THE ROYAL AIR FORCE SERVICING COMMANDO
and
TACTICAL SUPPLY WING ASSOCIATION

Representing a Common Heritage


NEWS ARCHIVE 2017

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Group Captain John Craven-Griffiths OBE

It is with great regret and sadness that we report the death, on Sunday 13th August, of Father of the Wing and Life Vice President Gp Capt John Craven-Griffiths OBE RAF (retd) after a short illness. The funeral was held, with suitable style, at the Church of St Paul and St Margaret, Nidd, Harrogate on Friday 1st September. TSW provided a guard of honour and pall bearers for the service; Association Chairman, David Orr, writes:

The weather was less than kind and the guard of honour, lining the path to the remote, rural Kirk were drookit`, rain dripping from cap-peaks which were held high, straight and proud nonetheless. Their presence was moving. The Bearer party of SNCOs were expertly marshalled into and out of the restricted space of the ancient nave and chancel by WO Mick Stokes, who had returned to the Wing for this duty in place of Wg WO Gaz Barlow, on richly-deserved holiday in Mexico. The mourners heard CG`s sons Robin, Guy and 2 grandsons give amusing, poignant recollections; and Robin Springett added reflections of a contemporary, military friend and colleague. Another member of the "founding few" team of TSW present amongst the mourners was Jim Coleman, transported by Bob McBey. CO TSW, Jamie Miller, brought particular focus to CG`s enduring legacy. His contribution was warmly welcomed and capped a fine send off.

Of course, as is the way with my prose tales, the sun broke through as CG was borne to the hearse for his final journey, TSW at attention, saluting farewell to their founder. In chatting with Barbara Craven-Griffiths after the service, we were struck by how touched she was by the serving and retired turn out and how keen she was to chat to the young airmen, to thank them personally.  Duty served all round, rightly.

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Wreath Laying at B3 Airfield

   

In July, our Historical Focal Point, Sqn Ldr Peter Berry laid a wreath at the memorial at B3 Airfield, St Croix sur Mer in Normandy, in memory of all those who served at the airfield in WWII. Pete reports that a few minutes after these photographs were taken, a group of British visitors arrived to pay their respects and to learn more about the Normandy Campaign and those who fought so bravely.

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2017 Annual Reunion Dinner and AGM

The 2017 Reunion Dinner and AGM was held at Stafford on 30th June and 1st July.  The events were very well attended, with 85 members and friends sitting down to dine in the Sergeants' Mess on the Friday evening.  At the dinner, the President’s Award was presented to the Airman of the Year, SAC Jordan Williams (see below), by Gp Capt David Packman who has very generously sponsored the Award for the next 5 years.

2017 Dinner

The AGM held on the Saturday morning; a résumé of the main points arising from the AGM is given below. Following the AGM and a buffet lunch in the Sergeants' Mess, members and guests were able to enjoy the TSW Families Day and, in the evening, the Hangar Bash.

2017 AGM

The main points arising from the AGM were as follows:

Burma Plaque

This plaque is in memory of the RAF Servicing Commandos who served in the Far East from 1944 to 1946.

Their bravery, endeavour and achievements will not be forgotten and will forever be an inspiration to those who provide expeditionary logistic support to the Royal Air Force.

 

Plaque in memory of the RAF Servicing Commandos placed in All Saints Church at Maymyo Hill Station, Myanmar (formerly Burma)

 

Alan McQuillin donated a picture and book to CO TSW for display in the Mess

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SAC Jordan Williams Airman of the Year - The President's Award

SAC Jordan Williams has consistently delivered exceptional performance in his primary role as an operator on Team 2 of A Flight. Having joined the Unit in Oct 13, he has completed tours of duty to Afghanistan, Oman, India and a plethora of exercises throughout his tenure. During this time he has established a reputation for reliability, professionalism and the proven ability to step-up and fulfil the duties of a JNCO when required. As such, he was selected to be one of the first SACs to undertake the new Defence Landing Point Commander’s Course and he was selected as acting Cpl for a three month detachment to the Falkland Islands in Aug 16.
It was during his time in the Falklands, in the JNCO Tactical Fuels role, that Williams cemented his suitability for this award. Throughout the tour his leadership and sound judgement were constantly displayed; he grasped the extra responsibility, with the ease of an experienced JNCO. Of particular note, due to his Sgt post being gapped, he displayed his potential by organising and completing numerous complex ship-to-shore fuel transfers; thus completing SNCO level duties faultlessly, which earned him laudable praise from his in-Theatre Chain of Command.
In addition to his primary duties, he volunteered to be the F&L Section QCIT representative, a high profile JNCO position which necessitated his attendance at weekly meetings to brief the squadron executives. This position found him routinely working out of hours to update working instructions in accordance with new legislation. He was also at the forefront of the successful Command External Quality Audit. A natural leader and mentor, he organised two AT/FD events to Port Stanley and a focused team building event for his section to enhance morale. This is an SAC who has gone beyond what was required.
During the past year he also deployed in support of Ex WINGED LEOPARD in Oman, where he was IC of his shift, fulfilling a JNCO’s role once again. To alleviate pressure on his management he took it upon himself to expertly manage fuel stocks, including predicting consumption and flawlessly organising fuel receipts from the Host Nation to meet operational requirements. During this Ex he also delivered comprehensive training on key blending equipment for operators unfamiliar with its capabilities; yet another example of going above and beyond his position and rank.
He again showed his abilities through his performance on his team’s Collective Training Re-validation Exercise. Throughout this challenging week he led by example and set the benchmark for his peers to aspire to. Of note, during the Forward Refuel Point serial, which puts a small team under pressure to demonstrate both fuel and force protection knowledge, he showed outstanding followership in supporting his JNCO, whilst motivating and mentoring the weaker members of the team to achieve the mission. Moreover, during decommissioning of the refuel site, he provided a safe solution to removing the remaining fuel from the tanks due to the loss of pump pressure. He briefed his Chain of Command and the training team of his resolution to the problem, which proved a highly appropriate course of action; thus demonstrating his confidence and ability in a dynamic and high pressure environment, where safety is the primary concern.
Back at MOD Stafford he has further enhanced his standing by mentoring two new JNCOs, who have benefited significantly from his knowledge and experience. Equally, he is the ‘go to’ person for junior SACs on Team 2 and has selflessly offered direction and guidance in order to help develop his immediate peer group.
In summary, SAC Williams is the epitome of the cadre of exceptional airmen and airwomen who have built TSW’s reputation over its 48 year history. Professional, dedicated and always willing and able to step up when required.
The TSW Airman of the Year for 2017  is SAC Jordan Williams.

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Gwyneth Pritchard

Gwyneth Pritchard

It is with great sadness that we report the death of Gwyneth Pritchard, who passed away at The Royal Gwent Hospital, on 27th February 2017, aged 88 years.  Gwyneth, together with her husband Eddie of 3206 SC, were instrumental in founding the RAF Servicing Commando Association – the forerunner of the RAFSC & TSW Association.  Unsurprisingly, Gwyneth was a keen supporter of the Association and continued for some years after Eddie’s death as Liaison Member for 3206 SC until her long illness eventually got the better of her.   Gwyneth, a former station announcer at Cardiff General Station, was a keen and accomplished artist and will be sadly missed by all those that knew her.

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Old Boss - New Boss

CO TSW, Wg Cdr Tim Moss, was lunched out of the Mess at Stafford on 2nd March in some style after 26 months in charge of TSW. 

Many well-known figures from the past enjoyed the splendid lunch presided over by WO Gary Barlow, TSW Wg WO.  Mr Ian Dodds of Air & Ground presented a cast Puma on a plinth; and your Association, represented by Chairman David Orr (never far from a good lunch) thanked Wg Cdr Moss for his energetic support of the link between the Wing and Association.  Donations (and fines!) raised a good sum for the RAF Benevolent Fund and Stafford Mountain Rescue.  

Tim is succeeded by Wg Cdr Jamie Miller on his return to the Wing; we wish both Tim and Jamie well in their new appointments.

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