Leuchars airmen sent on Afghanistan tour of duty

17/03/2011, Scotsman, TSPL, Scotsman,  Treble one Squadron and Tornado F3 to celebrate honourable service,. RAF Leuchars will say thank you and farewell to 111 (Fighter) Squadron on 22nd March as it honourably disbands in line with the long-planned retirement from RAF service of the Tornado F3.' 111 Tornado Squadron is pictured here completing it last operational sortie at RAF Leuchars.  Pic Ian Rutherford
17/03/2011, Scotsman, TSPL, Scotsman, Treble one Squadron and Tornado F3 to celebrate honourable service,. RAF Leuchars will say thank you and farewell to 111 (Fighter) Squadron on 22nd March as it honourably disbands in line with the long-planned retirement from RAF service of the Tornado F3.' 111 Tornado Squadron is pictured here completing it last operational sortie at RAF Leuchars. Pic Ian Rutherford
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200 airmen from the under threat RAF Leuchars base have been sent to Camp Bastion in Afghanistan for a six month tour of duty.

THE news reinforces the significance of Leuchars as an RAF airbase, say campaigners fighting to save the base from closure in the defence cuts.

Chair of the Residents Action Force for the retention of RAF Leuchars, Fraser Phillips, said: “Yet again the importance of Leuchars’ highly technically skilled military personnel is underlined. 200 plus specialists in Air Traffic security are heading out to help protect some of the coalition’s most important theatre assets. They will be out for six months and it cannot be made easier by the question marks over their base’s future. The strategic importance of Leuchars to the defence of the UK and UK assets overseas is unarguable and this serves to further emphasise it.”

He added: “This will be a very worrying time for the family and friends who are left at home. However it is recognised that the local community and the base personnel are very much aware of these concerns and will do all that they can to minimise their effects.”

The 58 Squadron will work alongside the RAF Police and the US Marine Corps in Afghanistan, protecting the people and assets at the base in Helmand Province while enabling the delivery of air power and protecting aircraft taking off and landing from attack.

*See Fifetoday’s stunning video slideshow of photographs from RAF Leuchars