RAF Marham crews in line for extra pay for their part in Libyan conflict

British troops serving in the campaign against Colonel Muammar Gaddafi's regime in Libya will receive the operational allowance, Defence Secretary Liam Fox said today.

The move means air and ground crews from RAF Marham operating in Libyan airspace will be paid an extra �29.02 a day tax-free, backdated to the start of military action in March.

Dr Fox said: 'It is important that we recognise and reward those service personnel who are engaged in the very highest areas of conflict.

'Eligibility for the operational allowance reflects the rigour and risk of the operation in question and I am delighted that we can now extend these payments and recognise more of our brave servicemen and women in this way.'

The Operational Allowance is already paid to all Service personnel serving in Afghanistan on Operation HERRICK.

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The move means that all servicemen and women deployed within the geographical confines of Libya on Operation ELLAMY will now receive the allowance, which is based on an assessment of the risk and rigour of the operating environment.

The payments will be backdated to March 18, when the United Nations resolution justifying military action was signed.

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Marham aircraft were in the skies hours after World leaders agreed to the use of force.

They flew 3,000-mile sorties from their Norfolk base, to attack Gaddafi's air defences.

Speaking at the Royal United Service Institute in London this morning, Dr Fox said the UK was committed to pursuing operations in Libya for 'as long as it takes' - although he acknowledged it was impossible to say how long that would be.

'No-one can predict how long a complex intervention will take - every scenario will be different, militarily, politically and diplomatically,' he said.

'Sustaining the tempo does increase the pressure on both personnel and equipment as planning assumptions are tested, and it tests the ability of defence companies to support frontline operations.'

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