THE ROYAL AIR FORCE SERVICING COMMANDO
and
TACTICAL SUPPLY WING ASSOCIATION

Representing a Common Heritage


NEWS ARCHIVE 2009


Presentation of White Goods

At the 2009 AGM it was decided to offer a sizeable sum of money to the Wing for a major investment for the benefit of Wing personnel.  It was subsequently agreed that the Association would fund the purchase of kitchen appliances for use in the snack preparation areas of the TSW barrack blocks at MOD Stafford; the Association purchased 3 table-top induction hobs, 3 combination microwave ovens and 2 large freezers.  The picture below shows the presentation of the goods to TSW barrack block residents by Association Chairman, Duncan Grant, accompanied by the Welfare & Publicity Member, Des Peters.

Presentation of White Goods

Standing L to R: Des Peters, Cpl Dave Richardson, Duncan Grant
Kneeling L to R: Cpl Dave Averall, SAC John Mason

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Extended Membership Entitlement

The 2009 AGM mandated the Association Committee to make arrangements to extend membership to those colleagues who had served in the Tactical Supply and Fuels organisations at RAF Wildenrath and, later, at RAF Gutersloh.  Advertisements will be placed in the RAF News and RAFA 'Air Mail' Newsletter.  However, if you know anybody who would like to join the Association who meets the new criteria, please get them to apply!  A Membership Application Form is available via the Membership page.  Any queries should be addressed to our chairman, Duncan Grant.

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Chairman Places Poppies at Servicing Commando Memorial

The Association chairman, Duncan Grant places a set of poppies at the Servicing Commando memorial

On the occasion of the 25th year since the formation of  the  Servicing Commando Association, our Chairman placed a Remembrance set of Poppies at the Servicing Commando Memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum during Armistice Week.

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TSW Bergathon 2009

The annual TSW Bergathon was held at Swynnerton Training camp, Staffordshire, on the 1st October 2009.  The competition comprised of 23 teams entering from various Army and RAF military organisations.  For the first time, the Association was represented by 6 former Wing members.

The event included a march over a 10km circuit, while carrying a rifle and a 35lb bergan.  Each team consisted of 6 personnel, broken down into 2 teams of 3.  The teams completed a total of 3 laps, each person completing 30km with team total of 180km; every lap was followed by a competition shoot on the Dismounted Close Combat Trainer (DCCT) range.  Ten seconds were deducted from the total time taken for each hit on target.

The Association Bergathon Team

Graham Nokes, Bob McBey, Jim Coleman, Norrie Murray, Neil Buckingham and Cliff Whitley

The Association team comprised Graham Nokes, Bob McBey, Jim Coleman, Norrie Murray, Neil Buckingham and Cliff Whitley.  In preparation for the event, the team trained weekly on Cannock Chase for 2 months; the training effort paid off with the team achieving some fast lap timings on the day.  Unfortunately, they lacked the necessary skill when it came to the shooting, understandably so, as only 2 of the team had fired the SA80 rifle before - and that was some time previously!  So, as one might expect, the scores were rather poor. 

Neil Buckingham and Jim Coleman
 
Graham Nokes

Neil Buckingham and Jim Coleman slog it out!

 

Cliff Whitley, Graham Nokes, and Norrie Murray on the march!

The event went without a hitch on the day and the organisation of the event was exceptional, all due to the efforts of the TSW holding officer Rory Wood.  The team was finally placed at 21 out of 23 having beaten the Defence Fuels Group Team and the TSW SNCOs Team.  Presentation of awards was held in the TSW MT hanger and Jim Coleman was presented with a trophy for the oldest participant ever to complete the Bergathon - aged 67 - a worthy award; well done Jim!   The team raised approximately £500 for the Katherine House Hospice, the TSW Charity.  The team are now nursing their blisters and contemplating an entry in next years event!  Volunteers are always welcome!!!

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2009 AGM and Reunion Dinner

The Association's 2009 AGM and Reunion Dinner was held at Stafford during the weekend of 29th 30th May 2009.  The event was attended by over 60 members.  As usual, the weekend started with a ‘meet and greet’ at the Tillington Hall Hotel on the Friday evening. The AGM was held on the Saturday morning, which preceded the TSW Families Day at Beacon Barracks, while some 20 members visited the National Memorial Aboretum at Alrewas for the dedication of the plaque to the Fallen Servicing Commandos of WWII. On Saturday evening, the Association Annual Dinner was held, this year, in the Sergeants' Mess.  Many of the younger (and not so young!) stalwarts then continued their celebrations at the Wing's Hangar Bash until the early hours.  The weekend was a huge success and a great time was had by all!

The Wing has obtained a limited-edition print of the painting “St Croix Sur Mer” by Robert Taylor.  The print had been signed the artist and 3 aircrew members – AVM Johnnie Johnson, Sqn Ldr Danny Browne and Flt Lt Larry Robillard; prior to the dinner, all the Servicing Commando members present also added their signatures to the painting.  The print will go on display in the Mountbatten Room of the Officers' Mess, along with other Servicing Commando memorabilia.

 

AGM   Signing the Picture

Members gather for the AGM in the Sgts' Mess

Servicing Commandos sign the picture - Alan "Mac" McQuillin with pen, watched by Ernie Deighton and Alec Sharp; Len Cole chats with John Andrews in the background

Would you buy a used car from this lot?!   Members enjoy the dinner

Would you buy a used car from this lot?!
L to R: Duncan Grant, Malcolm Quick, Richard Lennard and Tommy Farr

 

A great time was had by all!
L to R: Cynthia Deighton, Pauline Luckett, Mary Luckett, George Revell, Ena Taylor, Rae Taylor and Ernie Deighton

The main points arising from the AGM were as follows:

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The Wing Returns from Iraq

Tactical Supply Wing, which has been refuelling battlefield helicopters in Iraq for the last six years, has now returned home.  Click here for the MOD Defence News article.

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Dedication of Plaque to the Fallen Servicing Commandos

On Saturday 30th May, during the afternoon of the Reunion celebrations, a short re-dedication service was held at the National Memorial Arboretum at Alrewas to mark the installation of the plaque commemorating the Fallen Servicing Commandos of WWII.  The service was conducted by the Chairman, Duncan Grant, and Treasurer, Tim Newstead, and was attended by a number of Servicing Commandos and family members - over 20 in total.  George Revell laid a Poppy Posy on behalf of all members of the RAFSC&TSW Association.

Plaque to the Fallen
 
Arboretum1
 
Arboretum 2

 

The plaque and Poppy posy laid on behalf of
all Association members

 

Alan McQuillin (3210 SC) and Len Cole (3206 SC) inspect the plaque, George Revell (3207 SC) behind

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Presentation of the President's Award 2008

The President's Award for 2008, sponsored by JCB, is given to the airman or airwoman who has consistently displayed an exemplary, proactive, determined and wholly professional performance in all his - or her - duties.  The 2008 winner was SAC Carl "Taff" Woolway.  The award was presented at TSW, MOD Stafford, on 12th March 2009 jointly by the Association's President, ACM Sir Joe French, and JCB’s Director & General Manager of Defence Products, Mr Michael Leeming.  Prior to the award ceremony, the presentation party were given a guided tour of TSW equipment and vehicles where the visitors were briefed on the various tasks and modus operandi of the Wing.  The Wing put on a magnificent display and the professionalism and enthusiasm of all involved really shone through; it was good to see the legacy of the Wing in such good hands.

SAC Woolway receives the 2008 Award
 
SAC Woolway receives the 2008 Award
 
Taff Woolway receives the President's Award trophy, sponsored by JCB, from Sir Joe
 
Mr Michael Leeming, JCB Director of Defence Products, presents a personal memento depicting a High-Mobility Backhoe Loader to Taff Woolway
 
Taff Woolway receives his certificate and book token from Sir Joe

TSW Demo
 
TSW Demo
Part of the TSW demonstration
 
The visitors are briefed on TSW para capabilities

The Citation

Senior Aircraftman (SAC) Carl ‘Taff’ Woolway joined the Royal Air Force in May 2002 aged 20.  Having completed Initial Training at RAF Halton and the Defence School of Transport at Leconfield, he spent 4½ years at RAF Odiham before being posted to Tactical Supply Wing (TSW) in Aug 2006.

Following completion of initial TSW training, he deployed to a number of locations overseas including exercises in Norway and Kenya and an operational deployment to Iraq.  During this time he amassed an impressive total of over 200 days deployed in a single year, most of which has been voluntarily.  SAC Woolway is without doubt a professional and competent tradesman whose abilities are trusted by all. Consequently, this has seen him adopt the position of acting Corporal on many occasions; a position he has taken seriously and carried out with meticulous professionalism.  On exercise in Norway, his dedication, combined with his trade ability in the care and preparation of TSW equipment and vehicles, enabled short notice taskings to be carried out in the hostile and austere environment.  Indeed, his efforts were highly praised by the Joint Helicopter Force Commander.  In Iraq he took control of the detachment’s specialist equipment; historically known for requiring a high level of knowledge to use, and which was vital to vehicles completing convoy moves outside the ‘wire’.  SAC Woolway, in true manner, quickly became fully conversant with all aspects of the equipment fitment and its use.  He then took it upon himself to pass on the knowledge that he had gained to other members of the detachment who were required to operate the equipment.

When the JNCO MT CES was detached for a 3-month Out-of-Area commitment, SAC Woolway was the natural choice for his superiors to fulfil the shortfall.  Once again as acting Corporal, he completed his duties to an extremely high standard.  In late 2008, TSW were asked by the MT Trade Sponsor to accommodate six airmen holding between recruit and trade training.  SAC Woolway volunteered in his capacity as an acting Corporal living-in to act as mentor to the newly arrived personnel.  His action proved pivotal in ensuring that their secondment with TSW was both memorable and enjoyable whilst ensuring Service discipline and ethos were upheld for their return to Phase 2 training.  SAC Woolway excelled in this task.  He demonstrated that his leadership, development and trade experience qualities are well above that expected of his current rank.  His dedication to the Service extends beyond his primary duties.  He is a valued member of the TSW Social and Welfare Committee and also acts as the Deputy Bar Manager for the TSW bar; all of which is carried out in his own time.  He has also recently volunteered to be a member of the Station Amenities Centre Committee.

Whether on operations, exercises or based at MOD Stafford, SAC Woolway has consistently displayed an exemplary, proactive, and wholly professional performance in all the duties he has undertaken.  As a result he has gained an enormous amount of respect on TSW and within the Tri-Service environment in which he has been employed.  He has positively met the Royal Air Force’s challenge and has, without doubt, ‘Risen above the Rest’.  In recognition of his efforts, SAC Woolway is the worthy winner of the RAF Servicing Commando and Tactical Supply Wing Association’s President’s Award for 2008.

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2009 Reunion and AGM

The Newsletter and calling notice for the 2009 Reunion and AGM was published on 10 February - to some by e-mail, and to those for whom we don't have an e-mail address, by post.  The information was sent to the last known address, if you have not received this, please contact the Chairman or Treasurer as soon as possible.  Please ensure that your booking form and cheque are returned to the Chairman by 16 April - thank you!

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Photographs Wanted!

We are working on a project - led by Martin Williams - to put together a DVD of TSW activities.  Martin has a range of photos - many from Wing archives, which gives us a good starting point.  However, out there amongst you all there are no doubt some who have photographs hidden away in the attic or cellar.  Do have a look and select a few to send on to Martin.  If you would rather not post them, please bring them along to the AGM where arrangements will be made to copy them.  Please include as much information as you can - location, dates and names.  Many thanks.

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ASSOCIATION STALWART RETIRES FROM THE FRONT LINE!

WO Bob McBey

Yes, it has finally happened.  The indefatigable Bob McBey’s years have finally caught up with him - even if the RAF hasn’t! 

Bob has been a stalwart in supporting the new Association since it was formed.  Without his able support and counsel (not too many questions asked!) life would have been a great deal more difficult in keeping the show on the road and providing the essential components in running the Association.

Of course he had a good grounding, having joined as an Admin Apprentice in 1970 from his beloved Aberdeenshire.  In spite of what many think, he actually did serve in locations another than TSW at Stafford!  These included a tour at Saxa Vord in the Shetland Islands (where the whisky economy took a down turn after his posting south), another Island paradise, Gan in the Maldives, and of course being an RAF stalwart, a tour in Lincolnshire (Coningsby)!

However, he is best remembered for his time at TSW - in various ranks.  Clearly his continued elevation meant he was never caught!!  Of course, it was while on TSW that he met and married Shirley; what a brave lady she has been!  However, perhaps as a former TSW administrator she knew what the challenge was!

Bob was never happier than being out of the office and avoiding senior management so that he could run events in his way!  So much has he enjoyed the outdoors that he has graced the Falkland Islands, Iraq and Afghanistan with his presence.  Of course presence is what he has, being a mountain of a man.  It was for his work in Operation Granby (Gulf War 1) that he was awarded the BEM.

After 38 years in Blue (or DPM) Bob moves on to pastures new.  We wish him and Shirley well and look forward to his continued support for the Association.

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Click here to browse the News archive 2015
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Click here to browse the News archive 2013
Click here to browse the News archive 2012
Click here to browse the News archive 2011
Click here to browse the News archive 2010
Click here to browse the News archive 2009
Click here to browse the News archive 2008
Click here to browse the News archive 2007

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