#1579 RAF Marham, Home of the UK Lightning Force

RAF Marham, Home of the UK Lightning Force
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£10.00 €11.75 $12.79
43.8 cm x 29.2 cm
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F-35B Lightning
809 Sqn; 617 Sqn; 207 Sqn; 3 FPW HQ
RAF Marham
UK - Navy; UK - Air Force
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Squadron Prints Lithograph No. 1579 - ZM152 '018', F-35B Lighting, RAF Marham, Home of the UK Lightning Force.

Royal Air Force Marham is home to the UK’s Lightning Force and serves under the command of No. 1 Group within Air Command and currently comprises two F-35B squadrons, Force Protection Headquarters and associated engineering, operations and base support functions as well as lodger units. No. 617 (The Dambusters) Squadron was the RAF’s first F-35B squadron, reforming in April 2018, having trained at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, South Carolina. 617 Squadron was formed in 1943 for the specific task of attacking three major dams which provided water and power to one of Germany’s major industrial regions. Under the codename Operation CHASTISE, the Squadron’s specially-modified Avro Lancaster B MkIIIs delivered Barnes Wallis’ “bouncing bomb” to its intended targets on the night of 16 May 1943, breaching two out of the three dams and causing catastrophic flooding to the Ruhr valley. The first 617 Squadron F-35B arrived at RAF Marham on 6 June 2018 and the Squadron was declared combat ready on 10 January 2019. The second of RAF Marham’s F-35B squadrons is No. 207 Squadron and is a direct descendant of No. 7 Squadron, Royal Naval Air Service, which pioneered night bombing techniques in the First World War. Formed on 1 April 1918, the Squadron flew 4563 missions over Germany (suffering 954 fatalities) in Manchester and Lancaster bombers during the Second World War, before moving to RAF Marham in the 1950s as part of the “V Force” equipped with Valiants. On 1 August 2019, No. 207 Squadron was stood up as the United Kingdom’s F-35 Lightning Operational Conversion Unit. Jointly manned by both Royal Air Force and Royal Navy personnel, 617 Squadron, 207 Squadron and RAF Marham personnel supported the first embarkation on HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH off the East Coast of the United States of America for five weeks in October and November 2019. The test was part of the United Kingdom’s Carrier Strike Group deployment known as WESTLANT 19. The purpose of the test was to conduct the first operational flying trials of United Kingdom F-35Bs from a Queen Elizabeth Class Carrier. This experience was highly successful and sets the foundation for 617 Squadron’s future training onboard for Carrier Strike Group 21. In 2023, No. 809 Squadron will re-form at RAF Marham as the Lightning Force’s second operational squadron. First formed in January 1941 with Fairey Fulmars, No. 809 Squadron flew from HMS VICTORIOUS, ATTACKER and STALKER during the Second World War on operations in occupied Norway, the Mediterranean, and the Far East. Throughout the Cold War, No. 809 Squadron operated the Blackburn Buccaneer from RAF Lossiemouth, HMS HERMES and RAF Honington, before re-equipping with the Sea Harrier FRS Mk.1 and returning to HMS HERMES to take part in the Falklands War in 1982. Additionally, RAF Marham is home to No. 3 Force Protection Wing that deploys to provide Force Protection to personnel, equipment and infrastructure in operational theatres. The Station, that was home to the mighty Panavia Tornado for almost four decades, has recently undergone extensive infrastructure upgrades to support the F-35B Lightning era and ensures that RAF Marham will continue to be at the spearhead of UK airpower for years to come.