The extent of military presence and its influence in wales



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Menter Academi Heddwch Cymru/Wales Peace Institute Initiative

(ahc.wpi@gmail.com)




THE EXTENT OF MILITARY PRESENCE AND ITS INFLUENCE IN WALES:

A baseline for future work

September 2015

Contents






Page

Index of tables and figures

4

Introduction

5

Synopsis

6

Part 1 Military Presence in Wales

9

1.1 Bases and barracks

9

1.2 MoD Land

12

1.3 Training grounds and firing ranges

13

1.4 MoD Aberporth and ‘Drone’ Testing

14

1.5 Low Flying Areas

15

1.6 Armed forces accommodation

17

1.7 Hives

18

Part 2 Armed Forces Personnel and Recruitment

20

The Armed Forces

20

2.1 The Army

20

2.2 The Royal Air Force (RAF)

21

2.3 Royal Navy (RN/RM)

22

2.4 The Military Provost Guard Service (MPGS)

22

2.5 MoD Personnel

23

2.6 Reserve Forces

28

2.7 Recruitment

34

Part 3 Military Involvement in the Community

40

3.1 Reserve Forces in Wales: Engagement in the Community

43

3.2 The Cadet Forces

43

3.3 Schools and Colleges

45

3.4 Extra curricular activities

50

Part 4 Military Research and Expenditure in Wales

54

4.1 Military Research in Welsh Universities

54

4.2 Public Expenditure on Defence on Wales

55

Part 5 Companies in Wales that supply information on services directly or indirectly to defence

57

Conclusion

60

Sources

62

Appendices

67

  1. Distribution of MoD civilian personnel by region at 1st July 2015

Distribution of UK regular forces by region as at 1st June 2015

68

  1. TA/Army Reserve Units in Wales as of 1st January 2015

70

  1. House of Commons debate on the closure of Armed Forces recruitment offices in Wales, February 2013

74

  1. Cadet Centres and Combined Cadets Centres in Wales as of January 2015

75

  1. Information on army visits to schools in Cardiff and Wrexham County 2009-12

83

  1. Companies supplying weapons, transport, machinery, technology and equipment to defence markets

89



Index of Tables and Figures


Tables

Page

Table 1: Military bases in Wales

9

Table 2: Regiments in Wales

10

Table 3: Operational Low Flying in Wales 2011-2013

17

Table 4: Operational Low Flying complaints in Wales 2013

17

Table 5: Army Reserve stationed in Wales

30

Table 6: UK Expenditure on Civil and Defence Research and Development (R&D)

56

Table 7: UK Employment in Civil and Defence Research and Development (R&D)

56

Table 8: Khaki Dragon findings on companies in Wales supplying defence

57

Table 9: 2015 findings on companies in Wales supplying defence

58













Figures




Figure 1: MoD land holdings in the UK

12

Figure 2: Low flying in Wales 2010-11

16

Figure 3: Low flying in Wales 2012-13

16

Figure 4: Armed Forces accommodation in the UK 2000-2014

18

Figure 5: MoD personnel by count

25

Figure 6: Regular personnel by country

25

Figure 7: MoD personnel by local authority

26

Figure 8: Regular personnel by local authority

27

Figure 9: Army 2020 Reserve role

29

Figure 10: Regular and Reserve units/manpower in Wales

31

Figure 11: Daily rates of pay for Reservists

38

Figure 12: Army visits to secondary schools by Welsh local authority 2009 -12

47

Figure 13: Army visits to secondary schools

49



Introduction

This research project was commissioned by the MenterAcademi Heddwch Cymru/ Wales Peace Institute Initiative in November 2014. The research took place over the period January to June 2015 inclusive. The purpose of the project was to act as a catalyst in establishing a Peace Institute in Wales (to be entitled Academi Heddwch Cymru/ Wales Peace Institute), similar to those which exist in a number of other countries and self governing regions, by facilitating liaison between the establishing committee and academic institutions in Wales and by assisting the committee in identifying where best to next direct their energies and resources in achieving their ultimate goal.

Once established the primary aim of the Academi/Institute will be to produce, promote and disseminate objective and rigorous information which will contribute to the development of a more just, peaceful, sustainable and socially cohesive society for the benefit of all Welsh people and institutions including Government, peace and human rights bodies and all sectors of civilian society.
At the outset the outcome of the project was thus intended to be a high quality, independent, factual piece of research together with extensive identification and reference to source material. This resulting report is intended not only to provide detailed information about the extent of militarization in Wales in 2015 but also to provide a contributory basis for future, in-depth research and analysis within the broad field covered in the report. As such the intention was not to produce an analytical piece of work per se but to provide a sound basis for future analytical work. The emphasis was, and is, to correct the paucity of collected information and data regarding the extent and nature of the military in Wales.
The breadth of the terms of reference were such that the report is grouped into five parts, as listed below, and the information contained in the following pages was obtained from various reliable online secondary sources and from official statistics supplied by the Ministry of Defence under the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act.
The five parts of the research were as follows:
1 Military presence in Wales, including bases, barracks, training grounds. MoD training estate and airspace
2 Armed Forces personnel and recruitment
3 Military involvement in the community, including schools, cadets, Community Covenants, Armed Forces Days, salutes and parades
4 Extent and expenditure on military research in Wales, by independent organizations and in Welsh Universities.


  1. Companies in Wales engaged on production for the military and aerospace/defence

As a starting point, comparisons were made with Cymdeithas y Cymod's 'The Khaki Dragon – Mapping Military Wales, ' an unpublished report compiled c. 2006. This material has been used with caution, however, as very few sources are given to support the information it contains.



See: http://www.cymdeithasycymod.org.uk/khakidragon.pdf
Synopsis


Background
As noted above this report was researched and compiled between January and June 2015 on behalf of the Menter Adademi Heddwch Cymru/Wales Peace Institute Initiative, which aims to establish an Academi Heddwch/Peace Institute in Wales, similar to peace institutes in a number of other countries and self governing regions, to provide objective data and information through research, in order to support the encouragement of a more peaceful society in Wales.
Summary Findings
The project covers six main areas of research:
1: Military Presence in Wales

Bases, barracks and regiments in Wales

  • 25 bases, including barracks, ranges and training areas, airfields (3) and docks (1)

  • There are 6 barracks in Wales and one on the English border which houses a Welsh battalion

  • 15 regiments in Wales across 18 locations, comprising regulars and reserves


MOD Land

  • At 1st April 2014, MoD total UK land was 449,300 hectares (1 hectare = approx. 2.4 acres), about 1.8% of the UK land mass

  • Wales at 23,400 hectares constitutes just over 5% of UK total MoD land


Training Grounds and Firing Ranges

  • Caerwent, Capel Curig, Castlemartin, Kinmel Park, Llansilin Rifle Range, Manorbier Range; Pembrey Sands, Penally Training Camp, Sealand Rifle Ranges, Sennybridge Training Area and Templeton Training Area


Low Flying Areas (LFA)

  • Wales is designated LFA 7(T)* which measures 18,909 sq.km., around 85% of the total area of Wales (21,224 sq.km.) [*T: Tactical Training Area]

  • 3 RAF airfields – RAF Valley, RAF Mona and RAF St Athan

  • Routine Low Flying hours have decreased from 6,158 p.a. in 2010-11 to 4,420 in 2012-13

  • The number of LFA complaints has almost halved, from 260 p.a. in 2010-11 to 149 in 2012-13

  • Average flying hours per LFA complaint has gone up from 22.9/hr in 2010-11 to 30/hr in 2012-13

  • Operational Low Flying (i.e. Training Flights at a height of between 100 and 250 ft) has increased from 16.6 hours in 2011-12 to 36.1 hours in 2012-13 (an increase of 117.5%). Complaints have gone up by 55.6%.


2: Armed Forces Personnel (approx) as of 1st January 2015

  • 138,050 UK Regular personnel, trained and untrained (excluding Gurkhas, full time Reserve Service personnel and mobilised Reservists). 3,510 Regulars are aged under 18

  • Under 18s can be deployed but they are not normally permitted to take direct part in hostilities

  • 30,000 UK Reserves (including home and deployed personnel)

  • 51,550 MoD Civilian personnel in UK

  • 2,400 Regular forces based in Wales (Army 1,620; RAF 660; RN at 120.)

  • 1,730 Reservists in Wales

  • Total of 3,580 MOD personnel based in Wales, including all military and civilian employees, out of UK total of 189,600


3: Recruitment

  • Approximately 20,000 personnel recruited per year in the UK

  • Recruits aged under 18 down from c. 40% in 1999-2000 to c. 25% in 2009-2010

  • Wales supplies nearly 9% of the British Army’s 16-24 year olds (compared to UK total of 5%)

  • Wales has five armed forces careers offices in Bangor, Cardiff, Newport, Swansea and Wrexham

  • Minimum age for enlisting into the UK armed forces is 16; after 6 months service, 16-17 year olds must serve until they are 22, although under 18s cannot be deployed on the front line

  • Regulars earn £14,637 on entry, Reservists are paid on a daily basis


4. Military Involvement in the Community

  • Military search and rescue (SAR) based at RAF Valley (319 callouts in 2014)

  • A Military Civilian Integration Team (MCI) works closely with Welsh units and civilian communities to ensure a supportive environment, and organises the Royal Salutes, Freedom Parades and Homecoming Parades

  • RAF has a Community Relations Office as a focal point for enquiries

  • Armed Forces Community Covenant provides additional support to local communities (a voluntary statement of mutual support (24 in Wales including all councils)

  • Community programmes support 220,000 veterans in Wales

  • Annual Armed Forces Day and the Annual Reserves Day

  • Reserve Forces and Cadets Associations support and promote events to improve public awareness of service personnel


5: Cadets

  • Approximately 131,000 UK cadets (12 to 18 years old)

  • 275 UK schools/colleges have Combined Cadet Forces (CCF)

  • 6 CCF schools/colleges in Wales

  • 13 Reserve Forces and Cadets Associations (RFCAs) in England, Wales and Northern Ireland

  • 188 Reserve Centres and Cadet units in Wales

  • Approximately 5,800 cadets in Wales across four units: Air, Army, Sea, Combined (2015)


6: Schools, Colleges and Extra Curricular Activities

  • Nearly 11,000 armed forces visits to UK secondary schools and colleges in 2011-2012

  • Visits to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland were 22% of all visits (compared to 18% of the UK population)

  • In Wales, 74% of 219 state secondary schools were visited by the army, an average of 4 times

  • 29% of independent schools in Wales were visited by the army, an average of 1.5 times

  • In 2011-12 the Army visited Welsh schools 476 times, the Navy 146, and the RAF 91. UK totals were 5,654, 2,419, and 2,711 respectively, with Wales receiving 6.6% of the total UK visits

  • Other programmes aimed at young people include SkillForce, Sixth Form Scholarship Scheme, Military Preparation Colleges, University Officer Training Corps and others


7: Military Research, Expenditure and Industry in Wales

  • West Wales UAV Centre (WWUAVC) Aberporth, MoD Watchkeeper Unmanned Aerial vehicle (UAV) testing

  • Programmes in Welsh Universities are funded by University Defence Research Collaboration (UDRC) and Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl)

  • Institute for Research Excellence in Sport and Exercise (IRESE) and Institute for the Psychology of Elite Performance (IPEP) at Cardiff and Bangor Universities

  • In 2010, South East England received £7.1 billion, Scotland £1.5b and Wales £380 million of UK defence spending

  • Civil and Defence Research and Development (R&D) in Wales for 2013 was £369m, out of a UK total of £18.4 billion

  • In 2012/13, the MoD spent just under £19.4 billion with UK industry

  • 41% of total MoD procurement expenditure was with 10 suppliers, the largest being BAE.

  • Around 90 companies located in Wales are, or may be, engaged in, or supporting, military/defence work, as compared to the 89 stated in the Khaki Dragon report in 2006. (Some of these companies might just win temporary MoD contracts and they usually supply civil as well as military markets)


Overall Conclusions
The report illustrates the presence of the military in Wales in a number of ways. One main conclusion is that military presence in Wales is lower than it was nine years ago. There remain strong military communities such as Valley, St Athan and Sennybridge, and there is a significant centre for the testing of UAVs at Aberporth. It can be argued that these areas are important in terms of local economy and employment. Central Wales is crucial to the RAF and the Army for training and manoeuvres and is likely to continue to be so. Towns in Wales still have traditional military populations and these engage with the community via parade days, tattoos, armed forces days, and so on. Expansion is planned at St Athan with the relocation of soldiers from Germany. Overall, however - taking into consideration its relatively small geographical land mass and low population (compared with the UK as a whole), and acknowledging the training value of its terrain to MoD - Wales appears to be less significant on the military map in 2015 than it was a decade ago.


Part 1: Military Presence in Wales
For this first part of the report, almost all the information came from the MoD itself, following several FoI requests, all of which were met with cooperation although there were limits to the extent of information supplied. Exact locations of bases were not supplied and are therefore not included in this report. Tables, graphs and maps have been reproduced under the terms of the Open Government Licence, which can be viewed at http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence/version/3/.
1.1 Bases and barracks
Regarding the locations of military bases in Wales, the MoD supplied information under the Freedom of Information Act (FOI) in table form, which has been reproduced here. The figures are given by parliamentary constituency.1
Table 1: Military bases in Wales





Total

Joint sites

Naval

Army

RAF

Total bases in Wales

25

10

2

7

3

Brecon and Radnor

5

2

1

2

0

Cardiff Central

1

0

0

1

0

Carmarthen West/South Pembs

2

2

0

0

0

Ceredigion

1

1

0

0

0

Dwyfor Meirionnydd

3

2

0

0

1

Barry Dock (HMS Cambria)2

1

0

1

0

0

Llanelli

1

0

0

0

1

Monmouth

1

1

0

0

0

Montgomeryshire

1

1

0

0

0

Preseli Pembrokeshire

1

0

0

1

0

Vale of Clwyd

1

1

0

0

0

Vale of Glamorgan

2

0

0

2

0

Wrexham

1

0

0

1

0

Ynys Mon

1

1

0

0

0

Ynys Mon Co.

3

1

0

0

3



MoD notes:

1 - Bases include ranges and training areas, barracks, docks and airfields, but exclude Armed Forces Careers Offices. Of the 25 total bases located in Wales, 2 are Naval Services bases, 7 are Army bases and 3 are Royal Air Force (RAF) bases. The remaining 10 Joint sites do not belong to a particular Service and are shared between the Navy, Army and RAF.

2 - HMS Cambria sits at Sully, Barry.
In relation to military regiments in Wales, regardless of whether or not they have the words 'Welsh' or 'Wales' in their titles, the MoD supplied the following statistics:

Table 2: Regiments in Wales


Location

Number of Regiments (inc. sub-units)3

Abertillery

1

Brawdy

1

Brecon

1

Cardiff

11

Carmarthen

1

Chepstow

1

Colwyn Bay

1

Crickhowell

1

Cwmbran

1

Haverfordwest

1

Llandudno

1

Monmouth

1

Newport

3

Pontypridd

1

Prestatyn

1

St Athan

1

Swansea

4

Wrexham

1

Total locations = 18

Total regiments = 15 (33 sub-units)


MoD notes:

3 - Each regiment is formed of a number of sub-units, which may or may not be co-located. A single regiment can be located across multiple locations. The 15 Military Regiments based in Wales include both Regular and Reserve Regiments.



Barracks
There are six barracks in Wales, and one on the border, which house a mix of Regular and Reservist forces.
Beachley Barracks

Beachley, near Chepstow. The Barracks is located at Beachley Point between the River Severn and the River Wye in Monmouthshire, adjoining the border with Gloucestershire. Although geographically in England, it is the home of Welsh Regiment 1 Rifles.



Source: http://www.army.mod.uk/documents/general/LO-Chepstow-Dec14.pdf#search=beachley%20barracks
Brecon Barracks

Home of 160th (Wales) Brigade and home of the Museum of the Royal Welsh.



Source:www.army.mod.uk/infantry/regiments/25382.aspx
Cawdor Barracks, Pembrokeshire (previously RAF Brawdy)

Home of the 14th Signal Regiment, the British Army's electronic warfare unit, and five signal squadrons - 223, 226, 237, 245 and operations support. Also houses a Military Provost Guard Service (MPGS) unit. Under plans announced in early 2013, Cawdor Barracks will be closed in 2018 and 14 Signals will relocate to St Athan.



Sources: www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cawdor_Barracks

www.army.mod.uk/documents/general/14_SR_Regimental_History.pdf

www.raf.mod.uk/rafdigby/aboutus/224signalsquadron.cfm

http://www.army.mod.uk/agc/provost/31527.aspx
Maindy Barracks

Headquarters, 3 Regiment Welsh. Also on site are the following:




  • RHQ 157 (Welsh) Regiment RLC, 580 (Glamorgan) Transport Squadron and 249 (Cardiff) HQ Squadron;

Source:www.army.mod.uk/logistic/regiments/26028.aspx

  • 1344 (Cardiff) Squadron Air Training Corps;

Source:www.1344sqn.org

  • HQ Number 1 Welsh Wing ATC;

Source: http://www.air-cadets-squadron-finder.org/air-cadets-wing-details.php?wing=1- welsh- wing-air-training-corps&sqn

  • 'A' Company, Dyfed and Glamorgan Army Cadet Force

Source:www.armycadets.com/county/dyfed-and-glamorgan-acf/about-us/a-company15
Picton Barracks

Carmarthen

Home to 224 (Pembroke Yeomanry) Transport Squadron (Reserves) and 157 (Welsh) Regiment Royal Logistics Corps (Reserves) and 160 Detached Platoon (REME)

Source:www.army.mod.uk/logistic/regiments/26028.aspx
Raglan Barracks

Newport


Home to 104 Regiment RA, the Reserves' only Unmanned Air Systems (UAS) Regiment. The soldiers regularly deploy and operate Miniature Unmanned Air Systems (MUAS) in support of ground operations. Also houses 71 MI Coy, 7 Military Intelligence Battalion; 217 (City of Newport) Battery, an Unmanned Air Vehicle equipment battery; and affiliated is 211 (South Wales) Battery, based at Cwm Cottage Road, Abertillery, and the Regimental Band of the Royal Welsh.

Source:www.army.mod.uk/artillery/regiments/24684.aspx77
Wrexham Barracks

Home to 101 Battalion Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) Reserve in North West England and Wales, providing Repair and Recovery capability to 17 Regular and Reserve units. Also has 119 Recovery Company at Prestatyn.



Source:www.army.mod.uk/reme/32053.aspx

1.2 MoD Land
At 1st April 2014, the MoD’s total land and foreshore freeholdings, leaseholdings, and rights held was 449,300 hectares (1 hectare = approx. 2.4 acres). In total, this is about 1.8% of the UK land mass. About half (227,300 hectares) is owned (either freehold or leasehold), a decrease of 700 hectares, or 0.3%, compared to 1st April 2013. The MoD has access to a further 222,000 hectares from various rights and grants. This is an increase of 17,100 hectares from the 2013 figure. The UK training estate comprises 16 major armed forces training areas, and 104 other minor training areas, ranges and camps, spread over approximately 4,000 sites and is used for training, accommodation and provides a base from which operations can be instigated.

As regards Wales, the following figures show a UK comparison of land owned, leased or with legal rights as of 1st April of each year for the period 2008 to 2014. Wales currently constitutes just over 5% of UK total MoD land, a figure that has increased only slightly since 2000. The figures below include land declared as surplus to defence requirements.


Figure 1: MoD land holdings in the UK

(c) Crown Copyright.


1.3 Training Grounds and Firing Ranges
The MoD Defence Training Estate is a tri-service organisation used by all three armed forces. Some of the major training sites, particularly for the Army, are located in Wales, including the Infantry Battle School at Brecon and Sennybridge Training Area. Most British infantry soldiers visit sites in Wales at some stage, as does the SAS. Exercises are carried out over both MoD and private land, and links are maintained with Welsh landowners and stakeholders, including farmers, the National Park Authorities and the National Trust.

Sources: http://www.army.mod.uk/structure/28224.aspx

http://www.nuffieldanglesey.org.uk/
Caerwent

Training Area near Chepstow for troops from Beachley Barracks and further afield, covering around 1,500 acres and capable of sustaining up to 1,000 troops. There are some 400 buildings and bunkers on the site, and an operating railway and a comprehensive road system, for logistics exercises and driver training.


Capel Curig.

Capel Curig camp in Gwynedd covers an area of four hectares with a perimeter fence around the main buildings area of 845m. The main camp area contains woodland and a helicopter landing area/sports field. There is also provision of secure and centrally located accommodation for units undertaking adventurous training in North Wales. The Camp provides 280 bed spaces and catering facilities.


Castlemartin

Castlemartin covers about 5,900 acres (2,390 ha) of freehold land on the South Pembrokeshire coast within the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park.


Kinmel Park

Kinmel Park Training Area covers an area of 83 acres (35 hectares) of grassland in Denbighshire. Within the confines of the training area there is an Obstacle Course and a 25 metre No Danger Area Range. It also runs school engagement programmes for young people.


Llansilin Rifle Range

Llansilin Rifle Range near Oswestry is a 400 yard 14 Lane Gallery Range; it has a hill background with a Range Danger Area that extends over the crest of the Coed Cochion hill which forms the backstop for the range.


Manorbier Range

The Air Defence Range at Manorbier, Pembrokeshire, is the only range in mainland UK from where the High Velocity Missile, employed in the anti aircraft role, can be fired.


Pembrey Sands

Pembrey Sands Air Weapons Range, Carmarthenshire, is primarily an air-to-ground bombing and strafing practice area. Military helicopters also use the range and a 7,000ft Tactical Landing Zone can be established on the beach for C-130 Hercules crews to practise surface operations.


Penally Training Camp

Penally Training Camp’s classrooms and training facilities complement activities at both Manorbier and Templeton. Penally is also used as a centre for many types of training, including adventurous training, and is the principal accommodation for units using Air Defence Range Manorbier.


Sealand Rifle Ranges

The Sealand Rifle Ranges are small arms firing ranges comprising an operational range area and a Range Danger Area covering 486 hectares in the Dee Estuary near Chester. There are three rifle ranges, two of which are currently in use.


Sennybridge Training Area

Sennybridge Training Area (SENTA) in Powys is the third largest training area in the UK and a major Field Firing Area. The site consists of approximately 12,000 hectares of land owned by the MoD on the Mynydd Epynt and an additional 2,500 hectares leased from Forest Enterprises in the Crychan Forest, which is available for limited training. Today it hosts live firing and dry training facilities for light forces including light (105mm) artillery. The camp can accommodate up to 1,760 soldiers.


Templeton Training Area

Templeton Training Area in Pembrokeshire is a disused World War II airfield of approximately 164 ha (404 acres). It is located approximately 25 minutes north of Penally training camp. It has three intersecting runways and a network of taxiways which link into aircraft standing areas. Training personnel, made up of Regular and Territorial soldiers as well as Cadet units, use Templeton Training Area for up to sub unit dry training with the use of pyrotechnics authorised within designated areas. An Army orienteering course has been set up and is widely used by visiting units. Sources:www.gov.uk/public-access-to-military-areas



www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/335323/Bulletin_2014_update.pdf

http://www.army.mod.uk/training_education/24481.aspx

http://www.kinmelcamp.org.uk/index.html

1.4 MoD Aberporth and ‘Drone’ Testing
West Wales Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Centre (WWUAVC)

Aberporth, Ceredigion


MoD Aberporth is a former RAF airfield and now an area for testing air launched weapons and Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS). The site comprises approx. 550 acres of main operating base and employs some 200 people in direct support of the Range operation. QinetiQ operates the Range at Aberporth on behalf of the MoD under a Long Term Partnering Agreement (LTPA). The Range is a significant employer in the West Wales area. The Range Danger Area covers some 6,500km2 of Cardigan Bay from sea level to unlimited height and there is a second area of segregated airspace for safe operations which extends some 40km east of Aberporth. It is the only airspace in Europe, one of a few in the world, where 'drones' can be flown alongside normal manned aircraft and where UAVs operate in special segregated flying zones.
Sources:

https://www.qinetiq.com/services-products/air/Pages/west-wales-uav-centre.aspx

http://www.aberporth.qinetiq.com/about/Pages/default.aspx

www.qinetiq.com/media/news/releases/Pages/aberporth-uav-centre.aspx

www.theguardian.com/world/2013/may/06/welsh-airfield-drones

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-mid-wales-24049772

In the context of ‘drone’ testing another site that ought to be mentioned is Llanbedr Airfield in Gwynedd. Formerly an RAF airfield, it is now a privately owned airfield, not MoD-owned, and neither does it appear to be connected to any military or defence activities at this time:


Llanbedr Aviation Centre & Enterprise Park

Llanbedr, Gwynedd

An investment of over £1.5m by Llanbedr Airfield Estates (LAE), QinetiQ and the Welsh Government has already attracted two new businesses Fly Llanbedr and Airborne Solutions to the former RAF and now private airfield, bringing the total number of businesses on site to 12 employing in the region of 50 people. The Snowdonia Enterprise Zone wants to attract more investment and jobs to the area. The site is also in the running as a possible location for a UK spaceport base with a Government decision imminent.
According to Qinetiq, "The airfield has a 7,500ft runway enabling the operation of all classes and sizes of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS), augmenting the current capability for small/medium RPAS testing at Aberporth, South Wales. Flying is scheduled to start in early 2015, subject to a 90 day notice period for establishing the segregated airspace required to re-link Llanbedr Airfield to the existing test range over Cardigan Bay." It is unclear whether the RPAS tested at Llanbedr will be exclusively for civilian applications. John Idris Jones, the Snowdon Enterprise Chairman, says, "Local segregated airspace [at Llanbedr], decommissioned in 2004, is being re-established to enable the safe testing .... of RPAS to take place once again ... High growth potential is forecast in civilian application...".

Sources:http://www.dailypost.co.uk/business/business-news/llanbedr-airfield-ready-economic-take-off-8663633

http://gov.wales/docs/det/publications/150505-ezw-snowdonia-en.pdf

https://www.qinetiq.com/media/news/releases/Pages/llanbedr-airfield-open-for-testing.aspx

1.5 Low Flying Areas
There are three Tactical Training Areas (TTA) for operational low flying training by fast jets and Hercules transport aircraft in the UK:
LFA 7(T) - Central Wales

LFA 14(T) - Northern Scotland

LFA 20(T) - The borders area of Southern Scotland and Northern England.
Within these three TTAs there are 19 designated Low Flying Areas in 2012-13. The total Low Flying Area for the UK and Northern Ireland is 98,860 km2. The Wales Low Flying Area 7 measures 18,909 km2, second largest behind Scotland at 57,604 km2. Although LFA7 (T) is described as Central Wales, the area, as shown in the maps in Figures 2 and 3 below, covers around 85% of Welsh airspace, as the landmass of Wales is a little over 21,224 km2. There is no information regarding crashes of military aircraft in Wales, although the most recent was a crash landing in 2003.
Sources:

www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/27454/POMLFAppendix20102011.pdf

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/345172/20140508-military-low-flying-Stats_Annex_2012-13_Revised_Final-U__2.pdf

Source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/defence/9373424/A-sad-history-of-military-air-crashes.html.
Routine Low Flying
A comparison of low flying statistics for the years 2010-2011 and 2012-2013 shows that, in Wales, low flying hours have decreased over the period from 6,158 in 2010-11 to 4,420 in 2012-13 and the annual average minutes per km2 has decreased accordingly from18 mins/km2 to14 mins/km2.

The numbers of complaints has halved, from 260 in 2010-11 to 149 in 2012-13 although the flying hours per complaint has gone up correspondingly from 22.9/hr to 30/hr.


Figure 2: Low Flying in Wales 2010-11


Figure 3: Low Flying in Wales 2012-13

(c) Crown Copyright

Operational Low Flying
This takes place in the three TTAs listed above i.e. Central Wales, Scotland and the Scottish Borders. Operational low flying by definition is by fixed wing aircraft between 250ft and 100ft, which is an altitude at which pilots would commonly fly in some combat scenarios.
In 2012-13, compared to 2011-12, total UK Operational Low Flying increased by 32.7 hours (24.3%). In Wales, Operational Low Flying increased by a much higher proportion than in the other two TTAs and more than doubled over the period (+117.5%):
Table 3: Operational Low Flying in Wales 2011-2013





LFA 7(T)

Wales


LFA 14(T)

Scotland


LFA 20 (T)

Borders


Total Operation Low Flying


2011-2012

16.6

60.3

57.7

134.6

2012-2013

36.1

67.1

64.1

167.3

% increase

117.5%

11.3%

11.1%

24.3%

The total number of complaints received about Operational Low Flying during training year 2012-

2013 was 28, a 55.6% increase over 2011-2012, which represents one complaint for every 6 hours

of activity. The vast majority of complaints (71.4%) were for Wales. The breakdown of complaints for the 3 Tactical Training Areas is given below:


Table 4: Operational Low Flying Complaints in 2013


LFA 7 (T)

LFA 14 (T)

LFA 20 (T)

20

0

8



Sources:

www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/27454/POMLFAppendix20102011.pdf

www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/345172/20140508-military-low-flying-Stats_Annex_2012-13_Revised_Final-U__2.pdf


1.6 Armed Forces Accommodation
All personnel in initial training, and normally in trade training, stay in Single Living Accommodation (SLA). Whenever possible, SLA is at the duty station or within a short commute. After basic training, the type of accommodation service personnel are entitled to is Service Family Accommodation (SFA) depending on their marital and family status. SFA is allocated according to family size and rank. It is usually as close as possible to the duty station, usually within a 10 mile radius.
At 31 March 2014 there were 49,400 Service Family Accommodation (SFA) properties in the UK, with 9,300 properties vacant (19% of the total). In England and Wales the figures as of July 2014, in comparison with the UK as a whole are set out in the table below. 90% of UK properties are in England & Wales, 7% in Scotland, and 3% in Northern Ireland. England & Wales has the lowest vacancy rate, at 17%, followed by Scotland (23%), and Northern Ireland (63%). Separate figures for Wales have not been located.

Source: www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/335714/SFA_Bulletin_2014.pdf
Figure 4: Armed Forces Accommodation in the UK 2000-2014


(c) Crown Copyright


1.7 Hives
HIVES are information centres for Forces personnel and their families, which give information about relocation, local unit and civilian facilities, places of interest, schools, housing, healthcare facilities, employment and training opportunities. There are two ‘Hives’ in Wales:
Chepstow Hive

UWO Beachley Barracks


Chepstow
Monmouthshire

NP16 7YG


Serving Beachley Barracks, Old Coach Road, Wyvern, St Ewan’s Estates Beachley, Brecon and Innsworth. Beachley Barracks is well equipped with a large education centre, a gymnasium and a library. At the centre of the camp is the former cook house, now re-built and providing a multi-use facility including dining hall, NAAFI shop, Junior Ranks and NCO Mess, hairdressers, plus an IT Suite. The Wyvern Estate is home to the Little Scamps Pre-school and nursery and the Coffee Pot café.
St Athan Hive

2 Rook Close


St Athan
Barry
CF62 4NA
Serving St Athan and West Camp. Also provides information cover for Haverfordwest. All the facilities on St Athan station are available to service personnel and their dependants. Facilities include a swimming pool, gym, golf club, cinema, learning centres, medical centre, hairdressers, Post Office and more.
Chester Hive

The Dale Barracks


Liverpool Road
Chester
CH2 4BD
Serving The Dale Barracks. Though over the border in England, Chester Hive is home to 1 Royal Welsh, The Dale Barracks on-camp facilities include a large gymnasium, floodlit sports pitch, large outside green areas with sports pitches, medical and dental centres, Army Learning Centre, Londis shop, and HUB bar and lounge area. Within the SFA area is a Community Centre which houses a cafeteria, bar, indoor children’s play and provides a number of activities for families. To the rear of the Community Centre is the Welfare Complex, where the HIVE, Welfare Office, Midwife and Health Visitor Clinics are located. There is the “Hughes Centre” where a wide selection of community activities takes place. The under 5’s Pre-school is also situated on the SFA estate.15

Source:www.army.mod.uk/welfare-support/23440.aspx


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