Norfolk’s support for military ‘humbling’ says RAF Marham station commander

Gp Capt Pete 'Rocky' Rochelle will be leaving the base in November and replaced by Gp Capt David Cooper

Norfolk's support for its military personnel is 'humbling' according to the station commander of RAF Marham.

Gp Capt Pete 'Rocky' Rochelle will be leaving the base in November and said yesterday that the public's respect for servicemen and women in the county was 'amazing.'

He will be replaced at Marham by Gp Capt David Cooper.

Although not able to comment on the recent Government review of the armed forces, leading to the campaign to Make it Marham, he paid tribute to public support generally.

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'I have had a fantastic time at Marham and there is a very symbiotic relationship with the community,' he said.

'We are the only RAF base in the area and it's good for ourselves. Last year was very interesting,' he added.

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Gp Capt Rochelle will be returning to the classroom when he leaves Marham and heads to the Joint Services Staff and Command College at Shrivenham, Oxfordshire.

He will be undertaking a higher command course before an as yet unknown posting.

His tenure at Marham has seen the base involved in frontline operations, including the current Libya campaign.

'The support we have received has, in many ways, been humbling,' said Gp Capt Rochelle.

He said that if all the base personnel and their families were in Marham at one time it would be the third-largest town in West Norfolk behind King's Lynn and Downham Market.

'There are around 10,000 people in total,' he said.

He took over command of the base two years ago, the first time he has been stationed in Norfolk.

But he said he hoped to come back on family holidays as he loves the county and has enjoyed his time at Marham.

'I love the area and the people who are very supportive of the military and quite traditional in many ways with very strong community focus,' said Gp Capt Rochelle.

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