Kinloss Barracks


Kinloss Barracks
Kinloss, Moray, in Scotland
Army base, Kinloss - - 4525945.jpg
Kinloss Barracks
Kinloss Barracks is located in Moray
Kinloss Barracks
Kinloss Barracks
Location within Moray
Coordinates57°38′58″N 003°33′38″W / 57.64944°N 3.56056°W / 57.64944; -3.56056Coordinates: 57°38′58″N 003°33′38″W / 57.64944°N 3.56056°W / 57.64944; -3.56056
TypeArmy Barracks
Site information
OwnerMinistry of Defence
Operator British Army
Controlled byRoyal Engineers
Site history
Built1938 (1938)
In use1939–2012 (Royal Air Force)
2012 – present (British Army)
Garrison information
Garrison39 Engineer Regiment Royal Engineers
Airfield information
IdentifiersIATA: FSS, ICAO: EGQK, WMO: 03066
Elevation2.4 metres (7 ft 10 in) AMSL
Direction Length and surface
07/25 2,375 metres (7,792 ft) Asphalt
Airfield UseLimited use as a Relief Landing Ground
Source: UK MIL AIP EQGK Kinloss[1]

Kinloss Barracks is a military installation located near the village of Kinloss, on the Moray Firth in the north of Scotland. Until 2012 it was a Royal Air Force (RAF) station, RAF Kinloss.


RAF Kinloss

The Royal Air Force station RAF Kinloss opened at the site on 1 April 1939 and served as a training airfield during the Second World War. After the war it was handed over to Coastal Command to watch over Russian ships and submarines in the Norwegian Sea. Until 2010 it was the main base for the RAF's fleet of Nimrod MR2 maritime patrol aircraft. It was intended that the MR2 would be replaced by the Nimrod MRA4, but the MRA4 was cancelled in the Strategic Defence and Security Review of October 2010. Kinloss then became surplus to RAF use and regular flying operations ceased on 31 July 2011.[2]

Transfer to British Army

On 18 July 2011, the MOD announced that RAF Kinloss would become a British Army barracks, with army units arriving in 2014 or 2015.[3] A further announcement in November 2011 confirmed that 39 Engineer Regiment (Air Support) of the Royal Engineers would move from Waterbeach Barracks, near Cambridge, to Kinloss, in July 2012. It was expected that 930 service personnel and their families would move at this time.[4][5] The number of army personnel based at Kinloss would be 41% down on the number of personnel which were present during the RAF's tenure.[2]

After 73 years as an RAF station, control of Kinloss transferred to the British Army at 1200 on 26 July 2012. A ceremony was attended by eight former RAF Kinloss station commanders, the last station commander Group Captain JJ Johnston, the Lord Lieutenant of Moray and invited guests. The RAF colours were lowered for the last time and British Army colours raised to mark the new chapter in Kinloss's history.[6][7]

In 2020, Boris Johnson, the UK Prime Minister visited Kinloss barracks and to hear about three Puma helicopters used to support the National Health Service and how personnel there were helping with mobile COVID-19 testing units.[8]

During 2020, regular flying temporarily returned to Kinloss when the first of the RAF's Poseidon MRA1 fleet arrived in the UK from the US in February 2020, initially operating from the barracks whilst work was carried out at RAF Lossiemouth to accommodate the new aircraft. Lossiemouth's airfield was closed between 10 August and 16 October 2020 whilst the intersection of its two runways was resurfaced. During the closure, routine Typhoon FGR4 training operations were relocated to Kinloss.[9] A second Poseidon arrived before they and the Typhoons departed for Lossiemouth on the re-opening of the airfield in October 2020.[10]

Based units

The following notable units are based at Kinloss Barracks.[11][12]

British Army

Defence High Frequency Communications Service (DHFCS)

  • DHFCS Kinloss


Royal Engineers

39 Engineer Regiment is tasked with providing air support engineering, such as repair of airfield operating surfaces, to both the RAF and to the British Army, and is the only regular regiment focused on providing such a capability.[11] Around 800 personnel are based at Kinloss.[13]

Defence High Frequency Communications Service (DHFCS)

Kinloss Barracks is home to a high frequency receiver station and network control centre forming part of the Defence High Frequency Communications Service. Prior to 2003 the system at Kinloss was operated by No. 81 Signals Unit (Detachment North) of the RAF.[14] The station is now operated by Babcock International Group on behalf of the Ministry of Defence.[15][16]

Relief Landing Ground

The airfield is maintained by the RAF as a relief landing ground for aircraft based at nearby RAF Lossiemouth and continues to be used by Moray Flying Club. It cannot be booked by other aircraft as a diversion airfield or for refuelling stops.[17]


Further army personnel

The Army Basing Programme, part of the wider Army 2020 programme, is expected to result in further army personnel relocating to Kinloss Barracks by 2022.[18]

See also


  1. ^ "UK MIL AIP Kinloss AD-2 EGQK" (PDF). UK Military AIP. No. 1 Aeronautical Information Documents Unit. 31 December 2020. Retrieved 14 June 2021.
  2. ^ a b "Army unit moving to former air base at Kinloss". BBC News. 10 November 2011. Retrieved 19 November 2016.
  3. ^ Fox, Dr Liam (18 July 2011). "Defence Transformation". UK Parliament – Hansard. Retrieved 31 October 2018.
  4. ^ "First tranche of Army unit moves confirmed". Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 10 November 2011.
  5. ^ "Waterbeach Forward – March 2012". Retrieved 24 March 2012.
  6. ^ "RAF Kinloss – The End of an Era". Royal Air Force. Royal Air Force. 30 July 2012. Archived from the original on 20 November 2016. Retrieved 19 November 2016.
  7. ^ "RAF colours come down at Kinloss airfield". BBC News. 26 July 2012. Retrieved 26 July 2012.
  8. ^ Thompson, Lorna (23 July 2020). "PM highlights 'might' of union in thank-you visit to Moray". The Northern Scot. Retrieved 3 August 2020.
  9. ^ "Next phase of runway resurfacing sees airfield closed at RAF Lossiemouth". Royal Air Force. 29 July 2020. Retrieved 19 October 2020.
  10. ^ "RAF Poseidon MRA1 arrives at RAF Lossiemouth for the first time". Royal Air Force. 13 October 2020. Retrieved 19 October 2020.
  11. ^ a b "39 Engr Regt". British Army. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  12. ^ "71 Engineer Regiment". British Army. Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  13. ^ Mackay, David (4 July 2017). "Could another Army battalion be on its way to Moray?". Press and Journal. Retrieved 17 December 2017.
  14. ^ "81 Signals". RAF Kinloss. Archived from the original on 27 October 2002.
  15. ^ Ross, Calum (12 September 2013). "More Kinloss jobs may be at risk". Press and Journal (Moray). Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  16. ^ "Defence High Frequency Communications Service" (PDF). High Frequency Industry Association. Babcock International Group. 5 September 2012. Archived from the original (PDF) on 1 October 2017. Retrieved 1 October 2017.
  17. ^ UK MIL AIP – EGQK. Ministry of Defence – No. 1 AIDU. 2015. p. 1.
  18. ^ Mackay, David (4 July 2017). "Could another Army battalion be on its way to Moray?". Press and Journal. Aberdeen Journals. Retrieved 13 September 2018.

External links

  • British Army – 39 Engineer Regiment
  • UK Military Aeronautical Information Publication – Kinloss (EGQK)