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Norfolk warplane films flood devastation

The Tornado reconnaissance aircraft prepares for take off
The Tornado reconnaissance aircraft prepares for take off Credit: Ministry of Defence

An RAF reconnaissance aircraft from Norfolk has captured aerial images of the floods in the Thames Valley.

The deployment of the Tornado GR4 from RAF Marham has produced detailed imagery which it is hoped will assist the planning and co-ordination of relief efforts.

Detailed low level photography gives planners a clear view of the flooding
Detailed low level photography gives a clear view of the flooding Credit: Ministry of Defence

The aircraft, operated by 31 Squadron, is equipped with the highly versatile Raptor - Reconnaissance Air Pod for Tornado - which enables it to gather sophisticated, high-resolution imagery.

The imagery, now being processed and evaluated by analysts at Marham, will be passed to civilian authorities

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Tributes paid to airman killed in collision

Staff Sgt. Anderson Johnson
Staff Sgt. Anderson Johnson Credit: RAF Mildenhall

The family of an airman killed in a collision outside Newmarket in Suffolk have paid tribute to him.

Staff Sgt Anderson Johnson was stationed at RAF Mildenhall with the 100th Civil Engineer Squadron. The 24-year-old from Texas was killed when his car crashed into a tree at about 2am on July 28.

In a statement his family said he had a smile "like the sun". They said "his laughter was contagious and his cheek bones reached the clouds... He was a wonderful husband, son, brother, family member... We want to thank all of you for taking care of him and loving him while he was with you."

Johnson is survived by his wife, Markeah Johnson, his parents, Anderson Johnson III and Margarita Tedder, and his siblings Tashica Johnson and Dominque Tedder.

Coastline 'vulnerable' after after helicopter move

The RAF search and rescue helicopters flying out of Wattisham airfield in Suffolk have helped to save countless lives.

But from 2015 they will be no more. Instead a private firm will operate the service and the nearest base will be Kent.

The Government's signed a £1.6 billion deal, ending 70 years of search and rescue run by the RAF and Royal Navy and has handed the contract to the US based Bristow Group.

But as the coastguard stations at Great Yarmouth in Norfolk and Walton on the Naze in Essex both prepare for closure, there are concerns the move to relocate air support could leave our coastline vulnerable.

RAF search and rescue service to be run by US firm

Sea King helicopter Credit: PA

The region's only search and rescue helicopter base - at Wattisham in Suffolk - is to be axed after the service was privatised.

Britain's search-and-rescue helicopter service, which employs the Duke of Cambridge, is to be run by Bristow Helicopters, the Government announced today.

The award of the £1.6 billion deal ends 70 years of a service run by the RAF and Royal Navy squadrons.

It also spells the end of the use of Sea King helicopters - flown by William - in search-and-rescue (SAR) work.

Under the new contract, 22 state-of-the-art helicopters will operate from 10 locations around the UK.

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Questions raised over future of RAF base

The future of the RAF base at Marham in Norfolk is being raised in Parliament.

Tornado warplanes are currently stationed there but they are due to be replaced by a new aircraft called the Joint Strike Fighter.

South West Norfolk MP Liz Truss is due to ask the Defence Secretary today for a commitment that Marham will remain open once the Tornado fleet is taken out of service and that the new JSF will be stationed there

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