THE ROYAL AIR FORCE SERVICING COMMANDO
and
TACTICAL SUPPLY WING ASSOCIATION

Representing a Common Heritage


NEWS ARCHIVE 2013


Winter 2013-14 Newsletter

The Association's Winter 2013-14 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 let us know what you think and what you would wish to see published in future editions.

 
2013-14 Newsletter

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Alan Lyon

It is with sadness that we report the death of Alan Lyon on 15th November 2013. Alan served on the Wing from 1971 to 1979. He was a keen supporter of the Association and will be greatly missed; our thoughts and condolences are with Alan's family and friends.

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"Support to Strike"
The History of Tactical Supply Wing

Avid readers of this website and the Winter 2012-2013 Newsletter will recall that in 2012 the History of TSW - "Support to Strike" - by Jim Coleman, was published on the Blurb.com website - see report here.  The book is not currently available at Blurb.com, but we very much hope that Jim - with Chris Baker's help - will manage to resurrect it there for those that wish to buy a professionally presented and bound version of the book.  Meanwhile, Jim and Chris have asked that the book be made available as a PDF file here on the Association website.

Thus, the document can be downloaded by clicking here.  If you require Adobe Reader in order to read the document, this free programme can be downloaded here.  Please direct any questions or comments regarding "Support to Strike" to Jim Coleman.

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TSW Bergathon 2013

It's starting to look a bit familiar - Bob McBey raises Association Team and leads them on the annual merry Bergathon and raises good money for the Wing's charity.  Except, this year it was a little different!  Clearly, most of Bob's past team stalwarts have either learnt their lesson or have not got the resilience or stubborn-ness of Bob!  Thus, as reported below, without his own team to bully and cajole (and, possibly, a masochist at heart?!) Bob decided to join the local Search and Rescue team to give it just "one last go"!

Bob reports:

Once again, the Wing did itself proud with the organisation of the event.  Due to the heavy tasking of many units, there were only 15 teams this year.  No surprise that the Gurkhas from 22 Signals Regt won, with the TSW Para team a close second.  This is the closest the Wing has been to winning for at least 10 years and it was down to the training which was lead by the new Training WO Mick Stokes.  I must say, I found it easy going this year as the weather was just right and the new course was mainly flat or down hill though, sadly, the civilian teams were unable to fire weapons, which was a bit of a downer for the younger members of the team.  As usual, it was not pain free - as you can see from the photos - but we put up a good show and came 12-15, so not bad for a bunch of civvies! 

 

Left to Right,  WO Mark Farrell, Steve Harris, Gav Fountain, Dan Tranter, Lucy Dean, Dean Mincher, Andy Mitchell, WO Mike Stokes,  Sqn Ldr Dom Magenty and Bob McBey

 

Getting blisters dressed - over 30 people were treated for severe blisters

Very many thanks to all that gave sponsorship and support, Bob raised £445, a magnificent effort! The money will go to a worthy cause - The Donna Louise Children’s Hospice.

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RAF team keeps rotors turning over Afghanistan

An RAF team [TSW] is providing pit-stop-style refuels at Camp Bastion to keep military helicopters in the air over Afghanistan. Click here to see the Gov.uk news article.

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Chris Markey and the West Highland Roller-Coaster

It seems it is the season! Chris writes:

I currently mentor two young entrepreneurs in the Levant, in Beirut and Jordan, and their enterprises are growing steadily.  They are creating jobs, reducing poverty and giving purpose to others in their countries at a time when hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees are flooding into both of their local areas.  My brother Peter (also ex-RAF, and turned 70 this year) and myself (in my 60th year) plan to ride 230+ miles around the mountainous West Highlands of Scotland over 9 days in October.  I know it will hurt, and so hope to raise £1000 through my efforts to support more mentoring.  Please visit http://www.justgiving.com/Chris-Markey and support me.

Please help if you can. Thank you.

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Never say Never Again, Bob!

Well, who'd a thought it?!  You might have expected by now that he'd have learnt his lesson but, clearly, Bob is made of even stronger Scots stuff!  Aye, still gullible tho’!  Although Bob has been unable to raise an Association team this year (they’re not all daft then!), he’s been coaxed into participating in the annual TSW Bergathon for one last time (yeah, right!) as part of another team.  The event will take place on Thursday 26th September and this year’s Wing charity is The Donna Louise Children’s Hospice.  

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 and all members must complete one shooting practice on the range.  The Association will, of course, be making a donation and, on behalf of Bob, we would be very grateful for any sponsorship you could give too.  If you are able, please do give generously so that we can encourage Bob in this [one last?!] magnificent effort.  Every little bit counts and it helps ease the consciences of those of us that don’t do the sweating, but watch from our armchairs!  Please send cheques, made payable to SERVICE FUNDS RAF COSFORD, to Bob at 25 Deepdales, Wildwood, Stafford, ST17 4NE.  Alternatively, you can sponsor Bob via the Association's PayPal facility by using the Donate button below - 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 Bob and, thus, to TSW’s worthy charity.  

Thank you!

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Cromo's at it Again!

Former OC TSW, Neil Cromarty's mid-life crisis continues... Here he is again asking for your money - no real apologies and he promises it wont be the last time!!

He writes: So, the plan now is for a single day bike ride with some work colleagues from Yeovilton to Lymington - a distance of between 70 and 80 miles.   At the height of my fitness - no problem - now...well, let's see!  Some are following it up with a half marathon...but not me, just the bike ride.  Anyway, the real issue is collecting funds for Brainwave a charity that works with families to deliver individual home based therapies that help children with disabilities reach their full potential.  

Can you help...lots of small donations will make a big difference?  If you can.. please go to the justgiving website at www.justgiving.com/Aviation-CARE and remember to  mention Cromo's name...if we all give loads he might win the bottle of Bubbly.  Thanks.

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2013 Reunion Weekend

The 2013 Association Annual General Meeting and Reunion Dinner was held at Stafford on 31st May and 1st June with the now customary ‘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.

As we have come to expect, the weekend went extremely well and was very well attended with quite a few new old faces at the AGM and dinner.  The Wing Families Day was undoubtedly helped by the good weather – bright sunshine, though a little chilly in the wind – and the unending enthusiasm of the Wing.

The AGM



Chairman David Orr

Membership Sec Martin Williams

Outgoing Vice President
Alan Robinson

Paul Davies, George Parke,
Jim Coleman

The Families' Day

All the usual entertainments were available at the Families Day: Chinook rides for families, bouncy castles, the Wing's presentation stand, the dunker (which the Wg WO and Association Member, Mark Farrell particularly enjoyed!), vehicle displays and Sqn Ldr Dom Magenty (OC TFS and Association member) who sang his heart out!  The Association enclosure did good business with free drinks on offer while Alan McQuillin and David Orr christened the RAF Servicing Commando bench destined for the NMA at Alrewas.  Despite the blustery winds the RAF Falcons Parachute Display Team dropped in with a spellbinding display.

The Dinner

Once again this year the splendid Reunion dinner was taken in the Sergeants' Mess and gave the opportunity for friends old and new to chew over old times!

A huge thanks to the Wing for all their support and help in making the weekend such a great success - we're looking forward to doing it all again next year!

The main points arising from the AGM were as follows:

Copies of the full AGM minutes are available to members on request from the Webmaster

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Presentation of the President's Award 2012

The presentation of the President's Award for the TSW Airman of the Year was made to SAC Sam Fell on 21st May 2013. The ceremony, which was attended by Sam's parents, sister and girlfriend, included presentations by David Orr, Chairman of the Association, and Michael Leeming, JCB’s Director & General Manager of Defence Products.

 
 

SAC Sam Fell receives the President's Award from Chairman David Orr

 

Mr Michael Leeming, JCB, presents a momento to Sam Fell

The presentation party


The Citation

Senior Aircraftsman Fell has performed exceptionally throughout 2012 and his flare, drive and sheer professionalism have provided the continuity and focus for the TSW Operations Room during a period of re-organization and considerable upheaval.   Having continually operated at a level far beyond his current substantive rank, Fell was awarded the rank of acting corporal in July 2012 as a result of a process review and a reallocation of tasks within the Operations Room.  It was through outstanding leadership and steadfast determination from Fell that the new processes and changes were incorporated and taken forward.  Always alive to the importance of his role in the effective delivery of TSW’s capability and as the interlocutor between higher formations and the rest of the wing; his skills as a communicator and the quality of his staff work has significantly raised the profile of TSW across Joint Helicopter Command.

His primary role has been the receipt of Joint Helicopter Command tasking and the subsequent allocation of TSW’s resources, by effective liaison with all relevant sections.  The turnover of manpower within the Operations Room has made his job extremely demanding, requiring skilful management of resources and effective liaison between higher agencies and TSW management. Often having to work outside his remit to cover extended absences, he has been tactful yet forceful, and he has excelled within a high-tempo environment.  He demonstrated phenomenal capacity when planning and allocating resources for TSW HERRICK Pre Deployment Training and de-conflicting resources with those allocated to current and planned Exercises, often without the direction of a senior non-commissioned officer.  One responsibility he has relished has been to represent the wing at the monthly Battlefield Helicopter Allocation Meetings at Headquarters Joint Helicopter Command where his astute judgment, confidence and effective intelligence has allowed him to foster excellent working relationships and build upon TSW’s credibility with Command planning staffs.

Senior Aircraftsman Fell epitomizes the ethos of ‘Service-before-Self’ and notwithstanding his performance in his primary role, Fell has been outstanding in his dedication to his duties as the Deputy Air Cadet Liaison Officer, regularly giving up his free time to continue and develop this great TSW tradition. His character and leadership were specifically tested when he was required to personally take on the planning and delivery of the annual ATC Summer Camp.   He accepted the challenge and drove the project through to fruition, delivering a hugely successful camp.  He subsequently received plaudits from across the Unit and Staffordshire ATC Region, further contributing to cementing TSW’s standing in the local community.  Moreover, he is frequently the first to volunteer for tasks such as leading a TSW display team at Plymouth town show during National Armed Forces Day or leading a TSW visit to a local school to deliver a capability demonstration. 

His performance has been an inspiration for his peers and seniors alike, he has shown exceptional leadership and has been an outstanding ambassador for TSW.  Instrumental in delivering the Unit’s continued success on Operations and Exercises, Senior Aircraftsman Fell is a deserving winner of the RAF Servicing Commando and TSW Association President’s Award for 2012.

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New TSW Rugby Kit

A recent Association Committee meeting at HQ TSW at Stafford gave the opportunity for Association Chairman, David Orr, to hand over a new set of rugby kit purchased by the Association for the Wing team.

 
 

Association Chairman, David Orr, presents the new Wing rugby strip to CO TSW, Wg Cdr Any Males

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The Association AGM and Reunion Dinner 2013 - Warning Order

As advertised in the Winter 2012-2013 Newsletter, the 2013 Association AGM and Reunion dinner will be held on Saturday 1st June. The AGM will take place at 11.00 am – followed by lunch.   The rest of the day will then be available to enjoy the TSW Families Day and the Reunion Dinner in the evening - and, for the hardy, the Hangar Bash after dinner.  We very much hope that you will be able to get to the weekend’s celebrations. As usual, we hope to arrange a 'Meet and Greet' on Friday evening 31st May. Further details, together with a Calling Note, will be published in March.

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Out with the Old - In with the Old!

 

Wg Cdr Andy Males takes over command of Tactical Supply Wing
from
Gp Capt Polly Perkins

 

The final few steps in command

It is with great pleasure that we congratulate Gp Capt Polly Perkins on her promotion and challenging new job with 101 Log Brigade — especially in drawing down the logistics effort in Afghanistan.  Sad as we are to see her go, we are cheered by the return of an old trooper as the new Commanding Officer of TSW: Wg Cdr Andy Males took over the post at the beginning of the year. 

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