Norfolk

Tornados and crews return to RAF Marham in Norfolk

Family members at RAF Marham Image copyright UK CROWN
Image caption Family members welcomed 31 Squadron back to RAF Marham

Tornado jets and their crews have returned to Norfolk from Afghanistan.

Members of 31 Squadron left their base in Kandahar on Tuesday and began arriving at RAF Marham on Saturday.

Family members greeted the squadron, which was first deployed to Afghanistan in June 2009.

Harv Smyth, RAF Marham's station commander, said: "It's absolutely brilliant to see 31 Squadron home after a successful final deployment."

Image copyright UK CROWN
Image caption The Tornado jets flew into RAF Marham after a stopover in Cyprus
Image copyright UK CROWN
Image caption The Royal Air Force said the squadron would get a "well earned break" with their loved ones

AVM Gary Waterfall said it had been "five long arduous years in Afghanistan".

The Tornado Force had "without doubt made a difference and saved lives in Afghanistan", he added.

Image copyright UK CROWN
Image caption The Tornados provided reconnaissance and close air support to troops in Afghanistan

Four-hundred-and-fifty-three British troops died in the conflict.

Image copyright UK CROWN
Image caption The Royal Air Force said the remainder of the personnel would return to RAF Marham by Monday
Image copyright UK Crown
Image caption The return will be marked by a medal ceremony at the end of November

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