Aviation enthusiasts descended on Moray from far and wide to watch a range of international military aircraft perform vital training exercises yesterday.
The two-week Operation Joint Warrior programme got under way at RAF Lossiemouth, with more than 3,400 Nato troops taking part in the land, sea and air war games event.
A total of 22 ships, four submarines and more than 40 aircraft from a dozen Nato nations and three partner countries have travelled to the region.
Onlookers congregated at the north end of the Moray airfield’s runway, where they clutched binoculars and powerful cameras as they watched the jets launch into a fortnight of intense training missions.
They observed Boeing P-8 Poseidon aircraft touching down at the base to begin exercises.
The hulking surveillance planes are attached to Patrol Squadron 10 at the “Red Lancers” Naval Air Station in Jacksonville, Florida.
Swedish and Norwegian C-130 Hercules transport aircraft showed off the fast takeoff and landing times that help them deploy and collect troops during emergency situations.
The craft are used by the US Air Force and US Marine Corps as well as the RAF.
Meanwhile, a fleet of F-16 and Typhoon fast jets from Turkey roared across the skies overhead while they performed crucial tactical training sessions.
One onlooker, who watched as a number of the jets arrived in Moray over the weekend, said the Turkish deployment had caused most excitement among aficionados.
The former RAF serviceman said: “They are what everybody wants to see. I don’t think the Turkish have ever come this far north before, and they have brought really advanced kit with them.”
About 1,500 personnel from the Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force are participating, alongside those from Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and the US.
All crews will be staying in local hotels for the duration of the exercise, which concludes on Friday, April 22.