Moray’s long association with the Royal Air Force has formed a very close relationship between the civilian and service populations.
Now it is hoped that association will see many more people signing up for the North’s only RAF Reserve unit which is soon to be expanded.
RAF Lossiemouth will shortly be the only air base in Scotland, home for front-line squadrons of RAF fighters. It is also the home for the RAF Reserve’s 2622 (Highland) Squadron – and the unit is set to expand with an active recruitment drive under way.
Formed in 1924 as the Royal Auxiliary Air Force, the RAF Reserves today can look back on a proud history and a future that matches Trenchard’s vision of an elite corps of civilians who in their spare time would serve their country in flying squadrons.
The squadron is the most northerly RAF Reserve unit in the UK having been first formed at Lossiemouth in 1979. Reservist from as far south as Edinburgh and north to Caithness serve on the unit, each giving a commitment to serve in uniform for a minimum of 27 days each year.
Monthly training weekends are held at the squadron headquarters at Lossiemouth while once each year the entire squadron deploys either overseas or in the UK for a two-week annual camp.
A spokesman for 2622 Squadron said: “Today’s ‘RAF Reserves’ are an integral and vital part of the modern RAF, across the many and varied professions which make up a capable and effective service.
“Members of the RAF Reserves undertake key functions in support of operations, such as intelligence, a wide variety of medical roles, logistics, media operations and force protection.
“These RAF Reserves operate shoulder-to-shoulder with our regular personnel – both in the UK and when deployed on operations alongside our Allies – and are a vital part of the frontline RAF.
“We value equally the contributions of the Regular, Reserves, Civil Servants and contractors, which together combine to make the ‘Whole Force’.
“Today’s Reserves show the cultural diversity of the Nation they defend and are drawn from all walks of civilian life. They are bus drivers, electricians, car mechanics, doctors, nurses, airline pilots and journalists.
“Just as we benefit from the skills these people bring to the Armed Forces, so the reservist employers also gain from this mutually beneficial arrangement for the greater good of the defence of the UK, with Reservists bringing back to their civilian companies the team-focused culture, self-confidence, leadership and communication skills.
“Such qualities and the personal development that experience in the service brings are vital for the RAF and would be expensive for employers to acquire elsewhere.”
The Squadron are seeking to recruit personnel from Moray and throughout the north and Highlands.
Anyone wishing to learn more can visit RAF Reserves online or call 01343 810776 and speak to Flight Sergeant John Grant, who will be happy to provide further information.