HC Deb 03 August 1971 vol 822 cc289-90W
Mr. Goodhart

asked the Minister of State for Defence what new overseas training areas are being considered for use by the three Services.

Lord Balniel

The Canadian Government have agreed to a 10-year plan for the increased use of Canadian military training facilities by the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force. This agreement confirms existing arrangements for the three Services and provides for a considerable extension of training facilities for the Army.

Naval training will be carried out at Gagetown, New Brunswick, where facilities are available for one Royal Marine Commando with its attendant helicopter squadron to use the base for up to five weeks every year.

In addition to continuation of existing arrangements for Army unit training, the Army plan to start using the training area at Suffield, Alberta, for Battle Group training in June, 1972. Eventually up to 10 Battle Groups a year, mostly from B.A.O.R. will use the area for live firing by tanks, artillery and anti-tank weapons. A British permanent staff will be stationed at Suffield to co-ordinate and support this training.

Royal Air Force flying training at Goose Bay, Labrador will continue as at present.

The full costs of the training, including expenses for the Canadian administrative staff involved, will be borne by the United Kingdom.