News Items





For more detail every fortnight

Service Personnel & Veterans Agency - January 2008

The following item has been "cut and pasted" from the Veterans UK Website.   You can see the full site by clicking on the following link:

RAF News 22nd June 2007


The picture on the left (from Coventry City Council) shows a statue created by Faith Winter of Sir Frank Whittle.   The statue was commissioned by the city of Coventry where Sir Frank was born, and was unveiled by Ian Whittle, Sir Frank's son,on the 100th anniversary of his father's birth.


RAF News 13th April 2007

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!!


1st April 2007

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 in to three Commands, Strike Command at RAF High Wycombe, Logistics Command at RAF Brampton, and Personnel and 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 and Training Command will merge on 1st April 2007 at RAF Wycombe and be known as "Air Command".


February 2007

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 will 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.


June 2006

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, see MoD website:

When filling out the form:-
* 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.
It is hoped that it will become established as part of the national calendar like Remembrance Sunday.
The 27th June was chosen because it falls on the day after the anniversary of the first investiture of the Victoria Cross in Hyde Park in 1857.
See details on MoD website:


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  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 by e-mailing info(AT) or through their Website.  


RAF St. Athan Becomes MOD St. Athan

The Military base will be renamed from 1 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.


Bomber Command Exhibition

The Imperial War Museum North is at Trafford Park on the banks of the Manchester Ship Canal.   Until 7th February 2007 it is displaying artefacts telling the wider story of Bomber Command (1935 - 1945).  The exhibition is called "Against the Odds".   It includes actions against ships and U-boats, mine-laying, army support and countering V weapons etc.   Personal experiences of aircrew, ground crew, factory workers and other personnel are also covered.   Further details through Tel; 0161-836 4000 or Website at


February 2006

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.

June 2005

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.


June 2005

RAF Innsworth to Close

In 1940 Innsworth (Gloucester) opened as a training depot for RAF personnel.
From July 1941 No.7 School of Technical Training trained Engine & Airframe Mechanics.
In December 1941 No.2 WAAF Depot was set up, and the station then became mainly devoted to WAAF training until 1944.
During 1944-1945 it was used by the RCAF for personnel administration leading up to D-Day.

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.

Closure will 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.
Some posts from High Wycombe move to other main operating bases.
The Personnel Management Agency, and the Armed Forces Personnel Administration Agency move from Innsworth to High Wycombe in 2008.

* * * * * *

Coltishall is to close in 2006, and Lyneham by 2012


January 2005

Marconi Memorabilia

Memorabilia 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 Office.

At the university, about 250 artefacts will be held by The Museum of the History of Science, while thousands of documents well be held by The Bodlieian Library.

Some material also relates to GEC, English Electric, AEI, Elliott Brothers, British Thomson Houston, and Metrpolitan Vickers names to conjure with.

The university is planning a major exhibition for the Spring of 2006.

August 2001

  Trenchard Museum

The Journal Salisbury freebie reports:-
Lord Trenchard began his flying at the CFS at Upavon in 1912.   Night landings, air-to-ground communication, and bombing were developed there.

Although the Army took over Upavon in 1993, the 1914 small HQ building has become The Trenchard Museum under RAF control. The Commander's offices are preserved as they were. Memorabilia such as Trenchard's flying log, and miniature medals are in the museum.

Upavon is on the A342 about 13 miles W 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


































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