Swiss Air Force roll out of Moray – but promise to return

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SILENT NIGHTS WILL return around Lossiemouth now that the Swiss Air Force have completed a successful four-week exercise at the RAF base.

However, such was the success of the visit there are hopes that it will become a regular training opportunity.

Exercise ‘Scotnight’ saw the Swiss Air Force bring 10 F-18 aircraft and 70 personnel to Scotland for an exercise of this type for the first time.   One of the main purposes of the exercise was to enable night flying training, something that can be an issue in Switzerland due to the country’s size and geography.

Lieutenant Colonel Aldo Wicki was the Commander of the Swiss Air Force detachment, he said:“We are limited in Switzerland when doing night flying because of our very crowded air space since we are a very small country and our training sectors are very limited in dimensions.

“Then we have some limitations in winter time – we are not allowed to do night flying and not allowed to do supersonic flying because of the risk of avalanches, an important factor in our country, so again this reduces the dimensions of our exercises.

“For all of those factors we have been looking for someone to host us – and luckily we have found the Royal Air Force and RAF Lossiemouth where we have fabulous training facilities and opportunities to develop our skills flying with and against the Typhoons.

“We are very grateful for the hospitality of the RAF and Scotland, all of my people love to be here because it is so different from what we find on the continent.

“We have been welcomed with an open minded spirit and with fabulous hospitality – so we are looking forward to coming back during the next years – and actually we are working hard on making this a long term commitment.”