Father and son based at RAF Marham enjoy a reunion in a war zone

It was a family reunion in the most unlikely of places.

An RAF father and son who were set to spend months apart managed to meet for a catch-up over lunch at the Camp Bastion base, in Afghanistan.

The pair, who are both based at RAF Marham, in West Norfolk, crossed paths for just a few hours as one got ready to return home, while the other had just arrived to begin a tour of duty.

Chief technician Nigel Aitkin, 46, was on his way home from a three month tour at the Kandahar Airfield when he bumped into his eldest son, Rhys.

The 25-year-old senior aircraftman will be working in the Visiting Aircraft Handling Section (VAHS) as part of the 903 Expeditionary Air Wing, which looks after the different types of allied aircraft which fly into Camp Bastion.

He said: 'It was a nice surprise to catch up with Dad, we're used to seeing each other regularly at home and with our tours overlapping it was likely that we would miss each other and not catch up again until next year.'

Mr Aitkin Snr is an Engineering Weapons Technician who is based at RAF Marham as part of the 93 (Expeditionary Armament) Squadron.

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He has been deployed at the Kandahar Air Base as part of 904 Expeditionary Air Wing, which operates the Tornado GR4 aircraft in support of troops on the ground across Afghanistan, including the notorious Helmand province.

The aircraft patrol trouble spots using their sohisticated surveillance systems, which can beam down live pictures to commanders on the ground.

Mr Aitkin and hundreds of other skilled technicians maintain the aircraft and their weapons and electronic systems.

'It was good to grab some time to catch up over lunch, we only live six houses apart in the same street at Marham,' he said of his meeting with Rhys.

'It's been strange not seeing each other for so long, and his Mum will be pleased that I caught up with him.'

Nigel has just finished his fifth tour of Afghanistan and by February next year he will have completed 30 years military service.

Rhys is the eldest of three brothers, who all have strong military connections.

Rhys' second brother, Scott is serving as a Lance Corporal in Germany and his youngest brother, Steven, works as a civil servant in the same squadron as his father at RAF Marham.

Their mother Carla also works at RAF Marham.