To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is his estimate of the number of service personnel whose duties include a significant role in mountain rescue work; and what is the estimate of the cost of maintaining this service.
Virtually all of the services' mountain rescue work is undertaken by the Royal Air Force, whose mountain rescue teams comprise 25 full-time personnel and a further 158 unpaid volunteers. In addition, a great deal of such work is carried out by the RAF's search and rescue (SAR) helicopter flights. All this activity is coordinated by the RAF's rescue co-ordination centres at Pitreavie and Plymouth. To separate out the MOD's SAR activity attributable to mountain rescue would involve disproportionate cost and effort.