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Sixth Poseidon – 'Guernsey's Reply' – arrives at RAF Lossiemouth


By Lorna Thompson

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A SIXTH Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft has touched down at its home at RAF Lossiemouth.

The submarine-hunter, ZP806, named "Guernsey’s Reply", arrived at the Moray base today after a long journey from Naval Air Station Jacksonville, in the US.

It will operate as part of the re-established 201 Squadron.

The aircraft's name honours the close bond between 201 Squadron, the island of Guernsey and Jurat Herbert Machon OBE, who named his Mk XVI Spitfire "Guernsey’s Reply" during the Second World War.

Machon fled Guernsey before Nazi occupation of the island and joined the RAF in 1942. During the Second World War he was deployed on a variety of missions, including attacking V2 sites, in particular those on the outskirts of The Hague, in MK XVI Spitfire.

Wing Commander Adam Smolak, Officer Commanding 201 Squadron, in front of the newest aircraft to arrive at RAF Lossimeouth, Guernsey's Reply.
Wing Commander Adam Smolak, Officer Commanding 201 Squadron, in front of the newest aircraft to arrive at RAF Lossimeouth, Guernsey's Reply.

Wing Commander Adam Smolak, Officer Commanding 201 Squadron, said: "I am thrilled to welcome Guernsey’s Reply to RAF Lossiemouth.

"Not only does this mark a further increase to our maritime air capability here at RAF Lossiemouth, but it is also a fitting tribute to the association between 201 Squadron and Guernsey.

"Everyone on 201 Squadron is very proud of this long-standing association and the history which it represents.

"As we move forward, we must continue to foster the links which brought us to where we are now, and I am personally grateful to be able to play my small part."

ZP806, the sixth P-8A Poseidon aircraft to arrive at RAF Lossiemouth.
ZP806, the sixth P-8A Poseidon aircraft to arrive at RAF Lossiemouth.

The latest addition to the RAF Poseidon fleet will play a crucial part in the squadron’s role as the "Schoolhouse" and their mission to train the next generation of Poseidon air crew and instructors. It will also form part of the front-line fleet which will total nine aircraft by the end of the year.

The Poseidon is already providing cutting-edge maritime patrol capabilities and working side-by-side with the Royal Navy to secure the seas around the UK and abroad.

It is equipped with sensors and weapons systems for anti-submarine warfare, as well as surveillance and search and rescue missions.

The aircraft can also be armed with a weapons system that includes torpedoes for engaging sub-surface targets.

The Poseidon aircraft have been ordered as part of a UK Government investment of £470 million at RAF Lossiemouth. The sixth Poseidon joins The Pride of Moray, The City of Elgin, Sir Terence Bulloch, Spirit of Reykjavik and Fulmar at the base.


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