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  1. ITV Report

Queen sees how RAF Marham is preparing for Lightning jets

The Queen visited RAF Marham Credit: Ministry of Defence

The Queen has taken a tour of RAF Marham in Norfolk to see how it is preparing for the arrival of its new fighter jets.

Children from nearby schools lined the roads leading to the camp gates, waving flags as her car arrived at the base.

The Queen is presented with a posy of flowers by children from Cherry Tree Academy Credit: Ministry of Defence.

RAF Marham, which has been the home of the Tornado GR4 Force, will welcome the F-35 Lightning Force next summer.

While there, the Queen officially opened the new Lightning Operations Centre.

It is the first building completed as part of a development scheme building the infrastructure needed to support the new jets.

The Queen officially opened the new Lightning Operations Centre Credit: Ministry of Defence.

"The Royal opening of this operations hub for the F-35 brings us another step closer to these pioneering jets flying from their UK home later this year, and their take-off from the magnificent aircraft carrier which proudly bears Her Majesty’s name.

"I’m delighted The Queen has seen what the future holds for the Royal Air Force, particularly as we celebrate a rich 100-year history of brave men and women protecting our skies."

– Gavin Williamson MP, Defence Secretary
The Queen presenting the Firmin Sword of Peace to Group Captain Townsend Credit: Ministry of Defence.

The Queen also met a number of serving personnel during visits to the Warrant Officers' and Sergeants' Mess.

She later presented the Firmin Sword of Peace to RAF Marham's station commander, Group Captain Townsend.

The award recognises a unit that has been judged to have made the most valuable contribution to humanitarian activities. Marham received the sword following its work in 2016 in Syria and Iraq, as well as with communities closer to home.