NFF Christmas Closures
The NFF office will be shut from 11:30 on Friday 20 December, reopening at 08:30 on 2 January. All e-mails and telephone messages will be responded to upon our return. Click here for a list of emergency contact details.
Rebalancing the Armed Forces Allowances Package: Update
Allowance changes implemented in 2011 and 2012, to deliver Strategic Defence and Security Review savings, have had a greater impact on Service personnel and their families than originally intended. As a result, it has been decided to rebalance the allowance package so it remains affordable and delivers a fair effect given the choices that must be made. The enhancements are effective from 1 December 2013. Click here for details.
Independent Report Praises MOD Reform
Significant progress has been made to transform the MOD into a more professional and responsible organisation, an independent report has said. In a follow-up to his major 2011 review, Lord Levene has praised the Department for embracing complex and radical change to improve both efficiency and financial management. Click here for details.
HMS ILLUSTRIOUS in the Philippines
Since arriving in the Philippines, HMS ILLUSTRIOUS and her 'floating warehouse' of emergency supplies have been a hub of activity. Click here for details.
Sending Christmas Cheer
TV presenter Lorraine Kelly and Father Christmas joined Service personnel to launch the uk4u Thanks! Christmas Box campaign. The charity is sending more than 18,500 Christmas boxes full of festive cheer to Service personnel across the world, who are hard at work away from their loved ones. Click here for details, including a video.
Scottish Independence Referendum: Guidance for Personnel Wishing to Vote
The referendum on Scottish independence will be held on 18 September 2014. Click here for guidance about electoral registration and voting. In broad terms, the key factor determining whether Service personnel can vote is whether they are registered to vote in Scotland. It does not depend on origins, a sense of identity, or association with a unit traditionally regarded as Scottish.
Transition to a Single Warrant Officer Rate
From April 2014, the Royal Navy (with the exception of the Royal Marines) will start the transition to a single Warrant Officer (WO) rate. This means that the current WO1 rate will become the only WO rate at the end of the transition. Existing WO2s will remain eligible for promotion to WO1 and continue to function in their roles as WO2 until selected for promotion, they reach their retirement age, or apply for release. Click here for details.
Standard Learning Credits Scheme: Extended to Reserve Personnel
The “Reserves in the Future Force 2020: Valuable and Valued” White Paper made a commitment to allow certain Reserve personnel to claim Standard Learning Credits from 1 April 2014. Extending the scheme will encourage Reservists to enhance their educational and vocational achievements to the mutual benefit of Defence, the individual and their employer. Click here for details.
Yule the Waves: Send in your Festive Photos
'Tis the season to be jolly... this year, as well as the Christmas messages the Navy send out to families from personnel deployed away from home, they would also like to share families’ festive messages. If you have a family member away from home over Christmas, send the Navy your festive image and message and they will share it in the official Royal Navy Flickr channel. Click here for further details and important guidance.
Christmas Events Near You
There are lots of family events taking place in the lead up to Christmas, in communities up and down the country. Click here to view the Royal Navy events calendar; events are being added daily.
Members of the public are being asked to show their support for our troops through Service charities at Christmas, rather than overloading the British Forces Post Office with unsolicited mail to Afghanistan. Click here for details.
Last Posting Dates for Christmas
Click here for guidance on posting letters, worldwide parcels, letters to Santa Claus, and mail to BFPO addresses.
Mail to HMS ILLUSTRIOUS
There is a free mail service running for HMS ILLUSTRIOUS whilst it is on Operations in the Philippians. Mail should be addressed to ‘OP PATWIN, BFPO 305’. Click here for guidance on addressing mail.
Record a Christmas Message: Portsmouth
The British Forces Broadcasting Service (BFBS) will be in Portsmouth on Saturday 14 December for families who wish to record a Christmas messages for their loved ones away on deployed. The recording will take place at the Cockleshell Community Resource Centre, Henderson Road, Eastney, PO4 9SJ, from 12:00 – 14:00. For further details contact Lynda Pearson: 023 9254 5900.
BFBS will then head to the Victory Club at HMS Nelson, Portsmouth, for the event for HMS ILLUSTRIOUS families. Any HMS ILLUSTRIOUS families not attending this event are welcome to go to the Cockleshell to record a message. If you are attending the HMS ILLUSTRIOUS event, you need to call the Gosport Community Resource Team on: 023 9254 5900 to provide travel details.
HASC Christmas Closures
The Housing Allocations Service Centre (HASC) telephone lines will close at 12:00 on Thursday 19 December, reopening at 08:30 on 6 January 2014. Move In and Move Out appointments will also not be available during this period. The maintenance helpdesks will remain open for the duration of the Christmas period.
Naval Personal Family Service & Royal Marines Welfare (NPFS & RMW) Christmas Closures
• Eastern Area Office - HMS NELSON - Tel: 023 9272 2712 - After Hours 023 9272 6159. Closes for Christmas at 16:30 on 24 December, reopening at 08:00 on 2 January.
• Western Area Office - HMS DRAKE - Tel: 01752 555 041 - After Hours 01752 555220. Closes for Christmas at 16:30 on 24 December, reopening at 08:00 on 2 January.
• Northern Area Office - Helensburgh - Tel: 01436 672 798 - After Hours 01436 674321 (Ext: 4005). Closes for Christmas at 12:00 on 24 December, reopening at 08:30 on 3 January.
New Twitter Service for Family Accommodation
A new Twitter hashtag has been set up for Service Family Accommodation (SFA) residents. Those with Twitter accounts can search for #MODSFA for the latest news and information about SFA, as well as handy hints and tips and useful reminders. This is an extension to the DIO Twitter account launched earlier this year.