Employers go behind the scenes at RAF Lossiemouth

October 6, 2017

RAF Lossiemouth hosted an HRFCA Employer Engagement Day on 4 October. 

Project Officer, Flying Officer Chloe McFarlane, the Station Adjutant, put together an interesting and informative programme, as well as making sure the visitor party was in the right place at the right time.

Transition Team Leader Wing Commander Dave Allen briefed visitors on the current roles and future expansion of the Station.

As well as an extra Typhoon fast jet squadron, major investment is being made in facilities and infrastructure to accommodate new P-8 Poseidon Maritime Patrol Aircraft, nine of which will be formed into two front line squadrons and an Operational Conversion Unit.

A highlight of the visit was a detailed briefing by the No 1 (Fighter) Squadron ‘Uncle’, Squadron Leader DJ Greenhowe, who explained the history and current role of the squadron, including its key function in contributing to the UK’s Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) capability, with aircraft and crews poised 24-7 to ensure the integrity of the UK’s airspace, a task they undertake for real on a regular basis.

Sqn Ldr Greenhowe, a Tornado navigator and Qualified Weapons Instructor, is now a full-time reservist who provides vital continuity and depth of experience for both his squadron and the station. Not surprisingly, when it comes to left-field requests and queries he finds himself the go-to guy for both his squadron and station; never a dull moment!

During the 1 Squadron visit, visitors were able to get up close and personal with Typhoons as well as with a famous ancestor in the form of a Spitfire F Mk 21 LA255, which shares the Typhoons’ hangar.

Following lunch, visitors were briefed on reserve units on the station, including No 2622 Sqn RAuxAF Regt, the Moray Flight of 602 Squadron and Fulmer Flight, recently formed and manned by Volunteer Ex-Regular Reserve (VERR) personnel. By all accounts a great success, Fulmar Flight provides a pool of trained and experienced service men and women who can be called upon as required to support non-deployed operations.

OC 2622, Sqn Ldr Andy Liggat, explained the challenges and rewards of reserve service in his squadron, and how the key to recruitment and retention is ‘scratching the itch’, encouraging reservists to join and stay with the squadron with a range of exciting and rewarding training activities.

Overall it was a most successful and useful day, with visitors gaining insights into the current commitments and future of the RAF’s only main operating base in Scotland, and keen to repeat the experience.

With the RAF about to begin its RAF 100 programme in earnest, Lossiemouth will hopefully remain at the forefront of local interest throughout 2018 and beyond.