Belfast Telegraph

Friday 18 April 2014

Single RAF base left after cuts

Royal Air Force personnel leave RAF Leuchars after being told the air base will become an army base

Scotland is to be left with one RAF base after the Defence Secretary announced that RAF Leuchars is to become an Army base.

The Fife airbase will become the home of one of five UK multi-role brigades, and its fleet of Typhoons will move to RAF Lossiemouth, Liam Fox told the Commons.

RAF Kinloss will also become an Army base, it was announced.

The new brigade will see around 5,000 military personnel move to Scotland.

The increased Army presence at Kinloss and Leuchars will more than double the size of current Army numbers in Scotland.

Typhoon squadrons will replace Tornados at RAF Lossiemouth and around 2,000 RAF and civilian staff will be based there.

The security of the nation and defence requirements were "paramount" in the decision, according to Dr Fox said, but he said he had also taken into account the impact of base closures on local communities and serving personnel and their families.

The overhaul of air bases is part of a wider review of MoD operations.

Dr Fox said overall, Scotland's "defence footprint" would increase by around 2,000 posts.

The Defence Secretary also announced a development of a site at Kirknewton, near Edinburgh, into a facility for Army units returning from Germany.

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