Armed Forces Minister Andrew Robathan has paid a visit to RAF Leuchars to witness first-hand the progress that the RAF has made in growing the Typhoon Force in Scotland.
RAF Leuchars' primary mission is Quick Reaction Alert for the northern UK, and the Minister took the opportunity to meet crews standing at high readiness to scramble to intercept unidentified aircraft approaching UK airspace.
Mr Robathan received a guided tour of the station, meeting personnel from 1 (Fighter) Squadron and 6 Squadron who briefed him on the capabilities of the Typhoon FGR4 multi-role combat aircraft. He also visited the East of Scotland Universities Air Squadron, one of two such units based in Scotland where undergraduate students learn to fly and develop their leadership and other skills.
Mr Robathan said:
„Typhoon fighters based here at RAF Leuchars are always on alert, ready to intercept unknown or hostile aircraft approaching our shores.
„It has been hugely reassuring and heartening for me to meet and talk to the men and women of RAF Leuchars who, every day of the year, maintain the highest levels of readiness in carrying out this vital role. They are professional and dedicated.
„I was also interested to hear how the RAF is developing the Typhoon’s multi-role capabilities, as we saw during its magnificent contribution on operations in Libya recently, where Typhoon fighters played a key role in striking with precision Libyan regime targets on the ground.”
The Commanding Officer of RAF Leuchars and Air Officer for Scotland, Air Commodore Gavin Parker, said:
„We were delighted to be able to explain to the Minister how the men and women of RAF Leuchars play a vital role in defending the nation. And we were also able to show how RAF air power is able to offer a swift, flexible and effective response to emerging crises in this uncertain world, such as during recent operations in Libya.”
Photo: Senior Aircraftwoman Helen Rimmer, Crown Copyright/MOD 2012