Photograph: Task force members Eileen Bush and Elliot Roberston post 'a compelling case' for retaining RAF Lossiemouth to PM David Cameron.
Campaigners fighting to save thousands of RAF jobs in Scotland are taking their arguments to the top levels of UK Government.
Business and community leaders in the Moray Task Force have compiled what they're calling 'a compelling case' for retaining RAF Lossiemouth as a base for the present Tornado fleet and future Joint Strike Fighter aircraft.
Moray Task Force was formed in response to the Government's Strategic Defence and Security Review and the case is being sent to Prime Minister David Cameron and Defence Secretary Liam Fox today.
The taskforce's Calum MacPherson, of Highlands and Islands Enterprise, commented:
"The national significance of the RAF's role in Scotland is demonstrated by the endorsement from each of Scotland's political leaders for Moray task force's case. The devastating double blow of withdrawing the Tornadoes from Moray, on top of the cancellation of the Nimrods, would constitute a cut of more than 70% in RAF personnel in Scotland."
Evidence for the Moray submission has been collated for the task force by economic and strategic defence experts, and has drawn on research from Highlands and Islands Enterprise and the independent defence and security think tank the Royal United Services Institute.
"The task force's strategic military arguments highlight that the MoD itself identified that RAF Lossiemouth was the best place to base the Joint Strike Fighter aircraft, both in terms of cost and location. In addition, Lossiemouth's proximity to some of Europe's best training grounds offers huge advantages to RAF pilots," said Mr MacPherson.
He added: "RAF Lossiemouth is deeply rooted within the Moray community. The social and economic impact of closing a base which supports over 3,000 jobs is unthinkable. The task force has acted swiftly to provide a compelling case that the future of the RAF and its fighter squadrons should be in Moray."
Task force business representative Elliot Robertson has been lobbying UK Government Ministers over the future of the Moray bases.
"Westminster should not underestimate the Moray community's strength of feeling. Thousands of people will converge at Lossiemouth on Sunday to show their support. Moray task force is working hard to convey that local passion for the RAF's part in the area, and we will strenuously oppose any decision which we believe is not in the best interests of Moray, the UK taxpayer, or the UK defence strategy."