Station Commander’s Foreword

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Let me start by wishing you all a very Happy New Year: I hope that you had the opportunity to enjoy a well deserved break with your family and friends over the Christmas period, and that you are still wedded to your New Years’ Resolutions!

2013 finished on a massive high with the Tornado Detachment in Afghanistan winning the Millie Award for Best British Military Unit – a thoroughly well deserved honour, that is not only recognition of our teams that have been deployed at Kandahar Air Base, but also of those who remain at home here at Marham in the supporting role. Well done to all. For the Station, 2014 has started at a frenetic pace, focussed primarily on II(AC) Sqn departing for Afghanistan, alongside IX(B) Sqn’s deployment to Nellis Air Force Base in USA to participate in Exercise RED FLAG – the world’s largest and most complicated air exercise. Meanwhile, from a JSF Lightning perspective, momentum is very definitely gathering pace regards planning for infrastructure redevelopment work. All in all, a very busy start to the year, which was brought into stark focus on the evening of 7th January when an HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter from RAF Lakenheath crashed on the north Norfolk coast, killing all four crew members. Having just this afternoon returned from the memorial service at RAF Lakenheath for their fallen, which was an overwhelmingly poignant event, it reminds me once again of the dangerous work we in the military do, both in training and whilst on operations. Our heartfelt condolences go out to the families and friends of the crew, and I would like to offer my personal thanks to the local communities of Cley-Next-The-Sea and Salthouse who have provided unstinting support to the joint RAF Marham and Lakenheath team who have been involved with the Post Crash Management effort. This event, whilst tragic, has demonstrated the phenomenal relationships we have with our local community and the broader county of Norfolk, and for this I am extremely grateful.

This next year will no doubt continue at this pace, with challenges aplenty; however, I am forever confident that the RAF Marham team can rise to any test with ease. With this in mind, I look forward to working with you