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Marham crews hone their fighting skills

PUBLISHED: 09:56 05 March 2009 | UPDATED: 11:13 08 July 2010

Personnel at a Norfolk airbase honed their fighting skills and gained a better insight into the challenges that lie ahead.

More than 1,500 men and women at RAF Marham used the base's latest no-fly day to take part in activities ranging from 'ultimate challenge' fitness regimes to in-depth briefings on air power and the Afghanistan conflict, codenamed Operation Herrick.

Personnel at RAF Marham honed their fighting skills and gained a better insight into the challenges that lie ahead.

More than 1,500 men and women used the base's latest no-fly day to take part in activities ranging from 'ultimate challenge' fitness regimes to in-depth briefings on air power and the Afghanistan conflict, codenamed Operation Herrick.

Marham Tornados are set to relocate from their operational base near Iraq to Kandahar by early next year. This will bring to an end a 19-year presence in the Gulf and see them play a key role in the more intense fighting over Afghanistan.

One of the aims of the day was to ensure personnel such as engineers, caterers and other supporting trades are properly prepared for frontline action. This included weapons handling and simulated emergencies.

Group captain Colin Basnett said: “The aim was to bring together personnel of all ranks and help them gain an insight into one another's roles. There were opportunities to develop leadership skills, for team building and to understand our air power capabilities.

“Often our men and women are so focused on their own particular trade that there is a need to stop and take a look at the bigger picture that they fit into - for example, we have airmen who, until today, had never actually flown.”

One exercise involved a simulated road traffic accident which then became the target of insurgent mortars. Participants were required to deal with casualties and make the area safe while coping with the confusion and pressure they may face on the front line.

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