Thousands welcome home RAF servicemen and women

THOUSANDS of people lined the streets of Elgin yesterday to welcome home Scots RAF servicemen and women who served in Afghanistan.

The personnel, from 14 Squadron and the 5 Force Protection Wing, served together at Kandahar airfield in Afghanistan last year.

The 26 aircrew and 120 engineers from 14 Squadron supported more than 450 missions during their three-month deployment. They returned to RAF Lossiemouth in January.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The 5 Force Protection Wing returned to the base in December after a six-month tour at Kandahar. They dealt with 20 roadside bombs and 50 rocket attacks during their tour of duty.

A salute was taken when a diamond formation of Tornado aircraft from RAF Lossiemouth flew overhead.

The parade was led by the 2622 (Highland) Squadron Royal Auxiliary Air Force Regiment Voluntary Pipe Band, which is made up of service and civilian volunteers.

The personnel come from Scottish RAF bases which are under threat from defence spending cuts.

Moray MSP Richard Lochhead said: "It was a very moving parade and underlines the long association between the Air Force and Moray."

"We all hope that there can be similar events long into the future which is why there is such a strong campaign to retain RAF Lossiemouth as an Air Force base."

The closure of RAF Kinloss has been confirmed under the UK government's Strategic Defence and Security Review with the cancellation of the Nimrod contract.