Representing a Common Heritage


TSW Bergathon 2010

The 14th annual TSW Bergathon was held at Swynnerton Training Area on Thursday  30th September.  For the second year running, the Association entered a team of ex Wing personnel, this year comprising Emma Walker, Neil Buckingham, Cliff Whiteley, Pete Donkin, Bob McBey and Caroline (a friend from the Dutch Army).  The event was well attended with 20 teams representing Army  and RAF units.  The event was won - as usual - by 22 Reg (Gurkha Sqn), with the Association team being 19th overall.  The team did exceptionally well, especially when 2 members stepped in to replace others at short notice and without the normal 3 months training!  Not bad for a bunch of oldies!

Bergathon 2010   Bergathon 2010

Caroline, Bucks and Cliff at the start in the rain!


Pete and Bob on the first lap - 17 miles to go!

Bergathon 2010   Bergathon 2020

Pete, Emma and Bob complete their third and
final lap - with encouragement!


Bob in recovery mode with Sir Joe French

Once again the Association team raised the most money for the chosen charity (Donna Louise Trust): £666 in total.  A big THANK YOU to all Association members who donated money to such a worthy cause.   

Next year’s Bergathon is to be held on the 29th September 2011.  If anyone would like to take part, please do not hesitate but give Bob McBey a call or drop him an e-mail to discuss requirements.   

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The RAFSC & TSW Association is entering an Association Team in this year's TSW Bergathon to be held on Thursdsay 30 September.  The 6 man team is made up of old (or, rather, "ex"!) Wing members led by Bob McBey with Cliff Whitley, Emma Walker, Pete Donkin, Neil Buckingham and Carline from the Dutch Army (secret weapon).  The Bergathon is the annual charity event for TSW and all monies raised this year will go to the Donna Louise Trust Hospice for children.  Any members that wish to sponsor the team at this gruelling event should send a cheque, made payable to Service Funds DCAE RAF Cosford, to Bob McBey at 25 Deepdales, Wildwood, Stafford, ST17 4NE - to arrive by Thursday 14th October. Last year, the Association team raised £555 and are very keen to improve on this total at this year's event.

Watch out for the pictures!

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Tactical Supply Wing Wins the Sir Joe French Award

Very many congratulations to Tactical Supply Wing who have been awarded the Sir Joe French Award - awarded to the individual or unit within Joint Helicopter Command (JHC) who has done the most to enhance the reputation of the Royal Air Force in the Joint Service environment.

Winner: Tactical Supply Wing (TSW)

The Citation :

“TSW is a well-kept secret and lives well away from the limelight.  However, if you were to go to Afghanistan, you would find men and women from this unit popping up everywhere – mostly dusty and dangerous places, and some places that only soldiers would usually be expected to tread.  Without them, JHC units would just not function and the Wing is rightfully awarded for its unstinting performance, courage, sheer enthusiasm and dedication”.

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Machynlleth Air Day



The Machynlleth Air Day, organised by The Rotary Club of Machynlleth in partnership with RAFA, will take place on Tuesday 17th August 2010.  The event will commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain.  Association member, Mal Quick, advises that TSW will be attending with their trailer and other assorted assets.

For further information, see the Rotary International/Machynlleth Air Day web page here.

The Machynlleth Air Day

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2010 AGM and Reunion Dinner

This year's Association Annual General Meeting and Reunion Dinner was held at Stafford on 4th and 5th June.  The event was very well attended and included some 22 Servicing Commando and 58 TSW members and guests.  Indeed, we were delighted to see so many, including 92 year old Percy Lackey of 3209 Servicing Commando who had travelled from New Zealand for the occasion!  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 followed by a buffet lunch in the Sergeants’ Mess.  The ‘free’ afternoon enabled members to join in at the Wing Families Day – always a popular event – which included an Association ‘drinks tent’ for members – and new members! 

On Saturday evening, the Association Annual Dinner was held in the Sergeants' Mess and, once again, proved to be a bit hit with those attending.  The dinner was held slightly earlier this year to enable the bold – and the young at heart – to continue their celebrations late into the night at the Wing’s ‘Hangar Bash’.

Once again, we were very lucky with the weather on Saturday afternoon.  The weekend format has proved to be very popular with more than one post-event message echoing the sentiment “…same again next year please”!

Reunion 2010 Meet and Greet Supper

Members enjoy the Meet and Greet supper at the Tillington Hall

OC TSW, Wg Cdr Tim Etches and the Association Liaison Officer, Sqn Ldr Tom Stevenson, arrive for the AGM

  AGM 2010

Group of 2010

The Likely Lads... or the lads most likely...?
L to R: ??, ??, Cliff Whiteley, Duncan Grant, Gary Priddle (with dog), Tony O'Shea, ??, ??, Paul Griffin, ??, Tim Newstead, ??, Graham Nokes, Ron Hodgson, Ian Jones, Bob McBey, ??

Association Marquee
The Association Marquee

The Association "marquee"...


... with complimentary drinks for members!

Welcome   War stories

Duncan Grant and Tim Newstead welcome Percy Lackey who had travelled from New Zealand for the Reunion

George Revell and Percy Lackey swap Servicing Commando war stories!

Duncan welcomes members to the Reunion Dinner in the Sergeants' Mess

The Menu!   The Raffle!
The menu!

Jim Coleman and Des Peters do some Raffle business with Alan McQuillin!

The main points arising from the AGM were as follows:

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TSW 40th Anniversary Commemorative CD and DVD

Serving and retired members of the Association, with the active support of specialist teams at RAF Cosford and MoD's Defence Film Library, have produced a CD and DVD to commemorate the 40th Anniversary of the formation of Tactical Supply Wing.  The CD contains over 300 photographs presenting a marvellous pictorial history of the Wing’s operations and events during its first 40 years.  The DVD includes 4 films: “Tactical Refuelling” 1977, “Hot Refuelling” 1986 (aka ‘Blazing Nozzles’ and ‘Only Fuels and Hoses’!), “Liquid Lifeline” 2000 and, finally, TSW in Afghanistan on Op HERRICK, made in 2009.

40th Anniversary Collectors DVD
The first 40 years in Photos

Copies of the CD and DVD are available from the Webmaster and Treasurer, Tim Newstead.  We wish to recoup our costs – any surplus will be donated to a charity of the Wing’s choosing – so please give generously; £6 for the two discs, which includes postage and packing, would be fine as a minimum donation. Donations can also be made via PayPal using the Donate button below:

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RAFSC & TSW Association now also on Facebook

The Association now has its own dedicated Facebook page which can be accessed by clicking the facebookacebook logo.

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TSW 40th Anniversary Celebrations

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the formation of Tactical Supply Wing.  The celebrations will be centred on the weekend of 17-19 September with the Freedom of Stafford parade and Battle of Britain commemorations.  Of course, members will already be aware of the forthcoming AGM and Reunion to be held on 4-5 June in conjunction with the TSW Families Day.  Details of the September celebrations will follow in due course.

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Presentation of the President's Award 2009

The very worthy winner of the 2009 President's Award, sponsored by JCB, was SAC Scott Gasser.  The award, which 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, was presented at JCB’s World Headquarters at Rocester, Staffordshire, on 24th March jointly by the Association's President, ACM Sir Joe French, and JCB’s CEO, Mr Alan Bates. 

The visit to JCB included a tour around the Backhoe production line and a viewing of  the static (!) JCB Dieselmax - the diesel-engined 'Streamliner' car which holds the World diesel-powered land speed record, having been driven to over 350 miles per hour (560 km/h) by Wing Commander Andy Green in 2006. 

The day following the presentation SAC Scott Gasser deployed to Afghanistan for his 3rd tour in as many years!

President's Award 2009
President's Award 2009
President's Award 2009

L to R: Sqn Ldr Andy Males (OC TFS), SAC Scott Gasser, Wg Cdr Tim Etches (OC TSW)
Photo courtesy of JCB


Scott Gasser receives a copy of his citation from Sir Joe French
Photo courtesy of JCB


Alan Bates, CEO JCB, presents a momento to Scott Gasser
Photo courtesy of JCB

President's Award 2009

The presentation party with the JCB Dieselmax Streamliner
Photo courtesy of JCB

The Citation

Senior Aircraftsman Gasser joined the Royal Air Force in November 2003 and following his first tour at Royal Air Force Lyneham was posted to the Tactical Supply Wing in January 2006. 

SAC Gasser has conducted himself in an exemplary manner throughout his 3-year tour on TSW.  During this time he has unfailingly impressed the command chain with a responsible and mature attitude which has been coupled with an intelligent and enthusiastic approach to his work. 

During Gasser’s time on TSW, he has consistently met and exceeded the demands associated with his role.  His honesty and integrity, coupled with his outstanding operational and technical competence, generate immediate confidence in his abilities.  This was exemplified through his deployment as Detachment Commander on Exercise MERLIN SCORPION.  Gasser approached this opportunity with vigor and delivered a first rate performance.  Gasser’s commitment and positive approach was further highlighted in this instance by the fact that he had cancelled a personal holiday to ensure that he was available to be considered for the opportunity to lead the deployment.

It was this outstanding commitment to the Service and proven ability that ensured that SAC Gasser was the first choice to undertake the role of A/Cpl at FOB EDINBURGH during his operational tour of Afghanistan.  SAC Gasser was specifically selected for this role by his Detachment Commander due to the anticipated challenges that this forward deployment would bring.  Having already proven his worth at the Main Operating Base, he was deployed to the forward location as a singleton for 4 weeks due to manpower constraints. Undaunted by the fact he would be the sole fuels operator at this extremely isolated, yet strategically important refuel site, he ensured all helicopter tasking and site maintenance were carried out to the highest of standards.  This often entailed working in excess of 18 hour days to meet all tasking in extreme climatic conditions.  His outstanding efforts in maintaining this refuel site received laudable praise from the site Commander who personally contacted the TSW Detachment Commander to pass on his unreserved gratitude. 

Throughout this operational tour and his subsequent deployment to Kenya, SAC Gasser has been a pivotal team player.  Irrespective of the task he has shown that he possesses excellent interpersonal skills and he clearly promotes cohesion within a team. 

In addition to the extremely challenging work load in his primary role, SAC Gasser has displayed immense capacity in the delivery of effect in a variety of secondary duties.  He has been instrumental in raising in excess of £4000 for charity this year, undertaking events in support of the Catherine House Hospice, Marie Curie and Help for Heroes.  Not content to rest on his laurels, Gasser also volunteered to collect donations for the Royal Air Force Association in various local towns over consecutive weekends. 

Gasser is an exceptionally physically fit Airman, who has reached the “excellent standard” in his annual fitness test.  Putting this physical stamina to good use he participated in a charity endurance race whilst on an operational tour of Afghanistan.  He also completed the Dancon Charity March around camp Bastion in support of the Danish Armed Forces.

In addition to all of this, SAC Gasser has given his time freely in support of the local community, volunteering to assist in both the Doxey Marsh clean up project and the provision of ATC Summer and Easter camps.  He also finds the time to play football for TSW and is an active member of the TSW Rugby club.

SAC Gasser consistently performs in a highly professional manner, both in his primary and secondary duties.  Gasser is a dedicated professional whose military conduct and bearing are outstanding.  In summary, SAC Gasser possesses the determination, spirit and professional dedication that will provide the cornerstone of tomorrow’s Royal Air Force.

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Arrangements for the 2010 AGM and Reunion Dinner – 5th June 2010

A TSW Member’s View
(Originally posted on the Guest Book)
“We've had a great time the previous few years and it’s like walking into a time warp, getting together with old mates and colleagues, having a beer, a laugh and boring the **** off each other with war stories which sound even better when you embellish them.....  Life is pretty short, so get yourselves down there to Stafford and let your old friends and colleagues know about it.  The more the merrier!  See you there.”

By now, all paid-up members of the Association should have received the Spring Newsletter with details of this year’s AGM and Reunion in June. 

We have, again, secured preferential rates at a local hotel in Stafford for those who wish to stay overnight.  A buffet supper will be available at the hotel on the Friday night 4th June for those wishing to make it.

The AGM itself will take place on Saturday 5th June starting at 1100 in the Sergeants’ Mess, with coffee being served from 1030.  As last year, the AGM will be followed by a buffet lunch in the Sgts’ Mess paid for by Association funds.  All are very welcome to join in the TSW Families Day activities during the afternoon.  As in previous years there will be a number of displays and activities to interest and amuse.  To mark the 40th Anniversary of the Wing, members are invited to make their way to the Association Hospitality area (white mini marquee and signs will make it stand out!) at the rear of HQ TSW where we will be offering free drinks on production of your Membership Card!  Through the good offices of the Wing, we have once again arranged the dinner in the Sgts’ Mess – this too will be subsidised by the Association.  To accommodate those members who also wish to attend the TSW Hangar Bash later in the evening, dinner is timed at 1830 for 1900.  As usual, transport to and from the hotel will be arranged for those who require it. 

If you have not received the Newsletter and wish to come along to the Reunion, please do get in touch with Duncan Grant, Tim Newstead or Bob McBey and we will forward the details, including an Application Form, to you.  Bob has kindly agreed to help in the pre-dinner admin this year; completed Application Forms and cheques should be forwarded to him by 7th May 2010 at the latest.

All in all, it promises to be a crackin’ time and we hope that as many members as possible will come along; we look forward to seeing you!

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Missing Person!

We are anxious to trace the anonymous member who paid his/her £10 subscription to the Association by Standing Order on 1st June 2009.  Unfortunately, a name was not included with the payment and we have, thus, been unable to credit the payment to the member!  No big deal, you may think; however, in order to keep our costs down, we are now restricting distribution of Newsletters, Reunion calling notices etc to paid-up members only - so there is a probability that, without his membership having been properly recognised, a paying member is missing out.  Moreover, we are about to issue Membership cards to current paid-up members - which, it is planned, will offer some benefit to members at this year's TSW Families Day during the Reunion weekend.

So, if you - or someone you know - paid their subscription by Standing Order on 1st June 2009 and are wondering why you have not heard much since, please get in touch - we know which bank and branch the payment was made from (we just don't know the subscriber's name!) - and we will be able to credit the subscription accordingly.

If, on the other hand you have not renewed your subscription - for whatever reason - and would like to rejoin the Association for the 40th Anniversary celebrations starting this year - we would be delighted to hear from you.  Subscriptions remain unchanged at £10 annually and can be paid - preferably by Standing Order - or by cheque - please ask for details.

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Ex-TSW Airmen in Haiti Earthquake

Two ex TSW airmen, Wayne Shelton and Steve Towler, have been caught up in the devastating earthquake in Haiti - both were working for the United Nations in the country when the earthquake struck.  Wayne and Steve served on the Wing on Ops, Eng and Training in the mid-1990s.  Click here to read more about their story and their plea for the aid effort which was published in the Staffordshire Newsletter on 21st January 2010.

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History Archive Project

Following the 2007 AGM, Sqn Ldr Peter Berry very kindly volunteered to become the Association's Historical Focal Point - we wonder if he knew the work he was volunteering for!!  His first task was to lead the very successful project which culminated in the opening of the display at the RAF Museum Hendon in October 2008.  The wealth of information that Peter had collected soon made him realise the need to properly catalogue and protect this precious material and so he set about the archive project.  Though not particularly difficult, the task has been very time consuming sifting through all the information and collating it into some sort of order.  Peter has placed the items into protective plastic wallets which are then collected together in document boxes for storage, each with a referenced contents list.  As with all projects, there is more work still to do to improve subject/contributor/date/theatre grouping, but now that all the items are protected, this can be done in slower time.  We are very grateful to Peter for his hard work - particularly as he also has a full-time job which takes him away from home for a couple of days or more each week - if you want a job doing well, give it to a busy man....?!  Very many thanks Peter!


The Archive
The Archive
The Archive

Box and contents ready for assembly!


Nice work if you can get it!!


The completed Boxes

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