While I am sad to see that my former home and that of many others is set to be released by the MOD, I am pleased to see that the MOD is intending to keep the personnel based at the Citadel, as with Stonehouse Barracks, within the Plymouth area.
I wrote to the personnel Minister following the Stonehouse announcement in September asking him to consider the human implication of any significant move away from the spiritual home of these respective units and i am glad to see the MOD acknowledging that in their announcement today.
While any move like this can entertain some disappointment, I recognise that the military want the highest quality installations in order to house their most valuable assets, its people. I support this move and hope it is the signal of some further investment in the remainder Plymouth’s military bases in order to cope with the added personnel at those sites.
I am pleased to see that this review reaffirmed Devonport’s importance to the Royal Navy with explicit commitment to maintaining the refitting of Trident submarines, the majority of the Surface Fleet Operational Sea Training and a Amphibious Centre of Specialisation all at Devonport. Furthermore, as the Government seeks to consolidate its base sites, other Commando units look set to move to the city area all within the next 10 years – a huge commitment to Plymouth’s importance within the overall structure of the British military.