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Marham squadrons to swap places

PUBLISHED: 09:38 07 January 2010 | UPDATED: 11:34 08 July 2010

TWO RAF Marham squadrons will be swapping places this month to fight the Taliban in Afghanistan.

TWO RAF Marham squadrons will be swapping places this month to fight the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Members of IX (B) Squadron will fly out to Afghanistan in the coming days, while 31 Squadron, which has been deployed in Kandahar since October, is set to return to Norfolk by mid-January.

The Tornado crews have been supporting troops on the ground in Afghanistan.

During their deployment servicemen from 31 Squadron have set up a blog chronicling their time in Afghanistan.

IX (B) Squadron will take over the blog when they arrive this month.

On Sunday a post on the blog, “RAF Tornado Force, Afghanistan”, said: “Today has been a 'normal' day of operational sorties and aircraft maintenance for us here. The crews launched in support of coalition and UK troops, helping search for insurgents and Improvised Explosive Devices, whilst being poised to provide offensive support in the event of any troops coming under fire.”

Last month Defence Secretary Bob Ainsworth, told the Commons that to fund £900m of new equipment for British troops in the war zone ministers are considering scrapping one or two Tornado squadrons in a wider defence review planned this year, which has put a question mark over the future of the four squadrons at RAF Marham.

In a commendation made by the Air Component Commander of Operation Herrick - operations name for the war in Afghanistan - and posted on the blog, 31 Squadron Engineering team were commended for their 100pc delivery of aircraft to meet the flying programme and Ground Alert for more than two months.

The blog post on the December 30 said there had been 310 flying sorties without a break with the number still rising, despite rocket attacks, day and night scrambles and the Afghan weather.

To view the blog go to http://raf-tornado-force-afghanistan.blogspot.com/

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