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  • The race of truth

    All the competitors who took part in the 2nd BFG Cycle RaceThe summer weather certainly arrived early in Princess Royal Barracks for the latest BFG road cycle race. 

    With a very hot 30°C heat and with a fierce wind, 20 cyclists braved the conditions for the race and went for it. 

    The race involved five laps of the airfield amounting to 34km. It is a well-known destination for the BFG cyclists and has been used many times over the years; however, this was last race before the camp is closed under rebasing, and handed over to the German authorities. 

  • Danish Allies learn the ropes

    Lt Col Steen Wegener, CO 1 Guards Hussars (left), inspects the Javelin standAhead of a major NATO exercise later this year 1st Battalion The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment (1 PWRR) recently hosted representatives from the Danish 1st Guards Hussars at Barker Barracks, Paderborn.  

    The UK will take on the role of lead nation of the NATO’s Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF) in 2017, with the two units providing the armoured infantry support to the multi-national brigade. 

    The recent visit provided an ideal opportunity to develop relationships and for the Danish contingent to gain a better understanding of 1PWRR capability.

  • Braced for BATUS

    Clearing UDTA during exercise Noddy’s Run Earlier this month soldiers from 35 Engineer Regiment (35 Engr Regt) were on an exercise that saw them undertake their final preparatory training ahead of their  deployment to BATUS this summer.  

    During Exercise Noddy’s Run the engineers were tested in their armoured engineering role and also with an opportunity to hone their infantry skills conducting a dawn assault on an Urban Dry Training Area. 

  • Help your community

    Volunteers' Week, The Big Celebration. June 1-12Events are being planned across the country to mark Volunteers’ Week 2016, taking place on June 1-12. 

    The annual campaign, which was established in 1984, recognises the contribution volunteers make to many communities every day. 

    More than 21 million people volunteer in the UK at least once a year and this contributes an estimated £23.9bn to the UK economy. Behind these big numbers is a big contribution.

  • A shot above the rest

    6 Regiment RLC sent its shooting team back to the UK to compete in both the Force Troops Command Operational Shooting Competition (FTC OSC) and the 102 Logistic Brigade Shooting Competition. 

    6 Regiment RLC’s shooting teamAfter a few last minute changes to the team the final nine had a few weeks training at Sennelager before heading to the UK to represent 6 Regiment.

  • Rugby for a reason

    With a number of former professional players in their team and coached by a television and Hollywood actor the Rugby for Heroes team recently arrived in Germany with high hopes of securing a victory over the British Army Germany rugby team. 

    BA(G) players try to tackle a Rugby for Heroes playerHowever, before they took on the Army team there was the small matter of running a number of rugby master classes for children from Westfalen Garrison schools and rugby clubs, something that both the children and players enjoyed immensely.  

    The players were probably less thankful having been kept running around for a lot longer than expected due to the children’s enthusiasm and boundless energy. 

  • Worship with us

    Fellowship/training day at Church House LübbeckeA group of English speaking residents in Germany, mostly former soldiers or their dependants, are making plans to create a focus for worship in English.  

    The group have been working with the Church of England Diocese in Europe as part of a project to plan ahead for a time in Germany when British Forces have left.

  • Triumphant Engineers

    After 34 matches played, 35 Engineer Regiment were crowned the winners of the BA(G) Six-a-side competition in Gütersloh.

    35 Engineer Regiment charge to victory in the BA(G) Six-a-side competition
    The weather was once again on the footballers’ side as the sun beamed down on them, making it a great day to get on the pitch and represent their regiment.

  • Get your wristband for SSAFA Summer Fete now!

    wristbands SSAFASSAFA Summer Fete wristbands are proving very popular but did you know that these stylish bands not only give you entry to the event (both during the day and for the evening music and fireworks), but also offer you the chance to win some amazing prizes on the day.

    The event takes place on June 4 in Normandy barracks, Sennelager, with more details available at www.ssafasummerfete.org.

    To say a big ‘thank you’ to its supporters, SSAFA are giving away a mountain bike, ipad, Go-pro, Pandora jewellery and much more.

    All you have to do is be there on the day and listen out for your wristband number being called.

    Note: Wristbands are available at One Stop Shops and all welfare offices but numbers are limited – get yours today!

  • Tar for the ride

    For the thrill of the sport – For the rest of 2016, the 6 Regt RLC Rally Team look to defend their title and have the car with the full upgrade complete by 2017BFG-based 6 Regiment RLC rally team have been crowned Army Rally Champions, securing their win just over halfway through the season.

    This title win has topped off an outstanding year for the team that included numerous podium finishes at national asphalt rallies.

    In the all-new Conningham Cup, where the Army took the overall win from the RAF over 100 stage miles in the day and night at the Rockingham Stages, the 6 Regt RLC team also came in as first Armed Forces crew.

    Winning the championship title has opened a lot of doors for the team and has secured some sponsorship deals with local companies.

  • Talk of the town

    Dr Brian Cox is giving a talk in GüterslohDr Brian Cox from Cambridge University will be giving a talk on May 20, by invitation of the Deutsch-Britische Gesellschaft Gütersloh.

    The lecture, in English, will take place on Friday, May 20, commencing at 7.30pm at the Weberei  in Gütersloh.

    Brian Cox has spent his academic life in research with some post-graduate teaching. 

    He was born and brought up in north London and following two years of National Service in the RAF from 1957-59, he worked as a technician at Guy’s Hospital in London. 

    He obtained his BSc degree in Physiology at London University before returning in 1967 as a lecturer to Guy’s Hospital Dept of Experimental Medicine, which was a major player in the field of diabetes in the UK. There he gained his PhD on Abnormal Protein Metabolism in Diabetes.

  • Buttercup is golden

    Bielefeld Station Commander, Lt Col Tony Christie,  present Jo  Goddard with a commendationThe Bielefeld Station Commander, Lt Col Tony Christie, greeted children from Bielefeld School on May 11 at a special assembly to honour Jo Goddard, who is known as Buttercup by the Girl Guides.

    You might be wondering who Jo Goddard is and why do we need to have an assembly for her? 

  • Stepping back in time

    The LWL Open-Air Museum – an exciting day out for the whole family, including your four-legged friend. Covering an area of 90 hectares, there is plenty to see and doThe collection of crooked, timber-framed buildings looks like a film set but is, in fact, Germany’s biggest open-air museum.

    The 90 hectares at the LWL-Freilichtmuseum (open-air) in Detmold are home to  more than 100 historic rural buildings that are waiting to be discovered. 

    The buildings, including schools, farmhouses, thatched cottages, and windmills, have been transported from across the state and reconstructed at the Detmold site.

    The museum is ideal for horse-drawn carriage rides, walking tours, and picnicking – as well as learning about crafts such as blacksmithing and pottery-making.

    The LWL Open-Air Museum gives an overview of the development and the changes of Westphalian everyday and cultural history.

  • Paderborn ladies netball team have a ball in Spain

    The Paderborn Ladies Netball Team recently packed their bags and jetted off to Lloret De Mar, Spain, for a weekend tour. 

    The PAderborn Ladies Netball TeamArriving in Spain, the ladies were greeted by clouds and rain, not quite what they had hoped for, but the sun eventually broke through and the ladies were quick to make the most of it, sunbathing at the pool.

  • Invictus returns

    The UK team of wounded, injured and sick personnel and veterans have touched down in Florida for the second Invictus Games, which kicked off on Sunday evening.

    Team GB huddle before the wheelchair basketballMore than 500 athletes from 15 countries have gathered in Orlando for the second Invictus Games, 110 of which are from the United Kingdom. 

    The Invictus Games supports recovery and rehabilitation, as taking part in sport helps with self-confidence and with feeling psychologically empowered.

  • BFGHS Escape from Colditz

    Above: BFG Health Service team  outside the restored chapel at Colditz CastleIt is every officer’s duty to escape, or so it seemed on a recent BFG Health Service Team Day visit to Colditz Castle. 

    In the quiet unassuming town it is difficult to imagine that during the Second World War the castle held some of the most challenging prisoners of war.

  • Home-Start is here for you

    volunteer at Home-StartHome-Start have been contributing to the military community in Germany since 1984, having begun in the UK in 1973 with a single scheme. 

    It was founded on the principle that supporting a family is best done in their home, where the support can be shaped to their needs. 

  • Leineweber-Markt in Bielefeld - May 25-29

    Westphalia's annual spring festival, the Leineweber-Markt takes place in the city centre from May 25-29

    Leineweber-MarktThe Linen Weaver Market (Leineweber-Markt) is Bielefeld's oldest traditional street fair and takes place every year at the end of May.

    The city is transformed into an open-air festival with multiple stages and performances, food and knick-knack stalls, along with a fairground for children.

    You can catch cabaret, theatre, rock, jazz and even folklore shows during this late springtime festival, taking place from May 25-29. 

  • Swing into action

    Exercise Deauville Shield has been an annual AGC (Germany) golf tour that has taken place in Europe for the past 20 years, and this year was no exception. 

    The 16 golfers of Exercise Deauville ShieldThis year, the tour visited Prague in the Czech Republic and over the duration of the tour the golfers played eight rounds of golf in six days.

    With the reduction in AGC manning in Germany this year’s tour was opened up to golfers from other cap badges, 13 players from Gütersloh, Bielefeld and Paderborn and three members of the AGC from the UK.

  • A Sprint Finish

    With summer apparently on its way, cyclists got off their Wattbikes and onto road bikes for the first BA(G) road cycling race of the league.

    Sgt Llewellyn and SSgt Hicks sprint for the lineThroughout the winter months, cyclists have kept competition indoors with the BA(G) Watt Bike Series and last week saw the winners of the separate weight categories presented with their medals.

  • A tasty win

    British Army chefs show their skills at US catering competition

    Medal winners from the UK included LCpl Berry, Pte Chapman, CPO Si Geldart, RFA chef Marc Reed and WO1 Webb-FryerA team of four British Army chefs has come away with a clutch of medals after taking part in a catering competition with the US army in Virginia.

    Among them was 20-year-old Pte Laura Chapman, from BFG, who won silver in the annual Military Culinary Arts Competitive Training Event in Fort Lee – proving she can take the heat.

    She was on exercise in Otterburn, Northumberland, when the RCWO asked if she wanted to take part in the hot contest. But before heading stateside, Laura first had to make it through the selection process.

  • Crackdown on Airbnb rentals

    Berlin fears that the growing trend of people letting out apartments to tourists through sites such as Airbnb, Wimdu and 9Flats is cutting into a limited property supply and driving up rentsBerlin has banned tourists from renting entire apartments through Airbnb and its competitors in an attempt to protect affordable housing.

    With the help of large fines, the city’s authorities are hoping to protect the property supply and keep rents as low as possible.

    After the success of the various online rental portals, the number of properties available for long-term rental periods had fallen markedly

    But from May 1, the new law entitled “Zweckentfremdungsverbot” bans the short-term let of entire apartments to tourists without a permit. If found flouting these rules, Berliners can be fined up to €100,000.

  • Germany’s right-wing AfD adopts anti-Islam manifesto

    AfD leader Frauke Petry used her opening speech to condemn Angela Merkel as the “chancellor of no alternatives” at the party’s ‘rebranding’ meeting on May 1 in StuttgartGermany’s right-wing populist party Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) on Sunday adopted an anti-Islam policy in a manifesto that also demands curbs to immigration, as a poll showed it is now the country’s third strongest party.

    Formed only three years ago on a eurosceptic platform, the AfD has gained strength as the loudest protest voice against Chancellor Angela Merkel’s welcome to refugees policy that brought over one million asylum seekers last year.

    With the migrant influx sharply down in recent months, the AfD has shifted focus to the signature issue of the xenophobic Pegida street movement.

    “Islam is not part of Germany” ran a headline in the AfD policy paper agreed in a vote by some 2,400 members at the party congress in Stuttgart.

    The paper demanded bans on minarets on mosques, the call to prayer, full-face veils for women and female headscarves in schools.

  • Germany News in Brief - May 5, 2016

    Start of roaming price caps

    BRUSSELS – Telephoning and surfing while abroad is now a lot cheaper in the EU as new rules limiting how much mobile operators can charge came into force last Saturday.

    From April 30, telecom companies will be able to charge a maximum of €0.06 per minute on top of the domestic price for calls, €0.02 for texts, and €0.06 per megabyte of data. Accepting a call will be capped at €0.012 per minute.

    Prices for German customers are slightly higher than those laid out in the new regulations as they include VAT.

    Roaming fees are set to disappear completely by June 2017, 10 years after the European Commission first looked into reducing costs for mobile calls within the EU. German consumer organisations warn that it’s unclear how the new rules will apply to customers on flat-rate mobile plans.

    Operators may only charge the permitted extra fee on top of the user’s monthly payment – or could introduce small print to make flat rates valid in the user’s home country only, allowing them to set a minute-by-minute tariff for calls abroad.

    Some operators have responded by introducing monthly packages that include some or even unlimited free roaming.

  • Safeguarding Level 3

    Safeguarding

  • Sharpest shooters in 20X

    Reaping rewards: the 5 RIFLES Fire Team, winners of the team event in the 20th Armoured Infantry Brigade Operational Shooting CompetitionA keen eye and steady hand was the order of the day when 1 PWRR, 5 RIFLES,
    4 SCOTS, the RDG and the QRH met on the Senne Training Area ranges for the annual 20th Armoured Infantry Brigade shooting competition.

    The competition comprises a team event involving eight personnel and also an overall individual competition. 

    The various aspects of the competition contained operation assessment shoots to make the competition operationally specific. The shoots varied from 10 metres with the Glock pistol out to a range of 500 metres with the rifle.

     Overall individual champion of the 20th Armd Inf Bde Operational Shooting Competition: Sjt Lee Zerafa, B Coy, 5 RIFLESThe competition was hard fought but eventually the overall individual champion was Sjt Lee Zerafa, B Coy, 5 RIFLES.

  • Sun Awareness Week: May 9–16

    Now the great weather’s approaching – don’t forget to protect your skin

    Skin cancer is proving to be one of the UK’s most prominent cancers – but there are things you can do to help protect yourself.

    TSun Awareness Weekhe British Association of Dermatologists (BAD) currently runs a national campaign about skin cancer called Sun Awareness, which includes national Sun Awareness Week, from May 9–16. 

    The campaign is overseen by the BAD’s Skin Cancer Prevention Committee, comprised of leading medical professionals with expertise in skin cancer, vitamin D and public health messaging.

  • ‘Go green’ says government

    Germany offers €4,000 discount on every e-car 

    Car buyers will receive €4,000 when they choose a purely electric vehicle and €3,000 for a plug-in hybridGermany will subsidise electric car purchases to give a jolt to sluggish growth in the sector and help meet national climate goals with zero-emission mobility, the government said on April 27.

    Car buyers will receive €4,000 when they choose a purely electric vehicle and €3,000 for a plug-in hybrid, with the cost shared 50-50 between the public purse and car makers.

    The programme, starting next month, aims to help Germany approach its goal of putting one million zero-emission cars on the road by 2020 – up from around 50,000 now out of Germany’s 45 million cars.

    So far, German car giants Volkswagen, Daimler and BMW have signed up to it, but the programme is open to all national and foreign brands.

  • Launch of new Armed Forces Covenant website

    A new website for the Armed Forces Covenant went live on April 22.

    The new website will act as the central hub of information for all matters relating to the Armed Forces Covenant, with specific areas detailing support and advice for:

    Current Service personnel (Regular and Reserve) 

    Service families 

    Service leavers 

    Former Service personnel 

    Businesses

     

  • Notes from Paderborn Station

    Move of PCRF

    The Primary Care Rehabilitian Facility (PCRF/Physiotherapy) is this week moving to Building 135 (the former PT School) on Normandy Barracks in Sennelager.

    Normal service will resume on Monday, May 9.

    For an appointment or for further information call Mil (79) 4042, Civ 05254 9824042, or your local medical centre.

    Paderborn OneStop outlets

    The Paderborn OneStop outlets will be closed from Thursday, May 5 to Saturday, May 7.

    AWS temporary closure of office

    The AWS office in Building 85, Normandy Barracks will be closed on Monday, May 9 for staff training.

    In an emergency call Mil (79) 4340 or 05254 9824340.