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08 Jun 11. The military footprint in Scotland is to be increased in the government’s basing review, to be published this summer. However, the revelation yesterday came as Defence Secretary Liam Fox warned “uncertainty” caused by the prospect of an independence referendum could hit shipbuilding jobs on the Clyde and in Rosyth. The government plans to at least double or even treble the number of soldiers based in Scotland by 2015 with troops returning from Germany. It is expected that Scotland will be home to one of the new multi-purpose brigades of 6,000 troops including infantry battalions and heavy armour, probably the Royal Scots
Dragoon Guards. Currently there are 3,220 soldiers based north of the Border. But any new troops would be accompanied by the loss to Scotland of between 2,500 RAF personnel, along with possibly 500 Royal Marines.
Sources close to Dr Fox have said he has already decided which bases will be closed and where personnel will be relocated. He is said to be “wanting to dot the i’s and cross the t’s” of the costs involved, but it would involve an “increase in the military footprint in
Scotland.” Dr Fox also gave a strong hint to the Scottish Affairs Select Committee when he gave evidence about the plans for defence spending in Scotland. Dr Fox stressed that he was aware that between 2000 and 2010 there had been an 11 per cent cut in military personnel across the UK, with a 24 per cent cut in Scotland. And while he insisted that decisions had to be made on a strategic basis, he made it clear that geographical concerns would play a part in his conclusions. He told MPs: “I have a very strong view that we need to maintain a strong footprint of the UK’s defence assets across the whole of the United Kingdom.” (Source: The Scotsman)

09 Jun 11. Defence Secretary, Dr Liam Fox has secured the future of Northwood; a key NATO command headquarters based in Hertfordshire. The headquarters is a major maritime control centre tasked with directing a range of NATO operations; principally counter piracy missions off the coast of Somalia. Speaking at the NATO Defence Ministers meeting in Brussels, Dr. Fox said: “As one of the leading contributors to NATO operations it is only right that NATO retains a command presence on British soil. Agreement was on this matter was a fundamental objective for the UK Government and is a major step forward for NATO reform. I have always maintained that NATO needs to change if it is to meet the challenges we are seeing today in Libya, Afghanistan and off the coast of Somalia. UK forces and our allies are having success on all these operations and streamlining the NATO command structure is essential if the alliance is to become even more effective.”
There are currently two NATO maritime command headquarters – Northwood in the UK and Naples in Italy – and following careful negotiations today, Dr. Fox was able to confirm that the alliance would retain its footprint in the UK. Northwood was under threat of closure as NATO works to streamline its command structures to become a leaner, more flexible organisation able to meet increasing demands placed on it. Dr. Fox had previously announced his intention to lobby hard to keep Northwood as a NATO headquarters. He said:
“Northwood is key to ongoing NATO operations and today’s decision ensures that NATO will continue to benefit from the UK’s own Permanent Joint Headquarters (PJHQ) and the Royal Navy’s operational headquarters which are on the same site.”
Dr. Fox emphasised that the reforms are aimed at maintaining operational effectiveness while securing savings both to NATO and the UK at a time when defence budgets across the all

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