Published: 30/04/2014 15:11 - Updated: 30/04/2014 14:05

Homecoming Parade for Lossie troops

The Duke of York on a recent visit to RAF Lossiemouth
The Duke of York on a recent visit to RAF Lossiemouth

PRINCE Andrew, Duke of York will take the salute from troops returning from Afghanistan at a Homecoming Parade in Elgin next Friday.

Over 130 personnel from 5 Force Protection Wing based at RAF Lossiemouth will march through the town centre making it one of the biggest parades seen in the Moray capital.

Once the salute has been taken by the Duke, who is Honorary Air Commodore of the air station, he will present campaign medals and awards to personnel.

This will be the second time in three months that he has honoured RAF Lossiemouth.

The Duke witnessed the disbandment of 617 ‘Dambusters’ Squadron and 12 ‘Bomber’ Squadron in March.

Setting off from Johnston and Carmichael’s premises on South Street at 11.30am, personnel will march past the Mansefield Hotel towards the A96 roundabout and then along High Street to St Giles’ Church where the salute will be taken.

A large crowd is expected to witness the event, which will be hosted by Moray Council convener Stewart Cree.

He said: "It is a great privilege to honour our military by welcoming them home in this way.

"Moray has had a long and strong connection with our armed forces, and we are a richer and more diverse community because of them.

"Recent tours of duty to Afghanistan by 5 Force Protection Wing have not been without incident or casualty, and we should not forget that.

"These men and women are sent to some of the most dangerous places in the world on our behalf, and we owe them all a great debt."

After the parade and salute there will be a reception for invited guests in St Giles’ Church.

RAF Lossiemouth station commander, Group Captain Mark Chappell, said: "It is a great pleasure to welcome home 5 Force Protection Wing from their deployment to Afghanistan

"The Wing should be immensely proud of their efforts to defend Camp Bastion and a special mention should be paid to 51 Squadron RAF Regiment for being awarded the Higginson Trophy for 2013; which is awarded annually to the RAF Regiment Squadron that has demonstrated the greatest overall excellence."

Gp Capt Chappell added he was delighted the council had given permission for the march through Elgin, which highlighted the positive relationship between the station and the Moray community.

No roads will be closed for the event on May 9, but Police Scotland will halt traffic on the route for a few minutes to allow the parade to pass safely.

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