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Old 8th Nov 2017, 14:05   #1 (permalink)
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Memories of RAFG

Ladies & Gentlemen,

If any of you have served the colours during the Cold War years over in the Federal Republic of dear old Deutschland, indeed up to and including 2000! I would very much like to hear any recollections, anecdotes etc. You can post them on this thread or pm them to me.

Many Thanks in advance.

FB
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Old 8th Nov 2017, 14:25   #2 (permalink)
 
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Laarbruch 1976-79. Best tannoy message ever...........

"This is the station commander speaking. Endex, endex, endex. All station bars are now open".
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Old 8th Nov 2017, 14:41   #3 (permalink)
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Superb Linedog,

Have you any recollections regarding incidents prior to said message being issued? Such as trouble getting civilians to co-operate while the station went to war?

FB
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Old 8th Nov 2017, 15:13   #4 (permalink)
 
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Finningley Boy (#1),

Try me on "Gaining a R.A.F. Pilots Brevet in WWII" Thread, Page 223 #4447 et seq.

Danny.
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Old 8th Nov 2017, 15:46   #5 (permalink)
 
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Bruggen 76-79, Your Task in Peace is to Train for war, don't you forget it. Johnny W____r standing at the corner of various roads during an Alert with his stopwatch. Mass launch at the end of the exercise, 'get a digger a push the us Jag of the taxiway. Prior to the plastic cover being put over the 'Alert' button, Ops Officer who has leant on the button, 'what the F__k is that'.
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Old 8th Nov 2017, 15:55   #6 (permalink)
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I'm just trying to picture the scene KPax, I take it the pushing of the alert button started the exodus of Jags but were blocked by the one sat on the taxiway.

Best Regards,

FB
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Old 8th Nov 2017, 16:14   #7 (permalink)
 
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Oddly my most vivid memory comes shortly after the Berlin Wall had come down. We were still struggling with the implications of the change of role from deterrence to out-of-area and all that time spent on Taceval and worrying about the arrival of the Spetsnaz troops was behind us.

My office was bang next to the southern taxiway at Laarbruch and I was idly staring out of the window one day when a camouflaged Antonov taxied past. Nearly needed a change of underwear.
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Old 8th Nov 2017, 16:21   #8 (permalink)
 
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My wife had 3 small jobs around Gutersloh: dinner lady at the school at Manser (sp) barracks; clerk typist in one of the brown job offices; and finally, the internal mail delivery driver on camp. This was a great job, whizzing around, outside and around the base all day long. She knew the place better than I did! (I was on 230) She drove the mail about in one of the two tannoy-equipped minivans (remember minivans?) that were used by MT to call out the troops on the married patches during wars or exercises.

On the day she found out she was pregnant with our daughter, she was, er, not quite herself- fair enough, you'd agree. End of shift, she backed her van into its strictly allocated spot when she heard and felt a loud bang! The tinkling of glass followed in slow motion. She got out, in shock, only to see that she had crashed her minivan into the only other tannoy-van on base! The MT FS wanted so much to go ape, but she (very very uncharacteristically) started sobbing uncontrollably. He took his ire out on the sniggering airmen, who soon realised they were going to be staying on until both broken vans were roadworthy again.

All he could pour on Mrs Golf was, "You, don't wear those silly (high heeled) shoes tomorrow!"

So, at least one night in 1984 being Taceval-free is down to my unborn daughter!
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Old 8th Nov 2017, 16:46   #9 (permalink)
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99CH and CG,

Thanks very much, that's the kind of stuff I'm looking for, I'll be in touch with all individually in due course.

Best Regards,

FB
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Old 8th Nov 2017, 16:52   #10 (permalink)
 
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Security worries at top secret German base nr Elmpt, HAS wicker door padlocks deemed insufficent against the possible security threat at the time, so all the locks changed for items made of Cryptonite and forged with Thors Hammer..
Security now satisfied... fast forward a week or so and at night the fire alarms go off in a HAS with two state of the art next generation armed fighters inside... OK.. I admit it, they were Jags

Pugh, Pugh, Barney McGrew, Cuthbert, Dibble and Grub deploy, blue lights flashing and bolt croppers at the ready rapidly attend, 15 minutes of puffing and panting later, somone sent to get the keys as new locks are totally impervious to the fire sections efforts...

Locks rapidly replaced with the old items........


..

Last edited by NutLoose; 8th Nov 2017 at 17:52.
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Old 8th Nov 2017, 17:00   #11 (permalink)
 
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Laarbruch Maxeval circa 1986

I took some TA reinforcements for the RIC, including three girls, and this lead to a whole raft of incidents because OC RIC at the time was the original MCP who could not understand that as far as the Army was concerned they were three JNCOs - sex was immaterial. I must point out that we were all armed win 9.0mm Brownings complete with blank ammunition. Towards the end of the exercise I had to send one of the girls across to RIC alternate and on the way she passed a HAS in which was a Tornado with stagings and people around the cockpit. On asking why our heroine was told that the crew had gone LMF and were not going to bomb innocent civilians. Her response was to to go up the ladder past various senior officers. On arrival at the cockpit the following exchange took place: JNCO: "Are you going to fly the mission?" Pilot: "No"; JNCO draws pistol, cycles round into breech and fires at pilot, turns and looks at assembled company: "Well dig him out and put a new one in." and then disappears on original mission. Needless to say before she returned to the original location, I had had an interesting conversation with the Staish about her actions. The only quick excuse that came to mind was that she was a Geordie!
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Old 8th Nov 2017, 17:43   #12 (permalink)
 
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TLP detachment, most drive to Jever in their own cars, but four or five of us use MT transport, MT requested for a Sherpa minibus and the smallest they can rustle up is a 56 seat coach and driver, now it's a long old drive in one of the RAF finest to the top of Germany from Bruggen so part way up the autobahn following a discussion between the driver and the five of us, we pull off into a Ratty for a food break and to use the toilets, suitably refreshed we join the on ramp and set off again when someone says where is Ivor?, looking back we see him in uniform standing in the car park with his bag of goodies from the shop, it took another 15 -20 miles before we could turn around and as we past the ratty heading south we could see him still standing there, we had to travel a fair few miles before we could pull off turn around and then head back to pick him up, just as well the bus wasn't full or he would still be standing there, ohh he wasn't amused...



..

Last edited by NutLoose; 8th Nov 2017 at 18:12.
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Old 8th Nov 2017, 19:00   #13 (permalink)
 
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During the early 1970’s at RAF Laarbruch in common with all the other RAFG bases, preparation for exercises particularly the dreaded Taceval were evident throughout the station at all times. One of the most widespread signs of these preparations were notices stuck on windows announcing that they had been sandbagged although there was not a sandbag to be seen anywhere. The exception to this were the RAF Regiments bofors gun emplacements scattered around the airfield which were fully sandbagged. On visiting one these I was therefore amused to see that someone had stuck a notice on one wall of the emplacement announcing that “these sandbags are a window”
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Old 8th Nov 2017, 19:10   #14 (permalink)
 
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Hope that this counts:
I was involved in an industry engine investigation at Bruggen 431MU in the mid 80's. In the afternoon a taceval was called so we went back to our hotel, the Lensen in Elmpt. My room overlooked the end of the runway and it was black outside but I well recall the shear awe inspiring energy of the formations of Tornado taking off into the night sky.
It seemed to last for ages but each time the thunder of the reheat shook the hotel walls as the jets accelerated down the runway.
This event stuck in my mind as a reminder of what might have happened had events worked out differently.
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Old 8th Nov 2017, 19:52   #15 (permalink)
 
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Another HAS story. II Sqn Laarbruch, about 1981.

The Mk1 HAS was equipped with clamshell doors. The door motors frequently failed but they could be pushed open or closed by a couple of blokes. On the inside of each door there was a 4" diameter steel pin which dropped into a hole in the floor in the closed position. One night shift, the lineys pushed both doors shut from the outside, only to discover the wicket door was also bolted closed from the inside.

It appeared that there was no way to get inside the HAS (which had two Jags in it) There was a circular hatch in the side of the HAS, about 12" diameter, for passing through a houchin cable but it was too small for anyone to get through. Then someone remembered that some ATC cadets were at Laarbruch for their summer camp. Someone was dispatched to their barrack block. They turned out all the cadets (at about one in the morning) and took the smallest one back to the squadron and shoved him through the houchin hole. The cadet unbolted the wicket door and the HAS was liberated. The cadet was returned to bed but the next day he was given the VIP tour of the sqn with lots of cockpit time.
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Old 8th Nov 2017, 20:10   #16 (permalink)
 
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Gutersloh, mid '80s. A mate who was an airframes basher on 3Sqn co-opted me into playing a huge prank on a fellow spanner wielder.
Said spannerman had not long been on base and had committed some minor misdemeanor and his so called mates decided to wind the poor bu&&er up somewhat. Being a fat civvy at the time, I was cast in the role of the SIB I duly appeared on the hanger balcony, a suitably worried Chiefy was summoned (everyone but the victim was in on this) and he pointed an accusing finger at said victim on the hanger floor, who was now bricking it for Britain. My little entourage slowly made our way to him -
'Are you SAC Bloggs?'
'Yes, but, but I didn't d ....'
'Save that for the court sonny! 1250, now!'
The magic was then broken by the entire hanger falling about in hysterics, me included.
'You b******s!!!!!!'
You had to be there.

Last edited by Green Flash; 8th Nov 2017 at 20:15. Reason: spolinge
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Old 8th Nov 2017, 20:33   #17 (permalink)
 
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I did three tours totalling 12 years plus so I have a fair number of anecdotes, some of which have appeared elsewhere and will, no doubt, be regurgitated unless I am howled down. This one is not so much funny as a window into the human psyche.

Guetersloh c. 1970.
Met. Office night duty staff [one forecaster, one observer] were accustomed to snatching 90 minutes charp each in the rest room/coffee bar. Each covered for the other.
One of the forecasters would retire, yawning, and within minutes exit through the ground floor window into his car, out of the gates, down to the nearest layby, and then pleasure his inamorata for a while before returning, back through the window, back into the camp bed, just in time to be "awakened" by the observer with a mug of coffee.

Everyone but everyone [including the snowdrops on the gate] knew exactly what was going on, but the conspiracy of silence was maintained in the hope that he would one night snag his testimonials on the window catch.
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Old 8th Nov 2017, 20:39   #18 (permalink)
 
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Buster15... now that you mention it, I remember in the First Gulf War, after the declaration, the Tornados launching from Bruggen. We lived in Montfort on the Dutch side, they went off in the evening and I wished them God's Speed. Later in the following morning they returned and as I had counted them out, I counted them back in again. Aviation is a wonderful fellowship, I worked in ATC at Eurocontrol/Maastricht UAC. Happy days, now behind me. Just my thoughts.
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Old 8th Nov 2017, 20:39   #19 (permalink)
 
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Wildenrath early '80's
Finish phantom phixing around midnight, too late for the station bars. Crawl under crash gate step across road into the Pony Hof and enjoy an audience with the "ladies" until breakfast was served in the mess.
Night flying again, strap crew in for sortie and explain that you will be enjoying supper when they return and would they give advance notice of the exact time?
"No problem we'll buzz the rugby club bar once we're in the circuit"

Gutersloh late 80's
My role in the Harrier repair team convoy was that of beer carrier with Bedford 4tonner and 1/4 ton trailer fully loaded and tarped up. That one caused SOXMIS a few sleepless nights

And as for my on line moniker, well, I can explain everything, as I tried to at the time in the Penn Club.

RAFG memories? a bit hazy really
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Old 8th Nov 2017, 20:42   #20 (permalink)
 
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that will be the Wobbly .............
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