# SP196 Tornado GR4, 9 Sqn; 12 Sqn; 31 Sqn
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Squadron Prints Lithograph No. SP196 - Royal Air Force Marham.
Royal Air Force Marham is under the command of No. 1 Group, within Air Command, and comprises three Tornado GR4 squadrons, a Tactical Imagery-Intelligence Wing, Force Protection Headquarters and associated engineering, operations and base support functions. The Station also holds a high readiness commitment with its Expeditionary Air Wing, 138 EAW. Royal Air Force Marham is also home to a Royal Air Force Police squadron and an Expeditionary Armaments squadron. The three Tornado GR4 squadrons deliver a mix of strategic strike, precision attack, and tactical reconnaissance capabilities. The Tornado GR4 is a multi-role aircraft, capable of carrying a wide variety of weapons, including Paveway laser/GPS guided bombs, Storm Shadow, Brimstone and ALARM missiles, as well as tactical imagery equipment. All three squadrons have served on operations since the first Gulf War. No. IX(B) Squadron formed at St Omer on 8 December 1914, and is the oldest dedicated bomber squadron in the Royal Air Force. It participated in the sinking of the German battleship Tirpitz in 1944 and was the first squadron to gain operational status on the Tornado, also becoming the specialist unit for the deployment of the ALARM weapon. No. 12 (B) Squadron formed at Netheravon on 14 February 1915, it was subsequently one of the first squadrons to deploy to France on the first day of the Second World War. In May 1940 two of its aircrew were awarded the Victoria Cross for gallantry in the air, the first of the war for the RAF. No. 31 Squadron formed at Farnborough on 11 October 1915 and was the first military unit to fly in India. The Squadron was involved in the famous evacuation of Kabul in 1928 and the re-supply of the Army during the Japanese invasion of Burma. As a Force Element within No. 1 Group, Tactical Imagery-Intelligence Wing is responsible for the processing, exploitation and dissemination of tactically collected electro-optical and infra-red imagery in support of operations around the world. Operational theatres include Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq and recently, supporting Operation TURUS in West Africa, the 138 EAW deployment conducting tactical reconnaissance over Nigeria. No. 3 Force Protection Wing deploys to provide Force Protection to personnel, equipment and infrastructure in operational theatres. The Wing comprises a Marham-based Headquarters, No. 2620 (County of Norfolk) Squadron, Royal Auxiliary Air Force Regiment Squadron and No. II Squadron Royal Air Force Regiment, based at Royal Air Force Honington. No. 6 Royal Air Force Police Squadron is responsible for all policing and security at Marham and is also required to contribute personnel to Royal Air Force Police Teams that are deployed around the World. No. 93(Expeditionary Armaments) Squadron is an Air Combat Service Support Unit providing expeditionary armaments support to deployed operations. The Squadrons main roles are to provide the specialist armaments safety planning of potential operating locations, and the subsequent establishment and management of deployed explosive storage areas. Royal Air Force Marham continues to have a significant operational focus: this was certainly the case throughout 2014 when the Station simultaneously supported three different operations, with assets from the Station deployed across the Globe. Operation TURUS saw fast jets returning to Africa for the first time since 1965, with Tornados operating out of Chad, conducting tactical reconnaissance missions into Nigeria. From August 2014, Operation SHADER also saw the Tornado Force return to combat operations in Iraq, flying reconnaissance and strike missions from RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus. November 2014 saw 31 Squadron return from Kandahar, bringing to a close 5 years of continuous Tornado operations in Afghanistan in support of Operation HERRICK.