Final parade of RAF Marham’s XIII Squadron

After a final flypast over RAF Marham last week, members of XIII squadron took to the base's parade square for their final parade today.

The squadron is being officially disbanded on June 1 as part the government's cuts to the defence budget with aircraft and most of the squadron's personnel being transferred to other squadrons.

Tornado crews from the squadron have gone out on a high after playing a leading role in early coalition operations in Libya and by flying the last Tornado sorties over Iraq in 2009.

Wing Commander Howie Edwards, commanding officer for XIII Squadron, said: 'Without a doubt today is an emotional day for all of us who have been part of XIII Squadron.

'As the squadron commander I feel it both an honour and a privilege to have commanded and led such a fine team of men and women, as well as to have been part of an exceptional squadron with such an illustrious heritage.

'Today is a tribute to the XIII Squadron family and it is with mixed emotions that we bid a fond farewell to a truly remarkable unit that has served with great distinction around the world.'

The future of RAF Marham is also expected to be announced in the next few weeks when the government reveals if the base, or RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland, will be the home for Tornados.

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Station commander Pete Rochelle added: 'I feel sad that we have lost such a significant squadron.

'But I am hugely proud that during the current squadron commander's and my tenure, XIII Squadron have been tested like no other squadron, primarily last summer during operations in Afghanistan and in support of Operation Ellamy, in Libya, knowing full well their fate.

'XIII Squadron will take their place in history as one of the true greats and will be sorely missed on future operations'.

The squadron's final flypast last week saw six Tornados fly in a perfect dagger-like formation 1,000ft over the base.

Around 100 people, including family members, fellow squadron members and the media, gathered at 1.13pm to watch the Tornado jets.

The aircraft then headed to two of the squadron's former bases at RAF Honington and RAF Wyton, in Cambridgeshire, before returning to Marham for an airfield attack demonstration from 100ft – much to the delight of the crowd.

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