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  • 1 million Germans are victims of phone scams

    Telephone scams often begin with a call from a young person claiming to be a relative in need of financial helpThe Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) has warned that phone scams directed against the elderly are becoming more and more popular in Germany. 

    One million Germans have been robbed of €117 million through telephone scams since 2008, the BKA reports.

    Recently there has been a surge of ‘grandchild ploys’ targeting old people who live by themselves.

    They will receive a telephone call from a young person saying “Hey grandma, it’s me!” and go on to convince their victim that they are a close relative in need of urgent financial help.

    Although this type of fraudulent call has been claiming victims for a long time, it is still very successful.

  • Germany News in Brief - June 30, 2016

    Ex-Auschwitz guard convicted

    DETMOLD – A 94-year-old former Auschwitz guard has been sentenced to jail by a judge who branded him a “willing and efficient henchman” in the Holocaust.

    Reinhold Hanning, from Detmold, was convicted of being an accessory to the murder of at least 170,000 people at the concentration camp in Nazi-occupied Poland.

    Hanning’s lawyer, Johannes Salmen, said they would appeal. “I assume he will not be fit for a custodial sentence. That means he will not have to go to jail.”

    Besides Hanning, one other man and one woman in their 90s are accused of being accessories to the mass murder at Auschwitz. 

    A third man who was a member of the Nazi SS guard team at Auschwitz died at the age of 93 in April, days before his trial was due to start.

  • GOC touches base with 20X

    The GOC is met by 5 RIFLES buglers and an Honour GuardThe GOC 3rd (UK) Div, Maj Gen Patrick Sanders, recently made a two-day trip to visit HQ 20 Armoured Infantry Brigade and its units and also also took the opportunity to call in to HQ BFG. 

    Gen Sanders commanded 20th Armoured Brigade in 2009–2012 and then Afghanistan as Task Force Helmand 2011–2012 and said he was delighted to be back in Germany.

    The GOC is briefed at the Goldrun training area on 1 AMR’s preparation for its role in Prairie Storm 3 later this yearDuring his stay he received briefings from both Comd 20 AI Bde, Brig Ian Mortimer and Comd BFG, Brig Ian Bell on subjects involving the training preparations for NATO’s Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF), the role of which 20 AI Bde assume in January next year. Also discussed was rebasing, including 5 RIFLES’ impending move from Paderborn back to the Bulford area.

  • News UK cease supply of daily newspapers to BFG

    Due to the high transport costs from their printers in Belgium, News UK will cease their supply of daily newspapers to BFG.

    NAAFI’s Head of Operations, John Goddard, said: “We are disappointed that News UK has taken this course of action but it is not a surprise to us. Unfortunately, despite an initial increase in the number of newspapers sold, this quickly reduced and the numbers are not sufficient to make it economically viable for News UK to continue supplying to BFG.”

    John added: “We have been informed by News UK that the last edition will be delivered on 10th July and following that NAAFI will no longer sell daily newspapers in BFG; we have exhausted all possible supply options”.

    The Sun is available free on-line and The Times/Sunday Times digital version is available from £1 per week for an introductory period of 12 weeks.

  • Keeping your child safe from drowning

    Water safety for childrenYoung children can be fascinated by water, and swimming is great for a child’s health and fitness. 

    Here are some tips to make sure that their time in the water is fun and safe.  

    Did you know?

    Babies and toddlers drown silently and can drown in as little as 5cm of water. Even rainwater collecting in a bucket can be a danger for a small child.

    Most drownings involving two to three-year-olds happen in the home and garden.

    A wind blowing off the land makes the sea look flat and calm but it can sweep airbeds or inflatable toys out to sea dangerously quickly.

    Young children can also drown in swimming pools. In the last six years, 30 children under 10 have drowned in a hotel or villa pool abroad. This usually happens when they wander away from their parents and fall into the pool.

  • Biking for Blesma

    Bike for BlesmaThere was a great response for the Bike Ride-out in aid of Blesma which took place on May 1.

    Forty-seven bikers rode from Bielefeld NAAFI to Sennelager NAAFI Max and raised €667 for the charity which helps limbless veterans lead independent and fulfilling lives.

    The money came from riders’ donations and via Justgiving. 

    The ride-out was organised by Kev Teesdale of the Dog Section, Catterick Barracks in Bielefeld, and Stu White. 

    Netty at BlesmaAnnette Teesdale was in charge of administration and the safety car on the day.

    A great day was had by all with fantastic weather and great new friendships being made along the way.

  • Moving moment

    King’s School Prime Minister Adam Fedden, read aloud his own poem at the class of 2016 NRA ceremonyKing’s School said  final goodbye and good luck to its Year 11 students once again in their annual National Record of Achievement (NRA) ceremony on Friday June 10.

    At the end of a fantastic event, school Prime Minister Adam Fedden, read aloud his own poem to the audience of students, parents, teachers and colleagues from DCYP, reducing many to tears with his warm words. 

  • AFF e-news bulletins


  • Friendly Flocke: Euro 2016’s top-tipster

    Flocke the penguinWith most of the continent caught up in Euro 2016 fever and some rank outsiders going through to the next round, one unusual fan is tipping the correct winners again and again.

    Flocke – a penguin at the Spreewelten baths in Lübbenau, Brandenburg – is making his name as a psychic after a streak of correct football predictions.

    With the group stages now concluded, it’s still early days at this year’s UEFA Euro 2016 football tournament, but not all the excitement is on the pitch.

    In addition to spending a lot of his time swimming with his family, Flocke also makes football predictions.

  • Telekom warns users to change passwords after scam

    Telekom warningDeutsche Telekom is warning customers to change their passwords after finding that up to 120,000 customers’ data was being sold on the black market.

    Telekom stated in an announcement on Monday that customers should immediately change their passwords after finding evidence that the account information for between 64,000 and 120,000 customers was being sold on the black market.

    Specifically, the T-Online email addresses and passwords that customers use to log in to their accounts online were being sold by dozens of companies in the “darknet” and the data was “at least partially real and current”, according to the company.

  • Sapper 300

    Sapper 300

  • Home-Start Meet and Greet

    Home–Start Bielefeld invites everyone to a Meet and Greet coffee morning on Thursday, July 7, Block 26C, Catterick Barracks, from 10am to 11am.

  • German-British Society Bielefeld

    German-British Society Bielefeld

  • Bielefeld Summer Fete – Update

    Bielefeld Summer Fete

  • Rietberg Park Trip


  • Bad Lippspringe Coffee Club

    Coffee Club

  • ASD Parent Support Group


  • Farewell Coffee Morning – Mansergh Library

    Coffee morning

  • Last Car Boot Sale – NAAFI Max Gütersloh

    Car Boot Sale

  • Two-Minute Silence to commemorate Somme 100 – 0828 hrs Friday, July 1

    The 100th anniversary of the beginning of the Battle of the Somme is on Friday, July 1.

    The Battle of the Somme (film image)

    To mark this anniversary the Prime Minister has agreed that a two-minute national silence is to be held at 0728 hrs (UK local time) / 8.28 hrs (Germany). 0730 hrs (0830 hrs) marks 'zero hour', the moment that the battle began 100 years ago.

  • High praise indeed

    Commander BFG, Brig Ian Bell, present a Commander BFG Commendation to Dr Peter WalkerCommander BFG Commendations are awarded to Service personnel and civilians who have demonstrated a high level of excellence, effort, committed service or devotion to duty over and above the norm. 

    Dr Peter Walker was awarded the Commander BFG Commendation by Commander BFG, Brig Ian Bell, in recognition of his outstanding 26 years of service to the BFG community. 

    The award was presented at Headquarters British Forces Germany Health Service (BFGHS) in Catterick Barracks, Bielefeld.  

  • Loggies march off

    The rain held off – members of 6 Regiment RLC parade on the former airfield at Princess Royal Barracks, GüterslohThe last British Army unit to be based at Princess Royal Barracks proudly paraded for the final time at the Gütersloh camp on June 17, ahead of its move back to the UK this summer.

    Around 200 soldiers from 6 Regiment RLC celebrated the milestone in BFG’s history with a farewell parade at the former military airfield in front of Commander BFG, Brig Ian Bell, and a host of invited guests.

    It was the last major event at the once bustling barracks, which has been under British Armed Forces control for 71 years and is due to be handed back to the German authorities this autumn.

    The logistics unit, which has been stationed at the sprawling estate on Marienfelder Strasse since 1993, was presented with the prestigious Fahnenband (ribbon of honour) by a German army officer –  the highest honour that can be bestowed by the Federal Government of Germany on a NATO force.

  • Namasté 6 Regt

    In a slightly different PT session from what 6 Regiment the Royal Logistic Corps are used to, more than 150 soldiers met at the PRB astro turf for their first ever yoga session before their final parade, which took place last Friday.

    Soldiers of 6 Regiment RLC stretch out
    In the final PT session to take place in BFG for 6 Regt RLC, before moving back to the UK, it was important for the CO, Lt Col Crossland, to have a bit of fun.

  • Cinelink film club in Bielefeld Station

    He got the firm base project rolling – Lt Col (retd) Bob McKeegan-Brown opens Bielefeld Station’s community room, Bob’s Den, which is named in his honour, as eager children line up to see Zootopia at the Cinelink film club A row of small, smiling faces greeted Lt Col (retd) Bob McKeegan-Brown on June 5 when he officially opened Bielefeld Station’s multifunctional community room, which includes a film club on Sundays.

    Dozens of children, accompanied by adults, arrived at Bob’s Den in Catterick Barracks to see a matinee screening of computer animation Zootopia, while in the evening, thriller Eye in the Sky entertained the grown-ups.

    The new facility – further evidence of the Army’s firm base concept – is used by volunteer groups during the week, but every Sunday the Cinelink film club takes over the former band room near the NAAFI Express shop. And it is run completely by volunteers.

  • The Princess Bride - at the Sparrenburg

    Bielefeld University’s English Drama Group, ready to perform The Princess Bride at the Sparrenburg Castle, Bielefeld later this monthTo celebrate their 40th anniversary, Bielefeld University’s English Drama Group is proudly presenting a stage adaptation of The Princess Bride.

    Produced by Bernhard Eickenberg and Antje Hey, the performances will take place on Wednesday, June 29, Thursday, June 30, Friday, July 1, and Monday, July 4 at 7.30pm in the inner courtyard of Sparrenburg Castle in Bielefeld.

    The performances will be in English and admission is free.

    The production is based on The Princess Bride, a 1973 fantasy romance novel written by William Goldman. The book combines elements of comedy, adventure, fantasy, romance and fairy tale.

  • Pilgrimage along the Western Front

    Historian Sir Anthony SeldonAvid trekkers are being invited to join a leading historian walking the length of the 1916 Western Front starting on June 22.

    Author Sir Anthony Seldon will lead a team of four and hopes that the Via Sacra Walk will become a permanent event. They are also encouraging the public to do a leg with them, joining famous people such as actors Elizabeth Hurley and Dominic West.

    Inspired by a letter from a soldier in the First World War, Sir Anthony Seldon will lead the walk across the Western Front, as it was in 1916, from Switzerland to the English Channel – a total of 450 miles – a  frontline that once occupied the attention of the world. 

    The walk will coincide with the 100th anniversary of the battles of the Somme and Verdun and is in homage to soldier Alexandar Douglas Gillespie and to the millions of soldiers who lost their lives between 1914 and 1918.

  • Fishing for success

    Group 9 Army Carpers Germany recently took part in their third qualifying event to determine which anglers will go forward to compete in the Army Angling Championships, which are scheduled to take place later this year in Walthamstow, England. 

    Tpr Daeglen Cooper proudly presents his personal best
    The first and second qualifying events took place in France and Germany respectively, with the most recent taking place in Etang Rue, Belgium between May 26-29. There are a further three scheduled to take place prior to the Army Angling Championships.

  • Poppy Summer Ball

  • Fixing music time machines

    Markus Wiessing with a 1965 Seeburg Discothequès, which is up for sale for €2,000Nostalgic Markus Wiessing is a jukebox hero to collectors of 45rpm vinyl records.

    The 54-year-old has a passion for the music of the 1950s and 1960s and spends his spare time restoring classic jukeboxes from those decades to their former glory.

    But he has a penchant for the Seeburg brand, which he considers to be the “Rolls Royce of jukeboxes.”

  • 26 RA Bowled over by kings

    On a lovely late Spring day, King’s Staff First XI played 26th Regiment Royal Artillery (26 Regt RA) in the now annual cricket match on the back field at King’s.

    King’s Staff First XI bowled 26 RA out for 98
    With the hay bales behind the pitch, the scene was reminiscent of Mr Cave’s Norfolk cricket days.

  • That’s just not Cricket!

    No amount of torrential rain could stop the cricketers of the BA(G) Inter Unit Limited Overs Cricket Championship held last week at Barker Barracks, Paderborn.

    Winners: 4 SCOTS
    The six units that entered the competition were probably expecting more summery weather but got quite the opposite. Nonetheless a great competition saw some excellent cricket at the crease.

  • Sport Alive in Germany

    Leaving it to the final race of the day, The Queen’s Royal Hussars (QRH) claimed this year’s Inter-unit Athletic Championship title.

    All competitors make it safely over the first hurdleTen teams battled it out in a mix of track and field events with a brilliant competitive atmosphere throughout the day.

  • SSAFA’s Great British Summer Fete Saturday, June 4

    Having a wristband is your key to being able to win one of the amazing prizes on offer in the prize draw at the SSAFA Summer FeteA spectacular day in Sennelager has been organised for this Saturday (June 4) by SSAFA Paderborn Committee for the communities that have been so supportive over the last year.

    By organising sponsorship and donations from across Paderborn and the UK, the team has ensured that there is some give back to those who supported SSAFA throughout the year.

    At SSAFA's Great British Summer Fete there will be a huge range of activities, events, entertainment and fun to be had by all ages, families, friends and soldiers alike.  

    Entrance is from 11.30am and large amount of parking space will be available. Transport is also available so get in touch with your UWO to find out more details.

  • Ask the commander

    Brig Ian Bell invites BFG community members to share their views via BFGnet online forum

    "Having launched the new-look BFGnet last month (May), I hope that many of you will have had the opportunity to look around the site.

    I wanted to draw your attention to one important new function listed under the Top Tasks on BFGnet.

    As Commander of British Forces in Germany, I am committed to delivering essential services to the community, the rebasing of UK personnel to the UK and drawing down the estate.

    Engaging with you, the community, is crucial. Successful communication needs to be a two-way activity and I want to hear your views.

    That’s why I have launched an Ask the Commander online forum.  I want to provide you the opportunity to provide feedback on life in BFG, ask questions and suggest how we can do things better.