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Leuchars Station (IATA: ADX, ICAO: EGQL) is a British Army installation located in Leuchars, Fife, on the east coast of Scotland, near to the university town of St Andrews.

Leuchars Station
Flag of the British Army.svg
Near Leuchars, Fife in Scotland
Leuchars airbase - geograph.org.uk - 370764.jpg
Aerial view looking east over Leuchars.
Leuchars Station is located in Fife
Leuchars Station
Leuchars Station
Location in Fife
Coordinates56°22′23″N 002°52′07″W / 56.37306°N 2.86861°W / 56.37306; -2.86861Coordinates: 56°22′23″N 002°52′07″W / 56.37306°N 2.86861°W / 56.37306; -2.86861
TypeArmy barracks and airfield
Site information
OwnerMinistry of Defence
OperatorBritish Army
Site history
Built1916 (1916)
In use1916–2015 (Royal Air Force)
2015 – present (British Army)
Garrison information
Current
commander
Lieutenant Colonel Fraser McLeman
Airfield information
IdentifiersIATA: ADX, ICAO: EGQL, WMO: 03171
Elevation12 metres (39 ft) AMSL
Runways
Direction Length and surface
04/22 747 metres (2,451 ft) Asphalt
09/27 2,589 metres (8,494 ft) Asphalt

Formerly RAF Leuchars, it was the second most northerly air defence station in the United Kingdom (the most northerly being RAF Lossiemouth). The station ceased to be an RAF station at 1200 hrs on 31 March 2015 when control of the site was transferred to the Army.

HistoryEdit

RAF LeucharsEdit

The Royal Air Force station at Leuchars opened on 16 March 1920, although its association with the military can be traced back to 1911 when military balloons were operated at the site. During its history the site was used as a RNAS fleet fighter station and later as a RAF Coastal Command airfield. Throughout the Cold War and beyond, the station was home to fighter aircraft which policed northern UK airspace. The station also hosted an annual International Airshow.

Transfer to the ArmyEdit

On 18 July 2011 Defence Secretary Liam Fox announced that RAF Leuchars would close, whilst RAF Lossiemouth in Moray would be spared as part of the Strategic Defence and Security Review.[1] The recently formed Typhoon force, which was stood up in March 2011, moved to RAF Lossiemouth in Summer 2014[2] with the Army expected to take up residence in 2015 onwards.[3]

Several lodger units on the station continue to receive support from their respective parented stations/HQ after the transition from RAF to Army command. These include No. 612 (County of Aberdeen) Squadron RAuxAF, the East of Scotland Universities Air Squadron incorporating 12 Air Experience Flight, and the Headquarters of Scotland and Northern Ireland Region and South East Scotland Wing of the Air Training Corps. There is still an RAF presence, with a runway used for diverted aircraft.[4]

The former lodger units of 58 Squadron RAF Regiment and 6 Force Protection Wing disbanded on 10 May 2014.[5] Similarly the RAF Leuchars Mountain Rescue Team disbanded in Nov 2013.

The Army took control of the station on 1 April 2015 and it was renamed Leuchars Station.[6] The term 'station' was used as the size of the installation is smaller than a garrison but larger than a barracks and to reflect the range of army and RAF occupants.[7]

The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards gradually relocated from Germany in the spring and summer of 2015 along with 2 Battalion REME and 110 Provost Company.[8] A news report from the Courier stated that 2 CS REME would be moved from Leuchars to Yorkshire under Army 2020 Refine plans.[9] The transition from RAF to Army control was considered to have gone smoothly by Fife Council in terms of its impact on the local community.[10]

In February 2018, local Councillors suggested that the name of installation be changed as it could be confused with Leuchars Railway Station.[10]

Based unitsEdit

The following notable units are based at Leuchars Station.[11][12][13][14][15][16]

British ArmyEdit

Royal Engineers (8 Engineer Brigade, 12 (Force Support) Engineer Group)

Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (101 Logistics Brigade)

  • 2 Close Support Battalion
    • Battalion Headquarters
    • 7 Close Support Company
    • 11 Close Support Company
  • 106 Battalion (Army Reserve)
    • 152 Field Company Detached Platoon

Royal Armoured Corps (51 Infantry Brigade)

Adjutant General's Corps (1 Military Police Brigade, 1 Regiment Royal Military Police)

  • 110 Provost Company

Royal Air ForceEdit

  • RAF Airfield Operations

No. 22 Group (Training) RAF

No. 38 Group (Air Combat Service Support) RAF

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "RAF to pull out of Leuchars as RAF Lossiemouth stays". BBC News. 18 July 2011. Retrieved 18 July 2011.
  2. ^ "First Typhoons land at Lossiemouth". Press and Journal. 12 June 2014. Retrieved 9 September 2014.
  3. ^ Air Forces Monthly. Stamford, Lincolnshire, England: Key Publishing Ltd. April 2013. p. 8.
  4. ^ "Leuchars Station - HL4058". Hansard. 13 December 2016. Retrieved 22 December 2016.
  5. ^ "Disbandment Parade of 6 RAF Force Protection Wing and 58 Sqn RAF Regiment". rafregt.org.uk. 10 May 2014. Archived from the original on 10 September 2014. Retrieved 9 September 2014.
  6. ^ Maureen Ferrier Email (31 March 2015). "Army now in charge at Leuchars". Fife Today. Retrieved 25 June 2017.
  7. ^ Robertson, Aileen (17 February 2018). "Call for 'confusing' Leuchars Station army base to be given new name - The Courier". The Courier. Retrieved 17 October 2018.
  8. ^ "Leuchars residents welcome rebasing news". British Forces News (British Forces Broadcasting Service). Archived from the original on 17 March 2013. Retrieved 6 March 2013.
  9. ^ "Battalion to leave Leuchars for Yorkshire under MoD plans". The Courier. 18 December 2016. Retrieved 22 December 2016.
  10. ^ a b "58. Presentation by the Army on Leuchars Station" (PDF). Fife Council. 14 February 2018. Retrieved 17 October 2017.
  11. ^ "71 Engineer Regiment". British Army. Retrieved 23 May 2017.
  12. ^ "2 Close Support Battalion". British Army. Retrieved 23 May 2017.
  13. ^ "The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards". British Army. Retrieved 23 May 2017.
  14. ^ "Army battalion to leave Leuchars base". Evening Telegraph. 22 December 2016. Retrieved 23 May 2017.
  15. ^ "Units at Leuchars". Leuchars Station Open Day - 3 June 2017. Archived from the original on 30 January 2018. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
  16. ^ "Army Reserve units in Scotland - British Army". Army – Be The Best. Retrieved 29 July 2018.

External linksEdit