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Dodman Point Naval Firing Range

Volume 264: debated on Tuesday 24 October 1995

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on how many days firing practice has taken place since the naval firing range opened at Dodman Point in Cornwall; and on how many of those days safety boats have been present. [38479]

There have been 16 naval gunfire support training serials in the exercise areas off Dodman Point since the Operational Sea Training organisation moved to Plymouth this summer. Firing has taken place during five of these, at each of which a range safety craft was present.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when firing practice is taking place at Dodman Point naval firing range in Cornwall; on which occasions safety boats have been present throughout the firing; and for what period of time they have been absent. [38480]

Naval gunfire support training will be carried out in the sea exercise areas off Dodman Point on up to 72 occasions per year. Details of the specific timings of the individual firing serials are being published in advance in the local press and are also being broadcast through the Gunfacts system. A range safety craft has been present throughout all the firings which have been completed to date.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what regulations are in force regarding the use of safety boats during firing practice at Dodman Point naval firing range in Cornwall. [38478]

There are no specific regulations governing the use of safety boats during firing practice off Dodman Point. The requirement for such a boat is decided on a case by case basis by the Royal Navy, taking account of the particular conditions and circumstances of the firing. The main methods of ensuring that the range is clear are through visual and radar observation from the firing ship, and observation from the helicopter which is present.