Armed Forces in Norfolk

Norfolk has a long relationship with the Armed Forces; with bases at Marham, Swanton Morley, and Norwich (TA Centre), and a significant number of serving Regular and Reserve personnel, veterans and their families are based across our county.

There are currently in excess of 8,000 service personnel and their families, living and working in Norfolk.

The majority of Norfolk’s Armed Forces personnel and their families are based at RAF Marham, which is one of the UK's largest and busiest RAF stations, operating three squadrons of Tornado GR4 aircraft in the attack and reconnaissance roles.

The base is the largest employer in the borough of King's Lynn & West Norfolk, representing around one in 12 of the employed jobs and contributes in excess of £130m per annum directly into the local economy through salary payments and the purchase of goods and services from local businesses.

Based at Robertson Barracks in Swanton Morley from 2015, 1st The Queens Dragoon Guards is an Army reconnaissance regiment, whose role is to provide the Army’s ‘eyes and ears’ on the Battlefield.

The Queens Dragoon Guards are one of the most operationally experienced regiments in the Army having seen action as the reconnaissance force during the Gulf War, Iraq War and most recently during three deployments to Afghanistan.

Traditionally the Regiment's reconnaissance role was to operate ahead of the main armoured and infantry formations, scouting forward to find the enemy, passing back timely and accurate information to shape the plan, and fixing the enemy in place so they could be defeated.

Today the Queens Dragoon Guards operate either on Jackal armoured vehicles or dismounted, on their feet. Their role is still primarily in reconnaissance, finding the enemy and understanding the areas in which they operate.

TheStanford Training Area (STANTA), is a 30,000 acre site, which, along with routine skills and readiness activity, provides a location for ‘mission specific’ training.

Facilities such as themed villages, Patrol Bases, open countryside and a simulated town are incorporated into exercises that give the soldier a realistic understanding of what it will be like to operate in whichever theatre they may be sent to.

STANTA delivers an unparalleled, flexible and realistic rehearsal and ‘live-fire’ training environment that is operational 350 days a year and is used by around 80,000 troops annually.

Norfolk is the home base to a large number of Reservists with, from the Army, elements of the Royal Signals, Royal Army Medical Corps, Army Air Corps and the Infantry (Royal Anglian Regiment) based in the county.

Alongside these Army units, Norfolk is also the home of 2620 Squadron, The Royal Auxiliary Air Force Regiment.

HMS Dauntless, which has ship’s company of 190, is affiliated to Norfolk.

Dauntless is a Type 45 destroyer, with the most advanced anti-aircraft and anti-ballistic ship in the world, equipped with 48 Sea Viper missiles and the Sampson radar.

There is a strong Cadet Force presence across Norfolk, involving over 1,900 young people, and a number of schools have their own Combined Cadet Force Units too.

In Norfolk there are two groups in Great Yarmouth and Norwich, involving 20 adults and 50 cadets.  There is also a Marine Cadet Troop at Winterton-on-Sea catering for boys and girls from aged 11 upwards.

The Army Cadet Force (ACF) is 150 years old and is a national voluntary youth group for 12-18 year olds.  The main administrative office is in Dereham, with groups across the county, involving around 140 adult staff and over 750 cadets.

The Air Cadets are a voluntary youth organisation sponsored by the Royal Air Force with headquarters are in Norwich, and covering Norfolk and Suffolk with some 110 adult personnel and over 1,100 cadets.

Some schools eg Wymondham College, Langley and Greshams, have a Combined Cadet Force(CCF) unit - with at least two wings from either the Army,Navy or Air Force.