A HAMPSHIRE community will be put on a war style footing as one of the biggest mine clearances operations ever seen in the county gets underway, Up to 3,000 residents could be evacuated as Army disposal experts move into former HMS Daedalus Royal Naval air base at Lee-on-the-Solent. At one time there were 265 pipe mines on the airfield, packed with a total of 2,400lb of gelignite. The mines were planted in the early 1940s so the airfield would be unusable if there was a German invasion. Soldiers from the 33 Engineering Regiment of the Royal Engineers will take control of the airfield during the operation. Exclusion zones of up to 750 metres will be necessary for each pipe mine. Ian Hoult, Hampshire County Council's Emergency Planning Officer, said: "Our concern has been the general public and their well-being. We have distributed 6,500 leaflets throughout the area to homes and businesses."