Leuchars base cut by a third

RAF Leuchars
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THE number of service personnel and their families at Leuchars is expected to drop by around a third when the RAF leaves and the Army comes to town in 2015.

Full details of the numbers involved were disclosed after a written request for information by local MP Sir Menzies Campbell.

The biggest unit heading to Leuchars will be the Royal Dragoon Guards, bringing 430 military personnel along with 220 spouses, or civil partners, and 200 school-age children.

110 Provost Company Royal Military Police will have 310 military personnel, with 140 spouses and 130 school-age children.

The third unit, Provost Company Royal Military Police, is made up of 100 military personnel, with 40 spouses and 30 school-age children.

Together, the Army units comprise 840 personnel compared to around 1200 who are currently deployed by the RAF at Leuchars.

The number of school-age children attached to the new units is 360 compared to the current number of 450.

It was announced earlier this month that the Army would be moving into the base once the RAF squadrons had relocated to Lossiemouth.

It is not known how many RAF families will decide to remain in Leuchars.

Defence Secretary Phillip Hammond, during a recent visit to the Fife base, acknowledged there would be difficulties in planning the provision of local services during the transition.

He pledged to work with local military commanders and Fife Council to minimise the disruption experienced by the local community.

John McLaughlin, area education officer, could not say how many of the 450 school-age children connected with the base would be moving but planning would take place with the MoD.

Meanwhile, the vice-chair of Leuchars Community Council has accused the Defence Secretary of “arrogance and ignorance” during his visit.

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