Director | 3

FROM THE Director

Following my piece in the last edition of Envoy about the bike breaking down in the Alps and the excellent service Ireceived to get it fixed again, I’ve been really touched by the number of people (one –thanks Julie) who have expressed sympathy about my plight. For this edition I’ve decided Ishould stick to issues abit closer to home and update you on our activities over the last few months, rather than attempt another Clarkson-style link between two seemingly unrelated stories….. he’s awhole lot better at it than Iamand anyway Caroline, our editor,said she‘d refuse to print it if Iever tried something similar again.

It’s hard to know where to start, there’s been so much going on but Ithink it’s fair to say that we’ve been able to represent your views at asenior level: Secretary of State, Minister for Defence Personnel and Veterans, Chief of Defence People at the MoD, AMP and COS Pers at Air Command, the House of Commons Defence Committee, the Armed Forces Covenant Reference Group and the Devolved Administrations have all heard from us in the last few months and the opportunity to discuss issues and highlight your concerns has been invaluable. We’ve spoken about, for example, the impact of the current operational tempo, accommodation and infrastructure maintenance, the variability in cost and availability of childcare, the continued pay cap and its impact and what the new accommodation maintenance contract might look like to make sure that the same mistakes are not repeated.

At the same time, we have shared our survey outcomes with the Armed Forces PayReview Body and with RAF personnel attending the

Airmen’s Command School, the Warrant Officer Higher Management and Leadership Course, with future squadron and station commanders, Community Support staff and with many individual units. Our AF Covenant Team continues to work hard with unit AF Covenant Champions, local authorities, government departments, NHS England and the Devolved Administrations to mention just afew of the many organisations they work with to help make service life just a bit easier.And we continue to work with the MoD People Programme on initiatives such as the Future Accommodation Model and the Families Strategy –making sure that your voice is heard as policy is developed. Our project on Dispersed Families is making excellent progress, as is the Families Transition Project we are working on with NFF and AFF.Our Evidence Team continues to capture your views –good and bad –and to provide assistance and advice when asked. And our marvellous colouring in and cutting out department –otherwise known as the Comms and Marketing team (Caroline and Nick) –continues to do abrilliant job, not only with this magazine but with e-Bulletin, a refreshed website, social media, news stories and the like. And Ruth, our Office Manager, holds the whole plot together,remaining completely unfazed by whatever we throw at her.

On top of all that we’ll be hitting the road even harder in the coming months, providing workshops and visiting unit families days to talk to the most important part of this whole thing –you, the serving RAF and your families. It goes without saying (but I’m saying it anyway) that everything we do relies on

your feedback and input. Remember,weare your independent voice, representing your views. We are not –and cannot be some kind of trade union –nor do we pretend we can sort out everything that needs sorting out… but we can and do influence people- related policy,wecan help to get issues on to the pan-government agenda, we can help organisations to better understand the pressures and challenges of military life and help them to adapt or introduce policies that acknowledge those challenges. And we can advise you how to get the best help with specific issues if you ask us to.

Finally,our Evidence Manager,Colin Jones, is leaving us after just under 10 years with the Federation. AformerWOFighter Controller (he insists on that title and not Aerospace Battle Manager –heistruly acrusty old WO!) in his time with the Federation Colin has been apassionate advocate for the whole serving RAF community and has done an outstanding job for you. We will miss his unique sense of humour and his trenchant views on everything from Welsh rugby to lorry drivers. We wish him and Lynne along and happy retirement on the North East coast.

Enjoy the magazine. |Spring 2018 | ENVOY

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