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  • 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 www.cityjet.com and shortly at www.airfrance.de

  • 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 www.hmrc.gov.uk/childbenefitcharge 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 joy.harris@sceschools.com

  • 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

    Pad-Valentine

  • 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...

    Pad-Panto

  • Official fired over failed Neo-Nazi investigation

     Head of Germany’s domestic intelligence agency, Heinz Fromm: ‘Mistakes were made’The first head has rolled at Germany’s domestic intelligence agency in response to its failure to track down an allegedly murderous neo-Nazi terrorist cell for over a decade.

    The departmental head in charge of right-wing extremism has been replaced by an expert on combating Islamist terrorists.

    Germany’s domestic intelligence agency, under fire for its failure to uncover a neo-Nazi cell that allegedly murdered at least 10 people since 2000, has relieved a senior official of his duties in the first staff change made in response to the affair.

  • 1 Div hit the slopes

    Maj Nikki Jordan tackles the Giant SlalomTen Days of exhilarating skiing competition took place as 1 (UK) Armoured Division’s annual military skiing contest Exercise Pipedown kicked off last week.

    It is the 18th year that the division has held its championships in the French Alpine town of Les Contamines de Montjoie near Mont Blanc with nearly 300 soldiers competing in both the Alpine events (downhill) and the Nordic (cross-country).

    Troops representing units from across Germany took part in the winter sports extravaganza joined by troops based in Northern Ireland, Cyprus and other parts of the UK, all hoping to emulate Gütersloh based 1 Logistics Support Regiment (1LSR) which took most of the honours last year winning the overall Divisional Combined Ski Champion Unit Competition.

  • Stars come to heart of BFG

    Roger Federer, left, and Raphael Nadal will play in Halle this June in the lead up to the summer lawn tournaments such as WimbledonTen time Grand Slam winner, Spanish Tennis Ace Rafael Nadal will return to the town of Halle near Gütersloh, to play the Gerry Weber Open in June this year.

    “The Gerry Weber Open is a fantastic tournament. I’m very happy that I may finally play in Germany and in front of my German fans again,” said the 25-year-old Majorcan during a press conversation in London.

    “I really enjoy playing on the lawn. This part of the season is very, very important for me,” Nadal said on the occasion of the ATP World Tour Finals in London. “A success in Halle would also mean a real shot in the arm for me for Wimbledon and the Olympic Games. But, of course, there is heavy competition.”

  • Wulff in the Doghouse

    German President Christian Wulff has questions to answerEmbattled German President Christian Wulff has been accused of trying to block the first reports of his financial affairs by threatening criminal charges against journalists working on the story – leaving a furious rant on an answering machine.

    When he realised that the country’s biggest selling newspaper Bild was about to publish details of a €500,000 loan he got from the wife of a businessman friend, which he had not declared, Wulff called the paper’s editor and left a furious message on the answering machine.