THE ROYAL AIR FORCE SERVICING COMMANDO
and
TACTICAL SUPPLY WING ASSOCIATION

Representing a Common Heritage


NEWS ARCHIVE 2016


The TSW Paviour in Heroes' Square

The new Remembrance Centre, Heroes’ Square and Boyes Garden at the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas, Staffordshire, opened to the public on 21st October and is very impressive.  Heroes’ Square, in particular, is a very fitting setting for the Unit paviours - including the Tactical Supply Wing crest, to which so many members contributed.  It felt at times over the past 3 years that it was a long time coming; it was worth the wait and it is good to see the Wing crest laid for posterity in that place of remembrance.

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The Association Reunion Dinner and AGM 2017 - Warning Order

In case you missed it earlier and so that you can note the dates in your diaries…  

The RAFSC & TSW Association Reunion Dinner and AGM will be held at the end of June 2017.  The Dinner will take place on the evening of Friday 30th June and the AGM will be held the following day Saturday 1st July followed by lunch and the TSW Families Day.  For the hardy, there will be the opportunity to attend the traditional Hangar Bash on the Saturday evening.  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 and Calling Note to members in the New Year.

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Percy Lackey (1918-2016)

Percy Lackey

We record with great sadness the death of Percy Lackey on 28th September 2016 at the Elizabeth Knox Home and Hospital in Aukland, New Zealand; Percy was a member of 3205 and 3209 Servicing Commando.  Many will remember Percy from his visit to the Annual Reunion in 2010 at the age of 92. Lisa Davis, the daughter of the late Derek Meredith (ex-3205 SC) who lives in New Zealand and visited Percy, writes "...So, with a sad heart I contemplate the loss of another of “The Great Generation”.  Percy was such a joy, and I know his time in service of the RAF was such a defining and meaningful part of his life.  I know how much it meant to him to be able to meet with the Association a few years ago."  Thanks to Lisa, Percy received his Legion d’Honneur medal just a few hours before he passed away.

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2016 Reunion Weekend

The 2016 Association Annual General Meeting and Reunion Dinner was held at Stafford on 10th and 11th June with a ‘meet and greet’ at the Tillington Hall Hotel on the Friday evening followed by the AGM - held in the spanking new Sergeants' Mess on the Saturday morning. As advertised previously, this year in a departure from the usual routine, there was a trial separation of the Reunion weekend from the TSW Families Day, but we were piviledged to view exhibits of the Wing's equipment and chat to the many serving members of the Wing who had laid on the presentation for our benefit - which was greatly appreciated - as was the hospitality within Choppers, the TSW bar. The day was rounded off with a splendid Reunion dinner, again held in the Sergeants' Mess with over 60 members and guests sitting down to dine.

Despite the overall reduced numbers of members due, we believe, to the separation of the weekend from the Families Day, the AGM allowed good opportunity for discussion and we were grateful, once again, to Gabbi Walker and her staff in the Mess for their hospitality. 

At the dinner, SAC Scott Exelby was awarded with the President's Award Trophy, a framed certificate and a cheque; in return, we were royally entertained with a rendition sung beautifully by Scott's wife Erin - an amazingly tallented opera singer.  Scott’s citation for his award is shown below. 

The Meet & Greet Supper

The Meet & Greet Supper

The AGM

The AGM

       

Alan McQuillin and Ernie Deighton with Legion d'Honneur insignia

The Dinner!

... over 60 members and guests

 

       
 

Erin sings

Airman of the Year
Scott Exelby receives his certificate from Chairman David

Scott Exelby and Chairman David Orr

The main points arising from the AGM were as follows:

The record of the AGM can be found here.

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SAC Scott Exelby Airman of the Year 2015 - The President's Award

Senior Aircraftsman Exelby personifies professionalism, loyalty and dedication.  Specifically selected ahead of his peers to work in the TSW Ops Room, he has contributed to the Wing’s operational output to such a high degree that the successes TSW has enjoyed this year are directly attributable to the work he has undertaken.  He sets an extremely high benchmark that other airmen and airwomen should aspire to match.  In no sphere is this more directly demonstrated than in the estimate and planning processes that are undertaken pre-deployment as a key Operations Room function. On receipt of a sanctioned tasking from Headquarters Joint Helicopter Command for TSW deployed support, Exelby is the initial person to interrogate the request.  He conducts a planning estimate and using his extensive subject matter knowledge of all phases of a TSW deployment has excelled in the apportionment of both manpower and resources to the task.  Such is his level of expertise in this process that no input has been required by his line management whom have total trust in his ability to always make the correct planning assumptions.
 
TSW was activated to deploy personnel and equipment in support of Operation LAYLAND following the devastating earthquake in Nepal.  Exelby took the lead in organising, manifesting and loading the critical fuels equipment required.  Driven by the very tight timeframes associated with the United Kingdom’s contribution to the humanitarian crisis unfolding in Nepal, the work he undertook during this time involved co-ordinating MT and Engineering personnel, liaising closely with SNCO Movements, managing and leading the manpower tasked with the loading of the equipment, and producing very detailed equipment lists.  This resulted in an extreme level of extra workload in addition to an already demanding primary role.  The extended work days and levels of responsibility this entailed were easily absorbed by Exelby who flourished during this time and demonstrated unwavering dedication to the unit and abundant potential for a full and successful RAF career. 

Exelby is a trusted ‘go to’ for many tasks outside the normal remit of a Senior Aircraftsman and his efforts have gone far beyond that expected of his rank.  As the TSW representative at the Joint Helicopter Command monthly Battlefield Helicopters Allocation Meeting, he often finds himself as the only representative below the rank of Warrant Officer.  Nevertheless he still commands respect and delivers thorough and precise briefings with regard to the levels of support TSW can offer for specified periods, seeks clarification on taskings, and conducts a cross check of all agreed support.  Without his assured intelligence, meticulous attention to detail and proven leadership and management capabilities, the output from the Operations Room would be severely compromised. 
 
As well as performing exceptionally in his primary duty, Exelby dedicates much of his time to wider Service engagement.  He volunteered to organise the TSW display for the Air Combat Power Visit at RAF Coningsby.  In addition to the standard planning associated with deploying manpower, vehicles and deployed fuels equipment, Exelby produced a point brief for inclusion in the events briefing programme.  This point brief was of such an exceptional level that he received a laudatory letter of appreciation from the Senior Officer in charge of the event organising committee.  He then took the lead in briefing a total of 400 visitors including senior officers of Air Rank and the students of the Advanced Command and Staff Course.   

Further to all he achieves within his primary role, Exelby also excels outside of work with his extra curricular activities.  He was instrumental in the planning of the TSW Families Day; as the event Publicity Member he produced an exceptional programme that would not have looked out of place at an event of a much larger scale.  His desire to continually raise the profile of the RAF is also evident as he volunteers as a Service Instructor for the Stafford detachment of the Staffordshire Air Training Corps where, in the words of the Officer Commanding, he has made a ‘massive impact on the unit in terms of skills and training’. 

Exelby is the model TSW airman – immensely capable, hard-working and unreservedly devoted he absolutely represents what the unit has strove to instil from its very inception.

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Andy "Bart" Lawty

Andy "Bart" Lawty

It is with profound sadness that we record the death of Andy “Bart” Lawty on 10th February 2016 after a long battle with cancer.  Bart was an extremely popular member of the Wing from 1989 to ‘91 and again from 1994 to 2006.  He bore his illness with the utmost courage and fortitude and – as readers of last winter’s Newsletter will recall – after leaving the RAF, he forged a new career as a Registered Mental Health Nurse, graduating from the University of Wales in Bangor in 2013.  It was great to see him at the past two Association Reunions.

The funeral will be a public service at 11:30 am at Amlwch church, Anglesey, on Friday 19th February 2016, followed by a short service of committal at 3:00 pm at Bangor Crematorium.  The wake will be held at the Breeze Hotel Benllech, Anglesey. It is the family’s wish for no flowers please, but donations to Combat Stress. No black to be worn as the funeral will be a celebration of Andy’s life and achievements.

Our thoughts and condolences go out to Jo and the children.

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Peter Brown

We record with sadness the death of Peter Brown on 6th January 2016 in Felixstowe; Peter was a member of 3207 Servicing Commando. If any member wishes to get in touch with Peter's daughter regarding her father, please contact either the Chairman or Treasurer.

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