Wednesday, 27 March 2013

The inside track on Universal Credit

Universal Credit is to be introduced as a single payment for people who are looking for work or on a low income. The system will be rolled out nationally in Oct 13 but will go live in the Greater Manchester and Cheshire regions in Apr 13. Universal Credit looks to simplify the... More information

Typhoon Display Pilot passes Muster

Typhoon pilot Flt Lt Jamie Norris has received his Public Display Authorisation for the 2013 RAF Typhoon Display. The Public Display Authorisation is the formal sign-off, completed by AOC No 1 Gp, AVMl Stuart Atha. In order to achieve PDA the pilot has to satisfy the AOC that he can deliver a flying... More information

RAF Chinook called in to help save Sheep

As well as all the emergency work being done by RAF SAR a Chinook has also been called in to help - this time to drop fodder for sheep farmers unable to help their own flocks because of the appalling weather. A RAF Chinook arrives at Flying Stn Aldergrove, to be loaded with animal feed for distribution to farms inaccessible by road. Working alongside the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development to identify... More information

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

HASC and Helpdesk Easter Opening

The Housing Allocations Service Centre (HASC) will close its telephone lines at 12 noon on Thu 28 Mar 13 reopening at 0830hrs on Tue 2 Apr 13. The online application system will continue to be available throughout the Easter period. The maintenance Helpdesks will also remain open during the Easter period for... More information

Good-bye to 70 years of Outstanding Service

The Department for Transport has announced that the Bristow Group will take over search and rescue from the RAF replacing the Sea King with the more modern Sikorsky S-92, ending 70 years of military search and rescue.The ten year contract, is estimated to be worth £1.6bn. It is understood Bristows, which until 1996 was a British company, will operate two aircraft from 10 sites around the UK with all operating bases providing... More information

Lightning II to be based at RAF Marham

The UK's Lightning II stealth fighter aircraft is to be based at RAF Marham. Defence Secretary Philip Hammond made the announcement in a move to secure the future of the base. The decision will mean new investment and infrastructure to make RAF Marham the Main Operating Base for the aircraft. Lightning II will be jointly operated by the Royal Air Force and... More information

Monday, 25 March 2013

RAF teach language and aviation to Afghan Airforce

RAF teach language and aviation to Afghan Airforce. Flt Lt Oliver Burrell, a future RAF Chinook pilot, is a Thunder Lab Mentor conducting vital language and aviation training to aspiring Afghan pilots. He starts teaching the fledgling flyers once they have achieved a 80% pass on their critical English Language exams. Oli, from Pease Pottage, near Gatwick, is providing... More information

Easter tours for Children at IWM Duxford

Easter tours for Children at IWM Duxford. From the team at IWM Duxford:  There's an exciting Easter ahead at IWM Duxford. Our Easter holiday activities take you back in time to a wartime childhood, or you can revisit your own childhood with our Airfix Make and Paint activities.  Our new permanent exhibition, Historic Duxford, opens to... More information

Friday, 22 March 2013

100 Days to go until Armed Forces Day 2013

Today marks the 100 day countdown to Armed Forces Day 2013 – a chance for the nation to show their support for the Armed Forces for their outstanding contribution to the country. The national event will be held on Sat 29 Jun in Nottingham and will provide a focus for the country’s celebrations, alongside hundreds of local events held up and down the UK.  As well as showing... More information

RAF Families Federation receives £235,000 share of bank fines

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, has provided to the RAF Families Federation £235,000 to support the implementation of the Armed Forces Covenant. The money comes from the £35million of fines paid by banks after some employees were found to have attempted to... More information

RAF Operational Honours and Awards

Honours and awards that recognise service in Afghanistan and national operations for the period 1 Apr - 30 Sep  12 have been announced. Afghanistan: Appointment to the Military Division of the Most... More information

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Protect your family - FREE safety checks

SFA benefits from a comprehensive repair and maintenance service that includes regular safety checks that are free to occupants – checking gas appliances is an example. The MoD has a legal obligation to carry out these inspections and under the Licence to... More information

Those in Cyprus - Don't miss the midday deadline tomorrow (Fri)

Following the financial crisis in Cyprus HQ British Forces Cyprus are advising personnel to confirm with their chain of command that their salary payment for March will go into a UK bank account. The deadline for doing this is Midday Fri 22 Mar 13. Commander British Forces Cyprus, Major General Richard Cripwell, had this advice... More information

The Typhoons - First timers on Red Flag.

Red Flag is the largest air combat exercise of the year. Taking place in the US it was the Typhoon's first foray. Coningsby based XI(F) Sqn joined Tornado GR4s from Lossiemouth’s 12(B) Sqn. The RAF Det Cdr, Gp Capt Johnny Stringer said: "Red Flag is... More information

Dan Snow unveils 617 Sqn Tail Art

Historian and television presenter Dan Snow has unveiled the tail art painted on to a 617 Sqn Tornado to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the formation the Dambuster Sqn on this day 70 years ago. The unveiling took place at RAF Coningsby where the squadron was based in 1943 rather than at RAF... More information

RAF Operational pilot takes the Lightning skyward

The first solo flight of the F-35B Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) by a UK operational pilot has taken place at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. Sqn Ldr Frankie Buchler piloted the fifth-generation multi-role stealth aircraft for the first time. The RAF pilot has been stationed at the Florida base since November undergoing intensive training in the sim on the JSF which will equip both RAF and RN squadrons in the future. Speaking after his flight Sqn Ldr Buchler said... More information

An inspirational drama & music project for young people of Hampshire

This is potentially a life-changing opportunity. By the end of the project as well as performing in front of a live audience, these young people will have created rousing pieces of music, achieved an Arts Award, recorded interviews for oral history use in the future, created banners for display across Hampshire and, most importantly, made some friends for life. The EDGE Project, an initiative of Hampshire Museums & Galleries Trust and the Winchester based, Discarded Nut Theatre Company are offering young people from Armed Forces families... More information

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Armed Forces to receive X-factor pay rise

The Chancellor, George Osborne, in his budget speech, has announced that Service personnel are to be awarded a pay rise of of 1.5%. This is the 1% already announced and half of one per cent in X-factor which until now had been... More information

Proposed Childcare Voucher Scheme and how it may affect You

The Government is proposing a new Childcare Voucher Scheme. It is receiving a lot of positive press but if only one parent is working you will not qualify... More information

RAF fly cash to Cyprus to help Service personnel and their families

The RAF, yesterday evening, flew an aircraft to Cyprus carrying one million euros to help service personnel and their families in the midst of the financial crisis on the island. The MoD said the cash was to provide emergency loans in an attempt to lessen the impact of the bank closures on service personnel. The MoD is also asking personnel if they would prefer... More information

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

New Chief of the Defence Staff is Appointed

Her Majesty The Queen has approved the appointment of General Sir Nicholas Houghton GCB CBE ADC Gen to take over from General Sir David Richards GCB CBE DSO ADC Gen as the next Chief of the Defence Staff in July 2013. Philip Hammond, Secretary of State for Defence, said... More information

Cypriot Crisis - Only 'reasonable losses' covered

There are approximately 3,000 service personnel in Cyprus who could to be affected by the bank levy situation. It is understood that the renegotiation talks will take place today (Tue 19 Mar 13). The Government has already said it would compensate for losses suffered by service personnel however... More information

Monday, 18 March 2013

BIG Bang Fair - Selling careers in Military Engineering

The exhibition and National Science and Engineering Week, (15-24 Mar 13), are shining the spotlight on how science, technology, engineering and maths relate to our everyday lives. On the stand selling military engineering is the Bloodhound supersonic car project. The groundbreaking UK project which aims to design and build a car capable of... More information

Bank crisis in Cyprus - Personnel will be compensated

In an unfolding crisis in the Eurozone, Cyprus has been issued terms of a bailout. As part of these terms individuals, including any Service personnel with accounts in Cyprus, with less than 100,000 euros in their accounts would have to pay a one off tax of 6.75%. Those with amounts over this are required... More information

The Formation of Squadron X

The Formation of Squadron X. It was on 17 March 1943 that Wg Cdr Guy Gibson at the age of 24 was told to form Squadron X later to become 617 Sqn. Read the story of the Dambusters at it unfolds month by month between now and the night of 16-17 May. Here the first two... More information

Comic Cold baked beans not a Relief!

Comic Cold baked beans not a Relief!. Sgt Jason Woollett and Cpl Rhys Holt, chefs from the Catering Squadron at RAF Marham, took a bath in cold baked beans for Comic Relief. Customers to the Junior Ranks Mess at lunchtime paid £1 for a cup of cold beans, which they then poured over the heads of the waiting chefs. The record for the day was the £12 donation for the 12 cups made by Sgt Woollett’s fiancée! The pair have... More information

Friday, 15 March 2013

Grabbing the headlines - Service personnel and violent crime

A report in the medical journal The Lancet suggests those who have served in the Armed Forces are more likely to commit violent crime than anyone else. In response a spokesman for the MoD said: "The results of a new study funded by MoD which investigated the risk of violent offending among UK military personnel deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan have been... More information

MoD responds to news surrounding Armed Forces pay Decision

"It has been reported that the Ministry of Defence has not accepted the recommendation of the Armed Forces' Pay Review Body (AFPRB) for a 0.5% increase in the X-Factor, a supplement added to Forces wages to reflect the hardships and uncertainties of military life.  "MoD has accepted... More information

Prime Minister removes AFPRB top man from office

The media is reporting that the head of the Armed Forces Pay Review Body has been 'sacked' for recommending pay rises for the Armed Forces... More information

Government not accepted recommendation to raise X-Factor

The 2013 report of the Armed Forces’ Pay Review Body (AFPRB) has made it recommendations in its report to the Government. The Government has not accepted the recommendation to raise X-Factor by 0.5%. All other recommendations put forward by the AFPRB have been accepted and will take effect from 1 Apr 13. The AFPRB Recommendations were: A 1% increase... More information

In a new Display - The History of RAF Duxford


A new Duxford permanent exhibition has been under development for almost two decades, with the creation and delivery taking three years to complete. Steve Woolford, Head of Interpretation and Collections, said  "IWM Duxford is famously known for its air shows and... More information

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Op Ice Cream is Back with its free vanilla morale booster

The BFBS Op Ice Cream will be whipping up morale at stations and garrisons throughout 2013 as it gets back on the road for the fourth year running. Any unit can call on the desert-camouflaged van to hand out free cones at events for service families, but those with troops deployed on Op Herrick take top... More information

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

The armed forces Independence Payment explained

The MoD, in conjunction with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), will introduce a new benefit called the Armed Forces Independence Payment (AFIP) on Mon 8 Apr 13. AFIP is a simplification of the financial support available for members of the Armed Forces who have been seriously injured as a result of military service since 6 Apri 05. AFIP will provide... More information

Some parents of armed forces personnel exempt 'Bedroom Tax'

'Bedroom tax' or 'spare room subsidy' is to be levied on those who live in social housing but do not fully occupy all the bedrooms. Work and Pensions Secretary, Iain Duncan Smith said the tax was absolutely vital as too many people were living in social accommodation which they did not fully occupy while millions of others were living in overcrowded spaces or sitting on waiting lists for extended periods. Students were...More information

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

You've got to be joking!

The Armed Forces Covenant is all about removing disadvantage for those who serve in the Armed Forces. The Government acknowleges that there is indeed disadvantages when it comes to everyday issues like health housing and education. When the Covenant was launched in May 11, it stated... More information

RAF Concert Tour - Encore! A Salute to the Dambusters

Tickets have gone on sale for a national concert tour by the RAF that salutes the indomitable spirit embodied by men and women from the ‘Dambusters Generation’ which helped inspire the famous Second World War operation 70 years ago. Called Encore! A Salute to the Dambusters Generation, the concert tour by the Bands of the Royal Air Force will feature a stirring musical programme reflecting the camaraderie and fortitude from ... More information

More 'Contact' Accommodation for RAF Shawbury

Personnel at RAF Shawbury can now spend more time with their families with the opening of two new Contact Flats.The flats were officially opened Air Marshal Sir Andrew Pulford KCB CBE RAF, Deputy Commander Capability and Air Member for Personnel and Capability during his visit to the Station to meet personnel and... More information

RAF are cool interservice Champions

RAF Bobsleigh, Luge and Skeleton are celebrating remarkable results, after all three RAF Ice Sports teams took victory in the Inter-Service Championships. First blood went to the RAF’s long-dominant Skeleton team, with SAC Reece Thornbury taking victory in the Men’s by an incredible... More information

The Spring 13 issue of Envoy is now available

The Spring 13 issue of Envoy is available online. Articles include Afghanistan Revealed, Sitting Ducks, Our daughter's turn to Go and the RAF Dambuster mentality - then and now. Don't miss out... Click Here

Monday, 11 March 2013

Drone Wars Waged from Waddington...

The Mail on Sunday reported over the weekend that RAF Waddington is being used by the US to wage 'drone warfare' on parts of Africa. In response the MoD said: "This report has no factual basis whatsoever. Whilst it is the case that RAF Waddington will employ some US personnel...More information

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Gp Capt Sara Mackmin assumes command of RAF SAR

Gp Capt Sara Mackmin assumes command of RAF SAR. On International Women’s Day one of the Armed Forces’ top female aviators has taken command of the RAF’s Search and Rescue Force. Gp Capt Sara Mackmin, will oversee all RAF search and rescue operations across the UK and the Falkland Islands.The appointment is Gp Capt Mackmin’s latest move in a career that has seen her achieve a number of firsts in the RAF. She also a volunteer with the...More information

Thursday, 7 March 2013

'Non-lethal' assistance to Syrian opposition

Foreign Secretary William Hague has said the UK is to provide 'non-lethal' equipment to opposition forces in Syria. In this is included the provision of non-combat armoured vehicles, body armour, search and rescue and communications equipment and training...More information

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

At £50 for the week its too good an opportunity to miss!

The Annington Trust is again offering to sponsor forty-three 14-18yr olds from Service families across the UK on an 8-day Outward Bound adventure courses at Ullswater, Loch Eil and Aberdovey. The closing date for applications for the Annington Challenge is Sun 31 Mar 13. For only £50 as a contribution for the week its too good an opportunity to miss...More information

Detail of Army rebasing

Yesterday in The House the Defence Secretary set out the plan for Army rebasing, the withdrawal of troops from Germany and the concentration of Army units around 7 main locations in the UK...More information

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Cosford Airshow tickets go on Sale

On Wed 6 Mar 13, tickets for this summer's RAF Cosford Air Show go on sale. The airshow is one of only three official RAF airshows in the UK and takes place on Sun 9 Jun 13.
The announcement follows confirmation that RAF Cosford has been nominated to include in its 2013 display the Red Arrows. Last year more than 38,000 people attended the air show and organisers are anticipating another bumper turn-out at the West Midlands’ largest ...More information

Altas boost at RAF Brize Norton

RAF pilots and ground crew who will operate the A400M Atlas aircraft are to benefit from state of the art training facilities thanks to a new multi million pound contract.The MoD is investing £226 million on a specialist training school at RAF Brize Norton where the fleet of transport aircraft will be based. It will house two full flight simulators to train RAF pilots, a specialist workstation to train loadmasters, a cockpit simulator to train engineers and a suite of computer-based training equipment. The facility will allow all personnel...More information

Rebasing shake-up to be announced today

Rebasing shake-up to be announced today. The Defence Secretary is expected announce today how rebasing will look in the future. It is thought the MoD is to spend £1.8 billion in a move to build 1,900 SFA and 7,800 SLA. The 2010 SDSR announced the complete withdrawal of troops from Germany and it expected the majority will  be back on UK soil by 2016 and the remainder by 2019. The MoD are saying this will pump £240 million a year back into the UK economy...More information

Monday, 4 March 2013

More cuts will erode our military capability

The Defence Secretary, Philip Hammond has been speaking out about the effect of any more cuts on the future capabilities of the UKs Armed Forces. He suggested further cuts would leave the Armed Forces with a hughly reduced capability and that George Osboune should look to other Governement departments for any further saving citing the welfare budget as possible area where money could be saved...More information