The Station

Leuchars is a British Army barracks on the East coast of Scotland.  RAF units on the base include:

  • Leuchars Diversion Airfield (LDA)
  • East of Scotland University Air Squadron (ESUAS)
  • 612 (R) Medical Reserve Squadron RAuxAF

Leuchars Station passed from the RAF to the British Army in 2015 and is home to the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards, the Royal Electrical Mechanical Engineers (REME) and the Royal Military Police.  The RAF continues to operate a fully operational airfield 24 hrs a day, 365 days a year from within Leuchars Station and has a diverse workforce of circa 50 RAF Regular, Reserve & Civil Servants, across Operations, Logistics & Engineering pillars. These pillars include the Visiting Aircraft Handling Section, Ground Engineering Section, Engineering Support Flight, Air Traffic Control, Ground Radio Maintenance Section, and Mechanical Transport.  

"Attack and protect"

The former RAF Leuchars station motto is 'Attack and Protect,' with a badge that depicts a Scottish claymore over the saltire and wavy sea background; showing where the Stations is situated in Scotland and its maritime role in defence.

Although Leuchars Diversion Airfield does not have its own crest, its Mission Statement is to provide a 24hrs Combat Air Emergency Airfield in order to enhance Quick Reaction Alert resilience.


Squadron Leader Alan Frew

Officer Commanding & Senior Air Traffic Control Officer

Squadron Leader Frew joined the Royal Air Force in 1997 as a Trade Group 9 Assistant Air Traffic Controller (AATC) following completion of Higher examinations at Auchenharvie Academy in Ayrshire Scotland.

Following tours at RAF Kinloss and RAF(U) Prestwick, in 2001 he was selected for promotion to Corporal and posted to II(AC) Squadron at RAF Marham in a Tornado GR4 Squadron operations role, a further ops role within 42 Squadron Nimrod OCU Dynamic Simulator saw Squadron Leader Frew promoted to Sergeant and in October 2005 was selected for Air Traffic Controller training at RAF Shawbury.  Successfully graduating from the Joint Air Traffic Control Course (JATCC) in October 2006 saw Frew posted to RAF Lossiemouth, where he soon became Senior Non-Commissioned Officer IC Air Traffic Control standards and in 2011 was promoted to Flight Sergeant and posted to the Central Air Traffic Control School (CATCS) as an Air Traffic Control Instructor, where he we selected for the role of Deputy Training Manager.

Frew returned to Lossiemouth in October 2013 and was selected for promotion to Warrant Officer and posted to RAF Brize Norton in January 2015 where he assumed the role of Squadron Warrant Officer and the Battlespace Management Local Examining Officer (LEO). Following successful interview in October 2016 he was selected for the high-profile Station Warrant Officer (SWO) role at RAF Brize Norton, the largest of the RAFs Main Operating Bases. Successful interview saw Frew commission in 2019 through the Executive Commissioned Warrant Officer Scheme (ECWOs) when he assumed the role of SO3 Tactical Operations Air Traffic Management within 1 Air Control Centre (1ACC), responsible for the training and validation of the Battlespace Management Force early entry capability.

Frew was posted to RAF Akrotiri in July 2020 and quickly became the Deputy Senior Air Traffic Control Officer (DSATCO), Airfield Manager Kingsfield and Battlespace Management Unit Examiner (BMUE).  Selected for promotion to Squadron Leader in October 2021, Frew assumed the role of Officer Commanding Leuchars Diversion Airfield (LDA) and SATCO in April 2022.

Overseas deployments have seen Squadron Leader Frew serve in Squadron Operation roles in Kuwait in Support of Air Operations in Iraq in addition to working within the Defence Section in the British Embassy Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.  As an Air Traffic Controller Frew has twice deployed to Camp Bastion Afghanistan with his final tour seeing the closure of the airfield to coalition forces, other deployments include Namest Air Base Czech Republic, BATUS Canada and most recently BATUK Kenya.

In the Station Warrant Officer role, Squadron Leader Frew was solely responsible to Headquarters London District for all ceremonial aspects of the Tri-Service Repatriation of fallen Servicepersons from operations worldwide.  Frew conducted several Operation PABBAYs in addition to an Operation PLOVER during this tour.

Who's based here

Key dates

1911 - Flying starts at Leuchars.

1920 - Station renamed RAF Leuchars.

2014 - The last RAF air defence squadrons left the Station.

2015 - The Station was handed over to the British Army and renamed as Leuchars Station.

2015 - The remaining RAF Unit renamed from RAF Leuchars to Leuchars Diversion Airfield (LDA).


Aviation at Leuchars dates back to 1911 with a balloon squadron of the Royal Engineers. Heavier than air craft moved in to the site soon afterwards and it was used as a training airfield through the First World War. A Coastal Command station during the Second World War, in 1943 BOAC used the airfield to set up a covert air link to neutral Sweden, rescuing RAF crews who had been shot down and interred as well as importing Swedish goods for the war effort.

Leuchars became a fighter station in 1950 hosting a variety of jet air defence aircraft, belonging both to the RAF and the Royal Navy, due to its coastal location. It remained an air defence airfield through the Cold War and up to 2015 where it was handed over to the British Army and renamed Leuchars Station with the RAF Unit being named Leuchars Diversion Airfield.

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