THE ROYAL AIR FORCE SERVICING COMMANDO
and
TACTICAL SUPPLY WING ASSOCIATION

Representing a Common Heritage


NEWS ARCHIVE 2014


In Remembrance - Armistice Day

Remembrance 2014

On 11th November, the Vice President Servicing Commandos (VPSC), Duncan Grant, placed a small Remembrance set of Poppies at the Servicing Commando memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum. The VPSC thereafter attended by invitation the Remembrance Service at the Armed Forces Memorial attended by Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex. The proceedings concluded with an aerobatic display by a Spitfire of the BBMF.

At this year's RAF Halton Apprentice Association Remembrance Service, AVM Kurth, a retired former Halton Apprentice, made special mention of the Servicing Commandos and the former Apprentices who served with the various Units - particularly those who went ashore during the Normandy landings.

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D-Day veterans to be awarded the Legion d'Honneur

The Government of France has told the UK Ministry of Defence that it wishes to recognise the selfless acts of heroism and determination displayed by all surviving veterans of the Normandy landings, and of the wider campaigns to liberate France in 1944, by awarding them with the Legion d’Honneur. This recognition extends beyond the troops who actually landed on and fought their way up the beaches 70 years ago, and will include Royal Navy and Royal Air Force personnel who operated in support of the landings - clearly, this includes those members of the RAF Servicing Commando units which took part in the operation. Further information is available here.

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2014 Reunion Weekend

All the usual suspects assembled for the Association's Annual General Meeting and Reunion Dinner at Stafford on 21st June, preceded by the customary ‘meet and greet’ at the Tillington Hall Hotel on the Friday evening.   As ever, during the afternoon, members enjoyed the hospitality of the Wing at the TSW Families Day followed by a splendid dinner in the Sgts’ Mess that evening, with over 60 members and guests sitting down to dine.  The record of the AGM can be found here.

At the dinner, SAC Luke Cooper was awarded with a framed certificate by Association President AVM Graham Howard; he also received a memento from Neill Eltringham, the Export Controls Compliance Manager at JCB Defence Products UK, the sponsors of the President’s Award.  Luke’s citation for his award is shown below.  Also at the dinner, our Vice President Servicing Commandos (and former Chairman), Duncan Grant, was presented with some rather special Scottish amber liquid in commemoration of his own D-Day on 6th June 70 years ago.  Many congratulations to both!

On the subject of D-Day, the RAF Servicing Commandos were of course involved in the success of the Normandy Campaign and it had been hoped to mark this achievement with a return visit to France by those Servicing Commandos able to make the journey.  Unfortunately, the march of time was out of step with these aspirations; however, we were represented by one of our number attending with the Normandy Veterans Association.  Mr Alan McQuillin laid a wreath on our behalf at the Servicing Commando Memorial at the B3 Airfield, St Croix sur Mer.  To mark the occasion here in the UK, we held a short service of commemoration at the Servicing Commando Memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum at Alrewas on the Sunday morning.  A short Newsletter marking the event is here.

AGM 2014

The Usual Suspects Assembled!

Coffee and Chat

The Wing Bosses

Relaxing at the Families Day

The Menu

Commemorating another D-Day

President's Award winner Luke Cooper


Presentation of the President's Award 2013

The presentation of the President's Award for the TSW Airman of the Year was made to SAC Luke Cooper at the Association's Reunion Dinner on 21st June 2014. The ceremony, which was attended by Luke's fiancée, grandfather and uncle, included presentations by Association President, AVM Graham Howard, and Neill Eltringham, Export Controls Compliance Manager at JCB Defence Products UK.

President's Award
 
President's Award

AVM Graham Howard presents the President's Award Trophy to SAC Luke Cooper

 

The presentation party

The Citation

Senior Aircraftsman Cooper has performed superbly throughout 2013, with his dedication to duty and professionalism being key to both his personal success and that of Tactical Supply Wing as a whole. The extremely high turnover of Junior Ranks within Tactical Fuels Squadron has led Cooper to find himself at the forefront of a continuous mentoring programme.  This allowed less experienced personnel to develop under his watchful eye and ensured that they were able to operate effectively when deployed. Operating as the Second-in-Command on numerous UK based exercises; he has demonstrated inspirational leadership and admirable managerial capabilities far in excess of that which is expected from an SAC.  This was aptly highlighted during Exercise OPTASS when he showed great mental agility when faced with an ever changing plan and despite being under extreme pressure, was able to remain flexible and produce meticulous logistic planning.  As an accomplished operator, he was specifically selected ahead of his peers to lead two capability demonstrations for the benefit of Joint Helicopter Command HQ and Joint Special Forces Aviation Wing; on each occasion he delivered a flawless presentation to the assembled delegates, accurately describing TSW’s current equipment and capabilities in the contingent battle space.

When deployed on Operation HERRICK, Cooper operated as part of the Joint Aviation Group (JAG) and provided a 24/7 rotary refuel capability. In particular he facilitated an extensive training package for the newly re-instigated Forward Refuelling Point capability in support of a discrete ‘customer’ set. His work in this vital area meant TSW was now ready to operate ‘outside the wire’ well within the specified readiness timelines.  He always remained composed and able to deliver highly informative tuition to his fellow team members culminating in a successful deployment to test the concept. His ability to think on his feet was further endorsed when refueling a Lynx aircraft at Camp Bastion, identifying a significant problem with the aircraft, Cooper swiftly alerted the aircrew and prevented what potentially could have been a catastrophic incident. His foresight and eye for detail was rewarded with the presentation of a Flight Safety Award from Commander JAG(COMJAG); a laudable recognition for his action that day. Cooper’s expertise and bearing also made him the obvious choice to deliver operational briefs and demonstrations to the plethora of ISAF visitors to the TSW detachment; each group commenting on his professionalism, subject knowledge and dedication to duty. In short, Cooper was instrumental in the detachment being awarded the COMJAG Team Commendation ‘in recognition of exceptional service to the Joint Aviation Group’.

Senior Aircraftsman Cooper personifies the modern airman, both loyal and committed to the Service, he maintains a high profile in his primary role and also within the wider civilian community. Cooper’s desire to continually raise the RAF’s profile within the local area has been exceptional and as a ‘Project Officer’ for the TSW ‘Stafford to Normandy’ charity bike ride, he was integral to the overall success of an event which raised a considerable sum of money for the Royal British Legion. He was also pivotal in the formation of a 3 man team who selflessly gave up their free time to support a local school in order to develop life skills, communication and teamwork. The resulting letter of appreciation received from the Headmaster, extolled his professionalism and thanked the team profusely for the effect they had on all the children present.

His achievements have been an inspiration to all.  He has shown excellent leadership through his integrity, morale courage and unwavering dedication to duty, particularly when deployed on operations. He is without doubt an exceptional airman and an outstanding ambassador for TSW.  Senior Aircraftsman Cooper is fully deserving of the RAF Servicing Commando and TSW Association President’s Award for 2013.

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Joe Ronan

Joe Ronan

It is with great sadness that we record the death of Joe Ronan.  Joe was TSW Wing Warrant Officer from 1981 until his retirement from the Service in 1985 and was revered by all who came into contact with him.  He is remembered for his ready Irish wit, sage advice and quiet charm – and with great fondness by all who knew him and his trusty sidekick Hutch.  Joe was a member of the Association from its inception and will be greatly missed.  Our thoughts and condolences are with Joe's family and friends.  Joe's funeral will take place at Stafford on 23rd June 2014; further details are available from the Treasurer.

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Congratulations to our President

Warmest congratulations to our President, Air Vice Marshal Graham Howard CB MA FCILT RAF, who has been appointed as a Companion of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath in the Queen`s Birthday Honours List 2014.

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Mr S J "George" Revell

"George" Revell

We record with sadness the death of "George" Revell on the 2nd April 2014, aged 92.  George was a very keen supporter of the Association; as Liaison Member for 3207 SC, he sent regular annual updates to his 3207 colleagues after each reunion that he attended – the last of which was in 2010.  He was a true gentleman who will be remembered with fondness by members who knew him.   His funeral will take place near Woking, Surrey, on 17th April 2014; further details are available from the Treasurer.

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TSW Memorial Stone at the NMA

Following Bob McBey’s suggestion at last year’s AGM, we are pleased to report that we have secured a lasting memorial to TSW in the soon-to-be-built Heroes’ Square at the National Memorial Arboretum at Alrewas, Staffordshire.  As avid readers of the latest Newsletter will be aware, the cost of the engraved paving stone is £3,000; the Association has already paid a deposit of £1,000.

We now need to raise funds to seal the project.  Donations – large or small – would be very gratefully received and can be made on-line using PayPal – just use the Donate button below; you do not need a PayPal account to use this facility.  Alternatively, if you prefer to make a cheque donation, please contact the Association Treasurer.  Thank you.

Further information can be found on the NMA website at www.thenma.org.uk

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