The first of two fast jet squadrons will formally leave RAF Leuchars and arrive at RAF Lossiemouth.
The Courier revealedlast weekthat the first four Typhoon fast jets moved from Leuchars to their new home in Moray last Tuesday. The remainder of 6 Squadron will be formally welcomed at Lossiemouth on Friday.
The second RAF Leuchars Typhoon squadron, 1(F) Squadron, is scheduled to transfer to Lossiemouth in the autumn, ending a permanent fast jet presence in Fife dating back decades.
Preparations for the move have been under way for some time. Three RAF Typhoons from 6 Squadron took part in Exercise Moray Venture at RAF Lossiemouth in March to help prepare them for their transfer.
A spokesperson for RAF Lossiemouth told the Courier: “Our community support team have also been working very hard with the families of the squadrons to make the transition as seamless as possible, by bringing them up to Lossiemouth to have a look around the station and the houses.
“All the squadrons have received various briefs about the surrounding area of Morayshire etc so they are aware of what is available to them.”
With the RAF Leuchars Quick Reaction Alert function due to transfer to Lossiemouth with the transfer of 1(F) Squadron, the spokesperson added that QRA rehearsals will take place over the summer with QRA standing up at Lossiemouth at the end of the summer. The formal handover of Leuchars to the army is due to take place on March 31 2015, with the majority of army personnel arriving in June next year.
Despite the army not being due to arrive in numbers until next summer, fresh assurances have been given that there will not be a “gap” between the RAF leaving Leuchars and the army taking over.
The RAF said last week that whilst it is likely that there will be fluctuations in occupancy levels at RAF Leuchars during the transition, they do not anticipate a gap in occupancy.
The army said soldiers were very much looking forward to their move to Leuchars. Preparations had been under way for months and the entire next year would be geared towards the move from Germany to Leuchars for soldiers and their families.
But North East Fife MP Sir Menzies Campbell said he would be writing to the Defence Secretary to ensure that commitments to a seamless transfer were upheld.
Tay Bridgehead Fife councillor Tim Brett, whose ward includes Leuchars, also had concerns about the impact on local businesses.