NEWS ROUND UP

Lucky 13
We all start the year with the best of intentions to move a little more and get a little fitter but Flight Sergeant Al Clarkson of 13 Squadron RAF Waddington took it to the extreme when he set himself the personal challenge to run 13 miles each day for 13 consecutive days.

Inspired by the likes of John Bishop and Eddie Izzard FS Clarkson set out on his mammoth challenge on 21stJanuary; a day which saw most of the county covered in snow. Unfazed by the notoriously bitter Lincolnshire weather, Flight Sergeant Clarkson said that the first run was all about staying upright and avoiding injury.

Flight Sergeant Clarkson said:
I woke up on day one to discover that it had snowed quite heavily overnight. The ice was a big issue making conditions difficult underfoot but much worse was the temperature. When the temperatures are in the minus range it takes its toll on your muscles and the recovery time is longer.”

Not to be put off, Flight Sergeant Clarkson soon found his stride and as the snow subsided, he managed to avoid injury and stay on schedule.

Just What the Doctor Ordered…
Personnel from RAF Waddington made an early Christmas delivery to a local food bank centre in Lincoln to help those in our community who are in need of a little extra support at this time of year.

Encouraged this year to “do something different” Station personnel were asked if they’d like to make a grocery donation instead of sending their colleagues a Christmas card. Several collection points were set up around the Station for personnel to drop their grocery donations into and led by the Station Medical Centre personnel Senior Aircraftman Jen Harvey and SAC Al Field, donations were gathered together and have been delivered to the Trussell Trust Food Bank in Lincoln.

Senior Aircraftwoman Jen Harvey said “We strongly felt that the food bank was a worthy cause and the support on Station has been great. We have everything from tins of soup to the all important Christmas Pud!”

The Food Bank will distribute the donations amongst those in the community most in need, ensuring that the food is distributed to suit the needs of each family and individual who most needs a helping hand.

We’re doomed…Oh no we’re not!
So, the 21st December 12 Mayan doomsday never hit. Good news! Unless, of course, it did and I am living a ground-hog existence with nothing to look forward to.

December was a busy month for 14 Squadron on operations and back home with several high profile visitors to the Squadron during December, including the Deputy National Security Advisor and Commander Joint Forces Command, ACM Peach. They were given a capabilities brief of the aircraft and met with Squadron personnel.

On the social side, 14 Squadron has seen a busy time with several Christmas parties taking place. The Squadron Christmas party was held at Petwood Hall, which was home to 617 Dambusters Squadron during the Second World War. The Squadron Families Christmas party was enjoyed by the many that attended, including a visit by Santa for the children. Thanks to Sergeant Mike Gormley for that one! Now officially Mr Mike Gormley, we wish him the very best for his future in civvy street. And we say good luck, through gritted teeth, to Flight Sergeant Danny Bedford as he heads across the pond to Virginia Beach… lucky devil!

Onto Squadron sport and this from the newly appointed “Crusaders FC” player/manager, Flight Lieutenant Alex Ball, “Crusaders FC, 14 Sqn’s 6-a-side football team, started their inaugural season in January 2013 at Sincil Bank Stadium, Lincoln. Playing matches every Wednesday, the season got off to a less than auspicious start with the opening two weeks fixtures cancelled due to inclement weather. Perhaps suffering from first match nerves, Crusaders lost their opening fixture 5-2, but showed a marked improvement to draw their second one all against the top rated side in the league. At this early stage in the season, Crusaders are targeting a top half of the table finish, but as the season progresses hope to push for the coveted top two spots that would ensure promotion in
8 weeks time…”

Ground training for personnel and the constant rotation of Conversion courses continue with other Squadron personnel taking the opportunity to complete various personal development courses such as the Flight Authorisers Course at the Centre of Aviation Safety Training at Shrivenham and the Air Electronic Warfare Course at RAF Cranwell. Looking ahead, 14 Squadron is aiming to maintain its usual flexibility and forward thinking in order to continue to provide effective in theatre operations whilst still achieving a good level of training both in the air and on the ground, in the UK.

RAF WADDINGTON BRING A LITTLE CHRISTMAS CHEER TO LINCOLN COUNTY HOSPITAL
Led by Wing Commander Tim Monk, RAF Waddington personnel were loaded up with books, colouring pens and pencils, games and puzzles purchased from Asda Living with £500 kindly donated by the RAF Waddington Charities Committee.

Wing Commander Tim Monk said: “It’s a real pleasure to be here today. These children show immense courage in dealing with their illnesses. Hopefully these gifts will make their stay a little less stressful and bring a smile to their faces.”

When Asda Living were made aware that the gifts were being purchased for the children’s ward at the hospital they joined in the Christmas spirit by very kindly donating a beautifully decorated Christmas Tree.

Quality of Life Pays for New Ground Floor Tea-Bar
After being posted in as Officer Commanding Accounts Flight in June 2012, I started to let my OCD get the better of me and I began to organise the Office. I came across a room that was being used to archive files and wondered whether it could be put to better use as a Tea-Bar.

The lack of tea bar facility on the ground floor, although not directly a problem, was causing personnel to leave water to stagnate in bottles or walk down a narrow staircase with hot liquids, both of which are not a good idea health and safety wise. After a quick chat with the Site Estate Team, it was agreed that the archive room could become a small tea bar with a sink and a boiler, which would solve the health and safety concerns.

Having the ladies toilets back onto the archive room made it possible for plumbers to access pipes for drainage and drinking water. Unfortunately that meant we would have to move all our archives out, no easy task! But it seemed like a small price to pay when Flight Lieutenant Constantine told me that the Statement of Need for the Tea – Bar had been approved and funding would be available.

After a lot of blood, sweat and tears by my Accounts Team, to blow away the cobwebs in order to access the bunker behind the Med Centre, shifting the mounds of boxes that had accumulated over the years. In an attempt to assist, I carried a few boxes over to the bunker myself but on entering, I was unaware that you had to prop open the heavy metal doors and I managed to lock myself and my Corporal in. With no phone signal, and no one to shout for help we appeared to be stuck! Luckily, Corporal ‘Houdini’ Johnston managed to find a way out to open the jammed (not locked, thank goodness) door.

After a lot of hard work, and a little magic from my team, work on the new Tea-Bar commenced on the 7 Jan 13. After a few days I could see it taking shape; however, I soon realised that they were not only adding the sink, boiler etc… but had also started building work surfaces, cupboards and were decorating the room!  I was not the most popular in SHQ at the time as there was a fair amount of noise and the Ladies had to use the Gentlemen’s toilets for a day – smelly times! However, I was so pleased that we had been given more than the bare minimum.  With only some disruption to the building, the work was completed 2 weeks later – the results of my funding request was more than I imagined and so, on behalf of my team and I, a very big thank you to the Site Estate Team for such a quick turn around and fantastic results!

All Together Now
A cold, dark evening on Thursday 7 February did nothing to dampen the spirits of RAF and ISS staff alike at a beer call arranged by Steve Owen-Browne, Catering Squadron Warrant Officer and John Miller, interim ISS General Manager.

It was a chance for everyone to relax and catch up with each other away from the workplace, and a celebration of the CRL partnership; now moving from strength to strength, and onto new innovations such as the introduction of the ISS Loyalty Card.

CCM (Core Catering Manpower) joined forces with their ISS counterparts for a lively evening that saw a big turnout, with karaoke, bad singing, and good fun.

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