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  • 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.

This week's front page

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Your Vote

When are you heading back for Christmas?

Before Dec. 15 - 13.2%
December 16 - 4.4%
December 17 - 1.5%
December 18 - 0%
December 19 - 1.5%
December 20 - 7.4%
December 21 - 10.3%
December 22 - 2.9%
After Dec. 23 - 1.5%
Staying in Germany - 57.4%

Total votes: 68
The voting for this poll has ended on: 24 Dec 2013 - 00:00

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