Service Personnel & Veterans Agency
On Monday 2 April 2007, the Ministry of
Defence (MOD) officially launched the Service Personnel and
You can see the full site by clicking on the following link:
I couldn't help but have a little laugh at the final paragraph on the back page of the RAF News published on 13th April which stated "Hangars at the Officers' and Aircrew Selection Centre, Cranwell have undergone a £109,000 facelift. The hangars, which house equipment to test leadership and command skills of candidates to join the RAF as officers and NCO aircrew, have seen the old safety mats replaced with new, state-of-art flooring". I wondered were they able to afford longer planks!!
RAF Command Structure
And then there was one
Like me I am sure most of you can remember when we had more RAF Commands than we now seem to have RAF Stations. Even I as a relative sprog can remember Home, Bomber, Fighter, Transport, Coastal, Flying Training, Technical Training, Maintenance, and Signals Commands without even considering the Overseas Commands.
Back on 1st April 1994 the RAF was re-organised into three Commands; Strike Command at RAF High Wycombe, Logistics Command at RAF Brampton, and Personnel & Training Command at RAF Innsworth. Subsequently Logistics Command was disbanded on 1st April 2000 being absorbed into the Defence Logistics Organisation.
Now the last two Commands, Strike Command and Personnel & Training Command will merge on 1st April 2007 at RAF Wycombe and be known as "Air Command".
Future of St Athan
St Athan has now been named as the future base of a massive new training campus. Existing plans propose that most of the military's aeronautical engineering, electro-mechanical engineering and communications and information systems training will move to St Athan over the next 10 years. This will have considerable impact on existing training at Cosford, Cranwell, Digby and St. Athan.
It is planned that all training at Cosford be relocated to St. Athan. Cosford is currently the home of the Defence College of Aeronautical Engineering, including amongst others No.1 Radio School.
The Aerial Erector School at RAF Digby will also be relocated to St Athan.
UK Veterans Badge
Men and women who Served in HM Armed Forces up to 31 December 1959 are entitled to a Veterans Badge. It is a survivors' lapel badge, for wearing on civilian attire. I calculate that all members of the RAFCAA qualify for the badge now.
The badge is not issued posthumously, the only exceptions being War Widows and Widowers who are in receipt of a War Widow/Widower Pension paid by the Veterans Agency.
The eventual aim is to include all those who served in HM Armed Forces; however the early demand for the badge is high.
For full details and to get an application form, Click here.
Note when filling out the form that you are likely to have been discharged on your birthday, preceded by 4 weeks discharge leave, and possibly 4 weeks job-training leave, but your birthday will be the end-of-service date.
UK Veterans Day
The government has instituted 27th June as
National Veterans' Day to honour former servicemen and women
within the UK.
For further details, Click here.
New Airfield Charity Successfully Launched
The Airfields of Britain Conservation Trust (ABCT) created history at the RAF Museum in Hendon on 1st June 2006 by formally appearing as a national charity. This fresh organisation will provide Britain's disused airfields with regular memorials to highlight their unique place in society. A Website at www.abct.org.uk is already active and education support will be offered. Plans are currently underway on various schemes to enhance the good progress made since ABCT formed early in 2006. If you are interested in the work carried out by the Airfields of Britain Conservation Trust, or would like to contribute towards its aims, please contact them through their Website.
RAF St. Athan Becomes MOD St. Athan
The Military base will be renamed from 1st July to embrace MOD, Royal Marines, Army, RAF and civilian sub-contractors. The Special Forces Support Group includes members of No.1 Parachute Regiment, Royal Marines, and RAF Regiment. No.4 School of Technical Training, which was first established there for Mechanics, Riggers, and MT Drivers, remains. It now caters for General Engineering Trade Groups 5 and 13. The RAF element is based on the East Camp.
St. Athan is also being considered as a possible site for a Tri-Service Defence Academy.
The extensive area purchased in 1936 has been reduced by the sale of 100 acres to the Welsh Assembly.
Ground Terminal for Satellite Comms
Oakhanger was handed to civilian contractor Paradigm in 2003. However, nearby is the NATO Satellite Ground Terminal still operated by RAF personnel, all of at least Corporal rank. Look for the large white Geodesic dome if you're passing. They have recently changed from using the UK NATO 4 Bravo satellite, to the Skynet 4 Delta satellite, which is in 'stationary' orbit at 36,000 kilometres.
Communications and Control Centres
In July 2004 it was decided to organise two hubs - Logistics at Wittering, and Communications at Scampton. A digital air defence Control and Reporting Centre (CRC) has recently been opened at Scampton. It occupies the 1936 two-storey building next to SHQ.
Subsequently it has been decided to locate Air Combat Service Support Units (ACSSU) at Leeming. The long-term future of Scampton is under review, but among its sections are the Red Arrows, the [2nd?] CRC, and the Mobile Meteorological Unit.
Aircraft Carrier Ramp at RAF Wittering
At RNAS Yeovilton, the RN had a simulated carrier deck with ramp, based on that of HMS Ark Royal. With the phasing out of the Sea Harrier, it is being decommissioned. A replacement has been built at RAF Wittering to train Joint Force Harrier pilots for the two services.
RAF Innsworth to Close
Innsworth (Gloucester) opened as a training depot for RAF
personnel. From July 1941 No.7 School of Technical
Training trained Engine & Airframe Mechanics.
At the end of the war RAF Base Accounts Office moved from York to Gloucester, and it became the Central Pay Office. It also administered the Records Office at nearby Barnwood.
take place over the next 3 years, and 700 service, 1000 civilian,
plus 100 contractor posts will be lost. HQ Personnel &
Training Command moves to High Wycombe in 2006.
* * * * * *
Coltishall is to close in 2006, and Lyneham by 2012
associated with Guglielmo Marconi have been held by The Marconi
Company at Chelmsford since about 1895. Due to company mergers
and take-overs most are now being handed over to the University
of Oxford. A representative set of items for display will remain
with the Essex Museums Service and Essex Record
The Journal, a Salisbury
freebie, reported that Lord Trenchard began his flying at the CFS
at Upavon in 1912. Night landings, air-to-ground communication,
and bombing were developed there.
Upavon is on the A342 about 13 miles West of Andover. The museum is not generally open to the public, but it is possible to visit by contacting the curator - Cpl. Ian Saunders RAF on 01980 - 615298.
The RAFCAA is Registered under Charities Act 1960 - No. 1007716