RAF Marham future safeguarded

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RAF Marham is set to be the new home of four Lightning II stealth combat aircraft after the Ministry of Defence signed the contract last week.

Helping to secure the long-term suture of the base, the Defence Minister Philip Dunne said the deal will “cement the central role of Norfolk in military aviation.”

South West Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss welcomed the announcement, which comes after four years of campaigning alongside fellow MPs, local councillors, residents, businesses and the media to protect the base.

She said: “This is excellent news for Norfolk. The Lightning II will be both operated and supported from RAF Marham. RAF staff, families and civilians employed at the base are a great asset to the area.

“The base really is at the forefront of UK military activity with personnel from Marham continuing to provide considerable operational support in regions around the globe.”

She added: “The arrival of the Lightning II will protect the fantastic job opportunities and significant economic benefits for the local community in Norfolk.”

The Make It Marham Campaign was launched at the end of 2010 with the aim of keeping the Tornado aircraft at RAF Marham, after they were originally scheduled to relocate to Lossiemouth in Scotland.

With the Tornado’s soon to retire, the focus was very much on securing the long term future of the base when the Joint Strike Fighter Aircraft (JSF) Lightning II came into operation in 2018.

In 2013 the Secretary of State for Defence came to RAF Marham to meet Elizabeth and personnel to confirm that the JSF Lightning II will be based at Marham.

The four Lightning II stealth combat aircraft are due to arrive at RAF Marham in 2018.