THE ROYAL AIR FORCE SERVICING COMMANDO
and
TACTICAL SUPPLY WING ASSOCIATION

Representing a Common Heritage


NEWS ARCHIVE 2011


Association Ties in Stock

We have a limited number of Association ties in stock again. The design depicts in prominent fashion the Servicing Commando Badge and TSW Crest on a dark blue background with diagonal silver blue and red stripes in surround. Repeats of the Badge and Crest are given in background embossing throughout the rest of the tie.

The tie is available to paid-up Association members from the Treasurer at a cost of £9.45.

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The Association AGM and Reunion Dinner 2012 - Warning Order

Just to keep you up to date with progress and so that you can note the dates in your diaries…  

The RAFSC & TSW Association AGM and Reunion dinner will revert to the previous format in 2012.  However, in order to de-conflict with the Diamond Jubilee celebrations, the AGM and Dinner will be held on Saturday 16th June 2012 around the TSW Families Day.  We very much hope that you will be able to get to the weekend’s events.  Full details will be published in the annual Newsletter to members which should hit the news-stands very shortly.

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TSW Bergathon 2011

As announced previously, the Association once again entered a Team in this year's TSW Bergathon which was held on Thursday 29th September.  The Bergathon is the annual charity event for TSW with all monies raised going to the Donna Louise Trust Hospice for children. The Association's team, all ex- Wing members, was again led by Bob McBey with Emma Walker, Norrie Murray, Cliff Whiteley, Andy Holsgrove and Dan Stevenson; Jim Coleman (69) also gave support and completed one leg of the event - VERY well done Jim!  

Nearly there!  
Association Bergathon Team 2011
 
Jim C strutts his stuff!

Emma, Norrie and Bob in full flow!

 

Emma Walker, Bob McBey, Jim Coleman, Andy Holsgrove, Dan Stevenson, Norrie Murray and Cliff Whiteley

Jim C struts his stuff!

This year's event was by far the hardest the team had ever done; the temperature was 27 degrees, so lots of water was drunk by all - and there were blisters a plenty!  The team came in 10th out of the 14 teams entered - a magnificent effort.  More importantly, the team excelled themselves financially - raising over £1,000 for the TSW charity! A HUGE THANK YOU from the team to all the Association members who gave so generously of donations/sponsorship.

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Presidential Change!

During 2012 our President, Air Chief Marshal Sir Joe French will hand over the reins to an Air Officer whose name many of you will know well; Air Vice Marshal Graham J Howard.  Our President (designate) is presently serving as the Assistant Chief of Defence Staff (ACDS) with responsibility for Logistics Operations. 

We owe a great debt of appreciation to Sir Joe.  Often working quietly behind the scenes, he has been a great supporter and guide.  By way of example he facilitated the release of the commemorative note from the Duke of Edinburgh for the Wing and Servicing Commandos and ensured the success of the Wing and Servicing Commando display at the RAF Museum.  Freely giving  of his  time from his busy schedule he has been a stalwart supporter of the Bergathon and of course the annual President’s Award. More topically, once again he has given guidance on the St Clement Danes Commemoration. Of course, he has also always  also kept your Chairman in check!

Graham Howard brings a significant and appropriate career profile to the role of President of our Association.  During much of his career, from junior officer to his present rank, he has been associated with operational logistics.  His knowledge of TSW is of course second to none as a consequence of his tours as OC TSW, Station Commander RAF Stafford and more recently in tours associated with and in Afghanistan.  He fondly remembers our Servicing Commando Members from his time at Stafford.

As enthusiastic a supporter of the Association as our first president, Sir Joe, Graham Howard looks forward to serving the Association as more than a member from mid 2012.  We welcome him aboard! 

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On-line Membership Application Facility Introduced

Following a request from TSW and in a small effort to try to keep at least some pace with technology, we have now introduced an on-line membership application facility.  Either go to the Membership page and scroll down to the Application for Membership, click here, or click on “Apply for Membership” on the navigation bar on the left of the screen.  Please complete the information in the boxes on the form and then click the "Submit Form" button at the bottom of the form to apply.  All membership applications will be acknowledged.

Of course, the existing method of downloading a Membership Application and posting it still exists – and will remain in place.  A printable version of the Membership Application Form can be downloaded in Word or pdf format here; completed forms should be returned by e-mail or post to the Membership Secretary.

Membership will not be confirmed until your subscription is received; this can be paid by Standing Order, PayPal or cheque – see the Membership page for further details.

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THE ST CLEMENT DANES PLAQUE PROJECT

Duncan Grant has already mentioned that, following discussion at the AGM in June, it has been decided to make arrangements for a plaque depicting the TSW crest to be installed in the floor of the RAF church of St Clement Danes in London.   The church already has the badges of most past and present operational units and, after 40 years, it seems only right that ‘our’ Wing should join them.   I have the very enjoyable task of arranging this and of seeking to raise the necessary money.   I am sure that many Association members would like to contribute, however little, towards the cost of £700.

The plaque has already been ordered but will take some months to produce.   This will allow time for donations to be made and for a date to be agreed for the dedication.   It is very much hoped that it will be possible for many present and past members of the Wing to attend the service in St Clement Danes church – what better excuse could there be for a weekend in London?!

There are two ways of making a donation towards the plaque fund.   Firstly, via PayPal (see the details here and show "Plaque" or "St CD Appeal" as the purpose of your donation) or, secondly, by cheque, payable to the ‘RAF SC and TSW Assn (St CD Appeal)’ and sent to me (David Packman) at:  The Beeches, Withies Road, Withington Hereford HR1 3PX.  All cheques will be acknowledged.

One final request:  If any Association members know of former colleagues who served with TSW but who are not already members will they please let me know names and addresses and I shall happily write to them letting them know about this appeal.

If anyone has queries about this project please do not hesitate to get in touch with me at packmanpacky@aol.com or by telephone on 01432-851724.

Thank you all in advance for your support.

David Packman

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MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIRMAN
THE TACTICAL SUPPLY WING PLAQUE  AT THE RAF CHURCH OF ST CLEMENT DANES

Following the AGM agreement to install a TSW Plaque at St Clement Danes, David Packman has taken the Project forward with great speed!  The plaque has been ordered.  Now the work begins.

David is closely involved with detailed planning and working up the best means of extracting money from Members and involving you in the event itself. Please start saving now (no more than a few pounds - honestly) so that when David goes public with details of the way forward you can donate generously!

Of course, in the meantime you can always use the new Pay Pal facility Tim Newstead has set up on this site.  Just press the “Donations” button and show "Plaque" as the purpose of your donation.

Many Thanks

Duncan Grant
Chairman

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2011 Reunion Dinner and AGM

The 2011 Reunion Dinner and AGM were held at Stafford on 3rd and 4th June. As reported earlier, the format was a little different this year in tht the Dinner was held on the Friday night rather than the hitherto customary Saturday evening. Although the numbers attending were slightly down on previous years, a good time was had and we still had a (almost) full house with more than 65 members and their partners sitting down to dine in the Sergeants' Mess. The AGM held on the Saturday morning was well attended too. A résumé of the main points arising from the AGM is given below.

Following the AGM and a buffet lunch in the Sergeants' Mess, members and guests were able to enjoy the TSW Families Day - an event which seems to go from strength to strength! As well as the usual stalls and fare on offer, the RAF Falcons Parachute Display Team dropped in early during the afternoon to be followed by flypasts from two Spitfires of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, a wonderful sight - and sound! In addition, 5 helicopters were parked in a static display and, thus, MOD Stafford - for a short while at least - became quite an active airfield!

The 2011 Reunion Dinner

...more than 65 members and their partners sitting down to dine in the Sergeants' Mess

 

Members gather for the AGM

 

OC TSW, Wg Cdr Polly Perkins, concludes her report with a light-hearted historical comment on Equipment Officers!

 

RAF Falcons
RAF Falcons
RAF Falcons
RAF Falcons

The RAF Falcons Parachute Display Team drop in at the TSW Families Day

Spitfires Spitfires Wessex EMAA

BBMF Spitfires Flypast

Wessex

Eurocopter EC135

Lynx
Griffin
Merlin
Chinook

Lynx

Griffin

Merlin

Chinook

TSW Families' Day
TSW Families' Day
TSW Families' Day

Chairman, Nurse and Treasurer!

Class of '70, '80, '90....!

The Association enclave!



The main points arising from the AGM were as follows:

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PayPal Facility Introduced

Members - and prospective members - may be interested to know that you can now use PayPal for the giving of donations or for the payment of subscriptions to the Association. Simply click on the buttons below - or on the navigation bar on the left of the screen - and follow the on-screen instructions. You do not need to have a PayPal account to use this facility.

 
 

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Presentation of the President's Award 2010

We never cease to be amazed at the high calibre of the recipients of the President's Award; the winner of the 2010 Award, sponsored by JCB, was SAC Dan Ferrer and is no exception. At a ceremony held in the Sergeants' Mess at MoD Stafford on 25th May, Dan Ferrer was presented with the President's Award trophy and certificate, together with a momento from JCB. The ceremony was followed by a buffet lunch.

Dan Ferrer receives the President's Award trophy from JCB's Neil Eltringham
 
Dan Ferrer receives his certificate from President Sir Joe French
 
President's Award winner SAC Dan Ferrer

Dan Ferrer receives the President's Award trophy from JCB's Neil Eltringham

 

Dan Ferrer receives his certificate from Association President Sir Joe French

 

L to R: FS John Taylor, Sir Joe French, SAC Dan Ferrer, Neil Eltringham (JCB), Wg Cdr Polly Perkins (OC TSW), Sgt Dai Miller

Photos © Crown Copyright courtesy of RAF Photographic Section Cosford

The Citation

Over the last year, SAC Ferrer has contributed enormously to TSW activities across a range of environments.  His exemplary performance and overwhelmingly positive attitude have consistently prompted notable praise from his chain of command and all of his detachment commanders.

On the departure from TSW of his Section IC, SAC Ferrer took control of the largest tanker pool in the RAF, for a period of 3 months.  The size of the fleet, coupled with the high level of activity, constituted a sizeable task.  He worked tirelessly from the outset, frequently on extended days, in order to ensure that the tankers were always ready to deploy.  He supervised his peers admirably in carrying out the vehicle husbandry, equipment control and millipore and strainer checks.  The excellent level of communication he maintained with Mechanical Transport (MT) Control and the MT Maintenance Section and his continual supervisory performance were characteristic of a senior JNCO.

SAC Ferrer has also undertaken numerous deployments over the period.  During Exercise ASKARI THUNDER in support of Joint Helicopter Force (Kenya), he was responsible for running the Forward Refuel Point at FOB SIMBA; a role usually assigned to a JNCO.  He also completed numerous solo tasks to Mombassa to collect mission critical fuel equipment, demonstrating in a challenging environment that he is both shrewd and intelligent.

He also deployed to Morocco as Acting Corporal on Exercise JEBEL SAHARA in support of 18 Squadron’s Pre-Deployment Training.  The initial task was to interface with Host Nation (HN) personnel during fuel-related tasks; however, on arrival it became evident that there were significant issues with HN facilities and procedures, including microbiological contamination and the absence of equipment and procedures for removal of static electricity.  These shortfalls represented a serious risk to flight safety.  The task immediately changed from one of liaison and cooperation to that of supervision and instruction on safe practices.  Ferrer’s expertise, diplomacy and initiative proved to be invaluable in bringing the HN vehicles up to the minimum safety standards, rectifying all electrical bonding issues on bulk fuel vehicles and conducting repairs to hose equipment and an overpressure valve.  He also identified and solved the absence of ground-earthing equipment on the tanker used to carry out rotors turning refuels.  He then mentored the HN personnel through the Quality Assurance activity and refuelling procedures.  He worked up to 18-hours per day for nearly 3 weeks until additional personnel could be deployed.  Ferrer attracted notable praise from the Detachment Commander, while the detachment as a whole received a laudatory letter from the Commander of Joint Helicopter Force (Morocco) for services to Flight Safety.

Following a subsequent 6-week deployment on Exercise CLOCKWORK in Norway, the Detachment Commander identified Ferrer as being within the top 10% of all Airmen he had ever worked with.  This was based on his positive ’can-do’ attitude and confidence.  On this detachment, Ferrer completed the Extreme Cold Weather Survival Course and then, despite being newly qualified, delivered a presentation on the subject to personnel attending the subsequent course.  He regularly volunteered for additional duties, executing them with supreme professionalism and good humour.

SAC Ferrer has voluntarily dedicated weekends to preparing the MT Hangar for a host of social events such as the TSW Christmas Ball and Families Day Hangar Bash.  This task requires a considerable amount of work, which cannot be undertaken during the week due to activity in the hangar.  He has also volunteered to work on the TSW Bar at many functions and has given up free time over numerous weekends to deliver TSW displays.  Following yet another 6-week detachment to Kenya, SAC Ferrer is now scheduled for Pre-Deployment Training and deployment to Afghanistan in September 2011.  Over the last year, he has demonstrated immense loyalty, initiative and selflessness.  He has shown great potential through his leadership of small teams in austere environments and represents a remarkable prospect for the Service.  He embodies the ‘War Fighter First’ ethos and is utterly deserving of the award of Airman of the Year.

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Cromo's Mid-Life Crisis!

Former OC TSW, Neil Cromarty, accompanied by two fellow Sherborne residents, Nick Chapman and local GP Dr Greg Miles are exchanging a summer holiday on the beach to cycle 900 miles from 'top to tip', from Orkney to Portland Bill to raise money to help support people with Multiple Sclerosis, and up to 20% for two local youth causes - Sherborne Rugby Football Club and the Skate Park Project.  The three, all in their 50s, said: "We want to raise money to help younger people and causes that we have personal close connections with.  Cycling 900 miles seems a good way to do it, whilst having some fun and getting fitter along the way.  Every penny donated will help fight MS and support local youth sport.

Cromo Top-to-Tip Bike Ride

The Top-to-Tip Team: Nick Chapman, Neil Cromarty and Greg Miles

They start their challenge on 9th July cycling across Orkney and taking a ferry to the TOP of mainland Great Britain (Dunnet Head) and then down through the Highlands of Scotland and Moors of the Northern England before making a wide detour to take in Mid Wales, returning to England over the Severn bridge to reach the TIP of Portland Bill, which they hope to do in twelve days.

Please sponsor Nick, Neil and Greg by logging on to the website: www.justgiving.com/nick-chapman2

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Brothers Reunion in Helmand

TSW Corporal Darren Adams and his younger Army brother Wayne recently enjoyed a few precious hours together when they found themselves at Camp Bastion in Helmand province at the same time. Click here for the MOD News article.

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Presentation to the RAF Historical Society Seminar

RAF Historical Society Seminar

On 20th April 2011, Association Treasurer, Tim Newstead, gave a presentation to the RAF Historical Society Ground Support of Air Operations Seminar, which was held at the RAF Museum Hendon; Tim was accompanied by Servicing Commando members Alan McQuillin and Ernie Deighton.  The seminar was chaired by Air Chief Marshal Sir Michael Alcock and included presentations on the Airfield Construction Branch, RAF Regiment Anti-Aircraft Defence, Repair and Salvage, and Mobile Photographic Support.  Tim’s presentation was entitled 'The RAF Servicing Commando 1942-1946’.  A copy of the script will be published in the RAF Historical Society Journal in due course; copies of the PowerPoint slide presentation and script are also available from the Treasurer/Webmaster.

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The Association Reunion Dinner and AGM 2011 - A Reminder!

Don't forget to get your bookings in to Bob McBey for the Reunion Dinner and AGM on 3rd and 4th June 2011.  As usual, the AGM will be followed by the TSW Families Day – at which it is planned (subject to weather, serviceability and the results of recces) that the RAF Falcons Parachute Display Team, together with 2 Spitfires of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, will be the star attractions.

Booking forms (issued with the Winter 2011 Newsletter) and cheques should be returned to Bob by 30th April 2011 at the latest.  Please contact Tim Newstead or Bob McBey, if you have mislaid your Newsletter or need another Booking Form.

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TSW and MWSS-373 Celebrate their Partnership in Afghanistan

Tactical Supply Wing and the US Marine Wing Support Squadron 373 have celebrated their partnership in Afghanistan. Click here for the MOD RAF news article and click here for the DVIDS news article.

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New Boss Takes the Reins

New Boss takes over

Wg Cdr Polly Perkins takes over from Wg Cdr Tim Etches

Life moves on and, as ever, all good things come to an end for those who have been privileged to serve as OC TSW.  In February, Tim Etches handed over the reins to new boss Wg Cdr Polly Perkins who arrived from HQ Air Command.  We wish them both well – Tim, for his future career as he leaves the Service and Polly, as she steers the unit – for which we have so much affection – at the outset of its second 40 years of making history.

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Winter 2011 Newsletter Published

The Winter 2011 Newsletter is now out on the streets and includes the latest news from the Association and the Wing, together with the all-important information and Booking Form for this year's Reunion Dinner and AGM in June. The Newsletter has been sent to all paid-up members of the Association either by e-mail, or by post. If you have not received your copy by the last week of February, please get in touch with Tim Newstead. An abridged version of the Newsletter will be posted on this page in due course.

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Association member Jamie White has sent the following plea:

Please could you have a look at my JustGiving site: http://www.justgiving.com/Jamie-White0. I'd be really grateful if you'd donate something, as I'm trying to raise £1000 for H4H by dragging myself around the Bath 1/2 Marathon on 6th March - many will already know that running isn't often something associated with my name, so I am going out of my comfort zone to achieve this....

Thanks

Jamie

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The Association Reunion Dinner and AGM 2011 - Warning Order

Just to keep you up to date with progress and so that you can note the dates in your diaries…  

The 2011 RAFSC & TSW Association Reunion dinner will be held on Friday 3rd June and the AGM at 1100 on Saturday 4th June – followed by lunch.   The rest of the day will then be available to enjoy the TSW Families Day and, for the hardy, the Hangar Bash in the evening.  No doubt, you are wondering why the change of day for the dinner – from Saturday to Friday – this is chiefly to make life easier for our hosts, TSW, who have been so very helpful and accommodating in recent years, but for whom holding the Reunion Dinner on the same day as the Families Day and Hangar Bash creates an inordinate amount of extra work in juggling the various events.  We very much hope that you will still be able to get to the weekend’s celebrations.

Full details will be published in the annual Newsletter in the New Year.

Your Association Committee and friends wish you all a very happy and peaceful Christmas and New Year.

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