March 12 2014 Latest news:
Annabelle Dickson, Political Editor
Friday, December 13, 2013
One of the oldest squadrons in the Royal Air Force is to leave RAF Marham in 2015, with the proud name set to be associated with Typhoon jets in Scotland.
Number II (Army Co-operation) Squadron, which celebrated 100 years of service last year, will begin the process of swapping its Tornados for Eurofighter Typhoons, and transferring to its new base at RAF Lossiemouth in Moray, after an Afghanistan tour early next year.
The squadron is currently training for its next tour of duty flying Tornado jets.
The move is part of the overhaul of the RAF which will see the Tornado GR4 aircraft leave the service by 2019 and be replaced by state-of-the-art Typhoon and F35B Lightning II fighters, which will be based in Norfolk.
It is not yet clear where the members of II (AC) squadron will be deployed, but they will remain in the RAF and there will be no redundancies.
Wing Commander Jez Holmes, Officer Commanding II(AC) Sqn, said “I am pleased that Number II (Army Cooperation) Squadron’s place at the heart of the Royal Air Force’s Combat Air Power is assured. The squadron is in it’s 102nd year and has a proud history of delivering on operations, including supporting the troops in the trenches of World War I, overflying the D-Day beaches at low level, and of course recent campaigns including Iraq, the Balkans, Libya and Afghanistan. The squadron is currently preparing to deploy to Afghanistan again in the new year, and on our return we will begin to prepare for the re-role to Typhoon and the redeployment of the squadron’s personnel”
Armed forces minister Mark Francois said: “Number II (AC) Sqn has the distinction of being one of the oldest fixed-wing flying squadrons in the world, having formed in 1912.
“Since being equipped with Tornado aircraft in 1989 it has served with distinction on operations in Libya, the Balkans and Iraq and will complete its final tour of duty in Afghanistan in early 2014.
“I am sure that Number II (AC) Squadron’s valuable contribution to operations throughout its long and distinguished history will continue as it helps maintain the strong traditions of RAF Lossiemouth as a main operating base for the RAF into the future.”
The newly reformed II (AC) Squadron will be the fifth frontline RAF Typhoon Squadron.