Defence secretary pledges that investment will go on at Marham
- Credit: Ian Burt
The secretary of state for defence has pledged that the already promised multi-million pound investment for RAF Marham will still go ahead, despite recent cuts in public spending by central government.
Michael Fallon was speaking as he visited the west Norfolk air base yesterday to thank the personnel and engineers who recently returned from the Middle East as part of the campaign against IS.
When pressed by the EDP about whether cuts at Whitehall could also affect the future investment in Marham, he said: 'No. This government has actually chosen to increase spending in this area.
'It has done this in order to commit to Nato's spending target of 2pc of Gross Domestic Product on defence.'
He added: 'To be clear, cutbacks are happening in welfare, but more is being spent on defence and security.'
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The airbase will become the UK hub for the fleet of Lightning II aircraft and is understood to be preparing for their arrival in 2018.
It is just over a year since Tornado jets from RAF Marham were first deployed to carry out missions in Iraq, which Mr Fallon admitted could continue longer than initially planned.
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Mr Fallon said: 'It's not finishing any time soon – we have three years to this campaign. This is just year two and it could go on.'
Gp Capt Rich Davies, station commander at RAF Marham, added that the defence secretary's visit was very much seen as a boost for the squadron.
He said: 'It's very good for the squadron personnel to be recognised for the hard work they have been involved with throughout the year.'
What does RAF Marham mean to you? Write to EDP letters, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE or, alternatively, email email@example.com giving your full name, address and contact details.