RAF Marham is home to the frontline squadrons of the RAF’s Tornado GR4 Force, which will stand down at the end of March 2019. The Tornado Force has been around since 1982. In that time the aircraft have been at the forefront of all recent conflicts in which British forces have been involved. Beyond flying, the station is also home to the Tactical Imagery-Intelligence Wing (TIW), the Tornado GR Force HQ, No. 3 (RAF) Force Protection Wing HQ, No. 93 Expeditionary Armament Squadron, No. 2620 (County of Norfolk) Sqn RAuxAF Regiment, and a plethora of engineering support functions ranging from deep maintenance to front line support.
Furthermore, the F-35 Lightning Force has now started to arrive at the airfield, 617 Squadron has now started flying operations with 9 F-35Bs, 809 Squadron (RN) and 207 Squadron (RAF) will stand up in 2019, 207 Sqn will act as the Operational Conversion Unit (OCU). Extensive infrastructure changes across the base have been taking place to accommodate the new aircraft.
The Marham Wing
- IX (B) Squadron - Tornado GR4 (stand down March 2019)
- 17 (R) TES - Lightning II*
- 31 Squadron - Tornado GR4 (stand down March 2019)
- 207 Squadron - Lightning II / Lightning OCU
- 617 Squadron - Lightning II
- 809 Naval Air Squadron - Lightning II**
*Based at Edwards AFB. **Due on station in 2019
In March 2019 the withdrawal of the Tornado Force at RAF Marham will be complete. After a series of public relations exercises involving the last few Tornados go on a tour of the UK in the south of England, north of England and Scotland, a mass flypast of 9 Tornados was arranged on the 28th February. The 9-ship performed a flypast RAF Cranwell before doing a series of passes at RAF Marham. A vast crowd of people gathered around the airfield to witness the last mass takeoff of 11 of the 15 servicable Tornados, unfortunatley the specially marked 9 Squadron jet was unservicable. Those who were there, thank the Tornado Force, RAF Marham and espcially Station Commander Cas Townsend for making the whole day possible. Sadly this will be my last chance to photograph RAF Tornados flying, it has been a mighty fine jet - long live the Tonka