The personnel flew directly into the Norfolk base where they were greeted by RAF Marham's Station Commander, Group Captain David Cooper, before being transported across to where their families eagerly awaited their arrival. They are now looking forward to spending some time with their families after what has been an extremely eventful year for II (AC) Squadron, or 'Shiny Two' as it is known.
The squadron has taken part in a major exercise in North America, and participated in a number of ceremonies to mark the squadron's centenary, before turning their attention to the Operation HERRICK work-up and their subsequent deployment to Afghanistan
Now, after four-and-a-half months, II (AC) Squadron's deployment on Operation HERRICK has come to a close and it was fitting that the squadron, whose initial role was supporting ground troops back in 1912, has continued to do precisely that, 100 years after its formation.
Deploying at the height of summer, II (AC) Squadron can reflect and take pride in a job extremely well done. It has been a highly successful four-and-a-half month detachment, with the squadron flying over 2,000 hours in support of UK and coalition forces.
The engineering challenge has also been significant, particularly with the high temperatures. However, the pragmatism, enthusiasm and dedication of the engineers ensured continued aircraft availability for daily and ground close air support taskings.
Officer Commanding II (AC) Squadron, Wing Commander Nick Tucker-Lowe, said: "This has been a tremendously successful deployment for 'Shiny Two'. With an operational pedigree that is 'second-to-none' the squadron always strives for operational excellence and, due to the consistent diligence and determination of all of the squadron's personnel, that is exactly what we have achieved."