HC Deb 10 January 1989 vol 144 cc532-3W
46. Mr. Carrington

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what role reservists have in the defence of the United Kingdom.

Mr. Neubert

In addition to forming a major element of the reinforcement of NATO, reservists, both volunteer and regular, have a key part to play in the defence of the United Kingdom. The Royal Naval Reserve provides a minesweeping capability in home waters and provide personnel to organise and control merchant shipping worldwide, along with undertaking other tasks in support of the Royal Navy. The Territorial Army and home service force would play a major part in securing our home base, including the guarding of key points and the provision of reconnaissance and signal facilities. The Royal Auxiliary Air Force and the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, in addition to undertaking ground defence of airfields, would provide personnel to augment existing capabilities in a wide variety of roles, ranging from maritime communications to photographic interpretation. Where necessary, former Regular Service personnel with a liability to serve after their regular engagement may be called up, principally to reinforce formed units individually.