Military News

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

RAF, USAF share mission with families

by Staff Sgt. Stephanie Longoria
48th Fighter Wing Public Affairs Office

7/28/2015 - ROYAL AIR FORCE MARHAM, England -- More than 10,000 RAF and U.S. Air Force Airmen, as well as theit families were invited to this year's 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain Families and Friends Day event at RAF Marham, July 23.

The event organizer, Squadron Leader Steve Donnellan, was enthusiastic about making this year's Family and Friends Day a memorable one.

"This event is a very special day which enables families and friends of serving personnel to come onto the station and see what their loved ones do. There are many static displays where people can ask questions and children can understand what their serving parent's role is," he said.

This year, RAF Marham invited RAFs Lakenheath and Mildenhall Airmen and their families to attend the event, to enhance the partnership between the bases. With both RAFs Marham and Lakenheath slated to base the F-35 Lighting II, that partnership is only expected to grow.

"As we move toward the F-35, it requires that close operational relationship to enhance the operational effectiveness of the aircraft. We will continue working very closely in the future with U.S. Air Forces and looking for ways to improve the operational, engineering and logistics aspects of the mission," Donnellan said.

He went on to say that this year's event was made very special for Marham families, as the U.S. Air Forces conducted a F-15 Eagle flyover as well as  provided several ground displays like the CV-22 Osprey and MC-130J Commando II aircraft, military working dogs, an Explosive Ordinance Disposal team and much more.

"We are so busy throughout the year, this is a day to just get together to relax and make new friends in a fantastic atmosphere," he added.

Many Airmen from the 48th Fighter Wing, 100th Air Refueling Wing and 352nd Special Operations Wing expressed how much they enjoyed their time at RAF Marham. In addition to watching the airshow, attendees enjoyed bouncy castles, WWII re-enactments, a skate park and archery during the event.

"I think it's awesome that they invited us out here," said Staff Sgt. Peter Musinde, 100th Logistics Readiness Squadron vehicle maintenance technician. "It shows that they want us to be part of their family. I'm happy to be able to come out here and spend the time with my son and show him all the different aircraft and to see how the RAF do their jobs."

Fourteen flying displays were place, including two F-15C Eagles, a Typhoon FGR4, four Tornados GR4, The Falcons and the RAF Acrobatic Team Red Arrows.

"Our favorite part of the airshow was seeing the Red Arrows," said Musinde. "My son really enjoyed seeing the colored smoke."

The event ended with a 1940s themed hangar party with historic aircraft static displays, live music and jive dancing.

RAFs Marham, Lakenheath and Mildenhall's service member's joint efforts made the day memorable.

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