Lossiemouth to stay, Leuchars to the Army.
July 19: In a statement to the UK House of Commons yesterday, the Secretary of State for Defence Dr Liam Fox confirmed that RAF Lossiemouth in Moray, Scotland is to be retained as a flying station and that RAF Leuchars in Fife is to be handed over to the Army with its based Typhoons transferring to Lossiemouth.
Part of a package of base realignments to accommodate Army units returning from Germany over the next six to eight years, the move from Leuchars will happen in 2013 with the Quick Reaction Alert (North) facility also moving north to Morayshire. Existing Tornado squadrons at Lossiemouth will be transferred to RAF Marham in Norfolk. Leuchars will host two major Army units and a formation headquarters from 2014 with all moves complete by 2017.
Dr Fox also confirmed that RAF Cottesmore in Rutland and RAF Kinloss in Moray will also be handed over to the Army. Each will be one of five multi-role brigades across the UK. The RAF will vacate Cottesmore in 2013, and the first unit coming back from Germany should arrive the following year. Army units will arrive at Kinloss in 2014-15.
RAF Lyneham is now the preferred location for future defence technical training, stated Dr Fox, with military units from Arborfield in Berkshire and Bordon in Hampshire to move by 2014. Fox also said that “This announcement in no way threatens the existing defence presence at St Athan – plans to relocate additional defence units to St Athan are being developed, and if those plans come to fruition, they will bring a major uplift in employment at that base.”