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  • 1 in 5 Germans can’t afford a holiday

    More than 20 per cent of Germans can’t afford a week’s holiday, and 30 per cent said they were unable to cover “unexpected expenses” such as house repairs or big purchases, according to a study released on Tuesday.

    The survey, from federal statistics office Destatis which gathered the data in 2012, asked participants whether they could afford to pay for a week away from home each year, and if they felt they could handle unexpected costs – essential purchases costing €940 or more.

    It also found around eight per cent of respondents felt they could not afford to eat a meal including meat, poultry or fish at least once every two days.

  • It’s just his bag

    A man from Schloß Holte-Stukenbrock has collected around 25,000 plastic bags over almost 40 years.

    Dieter Luchs with two examples from his bag collectionDieter Luchs, 74, has some 200 bags from the former East Germany, some 60 of which are on display in Bützow in Mecklenburg.

    He is fascinated with the design of carrier bags featuring a pelican promoting Lichtenberg Zoo in “Berlin – the capital of the DDR”, as the writing says. The crude printing and primary colours remind him of the work of US artist, Roy Lichtenstein. 

  • Germany News in Brief - May 29

    Speedy Internet comes to ICE

    FRANKFURT. Passengers on all German Intercity-Express (ICE) trains will have access to fast Internet connections by the end of the year, Deutsche Bahn promised on Tuesday.

    Good Internet connections will be rolled out across all high-speed ICE trains, regardless of the route being travelled, the rail company said. 

    Currently a limited number of ICE trains, serving about 3,000km of track, allow passengers to log onto a pay-as-you-go wireless hotspot.

    Deutsche Bahn CEO Rüdiger Grube said the rail operator will extend the service to include trains running on the entire nationwide ICE network of around 5,200km.

    DB are rolling out the Internet service with Deutsche Telekom using WiFi hotspots, which cost €4.95 for a day’s access. 

    DB said it has also equipped 120 stations with Wi-Fi and this would be extended to another 24 stations in the next few months.

  • Jake takes the lead

    Bishopspark School pupil wins competition to be the 2014 Army Rugby XII mascot

    Jake Millar from Bishopspark School was proud to lead out the Army RFU team at TwickenhamIn February a competition was held to find an Army mascot to lead out the Army RFU at Twickenham on Saturday, May 3.

    The Army Rugby Union was offering the chance for a child (aged between eight and 10) from a British Army family to act as mascot to the Army team for the clash against the Royal Navy. 

    One lucky winner of this exciting opportunity was Jake Millar, aged nine, who attends Bishopspark School in Paderborn. 

  • Paderborn Pirates Youth Rugby Club

    Be a team player – Join the Paderborn Pirates Youth Rugby Club

    A fun time is guaranteed for youngsters at the Pirates youth rugby clubPaderborn Pirates Youth Rugby Club is an AWS garrison youth rugby club which trains children aged four to 14 every Sunday at the Bad Lippspringe airfield sports ground from 11am to 12.30pm.

    Our qualified coaches train both girls and boys the basic and fundamental lessons of rugby which are used both on and off the field.

  • Welcome Wednesday June 2014

    Pad-Welcome Wednesday June 2014

  • E-Bluey App available

    Pad-EBluey

  • Pull the other one - finger wrestling championships

    Competitors at the Alps Finger Wrestling championships in Reichertshofen, southern Germany, take the unusual sport pretty seriously.

    A competitor goes flying after winning his roundOn Sunday, May 25, competitors battled for the title in this traditional rural sport. 

    Also known as Fingerhakeln, it is traditional in Bavaria and Austria and dates back to the 17th century. 

    The sport of finger wrestling involves two contestants putting their middle fingers through a leather band and trying to pull the opponent over a marked line on the table. 

    The competitors are matched in categories according to age and weight, and are then placed at a purpose-built table across from one another.

  • Samba in the city

    Music, dance and a warm welcome await all at the family-friendly Carnival of Cultures in Bielefeld this weekendThis Saturday, May 30, Bielefeld will pulsate to the rhythms and beats of world music when the Carnival of Cultures takes to the streets in a colourful procession of floats, dancers, musicians and theatre groups in a celebration of traditions from all continents.

    Fantastic costumes and brilliant masks, stilt walkers, dancing sculptures, cheeky clowns, acrobats, musicians and dancers will inspire you
    to join in the party.

    The parade starts at 3pm and follows a route through town, beginning on the corner of Schlosshofstrasse/Melanchtonstrasse (by the Schüco-Arena) via the town centre (Jahnplatz) to Ravensberger Park.

    After the procession, there will be a full programme of entertainment with concerts, dance shows and performances by participating groups at the park starting at 5.30pm.

    Tickets to the park cost €5 (€1.50 for up to 12-year-olds) in advance (€7 on the day) and are on sale now at the tourist information office, im Neuen Rathaus, Niederwall 23, Bielefeld.

  • Coming soon...

    See the Paderborn What's On page for details

    Pad-WelcomeWednesdayJune2014

  • Public holiday business hours - May 29

    Due to the German public holiday on May 29, the following facilities will be closed:

    Medical centres – closed May 29.

    In medical emergencies patients should call 112. All other queries should be made via a medical centre using one of these numbers: Hohne, tel: 05051 962 2218. Sennelager, tel: 05254 982 2414. Gütersloh, tel: 05241 842536.

    One-stop banking facilities in Barker Barracks and NAAFI Max Sennelager – closed May 29/30.

    Local Vehicle Licensing Office –closed May 29.

    Libraries in Barker Barracks and the NAAFI Max Sennelager – closed May 29/30.

    Sennelager HIVE – closed until May 30.

  • I don't know – Career Transition Partnership

    Leaving the Services? Unsure what the future holds?

    CTP can help with your transition to Civvy Street

    Whether you are facing redundancy, being medically discharged or coming to the end of your contract, ask yourself the following questions:

    What sort of job do I want when I leave?

    How well do my military skills and experience relate to civilian employers?

    What can I offer civilian employers?

    How good is my CV?

    What do I know about housing and finances when I leave?

    If your answer is “I don’t know” to any of these questions, then you are not alone, but Career Transition Partnership is here to help.

  • Sky high emergency

    SSAFA midwife and trained sky jockey saves the day, and possibly a life in the process

    Dave Smith with letters from British Airways and the Armed Forces Minister at the Medical Reception Station in Dhekelia Sovereign BaseFor the 200-plus passengers on board British Airways Flight BA 663 that left Larnaca, Cyprus for London Heathrow, it seemed like just another flight.

    But for three in particular, it was going to be very different as one would soon be taken seriously ill. Among the passengers were a Russian speaker, a SSAFA (the Soldiers Sailors and Airmen’s Families Association) midwife and the Minister for the Armed Forces.

  • June Concert Highlights

    The open air season is in full swing and has been covered extensively in Sixth Sense. However, there are other great acts featuring in concert halls close to you. Here are a few to choose from:

    Debbie Harry from BlondieBlondie

    80’s icon Debbie Harry is back in Germany this summer with her band Blondie, playing concerts in Berlin, Hamburg and Köln. 2014 marks their 40th anniversary and in celebration of this amazing milestone the band will release a special double-disc package entitled Blondie 4(0) Ever on May 13 via NOBLE ID / ESMG.

    It will include a much anticipated new collection of songs entitled Ghosts of Download and an album entitled Deluxe Redux: Greatest Hits, featuring brand new studio recordings of the band’s biggest hits. The iconic Andy Warhol Debbie Harry portrait is the cover art for the greatest hits album.

    • Berlin, Tempodrom, June 23, ticket prices start at € 52.00.
    • Hamburg, Grosse Freiheit 36, June 24, tickets from € 60.00.
    • Köln, E-Werk Köln, June 25, ticket prices start at € 60.00.
  • The AFF's Big Survey 2014

    The AFF's Big Survey 2014How do you feel about life as an Army family? The Army Families Federation wants to know, and now is the time to tell us by taking part in the Big Survey 2014.

    Last year over 2,500 of you took part – this time we're aiming even higher!

    Are you concerned about the Big Move? Are you struggling to find a job because you are an Army spouse? Is your SFA the home from hell or home sweet home?

  • Brigade prepares for final Afghanistan tour

    Members of a fire support team display some of the equipment they will be using in Afghanistan Servicemen and women have been showcasing their work ahead of the last historic mission.

    Personnel from Paderborn-based 20th Armoured Brigade have been displaying their skills before they deploy to Afghanistan over the next month.

    On Salisbury Plain training area, personnel had an array of surveillance technology, armoured vehicles and explosive search equipment on display to demonstrate the type of work that they may do during their last operational tour in Afghanistan.

  • 3 dead in Bielefeld bloodbath

    Pensioner shoots neighbours in parking space dispute

    The police special response unit closed ranks on arrival at the scene as shots were still being fired in the block of flats on Oldentruper StrasseA pensioner in Bielefeld killed his two elderly neighbours and then shot himself on Sunday, reportedly in a row over a parking space.

    Police were called to a block of flats on Oldentruper Strasse shortly before 7am following reports that a man and woman had been killed by several shots to the head.

    A neighbour said she heard what she thought were gunshots and ran to the window. “I saw two lifeless bodies on the ground. Then a man came out of the house and continued shooting at the two people,” she said.

  • Alcoholics get beer to clean up streets

    Pick-up will follow the Dutch initiative where unemployed alcoholics and drug addicts receive beer in exchange for cleaning streetsA planned taxpayer-funded project to get unemployed alcoholics and drug addicts cleaning the streets has sparked controversy by offering beer to those who take part as part of their compensation.

    The Pick-up initiative by charity Addict Support Essen, planned to start in mid-June, offers addicts beer – along with food and medical treatment – in exchange for working three to six hours a day collecting litter from the streets. They will also get “pocket money” of €1.25 per hour.

    Pick-up will be totally voluntary and targeted at Essen’s long-term alcoholics, many of whom also have drug problems, the charity said in a statement.

  • Skeleton crew’s protest

    Silent protest: skeletons are the only guests on board the Allegra restaurant ship in DüsseldorfManagers of a floating restaurant ship in Düsseldorf, MS Allegra, have installed a skeleton crew in a protest against red tape.

    They say the bony employees will remain while they go through the tedious and time-consuming process of applying for a licence that will allow them to reopen to paying customers.

    The ship, moored in the Altstadt, had been serving food for years, but was forced to shut down when inspectors complained it still did not have a proper catering certificate.

  • Germany News in Brief - May 22

    Politicians seek e-cigarette ban

    MUNICH. Politicians have called for e-cigarettes to be banned in school playgrounds in Bavaria to discourage children and teenagers from using the flavoured substitute cigarettes.

    Young people are the target group for the e-cigarettes, said Kathrin Sonnenholzner, chairman of the Health Committee in the Bavarian Parliament. “Normal cigarettes are forbidden at schools, whereas e-cigarettes are allowed,” she said.

    A week earlier Federal Drug Commissioner Marlene Mortler called for a ban on electric shisha pipes and e-cigarettes for teenagers across Germany.

    The sale of e-hookahs and e-cigarettes to children and teenagers and their consumption cannot be prevented under the current Youth Protection Act. The SPD has insisted on an exact declaration of what the e-cigarettes’ vapour actually contains.

  • The Gift Shop

    Pad-GiftShop

  • Hameln and Detmold Medical Centres

    Information for patients of Hameln and Detmold Medical Centres

    If you are a patient of either Hameln or Detmold medical centres, you will by now be aware that these stations and medical centres will be closing this summer due to drawdown.

    Please help us to ensure that your care runs smoothly throughout your move by taking the following steps:

    1. Remember to deregister from the medical centre before you leave, and tell us where you are posted to. This helps us to ensure that your records arrive at the correct location.
    2. Register with another practice when you arrive in your new location (whether that is BFG, UK or elsewhere) and familiarise yourself with your new practice’s opening times, emergency appointment system etc (always easier to do when you are not in a panic).
    3. If you will need repeat medication to cover your move, ask the doctor for enough medication to cover the time your move will take, and ensure your prescription is given to the dispensary at the earliest opportunity as we may have to order in extra medication.
    4. If you have complex or ongoing medical needs (such as surgery planned) let your doctor know so that appropriate follow-up care can be arranged in your new posting.

    If you have any queries about your care related to your move please contact the medical centre as soon as possible.

  • Katie’s set on Olympics

    Katie Moss proudly shows off her haul of medals won at the DSA National Games – now her sights are set on the OlympicsKatie Moss, from John Buchan School, has again swept the board at the Dwarf Sports Association National Games held in Birmingham recently.

    Katie, age 12, who has Achondroplasia, a form of dwarfism, won six gold medals, two silver and one bronze, in swimming, shot, javelin and cycling – her best ever haul.  

  • Coming soon – June

    Tuesday, June 3, from 10am

    CTP Fair

    Hammersmith Barracks gym, Herford

    A fantastic opportunity to network and meet with both UK and European employers, recruiters and training providers across a wide range of industries.

    Friday, June 6, from 7.30pm

    Beating Retreat & Fireworks featuring the Band of the Royal Engineers

    Schloss Neuhaus castle

    Vehicle display from 7.30pm; Beating Retreat and fireworks at 9pm.

  • Detmold Central Bank – Closures May/June

    The Central Bank in Detmold will be closed on the following dates:

    Thursday, May 29

    Friday, May 30

    Monday, June 2

    Monday, June 9

    Friday, June 13

    Monday, June 16

    Thursday, June 19

    Friday, June 20

  • Rock of Ages – June 20

    Pad-RockAges

  • British Citizenship applications for Foreign and Commonwealth citizens in the Armed Forces

    Her Majesty’s Government made a commitment in the Armed Forces Covenant 2011 to ensure that Foreign and Commonwealth (F&C) citizens in the Armed Forces were not disadvantaged because of time served overseas.

    In continuation of that commitment, the Citizenship (Armed Forces) Act 2014 became law on May 13, 2014 to ensure that F&C citizens in the Armed Forces who wished to apply for British citizenship were not disadvantaged due to overseas service.

  • 3 CS Bn REME Coffee Mornings

    Pad-3BnCoffee

  • Better Halves Club Meeting – June 2

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  • 3 CS Bn REME Better Halves Club Meeting – June 2

    Pad-3BnMeet

  • AWS Activities – May/June

    Pad-AWSAct

  • Team PRU coffee morning – May 23

    Pad-PRUCoffee

  • Send us your news...

    Promo1

  • Going boldly to FedCon

    Robin Joll pictured with one of his Daleks and his  new custom made Lady Cassandra  He's got TARDISes by the dozen and Daleks by the score. If there’s one date in the calendar that Dr Who fan and collector Robin Joll looks forward to with relish, it’s the four-day science-fiction convention FedCon.

    Robin, a warehouse and transport manager for SSVC, takes his life-size replicas of Dr Who characters and paraphernalia to the Düsseldorf event to mingle with serious sci-fi fans.

    He has a TARDIS built to scale and several Dalek shells, inside which he can move around the convention floor while recreating the menacing croaky voice with an electronic device and a megaphone to give punters a thrill.

  • Germany News in Brief - May 15

    20m could pay less health insurance

    BERLIN. Around 20 million people in Germany could pay less health insurance from 2015 after reserves in health funds swelled to €30bn.

    The huge surpluses in health insurance funds mean one in three people can expect a cut in their health contributions from 2015. The information came to light after a question was submitted to the government by the far left party Die Linke, the Rheinische Post reported last week.

    Employees currently pay 7.3 per cent of their income in health insurance, plus an additional 0.9 per cent. This 0.9 per cent could now be scrapped.

    The figures showed that of Germany’s 133 health insurers, 67 had financial reserves totalling more than 150 per cent of their monthly outgoings.

  • Britfest donations

    The presentation of cheques totalling €15,000 to representatives of three charities at the town hall in PaderbornOn April 28, donations totalling €15,000 were presented to three charities by the Mayor of Paderborn, Heinz Paus and Commander 2Oth Armoured Brigade, Brig James Swift.

    The three charities (SSAFA Forces Help, ABF The Soldiers’ Charity and Panzerbrigade 21) each received a cheque for €5,000 from funds raised from Britfest 2013.

    Following the presentation, both Herr Paus and Brig Swift thanked the German and military communities of Paderborn for their support in making the festival such a special event.

  • British-German Club’s celebration of the Bard

    Michael Boyer reads Shakespeare Photo: Courtesy of DWZAn American put on his best British accent when reading passages from the works of William Shakespeare at an Anglo-German get-together in Hameln.

    Dressed in the garb of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe – German writer, poet and statesman – Pennsylvanian Michael Boyer entertained members of the British-German Club reading the Bard, who would have been 450 years old this year.

    For Michael, however, it wasn’t a great stretch as his daytime job is playing the Pied Piper of Hameln, which requires a fair bit of acting.

  • Remembering the Berlin Airlift 65 years on

     Governing Mayor of Berlin, Klaus Wowereit poses with Berlin Airlift pilots Johnny Macia, Chuck Childs and Colin Cottle during the commemorative event at the Berlin Airlift monument in Berlin-TempelhofOn Monday, May 12, Berlin’s Governing Mayor Klaus Wowereit honoured the courage and solidarity of the Western Allies during the airlift at a ceremony held at the memorial in the Tempelhof district of the German capital.

    The end of the Soviet blockade of West Berlin on May 12, 1949 was the “promise for a better future,” Wowereit said. 

    “With the air bridge, the Western Allies made a peaceful stand against dictatorship and oppression in a dramatic situation,” Wowereit told several hundred guests, before laying a wreath in memory of the 78 victims who were killed between June 1948 and August 1949.

    History

    The Berlin Airlift foiled Soviet plans to blockade the western half of the capital and starve it into submission.

    What the hungry population of the former Nazi centre of power called ‘raisin bombers’ – because they dropped food instead of bombs – first took off to relieve the encircled city on June 26, 1948. It marked the start of Operation Vittles, an ambitious and never-before-tried experiment to see if a surrounded city could be supplied solely from the air, after all land and water routes into West Berlin had been sealed off by order of the Soviet leader, Joseph Stalin.

    The Allies, however, were determined to make the city’s defence as a democratic outpost in a sea of Communism the first test of the east versus west stand-off that would last for 40 years.

    During the airlift, American, British, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand and South African pilots flew 278,000 flights to Berlin, carrying 2.3 million tons of food, coal, medicine and other supplies.

    After 322 days, the Soviets realised they were defeated and lifted the blockade.

  • The stars come out for FedCon, May 29 - June 1

    Many visitors to FedCon came dressed up in costumes of their favourite sci-fi charactersScience-fiction aficionados in BFG will be beaming upon discovering that Europe’s largest science fiction convention is right on their doorstep.

    FedCon, short for Federation Convention, has been held in Germany each spring since 1992, with this year’s event taking place at the Maritim Hotel in Düsseldorf from May 29 to June 1. You don’t have to be a Trekkie to appreciate the galaxy of stars who’ll be making an appearance.

    Indeed, the event may have started as a Star Trek convention, but by now every fandom is being covered – Star Wars, Stargate, Firefly, Torchwood, Dr Who and Battlestar Galactica.

  • Pensioner told to tear down home

    Distraught: Christa Liedtke in front of her home near KölnA pensioner has been ordered to demolish her own home – because the house, built at the start of the Second World War, did not have planning permission.

    Christa Liedtke, 75, decided to sell the half-timbered house near Köln three years ago, after she began to find the steep stairs too much to handle.

    She fell in love with the house in 2005 and poured thousands of euros into renovating it. “As soon as I saw it, I knew it was the one,” she said. “In 2011 I wanted to sell it, with a heavy heart, and that’s when this all started.”

    Local authority officials told her she had to pull it down because there was no planning permission to build the house in the first place.

  • 11 nations join German military exercise

    A Finnish F18 takes off at Jagel base in Schleswig-Holstein on MondayThe skies over northern Germany will be full of military planes over the coming couple of weeks as a large international military exercise takes off, involving thousands of soldiers from Germany and 11 other countries.

    But the exercise is nothing to do with increased tensions between Europe and Russia over the situation in Ukraine, the Luftwaffe said.

    “This has been in planning for two years,” a Luftwaffe spokesman said. “For it to have anything to do with Ukraine would have required a great degree of clairvoyance.”

  • A goose mis-step

    ErikaProsecutors in Detmold have decided not to prosecute a goose called Erika who caused a cyclist to fall and injure herself.

    However, the animal’s 51-year-old owner must pay a €500 fine for negligence causing personal injury.

    Erika broke out of her pen in February and crashed into the cyclist, who broke her nose and received bruising and grazes when she fell from the electric bicycle.

    The public prosecutor praised the eight-year-old goose for remaining at the scene of the accident until police arrived. She was unhurt apart from a few ruffled feathers.

  • Crazy – and costly – crashes

    Berlin

    Mirancan’s Mercedes motoring mischief came to an abrupt endA toddler in Berlin crashed his father’s Mercedes on Sunday, after taking the keys, starting up the car and driving it across the road into a fruit and vegetable shop!

    Two-year-old Mirancan took the keys while his father was sleeping, and took a stool with him so he could reach the buttons on the dashboard. 

    Unlocking his father’s Mercedes with the remote control key fob was no problem, and he started up the vehicle which had been left in first gear.

  • Crime Prevention Evening

    Pad-CrimePrevention

  • Op Herrick 20 information guide

    Pad-H20logoThe Herrick 20 guide is now available now from your local HIVE office.

    If your spouse or partner is deployed or about to be deployed then call in and pick up a copy.

    The guide aims to assist you by providing you with a wealth of useful information to help you while your partner is away.

  • CTP Resettlement & Transition Fair – June 2014

    NTK-CTP

  • Leaving BFG and staying in Germany?

    If you are currently a member of British Forces Germany as military, UKBC or dependant you might be intending to stay in Germany after leaving the Force – this is formally known as a Transfer of Residence.

    There are processes that you must follow in order to keep any tax and duty relief that you received when buying high value goods or vehicles.

    Any item that you received an import licence for (BFG F80) requires an approved export licence (BFG F38Ü).

  • The new BFG fuel card

    We are bringing the provision of tax-free fuel into the 21st century. No longer will you have to go and prepay for coupons during working hours and in advance of when you need them.

    We are replacing the 1950s style fuel coupon with a tax-free fuel allocation card. 

    How will this affect me?

    There will be four major benefits to bringing this card in for you. 

  • Mönchengladbach Tattoo

    NATO Music Festival PosterFor the final time Mönchengladbach will become the focus of military marching music when it hosts the 28th NATO Music Festival on Saturday, May 24.

    Together with bands from the host nation, Austria, Belgium, The Czech Republic and Bulgaria, the UK will be represented by the Band of the Royal Corps of Signals from Blandford in Dorset.

    In the recent history of Mönchengladbach the opening of the joint headquarters 50 years ago in Rheindahlen was a significant event. The presence of thousands of soldiers and their families led to the development of good and friendly contacts with the citizens of Mönchengladbach.

  • Prisoners of War Weekend

    Guests of honour included former prisoners of war and the current Burgermeister of Bad Fallingbostel, Herr Rainer Schmuck, and Herr Andreas Ege, the District Commissioner for Oerbke, photography by Dom King, BFG Media & CommsIt was a weekend that brought history to life, uncovered more heroic stories and brought generations and communities together through the work of Kev Greenhalgh, curator of the Fallingbostel Military museum and the Rear Operations Group from 2 Close Support Battalion REME.

    The annual Prisoner of War Commemoration weekend continues to attract people from all over the country. With even more re-enactors bringing the Second World War to life, visitors were able to compare equipment and life as a soldier whether you were British, German or Polish.

  • Rockin’ 50’s

    The annual Fifties Americana Rock ‘n’ Roll car show
    pulls 
    up in Kaunitz, May 24-25

    Nostalgia fans don’t need a time machine to go back to the 1950s. They just need a ticket to the Musikbox & Strassenkreuzer Festival in Kaunitz.

    The annual Americana classic car and paraphernalia show takes place on May 24-25, and Sixth Sense has tickets to give away.

    Markus Wiessing, 52, who organises the show, is a self-confessed jukebox junkie, who gets turned on by a tailfins turn and is fixated with Fifties USA. He put on the first show 22 years ago, and now the Musikbox & Strassenkreuzer Festival, near Verl, is an established annual event that draws hundreds of punters over a spring weekend.

  • Support group for stammerers launched

    Founder of the British Army Stammerers’ Society (BASS), Cpl Emmanuel Ottih RLC

    Hohne-based soldier Cpl Emmanuel Ottih, RLC, has set up the British Army Stammerers’ Society (BASS) to create awareness about stammering and to show stutterers that they can achieve their respective dreams.

    The new support group is now available for soldiers and dependants who face the issue of stammering speech.

    “The journey of my stammer started way back,” says Cpl Ottih, who is attached to 2 Medical Regiment.

     “It really affected my life both negatively and positively. As a child, I was always shy and scared of interacting with my peers and I was often seen as a scapegoat because I could not get my words out. It continued as I entered secondary school and thereafter university, where I realised the importance of talking and socialising with people, but I tried to get on with it.”

  • Rethink your future

    BFG soldiers consider their future options at the
    22nd Internal Transfer Career Fair

    The audience are welcomed to the Internal Transfer Careers Fair in HerfordThe 22nd Internal Transfers Career Fair (ITCF) held at the Divisional Conference Centre in Herford, was one of best-attended events in recent years.

    More than 200 soldiers were present and eager to learn about their options, should they decide they want to re-trade. 

    Once more there were numerous presentations given to all attendees from a selection of cap badges. 

    There were also representatives from the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, RAF and Military Provost Guard Service (MPGS) trying to tempt attendees into a new career. After the presentations all attendees were invited to have a walk around the stands and gather any information they required from the vacancies that interested them.

  • Loyal service

    It was once again the time for 3 Civilian Workshop REME to present Certificates of Service to two of its loyal workforce.

    On this occasion, and as part of his departure from the post as Officer Commanding the workshop, Lt Col (Retd) Gez Hills took great pleasure in revealing the working histories of each of the five recipients in support of British Forces Germany and also in presenting the certificates.

    Recipients of certificates of Service Josef Schrewe and Franz Austenfeld pictured with Lt Col (Retd) Gez Hills, and colleagues Waldemar Reger and Markus Böning

    He thanked each one in turn and took the opportunity to thank the remaining workforce in the Paderborn detachment of the workshop for the previous and ongoing support.

    The photograph above shows the recipients Josef Schrewe (for 30 years service) and Franz Austenfeld (25 years) at the Sennelager Scheduled Maintenance and Rectification Centre.

    In the Paderborn detachment, Georg Ertel (40 years), Dimitri Schulz (12 years) and Mourad Aissaoui (also for 12 years) are pictured below.In Paderborn, Georg Ertel, Dimitri Schulz and Mourad Aissaoui received certificates, here pictured with Georg’s partner, Klaudia, and the OC, Lt Col Gez Hills

  • What’s buzzing at the HIVE - May

    Detmold and Hameln offices to close

    Jennifer Stevens, left, pictured with Carol Faulkner, Director HIVETHE HIVEs in Germany are closing in stages in line with the HQ BFG drawdown plan.

    Jennifer Stevens, Information Officer at the Detmold HIVEDetmold HIVE will close on May 16 and Hameln HIVE will close on June 13.

    Director HIVE, Carol Faulkner, said: “It is always a sad time when a HIVE closes but we will continue to provide as much support as necessary from the other HIVE offices based in Sennelager and Paderborn to ensure that the personnel remaining in these locations continue to receive a high quality service up until they leave.

    “Detmold and Hameln HIVE have served the community for many, many years. 

    Hameln HIVE Information Officers, Ladine Newsham and Nicola Green“On behalf of the chain of command I would like to personally thank the staff, Jennifer Stevens, Ladine Newsham and Nicola Green for their outstanding loyalty and service to their communities that have been provided over the years.”

  • A new look for summer

    Hair1Outlandish coiffures sweep 2014 International Hair Championships

    Fancy a new hairdo? Then take inspiration from the biggest and most bizarre styling competition – with gravity defying head pieces, rainbow streaks and some very blingy barnets!

    The three-day biannual Organisation Mondiale Coiffure (OMC) Hairworld started on Saturday in Frankfurt and saw around 1,000 participants from 50 countries and 400 international brands and companies battle out their blow dries and highlights for the prestigious title of OMC Hairworld World Cup Champion.

  • German hostages freed and home

    The four German military observers – three officers and one translator – arrived at Tegel Airport in Berlin on Saturday night and were greeted by Defence minister Ursula  von der LeyenInternational observers, including four Germans, captured in eastern Ukraine over a week ago were released last weekend.

    The seven military observers from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and five Ukrainian hostages captured with them were freed by pro-Russian separatists in the town of Slavyansk on Saturday.

  • Chocolate doner just a Taste Away

    Doner with a difference; instead of grilling meat, the spit keeps the chocolate coolTaste Away in Berlin’s Kreuzberg district, is putting a new twist on dessert with the chocolate doner, a first for the city that invented the better known meat variety.

    Quaynh Trangle, 29, is fusing her crepe recipe with a novel mode of preparation, but here beef, onions, tomatoes and garlic sauce are replaced by chocolate shavings, whipped cream and fruit, all wrapped up in a freshly-made crepe.

    First opened in December of last year, Taste Away is now seeing a steady stream of customers who are curious about the chocolate kebab.

  • Friends reunited

    A Minden man was reunited with his cat after he lost it  – 12 years earlier.

    Veterinary surgeon Martin Heuer was a student in München when his two-year-old pet Arion vanished.

    And in spite of it being microchipped, no trace of the tomcat could be found.

    Heuer finished his studies and returned to his hometown of Minden to take over the surgery set up by his father.

    He never expected to see Arion again, until an animal shelter in München called to tell him an aggressive, old cat had been handed in and that he appeared to be
    the owner.

    The vet, who lives near Herford, didn’t hesitate and got in his car to drive to southern Germany.

    An observer of the reunion at the shelter said: “The timid feline slowly moved towards its previous owner, began sniffing his outstretched hand and then licked it affectionately. We all had tears in our eyes.”

  • Germany News in Brief - May 8, 2014

    EU plans to slash plastic bag use

    BRUSSELS. The European Parliament has passed a directive aimed at cutting the use of thin, single-use plastic bags by 80 per cent by 2019. The EU directive leaves it up to individual member states whether to ban, tax or charge for thin plastic bags, but the aim is to halve their use by 2017 and reduce their use by 80 per cent by 2019. The parliament’s proposals are aimed at thin, mostly single-use bags only. Thicker, sturdier plastic bag that shops often charge for and that can easily be reused, are not affected. Some 100 billion plastic bags are used in the EU every year, around 200 per person. Eight billion of these carrier bags end up as litter which often end up polluting Europe’s seas and killing millions of marine animals a year. The stomachs of 94 per cent of all birds in the North Sea contain pieces or traces of plastic, according to figures from the European Commission. The directive will have to be put to member states, who are likely to start negotiations after the European elections on May 25.

  • Resettlement & Transition Fair - June 3

    NTK-CTP

  • Platform of Friendship

    IMM 2014Accept the sporting challenge
    and take part in this year’s IMM

  • Welcome Wednesday Coffee Morning – May 14

    Welcome Wednesday

  • Barry’s back at Fat Louis

    Barry MaddisonMulti-instrumentalist Barry Maddison will be performing classic rock ‘n’ roll and pop at Fat Louis in Paderborn on Saturday, May 17.

    The talented musician, who plays the best music of the 50s through to the 80s, will be leaving Germany in a few months, so this is one of the last chances to see Barry perform live.

    If you would like to hear what to expect at Fat Louis on May 17, google Soundcloud and put MADDISONGS in the search box at the top right to access free plays and downloads.

  • Coeliac Awareness Week May 12-18

    Next week (May 12–18) is coeliac awareness week, so we are trying to help spread the word about what it means to be coeliac or intolerant to gluten.

    Coeliac UK is a charity working to help improve the lives of those with coeliac disease through research, support and campaigning.

    Their mission statement is as follows:

    We want years of ill health prevented by bringing down the average waiting time of 13 years for that crucial diagnosis. We want to find the half a million people who have coeliac disease but don’t yet know it. We want to see a more robust post diagnosis care regime. We want the cost and availability of gluten-free substitute food to be reasonable. We want to make it easier to be able to go out for a meal with a gluten-free offer on every high street.

    Even if you’re not gluten intolerant the coeliac website is really worth a visit; it is full of delicious gluten-free recipes and advice. Log on to: www.coeliac.org.uk

    We will be running events over the following week, so check out your local medical centre for more information.

  • Fuel coupon selling prices for May 2014

    THE BFG fuel coupon selling prices for May are as follows:

    Super 95 (E5) – €7.35, decreased by €0.25

    Super Plus – €8.05, decreased by €0.25

    Diesel – €7.45, decreased by €0.40

    Diesel Plus – €8.60, decreased by €0.40

  • B#s have got in covered

    POPULAR covers bandthe B#Sharps will be giving the lads and lassesof 20th Armoured Brigade a rocking send off for their last tour of Afghanistan.

    The band will be playing at Thunekrug (34 Thuner Weg, Sennelager) on Friday, May 16, starting at around 9pm.

    At the same time the musicians, led by SCE teacher Steve Jessop on guitar, hope to raise cash for the charity, Street Child of Sierra Leone, in support of a former Sennelager Forces community and band member, Annabel Oates, who is going out there to do all things philanthropic.

    So go along and rock your socks off!

  • Step back in time...

    Back to the future at the 1950s and 1960s show in KaunitzNostalgia fans don’t need a time machine to go back to the 1950s – they just need a ticket to the Musikbox & Strassenkreuzer Festival in Kaunitz.

    The annual Americana classic car and paraphernalia show, which takes place on May 24-25, is put on by Markus Wiessing, 52, a self-confessed jukebox junkie who gets turned on by a tailfins and is fixated with Fifties USA.

    He organised the first show 22 years ago, and now the Musikbox & Strassenkreuzer Festival, near Verl, is an established annual event that draws hundreds of punters over a spring weekend.

    This year the usual attractions will be there: countless classic cars of American, British and German makes, a stage with rockabilly and doo-whop bands, burgers and beer stands, and a 50s memorabilia market.

  • Can you take the heat?

    The sharp of things to come –  the Chili & Barbecue Festival on May 24-45 will have plenty of hot food to sampleGet ready to put your chilli where your mouth is in what has got to be the most hotly contested competition in Germany this year.

    The Chili & Barbecue Festival 2014 – part summer celebration and part trade fair – takes place for the first time in the land of Bratwurst on May 24-25.

    And the organisers are looking for some cool contestants who can handle eating some of the most fiery foods in the world, in the form of chilli peppers.

  • The man who wanted to see it all

    Heinz Stücke is greeted in Hövelhof in front of the town hall after 51 years in the saddle. Photo: Courtesy of Neue WestfälischeA man from Hövelhof went for a bicycle ride – and returned home some 51 years later.

    Heinz Stücke didn’t get lost, he simply wanted to explore the globe to enrich his life in the cheapest way possible.

    Last month, April, and after covering 650,000 km in 19,000 days and having visited 196 countries, Herr Stücke cycled into his hometown near Paderborn.

  • Drones rescue fawns

    GN-DeerA German wildlife rescue project is deploying small aerial drones to find and protect young deer hiding in tall grass from being shredded by combine harvesters cutting hay in the spring.

    The pilot project has shown great promise in spotting the young animals, about 100,000 of which fall victim in Germany every year to the large agricultural machines, said project spokesman Rolf Stockum.

    In a pilot phase, five small drones – fitted with combined digital and infrared sensors that can detect colour patterns and body heat – have been trialled in Bavaria to find the animals.

  • Sticky end for ‘Nutella gang’

    Seized: The haul of five tons of the hazlenut chocolate spread – some 2,500 jars – on show to the press last MayA group, labelled the Nutella gang after stealing 2,500 jars of the chocolate spread, have been jailed for a combined total of 15 years and six months.

    A court in Fulda, Hesse, jailed three men from Hesse and two women for theft and receiving stolen goods on Friday.

  • Jobless benefits to get leaner and meaner

    The rules for claiming Hartz IV (unemployment benefit) are set to get tougher from next yearThe German government is planning a shake-up of the country’s unemployment benefit system, Hartz IV, by introducing stricter rules on claimants in a move which supporters say will cut bureaucracy.

    Reforms include stopping Hartz IV payments to claimants who miss appointments or who don’t register at job centres.

    Support will also stop for claimants who spend money designated for their rent on other expenses.

  • Take-off to Hameln on Sunday

    A paper plane contest takes place in Hameln this Sunday, May 4 – and anyone may enter.

    The location for the inaugural Hameln Paper Plane Championships is in the Altstadt, Am Hochzeitshaus, Osterstrasse 2, 31785 Hameln; the time is noon to 4pm.

    The are three disciplines: longest flight in time, longest flight in distance, and youngest and oldest participant.

    Paper must be used to make the plane, but it may be folded, cut and glued. A paper clip may be used to trim the plane, but no elastic bands are permitted.

    The categories are juniors: to age 18, and seniors: above the age of 18.

    If you’re not into planes, you can enjoy a spot of shopping in the town centre, from 1pm to 6pm, or simply enjoy the entertainment around the historic
    centre.

  • Veterinary Corps celebrations

    Military personnel, horses and working dogs on parade in Melton Mowbray

    N-RAVCMeltonMowbrayA magnificent parade of military horses, military working dogs and their handlers, including 12 who have served in Afghanistan, marched through the streets of Melton Mowbray on April 10.

    Hundreds of people lined the streets to watch the parade that marked the long association the town has with the Royal Army Veterinary Corps (RAVC).

    The Corps was awarded the Freedom of the Borough 37 years ago.

    This was the fifth time the RAVC has exercised its right to parade through Melton Mowbray with bayonets fixed, drums beating and Colours flying.

    The Band of the Parachute Regiment led the parade followed by 13 mounted military horses and around 120 soldiers and 24 military working dogs from both the 1st Military Working Dog Regiment (Royal Army Veterinary Corps) and the Defence Animal Centre. The parade also featured RAVC veterans.

  • Introduction of prescription charges

    Prescription charges will be introduced across British Forces Germany on Monday, May 5. This will bring 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.

  • Cornish Dave bows out

    Farewell

    Having reached the tender age of 65, Dave Warburton has finally bowed out from MoD service after 49 years and 250 days.

    Dave completed 22 years in the Royal Engineers before transferring to the Long Service List, serving 15 years as an estate warden in Gütersloh.

    Dave then moved across to Defence Estates (DIO) where for the past 10 years he has been involved in Lands Disposal.

  • Spin for Life - June 14

    Spin for life

  • Gütersloh RBL Car Boot Sale

    Car Boot Sale

  • Fish & Chips Day

    Gut-RBLFishnChips

  • Welcome Wednesday - May 14

    Come and enjoy the next Welcome Wednesday get-together at the Welfare Room, Normandy Barracks, on May 14, 10am to midday.

    There will be a variety of stalls with lots of goodies on offer. The HIVE, Education Centre, Relate and the staff of John Buchan School will also be there offering information and answering any questions you might have. Everyone is welcome.

    More information on Facebook ‘BFG Welcome Wednesday’.

  • Community Market

    Community Market

  • Storybook Soldiers recording

    If you are a soldier about to deploy on Op Herrick 20, or are on R&R, you can book an appointment with Cpl Shaun Wildgoose at the Tigers Den, Barker Barracks, to read and record a story for your child.

    For information and to book a slot, call the Tigers Den on 05251 101270 or Mil (79) 3270.

  • Speech and language session

    A speech and language drop-in session will be held on May 21 at the John Farmer Building, Normandy Barracks, 1pm to 4pm. 

    This is open to families with children of any age that have concerns about their communication. Teachers, key workers and practitioners are also welcome to come and discuss any concerns they may have.

    You will be able to get advice and ideas to help your child from a Speech and Language Therapist. No appointment is necessary, just turn up!

    For information call Rachael Smith on 05254 982 4047.

  • B#Sharps gig for Herrick troops

    Popular covers band The B#Sharps will be playing at the Thune-Krug in Sennelager on Friday, May 16, starting at around 9pm.

    The concert will a rocking send-off for troops about to leave on Op Herrick.

    The venue is at 34 Thuner Weg, Sennelager.

  • Stars step up

    William Wordsworth School pupils with with dance instructor, Marc ReineckeWilliam Wordsworth School in Sennelager invited Marc Reinecke, dance instructor, and Joy Harris, performing arts consultant, to their Big Arts Week.

    A ballroom dance competition took place with all children from KS1 and KS2 learning two dances. In the afternoon a dance off was held with FS2 watching as the critical audience.

    Staff and children were all actively involved and the event culminated with headteacher Wilma Simpson presenting the winning dance couples with medals.

    Further competitions will be held in June at Tanzschule Krüger and at Prince Rupert School.

  • Doctor Awareness Day

    Medical staff replace stethoscopes for sniper scopes

    Pad-Doctors

    On a very sunny Thursday afternoon medical staff, surgeons and consultants from Barker Barracks Medical Centre, Bielefeld, Gütersloh and local German hospitals visited Y (Fire Support) Company, 1 PWRR, to receive a brief on British Army equipment and training. 

    The event saw doctors replace their stethoscopes with grenade machine guns, mortars and sniper rifles in a bid to inform decision-making when grading and assessing wounded, injured and sick soldiers. 

  • Childminders

    Childminders

  • Calling all Shackletonians

    Shackletonians

  • Hohne Garrison welcomes new GSM

    HandoverBergen-Hohne Garrison has welcomed its new Garrison Sergeant Major (GSM).

    On St George’s Day, Wednesday, April 23, WO1 (GSM) Doug Adesile KRH handed over the pace stick to WO1 (GSM) Jason Ellis RLC in front of the 7th Armoured Brigade and Hohne Garrison Headquarters building.

    WO1 Adesile is moving on to the appointment of RSM European Joint Support Unit, Supreme HQ Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) while WO1 (GSM) Ellis is joining the Garrison from the post of RSM 25 Training Regiment based at Deepcut Barracks in Surrey.

    On behalf of the Garrison, thank you and best of luck to WO1 Adesile and family, and welcome WO1 (GSM) Ellis and family.

  • Changes to National Immunisation Programme

    NIPNHS England, Public Health England and the Department of Health have issued direction on changes to the National Immunisation Programme (NIP) on meningitis, rotavirus, shingles and childhood flu.

    The changes described here are to improve the overall level of protection against preventable diseases.

  • Armed Forces Fun Day in June

    Armed Forces Day 2013Make a note in your diary not to miss the Garrison Support Unit Armed Forces Fun Day, to be held on Saturday, June 29, 2pm – 8pm at the NATO Officers’ Mess Garden, Normandy Barracks, Sennelager.

    Attractions include super slide, bouncy castles, trampoline, face-painting and a barbecue (pig roast).

    Tickets cost €5 (adults) and €3 (children), on sale now until June 19 in the Normandy Barracks guardroom.

  • SSAFA Short Breaks

    NTK-SSAFABreaks

  • The contribution of volunteering saluted

    VolunteersWeek2013Volunteers’ Week is an annual campaign which takes place on June 1-7 and celebrates the fantastic contribution millions of volunteers make across the UK and BFG.

    This year’s Volunteers’ Week focuses on saying Thank You to the millions of volunteers who regularly contribute to society, and to recognise the way that organisations celebrate the work of volunteers across the UK.

  • Pre-deployment Briefings Gütersloh - 2 LSR

    Gütersloh-based 2 LSR, as part of 7 Armoured Brigade, are deploying to Afghanistan for nine months in late August. 

    The Welfare Team will be holding Pre-Deployment Briefings and have put together a really impressive welfare package to support 2 LSR wives/families and partners. The briefings will be held on Princess Royal Barracks on the following dates:

    June 5, 10am – 2 LSR Families Deployment Brief – 2 LSR Welfare Complex.

    June 12, 7.30pm – 2LSR Families Deployment Brief – 2 LSR Welfare Complex.

    July 3, 10am – 2 LSR Families Deployment Brief – 2 LSR Welfare Complex.  

    July 10, 7.30pm – 2 LSR Families Deployment Brief – 2 LSR Welfare Complex.

  • Occupants Consultative Meetings

    Pad-OCM

  • Bundeswehr: time to change

    “The reform of the German military is the most radical overhaul of the Bundeswehr in its history. New challenges such as international terrorism and global cooperation require a smaller, more flexible troop structure.”

    That’s the conclusion a report on a reform of the Bundeswehr has arrived at. The findings were presented by Defence Minister Thomas de Maizière last Thursday.

    Having been transformed from a conscription-based force to a professional army, the Bundeswehr is to get in shape for dealing with new forms of military threats as well as a changed demographic and financial context.

  • Gothic gathering

    ‘Dark’ festival draws 20,000 to Leipzig

    Visitors from as far afield as South Africa, Australia, Mexico, Russia and Japan celebrated four days of Gothic arts and music in Leipzig last weekendEvery Whit weekend, when the Wave Gothic Festival, a legendary annual gathering for “dark” music and arts, kicks off in Leipzig, the world is reminded that nobody does goth quite like the Germans.

    From cybergoths and steampunks to deathrockers, rivetheads and leather fetishists, some 20,000 people attended this year’s Wave Gothic Festival (Wave-Gotik-Treffen), Leipzig’s legendary annual celebration of “dark” music and arts, which came to a close on Monday night.

  • Anger over drug companies testing on ‘human guinea pigs’

    There are calls for an investigation into the drugs tests carried out on over 50,000 people in the former East GermanyRevelations that western drug companies colluded with East Germany’s communist regime to use more than 50,000 people as “human guinea pigs” in 1980s medical trials has sparked widespread outrage.

    News magazine Der Spiegel reported that a who’s who of big German, Swiss and US pharmaceutical companies made deals with the dictatorship to test medicines, sometimes without the knowledge of the patients.

    Several people were known to have died during trials, and some tests involved infants and delirious alcoholics, said the report on the agreements with the police state that collapsed in 1989.

  • Bundeswehr to start mental fitness tests

    The Bundeswehr is considering new ways to prevent soldiers suffering mental breakdowns on foreign missions, an internal report has revealed. Traumatised soldiers have also long criticised the length of time it takes to get therapy.

    Prevention, post-trauma job opportunities, and the process of getting therapy were all named as problematic areas in the report, written by battle-trauma specialists and commissioned by the German Defence Ministry. In some cases, it apparently takes years for affected soldiers to be given the help they are entitled to.

    But the report recognised that progress has at least been made in prevention. From now on, soldiers are to undergo regular psychological fitness tests, including one at their enrolment, as well as before and after tours to conflicts abroad. 

    The first screenings are set to take place by the end of the year.

  • Record €154m handout for political parties

    Germany’s political parties will receive more state money than ever before, it was reported last week. In the run-up to September’s election, the country’s parties will be fuelled by over €154million.

    The ruling Christian Democratic Union (CDU), the Social Democrats (SPD), the Greens, socialist Linke party, and the ailing junior coalition partner the Free Democratic Party (FDP) will be getting four per cent more state funding this year, the Saarbrücker Zeitung reported. 

    Norbert Lammert, President of the Bundestag lower house of parliament, told the paper in an interview that the adjustment had been made to meet the parties’ “typical needs” during an election year. In 2012, they all received around €150million. 

  • Germany News in Brief - May 23

    Diners ‘beat top chef to death’

    SYLT. Top Japanese chef Miki Nozawa died last week after apparently being attacked by two German men who were unhappy with their meal in his restaurant on the North Sea island of Sylt. The men, aged 36 and 50, are thought to have beaten 57-year-old Nozawa to death outside a strip club on the holiday island after leaving the restaurant refusing to pay the bill, the Süddeutsche Zeitung reported. He died on Tuesday as a result of his injuries, Ulrike Stahlmann-Liebelt, state prosecutor from Flensburg, confirmed. She added that they were yet to be tracked down by police. Nozawa was an internationally renowned chef, famed for his Italian-Japanese fusion cuisine, which he has cooked for Michael Gorbachev, Denzel Washington and Phil Collins, among others. 

  • Troop rotation

    Arrangements for final period of Afghanistan mission announced

    Those who serve more than seven and a half months will receive a Herrick Drawdown Allowance on top of the standard operational allowanceThe troop rotation arrangements outlining the tour lengths for deployed UK personnel between now and the end of UK combat operations in 2014 have been announced to Parliament by the Defence Secretary Philip Hammond.

    The new arrangements are designed to ensure that we maximise force protection for our troops during drawdown, while also delivering to the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) the support they need throughout a critical transitional period. 

    They will minimise the number of Service personnel who have to deploy to Afghanistan over the next 18 months by removing the need to train and deploy an extra brigade on operations.

  • Free Your Mind

    SJ-HeaderSummerjam is Europe’s biggest reggae festival and takes place at the beginning of July every year at a lake close to the city of Köln. What started as a low key event on the river Rhine now attracts over 25,000 reggae fans.

    The event started out at the Loreley in 1985 and once had its home at the former RAF Wildenrath in 94 and 95. It is now located at Fühlinger to the north of Köln; just a couple of hours drive from Gütersloh.

    Two stages and tents are located on an island with the camping area surrounding the lake. This year’s event takes place over the weekend July 5 to 7 and the motto is Free Your Mind.

  • Celebrate the Summer

    Pad-WelWed1

  • OWL donation to Red Shield

    Maj Katrina Greetham receives the donation from Pete Lobley of Detmold OWL’s clubThe Salvation Army Red Shield Defence Services in Detmold were delighted to receive a donation from the town’s OWL’s club.

    The Red Shield was the chosen charity for members donations, and €300 was presented on Tuesday, May 14 to Major Katrina Greetham.

    The donation will be used in part to support the children’s club which is run by the Salvation Army, and will provide resources for the children’s activities.

  • The heat is on

    And they’re off... Robert Browning School children ran a mile for charityThe children from Robert Browning School in Sennelager, including FS1 Normandy nursery, FS2 children and years 1 to 4, recently took part in a fun run for charity. 

    The warm-up was led by Sgt (SI) Heycock of the PT School with the All Arms Course members (potential PTIs) – some in fancy dress – running with the different year groups.

  • Fanning the flames of feminist fury

    A Barbie doll goes up in smokeProtesters outnumbered fans at the opening of a life-sized Barbie house in Berlin last week where they burned a doll on a cross. Security guards swiftly ejected the protesters from the site near Alexanderplatz. The Barbie Dreamhouse in Berlin is the second such theme house after a similar one opened recently in Florida.

    For an entry price of €22, visitors can immerse themselves in the pink world of Barbie. They can check out Barbie’s walk-in wardrobes and even ‘try on’ her outfits using a digital mirror.

  • Treat yourself royally

    Prince Maximilian zu Bentheim-Tecklenburg with British wife Princess Marissa in front of their Schloss RhedaAN ANGLO-German royal couple are ‘lowering the drawbridge’ to their enchanting moated castle near Gütersloh and inviting members of the BFG community to visit their annual garden festival.

    If you are looking for something different to do with the family this coming German bank holiday – a drive to Schloss Rheda will be a memorable and noble experience.

    The four-day Frühling Im Park in Rheda-Wiedenbrück, from May 30 to June 2, is a spring show where more than 130 local exhibitors display their quality products against the backdrop of the 12th century fortress.

    The event will have daily entertainment for the whole family including a children’s progamme in the main courtyard, which is rarely open to the public.

  • NOVA system now in force

    New customs documentation for vehicles permanently returning to the United Kingdom

    Check you have completed the correct vehicle documentation if you are taking your car back to the UKDVLA introduced a new system for vehicles arriving back in the UK on April 15. The BFG Form NOVA replaces the old BFG 414 system.

    Before permanently leaving BFG, entitled personnel should have completed all the correct vehicle and customs documentation either at their local Vehicle Licensing Office (VLO) or by post.

    There is now a much tighter time frame associated with NOVA (the document is only valid for 14 days) meaning personnel must declare on the application when they are leaving BFG with the car. The BFG NOVA is then dated from that time.

  • bfgnet: Paderborn Garrison

    Pad-Website

  • NAAFI Bus Times – Change

    Pad-BusTimings

  • Paderborn Military Wives Choir – Join us!

    Do you enjoy singing and want to be a part of something amazing? Then come and sing with the Paderborn Military Wives Choir.

    The choir meets every Thursday, from 7pm to 8.30pm at St Peter’s Church, Barker Barracks. It is open to all wives in the garrison, regardless of unit or regiment.

    Interested in booking the choir to sing at your event or function? Contact the choir at paderbornmwc_secretary@yahoo.co.uk. We do not charge but donations are greatly appreciated.

  • Unearthing the spud scandal

    Potato price-fixing costs consumers millions

    The potato is one of the most important foods and makes up a large part of the German diet. On average, each German consumes 70kg of potatoes annuallySeveral potato processing plants in Germany are being investigated on the suspicion of illegally fixing prices for more than a decade, costing consumers and farmers more than €100million. 

    Germany’s national competition regulator confirmed on Friday that it was investigating illegal price fixing at nine production and distribution plants.

    A further five have been issued with written notices and the home of one suspect has been searched. 

  • Home burgled every 4 minutes

    Germany is an 'El Dorado for burglars' says the German Police UnionBurglaries, in particular daytime break-ins, rose sharply last year, with robberies becoming more violent, according to new figures seen by the Welt am Sonntag newspaper. 

    In the last year, there were 144,117 reported burglaries across the country, representing an increase of nine per cent on the year before. That amounts to a break-in every four minutes. 

    Daytime burglaries went up by 9.5 per cent and muggings of occupants are becoming more violent, with reports of victims being tied up, gagged and beaten, leaving many suffering from panic attacks and sleeplessness for months after the attack. 

  • Merkel’s surprise visit to Afghanistan troops

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited troops in Mazar-i-Sharif last weekChancellor Angela Merkel and Defence Minister Thomas de Maizière arrived in Afghanistan last week for a surprise visit, a German government spokesman said on Friday.

    Merkel and de Maizière went to the German forces’ headquarters in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif, the spokesman said, without giving details of the visit.

    It comes six days after the death of a German soldier, part of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan.

  • Nazi-themed Wagner opera pulled after walkouts

    The Rheinoper's take on Wagner's Tannhäuser proved too traumatic for audiencesA Nazi-themed production of Richard Wagner’s Tannhäuser opera has been cancelled in Düsseldorf after realistic death scenes distressed audience members, the opera house said on Thursday.

    The Rheinoper said it was aware that the concept and its implementation would be “controversial”.

    But the opera house’s take on Wagner’s Tannhäuser proved to be so traumatic for some audience members that they had to be taken to hospital. Others slammed doors and booed as they stormed out of the theatre mid-performance.

  • 42 injured in lightning strike

    Ambulance crews treat injured party-goers in daleForty-two people were injured, eight seriously, when lightning struck an outdoor festival in northern Germany on Thursday. Police said many people were catapulted through the air, while others suffered burns. 

    Around 500 people were at the (German) Father’s Day bank holiday party in Dabel, Mecklenburg, when the lightning struck shortly after midday, hitting a tree and a nearby electricity junction box. 

  • Dole-ful summer for contracted teachers

    Contracted teachers are forced to survive the summer holidays on benefitsEvery summer thousands of German teachers are forced to survive on unemployment benefits because their contracts only run during term time, the Süddeutsche Zeitung  reported on Monday.

    In what teachers’ associations are describing as a “scandal”, regional authorities regularly issue contracts to teachers which only last the length of the school year, relying on state benefits to make up the shortfall during July and August. 

  • Appy shoppers at Netto

    Shoppers at discount supermarket Netto can pay by mobile phoneCustomers at discount supermarket Netto will soon be able to pay for their shopping with a mobile phone app, the company said on Friday.

    Over 4,000 branches are expected to offer the technology. 

  • Germany News in Brief - May 16

    Ticket machines reject fivers

    FRANKFURT. Train passengers across Germany are battling with outdated train ticket machines which are rejecting the new €5 note issued on May 1. Around 3,500 machines are affected by a software failure which means they cannot recognise the new, more secure and more colourful notes. Instead, they simply spit them back at would-be passengers. Deutsche Bahn spokesman Andreas Fuhrmann said all the machines should be updated by the end of the month, adding that passengers who cannot buy a ticket because they only have the new note should pay their fare on the train. Anyone caught travelling on an S-Bahn without a ticket and can plausibly prove that it was because of a faulty machine not accepting their money, will only have to pay the cost of the fare, rather than the full fine.

  • 20 Brigade’s brawn battle it out

    The Cross Fit competition saw teams from all of 20 Brigade’s units pushed to the limit of their physical endurance. Pictured: Soldiers lift cast-iron kettle bells to test their strength and flexibilitySoldiers from across Paderborn Garrison came together in Athlone Barracks to compete in 20 Armoured Brigade’s first Cross Fit Competition.

    Nearly 100 competitors in 15 teams took part in a series of physical tests on the sunny parade square of 5 RIFLES’ Barracks in the centre of Paderborn.

    All of 20 Brigade’s units entered a team and from the outset it was clear that some had done some serious training and were going to fight for the top spot.

    Cross Fit is relatively new to the Army with many of the soldiers picking it up during their tour of Afghanistan last year. It is an excellent military sport as people can do it in confined spaces like Forward Operating Bases. 

  • From guns to gowns

    Former captain Nigel Parkin, technical director of UK-based Verb FashionsA FORMER Army captain got in touch with his feminine side when he decided on an unusual career change – selling prom dresses and ball gowns.

    Nigel Parkin, who served in BFG for 15 years, simply joined the family business he had helped set up while serving in the REME.

    He is co-owner of Verb Fashions Ltd, a UK-based business that designs and sells stylish ladies evening wear, along with an
    all-frills service.

    And things are going well – the business has received three orders from Buckingham Palace alone and is planning to open its third store.

    The retired officer said: “Leaving the Army can be challenging, particularly when searching for that new career, and many draw on their training and experience from their military careers. But not quite so in my case!

     

  • Grandma's Pond

    OmasTeichsignThe Omas Teich (Grandma’s Pond) festival takes place between July 25 and 27 just outside the village of Grossefehn in North Eastern Germany close to the Dutch border.

    It all gets underway with the warm up party on Thursday July 25 with the live bands taking the stages on Friday and Saturday.

    The festival has taken place annually since 1998 and what started as a small party beside the pond in Mario’s grandmother’s garden, has developed into a large rock open air festival with more than 10,000 fans.

    The 3 stages present over 40 national and international bands, there is a large camping area and several specials to keep the party atmosphere at a pitch. This year the headliners include The Bloodhound Gang and Fall Out Boy.

  • Four Seasons – Call for Volunteers

    Did you come to last year’s Four Seasons Christmas Fair?

    Did you enjoy the day? Have you benefited from a Four Seasons grant?

    Would you like to see another fair held this year?

    If the answers to the above are yes, then we need your help.

  • Hospital Liaison Officer changed

    On April 1, the Hospital Liaison Officers (HLOs) were retitled Patient Support Officers (PSOs).  

    PSOs will still be based in the contracted host nation provider hospitals, Monday to Saturday, 8am to 4.30pm, across BFG.

    With the exception of Rhine Garrison and Münster, where the service is Monday to Friday, at all other times a PSO is available via the Hospital Hotline 24 hours/seven days a week/365 days a year.

     

  • Paderborn Garrison Units Tranche 3 Redundancy Workshop

    Pad-Tranche3

  • AEC Open Day – May 21–23

    PADERBORN & HAMELN ARMY EDUCATION CENTRES OPEN DAY

    41 AEC Group have a range of courses available to all entitled personnel ie any serving soldiers, their dependants as well as UKBCs and their dependants.

     

  • Hameln Military Wives Choir – live on stage

    Hameln Military Wives’ Choir will be performing as part of Hameln’s traditional Pentecost Service in the Market Square on May 19 at 10.30am.

    Padre David Middlemiss, of 28 Engr Regt, said: “It’s a huge event for the choir, and in a visually stunning location.

    "What the choir is doing is also pretty spectacular – think Sister Act and you get the idea!”

  • Back to the 1950s Americana show

    Petticoat junction - the Kaunitz 50s festival is midway between Paderborn and GüterslohHE’S a jukebox junkie, tailfins turn him on, and he’s fixated with Fifties USA.

    Little surprise, then, that Markus Wiessing set out to combine all three of his passions in an Americana classic car and paraphernalia show open to the public.

    That was 21 years ago. Now the Musikbox & Strassenkreuzer Festival in Kaunitz near Verl is an established annual event that draws hundreds of punters over a spring weekend.

    This year, the show takes place on May 25 and 26, and the usual attractions will be there: countless classic cars of American, British and German makes, a stage with rockabilly/doo-whop bands, burgers and beer stands, and a 50s memorabilia market.

  • Mental health app supports Armed Forces ‘on the go’

    The new Joining Forces App is already available for iPhone and iPad with the Android version being launched later in the yearA brand new App designed to deliver unique information and support on mental health disorders affecting the Armed Forces is now available to all Serving personnel to access wherever they are in the world.

    The App's innovative functions have been designed specifically for current Serving personnel to provide tailored information on a total of 11 mental health problems including anxiety, post traumatic stress and depression, as well as highlighting where to access help.

    The new App also features interactive videos from a lead psychiatrist on the signs and symptoms of mental health problems encouraging Serving personnel to seek advice if they feel they have any of these symptoms.

  • Museum with a future

    The Fallingbostel Military  Museum opening weekend combined the past with the present with re-enactment soldiers donning Second World War military uniforms and displays of the latest in British military equipment THREE former prisoners of war in Bad Fallingbostel made the pilgrimage to take part in the 8th Annual Memorial Service to POWs of all nations who had been held in the notorious Stalags XI-B, XI-D and 357.

    But this year their visit coincided with the opening of the new Fallingbostel Military Museum during a weekend organised by Kev Greenhalgh, museum curator and a former SNCO in 2nd Royal Tank Regiment.

    His passion for history and military memorabilia has led to the Stadt of Bad Fallingbostel recognising the museum formally by renting the Union building, a five-storey former railway silo warehouse, and recognising the formation of a ‘Verein’ or society.

  • Afghan Archers

    The new radio programme is the brainchild of Navy Lt Jo NicholsonA Royal Naval Reservist from Buckinghamshire has created a hit radio programme in Helmand province inspired by The Archers.

    Lt Jo Nicholson, 42, from Adstock, has put his farming background to good use while deployed in Afghanistan by creating Crops and the Farmer.

    The show is broadcast in Pashtun on Radio Tamadoon, and provides advice and tips for Afghan farmers.

  • Pretty in pink

    Elmpt Station were pretty in pink last month to help raise funds for Breast Cancer Care charityThe ladies of Elmpt Station were pretty in pink last month to help raise funds for Breast Cancer Care charity.

    Guests were treated to a glass of pink champagne on arrival, a finger buffet and were entertained by DJ SSgt Sarah Matthews.

    Organised by Tany Langley with assistance from Elizabeth Lawes, the Pink Party was an overwhelming success, raising a total of €2,400.

  • Moonlighting mercenaries

    Bundeswehr soldiers are working as ship security guards and in combat zones while off-dutyGerman soldiers are moonlighting illegally at private security firms while off-duty, a newspaper revealed on Monday. Working as heavily armed guards on freighters or in war-zones, some do it for the cash and others for the adrenaline kick. 

    As members of the Bundeswehr, soldiers are not allowed to work as mercenaries for private companies – yet many are doing so, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) found out. 

    Exact figures on how many of Germany’s soldiers, or former soldiers, work the private security sector are unknown. According to the FAZ’s research, the field is growing and critics are warning of a “mercenary renaissance”. 

  • Keep it in the family

    Bavaria nepotism scandal: 79 MPs named

    Barbara Stamm, president of the Bavarian state parliament, has named 79 MPs who have employed family members as their assistantsA smouldering row over politicians employing relatives in well-paid assistant roles burst into a full-blown nepotism scandal last Friday, when the head of Bavaria’s state parliament named and shamed 79 MPs.

    The scale of the scandal engulfing the Bavarian government ballooned when president of the regional parliament Barbara Stamm ignored voices of protest and published a list of guilty parties.

    The 79 members of parliament –including six of the 11 cabinet ministers – were identified by Stamm as having employed spouses, children or parents as their assistants.

    Those politicians are overwhelmingly from the Christian Socialist Union (CSU), Bavarian sister party to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union. 

    Stamm, also a CSU member, said she had defied the wishes of her colleagues to publish the names – but would not reveal how much they had been paying their relatives.

    “If anyone is against being published [on the list], and I do it any-way, then he should sue me,” she said. At the same time, she added, each case should be judged individually.  

    Those on the list are said to have taken on family members after the regional law was altered in 2000 to forbid MPs from making new contracts to employ immediate relatives. 

    However, a clause in the law meant that existing contracts would be excluded, a loophole the politicians on the list exploited.

    “Such a long transition period would never be put in place today,” said Stamm, and added that a complete ban on employing relatives would be in place by July.

    CSU General Secretary Alexander Dobrindt defended his party’s reaction to the scandal and rejected calls from the opposition Social Democrats for the cabinet members involved to step down.

    “We’re dealing with it actively,  tightening the rules and putting a stop to it once and for all,” he said.

  • Munich medley

    Passers-by can make music in Munich at various locations, including the airportThe international Play Me, I’m Yours project arrived in Munich at the weekend, with 14 pianos being positioned around the city for passers-by to play as their hearts desire. 

    Brainchild of British artist Luke Jerram, and brought to Munich with help from the German Music for Children association, Play Me, I’m Yours kicked off last Saturday with an ad-hoc concert from Munich-based indie band The Becqerels. 

  • Germany News in Brief - May 9

    New faces on media landscape

    MUNICH. Two new faces on the media landscape were unveiled last week, with Der Spiegel news magazine appointing a new editor-in-chief and US-export Huffington Post announcing the launch of a German site. Huffington Post will be teaming up with Focus Online news magazine to launch a German-language site late this summer. The announcement caused a stir among the country’s journalists and bloggers, many of whom tweeted their concerns about the fact the Huffington Post does not pay many of its columnists and relies on a small, paid editorial team. In the print world, Der Spiegel announced its new editor-in-chief would be Wolfgang Büchner – formerly editor of German news agency DPA. Büchner, 46, will take the reins of both the print edition and the Spiegel Online website, which previously were lead by two different people.

  • BFG fuel coupon selling prices - May

    With effect from May 1, BFG fuel coupon selling prices for May 2013 will be as follows:

    Super 95 (E5) – €9.30 No change

    Super Plus – €9.95 No change

    Diesel – €9.35 Change

    Diesel Plus – €10.55 Change

    Selling points are responsible for obtaining new or confirming previous prices before commencement of business on the first day of any month. 

    No allowance will be made by the Fuel Coupon Accountant, HQ BFG, for coupons sold at incorrect prices.

    Restriction of BFG coupons on German autobahns

    Tank and Rast AG are the service providers for all German autobahn service stations.  

    Until recently all oil companies operating on German autobahns sold fuel under their own name but under overall control of Tank and Rast.

    Due to organisational changes enforced by Tank and Rast there are now 20 service stations, operated by Aral and Esso and displaying their brand name and colours, who are, or will be during 2013, no longer in a position to accept BFG coupons.

    This change of procedure is with immediate effect and until further notice.

    Negotiations are in progress to amend this unsatisfactory situation but, unfortunately, it will not be resolved in the immediate future.

    This restriction does not apply to Aral and EuroShell fuel cards used in official vehicles.

     A list of relevant service stations is detailed below.

    NTK-Fuel

    Should BFG motorists inadvertently refuel at these service stations and tender BFG coupons as payment they will be rejected and the normal retail pump price will have to be paid. It is hoped that Tank and Rast will provide suitable notices to this effect at the pumps.

  • Home-Start Family Day Trip

    Pad-Family Trip

  • Bike and Rock Show

    Pad-BikeRock

  • Bargains Galore

    Car booters and bargain-hunters were out in force at the RBL sale – and helped to raise over €2,000 for the Poppy AppealSuper weather, top junk and delicious British treats made the recent car boot sale of the Royal British Legion in Paderborn the most successful in recent years.

    Punters arrived in droves to check out what 85 car booters had on display on the square in Dempsey Barracks, Sennelager, on April 28.

    “The first car boot of this year was a great success – we had the largest turnout in recent years and raised at least €2,000 for the Poppy Appeal,” said RBL Paderborn branch chairman Jim Griffiths.

  • Ringlokschuppen Bielefeld

    ringlokschuppenOriginally built adjacent to the main railway line between Bielefeld and Herford in 1905, the Ringlokschuppen was closed as a diesel locomotive shop in 1985.

    It fell into decline but was given a new lease of life in 2002 and converted into one of the most important event centres in the area.

    With its versatile stage and hall system it hosts many events from exhibitions through discos to concerts. Here are a couple of concerts coming up featuring English speaking artists to whet your appetite.

  • Case adjourned

    Emotions high at start/stop of neo-Nazi murder trial 

     A calm Beate Zschäpe in court on Monday – she is accused of involvement in multiple racially motivated murders, nail bombings and armed robberiesHundreds of black balloons filled the sky over a Munich courthouse on Monday as Germany’s biggest ever neo-Nazi murder trial got under way, with anti-racism protesters noisily demanding justice.

    But Beate Zschäpe, 38, the woman at the centre of the case, was the picture of calm, as she entered the courtroom.

    Outside, protesters waved Turkish flags and held large black-and-white photos of the 10 victims whose deaths between 2000 and 2007 were blamed on the self-styled National Socialist Underground (NSU), of which Zschäpe was a founding member.

  • Boy – it’s the world’s smallest film!

    View A Boy and his Atom on YouTubeA Boy and His Atom is a stop-motion animated short film released on YouTube by IBM Research and has been recognised by the Guinness Book of World Records as the smallest movie ever created.

    The film was created by a research team headed by German scientist Andreas Heinrich and depicts a boy playing with an atom that takes various forms.

    One minute in length, it was made by moving carbon monoxide molecules viewed through a scanning tunnelling microscope, magnifying them 100 million times. The molecules were manipulated to create images, which were then saved as individual frames to animate them.

  • BFPO notice: Damaged goods

    ARE YOU SENDING A TABLET OR IPAD?

    IF SO READ THIS IMPORTANT CUSTOMER INFORMATION 

    NTK-MailBFPO 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. 

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

    Senders should use the manufacturer’s 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.

  • Home-Start Hameln: Half-term activities

    Pad-HamelnHS

  • Blooming Hamburg

    Thousands of visitors spent the May 1 holiday taking in the exotic plants at the international garden show on Hamburg’s Elbe island of Wilhelmsburg.

    The summer-long show showcases visions by gardeners, breeders and landscape architects under the motto ‘Around the World in 80 Gardens’. 

  • British band plays PB club

    Top cover rock band The B# Sharps will be performing at the Kulturwerkstatt in Paderborn on May 11.

    The British band, featuring SCE teacher Steve Jessop on lead guitar, will be supporting a Dutch blues band at the club on Bahnhofstrasse 64, starting at 8pm.

  • Marriage Course

    THE next Marriage Course will be from May 15–17 at All Saints Church, Fallingbostel.

    The course formula is a fantastic atmosphere, a romantic meal for two, practical talks and couple discussion times but no group work. The course is free, and runs from 9am to 3.30pm.

    To register email: strongbondsbfg@gmail.com or call Ruth on Mil (77) 2515. Find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter: Strong Bonds BFG.

  • Spotlight on Asthma

    Asthma Awareness Week - May 6-10

    In the UK, one person is hospitalised every seven minutes and three people die every day as a result of asthma

    Asthma is a long term condition of the lungs which causes breathing problems and affects males and females of varying ages. There are currently over five million people living with asthma in the UK and over 700 in British Forces Germany (BFG) alone.  

    Symptoms and Triggers

    The main symptoms of asthma include coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath and chest tightness. However, not every person who has asthma will have all of these symptoms and some people may only experience them occasionally. 

  • Remembering a bubbly girl


    Bubbly girl Katlyn, who died in March of a rare brain tumor aged fourEVERY parent’s worst nightmare of losing a child became a tragic reality for a young British couple in Gütersloh.

    Loving mother Jenny Quinn, 26, was devastated when her little daughter Katlyn died of a brain tumor in March.

    The active four year old, a sweet smiling and extremely intelligent girl for her age, had been diagnosed with diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG).

    DIPG is a rare and inoperable tumor that attacks the brain stem, wrapping itself around it like a snake and fusing itself among the nerves.

    A few weeks after Katlyn’s death, Jenny got the idea to raise funds for the “five star” hospice where her daughter spent her last days.

  • SPD and Greens pledge to fight

    Committed: Party leaders Cem Özdemir, left, and Claudia Roth with Sigmar Gabriel, SPD, at the Greens’ party congress Germany’s Greens pledged to fight a joint battle with the centre-left Social Democrats against conservative Chancellor Angela Merkel in elections five months away as it wrapped up a three-day party congress on Sunday.

    The Greens, who grew out of the 1970s peace, anti-nuclear and environmental movements, are now the country’s third biggest political force and are hoping to return to national government with the campaign slogan “Germany is renewable”.

    At their Berlin party congress the Greens, who score around 15 per cent in polls, committed to stick with the Social Democrats as alliance partners despite the weakness of that party’s would-be chancellor Peer Steinbrück.

  • Adidas loan haunts Bayern boss Hoeness

    Uli Hoeness, president of FC BayernFC Bayern president Uli Hoeness, who last week admitted tax evasion, may have taken millions in a ‘loan’ from the CEO of Adidas as a sweetener for picking an outfitting deal over rival Nike, the Süddeutsche Zeitung suggested on Thursday.

    Adidas CEO Robert Louis-Dreyfus ‘loaned’ millions to his close friend Hoeness back in 2000 so that the club president could go and have a bit of fun gambling on the global stock market.

  • The ‘sex and drugs’ party

    How will voters react to the Pirate party’s revolution in the conservative south?The Bavarian Pirate Party may now become known as the sex and drugs party after adopting a range of policies on two political hot topics at their state conference in Gemünden am Main over the weekend.

    One major decision was to adopt a call for the possession of cannabis to be decriminalised in the southern state, the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper reported. 

    “It cannot be, that every year we invite thousands of tourists to the [Oktoberfest] Wies’n, who then lie vomiting in the corner, but at the same time, remove someone’s driving licence just because he smokes a joint once in a while,” said Florian Deissenrieder, a 29-year-old Pirate candidate for the state parliament.

    Rather than punishment, the party has called for drug education in schools.

  • Gunman kills Hameln politician

    Rüdiger Butte, former head of the crime investigation office in Lower Saxony and district administrator in Hameln, was shot on FridayA gunman killed a top official in Hameln last Friday before shooting himself, police said.

    Shots were heard shortly after 10am in the city’s main administrative building, where 63-year-old Butte was later found dead along with the body of his assailant.

    The attacker, 74-year-old Hans B was facing eviction and the loss of his driving licence and had been trying for some days to get an appointment to see Butte.

  • Germany News in Brief - May 2

    Merkel rejects deposit guarantee

    BERLIN. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said last week that her government backs a proposed European banking union but rejects, for now, a plan for common deposit guarantees. Such schemes would reimburse depositors by a limited amount of their funds if a bank failed – a measure meant to boost confidence and prevent bank runs. The 17-member eurozone will establish a banking union to help countries tackle problems with troubled banks. Under the plan, the European Central Bank will supervise more than 5,000 banks from July 2014. Other proposed steps include a process for winding down banks, and a regional deposit guarantee system that effectively spreads the risk between member countries.

     

  • Social networking

    Information, links and documents which you may find useful to ensure you use social networking sites safely and securely.

    Geotagging

    Geotagging is the process of adding geographical information to documents and files you might publish online.

    Many people are unaware of the fact that the photos they take with their smartphones and load to the Internet have been geotagged (ie the exact location of where the photo was taken is known).

    JSyCC has produced a document with further information, accessible via www.bfgnet.eu

  • Pass a huge smile for a worthy cause

    Passing the smile in GüterslohA human chain will be formed on Princess Royal Barracks on Sunday, May 12, in this year’s Pass the Smile event – and everyone is welcome to take part.

    Pass the Smile is an unusual but novel idea that was born from a group of 5 to 7 year old girls from 1st Gütersloh Rainbows group.

    It started when Dale McMahon, from The Royal British Legion, Gütersloh Branch, was invited by Jilly Carrel, Rainbow Group Leader to give a talk on the significance of the Poppy and Remembrance to the Rainbows on November 2, 2011.

  • Fly-by the Rosenhof

    Once showing Hollywood blockbusters, the Rosenhof is making a name for itself as an intimate setting on the concert scene and attracting some great acts inside its walls. Here are some of the highlights over the next few weeks.

    The Levellers

    LevellersSince they released their latest work, Static on the Airwaves, the band from Brighton has been more or less permanently on tour. They finished their 2012 tour in October last year and are now back in Germany to get the audiences bouncing once again to their typical alternative rock sound.

    But they are not a new band they have been around the blocks since 1988 and released 12 albums; Zeitgeist being the most notable topping the UK charts in 1995.

    So they are back again and can be enjoyed at the Rosenhof on May 10 for not much more than €23.

  • New city tax to hit Berlin tourists from July

    Overnight stays in Berlin will cost more as of July 1Tourists heading to Berlin this summer for a budget weekend will have to save up a few extra euros.

    From July 1 visitors will have to pay a five per cent ‘city tax’ on overnight stays in all Berlin hotels, hostels, guest-houses, holiday flats and campsites.

    The tax is expected to bring in an extra €25million a year for the capital – half of which will be fed back into Berlin’s tourist industry. 

    The tax – which is already charged on stays in many German cities including Hamburg, Köln, Osnabrück, Dortmund and Trier – will only be charged when tourists state the reason for their trip as “private”.

    Those on business trips are exempt from the charge – but they will have to prove it; others must show they are in the city for professional reasons by filling in a form with details of their trip.

  • Bereaved gather

    Members from the support group laid flowers, wreaths and tributes at the Loughborough Carillon war memorialMembers of the SSAFA Support Group for Bereaved Families gathered in Loughborough over the weekend of April 27-28 to remember loved ones killed during military service.

    Families attended two days of workshops and discussions designed to help them cope with the emotions of loss and the impact of tragedy.

    On Saturday afternoon, Army Cadets lined the route to the Carillion, a war memorial housing bells in the town's park, where 170 members from the support group laid flowers, wreaths and tributes.

  • New €5 note issued from May 2

    The new €5 note will be available at all banks from May 2.

    The new €5 bank note, available from May 2

    The design of the Europa series is based on the “ages and styles” theme of the first series. However, the new notes have been visually modified in order to give them a fresh look and to accommodate a range of new and enhanced security features, which will also make it easy to differentiate between the two series.

    As in the first series, the new Europa series banknotes will show architectural styles from seven periods in Europe’s cultural history, but do not show any existing monuments or bridges.

    An independent banknote designer based in Berlin, Reinhold Gerstetter, was selected to refresh the design of the euro banknotes.

     

  • Telekom plans to throttle Internet

    German telecommunications giant Deutsche Telekom has triggered outcry from politicians and customers after announcing it would put a data limit on flat rate Internet plans.

    From May 2, customers with flat rate Internet packages will be hit with a slower connection if they go over 75 gigabytes of data in a month, said Deutsche Telekom last week. German Economics Minister Philipp Rösler quickly voiced concern over the idea, which he said posed problems for net neutrality.

     

  • Change to Dependant pay processing in BFG

    The Defence Business Services (DBS) BFG Dependant pay team will be assuming the responsibility of processing pay for dependant staff in Germany who are employed by GLSU.

    On the closure of the RMC and the move of HQ BFG and orphan units to Bielefeld, the LEC pay bureau will be closed and the provision of a dependant payroll service will be moved to the UK.

    Defence Business Services Civilian Human Resources (DBS Civilian HR) is an integrated set of simplified, standardised HR services for Ministry of Defence civilian employees and their line managers.

    The DBS currently provide a payroll and HR service to some 50,000 civilians working for the MoD.

    The service will be taken on in stages over a period of time commencing from May 13 with completion by the end of July 13.

    Please note: with effect from April 25, 2013, initially only those units in Hohne Garrison with dependant employees are to send BFG 24s and any other correspondence normally sent to the LEC Pay Bureau to the DBS BFG Pay Team.

    Paderborn Garrison will follow on after pay in May has been processed.

    The payroll service will be transferred to DBS by July 31, 2013 in four stages:

    Stage 1 - May 13 - Hohne including Bad Fallingbostel

    Stage 2 - Jun 13 - Paderborn including Hameln and Sennelager

    Stage 3 - Jul 13 - Gütersloh including Bielefeld, Münster, Dülmen and Herford

    Stage 4 - Aug 13 - All other areas

    The DBS BFG Dep pay team will assume the pay bureau responsibilities in accordance with the above timetable. Regular updates will be publicised during the transition period.

    DBS BFG pay team comprises James Gray (team leader), Basia Lutwiejko, Ian Collier-Webb, Megan Price and Lauren Whale.

    Dependant employees with a specific pay related enquiry will have a central contact point in the UK in much the same way as civilians working for the MoD in the UK have.

    GLSUs in Germany will of course continue to be the focal point for employees however and be able to deal with enquiries as is currently the practice.

    Contact arrangements for the DBS BFG Dep Pay Team will be promulgated in the near future.

    The DBS BFG pay team will provide a payroll service but some responsibilities will continue to be provided by LEC Sp Svcs eg payslips will be printed and sealed centrally in Bielefeld and forwarded by LEC Sp Svcs to each GLSU for distribution to units similar to the procedure that is in place for DEL employees.

    What does this mean for GLSU/Units?

    All GLSUs will have direct contact with the DBS BFG Dep pay team to conduct normal everyday business.

    For units – instead of BFG 24 and other pay documentation being sent to the pay clerk at the LEC pay bureau, pay documentation is to be sent direct to the DBS BFG pay team.

    Important: With effect from April 25, 2013, initially only those units in Hohne Garrison with dependant employees are to send BFG 24s and any other correspondence normally sent to the LEC Pay Bureau to the DBS BFG Pay Team.

    Paderborn Garrison will follow on after pay in May has been processed.

    What does the transition mean for Dependant employees?

    As the same software and processes will be used, dependant employees should not notice any difference in the future regarding payment.

    The central contact point for specific pay related enquiries is: Defence Business Services, BFG Dependants Pay Team, Oak Building West, Level 2, Mail Point #6036, Abbey Wood North, Bristol BS34 8QW

  • Medical centre closures – May public holidays –

    BFG medical centres will be closed due to the German public holidays on May 9, 20 and 30.

    Exceptions: Hohne and Fallingbostel medical centres are open on Thursday, May 9 and Monday, May 20 for soldiers sick parade and for doctor and nurse military occupational health appointments only.

    Routine community nursing and physiotherapy services are not available on these dates.

    If you are unwell call your medical centre first as there is a telephone advisory service offering 24/7 medical advice with duty staff on hand for anyone needing urgent attention.

  • Career Transition Partnership

    Career Transition Partnership Events

  • Internal Transfer/Career Fair

    Internal Transfer/Career Fair June 2012

  • Dependant Employee Meetings

    Petra Graham, your Dependant Employee Representative, would like to meet with you, the dependant employees in Paderborn Garrison. Staff assemblies will take place at the following locations:

    Hameln Station – Wednesday, June 27, at 10am, in the Flix Cinema, Gordon Barracks.
    Sennelager – Tuesday, July 3, at 10am, in the Garrison Conference Facility, Building 85, Normandy Barracks.
    Paderborn – Monday, July 9, at 10am in the Kaleidoscope Cinema, Barker Barracks.

  • Family day trip to Hollywood Safari Park

    Family Day Trip

  • 1st Detmold Scout Group Charity Auction

    Scouts1st Detmold Scout Group (Hermann’s Tigers) will be holding a Big Community Barbecue and Charity Auction on Saturday, June 23, starting at noon, to raise funds for Sir John Mogg School.

    The venue will be the Detmold Community Centre and the afternoon will feature a live band, bouncy castle, face painting and lots to eat and drink.

    Make a date in your diary now to go along, enjoy the fun and help a worthy cause.

  • Barker's Bingo

    TigersDen

  • Messy Play Queen's Jubilee Royal Celebrations

    Messy PlayMessy Play will celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee on Sunday, June 17, from 1.30pm to 3.30pm at the Loseke Community Centre, Sennelager – Entrance 50c pp.

    Activities will include Flags & Banners, Royal Tile Coasters, Face Painting, Home-made Play-Dough, Junk Modelling and Story Time. Fancy dress optional: turn up in your full regalia (eg Princess/Prince/Knight/King/Queen...)

    For more information call Viola on 05254 6606515 or email: violaribera@yahoo.com

  • Loyal service honoured

    Maj Gen Nick Caplin GOC BFG presents Pamela Phillips with her 12 year certificate It was a proud moment for a dedicated member of the RALSU work force as she was awarded her certificate for 12 years of service.

    Pamela Phillips was recently presented her certificate by Maj Gen Nick Caplin, GOC BFG, acknowledging the valuable service she has provided.

  • Windsor Awards

    Windsor School celebrated the achievements of many students at the annual Awards Ceremony, held at the Globe Cinema on JHQ.

    Col Phillip King, Chairman of Windsor School SGC, presented awards to students in all categories in front of the whole school and invited guests.

  • Flying high for cash

    Colin starts his flight with a stirling take offEx-paratrooper Colin Rees is attempting a record-breaking flight from John O’Groats in Scotland to Dover – by paramotor.

    The 48-year-old Falklands war veteran and his colleague Sarn Terry – son of Air Marshall Sir Colin Terry – aim to take 14 to 15 days to cover a distance of over 850 miles reaching heights in excess of 5,000ft.

    The duo, who started the challenge on May 19, will be flying down the east coast and landing in the grounds of the Duke of York’s Royal Military School, Dover, on May 30 – or there abouts.

  • Back on Snow Patrol

    Left to right: Paul Wilson, Gary Lightbody, Jonny Quinn, Nathan Connolly and Tom SimpsonAfter their sold out tour in February, Snow Patrol return to Germany this summer to perform four more gigs including Hamburg and Köln and will be playing tracks from their latest studio album, Fallen Empires.

    The five piece band with Northern Irish and Scottish roots was originally formed at Dundee University in 1994 under frontman Gary Lightbody as the Shrug and after a number of name changes adopted Snow Patrol in 1997. After little initial commercial success, they first burst to fame after their first release off a major label; Final Straw in 2003.

    The album went platinum in the UK five times and sold over 3million copies. International fame came through the next work, Eyes Open, in 2006 and the enchanting single, Chasing Cars, famously used as backing music on the US TV series Grey’s Anatomy.

  • Mass protests

    Banks close as Frankfurt sees 30,000 protest against European austerity programmes

    The masses protest in Frankfurts Mainhatten finance districtAround 30,000 people marched through the centre of Germany’s financial capital Frankfurt on Saturday, police said. They were protesting against European austerity programmes.

    It was the only demonstration of the anti-capitalist movement Blockupy Frankfurt that was authorised by the city and justice authorities. The other protests over the past four days were held despite being banned by city officials.

  • Pressure increases on new Berlin airport team

    After the embarrassing cancellation of the new Berlin airport opening and the shock of the new date being in nine months, the team is under extra pressure to make sure it works this time.

    German Transport Minister Peter Ramsauer said on Sunday he was setting up a special working group to make sure the new opening date of March 17, 2013 is met.

  • German doctor dies on Everest clean-up

    A German man died on Mt Everest where he was helping clear the world’s highest peak of rubbish, Nepalese tourism officials announced. His death brings the season’s toll to five.

    The 61-year-old doctor, Eberhard Schaaf, died on Saturday of extreme altitude sickness while descending the south side of the mountain, Ang Tshering Sherpa of the Kathmandu-based Asian Trekking adventure agency said.

  • 5 days of Ski Deluxe

    The children enjoying the fun at this year’s AWS Ski/Snowboarding residentialThe Army Welfare Service Community Support staff from Rhine Garrison ran their annual Ski/Snowboarding residential again this year from April 7-13.

    A total of 63 young people from the garrison attended the week long programme that also included an evening programme throughout the week.

    The AWS ski course took place at the Kitzsteinhorn ski resort near Zell am See in Austria, where the children stayed at the highly rated Club Kitzsteinhorn youth hostel.

  • Bunnies back with a bang

    The 2012 calendar raised nearly €2,000 for Help For Heroes and the group of 13 girls are hoping to beat that this yearA group of BFG WAGs calling themselves Bunnies & Dynamite are shooting their new charity fairytale-themed pin-up calendar for 2013. Their 2012 calendar raised nearly €2,000 for Help for Heroes and the group of 13 women are hoping to beat that this year.

    The two main organisers are Yvonne Carswell, a tattoo artist whose husband Martin is with the Royal Engineers based in Gütersloh and Tina Requate, whose boyfriend Rikki McCreight is with 5 RIFLES based in Paderborn.

  • First foot forward

    The teams had to complete two 25km marches on two consecutive daysThe 2012 British Forces Germany Nijmegen Qualifying Marches took place in and around the Rheindahlen Military Complex on May 10/11.

    Teams from 1 Military Intelligence Battalion (1 MI), 3 Close Support Battalion REME (3 CS Bn) and 1st The Queen’s Dragoon Guards (QDG) walked 40 kilometres each day around the local area in order to fulfil the entry standards for the four day Nijmegen Marches, which take place in July.

  • Brew for the Few

    RAFALOs WO Simon Rowbotham, deputy chairman, Sgt Jason Jones, secretary and FS Stuart Goodacre, treasurer, raised money for charity by organising a Brew for the FewRamstein Air Base is a large NATO air base near the town of Kaiserslautern in southern Germany.

    The base also accommodates a number of HQ functions, including HQ USAFE and the HQ NATO Allied Air Command for the Northern Region, formerly known as Air North.

    The NATO HQ is staffed by airmen from most of the NATO nations, including the UK.

  • Never too late to learn

    The e-Learning Centre team of Maureen Baird, Chris Wylie, Claire Ibbotson and Paula ClarkPaderborn e-Learning Centre on Alanbrooke Barracks are now open until 8pm on Tuesday evenings, to enable more people to make use of their fantastic facility. Located within 41AEC, the centre is managed by Claire Ibbotson and her assistants Paula, Maureen and Chris.

    Claire said: “We have received many enquiries from people wanting to come and learn in the evening and so decided to trial late night opening and see what the response is. “The centre is open to all entitled personnel aged 19 and over and we offer a wide range of courses, including Basic Skills and IT qualifications.”

  • Race for Life for Cancer Research

    Families in Bad Lippspringe helped raise £715 for Cancer Research by joining in the Race for LifeLocal Bad Lippspringe resident Andrea Napier has raised £715 for Cancer Research by organising her own unofficial mini Race for Life for friends and family.

    German born Andrea lived in the UK for 12 years, before moving back to Bad Lippspringe with her British husband and three children four years ago.

  • CBS - Best Ever!

    Trade on the day of The Royal British Legion car boot sale was brisk, helping to raise over €1,500 for the Poppy AppealPaderborn Branch of The Royal British Legion held its 35th car boot sale in aid of its Poppy Appeal on Sunday, April 29. Every year the Legion stages two car boot sales, normally in April and October, which together raise on average €3,000.

    Once again the event stirred great interest with 85 plots being booked and 75 of those actually participating on the day. The committee and members of the branch volunteer their services every time by manning the kitchen providing a full English breakfast and tea and coffee. The car-booters also donate to the Appeal by booking their plots as do proceeds made at the ever popular second-hand book stall.

  • Are you up for a tough contest?

    Get your application form in for IMM 2012 now

    The International Mönchengladbach Military Skills Competition (IMM) sees its 29th anniversary in September and units are being encouraged to submit entries.

    Any unit, including TA units, can take part in this very challenging and popular multi-national event, which requires brains, brawn and fitness in equal measure.

    The organisers are particularly keen to recruit more female teams to the competition, which is taking place on Saturday, September 8 in JHQ.

    There are a number of prizes up for grabs, including 1st, 2nd and 3rd places overall, best mixed team, best female team, best mixed-NATO team.

  • Black cabs to Arnhem

    London Mayor Boris Johnson and the veterans before the journey to The NetherlandsSOME 160 Second World War veterans hailed black cabs and set off from UK to The Netherlands in honour of unforgotten war efforts 65 years on.

    The veterans and The London Taxi Benevolent Association for War Disabled travelled in a convoy on May 2 to Arnhem to be guests of honour during the country’s National Liberation celebrations.

    Returning to visit some of the most renowned and symbolic sites of the Second World War and representing all of the Armed Forces, the group was the largest collection of veterans to assemble in recent years. 

    Aged between 85 and 94 years old, the iconic journey may have been their final opportunity to unite with their surviving Dutch comrades and celebrate the historic union between British and Dutch armed forces, which led to the liberation of The Netherlands in 1945.

  • Get stuck in the Fifties - show June 9-10

    Way fins were - cars from the colourful 50s eraHE’S a jukebox junkie, tailfins turn him on, and he’s fixated with Fifties USA. Perhaps then, it’s little surprise that Markus Wiessing set out to combine all three of his passions in an Americana classic car and paraphernalia show open to the public.

    That was 20 years ago. Now the Musikbox & Strassenkreuzer Festival in Kaunitz near Verl is an established annual event that draws hundreds of punters over a spring weekend.

    This year, the show takes place on June 9 and 10, and the usual attractions will be there: countless classic cars of American, British and German makes, a stage with rockabilly/doo-whop bands, burgers and beer stands, and a 50s memorabilia market.

    A large hall will be crammed full with fascinating Fifties-style furniture, jukeboxes and fashions for sale. And if you fancy having your hair styled in a Fifties quiff, a barber will be on hand to do it.

  • Hockeypark Contrasts

    green dayWith punk ideals, criticism of the chaos of the times and rousing rock tracks, Green Day released their sensational eighth studio album, 21st Century Breakdown, in 2009. Five years after the publication of the landmark, American Idiot, it is an ambitious statement to the spirit and the sensibilities of generations.

    The band, consisting of lead vocalist and guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong, bassist and backing vocalist Mike Dirnt and drummer Tre Cool, have sold more than 65million records worldwide and won five Grammys.

    They will begin to release a trilogy of albums over the course of five months starting in September 2012. The three albums will be called; Uno!, Dos!, and Tré!, will be released September 25, 2012, November 13, 2012, and January 15, 2013 respectively, and will be a selection of 30 new songs they have composed.

     

  • New Soft Play Area at JHQ

    The children enjoy a bath in the ball pit in the new play area installed in Encounters at JHQ   A new Soft Play Area has recently been installed in Encounters at JHQ to give the Children a chance to have a play around in a safe environment while their parents enjoy a coffee.

     It was Debs Thorne’s idea to see about the possibility of getting the soft play area installed.

    She said: “I think it must be very difficult when you have pre-school children, it’s pouring with rain and your husband may be deployed and you just think ‘I just want somewhere to go for a couple of hours to meet friends, have a cup of coffee and let the children play freely’.

  • Fire destroys house in married quarters

    Lancaster Way FireA cellar fire broke out in married quarters on JHQ last Wednesday (May 9).

    No one was hurt in the blaze, which saw smoke billowing from the house on Lancaster Way.

    The occupants, which included children, left the building as soon as the smoke was detected.

    The fire department arrived to put out the flames, but due to extensive smoke damage, the house is no longer habitable.

  • 1LSR are presented their operational medals

    SSgt Lee Goodwin receives his Afghan medal from honoured guest Col Grinstead1 Logistic Support Regiment commemorated troops who have recently returned from Op Herrick 15 with their operational medals.

    Over 300 soldiers and officers were on parade during the afternoon ceremony held at Princess Royal Barracks in Gütersloh with honoured guest Col Grinstead RLC, Regimental Colonel presenting the medals.

    For many of the soldiers receiving medals, or gongs as they sometimes are referred to, it was their first tour of Afghanistan.

  • Handshake handover in Helmand province

    Lt Col Tom Copinger-Symes, Commanding Officer of 5 RIFLES, right, shakes hands with Lt Col Zac Stenning, Commanding Officer of 3 YORKS, at Patrol Base 2 in Nahr-e Saraj (South)The Responsibility for security of Nahr-e Saraj (South) in Helmand province was handed over on April 29 as 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment took over from 5th Battalion The Rifles.

    The Nahr-e Saraj district is one of three in Helmand where British troops are deployed, and the last where Task Force Helmand retains the lead for security after the successful transition of Nad ‘Ali and Lashkar Gah to Afghan control.

    At a ceremony held in the centre of Patrol Base 2 on Sunday morning, the flag of 5 RIFLES was lowered and replaced with that of 3 YORKS.

  • Merkel’s party slammed in NRW state election

    The biggest losers: Norbert Röttgen and Angela Merkel after suffering a severe defeat in the 2012 NRW state electionsChancellor Angela Merkel’s party suffered a severe defeat Sunday in a pivotal German state vote likely to award her main rivals a major boost in their bid to soften her austerity drive in Europe.

    Around 16 months before national elections, the snap poll in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany’s most populous with 18million people, is closely watched as a taste of things to come at federal level.

    While Germans nationally back Merkel and her tough stance on European belt tightening and debt reduction, voters in NRW handed her conservatives their worst ever result in the western state.

  • ‘Flower Power’ brings new friends together

    The flower power evening had everyone turn up in their best 70s fashion outfitFollowing the success of February’s ‘Combat Barbie’ event, organiser Lina Tuzcu has done it again, this time with a ‘Flower Power’ dinner celebrating the arrival of spring.

    Lina’s themed dinners – open to all spouses and partners in the garrison – are proving very popular, with 14 ladies affiliated to a variety of regiments attending the ‘Flower Power’ meal held at Desperado’s steakhouse in Bergen.

    In addition to the meal, Lina always organises a quiz and a themed fancy dress competition.

  • Rocking the Pott

    Rock im PottA new rock open air festival deep in the heart of Germany‘s Ruhr industrial area, gets under way in August this year and already has a line-up of superlative domestic and international live acts.

    Rock im Pott will take place in the splendid Arena auf Schalke, normally home to Bundesliga top club FC Schalke 04, and is certain to be a night of rock and pop to be remembered.

    Top of the bill, with their only stadium gig this year in Germany, is California’s own Red Hot Chili Peppers, ably supported by Placebo from London, another band with a vast experience of performing in stadium events. With a further three top class German acts kicking off the evening’s entertainment; the line up is five superb protagonists of live stadium rock at its best.

     

  • Kohima veterans

    The 18 Kohima veterans on the steps of York Minster with senior military officials and the Deputy Mayor of York, Councillor John Galvin  and Lord Mayor of York, Councillor David HortonVeterans of one of the most vital and hard-fought battles of the Second World War gathered in York on April 26 to remember their fallen comrades.

    The 18 veterans traveled across the UK to commemorate the 68th anniversary of the 1944 Battle of Kohima, in which British and Indian Forces halted the Japanese invasion of India.

    Nearly 4,000 British and Indian soldiers lost their lives during the battle fought from April 4 to June 22, 1944, around the town of Kohima in north-east India.

  • Grimmer's Six Appeal

    LCpl Liam Grimmer after finishing his second marathon in HannoverAn Adjutant Generals’ Corps (SPS) lance corporal is putting his running shoes on to complete six marathons in six cities around Germany in less than four months.

    LCpl Liam Grimmer, who is based at Princess Royal Barracks in Gütersloh with the Adjutant General’s Corps (SPS) attached to 1 Regt AAC and is raising money for ABF The Soldier’s Charity, begun the first leg of his mammoth task on April 29 in Hamburg.

  • Seehofer’s Facebook party flop

    A man of the (party) masses – Horst SeehoferBavaria’s State Premier was spared an enormous bar bill at his Facebook party in a swanky Munich nightclub last week as only a fraction of the guests he invited showed up.

    Horst Seehofer had looked set to run up an enormous tab at Germany’s famed P1 nightclub when he offered everyone on his Facebook page a free drink if they showed up – and several thousand said they would be there.

    But luckily for Seehofer’s Christian Social Union’s budget, most of them stood him up, leaving him with around 500 people – including more than 100 journalists.

  • REME Fight Back

    Skipper Cpl Col Mackenzie lifts the trophyAFTER three and a half days of hard training, the REME(G) Rugby sqaud were chomping at the bit to try and win back the coveted Ellis Cup from RLC(G) - a feat not achieved since 2008.

    ASM Phil Davies of 26 RA LAD, AQMS Andy Colton and SSgt Paul Namata both of 3 Cs Bn REME had been working the lads hard in preperation for the cup match, held in Paderborn.

  • A nation’s gratitude

    The families of the 3 YORKS soldiers killed in Afghanistan received the commemorative medal during a dignified ceremony at Huddersfield Town HallThe Elizabeth Cross and Memorial Scroll was presented on Friday, April 20 to the families of the 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment soldiers killed in Afghanistan in March.

    Cpl Jake Hartley, Pte Anton Frampton, Pte Christopher Kershaw, Pte Daniel Wade and Pte Daniel Wilford were all killed on Tuesday, March 6 when their Warrior armored fighting vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device.

    Sgt Nigel Coupe of 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment was also killed in the explosion.

  • Ratz cinema goes 3D

    Sporting 3D glasses, film-goers enjoy Hohne Garrison’s newly digitalised cinemaVillains beware! The Ratz cinema in Hohne station went digital with a vengeance on Thursday, April 26, as The Avengers Assemble premiered in digital 3D technology to a packed audience.

    The cinema facility has its own super-hero alter ego, spending its days as the Red Rat station conference centre, bursting into life as the Ratz cinema at night.

    SSVC Head of Cinemas Janice Lorimer and SSVC cinemas manager Jenny Holdford were on hand to celebrate the opening night, as SSVC provided £30,000 of the £90,000 necessary for the 3D and digital upgrade; the Army Welfare Fund also donated towards the cost.

  • A star is born

    Watch the birdie! Nelson, the kea chick from Leipzig Zoo, is set for stardomIn what could turn out to be a canny career move, Nelson the baby parrot at Leipzig Zoo, dubbed Germany’s ugliest bird, has been rejected by his mother, paving the way for what could be a career in the limelight.

    His rejection by his heartless mother Owaka and indifferent father Cook mirrors the twist of fate that propelled Berlin polar bear Knut to superstardom in 2007.

  • Hi-Fi Hi Flyers

    Maybe some day your books will read themselves to you!Despite predictions made at the dawn of the computer age, paper is far from dead. In fact, new research is breathing new life into plain old paper.

    A team of German scientists have developed the world’s first printable paper speakers that could some day replace space-wasting old-fashioned woofers and tweeters.

  • Ballot box blow for Merkel

    Not amused: Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition suffered a setback in Sunday’s Schleswig-Holstein state electionAngela Merkel’s governing coalition suffered a further setback at the ballot box after appearing to lose its ruling majority in the state of Schleswig-Holstein. Exit polls by German broadcaster ARD put Mrs Merkel’s Christian Democrats at 30.5 per cent, just one per cent more than the left-wing Social Democrats.

    But the Free Democrats, Mrs Merkel’s ailing coalition ally, scored a lowly 8.5 per cent, meaning that the coalition that has ruled the rural state on the Danish border since 2009 faces the prospect of being unseated. Experts predict that the Social Democrats will try to cobble a coalition together with the Greens, the third biggest party, in order to take control of the state.

  • New dimensions

    Maj James Brown reopens the Royal Theatre in GüterslohThe Royal Theatre just got crowned with an modern update: The Princess Royal Barracks cinema in Gütersloh is now 3D!

    Over a hundred people lined up for the grand re-opening of the cinema, which was screening The Avengers in 3D on the same day as the UK. It was the first movie to be shown with the popular digital technology.

  • Betty's Holding Out for a Hero

    Rebecca Sullivan and Chelsea Mansell add the finishing touches to the cake during their 50s housewife photo shoot“Betty’s Holding Out for a Hero” wall calendar will feature everyday women from around the garrison dressed like 50s style pin-up girls. They’ll pose like the pictures from the era of Marilyn Monroe, Betty Page and Elvis! All profits will go to Help for Heroes.

    Army wife Amanda Bennett was wanting to do something for charity and discussed the idea of a calendar with her friend Chelsea Mansell. “It started because I love the fifties, and I do event planning as well and I thought I could do something that combined everything I do. So I approached Chelsea with the idea and Betty’s calendar was born,” explained Amanda. “We wanted to do something around the pin-up era, something a little bit different from the other calendars that are out there. We wanted a sort of ‘Carry On’ feel to it, so we went from there.”

    It was an easy sell to burlesque dancer Chelsea who is very comfortable in her skin and believes women of all shapes, sizes and ages should be happy with their own bodies. She said: “We want every person who buys the calendar to look at every woman and relate. We want them to think, she is beautiful, she is pretty, she looks fabulous.

  • Kaleidoscope goes 3D!

    What a spectacle! The audience at the Kaleidoscope cinema in Paderborn about to enjoy the blockbuster Avengers Assemble in brilliant 3D qualityWith people queuing in to the car park long before the doors even opened, the Kaleidoscope cinema on Barker Barracks, Paderborn launched its new 3D digital technology with a screening of Avengers Assemble on Thursday, April 26.

    To make the evening even more special, the Box Office Boys from BFBS television were there filming for their show, and were the judges to the fancy dress competition. Several children, and a few brave adults, came dressed up as their favourite super hero or villain.

  • Rare WW2-era German warplane found

    The Heinkel He-219, retrieved off the coast of DenmarkA Heinkel bomber, one of the most sophisticated warplanes of its time, has been retrieved off the coast of Denmark.

    Just 268 of the aircraft were built due to air raids on the Heinkel factory hindering production and internal squabbling in the Nazi government.

  • Royal Engineers ready for Helmand

    Members of 64 Works Group Royal Engineers  on exercise in Norfolk prior to deployment to AghanistanSoldiers from 64 Works Group Royal Engineers who are based at Chetwynd  Barracks in Chilwell, Nottinghamshire, have just completed their final training exercise ahead of their deployment to Afghanistan this month.

    The team of some 60 soldiers are one of five Works Groups that together make up 170 (Infrastructure Support) Engineer Group, the organisation which provides an infrastructure service for Defence and other Government departments. The Works Groups rotate in and out of Afghanistan where their role is to manage the infrastructure occupied by British troops and help improve the lives of the Afghan people. 64 Works Group will replace 67 Works Group in Afghanistan.

  • In the spotlight

    From left: Michael Codner, director of the military sciences department at the Royal United Services Institute, Sitrep presenter Christopher Lee, BFBS reporter Geoff Meade and Sitrep presenter Kate Gerbeau BFBS’s Sitrep has been nominated for a Sony Radio Academy Award for the Best News and Current Affairs Programme.

    Sitrep is BFBS’s dedicated weekly in-depth defence and international affairs programme, presented by Kate Gerbeau, and broadcast to the Forces community across the world and on DAB digital radio in the UK.

    Sitrep is a forum for debate – Government policy is examined in forensic detail by BFBS’s own experienced defence analyst, Christopher Lee and commented on by the top thinkers in the industry. Not only does Sitrep challenge ministers on the decision they take – it also hears from senior front line commanders and Servicemen and women. The Sitrep team is supported by BFBS news reporters in Afghanistan, Germany and Cyprus.

  • Formation of Headquarters British Forces Germany

    Chief of support: Maj Gen Nick Caplin GOC HQ BFGA NEW 2* HQ BFG has been established in Germany, led by GOC BFG, and replacing United Kingdom Support Command (UKSC) and the Germany Support Group (GSG).

    In addition to delivering Firm Base support to the Army and other MoD organisations in Germany as the supporting command, HQ BFG is orchestrating the rebasing of Germany-based units.

    The main purpose of the new HQ is to provide and safeguard the institutional well-being of Service and Support personnel and their families across Germany and isolated detachments around Europe. It will do this through the four Germany Garrisons (Rhine, Gütersloh, Paderborn and Bergen-Hohne), the European Support Group and the BFG Health Service.

  • Doing the MoonWalk

    Training has begun for the group from JHQ in preparation for this year’s MoonWalkFour intrepid women from Rheindahlen are set to do the MoonWalk, a charity fund-raising walk in aid of breast cancer.

    This year is a very special year for breast cancer charity Walk the Walk as they celebrate 15 years of MoonWalking on Saturday, May 12 in Hyde Park, London.

    Over 17,000 women and men will be Rockin around the World, as they take on their chosen challenge wearing beautifully decorated bras, the trademark of the charity.

  • First Class

    Plymouth promises a first class programme as the host of this year’s Armed Forces Day national celebrationsTHE city of Plymouth officially accepted the honour of hosting the Armed Forces Day national celebrations for 2012 as the official flag was delivered to the city.

     Lord Mayor of Plymouth, Councillor Peter Brookshaw, accepted the flag on behalf of the city and promised a first class programme of events to honour our Forces past and present.

     Plymouth will host the national celebrations on Saturday June 30 in a spectacular event on Plymouth Hoe which will provide a unique opportunity to see the Armed Forces up-close and will feature displays on land, sea and air from current personnel, veterans, cadet forces, the Merchant Navy, support agencies and charities.

  • Cartoon campaign

    The German government has voiced concern that far-right activists in North Rhine-Westphalia may incite violence with plans to hold a so-called “Mohammed cartoon contest” and to stage demonstrations outside mosques in the run-up to a regional election on May 13A far-right party on the campaign trial in Germany’s most populous state is threatening to put caricatures of Mohammed outside mosques in a string of cities, prompting fears of violence.

    The Pro NRW party in North Rhine-Westphalia has already shown anti-Islamic caricatures in Essen and Gelsenkirchen, though the police prevented demonstrations taking place directly outside mosques. Police have also banned Pro NRW, which is campaigning on an Islamophobic platform, from using the Danish cartoons that caused massive protests in the Islamic world in 2005.

  • Mönchengladbach Tattoo

    Military Muiscial FestivalFOLLOWING a fantastic evening of military music in Kaiserslautern in 2010, the 27th biennial NATO Music Festival will return to Mönchengladbach, the Borussia Stadium on Saturday, June 2. Seven military bands representing as many NATO nations will make the evening a tremendous spectacle.

    Together with bands from the host nation, Belgium, France, Hungary, Malta and Norway; the UK will be represented by the Band of the Royal Corps of Signals from Blandford in Dorset.

    In the recent history of Mönchengladbach the opening of the joint headquarters 50 years ago in Rheindahlen was a significant event. The presence of thousands of soldiers and their families led to the development of good and friendly contacts with the citizens of Mönchengladbach.

  • REME soldiers receive Afghan operational medals

    Cfn James Lough from 3(CS) Bn REME receives his Afghan medal from the Duke of EdinburghPrince Philip the Duke of Edinburgh presented personnel from 3(CS) Battalion REME with their operational medals following their return from a six month tour in Afghanistan.

    During the tour, which took place between September and April, 3(CS) Bn REME provided vital technical and engineering expertise in support of the NATO-led mission to prepare the Afghans to fully take over the security of their own country.

    Prince Philip, who is the Colonel-in-Chief of the REME, presented medals to members of the battalion during a ceremony, on April 24, at Barker Barracks in Paderborn before meeting military personnel and their families at a specially arranged reception.

  • Scouting support

    Maj Jamie Watson, Capt Osborne, Steve Williams, Rick Myers, Jeff Howard and Capt Gary Sloan (RAO 1PWRR) with the Cubs and BeaversThe 1st Detmold (Hermann) Cubs and Beavers held a presentation evening recently at Detmold community centre, and were paid a surprise visit from 1st Battalion The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment (1PWRR) based in Paderborn.

    Sgt Steve Williams, the Regt Acct from 1PWRR, is the Group Scout Leader and he approached welfare officer, Capt Ossie Osborne to ask if the regiment could help with funding for the new group.

    With kind agreement from CO (ROG) Maj Jamie Watson, 1PWRR generously sponsored the children, funding new neckers and woggles made up of their regimental colours and sporting the PWRR tactical recognition flash (TRF) on the back. They also donated money towards the group’s camping fees.