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Folkestone Town Council has signed up to the Armed Forces’ Covenant, a promise from the nation that those who serve or have served in the Armed Forces, and their families, are treated fairly.
Folkestone Town Council has always been an ‘Armed Forces Friendly’ organisation and actively promotes the Armed Forces and Cadets via a strong programme of civic and community events which evidences how they Respect and Remember. For example, annual services and events for Normandy D-Day, Armed Forces Day, Canada Day, VJ Day, Battle of Britain Day and Remembrance Day Services. The Council has therefore received a bronze award from the Armed Forces’ Covenant Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) in acknowledgement of its support.
The Town Mayor of Folkestone, Councillor Martin Salmon, said “We are delighted to become part of the ever growing list of leading companies and organisations that have signed up to the Armed Forces’ Covenant, recognising the value that serving personnel (both Regular and Reservists), Veterans and military families contribute to our businesses, communities and country.”

Armed Forces’ Covenant and Employer Recognition Scheme
The South East Regional Employer Engagement Director for the Ministry of Defence, Captain Jonathan Darrington-Slegg, said “Signing the Armed Forces Covenant has provided an opportunity to establish a solid relationship between Folkestone Town Council and the Armed Forces Community. Co-signing the Covenant with the Royal Gurkha Rifles and representatives from the Local Cadet Forces has provided an opportunity to create local links with the regionally based Armed Forces Units.
The official signing of the Covenant took place at a Full Council meeting in the newly
refurbished Council Chamber on the first floor of the Town Hall on Thursday 16th March 2017 at 19:00 hrs. The Covenant was signed by Lt Chris Boote from 2nd Battalion of the Royal Gurkha Rifles, Sub Lt Adam Smith from the Sea Cadets Corps, Capt Kishore Gurung from the Army Cadet Force, Flt Lt Mike Essex from the Air Training Corps, the Town Mayor of Folkestone and the Town Clerk, Mrs Jennifer Childs.

Chichester College pledges to support Armed Forces


Chichester College has committed to supporting Armed Forces personnel and their families.

At a ceremony at the college’s Brinsbury campus on Friday (17 March), college Principal Shelagh Legrave OBE signed the Armed Forces Covenant alongside Lieutenant Colonel Andy Betts, Commander of the Princess of Wales’ Royal Regiment, and Brendan Williams, Chief Executive of military charity Building Heroes.

The covenant represents a promise by the nation that those who serve or have served – and their families – are treated fairly.

In signing up, the college demonstrates that it recognises the value of serving personnel, veterans, reservists and military families and has vowed to be Armed Forces-friendly. That involves everything from helping veterans – of all ages – gain education and training as well as employment to supporting staff who are reservists.

The college currently works closely with the Armed Forces in a number of ways, including running an Army cadet group at the Chichester campus.

It also works with Building Heroes, an Armed Forces charity based in West Sussex, to provide training for military veterans – helping them to pursue new careers in the construction industry.

Shelagh, who herself served in the Army, said: “We are proud to sign the covenant and to strengthen the relationship we already have with the Armed Forces. It is extremely important to me, and to the college, that our veterans have the opportunity to get the education and support they need to gain a career after they have left the military. Through our Public Services courses, we are helping young people start their journey into the services. We also actively support our staff to serve as reservists, working with them to enable them to attend training camps and spend time on detachment. We owe a lot to our military and it is our honour to champion our servicemen and women – past, present and future.”

RAF confirms red skies over Scampton

The skies above RAF Scampton will be coloured red this September as the legendary Red Arrows are named among the first display aircraft to confirm participation at the inaugural Scampton Airshow, in Lincolnshire.

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Reinforcing its commitment to the new airshow, the Royal Air Force has announced that the nine BAE Systems Hawk T1/T1A jets, which comprise the world-famous Red Arrows, will be a prominent feature at the Scampton Airshow, alongside flying displays from some of the Service’s most dynamic and iconic aircraft.


Spectators will be treated to the trademark combination of close formation and precision flying from the world’s premier aerobatic display team as they will be performing over their home turf under the leadership of Sqn Ldr David Montenegro.


Paul Sall, Airshow Director, said: “We are thrilled to announce the Reds as the first aircraft in what I’m sure will be a great line-up for the debut Scampton Airshow – there really could be no one else to kick it off.

“With almost 5,000 displays under their belt and a very successful tour of the far East and China late last year, the Red Arrows demonstrate the best of British, and the excellence and capabilities of the Royal Air Force. We have had the privilege to see them train during the winter months at the base and are sure that they will leave visitors to the airshow exhilarated.”

Joining the flying display line-up will be leading multi-role combat aircraft, the RAF Typhoon FGR.4. Displayed by Flt Lt Ryan Lawton of 29(R) Sqn, the Typhoon, from RAF Coningsby, is capable of being deployed in the full spectrum of air operations, and is set to thrill spectators with its incredible agility and power.


As it celebrates its 60th anniversary, the RAF’s Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, will display five of its most famous and successful WW2 aircraft. Crucial to the Dambusters raid, spectators will be able to enjoy the evocative sight and sound of the Lancaster bomber, as well as that of four BBMF Spitfires.


The RAF Falcons Parachute Display Team have also confirmed they will be joining the Scampton Airshow line-up with a jaw-dropping free fall performance. The Falcons, fronted by Officer Commanding Flight Lieutenant Simon Owen, are one of the world’s leading free fall display teams. Their exciting demonstration, which includes advanced manoeuvres, canopy skills and falling at speeds up to 120mph, promises to be a highlight for thrill-seeking onlookers.

Paul Sall continued: “When discussions were in progress surrounding the RAF’s commitment to a new airshow, it was agreed that RAF Scampton was the ideal place to host it. Not only does the station hold so much history as the base of the legendary 617 ‘Dambusters’ Squadron and the venerable Vulcan, but there is also a huge appetite for an airshow in Lincolnshire. Through the BBMF and various ground displays we’ll be looking to reflect this county’s rich aviation heritage.


“It’s great to see that the RAF is continuing to show its full commitment to the airshow, and we look forward to announcing the static aircraft will be added to the line-up in due course. The RAF confirmations are just a taste of what’s to come so we really hope everyone will get behind this exciting new event.”


The Scampton Airshow, staged in support of the RAF Charitable Trust, will take place from 9-10 September at RAF Scampton. Visitors to the show will witness an impressive five-hour flying display, complemented by an array of entertainment on the ground, from a nostalgic Vintage Village through to interactive and engaging STEM exhibits in the Techno Zone.

Under 16s are free to attend with a ticket holding adult. To find out more about the Scampton Airshow, or to buy your tickets, please visit

Ski-Mountaineering World Championships


Captain Tania Noakes, the Unit Adventurous Training Officer for Oxford UOTC, has recently competed at the Ski-Mountaineering world championships as part of the Great British ladies team. The championships were held in Alpago-Piancavallo Italy from 23February to the 4th March 2017.

Athletes from 25 Nations took part in the championships which included 5 races. An individual race, team race in squads of two, sprint race, vertical race and a relay race. Captain Noakes is part of the Army ski mountaineering team who are striving to promote opportunities and wider participation of Service personnel in this exciting and challenging new sport.

This was her first time racing at the world championship level and the competition from the much larger squads from the Alpine nations was at an inspiring and fiercely competitive level.

In the individual Tania managed to place first GB female and partnered with Ursula Moore in the team race came 11th female team.

The Army will be running a ski-mountaineering race training camp next winter season 2017-18 to help equip budding Army ski-mo racers with the essential skills to take part competitively in this challenging and exciting new sport. 

Exercise Snow Eagle


Me straddling Austria and Germany after ski touring up to 1844 metres above sea level 

My name is Paul Doodson and I am currently a LAC Logs (MTD), Reserve with 501 Squadron RAuxAF.  I recently attended Ex SNOW EAGLE adventurous training exercise in Bavaria, Germany.

This year was my first experience of the Eagle scheme and it was an absolutely brilliant time that was had by all.  I and 6 other members of my Squadron joined 60+ Regular members of the RAF, all of us at different skill levels, so all getting something different from the experience.

On Ex SNOW EAGLE there are 3 different basic levels of training – Ski Foundation (SF) 1, 2 and 3:

  1. This level is for people who have never skied before. By the end of the week each person will be at a level where they can confidently stop, turn, control speed and ultimately tackle basic blue runs, more challenging red runs, and occasionally a black run.


  1. Once you have completed SF1 or have skied before and have a good competent level of ability, this group hone their skills on the slopes, advance to black runs ‘as a standard’ and prepare to advance to the next group.


  1. For the advanced skier, this group spends a lot of time skiing off piste, ski touring, undertaking avalanche training and rescue. This group gets prepared to go onto the next course which is a whole new package of training which is Ski Leadership 1, 2 and 3.

Every person I spoke to in each of these groups thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of the week and all got a massive sense of achievement from their week’s work. This week was very enjoyable but don’t be fooled into thinking it is a free ski trip. Personally I was in the SF3 group and this was very physically demanding, from skiing off piste, digging in deep snow for avalanche search and rescue and most demanding was ski touring. This involves putting skins onto the bottom of the skis, detaching the heel part of your ski binding and then basically walking up the mountain. The payoff for this though is amazing views not available from the top of a ski lift and then, of course, the off piste trip back down creating fresh tracks of your own!

SNOW EAGLE is one of many different schemes that are run as adventure training; there is also mountain biking, canoeing and mountaineering. It is well worth looking on the MOSS website to find out more.

Sussex Sea Cadets Drill and Piping Competition – 19 Feb 17

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Ordinary Cadet Oriana Anane-Dumfeh, 15 – TS Eastbourne SCC

“I’ve been a member of the Sea Cadets for three years after I saw the advert on TV; I love all the sailing activities and making new friends. It’s great to be taught how to sail properly – I’d really recommend joining it’s so much fun”.

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Family shot L-R: Able Cadet Elisha, Chief Petty Officer Karl  and Ordinary Cadet Camron.

Chief Petty Officer Karl O’Keefe said: “We’ve had three generations in the Sea Cadets, I also have another daughter who has also joined and my father was in too! It’s a great hobby for young people to get involved in, it helps to develop well rounded and mature young adults and also gives them so many fantastic opportunities”.

Ordinary Cadet Camron O’Keefe said: “I really enjoy meeting new people, going on all of the courses and learning something different – there are so many qualifications you can do”.

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Ordinary Cadet, Tamsin Pendry, 14

“I had the opportunity to go to Canada for six weeks with the SCC which was life changing, I learnt about boating, competition shooting and more. Sea Cadets is just so much fun, there are lots of competitions and courses, and I love it”.

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L-R: Junior Sea Cadets Spencer Ruxton Cocker and Liam Hunt.

Liam Hunt: “Piping is my favourite you wouldn’t get the chance to learn it anywhere else, Sea Cadets is so much fun”.

Mum Tracey Hunt said: “Liam is just so more confident since joining the Sea Cadets, he’s now able to go out on his own and broaden his circle of friends outside of school – it’s fantastic for him”

Spencer Ruxton-Cocker: “I really enjoy marching, kayaking and making new friends”

Mum Carri Ruxton Cocker: “His behaviour has improved massively since being in the sea cadets; the change is discipline is noticeable! It’s great, both my sons attend”.

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Ordinary Cadet Catherine Boorman, 15

“I’ve been in for four years – I’ve learnt so many things and had some great experiences. Sea Cadets provides so many opportunities that you wouldn’t get otherwise. My proudest achievement has been leading my squad today”.

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Cadet 1st Class Corrina Hopkinson

“I’ve learnt catering here and was involved in managing a buffet for 20 people! I love seamanship and have new life experiences – it’ll look great on my CV”

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Sub Lt Paul Huggett

 “I joined Sea Cadets at 10 and became a member of staff at 18, I joined the Royal Navy at the age of 23, and I now work in Air Traffic Control. You not only learn self-discipline, respect but strong core values from your peers. At 12 not many young people have a sense of responsibility and the Sea Cadets teaches that.

My highlight as a Sea Cadet has to be flying in the back of a Red Arrows plane at Cadet150 over Buckingham Palace – not many people can say they have done that!

There are just so many opportunities that certainly help young people later on in life and in their careers.”

106 Regt – Longmoor – PNCO Course – Sat 10 Feb 17

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“The Knowledge that I have gained from being a Reservist has helped me to get my current job – working as a Defence Analyst with DSTL”

Gunner Andreas Iliopoulos from Basingstoke is a Civil Servant and works for DSTL.  He has been in the Reserves for 3 years and is a member of 457 Battery (part of 106 Regiment) based in Southampton.  He said, “The Civil Service is also very generous, helping with training time with my Regiment and they give me 15 days a year, in addition to my normal holiday.  Gunner Iliopoulos was taking part in the Potential Non Commissioned Officers Course on Longmoor at the weekend, he is also currently training for his HVM (High Velocity Missile) Course, and is preparing for his first live firing weekend which will be held in Wales in March.

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“Following in his family’s footsteps”

Gunner Callum Hawksey who lives in Fareham is a Reservist with 106 Regiment Royal Artillery and is a member of 295 Battery based on Thorney Island, in civilian life he is a fitness instructor and has been in the Army Reserve for 3 years.  Callum said, “My family have served with 12 Regiment Royal Artillery who are based on Thorney Island and that was what motivated me to join the Reserves, in particularly the Royal Artillery.  Callum exercised in Canada last year with the Royal Artillery and is hoping for more opportunities for oversea travel with the Regiment.

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“I joined the Reserves at 40, a bit late but I love it, and I have managed to progress with my training quite quickly, as I can put in the extra time”

Gunner Russell Haley, is a member of 457 Battery based in Southampton, and lives in Pool.  Russel works as a Data Developer for an Insurance Company in Bournemouth so enjoys the diversity of his Reserve career.  Russell was taking part in the Potential Non Commissioned Officers Course being held at Longmoor last weekend.

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“I had hoped to join the Reserves earlier in my career but somehow it never happened, I thought I had missed my opportunity, when I spotted the age limit has been increased I jumped at the chance to fulfill an ambition”

Gunner Phill Ashby from Bassett in Southampton is a member of 457 Battery based at Blighmont.  Phill works in the construction industry as a self-employed builder and has only been in the Reserves for 18 months, and is working hard to progress in the Royal Artillery.  Gunner Ashby is hoping to do well in is Potential Non Commissioned Officers Course which he has been attending at Longmoor training area over the last 4 weekends.

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My employer is very supportive of my Reserve Career, it can be tough juggling them both, but if you manage your time properly it can be extremely rewarding”

Troop Commander Second Lieutenant David Fuller from Southampton works as a City Councillor in Southampton and also works for the MP Royston Smith as a Parliamentary Assistant.  David has been in the Reserves for 6 years – he joined the University Officers Training Corps whilst at University and then when to join the Royal Artillery.  He completed his Officers Commissioning Course at Sandhurst in 2016, and said, “It was one of the toughest experiences in my life but well worth it.”

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One Army regular and Reserve Members of the Armed Forces from 12 Regiment and 106 Regiment Royal Artillery taking part in the first jointly run Potential Non Commissioned Officer Course, run by 106 Regiment Royal Artillery and held over 4 weekends at Longmoor Training Camp

Commanding Officer 106 Regiment Royal Artillery Lieutenant Colonel Tim Pennett TD, who visited his Reservists and members of 12 Regiment at the weekend.  He said, “We are paired with and we support 12 Regiment Royal Artillery – as they support us.

Working and training together at this level is important we get to know each other and we get to see how we all operate, so the understanding and bonding of both Regular and Reserves has already taken place.”

He added, “So when we take part in operations the ground work has been done.”