Marham MET Office

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You may have seen an increase in the number of Royal Navy personnel around Marham recently and wondered; why are they here?

The reason we are here is to initially gain experience working with and briefing Fast Jet Operations as part of the training and development of our Officers and NCOs from the Royal Navy’s Hydrographic, Meteorological and Oceanographic branch. This will lead towards the manning of the future aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth and the creation of the RN and RAF Lighting II Squadrons here at RAF Marham. Though these dates are still a few years away, HMS Queen Elizabeth will start to crew up in 18 months time for its initial sea acceptance trials. We need to start to grow and develop our personnel over the next few years to be ready and prepared for the first deck landing through to the development of Carrier Strike Operations in the future.

Following an agreement between the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force a staggered handover of the running of the Met Office and the responsibilities for flying Operations and safety at RAF Marham was implemented. Initially this was myself and Lt Cdr Newman the new SMETO in April followed by two more Officers and seven NCO’s over the last few months. The UK Met Office is retaining two positions with Mike Nickolson and Rob Ashwell remaining and continuing the long and respected presence of the UK Met Office at Marham. We will be aiming to develop and extend our briefing and tactical products to expand the current customer service and look ahead to new and developing requirements. We have already setup our own webpage on DII and are looking at putting weather forecast for the local area on the Marham Hub for families to access on the www.

Since we arrived the welcome and support we have received from the Squadrons, Wings and Flights has been second to none and helped us to quickly integrate and form good working relations. We have already started to from relationships with local Scout and cadet groups and are looking to do the same with local schools as previously we have made school visits done talks and weather experiments as part of the different key stages.

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