RAF Marham
RAF Marham, ( IATA: KNF, ICAO: EGYM) is a Royal Air Force station, a military airbase, near the village of Marham in the English county of Norfolk, East Anglia. It is home to No. 138 Expeditionary Air Wing (138 EAW), and as such, is one of the RAFs "Main Operating Bases". No 138 EAW houses four squadrons of Panavia Tornado GR4/GR4A Aircraft. The station crest depicts a blue Bull, this was awarded with the arrival of nuclear capability in 1957, and the station motto is simply Deter; the glaring bull symbolises a deterrent which aptly refers to the acquisition of a nuclear deterrent capability - hence the motto "Deter".

History

Beginnings
Opened in 1916, close to the former Royal Naval Air Station Narborough, later RAF Narborough, Marham was opened in August 1916 as a military night landing ground on an 80-acre (320,000 m 2) site within the boundary of the present day RAF Marham. In 1916 the aerodrome was handed over to the Royal Flying Corps. The aerodrome was closed in 1919 when the last units moved out.

Rearmament
In 1935 work started on a new airfield, this became active on 1 April 1937, with a resident heavy bomber unit from within 3 Group, RAF Bomber Command. The first squadron, No 38, arrived in May 1937 with Fairey Hendon bombers. In June No. 115 Squadron RAF re-formed at Marham with the Handley Page Harrow while 38 Squadron received Wellington I bombers in December 1938, followed in 1939 by 115 Squadron. During March 1944, Marham closed for the construction of new concrete runways, perimeter track, and dispersal areas, marking the end of its wartime operations.

Post War
In the postwar period the airfield was home to RAF units operating the Boeing Washington aircraft, and later the V-bomber force and tankers: Vickers Valiant and Handley Page Victor. The station is also one of the few large enough for the operation of United States Air Force Boeing B-52 and a number of these aircraft visited on exercises in the 1970s and 1980s. During 1977, 24 Hardened Aircraft Shelters were constructed to house future strike aircraft, which would eventually see the arrival of the Panavia Tornado in 1982. These shelters were equipped with the US Weapon Storage Security System (WS3), each able to store 4 WE.177 nuclear bombs. No. 138 Expeditionary Air Wing was formed at Marham on 1 April 2006 encompassing most of the non-formed unit personnel on the station. The EAW does not include the flying units at the station. The current Station Commander is dual-hatted; as the commander of the Wing and Station.

Current occupation

Wings
Six Wings are currently lodged at RAF Marham:
  • Operations Wing (Ops Wg)
  • Base Support Wing (BSW)
  • Depth Support Wing (DSW)
  • Forward Support Wing (FSW)
  • Tactical Imagery Intelligence Wing
  • 3(RAF) Force Protection Wing


Squadrons
  • No. 2 Squadron RAF - operating Tornado GR4/GR4A
  • No. IX Squadron RAF - operating Tornado GR4/GR4A
  • No. 13 Squadron RAF - operating Tornado GR4/GR4A
  • No. 31 Squadron RAF - operating Tornado GR4/GR4A
The GR4A is the reconnaissance variant of the Panavia Tornado, however the modern reconnaissance equipment used on the Tornado is interchangeable between the GR4 and GR4A variants and as such each squadron uses a mix of the two variants( the reconnaissance equipment originally used in the GR4A variant is now obsolete.)
  • No 93 (Expeditionary Armament) Squadron
Formerly the Tactical Armament Squadron (TAS), its Mission statement is "To deliver and develop specialist, expeditionary armament capability to support UK defence policy". It has approximately 130 staff and is a sub unit of No 42 (Expeditionary Support) Wing.
  • No 2620 (County of Norfolk) Squadron Royal Auxiliary Air Force Regiment (2620 RAuxAF Regt)


Other units
  • Tornado Technical Services (a joint RAF BAES team).


Supported units
RAF Marham is "parent" to
  • RAF Holbeach Bombing Range
  • RAF Neatishead


Former squadrons

Squadron Present Aircraft No. 12 Squadron RAF 1993”“1994 Panavia Tornado No. 15 Squadron RAF 1950”“1951 Avro Lincoln No. 27 Squadron RAF 1983”“1993 Panavia Tornado No. 35 Squadron RAF 1951”“1956 Boeing Washington, English Electric Canberra No. 38 Squadron RAF 1937”“1940 Fairey Hendon, Vickers Wellington No. 39 Squadron RAF 1993”“2006 English Electric Canberra. No. 44 Squadron RAF 1946”“1951 Avro Lincoln, Boeing Washington No. 49 Squadron RAF 1961”“1965 Vickers Valiant No. 51 Squadron RAF 1917”“1919 RAF F.E.2b No. 55 Squadron RAF 1966”“1993 Handley Page Victor No. 57 Squadron RAF 1951-1951 Avro Lincoln, Boeing Washington No. 57 Squadron RAF 1966”“1986 Handley Page Victor No. 90 Squadron RAF 1950”“1956 Avro Lincoln, Boeing Washington, English Electric Canberra No. 100 Squadron RAF 1976”“1982 English Electric Canberra No. 105 Squadron RAF 1942”“1944 de Havilland Mosquito No. 109 Squadron RAF 1943”“1944 de Havilland Mosquito No. 115 Squadron RAF 1937”“1941 Fairey Hendon, Handley Page Harrow, Vickers Wellington No. 115 Squadron RAF 1950”“1957 Avro Lincoln, Boeing Washington, English Electric Canberra No. 139 Squadron RAF 1942”“1943 De Havilland Mosquito No. 148 Squadron RAF 1956”“1965 Vickers Valiant No. 149 Squadron RAF 1950-1950 Avro Lincoln No. 207 Squadron RAF 1951”“1956 Boeing Washington, English Electric Canberra No. 207 Squadron RAF 1956”“1965 Vickers Valiant No. 214 Squadron RAF 1956”“1965 Vickers Valiant No. 214 Squadron RAF 1966”“1977 Handley Page Victor No. 218 Squadron RAF 1940”“1942 Vickers Wellington, Short Stirling No. 242 Squadron RAF 1959”“1964 Bristol Bloodhound Surface to air missile No. 617 Squadron RAF 1983”“1994 Panavia Tornado GR1 No 232 OCU Handley Page Victor K2

Building Activity

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