The Secretary of State for Scotland Michael Moore was in Moray today (Tuesday 28 September) to visit the RAF Kinloss and RAF Lossiemouth bases as part of his ministerial tour of the country.
He was given tours of both bases, which included a briefing with senior military staff on Kinloss’s Nimrod MRA4 aircraft and the base’s search and rescue and mountain operations as well as the Nimrod flight simulator. He later travelled to Lossiemouth, currently Britain’s main base for Tornado GR4s. He met RAF personnel on both sites.
The Minister also attended the Defence Quadrilateral meeting between the Defence Secretary and the Secretaries of State for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, at which the Scottish Government were also present. He linked to the meeting by videoconference from Kinloss.
The Secretary of State later met with the Moray Community Planning Partnership in Elgin. It was the second meeting between the minister and the local representative group following their trip to the Scotland Office in London to discuss the bases earlier in September.
The Secretary of State said:
“Today I had another opportunity to see at first hand the professionalism and excellence of our armed forces.
“Scotland contributes a great deal to the strategic defence of the UK and the forces’ presence generates employment and pride too.
“I am continuing to make those points fully understood in government as the strategic defence review continues.
Defence Quadrilateral meeting
“This was a valuable opportunity for the territorial Secretaries of State and the devolved governments to make clear their concerns. This is not an issue with which to play politics. Everyone at the meeting demonstrated a will to be constructive and find solutions that will ensure our national security, safeguard our communities and provide real value.”
Mr Moore has now visited all of Scotland’s RAF bases, having attended the RAF Leuchars air show where he met senior RAF personnel. He has also visited Rosyth and will visit BAE at Govan and Scotstoun next week and plans to visit Faslane shortly. He took part in the Army’s live-firing, pre-Afghanistan deployment exercise “Scotland Buzzard” earlier this month and has met a number of defence-related companies.