A woman who has become the first to command an RAF fast jet squadron is expected to lead bombing missions over Iraq this summer. Wing Commander Nikki Thomas, who took charge of the newly reformed No 12 Squadron at RAF Marham in Norfolk on Friday, flew a daring low mission to help foil a deadly rocket attack on a UK base in Afghanistan.
The 36-year-old is a weapons system operator with extensive experience of combat operations, clocking up more than 35 missions in Afghanistan within three months alone.
In December 2009, as squadron leader of No 31 Squadron Tornado team, she and her pilot, Flight Lieutenant Juliette Fleming were the RAF’s first all-female Tornado jet crew.
They flew an aircraft armed with 500lb laser guided Paveway IV bombs, Brimstone air-to-ground missiles and a 27mm gun and their missions helped both American and British troops under fire in Helmand Province.
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