First Sea Lord Admiral Tony Radakin visited RAF Marham, say the Royal Navy.

The Royal Navy say that the visit came after Commander Mark Sparrow became the first Royal Navy officer to command the historic 617 Squadron, the first of two F-35B squadrons.

“Adm Radakin was joined by Chief of the Air Staff, Mike Wigston, as he toured the Norfolk base and met the RN and RAF personnel who make up the Lightning Force. The two service chiefs visited the Integrated Training Centre to see where pilots are trained to fly the Lightning using the Full Mission Simulators and engineers are trained on the maintenance of the aircraft. After this they moved to 207 Squadron to see where the training continues with the pilots flying the jet for the first time. They were also briefed on how 207 have been supporting 617 Squadron in the build up to their deployment to the carrier.”

Adm Radakin was quoted as saying:

“It was a pleasure and a privilege to be invited to join CAS for the day at RAF Marham.  Lightning is a truly game-changing fifth-generation aircraft that will transform our abilities in the air. But what is even more important is the way that the Royal Navy and RAF have been working together, alongside industry and our international partners, to deliver this.  It is an enormous honour that the RAF have given command of 617 Squadron to a Royal Navy aviator, and really underpins the extent to which we are completely integrated on this joint endeavour.  This is one Lightning force, delivering on behalf of Defence and the UK.”

Cdr Sparrow, who took over the Dambusters from Wing Commander John Butcher, said:

“I am delighted to be commanding 617 Squadron and extremely proud to be the first Royal Navy officer to be selected to the position in its illustrious history. The next two years will see the potent combination of Lightning and the Queen Elizabeth-class carriers become jointly operational. I look forward to us playing a key part in the generation of both the Lightning Force and Carrier Strike Group’s capabilities.”

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The Artist Formerly known as Los Pollos Chicken

Is the goal still to form 4 frontline squadrons ? 2 RAF and 2 FAA ?

Daniele Mandelli

Twas reported as, yes. I don’t think I ever read anything official mind?

Nick C

Has anyone got an idea of how many aircraft will actually be embarked when she sails next week? Obviously there will be a fair number of 820 sqn Merlins but it would be good to see the whole of 617 on board. It’s a big deck but the more aircraft on board the more like a full operational scenario for the handlers and the air traffic controllers.

Ulya

I never knew there was a word ’twas’, I search for it. How interesting. My only contribution to the conversation sorry

Daniele Mandelli

Morning Ulya

Maybe I shall throw a few in now and then?

Ulya

Good morning Daniele, I will say yes please. You use different words to other native English speakers I know

Daniele Mandelli

I do? God that’s worrying!

Ulya

They are from New Zealand, they have their own ways of using words different from you. Most other people I use English with, it is second, third, forth language like me so it is different again, not so comfortable or natural

geoff

Twas brillig and the slithey toves did gyre and gimble in the wabe…

Daniele Mandelli

😂

Ulya

You are teasing Geoff 🤔

geoff

haha Ulya and btw-your English is great!

Rob N

Yes as far as I recall there will be 2 RAF 2 FA and ab OCU.

Rob N

I think 809 Naval Air Squadron ‘The Immortals’, will be the first operational RN squadron.

geoff

“..anything official mind.” Now that is another little quirky English use of the language. A South African might say” Mind you, I don’t think..” but never mind on its own. Fascinating language Ulya!!

Daniele Mandelli

I’m worried now….! As for brillig and slithey toves what are you on about!??? Lol

Daniele Mandelli

Ok, I just checked for myself!

geoff

Our friend Lewis Carrol on magic mushrooms one would presume:):)

Peter Rabbit Lewis Car

Lewis Carrol’s “Jabberwocky”

julian1

do we have any Geordies, Scousers or Glaswegians on the forum?……a whole new set of dialects

geoff

🙂 Hi Julian-not to mention Taffys, Belfast, Saffers, Aussies, Kiwis.Texans etc etc!!

Ryan S

Glaswegian 😂

Sceptical Richard

RAF graciously allows 1stSL to visit RAF base to inspect and play with some of their toys, while he pretends they are his toys. Sorry for being cynical but I still remember the days when my ship was tied up alongside just behind Ark Royal in the days when we still had a proper FAA and she operated Phantoms, Buccaneers, Gannets and Wessex/Sea Kings.

Helions

“The Good Old Days”? Like this old??? This is actually pretty amazing…

https://www.wsj.com/articles/last-person-to-receive-a-civil-war-era-pension-dies-11591141193

Cheers!

Sceptical Richard

Amazing!

Helions

I had a set of Great Grandparents in the same situation. He died in 1908 at the age of 90, she died in 1957 – at the age of 90-… Winter and Spring marriage that. He too was a U.S. Civil War veteran who was at Appomattox. 5th Vermont.

Cheer!

Jack

The combination of fifth generation stealth fighters with their stunning array of sensors and the QEC’s will be something very few nations will be able to match.

Vic

Let’s hope they are never needed to be used in anger jack