The Minister first met with the Secretary of State for Scotland, David Mundell, and the heads of the Royal Navy, Army and RAF in Scotland in Glasgow, having been appointed to his new Ministry of Defence role on 9 January 2018.
Defence Minister Guto Bebb said:
Scotland plays as vital role at the heart of UK Defence and national security. Right now, Scots-based sailors, soldiers and air personnel are delivering Continuous at Sea Deterrence, building the capabilities of the Iraqi Security Forces, working on behalf of the United Nations and countering Daesh across the Middle East.
Secretary of State for Scotland David Mundell said:
These are exciting and important times for the Armed Forces in Scotland. All three services in Scotland are growing their numbers, including building a single home for the UK submarine fleet on the Clyde, growth to 2 SCOTS and 3 SCOTS infantry battalions, increasing the RAF’s Typhoon force, and the build-up to the arrival of nine new maritime patrol aircraft, at RAF Lossiemouth.
Scotland is home to more than 10,000 regular and 4,000 reserve armed forces personnel, supported by almost 4,000 MOD civilians.
Scottish industry benefits from Defence spending £1.5bn with it each year. This investment supports 9,750 private sector and highly skilled jobs in Scotland.
The MOD previously announced an unprecedented 20 years of work for the Clyde shipyards in 2017, safeguarding over 4,000 Scottish jobs, with the £3.7bn contract for the first three of eight submarine hunting Type 26 frigates to be built there. Through the UK National Shipbuilding Strategy, Scottish yards on the Clyde and at Rosyth are also able to compete for the five lighter Type 31e frigates which will come into service from 2023.
A further £1.7 billion is being invested to upgrade Scottish military bases over the next decade.
Scotland and its unique landscape provide crucial UK and Allied military training areas for infantry and armoured vehicles, air and sea defence, gunnery and missile firings.
The Minister will go on to visit BAE Systems Govan/Scotstoun shipyard to see how the yard’s 800 highly skilled engineers and fitters are benefiting from a full order book until 2035, as they complete five new Offshore Patrol Vessels, and eight Type 26 anti-submarine frigates, for the Royal Navy - the first of which will be called HMS Glasgow.