Beer for the troops.

John A Silkstone

Mi General
MI.Net Member
Jul 11, 2004
RAF asks for 'beer money' donations

Senior RAF officers have launched an appeal for donations so British troops returning from Afghanistan can enjoy a cold beer on their flight home.

British military bases in southern Afghanistan are alcohol-free zones, making 'beer for the boys' on the flight home particularly welcome. A campaign dubbed ''Beer for the boys'' was launched two years ago to provide a can of lager or bitter for servicemen and women flying back to the UK at the end of gruelling six-month tours.

Generous breweries have already donated thousands of cans, but the team that runs RAF passenger flights to and from Afghanistan would like more so all troops coming home can be offered a drink.

''I felt it would be a nice thing to do after the guys had done their time in theatre, on behalf of a grateful nation and the RAF,'' he said.

''The principle is that a single can of cold beer thrust into the hand of a soldier once the TriStar is safely away from the ground and out of harm's way marks the point at which he knows he is going home after six months of fighting.

''It is just a token, but an important one.''

British military bases in southern Afghanistan are alcohol-free zones so the beers are particularly welcome.

At the moment 216 Squadron is part way through the major two-month operation – known as a Rip, or ''relief in place'' – to replace the 9,000 UK troops who are now finishing their tours.

Dutch brewery Grolsch has donated 10,000 cans, enough for all the personnel coming home after six months away from their families.

But Wing Cdr Chadwick would like to be able to offer troops a beer on every military flight out of Afghanistan.

''It would be nice to do it all year round, not just for the Rip,'' he said.

On average 216 Squadron carries about 1,000 servicemen and women a week between Kandahar Airfield in southern Afghanistan and RAF Brize Norton.

When the Rip is not on, many are returning home part way through their tour for a fortnight of R&R (rest and recuperation).

Donations to ''Beer for the boys'' have previously been made by the brewer Scottish and Newcastle, veterans' associations and City of London guilds.

Anyone who wants to contribute to the ''Beer for the boys'' fund can send a cheque, made payable to ''SIF Funds, RAF Brize Norton'' and with ''Beer for the boys'' written on the back, to Wing Cdr Chadwick at 216 Squadron, RAF Brize Norton, Oxfordshire OX18 3LX.

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