A VARIETY OF NATO aircraft will once again be hosted by RAF Lossiemouth this month when the first of two major exercises this year will descend on the Moray base.
Exercise Joint Warrior will be taking place from April 11 for ten days, during which aircraft and their crews from a variety of nations will be based in Lossiemouth – including a detachment of F-16s from Turkey.
Joint Warrior involves military from all three services and is held each Spring and Autumn. Around 6500 personnel are taking part from 14 nations and will see warships, submarines, army units and 60 aircraft taking part.
As well as the F-16s Lossiemouth are expecting to host P3 Orion, Atlantique and P-8A Poseidon – the aircraft that is bound to become a permanent squadron at Lossiemouth with nine on order from the United States.
Home-based Typhoons will also have a major role to play in proceedings, of which Flight Lieutenant Guy Radcliffe, who is the exercise ops officer at RAF Lossiemouth, said: “The hosting of these Exercise participants will involve every section at RAF Lossiemouth.
“In order to facilitate each visiting units’ individual requirements for the Exercise, planning has been ongoing since last year to ensure that we are ready.
“It will be an extremely busy fortnight for the Station and the airfield itself. Particular challenges will involve working with different coalition countries, operating large aircraft from an airfield which is set up for much smaller, fast jets and fitting it all around RAF Lossiemouth’s own ongoing high operational tempo, essential training and QRA.”
Joining Turkish air and ground crews at Lossiemouth will be those from Germany, France, Norway, Canada and the United States, with many arriving in the weeks before the exercise itself. All crews will be staying at local hotels throughout the duration, providing a financial boost to the Moray economy.
The exercise will mean, however, later flying from the Moray base. In general operations will be between 8am and 11pm – however, local residents should expect some night flying to take place. There will also be aircraft movement over the weekend but that will take place mostly during daylight hours.