Representing a Common Heritage


Chairman`s Christmas Message

Time waits for nobody and again, Christmas & New Year are upon us with the usual, merciless pressure from all areas.  So this is a quick message to alert you to some key points, in advance of the Newsletter publication in the New Year.

Firstly, you may wish to note in your diaries that our Reunion Weekend this year will be Friday 10 - Sunday 12 June 2016, with the AGM, Lunch, afternoon programme and Evening Dinner being Saturday 11 June 2016.  Please contact Tillington Hall early to book your rooms and avoid disappointment, just quote "RAF Reunion" to secure the preferential rate.

However, in a departure from our usual routine, the TSW Families Day will be the preceding Weekend.  We are trialling a separation of the 2 events to reduce the pressure on TSW personnel, Mess staff and Station infrastructure; whilst also removing the clash between our Annual Dinner and the TSW Hangar Party - hopefully freeing a number of TSW personnel to attend the Dinner; and allowing us to enjoy a more leisurely Dinner and post-prandial prattle.   A tour of the TSW site and equipment and displays will still be available, and we hope to have a tour of the RAF Museum set-up on 6 Site, where items as exotic as Douglas Bader`s legs reside... 

Next, I should advise you that we (VP SC, Gp Capt retd Duncan Grant, Historian Peter Berry, Treasurer Tim Newstead and myself) successfully travelled to St Croix sur Mer in October with the redoubtable & irrepressible Servicing Commando veteran Alan McQuillin to present the Servicing Commando Plaque to the Mayor.  We participated in a ceremony attended by neighbouring mayors, locals of all ages (including some eyewitnesses of the D-Day landings from the local fields!) and an immaculate and numerous honour guard from TSW led by the CO, Wg Cdr Tim Moss.  The Newsletter will contain a full report on this event, with photographs!

Finally, and to keep this as brief as possible, I close with a Christmas message of friendship to you all and hope that 2016 is a good year.

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TSW Blazer Badge Available

Members may wish to note that Bob McBey has a small number of Wing blazer badges available for sale on a first come - first served basis. The cost is £11 each including postage and packing; should you wish to buy one, please contact Bob either by email at or mobile at 07979 792777.

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The Association AGM and Reunion Dinner 2015

The annual Association gathering was held on 12th and 13th June at Stafford with the usual Meet and Greet on the Friday evening followed by the AGM, TSW Families Day and the Reunion Dinner.  We were particularly blessed by the attendance of past Vice President Servicing Commandos, Alan Robinson, and a very sprightly ex-3209 Servicing Commando Don Fisher, who had travelled from Sarasota, Florida, via Spain to be with us for the weekend.  In addition, Father of the Wing, Gp Capt John Craven Griffiths, was able to attend in order to participate in the ceremony to name the newly built TSW Airmen's Barrack Block – Craven-Griffiths Block.  The record of the AGM can be found here.

2015 Dinner

The Dinner

Following on from the previous year’s suggestion, it is hoped to be able to make a presentation to the Mayor of St Croix sur Mer, near the site of the D-Day B3 Airfield in Normandy, of a slate plaque depicting the Servicing Commando crest with the numbers of the four Servicing Commando units that served there during the campaign.  We are aiming to link up with an intended TSW Staff Ride to the Battlefields of Normandy in mid-October – more details will be published to members when known.

The afternoon’s activities – the TSW Families Day – followed on from the Craven-Griffiths Block naming ceremony.  The format was slightly different this year in that the whole event was held within the confines of the Helicopter Landing Site (HLS) and adjacent hangar producing a Village Fete atmosphere aided and abetted by the typically damp English weather!  Many congratulations must go to the organisers – of whom there were many, but in particular new Wg WO Mick Stokes and FS Paul Royer – who did a fantastic job in organising and running the show – Thank you all.

Meet & Greet
RAFA Cheque Presentation
SC Plaque
Blue, Ron & Mike

The Meet & Greet Supper

Paul Davies presents a cheque to Association President
AVM Graham Howard

B3 Airfield
Servicing Commando Plaque

Blue Nuttall, Ron Snaith and Mike Milne

The CG Block
CG Arrives
Naming Ceremony
Name Plate

The Craven-Griffiths Barrack Block

WO Mick Stokes leads Gp Capt Craven-Griffiths and CO TSW, Wg Cdr Tim Moss, to the Block

The Naming Ceremony

The Name Plate

Dunker 1

David Packman, John Craven-Griffiths, Tim Moss, Chas Dale, and Duncan Grant

Peter Berry and President sheltering from the rain!

Now you see him... you don't!

A Lynx flypast... the Families Day...

...Village Fete in the rain!

Flt Lt Robynne Plant and Sqn Ldr Libby Taylor

Bob McBey, Mick Stokes, Peter Blakeman & Co

The President with Alan Robinson & Co

Mr Don Fisher
Ex 3209 Servicing Commando

Karl Jones, Jimmy Ramage
& Co

SAC Peter Blakeman receives the President's Award Trophy from AVM Graham Howard

SAC Peter Blakeman and Natalie

The Top Table

Paul Royer and Co

The annual dinner was particularly well attended this year equalling the previous record of 86 sitting down to dinner.  A toast was held to absent friends.  It was good too to see so many serving members attending, resplendent in mess kit.  The annual TSW President’s Award was presented to the 2014 winner, SAC Peter Blakeman, at the dinner; as ever, the award was clearly richly deserved and those of us ‘of a certain age’ can only be in awe – and very proud and pleased – that the Wing is so obviously in the hands of some very good and professional men and women.  The citation for SAC Blakeman’s award is reproduced below.  A fine time was had – the last one in the aging Sgts’ Mess before it is torn down to make way for the car park to service the magnificent new joint (but separate) Officers’ and Sgts’ Mess nearing completion on the hilltop site of the old Officers’ Mess.   Gabbi Walker, the Mess Manager and her staff did an incredible job of looking after us; the 2016 event will be even better – bring it on!

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SAC Peter Blakeman wins the 2014 President's Award - The Citation

Throughout the past 12 months, Senior Aircraftsman Blakeman has performed to an exemplary standard; his loyalty and professionalism have been significant in the success of Tactical Supply Wing throughout this critical period.  His continual drive and determination to excel in all his undertakings has set a fine bench mark that others aspire to. 

This was aptly highlighted during Exercise PEGASUS GAUL when he delivered a meticulous, highly informative brief and an extensive practical demonstration to assembled high-ranking delegates from the US and French Airborne Forces.  Due to his encyclopaedic knowledge of the Joint Operational Fuel System Light Forces equipment, he was specifically selected ahead of more senior ranks to lead and deliver this capability demonstration.  He delivered a faultless presentation which accurately described the equipment capability and its unique function when operating in Forward locations and Austere conditions.

Whilst deployed to support Forward Refuel Point maritime trials with a specialist user unit, Blakeman’s organisational and managerial acumen were tested to their limits. Hampered with strict timescales to meet specific objectives he remained composed and able to deliver informative guidance whenever required culminating in successful serials which were subsequently used to develop operational plans.  An assured, intelligent and highly effective leader, Blakeman can always be relied upon to complete complex tasks while still maintaining the morale of his team mates; moreover; he has volunteered to take the lead on numerous essential engineering inspections of fuels equipment where he ensured his team remained mission focused through extremely arduous and prolonged activity.

Senior Aircraftsman Blakeman’s commitment to Tactical Supply Wing is second-to-none.  As well as performing exceptionally in his primary role he dedicates his time to the wider-Service community.  He volunteered to aid the RAF Cosford Air show and the laudatory letter of appreciation he received from the Chairman exemplifies the positive impression Blakeman makes in all that he does.  It extolled his work ethic, initiative and exemplary performance as well as his judgement to carry out multifaceted taskings without seeking higher direction. 

Blakeman’s desire to continually raise the profile of the RAF was also evident during both iterations of TSW’s support to the Staffordshire Air Training Core.  Here he delivered professional and informative field-craft lessons to over 120 cadets during the Easter and Summer camps.  His unwavering support of this great cause has a positive effect on the youngsters who attended and gave them the perfect insight to Service life.  In further addition to his extra-curricular activities he was an essential member of a TSW cycling team which rode a kilometre for every Service person who made the ultimate sacrifice during operations in Iraq and Afghanistan from 2001 to the present day.  He selflessly dedicated his own time to organising the event, arranging sponsorship and publicity which resulted in a considerable sum of money being raised for the Royal British Legion.

Blakeman’s remarkably consistent level of achievement, output and selfless desire to promote the RAF and Tactical Supply Wing in the wider-community have all been evident throughout the year.  He epitomises the ethos of the Service and is rightly recognised as the Tactical Supply Wing Airman of the Year.

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Flight Lieutenant Steve Moull

It is with great sadness that we report the death of ex Flt Lt Steve Moull, TSW Training Officer 1990-92 and who deployed on Gulf 1. Bob McBey reports that Steve was an outstanding boss and that it was a great shock to hear of his passing as Steve was an exceptionally fit individual; Bob and Steve climbed quite a few Munroes in Scotland during his tour. Steve’s funeral is to be held at Stonefall Crematorium in Harrogate at 11am on Friday 20th March followed by refreshments at the Royal Oak in Staveley. Our thoughts are with Steve’s family at this very sad time.

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The Association AGM and Reunion Dinner 2015 - Warning Order

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

.... the 2015 Association AGM and Reunion dinner will be held on Saturday 13th 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 will arrange a 'Meet and Greet' on Friday evening 12th June. Further details, together with a Calling Note, will be published in April.

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