Leuchars task force discuss progress

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Fife’s Defence Transition Force has held another meeting to assess progress in the UK’s Defence Basing Review.

It had been agreed at the Task Force’s first meeting in November that two operational groups would be established to represent business and employment and community to maximise the benefits and minimise any damage to Fife around the UK Government’s defence basing review.

Since then, the Business operational group led by Fife’s business community, held its inaugural meeting to define its role and objectives. The main aim of the group is to maintain full economic activity in Fife arising from the defence basing review following the announcement by Liam Fox MP in July 2011.

One of group’s first priorities will be to meet with MOD representatives with support from Fife Council to explore opportunities for local businesses in Leuchars and Rosyth as the process moves forward.

The other operational group representing the communities of Leuchars and Rosyth comprises a cross section of members from key public services, community councils and local members.

This group’s main objectives are to build on the already established very positive relations between the Armed forces and the two communities and to coordinate action to prepare the two communities for the changes that will take place during the transition to ensure continuing provision of key public services.

The Task Force welomed Air Commodore Gavin Parker, Station Commander RAF Leuchars to the recent meeting.

TYPHOONS 

The Air Commodore was keen to emphasise that the RAF still remained very much a part of Leuchars.  The Typhoon aircraft is to be operational for the next 30 years and for the next two years, until relocation, the Typhoon Force at Leuchars will continue to grow.

On behalf of Fife’s Defence Transition Task Force, Keith Winter welcomed the positive feedback from Air Commodore Parker and the RAF’s continued commitment to Leuchars and Fife, stating: “The Task Force has made significant progress since the inaugural meeting in November. The business and community operational groups have agreed their objectives and priorities for the period of the Defence Basing Review subject to more information becoming available further to the Basing Review study completion.

“We have had a productive meeting with the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) who gave us an insight into the progress made to date by the DIO and the capacity studies being undertaken as part of the Basing Review. They provided us with a fact sheet of the preliminary moves around the regiments moving to Kinloss which outlined some timescales.

“We are encouraged by senior staff in the DIO leading the Basing Review work as they have shown confidence that the Ministry of Defence would be trying to minimise or preferably, from their perspective, negate any transition gaps, vital for the future of Fife’s economy and the stability of the local communities involved.

“We look forward to working closely with the DIO and have a further meeting with the DIO on March 15 on the Fife Bases and the capacity review study. Our aim is to ensure the best possible outcome for the communities of Leuchars and Rosyth and welcome the Army to Fife in whatever form that will ultimately prove to be.”