Government says no to RAF squadron at Leuchars

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The Strategic Defence Security Review announced by Prime Minister David Cameron reveals that nine new maritime patrol aircrafts will be based at Lossiemouth, and not Leuchars.

North East Fife MP Stephen Gethins made an appeal to the Government to re-open Leuchars as an RAF base to ensure air defence against increasing foreign threats.

However the defence review confirmed the new capability would operate from the Elgin RAF base.

The SNP representative claimed that bringing a squadron back to the base, now Leuchars Station and home to the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards and the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, would ensure Britain has the best possible air defence capability in light of increasing threats to national security.

Mr Gethins submitted an early day motion to Parliament last week, backed by MPs from Fife, Tayside and beyond, where he stated that the base is ideally placed to offer an immediate response to any threats affecting the country’s eastern seaboard in the hope the government would reconsider the location of the new aircraft squadron.

The Strategic Defence and Security Review stated that the Boeing P8 maritime patrol aircraft - of which the US has 28 in operation - will fill a gap left by the decision to scrap a new generation of Nimrod aircraft.