Military personnel encouraged to remain in Moray once they leave forces

JJ Johnston was the final station commander at RAF Kinloss before it became an Army base.

Bonds built between the military and Moray communities will be used to encourage personnel to settle in the region once their duties have finished.

The 39 Engineer Regiment at Kinloss Barracks has organised an employment, learning and leisure fair with the Moray Economic Partnership to showcase what the area has to offer.

Businesses, universities and the voluntary sector are being encouraged to tap into the wealth of experience in the forces.

JJ Johnston, vice-chairman of the Moray Economic Partnership, was the final station commander at RAF Kinloss before opting to remain in the region when the air base was passed to the Army.

He said: “The military tend to move their personnel every few years and the fair is a brilliant event to expose families, who may be in Scotland for the first time, to the number of great places to visit and opportunities to study.

“We hope in the end they will take up jobs in the area and eventually buy houses and settle here, as many military colleagues including myself, have done before.”

There are currently more than 3,500 military personnel in Moray with an extra 400 due to arrive with the expansion of RAF Lossiemouth.

The event is predominantly aimed at senior soldiers and officers who are due to complete their service within the next five years.

Lt Col Jim Webster, commanding officer of 39 Engineer Regiment, said: “We are here for the long term, and our personnel and families have a wealth of talent, experience, qualifications and trades.”

The event will be held at Kinloss Barracks on Monday, May 17 and will only be open to those carrying a military pass for the base or RAF Lossiemouth.