Service women and men working in the Royal Navy, Army and RAF will welcome MSPs to their bases as part of a new programme launched today at the Scottish Parliament.
The Armed Forces Parliamentary Visit Programme, which will be launched today by the Presiding Officer Ken Macintosh MSP, encourages MSPs to visit defence bases to learn more about the issues facing service personnel and their families across Scotland.
The programme will also provide MSPs with a further insight into how Scotland contributes to the nations’ security.
The Presiding Officer, the Rt Hon Ken Macintosh MSP, said:
“The new Armed Forces Parliamentary Visit Programme will help MSPs gain a better understanding of what life is really like in the Royal Navy, Army and RAF.
“While many MSPs already visit defence bases, particularly those within their own constituency, the new programme will facilitate links between members and bases across the country so they can see the overall picture of our Armed Forces communities and the issues they face.
“There are more than 10,000 armed forces personnel across Scotland – servicemen and women who are often based on the outskirts of towns and cities but who can be deployed at a moment’s notice. It can be all too easy for them to be ‘out of sight and out of mind’, which is why I hope this new programme will improve our understanding and our support for those who put their lives on the line every day for our national security.”
Air Officer Scotland, Air Vice-Marshal Ross Paterson said:
“We are delighted to be able to support the Scottish Parliament in this new programme which will help improve understanding of what our Scots-based people do in the defence of the nation, as well as the issues affecting them and their families. This increased joint understanding can then only help us all work better to support our service families through the Armed Forces Covenant.”
The aim of the programme is for MSPs to better understand the range of social and welfare issues relevant to armed forces personnel, and their families, within their community.
This new programme will offer Members the opportunity to spend a day each with the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force establishments in Scotland over the next 12 months. The Visit Programme will allow Members to learn more about life on defence bases for the forces personnel, their families and contractors. It will also provide an insight into how Scotland contributes to National Security.