The changing role of Moray’s RAF base will be put to the test over an eleven day period starting on Monday – and that could mean more noise for residents.
RAF Lossiemouth’s new role as Scotland’s only combat ready air base has saw extensive alterations made both in personal and structure over recent months – now ‘Exercise Moray Guardian’ will see extensive testing of these facilities.
Successful completion of the exercise, which runs from August 11 to August 22, is expected to prove the base fully ready to taken on Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) duties for the north of the UK.
Lossiemouth was deemed to be the ideal location for the QRA North duties currently undertaken by RAF Leuchars, which will be handed over to the army.
The task of the Typhoon’s based in Moray will be to retain crews on a high alert state, ready to scramble and intercept unidentified aircraft that may approach UK airspace.
Local residents are being warned that a range of potential scenarios will be tested and there may be a requirement for some night flying and essential aircraft engineering immediately following any sorties. There may also be higher one off noise levels as jets scramble to intercept simulated incoming ‘threats’.
Station Commander, Group Captain Mark Chappell, explained: “Exercise Moray Guardian marks a significant point in RAF Lossiemouth’s calendar.
“Both RAF Leuchars and RAF Lossiemouth personnel have done a lot of hard work over the past few months to reach this stage, and I’m confident that this Station will be ready to take over Quick Reaction Alert (Interceptor) North duties in September.
“This exercise is the final opportunity to assess our preparedness for QRA (I) N and I’m happy that our personnel and processes are ready for the task.
“We will be carrying out a number of exercises which may on occasion be noticeable to the public. But all the work we do is essential, and ultimately puts us in the best position to provide the service to the United Kingdom that the Royal Air Force was primarily created for – that is, the protection of our airspace.”
More information about specific unusual flying during the exercise will published on the RAF Lossiemouth Facebook page (www.facebook.com/RAFLossiemouth).