§ 2. Mr. Wilkinson
asked the Minister of State for Defence whether he will define the role and tasks, both in peace and in war, of the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve and the Royal Auxiliary Air Force alluded to in chapter III, paragraph 13, of the Statement on Defence Estimates, 1971.
§ The Under-Secretary of State for Defence (Mr. Antony Lambton)
The Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve includes a limited number of officers who in peace train for, and in war would carry out, certain specialist ground tasks in support of the Royal Air Force. The bulk of the Reserve consists of officers of the cadet forces, with no other role in peace or war. In addition, non-Regular members of the University Air Squadrons belong to the Reserve.
The Royal Auxiliary Air Force comprises three maritime headquarters units which train in peace to reinforce the regular headquarters in war.
§ Mr. Wilkinson
Does my hon. Friend agree that it is a pity that for the first time this year the specific tasking was not spelt out in the statement on the Defence Estimates, because for the personnel involved in the R.A.F.V.R. and the Royal Auxiliary Air Force it is important that their rôle, which is a valuable one both in peace-time and in war-time, should be recognised?