Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Wednesday 20 October 2004

Kinloss RAF base 'off-limits' in security scare

The BBC are reporting that a cordon of security has been thrown around RAF Kinloss because a man is loose on the base with a loaded rifle - the incident is said NOT to be terrorist-related.

Reading between the lines, it is being speculated that it has more to do with rumours recently that the base is to be downgraded or closed in a 'restructuring' of the UK's armed services with a loss of 1,500 jobs there and a further 400 at nearby RAF Lossiemouth; there have been so many 'restructurings' (aka 'reductions') in the UK's military over my lifetime that one tends to lose count. I report on this only because RAF Kinloss is close to the town of Forres, about 8 miles along the road from here. I often see RAF Nimrod maritime reconnaissance aircraft departing on or returning from missions and of course military jets often do exercises over the area, including pretty low passes over my immediate vicinity. One cannot but be closely aware of the bases' existence.

UPDATE: (Wednesday 20OCT04 18.35 BST) The body of Flight Sergeant Philip Herring, 40, was discovered in close proximity to a high-powered rifle on the base this afternoon. It is stated by the police that there were no suspicious circumstances, so one must assume (until further clarification is available) that he has taken his own life.

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