§ Mr. Trotter
asked the Secretary of State for Defence how many aircraft of what types serve in the Royal Navy 376W communications squadron at Lee-on-Solent; what are their duties and what will carry out these duties after the squadron is disbanded; and what will be the saving.
§ Mr. Speed
The Royal Navy communications squadron at Lee-on-Solent consists of five Sea Devon and three Sea Heron aircraft, plus three Wessex 5 helicopters. The squadron's primary role is to convey passengers and freight but it also assists with naval observer training, the support of overseas Fleet Air Arm deployments and offshore surveillance.
Priority passengers and freight, will in future use alternative Service resources; remaining journeys will be by other public or private transport. We hope to meet many of the squadron's other tasks by slightly increasing the numbers of aircraft at the naval air stations at Yeovilton and Culdrose. It is riot our practice to give the precise savings from measures of this kind.