RAF personnel welcomed home
21 Feb 11
Thousands of people lined the streets of Elgin on Saturday to welcome home RAF servicemen and women from RAF Lossiemouth following operational deployments.
Three flights of personnel marched through the streets of Elgin to flag-waving and cheers following their tours in Afghanistan and other locations around the world.
No 1 Flight was made up of personnel from 14 Squadron who returned from Kandahar Airfield in January 2011. During their tour the 26 aircrew and 120 engineers supported more than 450 missions and collected over 1,100 RAPTOR (Reconnaissance Airborne Pod for Tornado) images.
No 2 Flight was made up of personnel from No 5 Force Protection Wing with its subordinate squadrons, 51 Squadron RAF Regiment and 2622 (Highland) Squadron Royal Auxiliary Air Force Regiment.
During their six-month tour the Wing contended with 20 roadside bombs and 50 rocket attacks.
No 3 Flight was made up of the individuals who deploy without a formed unit as augmentees. These personnel were being welcomed home from a variety of locations, including the Falklands Islands, Turkey, Oman, the United Arab Emirates and Afghanistan.
The parade was led by the 2622 (Highland) Squadron Voluntary Pipe Band. As the parade passed the dais in the centre of Elgin the salute was taken by the Lord-Lieutenant of Moray, the Convener of The Moray Council and the Honorary Air Commodore of 2622 (Highland) Squadron Royal Auxiliary Air Force Regiment, just as a four-ship diamond formation of Tornado GR4s roared overhead.
The Station Commander of RAF Lossiemouth, Group Captain Andy Hine, said:
"The people of RAF Lossiemouth have been top performers on operations, whether defending airfields through the RAF Regiment, providing vital support to troops on the ground from our Tornados, or indeed as deployed individuals contributing to the wider allied effort.
"I was truly delighted to see such a fantastic turnout from the people of Moray to welcome home our people; such an obvious display of support reinforces just how integrated the RAF is with the local community in this part of the world. It was a very special occasion for us."