Page 7 - issue08.03.2019
P. 7

Royal Air Force News Friday, March 8, 2019 P7



      SALUTE: The nine-ship (also below) over RAFC Cranwell

                                             LINE-UP: The nine Tornados on the pan before their flight over RAF Marham and RAFC Cranwell. Inset, pilot greets his daughter   PHOTO: CPL LEE MATTHEWS
      Tonka’s final farewell

      THE RAF’S  veteran Tornado  during the aircraft’s farewell tour of  now operational and the Typhoon   “Everyone can take immense  aircraft’s first use in live operations
      bomber performed its last flypast  the UK, performing a flypast over  is now fully multi-role capable  pride in what the Tornado has  was during the Gulf War in 1991,
      before finally retiring after nearly  RAF Lossiemouth and the former  and able to take on the Tornado’s  achieved in defence of the nation  when 60 Tornado GR1s were
      40 years service.              Air Force station at Leuchars.  missions.                    over nearly four decades, and reflect  deployed from bases in Saudi
         The bomber’s final flight with the   He added: “I will personally be   “It was an enormous privilege  back on the courage, commitment  Arabia and Bahrain.
      RAF was a symbolic one. Taking off  very sad to see the Tornado retire,  for me to lead today the final  and achievements of everyone who   Two years later they were
      from the home of Tornado Force  but it is time now to pass the baton  Tornado flypasts over Leuchars,  has contributed to the success of  upgraded to the GR4, which has
      at Marham in Norfolk, a nine-ship  to our next generation combat  Lossiemouth and Tain, and then  this extraordinary aircraft.”  been used ever since over Kosovo,
      flew in formation to College Hall  aircraft. The F-35B Lightning is  back to Marham.          Nicknamed the Tonka, the  Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria.
      at Cranwell – where a graduation
      parade was taking place.
         Hundreds of thousands of                                                               1(: 9(7(5$1 +286,1* ,1
      aviation fans across the UK turned                                                                 6287+ /21'21
      out to watch the Tornado as RAF
      crews performed a series of flypasts
      over military sites connected with
      the aircraft.
         Gp Capt Ian Townsend, who
      took part in the Tornado’s swansong
      performances across Britain, said:                                      +DLJ +RXVLQJ 7UXVW LV ODXQFKLQJ D QHZ GHYHORSPHQW RI    RQH WR IRXU EHGURRPHG
      “It is sobering to think that most of                                   KRXVHV IRU 9HWHUDQV  RSHQLQJ RQ LWV VRXWK /RQGRQ HVWDWH LQ 0RUGHQ LQ $SULO
      the officers graduating today would
      not have been born when Tornado                                         ,I \RX DUH D 9HWHUDQ RU VRRQ WR OHDYH WKH 1DY\ $UP\ $LU )RUFH DQG H[SHFW WR EH LQ
      first entered service in 1979.                                          KRXVLQJ QHHG WKHQ \RX PD\ EH HOLJLEOH WR DSSO\ IRU RQH RI WKHVH EHDXWLIXO KRPHV
         “Sad though it is, the time is
      right for Tornado to retire and                                         %XLOW  IRU  WKH  IXWXUH   ZLWK  VRODU  SDQHOOLQJ   DPSOH  SDUNLQJ   HOHFWULF  UH FKDUJLQJ
      hand the baton of UK Combat Air                                         IDFLOLWLHV DQG FORVH WR JRRG WUDQVSRUW OLQNV  VFKRROV DQG JUHHQ VSDFHV  WKHVH ZLOO
      capability to the Typhoon and F-35                                      EH RIIHUHG DW DQ DIIRUGDEOH UHQW  $ QXPEHU RI WKH RQH DQG WZR EHGURRPHG KRPHV
      Lightning, both exceptional aircraft                                    ZLOO DOVR EH UHDG\ DGDSWHG IRU ZKHHO FKDLU XVHUV
      able to meet the challenges of future                                   )RU PRUH LQIRUPDWLRQ  WR UHJLVWHU \RXU LQWHUHVW RU WR DSSO\  YLVLW

      warfare.”                                                               ZZZ KDLJKRXVLQJ RUJ XN PRUGHQ GHYHORSPHQW 6/9$
         Chief of the Air Staff Sir Stephen                                   RU WHOHSKRQH WKH +RXVLQJ 2SWLRQV 7HDP RQ
      Hillier led a four-ship of Tornados   CHEERS: Gp Capt Ian Townsend (right) toasts Tornado Force
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