IX(B) Squadron Homecoming Parade
Personnel from RAF Marham’s IX(B) Squadron paraded through the streets of Downham Market to the Town Hall Car Park where a number of the Squadron received their Operation HERRICK medal.
People from Downham Market and local villages lined the street alongside families and friends of the personnel on parade to welcome the Squadron home from their four month deployment to Afghanistan.
The Squadron returned from Afghanistan last week after a successful final deployment where they have been supporting ISAF and Afghan forces by providing close air support and reconnaissance missions in the area flying just over 2,000 hours during their four months away. Before returning home they handed over the responsibility of the final deployment to their colleagues from 31 Squadron.
Number IX(B) has close ties with the town of Downham Market and this was the third homecoming parade that has been held there in the last four years by kind permission of the Downham Market Town Council. As well as the homecoming parade the Squadron were also given the Freedom of the Town. The Mayor Cllr John Doyle commented ‘I can think of no finer recipient than IX(B) Squadron to be awarded Downham Market’s first ever Freedom of the Town.
Officer Commanding IX(B) Squadron, Wing Commander Chris Snaith said, “Today’s parade has been fantastic and to march up the street to the applause of all of the people that turned out to welcome us home was truly humbling. The support that we receive from the people of Downham Market and the wider community of West Norfolk is very much appreciated by the whole Squadron whilst we are away and we are extremely proud and honoured to have also been granted the Freedom of this wonderful town.”