NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Public support for RAF Kinloss farewell march urged

RAF Kinloss
Image caption The airfield at RAF Kinloss will cease to operate after 31 July

Members of the public are being urged to turn out in force to pay tribute to three flying squadrons based at RAF Kinloss.

About 100 personnel are expected to march through Forres on 24 May, two days before the squadrons are disbanded following the defence review.

The airfield at the Moray base will cease to operate after 31 July.

Moray Council convener George McIntyre said the march would be "an emotional occasion".

He said: "RAF Kinloss has been part of the local community for more than 70 years.

"The station was granted the Freedom of Forres in 1962 in recognition of the strong links it had forged with the civilian community in the area.

"Since then those links have become ever stronger and RAF Kinloss has become an integral part of life in Moray."

He added: "The parade will be the last opportunity for the people of Moray to show their support for the three flying squadrons and their personnel and to show their appreciation for all that RAF Kinloss has contributed to the area over many years."

A decision on neighbouring RAF Lossiemouth, and RAF Leuchars in Fife, is expected from the MoD now that the Holyrood elections have been held.

The armed forces are looking to shed 17,000 posts over the next four years as defence spending is cut.

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