RAF Marham New Station Commander
On Friday 11th October Royal Air Force Marham saw the arrival of the new Station Commander as Air Commodore David Cooper hands over command of the base to Group Captain Harv Smyth.
Air Commodore Cooper has seen a very busy period at Marham during his command with the Station continuing its support to operations in Afghanistan. He saw the future of the base secured at the beginning of his tour with the announcement that Marham would remain open and then the subsequent visit by the Defence Secretary Phillip Hammond to advise personnel that RAF Marham would become the future home of the new Lightning II aircraft.
When asked what he would remember most about Marham Group Captain Cooper said “The people that I have met both at RAF Marham and in the wider community of West Norfolk have made this tour really memorable. I have been overwhelmed by the support of the local community and the dedication and hard work of all those people at RAF Marham. Both myself and my family have enjoyed living in West Norfolk and the memories of some of the wonderful places that we have visited around the area will stay with us for a very long time.”
Group Captain Smyth arrives at Marham after a tour in America where he worked with the American and British Services with the start of pilot and engineer training for the new Lightning II aircraft that will be based at RAF Marham in the future. He has seen many Operational tours as a pilot flying the Harrier aircraft. Group Captain Smyth will now transfer to the Tornado GR4 aircraft after completing a conversion course ready to take over command of RAF Marham.
He said, “I am really looking forward to my tour of RAF Marham as Station Commander during what will be the start of an exciting period for the base as it looks forward to the future and the arrival of the Lightning II aircraft. Of course the current focus remains on Afghanistan and the continuing role of the Tornado GR4 in support of Operations. I know that the support that the base receives from the local community has been fantastic and I am also looking forward to attending events around the area and to meet the people of West Norfolk.”
The official handover took place at the base with the ceremonial handover of the ‘Marham Silver Bull.’