HC Deb 15 May 1995 vol 260 cc48-9W
Mr. Ian Bruce

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is the distance from (i) RAC Bovington, (ii) RAF Netheravon and (iii) RAF Swanton Morley to the nearest facilities suitable for armoured reconnaissance vehicles for (a) live firing, (b) off-road rough training, (c) off-road paved track training, (d) major overhaul of vehicles, (e) training with heavy armour, (f) training with infantry, (g) training on vehicle maintenance, (h) training for drivers, (i) port facilities designed to support loading armoured vehicles, (j) training with signals and (k) training with helicopters. [24468]

Mr. Soames

For RAF Bovington, Netheravon and RAF Swanton Morley, the information requested is as follows:

  1. (a) Each armoured unit is obliged to fire at Castlemartin in Wales. Distances are 250 miles from Bovington, 200 miles from Netheravon and 340 miles from Swanton Morley. Movement will usually be by rail.
  2. (b) Training will be at Salisbury Plain for units from Bovington, 60 miles and Netheravon, three miles; training will be at Stanford for units from Swanton Morley, 20 miles.
  3. (c) There is a good but heavily used facility at Bovington. There is no access to a facility at Netheravon, Swanton Morley has exclusive use of the on-site airfield perimeter track.
  4. (d) Repairs will be carried out on site. Major overhaul for CVR(T) vehicles from all three sites, which would take place about every eight years, would be at Donnington in Staffordshire.
  5. (e and f) There is no mandatory requirement for such training,
  6. (g) this is provided before joining units, and then continuation training is conducted within the regiment, wherever based,
  7. (h) Basic training is provided before joining the unit. Continuation training is carried out on local roads and nearby training areas,
  8. (i) Armoured recce vehicles do not require specialised loading facilities. Nearest port facilities are Marchwood for Bovington, 50 miles, and Netheravon, 40 miles, and Felixtowe for Swanton Morley, 80 miles. Vehicles can also be transported through the channel tunnel.
  9. (j) This is provided before joining units, and then continuation training is conducted within the regiment, wherever based.
  10. (k) There is no mandatory requirement, but training can be carried out on most training areas—see answer to (b). In addition, Swanton Morley is close to Wattisham where two Army Air Corps Regiments are based.