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  • Germany voted ‘best country ever’

    Germany may not be ‘fun’ or ‘sexy’, but it’s still considered the best country in the world, according to a worldwide public opinion poll.

    Germany was ranked the overall best country in the world, according to the rankings released by US News & World Report on January 20.

    The rankings report praised Germany for its support of entrepreneurs, growing role as a global leader and high quality of life, among other factors.

  • Germany News in Brief - January 28, 2016

    New Year assaults in 12 states

    KÖLN – Police have found that the wave of sexual assaults and robberies on New Year’s Eve not only happened in Köln but that similar incidents also took place in 12 of Germany’s regional states, local media reported on Saturday.

    The daily Süddeutsche Zeitung said on its website: “The phenomenon of sexual violence, in part linked with robberies, is much greater than we previously thought,” adding that the regional states were affected to different degrees.

    The worst affected state was North Rhine-Westphalia, which includes Köln, where some 1,000 complaints have been filed, followed by Hamburg with 200. In other states the number of reported incidents was lower: Hesse (31 complaints); Bavaria (27), Baden-Wurtlemberg (25), Bremen (11) and Berlin (6).

    One case was reported in each of Lower-Saxony, Brandeburg, Saxony, Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland.

    Like Köln the target of the assaults were women in almost all cases. According to witnesses, the aggressors were mostly young men of foreign origin, between 17 and 30 years old.

  • 'A very symbolic move'

    Exhibition of Jewish artists’ Holocaust works opens in Berlin 

    Chancellor Angela Merkel with Holocaust survivor, Nelly Toll, the only artist represented in the show who is still alive. Toll said: “I made 60 paintings while in hiding and all of them express happinessGerman Chancellor Angela Merkel opened the biggest exhibition of Holocaust art outside Israel in Berlin on Monday, after pledging to take concerns about rising anti-Semitism seriously.

    The Art from the Holocaust show features 100 works from Yad Vashem, Israel’s official Holocaust memorial centre, which were created by Jewish inmates at concentration camps, labour camps and ghettos during the Nazi time.

    Of the 50 artists featured in the exhibition, 24 were killed by the Nazis.

    “The million of individual stories during the Shoah remain deeply rooted in our national conscience,” Merkel said at the opening of the show at the German Historical Museum, referring to the Hebrew word for the Holocaust.

  • Vigilante groups intercepted in Bielefeld

    A vigilante group comprising 68 “rockers, bouncers and hooligans” was intercepted in Bielefeld’s old town centre by German police last weekend.

    The crowd were on their way to the Bahnhof area when they were stopped near the Jahnplatz by officers, who detained, controlled and finally dispersed the gathering.

    Some 18 people in the group, which had not registered the meeting with the authorities, lived locally, and the rest had travelled to the city from all areas of the country.

  • First-ever German Anne Frank movie to premiere at Berlinale film fest

    Anne Frank's diaryThe first German feature-length biopic on the Jewish teenage diarist Anne Frank will premiere next month at the 66th Berlin film festival, organisers said on Friday.

    Das Tagebuch der Anne Frank (The Diary of Anne Frank) will be screened in the Generation section of the Berlinale, the first major film festival of the year in Europe.

    “This film adaptation of the eponymous historical testimony that moved the world primarily depicts the period of time that Anne spent in her family’s hiding place... in Amsterdam,” the festival said in a statement.

  • Civil Service pensions

    Civil Service Pensions published two new guides on January 11, 2016: “You have joined the Civil Service Pension scheme – what happens now?” and “How can I take control of my retirement – by building up added pension?” 

    Visit CSP Quick-Start website ( to view these guides and for more information on the series.

  • Attention all owners of Vauxhall Zafira B 2005 to 2014 models

    Vauxhall UK would like to make owners of Vauxhall Zafira B 2005 to 20014 models aware of a condition which could affect your vehicle.  

    Investigations have found evidence of improper repair of the blower motor resistor and its thermal fuse, which is designed to protect the blower motor system.  

    This can lead to overheating of the heater systems electrical components and the potential for a fire. 

    If you own or drive a Zafira B 2005 to 2014 model, please contact either of the two Opel Authorised Repairer Centres, which have been identified and briefed to arrange for the remedial work to be carried out.

    Opel Gütersloh – Knemeyer,
    http://opel-knemeyer-<br< a="" style="">>

    Opel Sennelager – Bauer Bickmeier, http://www.opel-

  • BFG advisory note – Reporting suspicious activity

    As members of the BFG community you will be aware that recently there have been a few incidents which have raised concerns regarding security.

    Although there has been no need to increase the robust security measures currently in place, you can help in keeping our community safe by reporting suspicious incidents or activity, however insignificant it may seem at the time.

    By reporting your concerns, we can use the information received to inform and ensure that appropriate measures are put in place to protect our community should it be necessary.  

  • Sign up today for BFG text messages

    Ensure that you are well informed of all issues affecting life in BFG and sign up to the BFG text messaging serviceBFG has launched a new text messaging service to send critical information to the community.

    Users will receive instant notifications on areas such as security, weather and travel disruptions that may affect their area.

    Although BFG currently communicates using a range of methods, most of these require individuals to seek out information. Text messaging is a simple, effective and quick way of sending the whole community time critical information as it arises.

    This complements other official BFG channels to ensure that you are well informed of all issues affecting life in BFG.

  • Online ECDL Courses – Update


  • Our Community in Colour

    Get your cameras primed for the Paderborn Station Photographic Competition 2016 

    PhotoComp2016From summer fairs to regimental training and exercises, station life is an interesting balance of the reality of military life, to the softer side of our firm base support.

    This is the inspiration for the 2016 Paderborn Station Photographic Competition: Our Community in Colour.

    It’s the perfect opportunity to get out into the community with your camera and capture our unique surroundings, as well as the balance of military and family life in BFG.

    The theme is open to your interpretation but the judges are looking for photographs that will capture the huge spectrum of activities that take place in Paderborn Station throughout the year.

  • Teapot Tuesday

    Teapot Tuesday

  • English Development Course

    PCDL Course (Recreational) Culture/Language 

    Are you someone who speaks English as a second language?

    Would you like to brush up and improved your English language knowledge?

    Sign up for the English Development Course in February. Starts Monday, February 1, 9.30am–11am, at the Löseke Community Centre in Sennelager.

    To book your place, contact the PCDL Coordinator on 05254 982 4018 or Mil 4014 or email:

    The course is free for dependants.

  • 5 RIFLES wives have a ball

    The wives’ Christmas masquerade ball The ladies of 5 RIFLES decided to have their Christmas dinner night post-Christmas (January 8) in order to have something to look forward to in this darkest month. They organised a special masquerade ball to mark their last ‘wives only’ event in Germany.

    Tammy Lush said: “It was nice to see so many wives I hadn’t met before and to have a complete variety of people in one place all having such a wonderful time together.

    “It’s great to know that we are still having fun together as a battalion despite leaving Germany soon.”

  • Poppy goes the easel

    UK-based artist Jacqueline HurleyBournemouth-based painter Jacqueline Hurley has dedicated her time and talents to creating remembrance art in support of the Armed Forces.

    She paints from the heart using the stark red of the international symbol of memorial – the poppy – to create contrast against gritty impressionistic landscapes.

    Her moving images have been well-received by audiences at exhibitions, helping to keep the importance of Remembrance in the forefront of people’s minds.

  • Just wedgetastic

    During the 1960s and 1970s, Mercedes designed and built a series of futuristic prototypes under the codename C111 (above). These cars never went into production, but much of the technology developed for them can be found in today’s cars.The Bremen Classic Motorshow is the first major classic car exhibition of the year in Germany, taking place from
    February 5-7.

    Here you’ll find all the classic vehicle paraphernalia you’ll need for a successful start to the season: cars, motorcycles, young classics, historic motorsport, spare parts and restoration tips.

  • Elvis is back

    Talented performer Grahame Patrick’s tribute show to Elvis has been called the best there isHe has been called the best Elvis impersonator since the real thing left the building for good back in 1977.

    Yes folks, talented performer Grahame Patrick will be back in Bielefeld early this year with his tribute act that has pulled in more than 100,000 punters across Europe so far this year.

  • An inspirational officer

    Capt Naveed Muhammad from Kings HeathAn Army Reservist from Birmingham has been awarded an MBE in this year's New Year's Honours List in recognition of his work, in particular with minority communities across the region.

    Capt Naveed Muhammad, from Kings Heath, a member of Redditch-based 37th Signal Regiment, has been rewarded for his "exemplary" service which saw him become a key role model for Muslims.

    On being told of his award by his Commanding Officer, Lt Col Teresa Downes, he said: "I was painting my kitchen when my CO called to tell me – and I was speechless, in fact I was so speechless that I just kept on painting the same bit of wall over and over again.

  • Germany News in Brief - January 21, 2016

    Demand rockets for self-defence arms

    KÖLN – Germans are snapping up pepper spray, gas pistols, stun guns and powerful torches even more than they already had been in the wake of the November terror attacks in Paris.

    Demand for over the counter self defence products rose in response to the massive sex assaults and thefts in Köln and Hamburg on New Year’s Eve.

    Frankonia, Germany’s leading supplier for hunters and marksmen, declined to give details of recent sales developments. 

    Last Thursday, two weeks after the attacks, the number of criminal complaints had reached 652, including 331 sex-related crimes, Köln prosecutors said.

    The number of mostly-female alleged victims stood at 739.

  • Male refugees banned from pools

    A leaflet produced by Munich city authorities includes behaviour rules for migrants in the swimming poolA town in Germany has banned male asylum seekers from public swimming pools after complaints from women that they were being harassed by migrants.

    A spokesman for the local government of Bornheim said that the ban on male asylum seekers above the age of 18 came after six people filed complaints “over the sexually offensive behaviour of some migrant men at the pool”.

    The measure aimed at “making it clear to the men that the rights of women in Germany are inviolable”, he added.

  • DNA at crime scene is that of terrorists missing for 18 years

    Resurfaced: Ex-Red Army Faction members Volker Staub, Daniela Klette, and Burkhard GarwegPolice on Tuesday confirmed that DNA from three far-left terrorists who have been on the run for decades was found at the site of two robberies in 2015.

    In both robberies, the most recent of which happened at the end of December, Daniela Klette, 57, Volker Staub, 58, and Burkhard Garweg are alleged to have held up security vans, but failed to make away with any cash.

    The three are some of the last members of the notorious Red Army Faction, a terrorist cell founded in 1970, which was blamed for more than 30 murders, numerous bombings and part-responsibility for the hijacking of a plane in its almost three decade existence.

    The group announced its dissolution in 1998, but two years later state prosecutors announced they were investigating Klette and Staub on suspicion of founding a new terror cell.

  • Woman grabs sex attacker and hands him over to police

    Risk: Anastasia G said her reaction to the attack was automatic, but now worries about what might have happenedA young mother made a brave stand against sexual assault in Germany’s streets on January 12, when she grabbed her attacker and stopped him getting away until the police arrived.

    The 31-year-old woman noticed something wasn’t right when the stranger began to follow her as she walked down the street with her young child.

  • Town axes carnival over assault fears

    Fearful: Authorities in Orsoy have cancelled carnival celebrations over concerns about securityA town north of Köln has cancelled one of its carnival parades, citing fears of a repeat of the sexual assaults which took place in the cathedral city on New Year’s Eve.

    The suburb of Orsoy in Rheinsberg, 70km north of Köln, can’t rule out that refugees might visit the parade and in a drunken state, leading to a repeat of the scenes of sexual assault seen in Köln, the city announced in a press release.

    There are currently 300 refugees being housed in the Orsoy neighbourhood, where the parade was to be held on February 8, with a further 200 due to arrive at the start of February.

  • Do you want to start your own business?


  • Library News

    Barker Barracks Library – Reduced hours in January

    The Barker Barracks library will only be open on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, from 8.30am to 4.30pm until January 29.

    Please use the drop off box when returning books.

    Sennelager Library – February closures

    The Sennelager Library will be closed from February 3–5 for staff training.

    Please use the drop off box when returning books – do not leave library books outside the box.

  • Voting


  • Time to Talk Day

    TimetotalkWe all have mental health, just like we all have physical health. Mental health issues are common and affect one in four people every year. It’s a normal part of life, so let’s get the nation talking.

    A simple chat can make a real difference. You don’t have to be an expert – a text, a quick walk together, asking ‘How are you?’ (and genuinely listening to the answer) are all ways to show family, friends, neighbours and colleagues that you care.

  • IT began with Ada: Women in computer histor

    Special exhibition at the Heinz Nixdorf MuseumsForum 

    Ada LovelaceOne hundred years before the invention of the computer, the daughter of famous English poet George Gordon, Lord Byron had already written notes containing what is now regarded as the first program in computer history.

    Ada Lovelace was born in London on December 10, 1815. Her life and work are the focus of the exhibition IT began with Ada Women in computer history, which runs until July 10 at the Heinz Nixdorf MuseumsForum (HNF) in Paderborn. 

    The exhibition clearly shows how Ada Lovelace, assisted by Charles Babbage, developed a program for his never-built mechanical Analytical Engine, which made her an icon in information technology.

  • Childcare vouchers

    Are you a parent or guardian of a child under 15? If the answer is yes, you could save over £900 a year by claiming childcare vouchers. 

    Childcare vouchers are a government initiative designed to help working parents pay for childcare. You can convert part of your salary into vouchers, saving the tax and national insurance you would normally pay. 

    If you would like to know more about the scheme, or think you may be eligible, go to:[1].pdf

  • Vehicle licensing: your questions answered

    Open letter from the OC VLO to the BFG community.

    Hello, and a very Happy New Year to you from everyone at British Forces Germany’s Vehicle Licensing Office (VLO). 

    As OC VLO, I am often asked questions on vehicle insurance and more recently, the Aral Fuel Card. I thought it might be worth addressing some of these questions publically and in doing so, perhaps dispel a few rumours.

    I’m also going to offer some advice that just may help you out of a jam in the future. First up…

    Aral Fuel Card (AFC)

    What do I do if my AFC doesn’t work?

  • Scarlet fever: the start of a new season

    Scarlet fever is mainly a childhood disease, most common between the ages of two and eight years, although children and adults of all ages can develop itFollowing the significant increase in scarlet fever cases over the last two years, early indications for 2015 to 2016 suggest we may be entering a third season of high numbers of infections. 

    So far this season, 2,155 scarlet fever reports have been made across England since the second week of September (weeks 37 to 50 of last year).

    Around 250 cases of scarlet fever are currently being notified each week across England, remaining similar to last year but higher than previous years. 

    Levels of scarlet fever are typically low during the autumn and early winter, increasing over the next few months and reaching highest levels in March and April.

  • Financial Aspects of Resettlement (FAR) Briefing


  • Civilian Housing Brief


  • Air on the side of caution

    Stuttgart asked to stop driving as city faces record pollution

    Cars pass beneath a display board inviting drivers to switch to public transport this week because of record high fine particle levels in Stuttgart, one of Germany’s most polluted citiesCity authorities in Stuttgart called on citizens to leave their car at home on Monday, as a fine particle pollution alarm was issued for the first time ever in a major German city.

    It’s a dubious honour for the capital of Baden-Württemberg, usually better known for its prosperity than for high concentrations of potentially cancer-causing particles in the air.

    “It is recommended that drivers switch to public transport or a bicycle, walk, or carpool,” a statement on the city’s website read.

    “If possible, employees should agree with their employers to work from home or use flexible working hours.”

  • Night-time flight ban on tornados

    German Tornado jets deployed to Syria for reconnaissance missions can’t fly at night, Bild newspaper reported on Tuesday in a new embarrassment for the defence ministry which has been battling equipment problems.

    The six aircraft sent to Syria are fitted with surveillance technology, and had been touted as being capable of taking high-resolution photographs and infrared images, even at night and in bad weather.

    But Bild reported that night flights were impossible as pilots are blinded by the cockpit light which is far too bright.

    A defence ministry spokesman admitted that there is “a small technical problem that has to do with the cockpit lighting”.

    “It is possible that the night goggles worn by pilots result in reflections,” he said, adding that the ministry was looking at resolving the problem within the next two weeks.

    He added that there was “currently no need to fly at night in Syria” and that the deployment was performing at “100 per cent”.

  • Dogs on SCE school premises

    All parents and personnel are reminded that dogs are not allowed on or to transit through SCE school premises at any time.

    Dogs may be left (at the owner’s discretion) at the school gates as long as they are not causing a nuisance to other children, parents or passing personnel.

  • Drop-In Day – Paderborn


  • Book Bingo


  • Community security update

    Readers may be aware that in the last week there have been some incidents which have raised concerns about security.

    The situation has been reviewed, and we judge that there is no need at the moment to increase the robust security measures which are already in place. Security of our community is our top priority and remains subject to continual review. 

    Everyone should be vigilant. If you see anything that concerns you, you should report it.

    If you think there is an immediate threat to life, dial the German Civil Police on 110. 

    Do not hesitate to report anything suspicious (particularly the activity of people and vehicles) to the Emergency RMP Hotline on 05254 982 2222.

  • What’s on in the Paderborn area 2016

    Detmold: World of Pipe Rock and Irish Dance, January 23, 8pm, at the Stadthalle Detmold. Tickets from €39.50.

    Schloß Holte/Stukenbrock: True Collins, music and light show, January 30, 8.30pm, at the Event Hall Niebel, Hauptstrasse 65–67. Tickets: €15 (in advance); €19 at the door.

    Paderborn: Abba Gold: The Concert Show, March 15, 8pm, at the PaderHalle. Tickets: from €43.

    Paderborn: A Tribute to Abba – music and dinner included, April 10, 6pm, at the Schützenhof. Tickets: from €71.

  • PUFC male U16s football team

    Paderborn United Football Club (PUFC) is establishing a male U16s football team to play in the Kreis Paderborn League from March 2016 and want to hear from young people aged 14–16 who are interested in joining the club.

    As a pre-season warm-up, they will be travelling to Taunton in Somerset from February 17–20 to play football against local teams in the area.

    If you are interested in getting involved, email:

  • Sennelager Library Early Closure – January 21

    Sennelager Libary opening times on Thursday, January 21 will be 9am – 2pm.

    Normal opening times remain the same for the rest of the week.

    Sorry for any inconvenience. 

  • Homage to Hohne camp

    Formal handover conducted at the front entrance to Hohne Camp – from Left: Maj Bob Wells CoS Hohne Drawdown Team and Maj (Retd) Gary Morris BFG Drawdown Officer, Col Wiederhold Kommandeur and Herr Lentzen DienstleistungszentrumAfter 70 years Hohne Camp was officially handed over to the Bundeswehr-Dienstleistungszentrum, the Host Nation authorities with the lead for Bundeswehr real estate on January 1, 2016.  

    The camp, built in December 1935 by the Nazis, was first occupied by British troops from 11 Armoured Division in April 1945 shortly after the liberation of Belsen Concentration Camp on April 15, 1945.

  • Attention Vauxhall Zafira owners!

    Vauxhall UK would like to make owners of Vauxhall Zafira B 2005 to 2014 models aware of a condition that could affect your vehicle.  

    Investigations have found evidence of improper repair of the blower motor resistor and its thermal fuse, which is designed to protect the blower motor system.  This can lead to overheating of the heater systems electrical components and the potential for a fire. 

  • Seeing double

    James and Edward Mann proudly received their King’s BadgesTwin brothers James and Edward Mann have been awarded the King’s Badge after completing training at The Commando Training Centre Royal Marines in Lympstone, Devon.

    The young men, originally from Wargrave in Berkshire, celebrated being recognised as the best Royal Marines recruit to finish training as part of the King’s Squad, the senior recruit troop, and were joined by their extended family and friends.

  • Get fit in 2016

    Many people share the same new year’s resolution – to get fit. Throughout the year there are a range of sporting events within BFG, as well as back in the UK, that can help with getting that summer body ready. 

    The RBL launched their Major SeriesIf some of you are struggling to find the motivation to put your trainers on and get in the gym then maybe events like the RBL Major Series and the Paderborner Osterlauf, Bielefeld Run & Roll Day and Berlin Marathon can provide some of the much needed incentive.

    In the meantime a wide range of fitness classes are available, held in gymnasiums across BFG, to get you motivated, including badminton, spinning and Body Pump to name but a few.

  • Quackers for the Bunducksliga

    Bunducksliga fever has returned to the delight of many football fans who are struggling without the weekly fill of the Bundesliga.

    The ducks of the 2016 BunducksligaThe Bunducksliga returns after its success on social media last year. Rubber ducks of each of the 18 Bundesliga teams race along a river in a number of rounds before the final on Wednesday, January 20 when a new winner will be crowned.

    The 2015 winner, Hertha Berlin, which won by a duck beak last year, will be back to defend the much treasured title.

  • THREAT ADVISORY NOTICE – TAN 003/16 Friday, January 15 – Paderborn

    There is to be a demonstration by Alternative fur Deutschland (AfD) against the refugee issue in Germany.

    At the same time two separate counter demonstrations organised by Paderbunt, a broad LW alliance, will take place in the same general area of Westernstrasse and the Rathaus (town hall).

    It is expected that there will be traffic disruption in the area and both demonstrations will be policed. While there is no expectation of violence, disturbances and conflict between the two groups cannot be ruled out.

    The AfD demonstration and march will begin at approx 1800 hours from the Westerntor/Westernstrasse, (to the east of the main railway station), then march via Imadstrasse, Ferdinandstrasse to Bahnhofstrasse.

    The counter demonstrations will gather in the area of the Hauptbahnhof (main railway station) from approx 1730 hours.

    Given the possibility of confrontation at either of these demonstrations or between the two groups BFG personnel are advised to avoid the area where possible.

    The community is also reminded of the potential for other impromptu demonstrations for which there might be little or no warning. In such cases, personnel should avoid the area of the disturbance and report any incidents to the Service police.

  • Raking it in

    Team from QRH join clean-up task in Paderborn

    The soldiers of D Sqn were each presented with a medal by their twinned unit, Kamper Kompanie, of the local Schützenverein in PaderbornOn a cold Saturday morning last November selected representatives from D Squadron The Queen’s Royal Hussars left Athlone Barracks headed for the Schützenplatz in Paderborn where their twinned unit Kamper Kompanie of the local Schützenverein (marksmen’s association) are located.

  • Giving in the box

    Christmas box donationIn the run up to Christmas, students from King’s School took part in the Christmas Shoebox Appeal, with students and staff filling boxes with items for children aged between two and 15.

    More than 100 boxes were collected for charitable distribution in the area. They were delivered to the Gütersloh Tafel, the local food bank which distributes donated food to needy people, on December 17 by students and staff from King’s School. 

    The appeal was coordinated by Padre Claire Callanan, who was also at the depot to deliver the boxes.

    Pictured are David Moir, Charlotte Roberts, Alan Moir, Hannah Preddy, Andreen Comrie, Tom Whitticase, Matilda Foreman, Padre Claire Callanan and staff from Gütersloh Tafel

  • “Oh, no it isn’t” “Oh, yes it is!”

    SB4Children from SCE schools across Westfalen Garrison were in for a treat when Combined Services Entertainment (CSE) performed Sleeping Beauty on December 7–9.

    Despite a restricted timetable during the festive season, performances were held at several locations across the garrison to spread some Christmas cheer. 

    Both students and staff alike had a blast embracing the spirit of the Christmas pantomime.


  • Paderborn Pirates 2016


  • Paderborn Ladies Netball


  • SSAFA Summer Fete 2016


  • 5 Rifles Wives Fitness


  • Temporary closure of Paderborn LVLO

    The LVLO will be closed on Friday, January 29 for staff training.

    There will be a limited service available by appointment only for those wishing to collect DVLA registrations to return to the UK.

    Please plan ahead.

  • Update: SSVC shop closures

    Further to the announcement in December 2015 that SSVC shops were due to close at the end of January 2016, following a very successful sales campaign, the shops will now close ahead of schedule as follows:

    Gütersloh SSVC will close on Friday, January 15 with Sennelager SSVC closing one week later on Friday, January 22.

    SSVC would like to reiterate that goods purchased from SSVC will still be covered under the terms of the manufacturer’s warranty.

    Customers requiring service would need to contact the manufacturer directly – details are given in the table below.


    BFBS Set Top Box support

    BFBS TV set top boxes (STBs) will still be issued and returned locally as follows:

    Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 9am–12.30pm: Bielefeld (Thrift Shop)

    Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9am–12.30pm: Princess Royal Barracks (NAAFI Max)

    At all other times, STBs can be collected/returned at the BFBS studio offices in Sennelager.

  • Mental Health First Aid Courses 2016

    Mental Health First Aid Courses 2016

  • BFG Text Messaging


  • Snow and ice clearance

    Householders are responsible for clearing snow and ice from all footpaths adjoining their property out to 1.20m as follows:

    By 7am or 9am at weekends.

    In a short time after snowfall ceases during daylight hours.

    During absence it is occupant’s responsibility to arrange snow and ice clearance by either a friend/neighbour or contractor.

    If there is no footpath occupants are required to clear snow from the edges of the property to the middle of the road.

  • DVSA UK Theory Testing in BFG

    Are you a dependant, UK based civilian or soldier who would like to take a DVSA UK Theory Test without having to travel back to the UK to do so? Now this can be done at the Sennelager Driver Training Centre, for the following prices:

    Car Theory Test – £23

    Motorcycle Theory Test – £23

    LGV and Bus Multiple Choice – – £26

    LGV and Bus Hazard Perception – £11

    To find out more call Pat Kiely on 05254 982 2864.

  • Safety and Security

    You may be aware from the media of recent alleged attacks, sexual assaults and thefts made on women by men of predominantly North African or Middle Eastern appearance in Köln and other major cities in Germany on New Year’s Eve.

    These attacks are of course being taken very seriously by the German authorities who are thoroughly investigating the incidents as well as reviewing their policing operations and manning levels.

    Members of our community are understandably concerned by this turn of events not least as similar attacks, albeit on a much smaller scale, have been reported by the German media as having taken place in Bielefeld and Paderborn.  

    It is important to stress that there is no information or intelligence to suggest that our community is at a higher risk than the local German community.

  • Operation Big Brew Up in Bielefeld


  • Blue Book Months


  • Weekly CTP Drop-In service

    A drop-In service from the Career Transition Partnership (CTP) is available for Service leavers on Tuesdays to talk to an expert about job applications and interview techniques, to review CVs, discuss career options and training courses and more.

    Call in to 51 AEC on Princess Royal Barracks and the Resettlement Room in RHQ 26 Regt RA, Mansergh Barracks.

    For more information call 05254 982 5448 or Mil 79 5448.

  • Musical Madness at King's School


  • Support for Spouses


  • Library Opening Times – Gütersloh Station

    Princess Royal Barracks

    Monday 8.30am – 3pm

    Tuesday 8.30am – 3pm

    Wednesday 8.30am – 3pm

    Thursday 8.30am – 3pm

    Friday 8.30am – 12.30pm


    Mansergh Barracks

    Monday 9am – 1pm

    Tuesday 9am – 1pm

    Wednesday 9am – 1pm

    Thursday 9am – 1pm

    Friday 9am - 1pm


    Bielefeld/Catterick Barracks

    Monday 8.30am – 1pm

    Tuesday 8.30am – 1pm

    Wednesday 8.30am – 3.30pm

    Thursday 8.30am – 1pm

    Friday Closed

  • HIVE opening times in January

    Mansergh Barracks

    Monday 9am – 1pm

    Wednesday 9am – 1pm

    Friday 9am – 1pm

    Princess Royal Barracks

    Tuesday 9am –1pm

    Thursday 9am – 1pm

  • The Home-Start Christmas story

    Thanks to the British community’s generosity, every child in the Gilead hospital in Bielefeld received a Christmas giftIn December, the Gütersloh Station Home-Start team, led by Lynn Thompson, organised three wonderful holiday events for children in the local area.

    On the programme was a mobile Santa’s Sleigh (the first for Gütersloh Station), a station-wide children’s Christmas party, and the donation of Christmas gifts, and several very British Christmas hampers to the children and nurses of the Paediatric Ward at Bielefeld’s Gilead Hospital.  

  • Rugby friendly in Bad Lippspringe

    Rhineland leaders RC Gasthof Essen with a pre-season friendly on Saturday, January 23, kick-off at 1pm at the Bad Lippspringe sports pitches.

    All are welcome to come along and enjoy a friendly game of rugby.

    Full details at:

  • Volunteers needed at Home-Start Paderborn

    HomeStartHome-Start’s simple approach is to offer the support of one trained volunteer to a parent who is facing difficulties and usually has one child under five.

    The friendship, practical and emotional support provided by a volunteer in the family’s own home, enables parents to cope with the pressures they are facing and reduces the potential for family crisis and breakdown.

  • Military Wives Choir Paderborn – Newbie Night

    Newbie Night – January 20

    Do you enjoy singing? Are you new to the garrison? Or have you been here a while and fancy a social evening out to find out more about the choir?

    Why not come and join the ladies of the Paderborn Military Wives Choir for their newbie night on Wednesday, January 20 at 7.30pm in St Peter’s Church, Barker Barracks.

  • Spring term at 51 AEC

    The new term for recreational and vocational courses at 51 Army Education Centre is fast approaching and the timetables and brochures are available now.

    Spring term runs from now until March 18 and 25 courses are planned in Gütersloh and Bielefeld. There is something for everyone from languages to sewing, maths to first aid.

    Course information is available at the Welfare Office, HIVEs and the Education Centre on Princess Royal Barracks, Gütersloh. You can also find us on Facebook at ‘Gutersloh AEC’ or the ‘51 AEC – Courses’ group. Alternatively, contact the PCDL Coordinator directly by email: or tel: 05241 84 3414.

    Enrole at Bielefeld JB’s Restaurant, Catterick Barracks, on Thursday, January 14, 11.30am–1.30pm.

  • Learn how to ...


  • Health visitor at Home-Start

    GT-HomeStartThe health visitor will be on hand for a weigh-in clinic for your baby on alternate Tuesdays, from 9.30am and 11.30am, on:

    January 19 and February 2

    Come along and join us and let the children play. A private room is also available for breast feeding.

    For more information contact the health visitor on 05241 84 2696.

    Home-Start Bielefeld, Block 26C, Catterick Barracks, BFPO 39. Tel: 0521 9254 3121 or Mil (81) 3121. Email:

  • What’s on in the Gütersloh area

    Bielefeld: Handmade – exhibition of creative arts and handicrafts, January 30/31, from 10am, at the Stadthalle. Entrance €7.

    Halle: Chinese National Circus, January 30, 7pm, at the Gerry-Weber-Stadion. Tickets from €36.90.

    Bielefeld: Sinatra & Friends – Songs from the Rat Pack, February 9, 8pm, at the Stadthalle. Tickets from €47.50.

    Halle: Boxing – Marco Huck v Victor Emilio Ramirez or Ola Afolabi, February 27, 7pm, at the Gerry-Weber-Stadion. Tickets from €37.

    Halle: ABBA The Show – the biggest Abba tribute show in the world, March 4, 7pm, at the Gerry-Weber-Stadion. Tickets from €39.90.

    Halle: A-ha, April 19, 7pm, at the Gerry-Weber-Stadion. Tickets from €53.90.

    Bielefeld: International Marching Band Festival, April 23, 3.30pm, at the Seidensticker Halle. Tickets from €33,

  • Big salute, big success

    Dressed up and raring to go: soldiers and civilians in Gütersloh get ready for the ZumbathonGütersloh Station has been busy supporting the BFBS Big Salute, with two events that together have raised €758 for the five Forces charities. 

    To kick-off the fund-raising, local dance and Zumba teacher, Caitlin Hillson, and BFBS radio presenter, Aimee Dewitt, organised a three-hour long Zumbathon event, in the Princess Royal Barracks gym.

    “It was a joint idea between Aimee and myself,” said Caitlin. 

    “I am new to Army life and the area, so I really wanted to get involved with the community and raise some money for the Forces charities.” 

  • Battle with the bottle

    Alcoholics Anonymous meetings in English in Bielefeld

    A helping hand: If you need help with a drinking problem contact AA or turn up at one of their regular meetingsAn English-speaking Alcoholics Anonymous group has been formed in Bielefeld to support those who have a battle with the bottle.

    The meeting place has been registered with AA and details of the address can be found on the fellowship’s website under

    “It’s a fellowship of people who come together to share their problems, with the aim of supporting one another to stay sober,” said the Bielefeld spokesman, who registered the local group with AA and is not affiliated with BFG.

    “If you are British and have a drinking problem, you may feel isolated and alone in Germany. Language can be an issue, so I thought I’d start a support group in the area where I live, where we can speak about our addiction in English.”

  • Sparkasse bank accounts

    Please be aware that as of January 1 all military personnel, dependants, civilian staff and NAAFI employees, who wish to open a Sparkasse bank account, must now also take their National Insurance number.

    You will not be able to open an account without the following documents: Passport, ID card and National Insurance number.

  • The HIVE Blog

    Whether you live in Brunssum, SHAPE or BFG, you are likely to have seen that the HIVE is now blogging. So, what does this mean?

    The HIVEs have stopped producing the weekly e-newsletters that were delivered to your email accounts. The newsletters were great, but they could be lengthy and at times it was difficult to find the information that was pertinent to you. 

    The new HIVE blog means that you get all that information and more.

  • Moving back to the UK this year?

    Start planning now and steal some extra time to enjoy your final months in Germany. The HIVE On the Move booklet has checklists and advice to help make your transition run smoothly.

    We are networked to partner HIVEs in the UK – and all over the world – so can provide you with HIVE information about your new community, so pop in to your local HIVE today.

  • A woman on a mission

    Lt Col Lucy Giles RLC, New College Commander Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (RMAS)For the first time in its history New College at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (RMAS) has a woman at the helm. 

    Lt Col Lucy Giles is responsible for the delivery of two thirds of the regular commissioning course, preparing  young British Army officers for their first commands in their chosen regiments.

    Lt Col Giles’s 24-year military career has come full circle having commissioned into the Royal Logistic Corps (RLC) from the Camberley-based academy’s last female full company of officers in August 1992. It is a role 46-year-old Lucy feels very privileged to hold.

  • Woman on a mission

  • Christmas tree collection – January 9

    Christmas trees will be collected in Harsewinkel and Marienfeld on Saturday, 9 January.

    The trees are to be placed outside the houses, clearly visible and have a label with the name. They will be collected during the day.

    The town administration pointed out that this is a voluntary service carried out by various associations who would welcome a donation.

  • Ex-soldier spices up Paderborn

    Things are hotting up in Paderborn now that a former Army Serviceman has established a curry house serving authentic Anglo-Indian cuisine.

    Ready to serve – the team at Tandoori Delights, from left: Buta Singh, Rajat Chundok, Klaudia Sierka and Tanuj BuggaWhen Tanuj Bugga first saw the cathedral city in 2006 as a Rifleman, he knew he wanted to stay and share something dear to him with the locals – his passion for Indian food.

    At the time he was serving with 5 RIFLES, and savouring the idea of owning a restaurant. Some 10 years later, he has just celebrated the first anniversary of the opening of Tandoori Delights near the city centre.

    Bugga, as he is known, says his eatery is the real deal when it comes to popular dishes like chicken tikka masala, rogan josh and pork vindaloo. 

  • 6 Regt RLC Rebasing Brief – January 13

    Family Rebasing Briefing – Wednesday, January 13, 5pm

    Following the visit by North Yorkshire Authorities and supporting agencies last June, the regiment will be organising a number of briefings for soldiers and their families.

  • Lifeworks


    The Families Lifeworks courses will once again be held on 41 AEC Alanbrooke Barracks, Paderborn on July 21–23.

    The courses are at familiy friendly hours over three days – and it's FREE.

    Full details are available on the website:

    To book a place, just book online on the website or call them direct on 0044 (0)1622 795997.


  • Don't mess with Rick

    Author Mike Tunstill relaxing after writing some of his next Rick Buckler novelBudding novelist Mike Tunstill has created an all-action hero to challenge the likes of James Bond, Jason Bourne and Jack Reacher.

    Introducing Maj Rick Buckler, Brigade of Gurkhas – hard as nails, off the rails and missing in action.

    Ordered by dark forces in the Government to go away and be dead, and stay that way, Buckler resurfaces on his own terms to do what needs to be done.

    “Buckler is tough and dangerous, and won’t stop until he finishes what others have started,” said Mike, living and writing in Suffolk, who hopes this first gritty title, Lemesos, will be the first in a Rick Buckler franchise.

  • ‘Growing up sitting down’

    A survey has found that children in Germany are not active enoughToo much sitting is bad for you, as we all know. But health experts warned on Monday that half of German children have firmly adopted the sedentary and damaging habits of their parents.

    The average adult German now spends 7.5 hours sitting a day at the work desk, home computer, the television or in the car, according to a new study. For young adults, the figure rises to nine hours.

    “We’ve become a chairbound nation,” says Clemens Muth, chairman of the DKV health insurance company that surveyed 3,000 adults about their mobility. “Prolonged sitting has far-reaching consequences for the metabolisation of fat and blood sugar and induces illness in people.”

  • Germany News in Brief - January 29, 2015

    Self-driving cars to hit Autobahn

    MUNICH. A section of the A9 Autobahn in Bavaria will be converted into a test route for self-driving cars, Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt said on Monday, adding that the first steps towards the Digital Testing Ground Autobahn project would be taken this year.

    Under Dobrindt’s plan, the upgraded road will offer infrastructure allowing the cars to communicate with the road and with other vehicles around them.

    “Cars with assisted driving and later fully-automated cars will be able to drive there”, Dobrindt said. “The German car industry will also be able to be world leaders in digital cars.”

    Dobrindt hopes that the new test route will boost already-impressive German efforts such as an Audi self-driving car on show at the Consumer Electronics Expo in Las Vegas earlier this month.

  • CTP Events – German CV Writing


  • Returning to the UK – Good Conduct Certificates

    Individuals returning to the UK, and looking for employment, or to get involved in volunteer activity, working with children, vulnerable adults or in certain other industries, such as security, may be asked by prospective employers to provide a Good Conduct Certificate for periods spent outside the UK in the previous five years.

    This is also likely to happen if you are applying for further/higher education courses. If you are likely to fall into any of these categories you should read on, and most importantly act now.

  • Home-Start – Shrove Tuesday


  • Recipe for success

    PSPS learner sets sights on career in Army catering

    Troy Ridley has reaped the benefits of the  PSPS 14–19 programme and now looks forward to a career in the ArmyTroy Ridley left school last summer after successfully completing his GCSEs and decided to enrol on the The Participation, Skills & Progression Service (PSPS) 14-19 programme to gain a professional qualification in catering. 

    He has been working with 5 RIFLES, in their kitchens on Alanbrooke Barracks, Paderborn, thanks to the generous support of the team headed up by RCWO Storrs, SSgt Larsen and the rest of the staff.

    Taking on a youngster in a busy working environment like a restaurant kitchen can seem like a challenge, but WO2 Storrs’ team was prepared to offer 16-year-old Troy the chance to learn and develop skills for adult working life. 

    Cpl ‘Baz’ Wilson has taken on the responsibility of supervising and mentoring Troy and he has ensured an excellent introduction to high quality catering. He has given Troy experience across the range of skills in the kitchens and Troy has developed and grown in confidence thanks to the excellent guidance and support he has been given. 

  • Pipers Concert – Bracht


  • Fun, food and film on offer in February with the Gütersloh German-British Society

    The British-German Society Gütersloh will be staging three events in February. All members and friends are welcome to go along.

    Valentine’s Bingo

    ValentineBingoValentine’s Bingo will be held on Thursday, February 12 at 8pm at the Türmer restaurant, Königstrasse 35, Gütersloh.

    What we did on our holiday

    WhatwedidEvery month the society hosts a film in the original English-language version and in February you have the chance to see What we did on our Holiday starring David Tennant, Rosamund Pike and Billy Connolly. 

  • 70 years on: Germany remembers horror of Auschwitz

    Former inmates at the gate of the Auschwitz concentration camp in Oswiecim, Poland – the inscription reads ‘Work will set you free’Chancellor Angela Merkel joined survivors of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in Berlin on Monday to open a series of events dedicated to the end of the Holocaust camp regime 70 years ago.

    “We cannot forget. We owe that to the millions of victims,” Merkel told the commemoration hosted by the International Auschwitz Committee.

    Even today, the death camp still urged people not to heed “hate-filled slogans” against people who are looking for a new life in Germany, she added in apparent reference to growing right-wing agitation against immigrants and refugees.

    On January 27, 1945, Soviet troops liberated the infamous Nazi facility in Oswiecim, southern Poland. More than 1.1 million people were murdered there from 1940-45, including one million Jews.

    Today, the liberation date is commemorated as International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

  • CTP Events – JSHAO Housing Briefs


  • CTP Events – FAR Brief


  • Panda's Parent & Toddler Group


  • Where's Wally?


  • FREE First Aid Training


  • Little Fishes 2015


  • Home-Start – Carnival


  • 3 CS Bn Events

    Coffee Mornings















    Pyjama Party

    PJ Party








  • Chinese New Year Arts & Crafts


  • Winter medieval market - Delbrück

    Take a trip back in time and visit the winter medieval market at the friendly village (das gastliche Dorf), Lippstadter Strasse in Delbrück this weekend, January 31/February 1.

    Watch craftsmen at work, enjoy the full entertainment programme including music and theatre – and there’s plenty for children to do too. Entrance cost €2 for adults and €1 for children. Open from 11am on both days.

    For more information visit:

  • Free first aid training - February 7/8

    St John Ambulance is pleased to be able to offer a one-day certified community first aid course for those who volunteer within the community.

    You can choose to attend on either Saturday, February 7 or Sunday, February 8, from 10am to 4pm at the Welfare Centre, 5 RIFLES.

    To book call 01722 578097 or email:

  • Fuel card reminder

    Fuel coupons sales cease

    Please be aware that the sale of fuel coupons will cease at the end of January.

    You have until the end of March to use any coupons or return them to the fuel office for a refund.

    Full details on how to apply for your BFG fuel card (including the application form) can be found at:

  • Paderborn Station Community Market - February 2015


  • Happy Nappies - January 30


  • B#Sharps in Paderborn


  • The Mansergh Biggest Loser Challenge – Starts February 2


  • Disney On Ice


    Bringing the wonderful world of Disney to the ice stadium, Disney on Ice is back on tour with another fantastic and magical show in February and March.

    Aimed primarily at children, the show features figure skaters dressed as Disney cartoon characters in performances that each derive their music and plot from elements collected from various Disney films and projects.

    The stars of the show are the Disney characters themselves, performing their parts in mock cameos, while the skaters performing remain anonymous. Get ready to enter a fantastical winter wonderland of enchantment featuring the most magical moments from across the kingdom as Disney On Ice presents Magical Ice Festival.

  • Welcome to Wiltshire

    Over 40 per cent of Wiltshire is designated as an area of outstanding natural beautyWiltshire has a long relationship with the military which is set to continue as more than 4,300 Service personnel will be settling into the county over the next five years.

    The Army Basing programme is a key development for the county as Service personnel and their families settle there. 

    Alongside key partners, Wiltshire Council is preparing the way to make the transition as smooth as possible.

    But as well as welcoming newcomers, the council and partners are keen to hold onto those already here who are preparing to retire from Army life. 


  • The last two Red Shield shops in BFG prepare to close

    The Bielefeld Red Shield CaféAt the end of February, the Salvation Army's remaining two centres in Germany, in Bielefeld and Detmold, will shut their doors for the very last time, ending a presence in Germany which spans more than 60 years.

    The Salvation Army worked alongside the British Forces during the Second World War, then in Berlin and BAOR in the post-war era, helping deal with the changing issues of the day.

    Their main role during the war was to provide welfare support to the soldiers, a very basic provision of need, doing simple things like making tea and serving cake, basically just being there for the soldiers to talk to. That is something that has continued throughout the years.

  • The Legend Lives On

    Thriller LiveposterThe show bringing to life the sensational career of the King of Pop returns to Germany after a highly successful worldwide tour.

    Moonwalking onto a stage near you, Thriller-Live celebrates the phenomenon Michael Jackson; including over two hours of non-stop hit songs in a show that boasts the world-class spectacle that marked Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5’s legendary live performances.

    In a career spanning 40 years, Michael Jackson sold an unparalleled 750 million records worldwide with the Thriller album still the world's best-selling recording of all time. Thriller - Live is a spectacular, high octane show celebrating the career of Michael Jackson, and the Jackson 5 and after three acclaimed UK tours and standing ovations across Europe, it returns early this year to amaze audiences once again.

  • Panto time in Gütersloh

  • Carlo, Miss Marple and the Plastic Pig

    Rockin' Robin - Carlo Dewe with his head-turner – the Reliant Robin is a rare sight on German roadsECCENTRIC Herford musician Carlo Dewe has turned an area of his ‘School of Rock’ into an image of a classic English living room.

    The Anglophile has dubbed it the Miss Marple Room, having been influenced by the furniture and fittings seen in the early 1960s black and white films starring Margaret Rutherford.

    Carlo, 52, manages the Rockakademie OWL, which provides music lessons to deprived youngsters and houses a recording studio used by aspiring local bands.

  • BFG's favourite newspaper is now hiring

    Click here for more details...

  • Shanghai Nights

    Shanghai Nights 3For more than two decades, the Chinese State Circus has brought Far Eastern culture to life for millions in Europe in its own unique way.

    China’s best acrobats and new discoveries from a foreign, mysterious culture are the key ingredients of the highly successful show. Shanghai Nights takes us to the acrobatic Paris of the Far East and lets the audience share in the living unity of body, spirit and soul.

    In its 25th year, the exceptional ensemble of the Chinese National Circus brings a new show which is centered on the vibrant metropolis of Shanghai. In the 1930 and 40s it was a booming melting pot of different cultures, nationalities and global fads. The huge port city gradually opened the world to the untouched, thousand year old Chinese culture.


  • Apassionata Time For Dreams

    Apassionata ZFTFor over 10 years, Apassionata has given more than five million viewers their fair share of astonishing moments, tears and laughter.

    The magical connection between people and horses is celebrated year after year, thanks to the beautiful horses, breathtaking riding, unique light effects and wonderful music.

    In the new show Apassionata takes you on a journey through dreams and reality, telling the story of two friends, who through a mystical medallion are able to travel through time.

  • Cobbler Tony is sole survivor

    Expert cobbler Tony Northern with one of the machines in his workshop in Schloss NeuhausSEASONED shoemaker Tony Northern reckons working with leather is the beeswax.

    Indeed, the 70-year-old former soldier knows everything about the art of cobbling.

    And the father of two has little time for shoes with modern synthetic soles, blaming them for causing foot problems and back pain.

    He even made his own children’s shoes from scratch and developed an effective method of making Army boots shiny.

    After serving the Forces community in Germany for 30 years as the Garrison Cobbler, Tony has recently moved outside the wire to new premises in Schloss Neuhaus and now calls himself the British Cobbler.

  • SGC training in Sennelager

    School Governance Committee (SCG) training will be held at William Wordsworth School in Sennelager on Wednesday, February 6 from 9am to approx 11.30am.

    Anyone who is a member of SCE SCG must complete the training in order to continue on the SCG of the schools.

  • Elysee - A treaty for friendship

    Charles de Gaulle and Konrad Adenauer formalised the Elysee Treaty on January 22, 1963 – the cooperation that has since been at the heart of European unityGermany and France will seek to smooth over tensions from the euro crisis which has propelled Berlin into Europe’s driving seat as their leaders meet to mark 50 years since a landmark treaty forged closer ties.

    President Francois Hollande and Chancellor Angela Merkel embarked on a full day of activities on Tuesday marking 50 years since the signing of the Elysee Treaty. The 1963 accord cemented peace between Europe’s old adversaries.

    On January 22, 1963, Germany and France signed the Elysee Treaty – the cornerstone of modern peace between the two countries after three wars in less than a century. Post-war leaders Konrad Adenauer of Germany and Charles de Gaulle of France signed that original document.

  • Change to importing personal belongings

    The Deputy Commander, HQ BFG, has directed that, with effect from January 7, 2013, entitled BFG personnel do not need to apply to C&I (using BFG Form 60) for the issue of a Special Certificate to Import Personal Belongings (BFG Form 80) for purchases under the value of £850/€1,000.

    This does not apply to firearms, pets, motor vehicles and goods purchased outside the UK which still require a BFG Form 80 to import the goods into Germany.

    Applicants should take the quotes/invoices to the Official Procurement Agency (OPA). The Article 151 Exemption Certificate will be issued by the OPA for the purchaser to send back to the supplier.

  • Dental payments – Rheindahlen

    Rheindahlen Dental Centre will close on March 31.

    In accordance with Defence Dental Services’ Standing Operating Procedures (SOPs), patients liable for dental charges will need to pay the charges in advance of receiving recommended treatment.

    Any queries relating to this are to be directed to Lt Col EF Murphy, RADC Regional Senior Dental Officer, on Elmpt Mil (68) 2239.

  • Army Compulsory Redundancy Tranche 3 – A Guide for those serving in BFG: Relocation Expenses

    Removals, Disturbance Allowance (DA) and Storage (Returning from Overseas)

    Service personnel who are notified of, or accepted for, redundancy while permanently assigned overseas will be entitled to a single relocation back to the UK, either to a Selected Place of Residence (SPR) or if available, to Service accommodation close to their preferred final settlement area, where it is available (JSP para 07.0206(d) refers).

    They will be able to claim DA at the prevailing Service rates, but will be ineligible for any other relocation thereafter.

    Service personnel who are made redundant while permanently assigned overseas and who wish to settle overseas may claim notional costs (of a theoretical move to Catterick Garrison) to put towards their relocation, and claim DA (JSP 752 07.0206e refers).

  • Plane good news

    Air France cityjetHOW’S this for a flying start to the new year – almost daily flights from Paderborn to the UK are to start in April.

    CityJet, a subsidiary of Air France, debuts at Paderborn-Lippstadt Airport with a new route to London City Airport.

    As of April 22, a Fokker 50-seater aircraft will provide a service to central London with tickets now available starting from €119 (round-trip including taxes and fees) online at and shortly at

  • Princesses promote the best of Britain in Germany

    Princess Beatrice of York, left, and Princess Eugenie of York pictured during a promotion event for the Great Britain Mini Tour 2013 at the Brandenburg Gate in BerlinPrincess Beatrice, 24, and Princess Eugenie, 22, drove through Berlin in a Mini last week as they launched a campaign promoting Britain in the German capital.

    The royal sisters have followed in their father’s footsteps by working as trade ambassadors for Britain after being asked by Number 10 to bang the drum for the UK.

    They flew to the German capital to support the Great Campaign, a global initiative to attract visitors, business and students to Britain.

  • SPD/Greens win Lower Saxony by one seat

    Stephan Weil’s Social Democrats will form the next Lower Saxony state government together with the GreensChancellor Angela Merkel will be forced to review her election year strategy following a narrow defeat to the centre-left opposition after a cliffhanger result in Lower Saxony’s state poll on Sunday.

    In one of the tightest state races in recent memory, the Social Democrats and the Greens eked out a one-seat majority over the incumbent coalition of Merkel’s Christian Democrats and the Free Democrats.

    After a suspense-packed night with broad implications for the September general election, the centre-left camp said it aimed to use its victory to create fresh momentum in its bid to deprive Merkel of a third four-year term.

  • Treasures for sale

    Land Rover buff - Günter Düe with the series 3 he has up for saleA GERMAN pensioner’s quirky collection of British military vehicles and paraphernalia is up for sale.

    Former bus company director Günter Düe is reluctantly going to part with his most prized possession - a pristine 1986 Army Land Rover.

    Rust-free and with only 7,049 miles on the clock, the right-hand-drive vehicle has been kept under cover in Bielefeld since he purchased it at an auction.

    The 75-year-old Anglophile is also offloading a gleaming 1965 Ford Zodiac, once in service by the RMP, two British Army motorbikes and a plethora of military signs.

  • Bringing home the gold

    Gemany’s gold reserves deposited in Paris will be brought back to Frankfurt by 2020With much of its gold reserves deposited abroad, Germany has long depended on foreign countries to secure its precious metals. Now, Berlin is moving some of its reserves from New York and Paris back home to Frankfurt.

    Germany’s gold reserves are massive, second only to those of the United States in their quantity. They total some 3,400 tonnes (270,000 gold bars), much of it acquired during the so-called “economic miracle,” when Germany was rebuilding after the Second World War.

    Around a third of the country’s reserves are in Frankfurt, while the rest is deposited in France, Great Britain and the United States. But the German Central Bank, under pressure from the public, wants to start bringing much of those reserves back home.

  • German News in Brief – January 24

    Smoking rules stub out the cigs

    WIESBADEN. Germans are smoking less, with higher taxes on tobacco and bans on public smoking seemingly taking effect. The number of legal cigarettes sold last year was nearly six per cent down on 2012, while smuggled smokes held steady. New figures from the Federal Statistics Office show that 82.4million legal cigarettes were puffed in Germany in 2012 compared to 140million in 2000. Taxes on cigarettes and tobacco have been increased three times since the start of 2011 – now adding up to €3.68 of the price of a €5 pack. The industry has also been placed under tight advertising restrictions which ban, for example, the description “light” on cigarette packaging. The success in reducing smoking rates and levels has cost the federal government dearly – its income from tobacco taxes dropped by nearly two per cent to €14.13billion.

    Ikea sales lead to expansion

    HOFHEIM-Wallau. Ikea, the Swedish furniture conglomerate, posted record sales in Germany last year and plans to open 20 additional stores in the next decade, the Wirtschaftswoche reported on Saturday. Revenues are reportedly up 6.3 per cent to €3.9billion, with a store in Hamburg posting the most sales. The company expects €4.1billion in sales this year. The new stores will be built in Ingolstadt, Kaiserslautern, Bremerhaven, Lübeck, Wuppertal, Darmstadt and other locations. 

  • Christmas cracker

    Paderborn RBL Christmas Ball raises money for Poppy Appeal

    Anita Lindsay, event organiser, presents the cheque of proceeds from the Christmas Ball to Jim Griffiths, chairman of the Paderborn BranchThe Paderborn Royal British Legion Christmas Ball was held on December 1 in the NATO Officers’ Mess (Sennelager) and raised a large sum of money for the Poppy Appeal.

    A tremendous amount of work was put into the event by its organiser, Anita Lindsay. As well as carrying out the administration for the function, Anita also contacted local sponsors who donated many gifts and vouchers for the raffle.

    The event raised an fantastic €1,788.95 which was presented in the way of a cheque to Jim Griffiths, chairman of the Paderborn Branch.

  • Armed Forces Redundancy Programme – Tranche 3

    The Army published details of the arrangements for Tranche 3 of the Armed Forces Redundancy Programme on January 22.

    This tranche will consist of up to 5,300 soldiers from the Army, which has worked hard to limit the numbers of soldiers involved throughout the Armed Forces Redundancy Programme, and has made certain groups of soldiers exempt from selection on the day that redundancy notices are issued.

    They are:
    – Soldiers that are recovering from a serious injury sustained on operations
    – Soldiers preparing for combat operations, unless they voluntarily apply
    – Soldiers on combat operations, unless they voluntarily apply
    – Soldiers recovering from combat operations, unless they voluntarily apply.

    As a result of the drawdown plans already announced, those units liable to deploy on Herrick 19 will not be confirmed until April 2013.


  • Online Security: Friends/Families

    When using social media sites always consider what information you share online and speak to friends and families about what they share, important sensitive information could become publicly available.

    Messages of pride and support are always welcomed, but there are certain risks to consider when interacting with friends and family online. Make sure you talk to them about operational security and what can and cannot be posted.

    When using Facebook, your friends and families should be very careful not to tag you in photos when you’re in uniform, or in any photo that might identify your role, where you live or any other key information that you don’t want to share. This includes being tagged in location-based services such as Facebook Places.

    Crucially, make sure your friends and families don’t share any information about your location or your activities when you are on operations, even if it is within a ‘Closed Group’.

  • Riff of success

    SAC Nigel Lowe showing his son Dylan how to play the guitarA BFG-based Serviceman with a passion for music has had his long-time dream come true after impressing US film producers with his tunes.

    Talented musician SAC Nigel Lowe who works at Survival Equipment, 1 Regiment Army Air Corps at Princess Royal Barracks, Gütersloh, is thrilled after agreeing a deal with the producers who discovered
    his music on the Internet.

    The Los Angeles-based production company Saint Media Group were so impressed with The Bullet and the Blade, a track Nigel had uploaded onto his Twitter
    account, that they wanted to use it as a soundtrack for one of their films. 

  • High Income Child Benefit Charge and Kindergeld


    NTK-KindergeldThe High Income Child Benefit Charge was introduced by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HM R&C) on January 7.

    Personnel may be liable to this new tax charge if they, or their partner, have an individual gross income of more than £50,000 and one of them is in receipt of Child Benefit (CB). The provision may also apply if someone else receives CB for a child who lives with them.

    HM R&C have sent a letter to claimants explaining the details and have advised individuals to visit for detailed information.

    In short, the tax charge will be one per cent of the CB paid for every £100 of income above £50,000.
    So, anyone earning more than £50,000 but less than £60,000 will pay the charge on some or all of the benefit.


  • Drawing from life

    Adrian in his ‘drawing room’ with some of the characters from his popular KBR comic stripHumorist Adrian Lloyd Pickrell sees life in four-panel comic strips.

    The Münster-based cartoonist – creator of The King’s Border Rifles, seen every week in Sixth Sense – never leaves home without a sharpened HB pencil and a note pad in case he is struck by an idea for a gag.

    Ex-soldier Adrian holds down a full-time engineering job with a German company, but in his spare time he is fulfilling a lifelong ambition by creating a cartoon strip for a local daily newspaper.

    “It’s been a part-time hobby that has really taken off,” says Adrian, 47. “I spend 40 hours a week in an office developing filter systems, and in the evenings, I spend an hour cartooning to meet the demand.”

    As word spread about his drawing talents, Adrian set up his own company Alpicomics in 2001 – and 2012 was one of his busiest years.

  • Licensing on a plate

    Brig Jim Richardson, right, Commander Germany Garrisons, presents Neil Blanchard with his number plates – the first to be produced on-site at the new BFG LVLO in Hohne (dummy number for data protection purposes)THE BFG Vehicle Licensing Office are aiming to speed up the time it takes to BFG register a vehicle after launching a pilot scheme in Bergen-Hohne Garrison.

    The new station-based BFG Local Vehicle Licensing Office (LVLO), which held its grand opening on January 7 in Hohne Station, will see customers able to register, renew and de-register their vehicles in person, as well as get UK-style number plates within a few hours.

    Undergoing a three-month pilot trial in Hohne to develop best practice, the LVLO scheme will roll out across BFG later this year, with each garrison opening its own drop-in facility.

  • Little hero Jamie loses cancer battle

    A fighter: Jamie Inglis, seven, who died in Germany from childhood cancer on January 15 with his parents Vikky and John at his side. This file picture shows Jamie at age sixBRAVE youngster Jamie Inglis has lost his fight for life.

    The seven-year-old died peacefully in his mother’s arms and with his soldier
    father holding his hand, at a hospital in Germany on January 15.

    He had been battling a rare and aggressive cancer since the age of three and a half.

    Vicky Inglis called her son “amazing” in a moving tribute on Facebook which has attracted heartfelt messages of sympathy from the Forces community and beyond.

    “We have been truly blessed to bring such an amazing child into this world,” she wrote. “Jamie fought with such dignity.

  • PTI praised for hot pursuit

    WO2 Iain Bareham with Christian Manz, County Commissioner of Herford council, left, wife Sharon, son Arthur and Herford Mayor Bruno Wollbrink    Photo by Cpl Wes CalderA have-a go-hero soldier who helped German police nab a car thief has been recognised for his civil courage at a presentation in Herford.

    It had been the second time in two years that WO2 (QMSI) Iain Bareham, RAPTC, had confronted a crook in the town where he is based – having been stabbed the first time.

    He was presented with a certificate and a crate of Herforder Pils beer by Christian Manz, County Commissioner of Herford council, and town Mayor Bruno Wollbrink at a reception at the Kreishaus on January 15.

  • Rock Meets Classic

    Rock meets classic poster2The original is back: the Rock Meets Classic tour during February and March will surely be an unforgettable concert experience.

    In its sixth year, the unique crossover project returns with its blend of world-famous rock hits mixed with soulful classical music: legendary hymns in classical garb, performed by the who’s who of the world’s rock vocalists.

    Free, Bad Company, Journey, Manfred Mann’s Earth Band, The Hooters and Bonnie Tyler have combined sales of over 200million records in the past four decades.

    And these powerful voices are contributing to the original Rock Meets Classic tour this year: Paul Rodgers (Free, Bad Company and Queen), Eric Bazilian (The Hooters), Steve Augeri (Journey), Chris Thompson (Manfred Mann’s Earth Band) and as a very special guest, Bonnie Tyler.

  • Shakespeare at Windsor School

    The second instalment of Shakespeare Saturday – with the Globe Theatre Education Senior Practitioner Adam Coleman – will be taking place on February 9 from 10am to 3pm at Windsor School.

    Shakespeare Saturday is a Windsor School Community Shakespeare project celebrating the closure of JHQ.

    Get ready for Shakespear and don’t forget to bring a packed lunch, drink and sense of humour.
    For more information or to book your place, contact

  • Long service rewarded

    Maj Gen Henderson congratulates SSgt Black for her service to the Forces Photo by Dominic King A deserved Long Service and Good Conduct medal was recently given to a member of the AGC staff by Maj Gen John Henderson, GOC HQ BFG.

    SSgt Terri Black AGC(SPS) was presented with her medal at the Rhiendahlen Rooms, JHQ following the General’s pre-Christmas brief to the military and civilian population.

  • BBC on location

    BBC filmcrew on location at the Globe cinema in JHQA documentary team from the BBC were in JHQ, Rheindahlen shortly before Christmas filming pieces for an upcoming programme entitled Cold War – set to be broadcast this year.

    Unluckily – or even perhaps luckily given the nature of their project – the camp was hit by a heavy snowstorm that didn’t let up for the duration of their stay, giving their shots a very atmospheric Cold War feel to them.

  • Soldiers take aim with new pistol

    The new Glock 17 Gen 4 pistol The MoD has signed a £9m arms contract to provide the British Armed Forces with more than 25,000 new sidearms.

    The Glock 17 Gen 4 pistol is not only much lighter than the Browning pistol currently used by the UK military, it is also more accurate and its magazines can carry more bullets.

    The Glock 17 has an increased magazine capacity of 17 9mm rounds, compared to 13 rounds for the Browning.

  • A Reserve Medic’s actions honoured

    A Reserve Army medic from Preston who assisted at the scene of a fatal motorway crash has been honoured by Cheshire Police for his quick thinking.

    Lt Col Nick Medway, 2IC at 207 (Manchester) Field Hospital, was in Army uniform and had been travelling home from a training exercise preparing him for service in Afghanistan when he came across the incident and ‘took control’.

  • Viagra stolen from RAF base

    The Daily Mail reported that medical supplies, including Viagra and other pieces of military equipment, have been stolen from military bases in Norfolk.

    However, the story contains inaccuracies, according to the MoD, which denied that the taken Viagra was worth £5,885.

    “The medical supplies stolen included an amount of Viagra, but were not limited solely to Viagra,” said an MoD spokesperson.

  • New green zones ban more gas guzzlers

    Tighter traffic zones rules are now in force across GermanyGreen traffic zones have been extended to eight new cities across Germany this month, banishing vehicles which fail to meet exacting emissions standards to the outskirts of town.

    Mönchengladbach, Mainz and Wiesbaden are just three of the cities to draw up an environment area, or Umweltzone, a scheme begun in 2008 with the aim of slashing pollution in densely populated areas.

    The system requires vehicles to display special red, yellow or green emissions badges depending on their environmental performance. Each of the new zones will ban all vehicles without a green badge which signifies the lowest emissions category.

    Until now, vehicles with yellow badges had been given a grace period allowing them into green zones in many places, but rules will be tightened this month in a number of communities such as Freiberg, Mannheim and Augsburg where only green classified vehicles will be allowed in.

  • The Great (Berlin) Bank Robbery

    Bank robbers dug a 30m long tunnel from an underground garage to the Volksbank and plundered more than 100 safe-deposit boxes. The bank had been renovated and its security system overhauled only a year agoBank robbers have made off with an unknown amount of loot after digging a 30 metre tunnel into a Berlin bank from a nearby underground car park.

    The spectacular break-in at the Volksbank discovered on Monday morning happened in the Steglitz district of Berlin.

    Having bored a hole through the vault wall (which did not set off the alarms), the thieves cracked open more than 100 safe-deposit boxes, bagged the contents and set a fire, apparently to cover their tracks.

    Police currently have no hard leads in the case and the total value of what the robbers took is unclear.

  • Doctors’ group admits widespread corruption

    Corruption among German doctors is more prevalent than previously thought, according to a report published on Monday.

    The German Medical Association has investigated just under 1,000 doctors suspected of corruption over the past few years, head of the association Frank Ulrich Montgomery told Der Spiegel news magazine.

    Over half of the investigations concerned doctors accused of accepting bribes from Israeli-owned pharmaceutical company Ratio-pharm in exchange for prescribing their patients the firm’s drugs – something Montgomery said was “clearly prohibited” under professional codes of practice.

  • GEMA demands €1.6m in damages from YouTube

    Music royalties authority GEMA is seeking compensation for unlicensed use of music tracksGermany’s music royalties authority GEMA has declared that negotiations with YouTube have broken down, and wants to haul the Internet video platform before the arbitration board at the German Patent and Trademark Office.

    In a statement released last Thursday, GEMA said that it is appealing to the board over the alleged unlicensed use of 1,000 music tracks in its catalogue, and is calling on the board to decide independently whether its demand for €1.6million compensation is appropriate.

    In addition, GEMA is demanding that YouTube take down the on-screen notice blocking music videos in Germany that blames GEMA for the impasse.

  • German News in Brief – January 17

    New rules to ban spying on staff

    BERLIN. The controversial practice of secretly filming staff with hidden cameras could soon be banned under government proposals due to be voted on by the end of the month, wrote the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung on Saturday. “Secret spying on employees cannot be allowed in this country any more,” data protection expert and politician Michael Frieser of the Conservative CDU party told the paper. The news comes following a series of scandals over major German companies being caught spying on their employees in secret – including Deutsche Bahn and Deutsche Telekom.
    The proposals have come under fire from unions because they will also relax some existing rules, for example, allowing companies more leeway when it comes to installing permanent visible CCTV systems to watch workers.

    Germany to help France in Mali

    BERLIN. Germany said on Monday it was considering ways to help France in its mission in Mali. “Such support could come in the field of logistics, medical support or humanitarian support,” a spokesman told a government news conference on Monday. Foreign minister Guido Westerwelle and defence minister Thomas de Maizière will now “quickly” consider “how Germany can offer concrete support, other than military action”, spokesman Andreas Peschke said. Discussions will now take place with Chancellor Angela Merkel and Paris to see how Germany can best come to France’s assistance, he added. 

  • Drinking and cooking do not mix!

    A message from the Paderborn Garrison Fire Adviser

    A recipe for disaster: avoid a potential tragedy in your home – drinking to excess and cooking could result in a devastating fire On a number of occasions last year, Defence Fire & Rescue Service and German Fire Service crews have been called to married quarters in Paderborn Garrison where occupants have left stove top cooking unattended.

    On each occasion the pans eventually burned dry, and smoke from the burning food activated the automatic fire detectors. This in turn caused alarmed neighbours to call for assistance, on at least one occasion reporting that people were still in the building with smoke issuing from upper floor windows.

    In the most recent incident the adult occupants of the SFA were extremely drunk and went to bed. Some time later, one of them got up, put food in the oven and on the hob and promptly fell back into a stupefied sleep. The obvious then occurred, the food burned, caught fire and filled the flat with smoke, activating the smoke detector.

    Neither of the adults were roused by the alarm!

  • Changes to nursery session times

    Every child deserves the best possible start in life and the support that enables them to fulfil their potential. Children develop quickly in the early years and a child’s experiences between birth and age five have a major impact on their future life chances.

    A secure, safe and happy childhood is important in its own right. Good parenting and high quality early learning together provide the foundation children need to make the most of their abilities and talents as they grow up.

    The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) sets the standards that all early years’ providers must meet to ensure that children learn and develop well and are kept healthy and safe. It promotes teaching and learning to ensure children’s ‘school readiness’ and gives children the broad range of knowledge and skills that provide the right foundation for good future progress through school and life.

    Services Children’s Education (SCE) will be taking over responsibility for registered Early Years settings in British Forces Germany on April 1, 2013. Currently within British Forces Germany these are being provided by the Army Welfare Service (AWS).

  • Non-EEA Travel Documents and Relocation Planning

    Before entering the UK on assignment or discharge, check that you have the correct documentation if you are a non-EEA citizenMoving to a new home is stressful enough without having to relocate to another country. However, the Army’s ongoing plans to withdraw from Germany will eventually mean that all serving personnel and their families will be required to relocate to either UK or to another country on assignment or discharge.

    With this in mind, Headquarters British Forces Germany (HQ BFG) recognises that one of the most significant challenges it faces will be to provide the most appropriate support and guidance to families so that they can relocate in a timely manner.

    Entering the UK for assignment or discharge purposes is a reasonably straightforward process for European Economic Area (EEA) passport holders. Current immigration regulations require that all non-EEA citizens wishing to settle in the UK must obtain a visa beforehand.

  • Rock the Ballet

    rock-the-ballet1Direct from New York and following on from sell out shows across Europe in 2012, comes Rasta Thomas’ Rock the Ballet starring the Bad Boys of Dance.

    It is a fusion of classic ballet techniques blended with the excitement of musical theatre, hip hop, ballet, tap, contemporary, gymnastics, martial arts and pure fun.

    Rock the Ballet catapults ballet into the 21st century. Classical ballet and pop music combines into a compelling, fast-paced mix of technical perfection, passion and pure energy: Something not previously seen on stage; stunningly choreographed with visually brilliant and spectacular video animations.

  • Move of medical centre in January

    In preparation for the closure of JHQ Medical Centre and the transfer of the population at risk to the medical centre at Javelin Barracks, it is necessary to close Javelin’s Medical Centre for the period January 21, 2013  to February 4, 2013 for essential improvement works.

    All medical appointments over this period will be delivered from JHQ Medical Centre.

  • MoD pays out £88m in compensations

    The MoD has paid compensation of £88m in just one year, according to The Mirror.

    Many of the payments were to Forces staff horrifically injured serving their country.

    But the taxpayers’ cash also covered a vast range of other claims – from clinical negligence and oil spills to abuse of foreign detainees and crop damage in Afghanistan.

  • Signs warn drivers of wrong direction

    German transport minister Peter Ramsauer said more warning signs were needed on the nation’s autobahns after a series of fatal crashes resulting from drivers travelling in the wrong direction.

    “Neon yellow warning signs will now be set up across Germany on hazardous motorway slipways,” Minister Ramsauer told the Bild am Sonntag newspaper.

    The warning signs, which were piloted in 2010, will now be set up nationwide in an effort to alert drivers who may otherwise travel the wrong way down the motorway by mistake.

  • Berlin museum spotlights first ever Martin Scorsese exhibition

    Scorsese’s private collection of film relics is on show in BerlinA Berlin museum has opened what it called the first exhibition worldwide dedicated to the work of veteran US film-maker Martin Scorsese, who opened his vast archive for the show.

    Featuring relics such as Robert De Niro’s shirt drenched in fake blood from Cape Fear and his battered boxing gloves from Raging Bull, the show at the Museum for Film and Television offers an in-depth look at Scorsese’s half-century of cinema.

    The 70-year-old Oscar winner was unable to attend the gala opening because he is editing The Wolf of Wall Street, his fifth picture starring Leonardo DiCaprio, whose filming was delayed by Hurricane Sandy in October.

    But he said in a video message shown to reporters that he was honoured to be the subject of a show at a museum whose permanent collection is devoted to the work of icons such as Marlene Dietrich, Fritz Lang and FW Murnau.

    The exhibition runs until May 12.

  • 41AEC Spring Course Brochure

    Pad-41AEC Spring Brochure

  • First Aid/CIEH Courses

    CIEH Courses

  • Big morale boost

    IMG 0110web

    On a stage fit for television, a magical transformation befell the Personnel Recovery Centre (Germany) PRC(G) recently as a specially arranged Combined Services Entertainment (CSE) show morphed the centre’s classroom.

    The show had been organised and funded by SSVC and planned by the PRC(G) to form part of the Christmas celebrations and the group recovery journey for wounded, injured and sick soldiers currently assigned to the PRC (G).
    In classic fashion the show consisted of a compere, comedian, dancers and a solo artist all of whom had travelled from the UK to perform especially for Germany based wounded, injured and sick soldiers.

  • Help young Jamie fight cancer

    Jamie Inglis, pictured with mum and dad, John and Vicky, and younger sister PoppyFund-raising to pay for treatment for a seven-year-old boy with a rare and aggressive form of cancer has reached 50 per cent of the £250,000 target.

    Soldier’s son Jamie Inglis needs pioneering treatment in Germany to save his life after battling the child cancer neuroblastoma for a second time. More than £125,000 has been raised of the £250,000 needed to cover the cost of Jamie’s treatment as he battles relapsed neuroblastoma.

    The youngster has been fighting the aggressive childhood cancer since he was three-and-a-half years old, when he was based in JHQ with his parents.

    Jamie has lived with his family in York, England, for about two years now. His father John is a sergeant in the British Army and was stationed in BFG.

  • What's new in Germany for 2013

    GN-ChangesThe new year will bring plenty of changes to those living in Germany – from no quarterly payments for doctor visits to new TV licence fees – here’s the lowdown on what’s new in 2013.

    Public broadcasting fees

    In the past, if you tried to get out of paying your GEZ public broadcast licence fees, you had to worry about collectors showing up at your door. Anyone with a TV, radio or computer was obliged to register and pay up – and the more devices you had, the higher your fees. A growing number of people, however, were content to simply dodge or deceive the enforcers, leaving the GEZ with dwindling revenues. Now nearly everyone is going to be forced to shell out for Germany’s public broadcasters.
    Each household now has to pay a flat monthly contribution of €17.98 – TV or no TV, regardless of the number of people living there. Those who are unemployed or seriously ill can receive exemptions or apply to pay a reduced sum.

    Doctor’s office co-pay

    Perhaps even more unpopular than TV fees have been the €10 patients have to fork out to see a doctor in Germany. Introduced in 2004, the quarterly fee – known as the Praxisgebühr – was meant to reduce unnecessary trips to medical specialists. Instead, it has increased overhead for clinics and surgeries. The German government finally agreed in November to axe the payment after months of wrangling between Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives and their junior partners the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP).

  • One third of volunteer military recruits drop out

    GN-BundNearly one in three of Germans who volunteer to join the armed forces leave before the end of their six-month trial period, figures released this week show.

    The 30.4 per cent drop-out rate is an increase on a year ago when the rate was 27 per cent. Defence Ministry figures released on Wednesday showed that 11,150 people completed a voluntary military service which lasts on average 13 months.

    Defence Minister Thomas de Maizière set a target of between 5,000 and 15,000 volunteers in July 2011, when compulsory military or social service was scrapped. He said recently that the high drop-out rate was not a surprise.

  • NRW drivers spent 50,000 hours in traffic jams

    Drivers in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) spent over 50,000 hours in 161,000 kilometres of traffic jams in 2012, making the state’s roads the busiest in the country, it was reported on Monday.

    NRW’s traffic jams accounted for more than a quarter of all jams nationwide in 2012, drivers’ association ADAC told the Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung – and its prognosis for the coming year looks little better.

    Köln, for example, has problems with ageing bridges that would mean shutting some of them off for repairs, spokeswoman Jacqueline Grünewald told the paper. “Things probably won’t improve in the new year,” she warned.

    Grünewald’s prediction was confirmed on many people’s first day back to work from the Christmas break when 100 kilometres of traffic jams were recorded across the state.

    Most affected is the A1 autobahn where people sat in traffic for 8,800 hours last year. On the A3, drivers sat motionless for 8,600 hours, while the A40 between Venlo and Dortmund was a little more free-flowing, racking up 5,900 hours of jams.

  • German News in Brief – January 10

    Tax payers ‘could save up to 240 Euro

    BERLIN. Germans could pay up to €240 less in taxes in 2013 if planned government changes come into force, the Süddeutsche Zeitung said on Friday. Thanks to the healthy state of the national pension pot, employees may well find themselves paying less into it this year. The government is planning on reducing monthly contributions from 19.6 per cent to 18.9 per cent of a person’s wage.
    If passed, this could see an unmarried person earning €3,400 per month saving €185 in taxes each year. A married couple with two children could save €200. The full effect will not become clear until April, when changes will be given the go ahead and come into force.

    Air Berlin says goodbye to Mehdorn

    BERLIN. The chief executive of Air Berlin stepped down on Monday amid turbulent times for Germany’s number two airline which has been in the middle of a fierce cost-cutting drive since 2008.
    Hartmut Mehdorn, a former head of Germany’s Deutsche Bahn railway firm, will be replaced immediately by Wolfgang Prock-Schauer, 56, the firm said in a statement.
    The chairman of the board at Air Berlin, Hans-Joachim Körber, paid tribute to Mehdorn, saying he had “set the company on a new path” despite what he termed “the crisis in European aviation”.
    Prock-Schauer would continue with the “decisive reorganisation of the company”, Körber said.


  • Valentine Special


  • A German Christmas at Welcome Wednesday

    Kirsty Odonovan with son Harry and two–week-old daughter Lyla Rose enjoy the friendly atmosphere at the festive get-togetherDecember’s Welcome Wednesday was themed around A German Christmas, with a selection of traditional German specialities to taste and recipes to take away and try yourself.

    There were also people on hand to help out with German pronunciation for shopping and to give cooking tips, as well as decorations to make and a festive boozy raffle.

    Organiser Charlotte Simms said: “Unfortunately the weather is really bad so we haven’t had as bigger turnout as we had hoped, but we look forward to seeing more of you all in the New Year.”

  • No bones about it...

    Important information about dogs in Service Families Accommodation

    NTK-HappydogOwning a dog is a hugely rewarding experience; they provide comfort, companionship, love and become an integral part of the family. All they ask in return is to be fed, watered, exercised, cleaned, kept up to date with innoculations and given the attention they deserve, 365 days a year.

    In short, owning a dog is a very real responsibility, one that never wanes, one that you can never switch off.

    If you do take the decision to introduce a pet to your home, it will need attention long after the partying has stopped, long after the batteries have run out and long after the festive season.

  • Christmas on a plate

     Heidi Hayward poses with her winning entry of a Christmas dinner and a selection of the other beautiful entriesTalented bakers from across the garrison, both civilian and military, pulled out all the stops for the annual 7th Armoured Brigade Christmas Cake Competition.

    Over 50 festive cakes were displayed for the judges on Wednesday, December 5 in the JB’s Glyn Hughes restaurant in Hohne Station, and the judges agreed that the standard of entries was higher this year than ever before.

    “There was so much detail. All of them were winners; it was really hard choosing the best of the best,” said Peter Dawkes, Regional Operations Manager for NAAFI and one of the team of judges. "The quality of the workmanship is amazing.”


  • Language initiative

    OC RALSU, Maj Jon Moreton presents certificates along with Linda Shepherd and Gary Hutchinson of Language ServicesDue to the drawdown, RALSU has been undertaking initiatives to help locally employed civilians (LECs) be in a better position to find work after the Army has gone, by offering courses.

    Gary Hutchinson who is also a DEL, has been a qualified TESOL teacher since 1999, working for a local language school called Language Services.

    Language Services helps local companies to improve their business English. The standard most universally accepted in the international business community is the ‘Test of English in International Communications’ (TOEIC).

  • Journey Into Shadows

    Shadowland-1528A fascinating dream world in the realm of shadows: After their first sold-out tour of Germany, the American dance company Pilobolus returns for another round of excellent entertainment.

    In 2007, the American dance company Pilobolus fascinated the entire world. The television images of their spectacular performances during the Oscar presentation show were transmitted around the globe.

    Something brand new that had never been seen before; a rear-lit screen with an elegant knot of performers merged into objects, body blended to form impressive fantasy formations which crumple and reemerge to transform into new figures – entrancing audiences far and wide.

  • Sikh soldier in turban for Palace duty

    Gdsmn Jatenderpal Singh Bhullar is the first Sikh to do ceremonial duties with the turban instead of the traditional bearskinA Sikh soldier made history in December by becoming the first guardsman to wear a turban instead of a bearskin at Buckingham Palace.

    Jatenderpal Singh Bhullar, 25, is the first guardsman in 180 years of tradition to choose to wear his turban on the famous forecourt.

    The Scots Guardsman previously said being the first Sikh to mount guard in a turban would be the “best thing in his life”. The 25-year-old said: “Conducting public duties while being a practising Sikh and wearing my turban is a great honour for me.

  • Attic Theatre presents...