Name of RAF submarine-hunter facility honours Battle of Atlantic heroes

A £100m facility for the Royal Air Force's submarine-hunter aircraft has been named the Atlantic Building.

The name of the facility, based at RAF Lossiemouth, pays tribute to the history of 120 Squadron which fought in the Battle of the Atlantic during the Second World War and now operates the new P-8A Poseidon aircraft.

Sixty personnel from 120 Squadron, also known as CXX Squadron, formally paraded for the first time since re-forming in 2020, at the Moray base on Wednesday.

The squadron also received a new Standard and was accompanied on the parade by the RAF Lossiemouth Pipes and Drum Band as families and guests watched on.

The parade was opened with a flypast of a Poseidon aircraft, flanked by a pair of Typhoon fighter jets.

Air Marshal Gerry Mayhew, Deputy Commander Operations for the RAF, said the new building signifies growth for the service as a whole.

The naming ceremony was marked with a flypast from a P-8A Poseidon and two Typhoon fighters
The naming ceremony was marked with a flypast from a P-8A Poseidon and two Typhoon fighters (Picture: MOD).

He told Forces News: "It's a turning point for us as a service, to see the force growing, for the Poseidon force here at Lossiemouth, defending the United Kingdom and the approaches through the north Atlantic.

"It's a very busy place so this is very apt – not just now but also the history of the force here in Scotland."

120 Squadron's parade also saw the passing of command, with Wing Commander Ben Livesey taking over from Wing Commander James Hanson who has commanded the squadron "from the very start" since its re-formation.

Wg Cdr Livesey said it is an "immense privilege" to take command of the squadron.

"To have the honour, and that's what it is, to lead the people of 120 is absolutely what I love to do," he said.

P-8A Poseidons
The RAF is eventually expected to have nine P-8A Poseidons (Picture: MOD).

The RAF currently has five P-8A Poseidons, with more expected to arrive at Lossiemouth early next year. 

The base has been undergoing upgrades costing more than £360m in total in preparation for the arrival of the submarine-hunter aircraft.

The P-8A Poseidons are equipped with sensors and weapons systems designed for anti-submarine warfare.

They can also carry out surveillance and search and rescue missions, according to the RAF.