Industry team Lightning Team UK has been commended for its extraordinary services to RAF Marham, the home of the UKs F-35 Lightning, in the Queens Birthday Honours List.
Lightning Team UK team members.
Courtesy BAE Systems
The AOC Team Commendation recognises Lightning Team UK’s collaborative efforts to sustain the UK F-35 fleet and maintenance operations throughout the pandemic; enabling the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force to complete crucial carrier qualification trials aboard HMS Queen Elizabeth.
Lightning Team UK is a unique collaboration between BAE Systems, Lockheed Martin, Pratt & Whitney and Rolls-Royce at RAF Marham, Norfolk, working jointly with the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy to achieve a ‘whole force’ approach in support of the UK’s F-35 fleet.
Thanks to the quick response of business continuity teams across industry and the Lightning Force, the team introduced new ways of working on base to ensure the safety of personnel within a week of national lockdown in the UK. The dedication of the team ensured critical services were prioritised, including maintenance and services to enable carrier-capable aircraft and trained aircrew.
Lightning Team UK also played its part in the national effort to donate personal protective equipment to the Medical Centre at RAF Marham so healthcare workers could continue to treat RAF personnel and their dependents as needed.
Edward Sheldon, Head of UK F-35 Sustainment and RAF Marham site lead, said:
“It is an enormous privilege for Lightning Team UK to receive this AOC Team Commendation. This recognition is testament to the dedication and resilience shown by Lightning Team UK during an unprecedented time and I’m personally proud of the role everyone has played in supporting the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy’s activities as we work towards achieving a UK carrier strike capability.”
RAF Marham Station Commander, Group Captain Beck, said:
“It’s fantastic for the Lightning Team UK here at RAF Marham to be recognised. The team is an intrinsic part of the Station and broader Lightning Force and its quick response in implementing new ways of working with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic meant that operations for the F-35 continued with minimal disruption.”
The AOC Team Commendation is part of the Queen’s Birthday Honours 20 Plus List, which recognises individuals and teams who have contributed most towards the COVID-19 effort.
RAF Marham-based 617 Squadron jets are currently aboard HMS Queen Elizabeth to take part in NATO’s Joint Warrior exercise off the coast of Scotland. The exercise will put the 65,000 tonne carrier through its paces alongside eight other Royal Navy warships, Merlin aircraft and US Marine Corps’ F-35Bs in advance of the Carrier Strike Group’s first operational deployment next year.