Pride for Marham personnel as they get Afghanistan medals
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There was pride and jubilation on display yesterday as airmen and airwomen from RAF Marham’s II (AC) Squadron received medals for their latest tour.
The squadron, known as Shiny Two, spent four months taking part in Operation Herrick in Afghanistan and the ceremony was a reward for their hard work.
It is likely to be one of the last ceremonies the squadron will hold before it is disbanded next year and started again at RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland.
Commanding officer Wing Cmdr Jez Holmes praised the squadron for an outstanding performance in difficult conditions.
He said: “I am really proud to have been part of it and with this team, and it really is a team.
“Everyone is back safe and well which sadly not every commanding officer can say.
“This squadron has a history of getting great support from, and being part of, the local community and I really want that ethos to carry on when it moves to Lossiemouth.
The historic squadron became honorary citizens of Swaffham in 2012 as part of their 100th anniversary celebrations.
The airmen received their medals from the town’s mayor Shirley Matthews.
She said: “It is sad they are going to Scotland but it is good that they have had such a history here.
“It makes you very proud to be here and see them all.”
One airman to receive his medal was Cpl Billy Southerland, 29, who proposed to his girlfriend on his return to the country.
He said: “It was something I had been thinking about from about one month in to a four month tour.
Fiancée Melissa Conachan, 26, said: “I had absolutely no idea, it was a complete surprise.
“I am just so happy to have him back.”
Cpl Southerland added “It was hard work out there but it has flown by and I think it is good that you are kept so busy.”