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Search and Rescue Services

Volume 447: debated on Thursday 22 June 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the statement of 7 June 2006, Official Report, column 46WH, on MOD search and rescue services, whether the alternative military unit will be based at RNAS Culdrose; whether his statement that the squadron needs to remain at Culdrose referred to the (a) 771, (b) all squadrons presently based there and (c) the future search and rescue squadron; and what his plans are for the 771 Squadron. (77476)

The statement of 7 June 2006, Official Report, column 146WH, on MOD Search and Rescue Services, referred only to the future of the roles currently carried out by 771 Squadron RNAS Culdrose and can be further clarified as follows. The Search and Rescue role will be part of the joint MOD and Maritime and Coastguard Agency future UK helicopter Search and Rescue Capability. The use of Culdrose itself as a future Search and Rescue base will be fully assessed taking into account all relevant factors. The best means for ensuring the continuation of the separate Maritime Counter Terrorism role will be fully assessed in due course and the future basing of this role will be part of that assessment.