§ Mr. Macdonald
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the purposes of, and lessons learned from, the deployment of Phantom aircraft to Stornoway for exercise Ocean Safari in September.
§ Mr. Ian Stewart
As the hon. Member will know, RAF Stornoway is designated as a NATO forward operating base for use in times of tension or war. During the recent NATO joint maritime exercise Ocean Safari, Royal Air Force Phantom aircraft deployed to Stornoway to rehearse the activation of the base and to test its facilities. The base activation plans were found to be generally sound, although a few practical deficiencies were identified. Steps are being taken to rectify these.