Senior VIPs call in at Moray base as exercise draws to close

Rear Admiral Key discusses aircraft preparation with Typhoon engineers.

Another VIP visitor rolled up at RAF Lossiemouth this week as the base moved towards the conclusion of the international ‘Joint Warrior’ exercise.

The Moray skies have been busy with a myriad of aircraft with plenty for enthusiasts to see and photograph despite the absence of the United States forces who had to pull out before the start of ‘hostilities’.

Earlier this week Rear Admiral Ben Key, who is the Flag Officer Sea Training, led a team of senior RAF and Royal Navy officers visiting the base.

Lossiemouth has been hosting the fast jet elements of the exercise but has also been a base for a variety of transport aircraft and helicopters, making it the busiest air station in the UK.

The exercise has seen ships, submarines, aircraft and ground troops from the a variety of nations battling each other at sea, in the air and on land in an area which stretches from the Irish Sea, north to Cape Wrath and east to the Moray Firth.

During the visit Rear Admiral Key and accompanying senior officers were shown how preparations progressed for a flight of Typhoons.  For an exercise as massive and intense as Joint Warrior those differ to routine flying training on a Royal Air Force Main Operating Base.

The party also visited the Station’s Typhoon simulator. Here a senior instructor explained and compared the benefits of simulated flying training with those of ‘live’ flying in an exercise such as Joint Warrior.

The Rear Admiral said: “This UK led exercise provides high quality coordinated training at the tactical level for all three UK Armed Services and numerous visiting units from invited allied nations.

“The integration of operational training for our Armed Services and allied nations is vital, and having a RAF Main Operating Base such as RAF Lossiemouth, capable of contributing to it cannot be underestimated.”

Spotters snap another arrival (www.jasperimage.co.uk)

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