RAF Lossiemouth – Typhoon Main Operating Base 2

Since it was decided that RAF Lossiemouth would remain open and would become a Typhoon Base, much work has been completed to prepare us for that but the context is a challenging one: maintain an absolute focus on our current task in Afghanistan, be ready for contingent tasks, maintain an Expeditionary Air Wing capability, prepare for the disbandment of 2 Tornado Squadrons, assist in the transfer of the Search and Rescue capability into civilian hands and, oh yes, build a Typhoon base!

These are challenges that affect each and every person at RAF Lossiemouth and this post aims to give you some more information about what and when, things are happening here.

Afghanistan. First and foremost, 12 (Bomber) Squadron are deployed in Afghanistan right now. They will remain there on their last tour of duty until the late autumn, when they will be replaced by 617 Squadron, the Dambusters. Our RAF Regiment Force Protection Wing, made up of both regular and reservist personnel, will deploy on a 6 month tour of duty at Camp Bastion, also in the late autumn so Christmas here will be quieter than normal.

  • Disbandments. In March 2014, both 12 and 617 Squadrons will disband as the Tornado Force is gradually replaced by the more modern and capable Typhoon. 617 Squadron though, will reform in 2016 as an F35, Lightning II Squadron, thereby opening a new chapter in their proud history.
  • New Beginnings. In June 2014, Number 6 Squadron will bring their Typhoon aircraft up from RAF Leuchars and begin the new chapter for RAF Lossiemouth. Over the summer of 2014, Lossiemouth will assume responsibility for Quick Reaction Alert. In the autumn, Number 1 (Fighter) Squadron will move to Lossiemouth, completing the major moves of people and equipment from RAF Leuchars, enabling the Station to focus fully on handover to the Army.
  • And Beyond. In March 2015, current plans will see XV Squadron (the Tornado Operational Conversion Unit) transfer to RAF Marham, as will the Tornado Engineering Flight. At around the same time, a third Typhoon Squadron will form at RAF Lossiemouth, effectively 'grown' out of expansions to 6 Squadron. Finally, by May 2015, the Search and Rescue Sea King helicopters of 'D Flight', 202 Squadron will leave the base as the Search and Rescue service transfers to civilian hands. The capability will be provided by Bristow helicopters, currently planned to operate from Inverness airport.

So that's a summary of the considerable changes that will be happening here at RAF Lossiemouth in the coming months. These changes have already resulted in considerable infrastructure works here to support the new tasks but although our role is changing, a significant number of our people will retrain on the Typhoon and remain in the local area. RAF Lossiemouth will be at the forefront of the delivery of military capability for many years to come and our people look forward to remaining at the heart of the Moray community.

3 Hangar at RAF Lossiemouth in July. Ready now!

 

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