Op TARVILLE Visit 2016
Following a tragic accident on 21 October 2015 at Redmere near Ely, when a United States Marine Corps F/A-18C crashed on Cambridgeshire farmland, members of the community who supported and assisted the military and emergency services were invited for a visit to RAF Marham.
RAF Marham is responsible for leading military Post Crash Management activities in Norfolk, Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire. This duty involves bringing together around 40 different military and civilian agencies, with the following aims: ensuring that evidence is preserved for the investigation through guarding and aircraft wreckage recovery; protecting the local population from the health, safety and environmental risks; and, rectification of the site. In this case, the RAF worked closely with the United States Navy, United States Marine Corps, United States Air Force, local emergency services and the Environmental Agency amongst others to provide co-ordination, support and post-crash management expertise. The community living near the site also came together and provided an enormous amount of help and support to the personnel that deployed during the emergency response. As a thank you for their contribution and acknowledgement of their support, RAF Marham’s Station Commander Gp Capt Rich Davies invited the residents, US Service personnel, local Fire, Police and Environment Agency staff for a Station visit and lunch in the Officers’ Mess with some of the key RAF personnel who also helped with the recovery.
The day began with a talk from the Station Warrant Officer, WO Roberts, historian and curator of RAF Marham’s Aviation Heritage Centre and an opportunity to look around the museum. The Station celebrates its centenary this year and the museum has exhibits that provide an overview of the significant historical events over the past 100 years. Following lunch, an update on RAF Marham’s broader activities was presented by Wg Cdr Melville, Officer Commanding Operations Wing. Squadron Leader Donnellan, one of the Post Crash Management Incident Officers, followed with a presentation about the vital work of the aircraft recovery operation and the role that RAF Marham played during this time. During the afternoon the guests were treated to a look around a Tornado GR4, a visit to a Squadron and finally a windshield tour of the base. A small community in Cambridgeshire came together with many military and civilian agencies in tragic circumstances and, during a challenging period, worked closely to ensure that the dignity of the pilot, who sadly died at the site, was given the upmost honour and respect. Thank you to you all.