THE ROYAL AIR FORCE SERVICING COMMANDO
and
TACTICAL SUPPLY WING ASSOCIATION

Representing a Common Heritage


NEWS ARCHIVE 2012

 


John McMurdo

It is with sadness that we report the death of John McMurdo at his home in Blackpool on 12th December 2012. John served on the Wing from 1971 to 1974; our thoughts and condolences are with his family.

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Association Newsletter

The Association's Winter 2012/13 Newsletter is now on the news-stands.  For the majority of paid-up members, it has been distributed by e-mail; for those without electronic means, you will receive your copy by post.  Please do let us know if this causes difficulties for you.  We hope that you like the revised format, compiled using MS Publisher (but distributed electronically as a .pdf file), and that you find the articles of interest.  Please let us know what you think and what you would wish to see published in future editions.

 
2012 Newsletter

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The Frankton Walk - Sponsorship Request

Association Welfare and Publicity member David Packman and his son Julian will be undertaking a 160 kms walk to raise funds for Le Bleuet de France (the French equivalent of The Royal British Legion) and for SSAFA Forces Help.  The walk, which commemorates the ‘Cockleshell Heroes’ raid on German shipping in Bordeaux harbour (Operation FRANKTON) in 1942, will be undertaken from 13th to 18th December.  If you would like to sponsor David, cheques, made payable to ‘SSAFA Forces Help Herefordshire’, should be sent to him at The Beeches, Withies Road, Withington, Hereford, HR1 3PX.  Thank you.

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RAFSCdo 70th Anniversary Remembered

Former Chairman Duncan Grant laid a wreath on behalf of the Association at the RAF Servicing Commando memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum at Alrewas in Staffordshire to commemorate the 70th Anniversary year of the formation of the Servicing Commandos.

RAFSCdo 70th Anniversary
RAFSCdo 70th Anniversary
RAFSCdo 70th Anniversary

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TSW Bergathon 2012

Bob McBey reports that the annual TSW Bergathon event went well and was well attended.  The weather was on their side for once and even when they did get a downpour, it was refreshing and cooled the team down.  The team completed the event with a few blisters and a big ‘Thank You’ must go to Stafford Search and Rescue for the use of their facilities and for them looking after the team’s sore and aching feet.  The team will have raised over £1,800 for the Wing charity – Combat Stress – a truly magnificent effort.  Particular thanks go to all Association Members and friends for the generous donations in support of the team.  If anyone would like to lead the team next year, please do get in touch with Bob.

 

 

 

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Presentation of the President's Award 2011

SAC Jonny Anderson was unable to be present at the Association AGM in June as he was on route back from his deployment to Afghanistan.  The presentation thus took place at JCB's Worldwide Headquarters at Rocester in September.  The Director of the Defence and Government Division, Michael Leeming, hosted a tour around the new 21st Century Visitor Centre followed by lunch.  Presentations were made by the CEO, Mr Alan Blake, and former Association Chairman, Gp Capt Duncan Grant.  The citation can be seen here.

 

LtoR: Mr Alan Blake (JCB CEO), SAC Jonny Anderson (with Trophy), Mrs Claire Anderson, Gp Capt Duncan Grant

The presentation party. Back: Flt Lt J Harrison (OC B Flt), Sqn Ldr S Caldara (OC HQ Sqn), WO M Thistleton (WO Trg), Flt Lt K Devlin (Adjt). Front: Mr Alan Blake (JCB CEO), SAC Jonny and Mrs Claire Anderson, Gp Capt Duncan Grant, Wg Cdr Polly Perkins

 

Duncan Grant presents the President's Award certificate to Jonny Anderson

 

OC TSW, Wg Cdr Polly Perkins, together with Duncan Grant decide to go out for a quiet drive!

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Battle of Britain and Freedom of Stafford Parade

Members may wish to know that the Wing will exercise its right of the Freedom of the Borough of Stafford at a parade to be held on Saturday 15th September in Stafford.  The commemorations will start with a church service in St Mary's Church at 10.30 am followed by a wreath laying at the Borough War Memorial at Earl Street. The parade will commence at 12.15 pm and march from the Borough War Memorial to Market Square.  Music will be provided by the Band of the RAF Regiment.

 

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TSW Bergathon 2012 - A Plea!

It's that time of the year again and Bob McBey had thought that he would, at last, be able to retire from this event!  But gullible as Bob is, he has been persuaded once again to run a team under the auspices of the Association!  The event will take place on Thursday 27th September and this year’s charity is Combat Stress.  So on behalf of the team we would be very grateful for any sponsorship you could give.  Please send cheques, made payable to SERVICE FUNDS DCAE COSFORD, to Bob at 25 Deepdales, Wildwood, Stafford, ST17 4NE.

For the uninitiated, the Bergathon is the annual RAF TSW Military march and shoot competition.  A six-man team each carry 35lb rucksacks with rifles over a distance of 30 km (so a total of 180 km per team) and all members must complete one shooting practice on the range.  The Association will, of course, provide some sponsorship for the team; however, if they are to beat last year’s excellent total of £1,200 (which they are very keen to do!) they need more donations!  If you are able, please do give generously so that we can encourage the team in their magnificent efforts.  You can, if you wish, also sponsor the team via the Association's PayPal facility by using the Donate button - please show "Bergathon" as the purpose - any sums received in this way will be forwarded, in full (ie the Association will bear the small cost of the PayPal fee) to the team. Thank you!

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MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIRMAN – DUNCAN GRANT

Duncan Grant

Time flies!  It is 5 years since your Chairman succumbed to the wiles of Clive Watson and Alan Robinson that led to the formation of today’s Association.  That being said, we would not be where we are without the help and support of a range of people; particularly the Committee and two Wing Warrant Officers.

However, it is now time to pass on the baton (unlike the Team GB relay team!).  The last Newsletter indicated that a volunteer had been identified who met the demanding criteria-principally that of youth and race.  Accordingly, the 2012 AGM confirmed David Orr as my successor.  Well done David!

David served on the Wing in the early 80s bringing an originality and sense of humour second to none.  He continued this approach throughout his career and managed to escape unscathed when he retired earlier this year.

David will make his own mark and, I know, plans to approach his new found responsibilities with his great blend of humour, enthusiasm and endeavour.  Watch out for his contribution to the next Newsletter and no doubt on this excellent website managed by Tim Newstead.

David becomes Chairman on the 1st September, on the same date as our new President AVM Graham Howard becomes his mentor!

Although I relinquish my official responsibilities, I look forward to seeing you all next year and thereafter at our get togethers.  Please support David and his Committee in making these events a success.

Like me, David benefited from a fine education north of the border so I leave you with this thought from a famous British poet and wish David every good fortune:

The old order changeth giving place to new and God fulfils himself in many ways—“
 (Alfred Tennyson, 1809-1892-"Morte D'Arthur")

With Every Good Wish
Duncan Grant

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Philippa and Jamie White's Mt Fuji Trip - Sponsorship Request

Association member Jamie White and his wife Philippa are heading to Japan on Sunday 15th July 2012 with 40 other nutters, ahem.... all-round good people ... in order to raise money for the 3rd Annual British Airways and Dreamflight Mount Fuji Charity Trek. Please take a minute to have a look at the link below and consider sponsoring them: http://www.justgiving.com/mrandmrswhite

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RCAF Tests J-Herc’s Tactical Ground Refuelling Capability

The Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) successfully evaluated on June 21, 2012 at 8 Wing Trenton, Ontario, the CC-130J Hercules aircraft’s capability to refuel vehicles and other aircraft using the Forward Arming and Refuelling Point (FARP) system. Click here for the Aviation.ca news article.

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2012 AGM and Reunion Dinner

The 2012 Association Annual General Meeting and Reunion Dinner was held at Stafford on 15th and 16th June.  This year, the weekend reverted to the more popular format of a ‘meet and greet’ at the Tillington Hall Hotel on the Friday evening followed by the AGM on the Saturday morning, the TSW Families Day in the afternoon and the Reunion dinner, again held in the Sergeants' Mess, on the Saturday evening. The dinner was timed to enable those with stamina to attend the TSW Hangar Bash later in the evening.

Overall, the event was well attended, though no doubt, the damp and windy weather will have dissuaded some from attending. While it would have been good to see more members at the AGM we, nevertheless, had over 60 members and guests sitting down to dinner - including our outgoing and incoming Presidents - Air Chief Marshal Sir Joe French and Air Vice Marshal Graham Howard.

 

Treasurer, Chairman and Membership Secretary

 

Association Life Vice-President Mr Alan Robinson addressed the AGM

OC TSW, Wg Cdr Polly Perkins, reported on the latest Wing news

The main points arising from the AGM were as follows:

Association Reunion Dinner


Association members enjoy the Reunion dinner



President's Award Citation - SAC Jonny Anderson
 

Throughout 2011 Senior Aircraftsman Anderson produced an exceptional performance fashioned by his boundless energy, can-do-attitude and sheer professionalism.  His contribution, much of which takes place behind the scenes and for which he seeks no recognition, has been nothing short of inspirational.  Anderson has been an extraordinary ambassador within the Training Flight.  As the first point of contact for all new students his exceptional performance always portrays TSW in the best light and his efforts have enabled TSW to efficiently conduct training for many and varied operational and exercise tasks.

Earlier in 2011, the escalating tempo and high turnover of personnel resulted in an experience gap at the JNCO level.  It was at this time that Anderson was selected to hold Junior Non Commissioned Officer acting rank.  During this period of acting rank, Anderson deployed with Team 4 to Afghanistan where his drive and enthusiasm was utterly infectious.  He helped mentor junior team members on their first operational tour with tact and diplomacy, ensuring that they were totally comfortable and conversant with their responsibilities and his professional approach was clearly seen as inspirational to the less experienced members of the detachment.  Still in acting rank, SAC Anderson held the role of Detachment J4-Logistics JNCO and approached the role with customary diligence and commitment.  Typical of his approach, he identified that the Spill Plan and H&S risk assessments at MOB Price were incomplete and out of date.  Without any further prompting he set about correcting this, writing concise & accurate instructions, and then ensuring they were incorporated within Aviation Engineering Standing Orders.  The drive, professionalism and diligence of SAC Anderson would be rare in a seasoned Non Commissioned Officer but in an airman it is exceptional.

On the sporting front, the achievements of SAC Anderson are unparalleled on the Wing.  He has represented the Royal Air Force in Athletics at numerous high profile events culminating in the Braemar Games in front of HM the Queen.  He has been a role model of the highest order and has actively raised the physical fitness level of many members of Tactical Supply Wing.

In summary, Anderson is an outstanding member of the Wing.  Beneath his unruffled, gracious demeanour is an influential individual who has an encouraging and positive influence on everyone he has contact with.  His hard work, determination and leadership have been essential to the visible successes of TSW on exercises and operations over the last year and he is wholly deserving of the Association President’s award for 2011.

SAC Jonny Anderson

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Committee Changes

Members will recall that at last year’s AGM Duncan Grant declared his intention to stand down as Chairman of the Association.  We are delighted to report that the Scottish bloodline at the helm is being maintained and that David Orr has agreed to take over the Chairmanship; his appointment was ratified at this year’s AGM last weekend (16th June).  David will take over with effect from 1st September and will write to all members (via e-mail) shortly after taking up the reins.

David Packman has taken over committee responsibility for Welfare and Publicity.  He is a former RBL county field officer and county secretary for SSAFA Forces Help in Herefordshire and will be particularly pleased to field queries about welfare matters.  If he cannot answer a question, he is pretty sure that he will know ‘someone who can’.  David’s e-mail address is packmanpacky@aol.com; his telephone number is 01432-851724.

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TSW Families Day 2012

TSW Families Day 2012

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St Clement Danes Plaque Dedication

Order of Service
Slate Badge
   

Sir Joe expressed his appreciation of the work of the Wing

John Craven-Griffiths, Alan McQuillin and Sir Joe French

Following the generous donations of funds from many members of the Association, the project to install the Tactical Supply Wing slate plaque in the floor of the RAF Church at St Clement Danes in London came to fruition with the dedication service held on Sunday 29th April.  The church already has the badges of most past and present operational units.  The service was conducted by the Resident Chaplain, Revd David Osborn BD AKC RAF, and was attended by our President, ACM Sir Joe French and Lady French, our President designate, AVM Graham Howard, Father of the Wing and first OC, Gp Capt John Craven-Griffiths, and the present OC TSW, Wg Cdr Polly Perkins, together with serving and retired members of the Wing and the Association. 

The dedication service was the culmination of the detailed arrangements put in place by former OC TSW and Association member, Gp Capt David Packman.  The scripture readings were read by Association member Gp Capt Robin Springett and serving member of TSW, Sgt Jones.  After the service, the attendees enjoyed a magnificent buffet within the church; this was an opportunity for friends old and new to catch up once again.  Sir Joe and Polly Perkins spoke respectively of their appreciation of the work of the Wing and of the Association.

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The History of Tactical Supply Wing

Support to Strike

Members will recall that for a number of years Jim Coleman, a founding member of Tactical Supply Wing and the Association, has been striving to have a history of Tactical Supply Wing compiled and published.  Indeed, a number of Members provided significant contributions to the history after a plea for assistance from Jim; they will recognise their handiwork.  We are delighted to report that the work has now come to fruition with the able support of Jim's "in house publisher" and IT mentor, Sgt Chris Baker, without which the narratives might have lain to gather dust on a shelf.

The book is available on-line at the Blurb.com Bookstore at  http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/3150239
 
The book can be bought in soft back and hard back versions and, once formatted, will also be available as an e-book for iPad and iPhone.  Support to Strike can be previewed or read in its entirety by clicking on the Preview Book button on the web-page via the link above.

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Association AGM and Reunion Dinner 2012

There is still time to 'sign up' for this year's AGM and Reunion Dinner - details were published in the latest (Winter 2011-12) Association Newsletter. If you've mislaid your copy Association AGM and Reunion Dinner 2012or want another copy of the sign-up form, please get in touch with either Tim Newstead or Bob McBey. You can also pay via the PayPal 'Donate' button on the left-hand side of the screen - please ensure you show "2012 Reunion" in the Purpose block.

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Paul Hubbard

Sadly on the 4th February 2012 Paul Hubbard ex-TSW (Falklands War veteran) passed away unexpectedly in his sleep, aged 51; the funeral was held on the 24th February in Worcester.  Paul was a tall, happy-go-lucky character with an immense sense of humour; our thoughts and condolences are with his family.

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Wing Commander Simon Baker

Simon Baker

It is with the deepest regret and sadness that we report the death of Simon Baker on 8th February 2012, aged 72.  Simon was OC Tactical Supply Wing from 1979 to 1981 and retired from the Royal Air Force in 1990. He was a keen supporter of the Association and will be greatly missed.

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Air Vice Marshal Don Hills

AVM Don Hills

It is with great sadness that we record the death of Air Vice Marshal Don Hills on 27th January, the day after his 95th birthday.  AVM Don endorsed the original TSW concept and was also Station Commander at RAF Stafford in the 1960s.  He retained his links with the unit since then.  He was a great friend to TSW and was a frequent visitor and member of the Officers' Mess.  He will be greatly missed.

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