Cornish Riviera visit is no holiday for Moray airmen

BRIDIES HAVE BEEN swapped for Pasties by over 100 Moray airmen who are currently on deployment to a Royal Navy base in Cornwall.

Six of RAF Lossiemouth’s Typhoon Jets are currently spending a week at the Culdrose naval air station near Helston, where they are exercising with a Type 45 Destroyer on the south-west approaches of the English Channel.

The aircraft and personnel form II(Army Cooperation) Squadron are seeing their deployment to the other end of the country as preparation for future global operations that will be expected of the most recently created Typhoon outfit.

“Our mission at Lossiemouth is part of the ‘Quick Reaction Alert Force’ in readiness for operations across the northern part of the UK and future global deployments,” Wing Commander Roger Elliott, II Squadron’s CO, said.

He added: “We are at RNAS Culdrose in training for deployments that could take us anywhere in the world, much like the Royal Navy. My job as Commanding Officer is to get them ready to deploy.

“Culdrose offers us an ideal base for conducting Maritime integration exercises with HMS Defender, a Type 45 Destroyer that will test her air defence radar and air defence capability.”

Welcoming them to RNAS Culdrose was Commanding Officer Captain Adrian Orchard OBE, himself a Harrier pilot and no stranger to fast Jet activity.

He said: “Culdrose is really excited about hosting the Typhoons – this is a big part of our future and we are looking ahead to cooperation between us, the Royal Air Force and the other services from other nations as we prepare for operations with the Queen Elizabeth Carriers.”

Many of the Air Station’s squadrons and units are working alongside the Typhoons bringing realism to the exercises in the Air and at Sea.

Their involvement will pay dividends in the future as the Royal Navy’s own F35B jets are on trials in the USA, with pilots and crews from RNAS Culdrose.

Captain Orchard added: “Many of our aircraft will be part of HMS Queen Elizabeth’s ‘Carrier Air Group’ when she sets off to Sea.

“Our future is bright and looking very rosy as we continue to develop the carrier capability at RNAS Culdrose.”

Typhoon Culdrose