Scotland is stronger as part of the UK’s defence and national security arrangements, the Secretary of State Michael Moore said today (Mon 3 October).
The Minister was aboard the landing platform dock ship HMS Bulwark on the Clyde for the NATO exercise “Joint Warrior” being carried out in Scotland this month. It is one of the largest military exercise in Europe and involves a number of key NATO partners.
It is a maritime, air and land Exercise that will take place predominantly in Scotland, the Western Isles and North West Approaches, the Borders region, North East England and the North Sea. It provides a joint, multi-threat environment in which UK, NATO and Allied units undertake collective training in preparation for employment in a Combine Joint Task Force.
It typically includes between 20 and 30 Naval participants and around 75 aircraft as well as ground-based units.
The Minister took part in the exercise to learn more about the strategic aspects of defence and the Royal Navy in Scotland and met a number of senior Royal navy officers and staff.
Michael Moore said: “If any demonstration was needed of the flexibility and capacity the UK’s military has by being part of NATO, the “Joint Warrior” exercise makes the point perfectly. We have units from members across the globe working together to prepare for joint military roles and Scotland is playing a key part in supporting that training as part of the UK.
The Minister was also at HMRNB Clyde, which remains on track to become the single base of operations for all the UK’s submarine fleet, including the Astute and vanguard class vessels. The base is Scotland’s biggest single employment site with a staff exceeding 7000.
The Minister said: “The fact Faslane is going to act as the UK’s main submarine base show how deeply interwoven defence and Scotland continue to be. Being part of the United Kingdom is key to the present and future defence of Scotland and we should not forget just how many people are employed on the Clyde. That can only happen while we are part of the UK and the detail of its future is a key question for those who would pull us out of NATO and the wider network of our military allies to answer.”