RAF Lossiemouth in Moray, is one of two RAF Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) stations which protect UK airspace.
Its three front line Typhoon fast jet squadrons maintain Quick Reaction Alert (Interceptor) North – protecting UK and NATO air space from attempted air terrorism and other incursions – and are supporting the international effort to counter Daesh in Iraq and Syria.
The station supports three Typhoon combat aircraft squadrons, with a fourth being added in 2019, which will see Scotland being home to half of the RAF’s Typhoon Force.
Personnel and Typhoons from RAF Lossiemouth’s Number 1 (Fighter) Squadron, the oldest in service squadron in the world, and Number 2 (Army Cooperation) Squadron, conducted a NATO enhanced Air Policing mission in Romania from April to August 2018, before the Royal Canadian Air Force took over the ongoing international mission.
When in Romania, the Scots-based team scrambled eight times in response to 20 Russian aircraft flying towards Romanian air space as part of NATO’s assurance measures for Eastern Allies. In 2019, the Lossiemouth Typhoon force will deploy to Estonia and Iceland to conduct further NATO Air Policing missions.
RAF Lossiemouth is also home and a RAF Regiment squadron (RAF ‘soldiers’ who protect aircrew, aircraft and air stations). Its 5 Force Protection Wing regularly deploys to Nigeria to work with the Nigerian Air Force to improve their capability to fight Boko Haram. The RAF Police have delivered military policing training such as counter intelligence, military working dog handling, special investigations and general police duties.
Personnel from RAF Lossiemouth also supported the Scottish Government and NHS Scotland by transporting essential staff to and from work during the ‘Beast from the East’ snow storms of 2018.
Lossiemouth is preparing to be home to the new UK fleet of Poseidon P-8A Maritime Reconnaissance Attack (MRA) aircraft. Boeing and the UK Government are building a new £132 million operational support and training facility for Poseidon, creating more than 200 jobs.
The entire UK Poseidon fleet will be based at Lossiemouth due to its proximity to the North Atlantic, where adversary submarines are most likely to operate. They will co-operate closely on this mission alongside US and Norwegian aircraft. Poseidon will protect the UK nuclear deterrent and other submarines, as well as its new aircraft carriers, working alongside the new fleet of eight Royal Navy Type 26 Frigates (anti-submarine warfare specialists) currently being built in Glasgow
By 2024, the number of personnel at RAF Lossiemouth will have risen by 470 to around 2,200 people.
Find out more about armed forces and security in Scotland.