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Group's special visit to 'impressive' RAF Marham base

PUBLISHED: 10:44 22 June 2017 | UPDATED: 10:44 22 June 2017

LAS members with RAF Marham’s gate guardian Tornado. Picture: Andy McQuat

LAS members with RAF Marham's gate guardian Tornado. Picture: Andy McQuat

Andy McQuat

Members of Lowestoft Aviation Society recently visited RAF Marham.

Bob Collis’ presentation to the Tornado Navigator. Picture: Andy McQuatBob Collis’ presentation to the Tornado Navigator. Picture: Andy McQuat

A Lowestoft Aviation Society (LAS) spokesman said: “LAS members were highly privileged to be their guests for a most enjoyable day. In his welcome briefing, the Station Engagements Officer summed up the raison d’etre of RAF Marham which is ‘to deliver battle winning Air Power for current and future operations.’

“To that end the base is undergoing a major upgrade of the site for the incoming F-35B Lightning and will become a unique centre of excellence in engineering for both Royal Air Force and Royal Navy versions of the aircraft. The first F-35B’s will arrive at Marham in early 2018 and 617 “Dambusters” Squadron will stand up in August 2018.”

RAF Marham is currently home to three squadrons of the multi-role capable Tornado GR.4 aircraft. A Tornado Navigator described the capabilities of his aircraft in a highly illuminating briefing.

The Society’s historian Bob Collis handed over to the Tornado Navigator, whose great-uncle had flown in the German Luftwaffe in the Second World War, a framed picture of the Dornier 217 aircraft in which he lost his life when he was brought down in 1943 off Lowestoft.

The LAS spokesman added: “A tour of the Royal Air Force Marham Aviation Heritage Centre told the story of the development of the base from its establishment in 1916 and the beginnings of aerial warfare, putting into context Marham’s forthcoming new role.

“The Centre’s display of exhibits was brought to life by the excellent narrative so ably delivered by the Centre’s curator Steve Roberts MBE. He detailed RAF Marham’s history, with particular emphasis on its participation in the Second World War bombing of Europe, its role during the Cold War and in more recent times. The Heritage Centre is a credit to its founders and organisers and to its volunteer team who serve at RAF Marham.

“A drive around the perimeter road gave an impressive overview of the early stages of the base development project in progress. The visit ended with a group photograph with the Gate guardian Tornado and a thank you to our generously accommodating hosts,” the spokesman added.

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