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Sunday 26th February 2012 | 09:36
The SNP has called for assurances from the Ministry of Defence over the future of RAF Mountain Rescue services ahead of the closure of Leuchars and Kinloss as RAF bases.
Highlighting a parliamentary question which shows RAF Mountain Rescue have been involved in more than 200 rescues over the last five years, Perth and North Perthshire MP Pete Wishart called for UK Ministers to end uncertainty over the future of the lifesaving service as the Leuchars and Kinloss bases switch from RAF to Army use.
Mr Wishart said:
“We must have assurances from the MoD over the future of these lifesaving services as Leuchars and Kinloss close as RAF bases.
“Over recent years RAF Mountain Rescue have responded to more than 200 callouts, and the military training and excellence of our RAF personnel have helped to save many lives and maintain the highest rescue standards. It would be an act of recklessness if these skills and services were lost.
“As Leuchars and Kinloss switch from being RAF to Army bases the UK Government must ensure that these services are not lost or disrupted.
“It would be reckless for the UK Government to jeopardise the future of these services given the massive capability gap already created by the decision to axe the Nimrod fleet at RAF Kinloss.
“Mountain Rescue should be considered as an emergency service and the UK Government must not put cost savings before lives with their reckless cuts to these capabilities.
“We need answers over the future of these services and the serious gaps in wider search and rescue capabilities that are being created by half-baked decisions at Westminster.”