News story: Defence Secretary visits Faslane

Today, 18 December, Defence Secretary Michael Fallon went on his first visit to the base since the referendum in September. During the visit, he met personnel from the Royal Navy’s submarine flotilla as well as employees and contractors from the wide range of organisations that support the base.

Mr Fallon also had the opportunity to extend a welcome home message to the crew of the mine hunter HMS Grimsby which returned to Faslane in time for the festive period after 4 months of operations in the Mediterranean.

The Defence Secretary later received a progress report on works being undertaken to transform the area into the Royal Navy’s Centre of Submarine Specialisation by 2020.

Mr Fallon welcomes the crew of HMS Grimsby home for Christmas [Picture: Chief Petty Officer Airman (Photographer) Thomas McDonald, Crown copyright]

Speaking from the submarine HMS Triumph at HMNB Clyde, Mr Fallon said:

This has been a critically important year for Scotland. As it draws to a close, it’s vital that we reaffirm our commitment to the country, not only as a fundamental part of defence, but as a fundamental part of the United Kingdom as a whole.

That’s why I’m proud to be visiting Faslane today.

The MOD is a key part of Scotland’s way of life. For example, we employ very many highly skilled military and civilian workers.

At Faslane alone, more than 6,000 people are working to transform the area so that it’s ready to receive HMS Triumph and HMS Talent and the remainder of the Astute class submarines by 2020.

The jobs which this work creates and sustains make a huge contribution to the local economy, and bring vital job security to our people and their families.

Meanwhile, the frigate HMS Argyll returned to Devonport, Plymouth, following a successful 6-month deployment to the North Atlantic and Caribbean, seizing illegal drugs and providing disaster relief to Bermuda.

Overall the ship seized more than 1,800 kilogrammes of cocaine with an estimated wholesale value of £77 million.

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