Assurances for RM Condor's Future

A senior government minister confirmed that there are “no plans” to move Royal Marines away from their Angus base.

Angus MP Kirstene Hair secured a Westminster Hall debate urging the Ministry of Defence to secure the long-term future of RM Condor in Arbroath.

Defence minister Tobias Ellwood recorded the MoD’s intention to not only retain the presence of Royal Marines in Arbroath, but look to strengthen the corps’ capabilities.

Ms Hair asked for the debate on the future of the armed forces in Angus, as the UK Government has been reviewing sites across the country as part of its Better Defence Estates Strategy.

Ms Hair has repeatedly made the case for retaining 45 Commando at the Condor base.

Commending the Scottish Conservative MP for her “commitment, her diligence and persistence in supporting the Royal Marines and RM Condor”, Mr Ellwood acknowledged the “vital role” the marines of RM Condor play in the defence of the United Kingdom.

He said:

“Colleagues will be aware of the wider need to rationalise our defence estate…

“We are transforming that estate into one that better supports the future of our armed forces.

“In the case of our military presence in Angus, I can confirm that there are no plans to dispose of RM Condor as an operational base.

“As part of our review, we have been investigating how best to ensure that 45 Commando continue to have access to the facilities that they require (where) they live, they work and they train… what more can we add to our military capability in this neck of the woods, at the site, to ensure we make the most of this important facility…

“I reiterate, the intention is to keep them in RM Condor.”

The minister further hinted at possibility of “moving assets” to further enhance Condor’s operational capability.

In a speech to MPs, Ms Hair made the case for greater investment in the local base now to save the MoD from greater costs in future.

She said:

“The review should seek to include clear, practical steps towards securing Condor’s long-term future as the home of 45 Commando…

“This review should also consider what more Condor can do, on top of serving as a home to 45 Commando, to contribute to our country’s defence infrastructure…

“The case for a well-established base, in an area with a long and proud military history, where 45 Commando have been truly welcomed into the local community, and where the Royal Marines Cadets have added a new dimension to that unique relationship between military and community.

“And the case for a base that has worked well for the personnel stationed there for decades, and which, provided support is maintained, can continue to do so for decades to come.”