THEY ARE BECOMING a common sight over Moray having been involved in previous Nato exercises at the Moray base.
However, this time it all seems a little different as the US Navy P8 Maritime Patrol Aircraft buzz around Lossiemouth for the current Joint Warrior war games.
Since they were last seen to land in Moray a great deal has happened – not the least the confirmation that the Moray base will host nine of these imposing aircraft as permanent residents, the result of a Ministry of Defence decision that they should take over a role that has been posted missing from the UK defence armoury since the scrapping of the Nimrod programme in 2011.
The P8’s currently on the Moray base flew in from Jacksonville in Florida and are providing, according to station commander Group Captain Paul Godfrey, an ideal opportunity for base personnel and local people to get used to the idea of their being in Moray.
He told Forces TV: “It is a great opportunity to operate a P8 from Lossiemouth from the station’s perspective, we can get used to seeing the aircraft around and all the support elements that requires. It is also great for our local community to see P8’s operating from Lossie because that is the future.”
While the P8 is becoming a familiar sight in Moray somewhat less so are the Turkish F-16s currently on show at the Moray base.
A spokesman for the Turkish Air Force contingent said: “It is good that we learn a bit about other aircraft which we don’t always work with so we learn from each other – it is interesting to work together in this way.”
Joint Warrior will conclude at the end of this week.