THERE IS TO BE a Swiss invasion of Moray on Monday – but for the friendliest and best possible reasons.
Elements of the Swiss Air Force will be arriving at RAF Lossiemouth throughout the next month as they undertake their annual night flying training.
Under the banner ‘Exercise Spotnight’ the operations will last for four weeks with FA-18 aircraft operating for the first time in Scotland from Monday, November 13 until December 8.
However, only two weeks of that period is being used for specific night flying – routinely, the Swiss Government does not permit night flying and so the Swiss Air Force generally conduct their exercises over Norway.
That is not possible this time around as their Norwegian host base is currently closed for renovation – and so the Swiss turned to the UK and specifically RAF Lossiemouth as a suitable alternative.
In total there will be 10 aircraft along with 100 support personnel in Moray, with the crews and engineers having time to enjoy the local area in their spare time.
Lieutenant Colonel Aldo Wicki, the detachment commander, said: “The whole team are hugely looking forward to coming to Scotland for what will be the first time for many of us.
“It will be a fantastic opportunity not only to train our skills on night-missions and work alongside the Royal Air Force, but also to enjoy the Scottish hospitality.”
Night flying is generally restricted at RAF Lossiemouth to QRA flights with the normal flying hours from the base 8am until 11pm. During the exercise it is expected that all flying will still be concluded by 11pm each day.