Sotland the brave

RAF Lossiemouth looks set to take a leading role in operations over Libya.

It is understood that some personnel from the Lossiemouth base have already been involved in operations in support of NATO action against Muammar Gaddafi’s forces in the North African state.

However that is likely to increase, with RAF Lossiemouth Station Commander, Group Captain Andy Hine, saying that his Tornado GR4 squadrons are expected to take a leading role in Libya by the mid-summer.

Group Capt Hines made his comments in his welcome speech to Personnel, Families and Friends at their open day at the base on Saturday.

A decision on the future of RAF Lossiemouth is expected next month, with either Lossiemouth or RAF Leuchars expected to be closed as part of further cost savings by the Ministry of Defence.

Aircraft from RAF Leuchars are already involved in operations over Libya, as are Tornado aircraft form RAF Marham, with support from the Lossie base.

First Minister Alex Salmond has argued for retention of both bases in Scotland, insisting that there are good operational reasons to do so.

However reports from MoD insiders have repeatedly claimed that Leuchars is most likely to close, with the Fife based personnel and equipment set to transfer to Lossiemouth.

A member of the Save RAF Lossiemouth campaign committee, Carolle Ralph, said last night: “This news would appear to further strengthen the argument for keeping RAF Lossiemouth open.

“We would of course welcome that – it has been a difficult time for all concerned.”

RAF Lossiemouth squadrons have been undertaking a rotation for duty in Afghanistan which is scheduled to end this summer

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