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The end of an era has been reached in North East Scotland.
The RAF has left RAF Kinloss for the final time.
After 73 years, the RAF’s presence at RAF Kinloss draws to a close.
The few remaining air force personnel stand alongside the new tenants of the base – the Army.
Accompanied by the Kinloss Pipes and Drums, the RAF Ensign is lowered for the final time.
It has been home to the Royal Airforce since 1939.
Following the war, Shackleton’s began what the base will be primarily remembered for Maritime surveillance operations – vital during the cold war.
In 1970, the base began flying Nimrod, a duty continued until 2010, when plans for the MR4a variant were scrapped, along with the planes.
The runways of RAF Kinloss stand silent now and fears spread the base would be lost altogether but November last year brought new hope– it was announced 39 Engineer Regiment would move in. Their flag was raised today.
39 Engineer Regiment are the only regular air support regiment in the army – often deployed to repair damaged airfields.
The runways of Kinloss enable appropriate training opportunities:
39 Engineer Regiment is moving from Waterbeach in Cambridgeshire – and at first many personnel were not keen on living north of the border but many seem to be settling in.
For others, like Sgt Iain Walker, the move north is something of a homecoming.
Forres is the nearest market town to the former RAF Kinloss. While sad the RAF are gone, most locals are relieved the base lives on.
With several empty shops, and tough economic times, business owners, like Jeweller Kim Alexandra view the Army presence as essential.
RAF Kinloss is no more – but Kinloss Barracks begins – one chapter of Military history closes, but another can now be written.
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