RAF Marham Tornado gate guardian removed from station

  • Published
Tornado GR1 Gate GuardianImage source, RAF Marham
Image caption,
The preserved Tornado GR1 ZA407 had been on display on a plinth adjacent to the station entrance

A Tornado aircraft has been removed from its position as a "gate guardian" at an RAF base.

The Tornado GR1 has stood guard at the front gate of RAF Marham in Norfolk for about 15 years.

One of the final Tornado GR4 aircraft is due to be used instead, to commemorate 40 years' service of the Tornado force.

The GR4 is likely to replace a Cold War-era Victor, also at the entrance, when that is removed later this year.

Tornado aircraft, in service since 1979, were first used in combat during the first Gulf War.

In 1990, the Tornado Squadrons of RAF Marham deployed to the Middle East at the start of more than 25 years' continuous operations in the region.

They were retired from service early in 2019 and it was decided that one of the final GR4 aircraft would stand at the entrance instead.

Image source, RAF Marham
Image caption,
The current Tornado gate guardian was taken away by the Joint Aircraft Recovery and Transportation Squadron (JARTS) and Quinto Crane & Plant
Image source, RAF Marham
Image caption,
JARTS worked alongside engineers from RAF Marham, who had previously worked on the Tornado

As the Tornado GR1 was due to undergo routine maintenance, the opportunity was taken to remove it from its current position on Tuesday

It will now be used as a training aid for the RAF Marham Fire Section.

The Tornado GR4 will be resprayed before moving to its new location.

Station commander, Gp Capt James Beck, said: "The Tornado aircraft was the backbone of the RAF for many years, seeing her service out at RAF Marham just last year.

"It is only fitting that we should display the final Tornado variant, the GR4, at RAF Marham as a tribute to this amazing aircraft and all those personnel associated with her over the years."

Image source, RAF Marham
Image caption,
The Tornado GR1 was due to undergo routine maintenance

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