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Military Bands

Volume 32: debated on Wednesday 24 November 1982

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asked the Secretary of State for Defence what is the total number of bandsmen (a) in the Royal Marines and (b) the Royal Air Force; how many regular bands exist in each; what is the established strength of each band; and how these figures are to be reduced.

The total complemented strength of the Royal Marines Band Service is 563 of which 539 officers, musicians and buglers actually form part of the bands, the remainder comprising headquarters support and a margin to cover sickness and leave. Current bearing in the Royal Marine Band Service is 513 broken down as follows:

1. Commando Training Centre, Royal Marines42
2. Royal Marines Deal (includes the School of Music)115
3. Commando Forces, Plymouth42
4. Commander-in-Chief, Naval Home Command66
5. Commander-in-Chief, Fleet66
6. Flag Officer, Plymouth42
7. Flag Officer, Naval Air Command42
8. Flag Officer, Scotland and Northern Ireland42
9. Dartmouth (Britannia Royal Naval College)34
10. Flag Officer, Third flotilla22
These figures will be reduced by the phasing out of three bands as follows:

1 April 1983 - Flag Officer, Naval Air Command42
1 April 1985 - Commando Forces Plymouth42
1 April 1987 - Flag Officer, Third Flotilla22
After 1987 the total complemented strength will therefore be 457 officers, musicians and buglers.

Royal Air Force

The total number of officers and musicians in the Royal Air Force Band Service is 272. There are five regular staff bands at home and overseas and their complemented strengths are as follows:


1. Western Band42
2. Germany Band42
3. Regimental Band42
4. Central Band (includes music services and training)79
5. College Band42
8 officers
17 instructors

There are no planned reductions for RAF bands.