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  • German president thanks British troops

    Germany commemorates Bergen-Belsen liberation

     The ceremony on Sunday, April 26, to mark the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Bergen, attended by German president Joachim Gauck, president of the World Jewish Congress, Ronald Lauder and 90 Holocaust survivorsGerman President Joachim Gauck paid tribute to the hundreds of thousands of prisoners held at the Bergen-Belsen POW-turned-concentration camp, which was liberated by British Forces 70 years ago.

    “We must look to the past to put an end to injustice,” said Gauck, speaking at the site of the Nazi internment camp where over 70,000 people were murdered between 1941 and 1945.

    In his key-note address at the 70th anniversary of the camp’s liberation, the president implored those present to do justice to what he called modern Germany’s moral duty.

    “We commit ourselves to the obligation of never denying these crimes, or relativising them, and of preserving the memories of the victims.”

    Present for the ceremony were some 90 survivors of the Bergen-Belsen camp.

    “The British soldiers were the ambassadors of a democratic culture that wasn’t bent on avenging the crimes of its enemy, and this helped Germany restore its obligation anew to justice and the dignity of the human being,” Gauck said, before professing his “deep need” to thank Great Britain for liberating Bergen-Belsen.

  • Half-term holiday highlights

    The Army Welfare Service has organised a great line-up of events for families and children to enjoy over the half-term break.

    For more information on the activities, call AWS on 05254 9824340, email: paderborn.youthzone@gmail.com or get in touch via the Facebook page: AWS Paderborn Youthzone.

    Sign up deadline is Wednesday, May 20.

  • Curry Lunch fund-raiser - Barker Barracks

    CurryLunch

  • ‘Trekker Willi’ heads to Norway

    Trekker WilliSpring is in the air and Trekker Willi, Germany’s answer to Jack Kerouac, is hitting the road again aboard his trusty tractor Robert.

    Winfried Langner, aka Trekker Willi, first shot to fame in Germany two years ago when he drove his vintage tractor from his home in Lower Saxony to Majorca in memory of his wife Anna, who had recently died.

    Now the 79-year-old is about to set off on a new adventure, and this time he’s heading north – to the very top of Norway.

    It was unclear why he had chosen Norway, but it seems that he has a lot to learn about the place.

    He happily admits that he knows “absolutely nothing” about the country and doesn’t speak a word of the language either.

    The round trip is a cool 7,600 km, and since Robert’s top speed is a rather sluggish 18 km/h, he reckons it will take him around five months to complete the trip to the northernmost point in Europe and back again.

  • Fund-raiser: Saving Pound Dogs Cyprus


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  • B# Sharps Live - May 2

    Popular covers band B# Sharps will be performing in the Auld Triangle pub in Paderborn town centre on May 2, starting at 9pm.

    Headed by SCE teacher Steve Jessop on lead guitar, the group has been performing in Paderborn and other British garrison towns for more than 10 years.

    Steve says: “We’re a fun loving, entertaining band who creates upbeat music from across the decades and the genres of soul, pop, rock, new wave – so come along for a good night out.”

    Any PECs and PMCs looking for a live band for up coming mess functions should check out this top Anglo-German band.

  • Questions about resettlement?

    If you have any questions regarding resettlement and personal development, come along to a meeting with Clive Knaggs, the IERO from 51 AEC.

    Clive will be in Catterick Barracks, Bielefeld on Friday, May 8, from 9am to 12.30pm to offer a drop-in service for questions and queries on resettlement, personal development, learning credits and the Army Skills Offer.

    To make an appointment, call Gütersloh Mil (73) 2062, or drop in on the day at Catterick Barracks, building 8, room 24/first floor near the eLC.

  • Buried with honour

    Reinterment ceremony at Commonwealth War Graves Commission Prowse Point Military Cemetery near Ypres, in BelgiumMore than 100 years after they were killed in action in October 1914, six British soldiers have been reinterred. 

    The soldiers were burried in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Prowse Point Military Cemetery near Ypres, in Belgium.

  • Gütersloh wine fair

    Gütersloh Wine Fair

    WineFairKolbeplatz, town centre

    May 22–25

    Timings: Friday 6pm–11pm,
    Saturday/Sunday, noon–11pm,
    Monday, noon – 8pm

    Take the opportunity to sample wines from five regions in Germany and meet the growers. There will also be a full programme of entertainment.

  • 1 MWD Regt Families Events

    1MWDRegtFamiliesEvents

  • Secure your valuables

    There has been an increase in thefts from motor vehicles recently in the Paderborn and Sennelager areas.

    The Royal Military Police and the German civil police are working to tackle this problem.

    Vehicle owners are advised to double check that their car is secured when leaving it and to take all personal and electrical equipment out of the vehicle when not in use. 

    Do not leave the satellite navigation systems in the car or glove compartment and when removing the equipment, do not forget to erase the suction mark it leaves on the windscreen.

    Please contact the RMP and tell them about your concerns or if you see any suspicious activity. 

    All calls are dealt with professionally and in full confidence and will be gratefully received.

    If you have any information relating to this matter please call: 

    Sgt Campbell-Robson or Cpl Strickland, Local Intelligence, tel: 05254 982 2467 or Sennelager Mil (79) 2467

    The Military Police Station, tel: 05254 982 2222/23 or Sennelager Mil (79) 2222/23.

  • UK entry visa renewal

    ARE YOU AN ARMED FORCES DEPENDANT?

    ARE YOU A NON EEA CITIZEN AND ALREADY HAVE A UK ENTRY VISA?

    WILL IT EXPIRE BEFORE YOU LEAVE BFG?

    If you can answer yes to these questions, you need to check in with your unit welfare office to discuss how to renew your visa before it expires. 

    It is important to be aware that your current visa may already be counting towards you gaining UK settlement. However, if you allow it to expire you will be disadvantaging yourself and need to start the five year qualifying period again.

  • Free First Aid training in May

    St John Ambulance BFG is pleased to be able to offer a one-day free certified Community First Aid course for those who support the BFG community.

    You can choose to attend on either Sunday, May 24 or Monday, May 25, from 10am to 4pm, at the Arndtstrasse Community Centre in Paderborn.

    To book call 01722 578097 or email: mike.thomason@sja.org.uk

  • Congratulations

    Members of the BFG community presented with commendations by the then GOC BFG, Maj Gen John Henderson

    WO1 (ASM) Michael Jordan receives a Commander Land Forces (CLF) Commendation

    Gut-PresAs the ASM of the 28 Engineer Regiment Workshop, with both the OC and 2IC deployed on Op Tosca, WO1 Michael Jordan played a pivotal role in the closure of the regiment. He was responsible for the drawdown, disposal and transfer of the vehicle fleet to BATUS across BFG units and to TFSU(G), the back loading of 600 weapon and sustaining the wide wet gap crossing capability. He then oversaw the subsequent move to Minden and the 23 Amphibious Engineer Troop move to 75 Engr Regt. He also supervised the back loading of the workshop equipment table, handover of technical and living accommodation and the assignment of workshop personnel. He is recognised for his outstanding contribution to 28 Engr Regt

  • One hill of a sport

    On a very wet and cold day, 2 Field Company participated in a cross-country competition hosted at the Tierpark, Bielefeld.

    This was the first of five planned events contributing towards the inaugural Officer Commanding Challenge Plate taking place throughout 2015.

     The main effort of the Inter-Platoon cross-country competition was to encourage department rivalry and boost team cohesion.

  • Germany News in Brief - April 23, 2015

    Merkel: Stop migrant traffickers

    BERLIN – Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Monday that everything would be done to prevent more migrants dying in the Mediterranean in their quest for a better life in Europe.

    “We will do everything to prevent further victims perishing in the most agonising way on our doorstep in the Mediterranean which isn’t compatible with our values,” Merkel told a meeting with non-governmental organisations in Berlin. “We must and will do everything to stop traffickers,” she added.

    Earlier her spokesman said Merkel, like millions of Germans, was appalled by Sunday’s capsizing of a fishing boat off the coast of Libya in which more than 700 people drowned, a few days after hundreds died in another incident.

  • Ceremonies mark liberation of 2 Nazi camps 70 years ago

    Officials in Germany have commemorated the liberation of two Nazi concentration camps 70 years ago in the closing days of the Second World War.

    Petr Mischtschuk, a survivor of the Sachsenhausen concentration camp, reflects on the anniversary of the liberation of the camp by Polish troopsPoland’s first lady, Anna Komorowska, joined in remembrance activities on Sunday at the site of the Ravensbrück women’s camp in northern Germany. Many of the prisoners came from Poland.

    Komorowska, wife of Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski, planted a memorial rose along with Daniela Schadt, partner of German President Joachim Gauck, and camp survivor Annette Chalut.

  • Simba's ordeal

    A cat has been freed after surviving for four weeks while walled in under a bathtub.

    Simba is slowly recovering after his weeks-long ordealSimba, from Meckenheim in North Rhine-Westphalia, was freed by firefighters after a neighbour heard a scratching sound in her newly-renovated bathroom.

    “It’s a miracle,” said owner Helga Henkel, who lost track of Simba at the beginning of March. “We looked everywhere for Simba, hung up notices, watched out for cats’ eyes with a torch at night,” she said.

    Professor Reto Neiger of the Small Animals Clinic in Gießen said that cats could survive for a long time on very little water, as they were formerly desert-dwelling animals.

    Although four weeks is a long time to survive in such a case, it’s not completely out of the ordinary, he added.

    Henkel said that while Simba isn’t quite back to his old self yet, he has already regained a lot of his lost weight.

  • Wir sprechen Deutsch

    German is world’s fourth most popular language, study finds

    LanguageAfter 15 years of research and a 1,300 page book on the subject, sociolinguistics professor Dr Ulrich Ammon has found that German is surprisingly popular with language learners all over the world.

    Prof Ammon found that German is ranked 10th globally in terms of native speakers, of which there are around 104 million, but fourth in terms of non-native speakers who have learnt the language. 

    The top three language choices are English, French and Mandarin.

    “People get the impression that when you learn German, you are gaining access to countries that are flourishing economically, which in turn brings better career opportunities as well as education and training,” he said.

  • Thrift Shop Fashion Show

    ThriftShopFashionShow

  • QDG Ladies Pamper Night

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  • Bake for Heroes cake sale – Update

    BakeforHeroesUpdate

  • Introduction to German course

    An Introduction to German course will be held in Bielefeld on May 4–8, daily from 9am to 2.30pm.

    The cost is €48.

    Register now by calling Emma Simpson on Bielefeld Mil 948 81 3772 or 0521 9254 3772.

  • Self-defence seminar

    A two-part self-defence seminar will be held at Robert Browning School, Normandy Barracks, on April 25 and May 2, for any-one aged 15 years and older, cost: €12 per person.

    For full details, call Keith Bailey on 01746 932256.

  • Closure of Gütersloh LSU

    Gütersloh Labour Support Unit (LSU), as an employing agency, will close its doors on December 31, 2016. This is widely known in the station and all employees have been informed. Understandably, this is unsettling news and poses many questions. 

    In recognition of this the LSU have scheduled regular briefings between now and the closure. 

    For dependant employees, the next set of these briefings is taking place between now and April 28, and timings and locations have been arranged in order to accommodate as large an attendance as possible – please see the schedule at the end of this article. 

  • B# Sharps have it covered

    Popular covers band B# Sharps will be performing in the Auld Triangle pub in Paderborn town centre on May 2 starting at around 9pm.

    Headed by SCE teacher Steve Jessop on lead guitar, the group has been performing in Paderborn and other British garrison towns for more than 10 years.

    Steve says: "We're a fun loving, entertaining band who creates upbeat music from across the decades and the genres of soul, pop, rock, new wave – so come along for a good night out."

    Any PECs and PMCs looking for a live band for up coming mess functions should check out this top Anglo-German band.

  • Lancers renew an old bond with Rome

    Maj Simon Doherty presents Pope Francis with a copy of the regimental historyTroops from the 9th/12th Royal Lancers (Prince of Wales's) (9/12 L) paraded in the Vatican on March 4, 2015 – reconfirming a 200-year-old relationship with the Papacy.

    Following their final tour where the numerals XII were taken into action in their tercentenary, three officers and seven soldiers of 9/12 L marched into St Peter's square at the head of the band of the Royal Armoured Corps, in front of 24,000 people

    During Britain's war with France, the 12th Light Dragoons were put ashore at Civitavecchia, north-east of Rome, on their first overseas tour in 1794.

  • Veterans to play key role in VE Day 70 celebrations

    A truck of revellers passing through the Strand, London (Photo by Imperial War Museum)Second World War generation will be at the heart of all activity as the Royal British Legion gets set to play one of the main roles in this year's VE Day 70 events.

    People across the UK are also marking this milestone by attending or organising their own events as the nation comes together to celebrate.

    A series of national commemorative events will take place in London, and community events and celebrations are being organised across the country over the weekend of 8-10 May, the 70th anniversary of Victory in Europe.

  • Enquiry into 1989 murder of Army wife reopened

    The family of murdered soldier’s wife Heidi Hazell are confident of justice as her case is reopened (Sixth Sense, March 19).

    In 1989, the IRA killed Hazell near her home in a Dortmund suburb. The German Attorney’s Office has now agreed to re-open their investigation after a series of campaigns by the family.

  • Recognition of service to Westfalen Garrison

    Colonel David Kelly, Commander Westfalen Garrison, has once again had the privilege of showing the community’s appreciation to the civilian staff who work within Paderborn Station.

    Herr Udo Fröhlich receives a Certificate of Appreciation for his 41 years of service to British Forces Germany from Colonel David Kelly, Commander Westfalen GarrisonOn March 31, Col Kelly presented Herr Udo Fröhlich a Certificate of Appreciation on behalf of the former GOC BFG, Maj Gen John Henderson. 

    The certificate was awarded to Herr Fröhlich on his last day of work after 41 years of service.

    Udo has worked as the station utilities advisor, a post he started in 1999, having already worked with the British Forces in Germany since 1973. 

    Udo will now be able to enjoy his retirement. However, before his departure, he thanked his colleagues, past and present, for making his time with the Armed Forces  such an enjoyable and memorable journey.

  • Forces’ financial future

    Launch of Armed Forces Pension Scheme 2015

    The online pension calculator allows Service personnel to forecast the benefits that they may receive under AFPS 15The Armed Forces Pension Scheme 2015 (AFPS 15) launched on April 1. A summary of some of the key features of the scheme are given below:

    In April 2013 the Public Service Pensions Act 2013 granted powers to the Government to close legacy pension schemes to new members and transfer existing members to the new public service pension schemes, including AFPS 15, unless they qualified for transitional protection.

    Rights to benefits already earned in legacy Armed Forces pension schemes, up to and including March 31, 2015, will be protected. That proportion of benefits will be paid at the same time as they would be under the legacy scheme rules and linked to final pensionable pay.

  • Sadness and joy for Army

    There were mixed emotions at the Inter Services in Portsmouth as the Army men and women concluded their 2015 campaign at Fratton Park and HMS Temeraire respectively.

    After their 5-3 victory over the RAF at the Aldershot Military Stadium the previous week, the Army women entered their final fixture aware that just a point against the Royal Navy would be sufficient to crown them Inter-Services champions in Portsmouth.

  • Lords of the Ring

    1 RLC’s evening in the ring determined representatives at RLC Championships Cheered on by their friends and colleagues, soldiers from 1 Logistics Support Regiment Royal Logistic Corps (1 Log Sp RLC) entered the ring to battle it out in the inter-squadron boxing finals.

    They were fighting not only for squadron supremacy but for a chance to represent the regiment at the forthcoming RLC championships.

    In an night that saw courageous and passionate boxing from all the competitors it was 2 Close Support Squadron (2 CS Sqn) who eventually emerged victorious and secured the bragging rights of the Gütersloh-based regiment winning six of the 11 bouts.

  • Repayment demand: €4,632,124,357,000,001

    That’s the sum that a German woman from Baden-Württemburg was told to pay back to the pensions office last week.

    A mistake at the office in Essen meant that the unnamed woman with a part-time job was asked to pay €4.6 quadrillion in contributions – more than a thousand times Germany’s GDP in 2014. 

  • Death of Nobel-winning author Günter Grass, 87

    For many Günter Grass embodies post-war German literature like no other writer. He was not only an eloquent writer and an unconventional graphic artist and sculptor but also an unflinching critic of current affairsGermany’s Nobel laureate Günter Grass, widely regarded as the country’s most famous writer, died on Monday at the age of 87, his publishing company said.

    Grass, whose works include The Tin Drum and Cat and Mouse, died in a hospital in Lübeck, the Steidl publishing house said on Twitter.

    Best known for his distinctive style of magic realism, Grass’ most famous novel The Tin Drum was turned into an Oscar-winning film by Völker Schlöndorf in 1979.

    A prolific writer of novels, poems and plays over a period of decades, Grass constantly called Germany’s past into question, and eventually received the Nobel Prize for Literature in the twilight of his career in 1999.

    He became an intellectual icon in the second half of the 20th century, and was easily recognisable through his bushy moustache and ever-present pipe.

  • Woman faked plane crash link for free flights

    A woman who obtained multiple free flights to southern France by pretending to be the cousin of a Germanwings flight 4U9525 victim now faces legal action by the airline’s parent company Lufthansa.

    The Halterner Zeitung, a local paper from the town which lost 16 school pupils in the March 24 Germanwings plane crash, reported that the woman claimed to be the cousin of one of the two teachers on the plane. The teachers and students were on their way back from an exchange programme in Barcelona.

  • Germany News in Brief - April 16, 2015

    Break-ins hit 16-year high

    BERLIN – The number of burglaries in Germany in 2014 rose for the eighth consecutive year.

    Police figures released on Monday show an estimated two per cent increase in the number of break-ins nationwide.

    In total 152,000 incidents were reported to the police during the year, the highest level in the last 16 years.

    In 10 of Germany’s 16 federal states, the number of burglaries rose in comparison with 2013, according to statistics provided by individual states; the highest increase came in Bavaria, where incidence of the crime rose by 30 per cent. 

    “The good news is that 40 percent of burglaries fail during the attempt,” Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière of the Christian Democrats (CDU) told Bild newspaper. “That shows that securing our properties helps.”

    The interior minister suggested he would support material incentives whereby investment in anti-burglary systems could be deducted against tax.

  • School’s out for Wilma

    Farewell surprises at William Wordsworth School

    Wilma – an inspiration to all pupils and staff at William Wordsworth SchoolIt was a sad day for pupils, staff and Paderborn Station when Wilma Simpson spent her last day as head teacher of William Wordsworth School. After 32 years of service to SCE Schools, Wilma is returning to Scotland on retirement. 

    On March 27, Wilma was surprised to arrive at the school to find the staff and pupils were dressed in red, green and tartan, in recognition of Wilma’s heritage.

    With the pride of Scotland ringing true, Wilma fought back a few tears as the school set about giving her a farewell that she will never forget.

    The day began with a school assembly during which the pupils sang their farewell song and was followed by the showing of a video  in which the pupils answered questions about their head teacher.

  • Bake for Heroes cake sale – Bielefeld

    Help raise some dough for our heroes and come along to the Bake for Heroes cake sale on Wednesday, April 22, from 10am to 11.30am.

    The stand will be outside JB’s, Catterick Barracks in Bielefeld.

    If you would like to bake some cakes, contact Community Support on 0521 9254 3208.

  • Midwives Drop-In in Gütersloh

    Bored? Isolated? A new mum? We would like to welcome you to the new Midwives Drop-In venue on Princess Royal Barracks opening on Monday, April 20 and every Monday from 2–4pm.

    Come and join us for coffee and a chat, receive baby care advice and lots more.

    The venue is located between the former 1 LSR Welfare Office and the fire station – look out for the yellow signs that have been placed throughout camp.

  • Children’s storytime coming soon

    Starting on Tuesday, April 21, 10.30am to 11.30am, Bielefeld library on Catterick Barracks will be offering a free Storytime for all pre-school children (age three and under).

    Just turn up and enjoy some of the most popular children’s books in a welcoming and friendly environment.

    Not a member of the library yet? Then join up on the day and your children will receive their own library cards and may borrow up to six books at a time free of charge.

  • All the bells and bristles - Events in Gütersloh and Bielefeld

    Tweed run – Gütersloh

    Sit-up-and-begs and boneshakers ridden by snazzy, elegant cyclists are a sight to savour at the Gütersloh Tweed Run this Sunday, April 19If you happen to be in Gütersloh this Sunday afternoon, April 19, and you see a group of 50 nattily dressed people on historic velocipedes, don’t be alarmed.

    You are witnessing German Anglophiles celebrating a bygone age of bicycles and fashion on the second Gütersloh Tweed Run.

    The event begins and ends at the town museum on Kökerstrasse, and the leisurely cycle ride around Gütersloh’s best known sights takes place from noon to 6pm. 

    The Tweed Run event originated in London in 2009 and quickly caught the imagination of retro fashionistas around the world. 

    In such far-flung places as Australia and Russia, Japan and Singapore, as well as all over Europe, fans of cycling and tweed take to the streets once a year and pedal their way round the route, stopping for a picnic, tea or to watch a troupe perform the dance of the age, the Lindy – all of which you will see in Gütersloh too – so don’t miss it.

  • Mother of 13 pregnant with quadruplets at age 65

    65-year-old teacher Annegret is pregnant with quads; she retires this yearA 65-year-old German mother of 13 is getting ready to give birth again – this time to quadruplets.

    Annegret Raunigk, a Berlin schoolteacher who is due to retire this year, is expected to give birth to the four babies within the next two months, Bild newspaper and RTL television reported.

    She already has children ranging in age from nine to 44, from five fathers. Raunigk said she decided to become pregnant again because her nine-year-old daughter wanted a younger sibling.

    Her decision was met with widespread criticism by medical professionals as a risk both to her and the unborn babies.

    “Any pregnancy of a woman over age 45 has to be considered a high-risk; over 60 this is extreme,” Dr Holger Stepan, head of obstetrics at the University of Leipzig, told the dpa news agency.

    “The 65-year-old body is definitely not designed to carry a pregnancy, not of one child and certainly not of quadruplets.”

    Raunigk told Bild that donated eggs were fertilised and implanted at a clinic outside Germany, which was successful only after multiple attempts.

    About her critics she said: “They can think what they want. I think it’s right.”

  • Years of dedicated service

    DMWS welfare officers providing support in Camp BastionThe Defence Medical Welfare Service (DMWS) has been providing help and support to the Armed Forces for more than 70 years.  

    Its independent and confidential medical welfare service is provided to the Armed Forces community whether they are in hospital, rehabilitation or recovery centres.  There are offices throughout Germany, UK, Northern Ireland and Cyprus.

  • Remembering those who gave us freedom

    Veterans from the March 24, 1945 Operation lay wreaths at the commemoration service at village of Hamminkeln near the river RhineOn a crisp, cold Sunday morning a church service was held as a final act of emembrance to those who fought and gave their lives on Operation Varsity 70 years ago.

  • Germany News in Brief - April 9, 2015

    Emsland power plant taken offline

    HANNOVER – After a security incident, the Emsland nuclear power plant has been taken offline, the Lower Saxony Environment Ministry reported last week. No radioactivity has escaped, the ministry said.

    A tiny leak was discovered by measurement devices at the plant and the operators, RWE Power AG and E.On SE, decided to take the 17-year-old facility temporarily offline as a precautionary measure.

    An investigation into the incident and possible other problems is currently underway. The ministry did not say when the facility would return to normal service.

    The 1,400-megawatt plant near the Dutch border was commissioned in 1988. Since then, it has been producing some 11 billion kWh of electricity annually, supplying 3.5 million homes, according to RWE.

    There are two nuclear power plants still in operation in Lower Saxony. Besides Emsland, the Grohnde facility near Hameln, commissioned in 1984, is also generating power. As part of Germany’s phase-out of nuclear energy, Emsland is set to be shut off permanently in 2022.

  • Sunday Shopping - Bielefeld - April 12

    Enjoy a stroll around Bielefeld town centre and the chance to browse and buy on Shopping Sunday, April 12, 1pm – 6pm.

  • Thousands demonstrate at Easter marches

     Doves remain a common symbol for the movement, whose 2015 motto is: ‘Fascism, never again – war, never again’Thousands of people across Germany took to the streets last weekend to campaign for world peace in the traditional Easter marches.

    Organisers of some 80 demonstrations across Germany said on Monday that they were largely satisfied with the turnout, estimating it to total around 10,000 people.

    There were around 1,500 participants in Berlin, another 400 in Stuttgart, 130 in Bonn, and around 250 people on an arranged bike tour of the Ruhr region – as well as traditionally colourful displays from around 800 demonstrators in Hamburg.

  • Lufthansa promises long-term crash help

    Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr, right, and Germanwings CEO Thomas Winkelmann near the crash site last WednesdayOn a visit to the Germanwings flight 4U9525 crash site in France, Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr said that the company will do its utmost to help relatives of victims and local people near the crash site.

    “We won’t only help this week,” Spohr said, with Germanwings CEO Thomas Winkelmann at his side. “We will help for as long as help is needed.”

    He added that he remained deeply grief-stricken by the disaster and that “nothing will be as it was before.”

  • Registering and insuring your vehicle before returning to the UK (Part 2)

    Whichever insurer you choose you should de-register from BFG and re-register on the UK plate as soon as you can and you can do this before you leave Germany. 

    Tell your UK insurer the UK registration number of your vehicle as soon as you know it. If your vehicle has been previously registered in the UK it will be allocated the same number again.

    If your insurance documents have been issued showing your chassis number (instead of the registration number) you can continue to use the document until it expires (the next renewal date) when the Certificate of Motor Insurance will be replaced with one showing your UK registration number as and when you renew the policy. But don’t forget to tell your insurer the UK registration number so that they can update the Motor Insurance Database (MID). the MID allows the police to check that the vehicle is insured and who is entitled to drive it, so it is iportant that your details are updated.

  • Donation to DMWS

    WO1 (RSM) Roger Evans presents a cheque for €200 to DMWS welfare officers based in the St Vincenz hospital, Sara Craigen and John Middleton, and the DMWS Ops Director, Trevor EdwardsThe Defence Medical Welfare Service (DMWS) based in the St Vincenz hospital in Paderborn was presented with a €200 donation by WO1 (RSM) Roger Evans, on behalf of the Normandy Warrant Officers and Sergeants’ Mess in Sennelager. 

    At the presentation on March 19, the RSM said: “All members of the Normandy Barracks Warrant Officers and Sergeants’ Mess were thrilled to be able to donate money to such a worthwhile cause.

    “The DMWS provides an outstanding and valuable service to the soldiers and dependants of our community during potentially difficult times.”  

  • Home from home

    6 Regt RLC welfare flat officially opened in Gütersloh 

    Welfare FlatThe 6 Regiment RLC welfare flat was officially opened on March 25 and made available for use to all BFG based personnel who are serving in 6 Regiment RLC, 102 Logistic Brigade and 29 Regiment RLC.

    The primary purpose of the welfare flat is to help facilitate greater contact between soldiers occupying single living-in accommodation and their children, who may be living with an estranged partner.

    If the flat is not required for this purpose then it can be booked by any entitled person who would like to accommodate visiting relatives.

  • New recognition for Reserve and regular Military service

    Reserve forces will be rewarded for their commitment with the introduction of a new post nominal award, while regulars may receive a new Long Service medal in recognition of the time and dedication invested in their military careers.

    Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has announced that Volunteer Reserves will be able to use the letters VR after their names after 10 years of service.

    This will allow them to identify publicly their contribution to the Armed Forces and the skills and experience gained as a reservist. These letters will follow their name, alongside any other qualifications or awards.

  • On your bikes for Blesma

    From left: Capt Chris John, WO2 Steve Mallison, Cpl Amy Keenan, LCpl Thomas Screen, Sgt Mike Carr, LCpl David Penman, LCpl Michael Peters, SSgt Darren Snell and LCpl Kate AllenLast week nine members of 110 Pro Coy, 1 RMP took to their bikes to raise money for charity and to prepare for an even greater challenge.

    The team cycled to a number of barracks throughout BFG to raise money for Blesma, which supports men and women who have lost limbs and the use of limbs or the loss of eyesight during Service.

    The ride was also an opportunity for the team to train for an even greater challenge, cycling from the beaches of Normandy to Normandy Barracks in Sennelager, a distance of more than 850km, in a couple of months time.

  • Unstinting devotion

    Jackie Bernal has received a Commander’s Commendation from Col David Kelly of Paderborn Garrison.

    Jackie Bernal receives her well deserved Commander’s Commendation from Col David Kelly for her services to William Wordsworth School in SennelagerJackie Bernal first joined the support staff of William Wordsworth School as a teaching assistant in September 2004 and quickly established herself as a key team member. 

    As well as being a positive and enthusiastic teaching assistant, she took on a wide range of other roles within school. At present this includes First Aid; resources clerk, keeping all items in school in a tidy and orderly fashion; swimming instructor; as an integral member of every residential visit and on hand for whatever else needs to be done.  

    She is a quiet and unassuming person whose ability to get the job done no matter what, is exceptional.

    She relates well to all who come into her presence and her demeanour and attitude to life in general makes her a great asset to the school.

  • Best and worst products report

    In tests, a bear’s eyes presented a choking hazard to childrenGermany submitted more reports of harmful consumer products to the European Union than any other country, but was also the biggest producer of dangerous items inside the EU, a new report shows.

    Reports on 296 of the 2,435 items identified as potentially harmful in 2014 under the European Commission’s (EC) Rapid Alert System came from Germany, the EC announced, making it the most safety-conscious nation in the EU.

    But a breakdown of the origins of dangerous products sold to consumers revealed that Germany was also the biggest producer inside the EU, churning out 75 different goods that were later withdrawn.

    That was almost double the amount produced by the next-biggest EU offender, Italy, which was the subject of 39 reports, followed by Britain at 38.

  • Germany to hold national memorial for crash victims

    Candles to remember crash victims from HalternGermany will hold a national memorial ceremony and service for victims of the Germanwings flight that crashed in the French Alps, killing all 150 aboard, on April 17.

    The ceremony will be held at Köln Cathedral and is due to be attended by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Joachim Gauck, a spokeswoman for the regional North Rhine-Westphalia government told AFP.

  • Take your (tooth)pick

    Ragna Reusch-Klinkenberg’s micro carvings have earned her international fameIt may not be a new skill, but it’s always amazing just what someone can do with a toothpick, a knife and a lot of patience.

    German artist Ragna Reusch-Klinkenberg from Ahausen in Lower Saxony is an expert at carving miniscule figures out of toothpicks and pencil tips that are so tiny you need a magnifying glass to see them properly.

  • Trabant project aims to electrify ‘Ostalgia’

    A Trabant is converted into an E-carIts chuntering motor and belching exhaust once heralded the coming of the communist utopia. Now the east German Trabant (‘Trabi’) is leading a new revolution, and this time you won’t hear it coming.

    Renewable energy company ReeVolt has started a project to turn the old East German cars into something fit for the 21st century by converting them to electric propulsion.

    Andre Schmidt, spokesperson for ReeVolt, lists the advantages that come with the Trabi.

    “It is extremely light, so it does not need a large battery to run it, it does not need a new drive mechanism and there is enough room in the boot for the battery and space for storage. It is a car that is waiting to live again,” he says.

  • Germany News in Brief - April 2, 2015

    Nürburgring racing suspended

    ADENAU – Racing for certain classes has been suspended until further notice at the Nürburgring circuit in the Eifel region following the death of a spectator during an endurance event on Saturday.

    A spectator was killed and several others were injured after being struck by a car racing in the first event of the VLN Endurance Championship on the track’s notorious north loop circuit.

    The Nissan GTR car being driven by Britain’s Jann Mardenborough, 23, who escaped unhurt, came off the track and flew over the security barrier before landing upside down in an area reserved for spectators.

    On Sunday, the German Motorsports Association announced they had suspended the circuit’s racing licence for a number of categories until an investigation has been completed and safety improvements have been made.

  • 6 Regt RLC Welfare/Contact Flat

    Welfare/ContactFlat

  • Songs from the Musicals – Military Wives Choirs

    MWCConcert

  • King’s School welcomes Holocaust survivor

    Rudi Oppenheimer shows the Star of David that was sewn onto his clothesOn March 11, students from King’s School, Gütersloh Year 9 heard testimony from Holocaust survivor Rudi Oppenheimer as part of a visit organised by the Holocaust Educational Trust (HET).

    The testimony was followed by a question and answer session to enable students to better understand the nature of the Holocaust and to explore its lessons in more depth. 

    The visit was part of the Holocaust Educational Trust’s extensive all-year-round Outreach Programme, which is available to schools across the UK.

  • Teapot Tuesday & Bake for Heroes - April 28

    BakeforHeroes

  • Teapot Tuesday & Bake for Heroes

    BakeforHeroes

  • Paderborn United raise €293.88 for Comic Relief

    PUFCPaderborn United Football Club committee members would like to say a HUGE thank you to the parents and children of the club who raised the fantastic sum of €293.88 for Comic Relief during their training sessions on March 12 and 17.

    The money was raised through the sale of cakes decorated with the club logo and other delicious toppings.

    A pat on the back to all of you and congratulations to Kelly Tucker for her great idea.

    If you are aged four years or over and would like to play football or volunteer at the club, please contact the Chairman, John Pluckwell on 05254 982 2338.

    We are particularly keen to hear from young people between the ages of 13 and 16 years.

  • DELTA and Dep/Self Funding Tests

    From April 10, 1 UK Division HQ will no longer accept non-publicly funded driver theory tests.

    The following dates will be applied for anyone wishing to conduct the test:

    April 10 – Last date 1 UK Div HQ will accept applications for non-publically funded tests.

    April 30 – Last day 1 UK Div HQ will facilitate dependent/self funded tests in Germany.

    The responsibility of handling the dependents/self funded tests in Germany will in due course be the responsibility of HQ BFG. 

    HQ BFG will reinstate the tests and they will forward all the relevant information in due course.

  • Registering and insuring your vehicle before returning to the UK

    Going home? We will be publishing a short series of articles over the next few weeks with important information on registering and insuring your vehicle.

    There is a big difference between German insurance and UK cover and so if you are currently insured with a German firm you may want to make the switch now to a UK insurer who can handle BFG insurance. 

    The best time to do this is when your current policy falls due for renewal or if you change your vehicle before then. One of the reasons for this is so that your No Claims Bonus doesn’t become an issue when you need UK cover. 

  • Paderborn Station amenities hours

    Easter opening hours

  • Home-Start Family Fun Day - April 8

    Familyfunday

  • Punchlines now online

    The latest edition of Punchlines is now available to view online

    This edition is packed full of information, including Rebasing and the General Election, events and news from across our community.

    You will also find all the usual unit news, a puzzle page, dates for your diary and, in this edition, the Easter Church services and Bank Holiday hours for facilities in Paderborn Station.

    Go to: http://content.yudu.com/Library/A3j88z/
    PunchlinesAprMay15/resources/index.htm?referrerUrl=http%3A%2F%2Ffree.yudu.com%
    2Fitem%2Fdetails%2F2988684%2FPunchlines-Apr-May-15

  • FFR increases

    FFR increases from €1.26 to €1.38

    The Forces Fixed Rate of exchange (FFR) for Germany increased to €1.38 with effect from April 1, 2015.  

    The FFR is used for pay-related matters to calculate currency equivalents of sterling allowances and entitlements paid in local currency. 

    Set using Financial Times currency data, the FFR is amended where it varies from the exchange rate by a set amount over a period of time.

    Changes are published on the last working day
    of each month, effective from the first of the following month.

  • Beware the dodgy debt managers

    Simple Money Coach by John Vine

    It is a sad fact that wherever there are vulnerable people, there are also those who are willing and able to take advantage.

    It is sometimes difficult to relate the word vulnerable to the soldiers I have worked with over the years, but in terms of finance, they and their families are no different from the rest of society.

    The truth is that debt can become a major problem for far more people than you would normally imagine.

  • Mayday Full Senses

    Mayday PosterOnly at Mayday do you experience all the emotions and sensuous impressions you would expect from a live techno concert.

    Listening to techno on your smartphone or watching a techno concert on video from your couch can be compared to lying in front of a panoramic wallpaper of a beach in your swimming trunks?

    Full Senses, this year’s Mayday motto, is an invitation for the expected 25,000 spectators to not only listen to the music but to participate for 15 hours using all of their senses.

    The bass sounds will hit you as if they are being kicked by a buffalo; the six-point surround sound will make you feel like you are being hit by an entire herd of buffalos.

    Over 50 DJs and live acts playing many different styles of electronic music, on five dance floors covering 20,000 square metres, will be there to ensure that the appropriate sounds are played to create the fantastic atmosphere in which you can let all your senses have their freedom.

    Mayday Stage ShowAmong some of the performing young DJ generation is Danny Avila, who although not yet 20-years-old ranks as one of the true greats, along with his young colleagues Wildstylez, Oliver Schories and Faul.

    Paul van Dyk, Sven Väth and Chris Liebing who belong to the older generation of techno DJs have one important thing in common with the younger ones, when they are on stage they want to look into your eyes and see you throwing your arms up in the air, shouting and having a whale of a time – live!

    Mayday takes off at 6pm on April 30 in the Dortmund Westfalenhalle and runs until 9am on May Day bank holiday morning.

    • Ticket prices start at €58 prior to the event and €68 on the night.
    • More information is available at: www.mayday.deDancing the night away at Mayday
  • Beware the bogus caller

    Beware the bogus callerThe RMP are warning occupants of houses and flats in BFG not to become a victim of so-called distraction burglary.

    This is where criminals call at your house posing as officials or asking for your help with some matter. Generally targeting older people, they make up a story to get in to your home with the intention to steal.

    Although distraction burglary is not rife in Germany, Forces personnel and their families are being asked to remain vigilant following a few suspicious incidents.

    BFG Community Policeman Sgt Rob Gue, 114 Pro Coy, 1 Regt RMP, said: “We are experiencing an increased number of residents stating that they are having landlords with prospect tenants calling at SFAs unannounced and asking for entry to the house.

  • Muscle man looking for sponsor

    Callum at a bodybuilding event in ColchesterA well-toned lance corporal from Bergen-Hohne has muscled his way to the top in international bodybuilding contests.

    Callum Green, 24, has made huge sacrifices to achieve the body of an Adonis, including declining to go out partying with his comrades.

    The support troop crewman within the 9th/12th Royal Lancers has competed in the Hercules Olympia in Colchester, coming first in men’s classic bodybuilding category and qualifying to compete in Athens on June 14 where he will be represent England.

    But Callum desperately needs sponsorship to be able to travel to Greece, and he is hoping readers will be able to help him.

  • Painting the town tartan

    Kilts are us – Sebastian, left, and William McLeary, organisers of the Rock the Kilt music festivalYou don’t have to wear a kilt to rock out – but if you do sport one at Bünde’s first open air festival, you’ll be in good company.

    Scotsman and former British soldier William McLeary and his son Sebastian are the duo behind Rock the Kilt, a four-day event with an impressive line up of musical acts.

    It’s not exactly Glastonbury, but the Bünde festival taking place from April 30 to May 3 in the town centre promises a merry time for everyone – and on a paved surface.

    The featured bands include Dire Strats, Europe’s best Dire Straits cover band; Big Balls, a salute to AC/DC’s Bon Scott; folk rockers The Keltics; singer and ex-Army man Chris Blevins; rock pipe band Celtica; and Boss Time, a Bruce Springsteen tribute band.

  • Spiritual Spin Off

    Padre Stuart TurnerLast month an event of biblical proportions took place in Prince Royal Barracks as the CO of 1 Logistic Support Regiment RLC, Lt Col Lee Daley, led the chaplains of 102 Logistic Brigade in an epic spinning session.

    The brains behind the event, Padre Stuart Turner, came up with the idea to use the session as a positive springboard for the CO, who is about to lead 1 Logistic Support Regiment RLC on Op Herrick 20.

    Padre Turner said of the session: “I wanted to send the CO off to theatre with something to laugh about – and getting chaplains to do PT is usually a laughable event! I’ll admit we were praying for divine intervention or even a pastoral emergency to get us out of the session, but even the Chaplaincy Department’s prayers remain unanswered now and again!”

    LtCol Lee Daley CO 1LSRThroughout the session there were some classic tunes playing at the ecclesiastical heartstrings of the nostalgic chaplains, ending the spinning session the Hallelujah Chorus as the spinners were cooling down and stretching off. Lt Col Daley apologised for any pain he inflicted and asked for forgiveness.

    The brigade senior chaplain, Maj Richard Downes, was in attendance and thoroughly enjoyed the event.

    Gasping for breath he said: “At times it really hurt but I am sure it was worth it in the end. Maybe next time we could make it a Divisional Chaplaincy Department event!”

    The spinners after the event

  • Fighting Spirit

    Cfn Adams (Best Boxer) fighting Pte Williams for the Welterweight titleA fantastic night of boxing was held at Princess Royal Barracks in Gütersloh by predominantly novice boxers in front of superb support from the spectators at 6 Theatre Logistic Regiment’s annual Inter-Squadron Boxing Competition in March.

    Despite being focussed on future operational deployments, each of the squadrons put together an intense and arduous six-week training programme for the boxers, the majority of whom were young and inexperienced soldiers who had not boxed before.

    The coaches, led by SSgt Berry and Sgt Thompson, deserve great credit for managing to raise such interest in the sport across the regiment and for preparing the boxers for such a memorable night.

    Preliminary bouts were held during the week to confirm who would be fighting in the finals on the big night

  • May Concert Highlights

    Before the open air season gets underway, there are still many great acts to catch touring Germany. Here are a few to choose from:

    Peter Gabriel

    Peter GabrielFans of Peter Gabriel who missed the Back to Front Tour 2013 have a second chance to see the British artist live on stage on May 3 in Hannover.

    Last year Peter Gabriel, former lead singer of Genesis, celebrated the 25th anniversary of his first solo album with a tour called Back to Front.

    The tickets were sold out rapidly so the famous musician decided to return to Germany for additional concerts:

    • Hannover, TUI Arena, May 3, tickets from €91.50.
    • Berlin, Waldbühne, May 25, tickets prices start at €71.50.
  • Prescription for change

    Prescription charges will be introduced across British Forces Germany on May 5, bringing BFG into line with existing MoD policy.

    All charges and exemptions will be in accordance with NHS (England) guidelines. Prescription charges will also be introduced across the European Joint Support Unit community in due course.

    This aspect will be introduced in manageable phases, the first of which will be in respect of the communities based in Ramstein, Brunssum, SHAPE and Brussels. Current planning indicates that this will not be before June 1, 2014.

  • Padre walks the line

    Padre Andy Oliver,  26 Regt RA, Gütersloh, decided to walk the length of the UN Buffer Zone in Cyprus for charities on both sides of the lineA BFG padre walked the 180km-long UN Buffer Zone during his tour of Cyprus, raising cash for charities on both sides of the divided island.

    Capt Andy Oliver, who served for six months on peacekeeping mission Operation Tosca with 28 Engineer Regiment from Hameln, was accompanied on his trek of the ‘Green Line’ by nine willing volunteers.

    Dubbed the Padre and his Pacemakers, the team completed the gruelling challenge in four days, from February 1-4, during which they faced scorching temperatures and raised more than £1,300 for two worthy local causes.

  • Training For Twickenham

    Army U11 selection with coaches and support staffChildren from across BA(G) have been joining together for a number of youth rugby training sessions.

    The children, coaches and parents of Bielefeld Bulldogs, Gütersloh Giants and Paderborn Pirates met at Gütersloh a few weeks ago for the first joint training session of the year.

    Children aged 4-14 spent the day practising some of the skills they have learnt over the past few months. For many of the children this was the first time that they had played with members of the other clubs within BA(G).

  • Calling all budding artists

    Combat painting – soldiers find a spot to test and develop their artistic skillsThe Army Arts Society is looking for a few budding artists - serving, dependant or retired - who would be willing to take the lead in establishing garrison or station branches in BFG.

    The society was established after The Falklands War in 1982, with the aim of encouraging all ranks in the Army to maintain and develop their artistic ability.

    One of its key aims was art as therapy. The society aims to encourage and support artists and craftspeople whether serving, retired or dependant.

  • 2 shops for the price of 1

    The SSVC shop in Bielefeld is open 7 days a week. Customers use the same main entrance to the building as for the NAAFI THE last of a trio of new SSVC shops has opened in Westfalen Garrison, giving customers an expanded range of large and small domestic goods.

    And as in Gütersloh and Sennelager, the Bielefeld station shop is housed within the main NAAFI, which is located adjacent to Catterick Barracks and HQ BFG.

    It was last April that NAAFI announced it would be scaling down the non-food categories in its stores while providing space to SSVC, specialist retailers of high-value, audio-visual products and white goods who had their own shops across BFG.

     

  • Gütersloh duo set up Ghana veterans charity

    FHG co-founders Cpls Derrick Cobbinah, right, and Solomon AddeiTwo big-hearted corporals from Gütersloh are set to launch a charity aimed at improving the aftercare for injured Ghana armed forces veterans.

    Ghanaian nationals and friends Derrick Cobbinah and Solomon Addei, both serving with 6 Theatre Logistics Regiment, RLC (6 TLR), co-founded Forces Help Ghana (FHG) after being impressed with the wide support that UK charities give to wounded British soldiers and ex-Service personnel.

    Now the duo wants to see the same thing happen in their home country, and on Friday, April 11 they will be in Ghana to officially launch FHG, which is already registered as a charity.

  • Hannover in Summer

    Old Town HannoverWhy spend hours on the motorway on the way to a city break, when Hannover, a city of contrasts, set among idyllic little towns and villages, is only just around the corner.

    Take a gentle stroll and appreciate the beauty of the Royal Gardens of Herrenhausen, or for the more energetic, take a jog through the Eilenriede, Hannover’s extensive city forest. Or enjoy the Mediterranean flair on and around the Maschsee Lake.

    Hannover’s city centre is a shopaholic’s paradise with a large pedestrian precinct, the Ernst-August-Galerie shopping mall and a number of classy arcades.

  • Trick Shot Terrific

    Audience participation is an integral element of the showBy Clare Jackson

    Lightening speed passing and out of this world tricks, with a side helping of entertainment, was the order of the day as the world renowned Harlem Globetrotters came to Bielefeld as part of their You Write The Rules World Tour.

    As the lights went up at the Siedensticker Halle the crowd went wild for the current roster of incredibly talented basketball players, in town with one thing on their mind - to entertain the crowd.

    For the first time in eight years, the Harlem Globetrotters returned to Germany for 10 dates before moving onto London and the rest of the world.

  • Horses & Dreams Meets Brazil

    Horses and Dreams PosterHorses & Dreams has established itself as one of the most popular equestrian competitions.

    The success of Horses & Dreams lies in a combination of top international sport, an exciting range of experiences and an attractive entertainment programme.

    Twelve years ago, organizers Paul Schockemöhle and Ullrich Kasselmann decided to set themselves apart from the more usual monocultural sporting events, and founded Horses & Dreams. They have become trailblazers in equestrian sporting events.

  • Financial Security: What insurances can you afford to ignore?

    Simple Money Coach by John Vine

    Another question for you: just how good are you at predicting future events?

    I think most of us will admit that what we will eat for dinner tomorrow, and where we would like to go on holiday, is probably as far as it goes.

    Things as mundane as the weather and unforeseen accidents can present us with situations which would have been difficult, if not impossible, to predict.

  • Tough smoking ban in NRW takes force on May

    Tough new anti-smoking laws come into force in the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) on Wednesday, May 1.

    It is a coup for the state's government which took over last year – but publicans say the rules are too strict.

    From tomorrow, pubs and restaurants in NRW will no longer be able to provide designated smoking areas. Until now, smoking has been allowed in smaller bars and in certain areas of restaurants.

  • Go Wilde in Paderborn this weekend

    PadSpringFest

  • Appy news from BFPO

    BFPO is to release a smartphone tracking application that will enable Service families to follow letters and parcels they send through its system.

    Moreover, the BFPO Track and Trace app – which will be available from June 5 – will show the expected delivery times at each point along the mail pipeline.

    In other good news, especially for those deployed, BFPO is also refreshing its existing e-bluey smartphone app.

     

  • Bayern Munich president probed for tax evasion

    Media reports say Uli Hoeness may have hidden more than €10million from tax authoritiesBayern Munich President Uli Hoeness, the most powerful man in German club football, faces a steep fall from grace following weekend revelations that he is under investigation for tax evasion on a large Swiss bank account.

    The news, which broke on Saturday, has dominated German headlines since, because Hoeness isn’t just the most powerful man in German club football – he has also gained a reputation as a voice of reason on political issues and even as something of a moral authority, attacking corruption and tax evasion.

    The Süddeutsche Zeitung reported on Monday that Hoeness had failed to declare interest income on his assets held at Bank Vontobel in Zurich, but that the money he had deposited there had been properly taxed beforehand.

  • Germany commits troops for post-2014 mission

    Germany has 4,135 soldiers in Afghanistan in Mazar-e-Sharif, Kunduz and OP North; the government employs around 1,700 local Afghan workers, the majority of whom work for the BundeswehrGermany has offered to keep 600-800 troops in Afghanistan for two years from 2015, after the end of NATO combat operations there, to help train and advise the national army in its battle against the Taliban.

    The offer comes with several conditions, including a formal request from the Afghan government because “we want to be welcome” and a UN Security Council resolution, said Defence Minister Thomas de Maizière.

    It would also require a reasonable security situation and matching commitments by NATO allies in other parts of the country, he said, adding that he had informed major German parties of the plan that would require parliamentary approval.

  • Baby formula rationed as parents panic-buy

    Baby formula products are being rationed in Germany as milk scandals in China cause demand for foreign-made powder to spike all over the world – leading to panic-buying and hoarding.

    As stocks of baby milk formula diminish across Germany, some supermarkets are limiting sales to one or two packets per customer at a time, wrote  Die Welt last Thursday.

    German market leader Milupa has been badly hit by the sudden, unexpected rise in demand, spokesman Stefan Stohl told the paper. Since the end of last year demand is up 30 per cent for Milupa’s Aptamil milk powder alone.

    Milupa has apologised for the supply problems in a letter to parents on its website.

  • Robots form world’s heaviest metal band

    Fingers wows the crowds at the Frankfurt Music FairHave you ever wondered what Danny Carey would sound like if he had four arms? How about if Angus Young had 78 fingers? And imagine what Robert Trujillo would sound like if he was actually made of metal?

    Well, wonder no more.

    Compressorhead is the world’s heaviest metal band.

  • Petty criminals choose prison over €5 fine

    Pay up or lock up – not an option for many petty criminalsFare-dodgers, illegal parkers, shoplifters in Germany are regularly choosing to go to prison for a few days instead of paying small fines. Now one regional authority is planning more creative punishments to save state money.

    Pensioner Heinz Günther Küpper takes being presented with an arrest warrant in his stride, wrote Der Spiegel magazine on Monday. For him, it’s just the latest “invite” for a few nights’ interesting holiday behind bars.

    The 67-year-old has been in and out of Aachen prison seven times since 2008, each time for repeatedly refusing to pay parking fines – some as little as €5. But he doesn’t mind.

  • Germany News in Brief - April 25

    Spotty measles coverage

    KÖLN. Health officials are warning that Germany’s failure to have blanket vaccinations for measles is putting people unnecessarily at risk of catching the potentially dangerous disease. The Federal Centre for Health Information (BZgA) said this week that everyone born after 1970 should double check to see if they have been properly vaccinated. The World Health Organisation (WHO) wants to eradicate measles by 2015 in Europe, but Germany has not managed to have the required 95 per cent of its population vaccinated. Besides causing a rash of red spots, highly contagious measles can lead to serious bacterial infections, inflammation of the brain and, in some cases, death. Measles outbreaks in Germany have fluctuated dramatically in recent years, with only 166 recorded last year, but around 1,600 in 2011 and 780 in 2010.

  • White fleet provision

    Ryder Fleet Management Solutions will continue to provide white fleet vehicles to BFG and implement an online management information system beginning in JulyThe Ryder team are delighted to have been awarded the new project ROC contract for the provision of the white fleet in Germany, further extending the 25-year relationship with the MoD in Germany. 

    The new contract came into effect on April 1 and a detailed implementation plan has been agreed which will see a transition and replacement of the fleet between August and November.

    Ryder will also be implementing an upgrade to its existing management information system Ryder Fleet Care On Line (RFCOL).

    RFCOL will provide the ability to book vehicles from the fleet to maximise utilisation and to reduce external hires wherever possible. The new system will be implemented during a phased programme starting with a pilot operation in July.

    Working groups are meeting this month to complete the final details to the training and roll-out plans.

  • One-stop to success

    The new VLO one-stop shop in GüterslohIt’s been a successful opening day for the Gütersloh Local Vehicle Licensing Office (LVLO) one-stop shop on Princess Royal Barracks.

    With this being the third one-stop shop in BFG to open in the last few weeks, it’s been quite a low-key event. However, the general consensus is that this is a much needed and positive move by Base Admin.

    LBdr Scott Gray came in to deregister his car and said: “It’s a lot easier than the old system, and a lot quicker.

    “I dropped my paperwork in this morning and by this afternoon everything will be ready for collection. It used to take considerably longer, it’s definitely a step in the right direction.”

  • Royal Engineers welcomed home

    Returning soldiersSixty-four members of the Royal Engineers have returned home from Afghanistan to a welcome of around 200 friends and family.

    Members of 42 Field Squadron were presented with campaign medals in Hameln last week.

    Tributes were paid to two soldiers – Capt James Townley and Spr Richard Walker – who lost their lives during the seven-month deployment.

    In Helmand, 42 Fld Sqn’s main job was to decommission bases and carry out work to enable a British handover to Afghan forces.

    Some engineers are still returning to their Hameln base but this has been the squadron’s final Afghan mission.

    Government defence cuts mean that the unit will disband later this year.

  • Dempsey Fit Squad classes

    The Dempsey Fit Squad runs a variety of classes in Dempsey gymnasium (sat nav address: 28 Husarenstrasse, Paderborn, 33104).

  • Round the clock

    Paderborn RBL to the point with second 24-hour Darts Marathon

    Participants in the 24-hour darts marathonMembers of the Paderborn Royal British Legion and guests hit the bullseye recently when they lined up at the oche ready for a sponsored 24-hour darts marathon in aid of the Poppy Appeal.

    The decision to stage came about following the success of the first fund-raising darts marathon held in 2009.

    This year’s event, organised by Geoff Dibblee and Anita Lindsay (Branch members), started at 7pm on April 12 with the first dart being thrown by Jim Griffiths, Branch Chairman.

  • Marking the memories

    Rheindahlen Ladies Netball team 2012JHQ holds lots of fond memories for Rheindahlen Ladies Netball Club which has been running for over 30 years.

    Among the still devoted club members are two sisters who have been playing from the beginning.

    The club has competed at a high level in the local league, winning on a record number of occasions.

     

  • Welcome Wednesday Spring Sale

    Pad-SpringSale

  • Cut the red tape

    GEMS award for best ideas

    THE MoD is set on beating beauracracy by introducing the Red Tape Challenge.

    Sponsored by the Permanent Secretary, Vice Chief of the Defence Staff and Director Strategy, the campaign asks everyone in Defence for your ideas for reducing paper-shuffling and simplifying processes that slow down everyday working.

  • BFPO Notice: Packages

    BFPO are increasingly seeing instances of damaged tablet computers/iPads due to insufficient packaging.

    Senders are using Jiffy bags and or bubble wrap which is not adequate to protect the screens from damage within the postal system.

    From April 26, BFPO will not accept new claims for damaged screens where inadequate packing was used.

    Senders should, where possible use the manufacturers original packaging or as a minimum standard a rigid cardboard box and solid polystyrene foam blocks to cushion against impact and keep the item from moving inside the box.

  • CTP: Resettlement Transition Fair

    NTK-Resettlement

  • Bielefeld: Shoe Fair

    ShoeFair

  • Four Seasons funds - new email

    The deadline for bids for the Four Seasons funds is April 30.

    Note: the Yahoo account that was being used by Four Seasons has been hacked and corrupted, therefore the Committee may not have received bids sent to that account.

    Paperwork should instead be sent c/o Dawn Arlow to Robert Browning School or emailed to: sce.robertbrowning@sceschools.com

  • Scooter Club Spring Rideout

    Pad-Scooter

  • Apassionata Friends Forever

    apasionataFor 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, the star, Daniel, takes the audience on an unforgettable journey to the most far-flung parts of the world and reveals the secrets which have been connecting people and horses for centuries; a wonderful experience for the senses!

  • Caught on Camera

    One of the image son display at the British in Westfalen-Lippe exhibition in Herfords RathausA GERMAN photographer who spent two years documenting the life of British soldiers based in Westfalen-Lippe now has his work on display in Herford’s Rathaus.

  • Born of occupation

    THE universities of Greifswald and Leipzig are conducting a study on people who were born during or after the Second World War to German mothers and foreign soldiers – and research candidates are being sought.

    Ever since there have been wars, children are being born, fathered by foreign soldiers and local women. It is the psychosocial consequences of being a ‘child born of occupation’ that are of interest to the German researchers.

     

  • Luna Park opens

    LunaPark

  • The Rocket Man cometh

    Elton John - coming to Halle in JulyFlamboyant superstar Elton John is the most enduringly successful singer-songwriter of his generation.

    And the Rocket Man, who has had a long string of hits, will be performing with his band at the Gerry Weber Stadion in Halle on July 5.

    In his four-decade career John has sold more than 250 million records, making him one of the most succesful artists of all time. His single Candle in the Wind 1997 has sold over 33 million copies worldwide, and is the best selling single in the history of the UK singles chart. He has more than 50 Top 40 hits.

    Book your ticket now at www.gerryweber-stadion.de

  • BFG Champs

    1LSR footballEVERYTHING was set for an excellent spectacle as 1LSR took on 5 RIFLES for title of Army football champions of Germany.

    That is until the venue, the Ludwig–Jahn Stadion in Herford which was to be the perfect setting – cancelled on nthe day of the final.

    Being ever flexible the organiser Capt Rich Habbershaw switched the venue to Princess Royal Barracks and the game went ahead, once 1LSR turned around and made the journey back to Gütersloh.

  • Dambusters' raid turns 70

    An artist’s impression of Op Chastise which took place on the evening of May 16, 1943Exactly 70 years ago, on May 16, 1943, the Möhne Dam was attacked by British bombers.

    It was an extremely warm Sunday, with many people taking advantage of the fine weather and coming from all surrounding areas to visit the Dam, which is located near Soest.

    And although this was the middle of the Second World War, no one gave a thought to the fact that an armada of Lancaster bombers would be coming from England with their deadly cargo of bouncing bombs, designed and built especially for the destruction of the dams.

    Not many people were disturbed when, shortly before midnight, the Möhnesee air-raid alarm sounded.

  • Horses and Dreams

    Horses and dreams flyerLast year it was Great Britain and this year the annual equestrian event in Hagen, just outside Osnabrück, will have Russia as its theme. Whatever nation stands in the forefront, the event will be a spectacular weekend for families and lovers of horses.

    Over 150 national and international exhibitors’ present their wares in the exhibition spread across the whole site. This includes the Russian village dedicated to the theme country. There is Russian cuisine, matryoshkas and all that is typical of the Russian culture and lifestyle. Displayed, and on offer to purchase, will be products crafted from amber, gold embroidery, carpets and skins, and lesser known products from the factories of the country.

    Away from the Russian village, which will be set up around the show jumping stadium, visitors will find items for the garden, the house, but also equestrian equipment and fashion – for both riders and those not so active in the sport.

  • Brains, brawn and bonding

    You are invited to put skills and stamina to the test at friendly International Mönchengladbach CompPARTICIPANTS are being sought for the challenging and fun International Mönchengladbach Military Competition (IMM), being staged this summer for the 30th time.

    Brains, strength and fitness are needed in equal measure by those who enter the
    popular one-day team event, which takes place on Saturday, June 29 and is open to all NATO troops.

    The 12 tasks include shooting, marching 17km, navigation, general military knowledge, first aid and firefighting, as well as a stamina-sapping assault course and inflatable boats race.

    Cups will be awarded for the first, second and third teams overall; the top non-German active and reserve team; the top mixed team; the top female team; and the top mixed NATO team, as well as other categories.

    Soldiers, policemen and members of rescue services from many nations compete for the coveted champion’s trophy.

  • Parents warn of 'silent killer'

    Tragic - Chirpy Charlie Burns, who died in 2011 from SUDEP aged 10THE parents of a 10-year-old boy who died suddenly in bed are on a mission to raise awareness of the “silent killer” that claimed their precious son.

    Charlie Burns, who was born in Osnabrück, was an apparently fit and healthy child until October 2011, when he suffered two seizures within days of each other and died.

    His devastated parents, Jan and Barrie, from Larkhill, then faced an agonising five-month wait until an inquest confirmed that he died from sudden unexplained death in epilepsy (SUDEP).

    SUDEP claims 1,000 lives in the UK each year – more than AIDS and cot death combined – yet few people have ever heard of it.

    However, Jan and Barrie’s relentless campaigning to warn other parents about SUDEP has already saved four lives in their local area. 

     

  • Live Thick As A Brick

    Jethro Tull and Ian Anderson have shared global fame and success for decades. They belong to the big names of rock history and have released numerous unforgettable rock albums with sales exceeding 60million.

    Many rock evergreens stem from their pen; such as Locomotive Breath, Life’s a Long Song and Aqualung. They have set many musical milestones and invented the so called Art-Rock on their way.

    The unique sound created by Jethro Tull and Ian Anderson has transformed live music across the globe. Anderson is a legend in his own right; a world famous flutist, spectacularly playing live across the years perched on one leg.

  • Not so thrifty

    Carolyn Adkin, Hanna Hindmarsh, Alex Clarkson, Wendy McNaught, Eva Sinclair and Fliss Quick volunteers for the Thrift Shop and Bookery on PRBThe Thrift Shop and Bookery on PRB in Gütersloh have successfully raised and donated a large sum of cash to Scotty’s Little Soldiers.

    The second-hand shop, which takes donations of clothing, household items, entertainment and other well-loved items that are still in good condition, is also a consignment shop. 

  • The Techno-Classica Essen classic car show

    rueckblick343The popular Techno-Classica Essen classic car show returns this year, from April 10 to 14, with an oustanding array of cars on display to celebrate its silver anniversary. 

    A mecca for classic car fans, the world's largest show of the vintage, classic and young classic car sector, the Techno-Classica will have even more attractions, present more exhibitors and offer more information and collector's automobiles than in previous years. 

     

  • Celebrate adult learners week

    Adult learning-May 2013

  • Stay calm and buy this book

    Relationship expert and author Cat Williams with her book-webRelationship counsellor and Army wife Cat Williams took the advice of her clients and wrote a book sharing her insights and professional guidance.

    Stay Calm and Content: No Matter What Life Throws at You, published by Abbott Press, offers unique insights through real life, short stories.

    “This is not a typical self-help book,” says Cat, who was once based in Fallingbostel. “Self-help books are usually read by people who think they have a problem to solve. This book is for everyone.”

    Using straightforward, jargon-free language, Stay Calm and Content discusses many of the potentially difficult issues of life, most of which are likely to affect readers, or someone they know, at one time or another.

  • Colour and Culture

    Paderborn Garrison schoolchildren celebrate Commonwealth Day

    Paderborn schoolchildren were in for a fun day of colour and culture recently, learning about the home lands of soldiers in the garrison.

    Commonwealth soldiers from two Paderborn based units put on informative and fun presentations about their countries to schoolchildren in celebration of Commonwealth Day, on March 11.

  • Egg-stra! Egg-stra!

    Easter Bunny hops to top of the sales table over chocolate Santa

    The Easter Bunny has taken on Father Christmas and won, at least in chocolate form.

    SantaRecord numbers of German-made chocolate bunnies will hop their way into shops this year, millions more than the number of Santas made at Christmas.

    A record-breaking 190 million chocolate Easter bunnies have been produced in Germany in the run-up to Easter, said the German confectionery association (BDSI) on Friday. That’s around 50 million more edible bunnies than chocolate Santas made last Christmas and three million more bunnies than last year.

    Rabbit

  • Hackers wanted

    Hackers wantedGermany’s intelligence service is taking the escalating cyber threat increasingly seriously and now hopes to entice a horde of hackers to defend against foreign IT attacks, it emerged on Sunday.

    Germany’s Federal Intelligence Service (BND) is planning to set up a new department exclusively dedicated to fending off the growing number of cyber attacks on government agencies and industry, wrote Der Spiegel magazine, citing government sources.

    The agency is now frantically searching for up to 130 new employees to man the cyber defence station. The BND had hoped to win over hackers and anti-virus experts with high salaries, but recruitment is proving difficult, and they are now scouring the country’s universities for suitable candidates.

  • Echo Awards bring glitz to Berlin

    Germany’s answer to the Grammys, the Echo Music Awards, took place in Berlin last Thursday.

    Best Rock Group, Best Album, Hit of the Year: Düsseldorf punk band Die Toten Hosen were the big winners of the year at the ECHO AwardsThe biggest winner was punk rockers Die Toten Hosen, who took home the three prizes, including Best German Rock/Pop group.

    Established in 1992, the nominations for the ECHO awards are derived from album sales and placement on the music charts. This year, 27 categories were awarded.

    Die Toten Hosen, one of Germany’s most internationally recognised groups, were nominated in seven categories. Early on they won Best German Rock/Pop Group.

    Best German Female Artist went to Afro-German singer Ivy Quainoo. In February 2012, she won the first season of the reality show, The Voice of Germany.

    The audience enjoyed performances by Die Toten Hosen, the former First Lady of France Carla Bruni, Katie Melua and Germany’s favourite British band Depeche Mode who won Best International Group in 2010.

    Cascada, which is set to represent Germany for the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest, also took to the stage.

    German violinist David Garrett, who also performed for the crowd, took home Best German Rock/Pop Artist.

    International stars were also in attendance including American singer-songwriter Lana del Rey and 2012 ECHO winner, jazz and pop singer, Michel Buble.

    Leading up to the night was not controversy-free though, as complaints from nominees saw organisers German Phono Academy removing rock band Frei.Wild from the nominations list for their reputed link with the far-right scene.

  • Catholic churches up for sale on ebay

    St Bernhard Church in BrandenburgA dramatic slump in the number of regular churchgoers is forcing the German Catholic Church to go to desperate lengths to save money. Now dioceses are resorting to selling barely-used churches on eBay.

    St Bernhard in Brandenburg, listed as a “church in popular residential area”, is the 25th church put up for sale by the Berlin diocese in the past 12 years. The church is suffering from dwindling attendance and is starting at just €120,000 on eBay classifieds.

    Although the ad says the building is open for any type of use, “be it event space, a doctor’s surgery, office space or meeting place”, church representatives said it would not go to just any buyer.

  • The real green house

    Green houseAn innovative new building in Hamburg is hoping to harvest heat from it algae-covered façade. For the first time, the concept of having micro organisms flourishing on house walls is a good thing.

    The Bio Intelligence Quotient (BIQ) house – the world’s first building to feature a bioreactor façade – has been designed to harness heat generated by the plants and use it to warm the building’s 15 apartments.

    The house is part of the International Building Exhibition 2013, a multi-million project funded by the Hamburg government to transform the former industrial area of Wilhelmsburg into a habitable, eco-friendly district.

  • Mum’s the word...

    A Munich woman who could not afford to bury her mother spent eight months sleeping next to her decomposing corpse, the Süddeutsche Zeitung reported on Saturday.

    The gruesome find only came about because the 39-year-old woman’s deceased mother, a 70-year-old divorced pensioner, had died leaving outstanding debts.

    When a bailiff from the district court arrived at the flat to look for objects of value to settle the bill, the woman told him her mother was dead and her corpse was still in the flat.

  • Fantastic Festivals

    Green-Day-LiveOnce again top rock and pop artists are preparing to hit the European open air festival scene.

    There are a number of festivals in the BFG area with top class headlining acts. Many of the top performers move between festivals as they tour around Europe, giving you many chances to catch your favourites live.

  • Germany News in Brief - March 28

    Police helicopters collide in exercise

    BERLIN. Two helicopters clipped each other and crashed as they landed in a snowstorm near Berlin’s Olympic Stadium during a federal police exercise last Thursday, leaving one person dead and several injured, four of them seriously. A third helicopter involved in the drill was able to land safely. Details on how the accident happened are not yet clear but eyewitness Johannes Malinowski said on n-tv television that he saw three helicopters approaching and that the snow on the field was being kicked up by the aircraft, so “you couldn’t see a whole lot anymore”. The police were conducting a training exercise on dealing with football violence.

     

  • BFG Form NOVA: Taking cars to UK

    New procedures and documentation for returning vehicles to the United Kingdom.

    With effect from April 13, HM Revenue and Customs are introducing new procedures and documentation through the Driving and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) for vehicles returning to the UK.

    The consequence for BFG personnel will not be great except that:

    Personnel should get their vehicles DVLA registered immediately on landing in the UK.

  • Qualifications for promotion

    Soldiers, do you have the right qualifications to get promoted?

    By April 1, 2014, soldiers must have these qualifications to be selected for promotion:

    Promotion to Cpl – Level 1 in Literacy and Numeracy, GCSE Grades D-G or equivalent qualifications.

    Promotion to Sgt, CSgt or WO – Level 2 in Literacy and Numeracy, GCSE Grades A-C or equivalent qualifications.

    Application for LE Commissioning – Level 2 in Literacy and Numeracy, GCSE Grades A-C or equivalent qualifications.

  • X-Factor increase

    As part of the Government’s Budget, on March 20, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced that the Armed Forces’ Pay Review Body (AFPRB) recommendation to increase X-Factor by 0.5 per cent will be implemented with effect from May 1, 2013.

    Service personnel should receive the increase in their May pay.

    The 2013 AFPRB report was published on March 14. The Government accepted the recommendations in full, except for the recommendation to increase X-Factor by 0.5 per cent where consideration was deferred.

    The extra costs of this recommendation will be met from within the Defence budget.

  • Combat Granny

    N-CombatGVeteran Reservist nurse and grandmother of five Maj Marie Semple, of 204 Field Hospital, is considering retirement from front line duties at the age of 55 upon finishing her third tour.

    The experienced sister of wards from Ballymena in Northern Ireland joined in 2003 at the age of 43 without telling her husband Ian, and was immediately mobilised to deploy to Iraq. When Maj Semple’s granddaughter saw her with a rifle for the first time she asked if ‘Granny is shooting bad people?’

    Marie went on to say: “I was managing a nursing home and I wanted a challenge but thought I was too old.” Since Iraq she has deployed to Afghanistan in 2008 and again in 2013.

  • Mother’s Day surprise

    MothersDaySeven-year-old Arwen Thomas and six-year-old Morgan Thomas sent in the winning ‘mumism’ for the Mother’s Day competition held in Sixth Sense earlier this month.

    Arwen and Morgan’s mum, Esther Thomas, who is a teacher at Bishopspark School in Paderborn, exclaimed happily: “Wow, we’ve won!” after reading that she had scooped the surprise pamper hamper kindly sponsored from NAAFI.