Norfolk

Final RAF Tornado-trained pilot feels 'honoured'

Flight Lieutenant Nathan Shawyer Image copyright Joe Giddens/PA Wire
Image caption Flt Lt Nathan Shawyer is the final RAF pilot to be trained for the Tornado, based at RAF Marham in Norfolk

The final RAF pilot to be trained for Tornado jet operations said it would be "emotional" when the aircraft retires.

The Tornado, in the RAF since 1979 and used in combat since the first Gulf War, will be brought out of service before the end of March.

Flt Lt Nathan Shawyer, 27, who has flown the jet in Syria and Iraq said it was an "honour" to be the final pilot to be trained for the aircraft.

"It's an absolutely awesome machine to fly," he said.

Image copyright Joe Giddens/PA Wire
Image caption The Tornado has been used in the RAF since 1979

The jet's capabilities will be transferred to the Typhoon and there is set to be a "finale flypast" around the UK to commemorate places that have contributed to the Tornado over the years, according to Station Commander Group Captain Ian Townsend.

There will also be a single sortie over the disbandment parade at RAF Marham on 14 March, he added.

Flt Lt Shawyer, who will now fly the Typhoon, added: "A lot of people have invested a lot of time into the Tornado.

"It's given us 37 years of fantastic service and been all over the world and done a lot of things for the United Kingdom."

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