International cast returns to Moray for military manouvres

Moray plane-spotting Mecca as Joint Warrior gets under way

Moray residents are well used to the Typhoon and Tornado jets based at RAF Lossiemouth – but once again the base is to be the temporary home of a much wider variety of military hardware over the next few weeks.

Accommodation will also be at a premium with local hotels and guest houses expected to fill with personnel from the German and Swedish air forces joining resident and visiting RAF air and ground crews.

The Moray base is once again playing a central role in the Joint Warrior multinational exercise involving units from all three UK armed forces alongside their NATO allies.

Aircraft are already arriving in Moray for the exercise that is due to begin on Saturday, involving 22 warships and submarines and 52 fixed wing aircraft with a total of around 3500 personnel from participating nations.

Operations involving ground troops from the UK, the United States and other allies will be held on the Moray Firth as well as parts of the Irish Sea to the west and as far north as Cape Wrath.

Joint Warrior is controlled through the Joint Tactical Exercise Planning Staff (JTEPS) based at Northwood in Middlesex. In charge of the fast jet element for JTEPS is Squadron Leader Duncan Laisney.

He said: “JTEPS exists to provide realistic Higher Command simulation and ensure exercise safety. In order to bolster specialist expertise JTEPS is augmented by up to 200 personnel from across the three Services, many of whom are Reservists.

“This October will see the return of Exercise fast jets to RAF Lossiemouth, and JTEPS staff will command the fast jet element from our temporary base there.

“Lossiemouth was chosen as it is ideally positioned to support all of the Joint Warrior activity surrounding the north of Scotland and it is capable of handling 24/7 operations by numerous fast jet aircraft and their supporting personnel.”

Joining the resident Tornado and Typhoon aircraft at the base will be Tornado and Gripens from the German and Swedish Air Forces.

There will also be Sentinel, Shadow and Hercules fixed-wing aircraft operating out of the base while Puma helicopters from RAF Benson will be deployed in Moray for a short period of the exercise.

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