JOINING FORCES FOR OUR TROOPS

A new book is being launched at Liverpool’s Alamein Barracks on May 29th – “Joining Forces” is a compilation of stories and poems volunteered by people all over the UK. It will raise funds for Operation Shoebox, the charity which sends gift boxes to servicemen and women serving overseas and in Afghanistan.

“It’s a worthy cause that certainly deserves our support,” said Peter Quinn, managing director of United Press which is publishing the book.

Teaming up with Operation Shoebox, the publishers ran a competition to find material for the book, which will be on sale in August 2013 for £7.99 – visit unitedpress.co.uk or operationshoebox.co.uk for further details. They have each won £100 in shopping vouchers for the winners of the 3 categories – under 12s, under 18s and over 18s.

Ian Whiteway, Founder of Operation Shoebox UK, said “it always warms my heart to see the generosity of the British public in supporting our UK troops abroad in active service. We will benefit from every book sold which means more shoeboxes to send to our troops.”

“Operation Shoebox UK would like to thank Peter Quinn, Claire Watson and the staff at United Press for all their hard work in making this idea reality, without their help and expertise we wouldn’t have known where to begin. They have been instrumental in both running the competition and bringing these great poems and short stories to print this book, which we hope will go some way to providing much needed funds for Operation Shoebox UK . If you would like to pre-order copies of this book please go to our website –www.operationshoebox.co.uk/book.order.php

“We’ve received hundreds of entries from people of all ages who’ve written poems and short stories about both military and non military subjects. There were some very touching pieces of work and it’s a pity we can’t include them all. The book has contributions by over 100 people, Joining Forces will be enjoyed by all ages” said Claire Watson, editor of the book.

“Our aim is to encourage people be creative and to ‘give it a go’ – almost all our competitions are free to enter so there’s nothing to lose, our new competition is already open for entries” said Claire. To enter send up to three poems (on any subject) up to 25 lines (including blank lines) and 160 words each, by June 30th 2013 to NPA Free Competition at United Press Ltd, Admail 3735, London, EC1B 1JB or visitwww.unitedpress.co.uk or e-mail your work to info@unitedpress.co.uk or ring 0844 800 9177. To see competitions for younger poets visitwww.youngpoets.co.uk.

The winners in the three categories were presented with their awards at Alamein Barracks.

The 3 category winners are:

Emily Lewis from Cwmdare in Wales aged (Under 12’s category) – FRIENDSHIP

Liam Reynolds from Liverpool in Merseyside (Under 18’s category) – A SHOEBOX AND A SMILE

Mrs Adele Roberts from Trebanos in Wales (Over 18’s category) – WHAT DOES A SOLDIER DO?

You can read the three winning poems below

FRIENDSHIP

We walk together, through the sand,

Near forever, hand in hand,

I am I, you are you,

Though we are different, our friendship is true.

Through dark and stormy weather,

I know that you are here,

When sadness folds around me,

I am I, you are you,

Though we are different,

Our friendship is true.

From walks in the park,

To talks in the dark,

When I feel blue, I can rely on you,

I am I, you are you,

Though we are different, our friendship is true.

Whether a day at the pool, or a day at the school,

We will never cease,

We give each other peace,

I am I, you are you,

Though we are different, our friendship is true.

Together we tread, four footsteps we leave,

Around these four footsteps, our story we weave,

I am I, you are you,

Though we are different, our friendship is true.

Emily Lewis, Age 10 yrs, Aberdare, Wales

A SHOEBOX AND A SMILE

‘Twas the week before Christmas,

No snow, just sand.

Fighting in this foreign land.

Christmas seems so far away,

It’s just an ordinary soldier’s day.

No Christmas tree, no Christmas cake,

Still putting their lives at stake.

Do you have a spare shoebox?

Or maybe some unwanted gifts?

Send it to our troops, giving them a festive lift.

Toothpaste, some jellies or even new socks,

Just sort them out neatly and seal the box.

Another shoebox, for a soldier awaits,

To open on Christmas and enjoy with their mates.

Christmas in Afghan will never be pleasant,

But come on, join in, donate them a present.

It doesn’t take long but it’s sure to bring smiles,

For those not returning home for a short while.

Santa might not visit Afghanistan,

But there’s no reason we can’t give them a festive feel,

Help us to cheer up our soldiers, by supporting the shoebox appeal.

Liam Reynolds, Age 16 yrs, Liverpool, Merseyside

WHAT DOES A SOLDIER DO?

A small child once asked me

Miss, what does a soldier do?

My reply was quite a simple one,

They protect our country, me and you.

The question had me thinking,

Had I answered it correct?

I went home that evening

And researched it more, in depth.

On my return the following day,

I quietly took the child aside.

I said, I have more information

About soldiers far and wide.

As well as protecting our country

And fighting for you and me,

Their job is that of courage,

Of strength, honour and loyalty.

The child just stared, looked at me,

With eyes that opened wide.

She edged her way towards me,

Eager to learn, sat by my side.

I talked of soldiers both far and near,

Avoiding wounds, trauma, blood or war,

For this small child was innocent

And she was the tender age of four.

There are troopers, medics and snipers,

They all fight for right and wrong.

Commandos, marines and engineers,

They are courageous, brave and strong.

A soldier can also be a father,

A mother, a daughter, someone’s son.

They all represent our country,

We should thank each and every one.

The child looked at me once again,

Stood up, smiled and turned to say

Miss, I really enjoyed that story,

I would like to be a soldier, some day.

Adele Roberts, Swansea, Wales

JOINING FORCES FOR OUR TROOPS

A new book is being launched at Liverpool’s Alamein Barracks on May 29th – “Joining Forces” is a compilation of stories and poems volunteered by people all over the UK. It will raise funds for Operation Shoebox, the charity which sends gift boxes to servicemen and women serving overseas and in Afghanistan.

“It’s a worthy cause that certainly deserves our support,” said Peter Quinn, managing director of United Press which is publishing the book.

Teaming up with Operation Shoebox, the publishers ran a competition to find material for the book, which will be on sale in August 2013 for £7.99 – visit unitedpress.co.uk or operationshoebox.co.uk for further details. They have each won £100 in shopping vouchers for the winners of the 3 categories – under 12s, under 18s and over 18s.

Ian Whiteway, Founder of Operation Shoebox UK, said “it always warms my heart to see the generosity of the British public in supporting our UK troops abroad in active service. We will benefit from every book sold which means more shoeboxes to send to our troops.”

“Operation Shoebox UK would like to thank Peter Quinn, Claire Watson and the staff at United Press for all their hard work in making this idea reality, without their help and expertise we wouldn’t have known where to begin. They have been instrumental in both running the competition and bringing these great poems and short stories to print this book, which we hope will go some way to providing much needed funds for Operation Shoebox UK . If you would like to pre-order copies of this book please go to our website –www.operationshoebox.co.uk/book.order.php

“We’ve received hundreds of entries from people of all ages who’ve written poems and short stories about both military and non military subjects. There were some very touching pieces of work and it’s a pity we can’t include them all. The book has contributions by over 100 people, Joining Forces will be enjoyed by all ages” said Claire Watson, editor of the book.

“Our aim is to encourage people be creative and to ‘give it a go’ – almost all our competitions are free to enter so there’s nothing to lose, our new competition is already open for entries” said Claire. To enter send up to three poems (on any subject) up to 25 lines (including blank lines) and 160 words each, by June 30th 2013 to NPA Free Competition at United Press Ltd, Admail 3735, London, EC1B 1JB or visitwww.unitedpress.co.uk or e-mail your work to info@unitedpress.co.uk or ring 0844 800 9177. To see competitions for younger poets visitwww.youngpoets.co.uk.

The winners in the three categories were presented with their awards at Alamein Barracks.

The 3 category winners are:

Emily Lewis from Cwmdare in Wales aged (Under 12’s category) – FRIENDSHIP

Liam Reynolds from Liverpool in Merseyside (Under 18’s category) – A SHOEBOX AND A SMILE

Mrs Adele Roberts from Trebanos in Wales (Over 18’s category) – WHAT DOES A SOLDIER DO?

You can read the three winning poems below

FRIENDSHIP

We walk together, through the sand,

Near forever, hand in hand,

I am I, you are you,

Though we are different, our friendship is true.

Through dark and stormy weather,

I know that you are here,

When sadness folds around me,

I am I, you are you,

Though we are different,

Our friendship is true.

From walks in the park,

To talks in the dark,

When I feel blue, I can rely on you,

I am I, you are you,

Though we are different, our friendship is true.

Whether a day at the pool, or a day at the school,

We will never cease,

We give each other peace,

I am I, you are you,

Though we are different, our friendship is true.

Together we tread, four footsteps we leave,

Around these four footsteps, our story we weave,

I am I, you are you,

Though we are different, our friendship is true.

Emily Lewis, Age 10 yrs, Aberdare, Wales

A SHOEBOX AND A SMILE

‘Twas the week before Christmas,

No snow, just sand.

Fighting in this foreign land.

Christmas seems so far away,

It’s just an ordinary soldier’s day.

No Christmas tree, no Christmas cake,

Still putting their lives at stake.

Do you have a spare shoebox?

Or maybe some unwanted gifts?

Send it to our troops, giving them a festive lift.

Toothpaste, some jellies or even new socks,

Just sort them out neatly and seal the box.

Another shoebox, for a soldier awaits,

To open on Christmas and enjoy with their mates.

Christmas in Afghan will never be pleasant,

But come on, join in, donate them a present.

It doesn’t take long but it’s sure to bring smiles,

For those not returning home for a short while.

Santa might not visit Afghanistan,

But there’s no reason we can’t give them a festive feel,

Help us to cheer up our soldiers, by supporting the shoebox appeal.

Liam Reynolds, Age 16 yrs, Liverpool, Merseyside

WHAT DOES A SOLDIER DO?

A small child once asked me

Miss, what does a soldier do?

My reply was quite a simple one,

They protect our country, me and you.

The question had me thinking,

Had I answered it correct?

I went home that evening

And researched it more, in depth.

On my return the following day,

I quietly took the child aside.

I said, I have more information

About soldiers far and wide.

As well as protecting our country

And fighting for you and me,

Their job is that of courage,

Of strength, honour and loyalty.

The child just stared, looked at me,

With eyes that opened wide.

She edged her way towards me,

Eager to learn, sat by my side.

I talked of soldiers both far and near,

Avoiding wounds, trauma, blood or war,

For this small child was innocent

And she was the tender age of four.

There are troopers, medics and snipers,

They all fight for right and wrong.

Commandos, marines and engineers,

They are courageous, brave and strong.

A soldier can also be a father,

A mother, a daughter, someone’s son.

They all represent our country,

We should thank each and every one.

The child looked at me once again,

Stood up, smiled and turned to say

Miss, I really enjoyed that story,

I would like to be a soldier, some day.

Adele Roberts, Swansea, Wales

First P-8I Maritime Patrol Aircraft Arrives in India

The Indian Navy is scheduled to receive 2 more P-8Is by end of 2013.

The first Boeing [NYSE: BA] P-8I long-range maritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare aircraft arrived on schedule, at India Naval Station Rajali. The P-8I is one of eight aircraft Boeing is building for India as part of a contract awarded in 2009.

The P-8I is the Indian Navy variant of the P-8A Poseidon that Boeing is developing for the U.S. Navy. The P-8I incorporates not only India-unique design features, but also India-built subsystems that are tailored to the country’s maritime patrol requirements.

Final A-10 Thunderbolt II tactical sortie in Europe

The last A-10 Thunderbolt II tactical sortie in Europe was launched from SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany (AFNS).

The airframe belongs to the 52nd Fighter Wing’s 81st Fighter Squadron, which will be retired in June this year.

In the sortie, the three pilots flew the A-10s to train with a new helmet upgrade. The Scorpion Helmet-Mounted Cueing System includes an eyepiece attachment that taps into the data relay and communications systems of the aircraft to project a colour heads-up display to highlight friendly or enemy forces.

The aircraft will be relocated to Moody Air Force Base, Ga., to help fulfil training requirements and force augmentation. The flight for the last four aircraft out of Germany is scheduled for May 17.

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Eurofighter Typhoon Launches Amateur Photography Competition 2013

Winner to be announced during Dubai Air Show

In 2012 a sunset image of a Eurofighter Typhoon, returning to its base at RAF Coningsby from a training sortie, won amateur photographer Gaz West international acclaim and the title of Eurofighter Amateur Photographer of 2012. Now it could be your turn.

Eurofighter PR and Communications is proud to launch the quest to find Gaz’s successor as this year’s Competition is announced today, 14th May 2013. The Competition always attracts a high level of interest with images of the Eurofighter Typhoon coming in from a worldwide collection of keen and skilled amateur photographers.

This year’s Competition will officially open today and will run until 31st October 2013. Lead judge, and an acknowledged expert of Typhoon photography, will be Geoffrey Lee of Plane Focus. He says: “This is the perfect platform to prove that amateur photography can indeed be extraordinary.” Geoffrey points to the front cover of the 2013 Eurofighter calendar as a stunning example of an atmospheric photograph – an image taken over RAF Coningsby by Gaz West who was the winner in the 2012 Competition.

The calendar was released internationally and received incredible feedback, proving that you don’t have to be a professional photographer to take professional images of Typhoon.

This year’s winner will be announced during Dubai Air Show in November 2013. The judging panel, which will include last year’s winner Gaz, will meet at Eurofighter Hallbergmoos to choose the winning photograph. The winner will receive a guided tour of the Eurofighter from a Eurofighter pilot and have their image featured in the 2014 Eurofighter calendar.

The judging panel for the competition will be Geoffrey Lee from Plane Focus Ltd – Eurofighter’s leading Typhoon photographer; Andreas Westphal – Managing Director of Images Art Design; Theodor Benien, Head of PR & Communications for Eurofighter GmbH and Gaz West. Original images of the Eurofighter Typhoon will be accepted from any amateur photographer in accordance with the terms and conditions provided below.

Please send all entries either via email to communications@eurofighter.com or in the post:

Eurofighter Jagdflugzeug GmbH

PR and Communications Department

Am Söldnermoos 17

85399 Hallbergmoos

Germany

Terms and Conditions:

The 2013 Eurofighter Typhoon Amateur Photography Competition will run from the 14th May 2013 to the 31st October 2013. The winner must be an amateur photographer which by definition means: “A person who engages in photography as a pastime rather than as a profession”. The picture must include or relate to the Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft.

The competition entry is limited to one photograph per person. The image size should be around 30×40 cm and must be at a minimum 300dpi in quality.

The winner will receive a guided tour of the Eurofighter Typhoon from a Eurofighter pilot and have their image featured in the 2014 Eurofighter calendar. The winner will also receive a signed and framed copy of their winning image and be invited to sit on the 2014 judging panel. In addition, the top three photographs will be published in Eurofighter World magazine, on thewww.eurofighter.com website and will all receive a 2014 calendar. The ‘Panel’s Choice’ prize will again be awarded to the best young Eurofighter Typhoon photographer for entries from those under the age of 16.

US Navy launches first X-47B from carrier

The X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System demonstrator (UCAS-D) completed its first ever carrier-based catapult launch from USS George H.W. Bush off the coast of Virginia on May 14.

The launch of the X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System demonstrator is the first-ever launch of an unmanned aircraft from a modern aircraft carrier.

The aircraft performed several approaches to the carrier before landing at the Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland, after a 65-minute flight.

Completing another important first for the UCAS-D program, the team demonstrated the ability to precisely navigate the X-47B within the controlled airspace around an aircraft carrier at sea and seamlessly pass control of the air vehicle from a “mission operator” aboard the carrier to one located in the Mission Test Control Center at NAS Patuxent River for landing.

Prior to the catapult launch, the test team also conducted deck-handling and ship-integration testing to demonstrate the capability to safely operate the X-47B in the environment of an aircraft carrier flight deck.

Over the next few weeks, the X-47B aircraft will fly approaches to the ship multiple times and eventually land on the flight deck.

The UCAS team will conduct additional shore-based testing with the X-47B at NAS Patuxent River in the coming months before its final carrier-based arrested landing demonstration later this summer.

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Lockheed Martin Demonstrates ADAM Ground-Based Laser System

The prototype laser system has destroyed eight small-caliber rocket targets in flight at a range of approximately 1.5 kilometers (0.9 miles) in tests conducted in March and April 2013.

Lockheed Martin is developing the transportable, ground-based ADAM laser system to provide a defense against short-range threats, including improvised rockets such as Qassam rockets, unmanned aerial systems and small boats.

The tests represent increasingly complex scenarios against representative airborne targets. In 2012, the system successfully destroyed 11 small-caliber rocket targets in simulated flight tethered to a cable at a range of approximately 2 kilometers (1.2 miles). The system also successfully engaged an unmanned aerial system target in flight at a range of approximately 1.5 kilometers (0.9 miles) in 2012.

Designed for short-range defense of high-value assets including forward operating bases, the ADAM system’s 10-kilowatt fiber laser is engineered to destroy targets up to 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) away. The system precisely tracks targets in cluttered optical environments and has a tracking range of more than 5 kilometers (3.1 miles). The system is being designed to be flexible enough to operate against rockets as a standalone system and to engage unmanned aerial systems with an external cue. Lockheed Martin based the design on commercial hardware components paired with its laser beam control architecture and software to provide the performance needed for these types of threats without the cost and time required for full custom development. The system is integrated in a container that is mounted on a trailer, making it readily transportable.

“High-energy lasers complement kinetic energy systems and have unique attributes, including very low cost per engagement, a virtually unlimited ‘magazine’ and minimal collateral damage,” said Doug Graham, Lockheed Martin’s vice president of advanced programs for Strategic and Missile Defense Systems.

Lockheed Martin has been a pioneer in the development and demonstration of high-energy laser capabilities for more than 30 years and has made key advances in areas such as precision pointing and control, line-of-sight stabilization and adaptive optics.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=kgUnDeED9MM%3Ffeature%3Dplayer_embedded

B-52 to Receive Communications Upgrade

Boeing is providing an upgraded communications system for U.S. Air Force B-52 bombers that will enable aircrews to send and receive information via satellite links.

This will allow crews to change mission plans and retarget weapons in flight and better interact with aircraft and ground forces.

To date, mission information has been uploaded to a B-52 only before a flight, not during. The upgrade is one of the largest improvements to the venerable bomber fleet, will therefore significantly improve B-52 effectiveness and flexibility.

The upgrade will be done through a new $76 million Combat Network Communications Technology (CONECT) contract that covers low rate initial production of the first CONECT kits, along with spare parts and maintenance and service at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla. System installation will begin during the latter part of 2014.

Other improvements will include a state-of-the-art computing network with workstations at each crew position and an integrated digital interphone with increased capacity; it will enable crew members to talk to one another on headsets with noise-cancelling technology.

X-51A Waverider achieves history in final flight

The final flight of the X-51A Waverider test program has accomplished a breakthrough, reaching Mach 5.1 over the Pacific Ocean on May 1 a little after 10 a.m. Pacific Time.

The cruiser traveled over 230 nautical miles in just over six minutes over the Point Mugu Naval Air Warfare Centre Sea Range. It was the longest of the four X-51A test flights and the longest air-breathing hypersonic flight ever.

The X-51A took off from the Air Force Test Centre at Edwards AFB, California under the wing of a B-52H Stratofortress. It was released at approximately 50,000 feet and accelerated to Mach 4.8 in about 26 seconds powered by a solid rocket booster. After separating from the booster, the cruiser’s scramjet engine then lit and accelerated to Mach 5.1 at 60,000 feet.

After exhausting its 240-second fuel supply, the vehicle continued to send back telemetry data until it splashed down into the ocean and was destroyed as designed. All told, 370 seconds of data was collected from the experiment.

This was the last of four test vehicles originally conceived when the $300 million technology demonstration program began in 2004. The program objective was to prove the viability of air-breathing, high-speed scramjet propulsion.

The X-51A is unique primarily due to its use of a hydrocarbon fuel in its supersonic combustion ramjet, or Scramjet, engine. Other vehicles have achieved hypersonic – generally defined as speeds above Mach 5 – flight with the use of hydrogen fuel. Without any moving parts, hydrocarbon fuel is injected into the scramjet’s combustion chamber where it mixes with the air rushing through the chamber and is ignited in a process likened to lighting a match in a hurricane.

The use of logistically supportable hydrocarbon fuel is widely considered vital for the practical application of hypersonic flight.

As a technology demonstration program, there is no immediate successor to the X-51A program. However, the Air Force will continue hypersonic research and the successes of the X-51A will pay dividends to the High Speed Strike Weapon program currently in its early formation phase with AFRL.

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