Hundreds turned out at Elgin High Street for the official homecoming of the RAF Lossiemouth based personnel from 5 Force Protection Wing, who arrived back from Afghanistan last weekend.
HRH The Duke of York took the salute and presented campaign medals to many of the airmen and women, some of who had just completed their first overseas tour.
Prince Andrew also presented a Queen’s Commendation for Valuable Service award to Corporal Scott Sharkey, whose citation read: “During operations in Afghanistan in 2012 Corporal Sharkey demonstrated leadership and true professionalism and under fire was impressive.”
Addressing the gathered troops and their families, the Duke of York said: “The work that the RAF Regiment and others have done over the last number of years is to be highly commended.
“There are many people around here today who truly value the work that you do – many people do not see and don’t really understand, but without your hard work and diligence on the ground and around Bastion and the airfield, then troops would not get in and out of that airfield in a safe and secure manner.
“You have done it with exemplary attitude, determination and responsibility on numerous occasions.
“I also thank your families for the support that they give you – each in every way has a vital part in the teamwork to make sure that those of you who are on the ground are fully supported.”
Attending the ceremony was Moray’s MP, Angus Robertson, who said: “The work the troops have done in Afghanistan has been incredibly important to the safety of other troop and air movements.
“I know the RAF Regiment personnel from Lossiemouth faced significant challenges on a daily basis from the Taliban and they are to be commended on their commitment and resilience during their deployment.
“The number of people from across Moray who turned out in Elgin to see their Homecoming Parade is testament to the high regard in which these Lossiemouth based troops are held by the wider community.”