Defence Secretary creates fresh fears over Scots regimental names

NEW doubts have emerged over the future of famous Scottish military regimental names after Defence Secretary Philip Hammond gave evidence in the Commons yesterday.

Appearing before the defence select committee for the first time, Mr Hammond said he wanted to restructure the Ministry of Defence so that it “no longer has a hand-to-mouth existence”. However, he warned this would “not be easy or pain- free”.

He also touched on cuts of 18,000 troops in the regular army and said this had made the job of moving back troops from Germany “much easier”.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

This was taken as a sign that the MoD envisages many of the cuts to fall on units currently stationed in Germany, including the Highlanders infantry battalion and the heavy armour Royal Scots Dragoon Guards.

SNP Westminster leader Angus Robertson said: “Mr Hammond’s comments are deeply unsettling.”

There was hope offered to RAF Leuchars with Mr Hammond insisting he does not want a gap between change of use of bases, suggesting that he intends to move the army in quickly after the RAF leaves.

Lib Dem North East Fife MP Sir Menzies Campbell said that the comments sounded positive for Leuchars. But he added: “If the MoD persists in the proposals to transfer the Typhoons from Leuchars to Lossiemouth, then what we need are guarantees followed up by the actual deployments by the army.”