WPS, despite its name, is not a pension...See full details

RAF becomes NATO Response Force lead

The RAF's Joint Force Air Component Commander has assumed lead responsibility for the NATO Response Force. Air Cdre Martin Sampson said:"This is a really important time for the UK JFAC and the RAF. Operations over Libya emphasised how important our role within NATO is as well as the need to maintain a robust air command and control capability. This year holds many uncertainties, the unfolding events in Africa...See full details

Friday, 1 February 2013

Is the Covenant all its cracked up to be?

This survey builds on previous work on Armed Forces Covenant, enshrined Law and promising to deliver enhanced support to the Armed Forces community, including serving personnel, their families and veterans.

The Covenant made over 100 commitments to identify and address disadvantage arising from service and to provide special support to those bereaved or badly injured whilst serving.
The survey asks: 'Is the Covenant all its cracked up to be?' More information