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Old 1st Mar 2019, 10:43
  #280 (permalink)  
BVRAAM
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Down South
Posts: 130
I was there all day yesterday, and I stayed until the airfield closed. The location where I was, went from about a thousand people and several hundred cars at its peak, to only a few cars and about six of us remaining when the second F-35 of the 2nd and last pair of the day shut its engine down.

I didn't get the best view of the elephant walk at the end because I opted to not go to the centre line, but the angle wouldn't have been great anyway - the RAF photographers had that privilege and it is one they earned.

It was a bittersweet day, a moment of happiness and a moment of sadness that the end is near. The engineers should be incredibly proud of themselves to get 11 out of 12 available jets airborne this late in to their service life, it was an outstanding achievement. The U/S jet was actually the Bat special, but as the Squadron would say: There's Always Bloody Something!
Oh, and it wouldn't be the Tornado if at least one of the 11 jets didn't have an IFE during the event and had to RTB early! It lost something on the runway as well, and I saw it being towed back to the HAS Site after the others had taxied in.
To everybody at RAF Marham who made this happen yesterday, thank you so much. I think the nation can be incredibly proud of you and I hope your hangovers aren't too terrible this morning after that massive hangar party last night!

I think it's now time to reflect over the many years of constant operations and Cold War deterrence that the Tornado Force has served on - both the GR Force and the Air Defence Force - and to remember those who sadly did not return home. Thank you all.
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