St Athan to expand, becoming a "centre of excellence for Special Forces Support"

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PROPOSALS have been announced to expand military operations at MoD St Athan.

Defence Secretary Liam Fox said in a statement on Monday (July 18) that this could also lead to the creation of new jobs, as plans were being outlined to develop additional units at the site.

It is understood that the proposals could lead to St Athan becoming a major centre for excellence for elite special forces.

"Plans to relocate additional defence units to St Athan are being developed, and if those plans come to fruition, they will bring a major uplift in employment at that base," he said.

"We intend to make an announcement before the end of the year."

Leader of the Vale of Glamorgan Council, Cllr Gordon Kemp, welcomed news of the expansion, after the planned £14 billion Defence Technical College at St Athan was scrapped last year.

"In view of this and the dire state of public finances generally, I am delighted that further special forces personnel are likely to be located at St Athan," he said.

"A special forces centre of excellence at St Athan will mean that, at the very least, there is a sustainable future for our armed forces in the Vale."

Vale of Glamorgan MP Alun Cairns described the expansion as ‘an exciting development that changes the direction of the base’.

He added that he had met with defence secretary Liam Fox to discuss the details surrounding the proposals.

"There will be a significant expansion on the site and it will become a centre of excellence for Special Forces Support," he said.

"It is unfortunate that the nature of Special Forces means that only limited information is made public.

"As a result, I am delighted that the Secretary of State has agreed to come to speak to community leaders to explain in more detail the expansion of operations at the site."

The Special Forces Support Group directly supports special forces teams around the world and provides counter-terrorist expertise. It started operating on April 3, 2006, at St Athan.

Personnel were drawn from the Parachute Regiment, the Royal Marines, and the Royal Air Force Regiment.
Plans to expand Special Forces presence at MoD St Athan (From Barry And District News)
 
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Exciting plans for St Athan
By catrin on July 20, 2011

Plans for the expansion of operations at St Athan announced this week have been welcomed by local MP, Alun Cairns.

Mr Cairns described the expansion as an exciting development that changes the direction of the base. In a private meeting with the MP, Liam Fox explained the details around the proposals that relate to the Special Forces Support Group based at the site. The Defence Secretary told Mr Cairns that the nature of the activities meant that only limited information could be shared publicly, although the outcome was very positive for the community.

Alun Cairns explained said,

“There will be a significant expansion on the site and it will become a centre of excellence for Special Forces Support.

“It is unfortunate that the nature of Special Forces means that only limited information is made public.

“As a result, I am delighted that the Secretary of State has agreed to come to speak to community leaders to explain in more detail the expansion of operations at the site.

Mr Cairns added,

“St Athan will be seen in the same light as Hereford is to the SAS.



It is reported that the Special Forces Support Group is a Special Operations unit of the British Armed Forces and is the newest addition to the UK’s Special Forces. It works with the SAS and the SBS and could provide diversionary tactics or protective cordons on operations.

“It is clear that the original plans for a single training college were simply unaffordable and the reduction in the armed forces could always question its long term viability.

“There is an important, positive budgetary implication for St Athan, in that even within this financial climate the budget for Special Forces has been protected and even enhanced in some areas. This is great news and I am aware of significant investment that has already taken place on the site.

“Naturally, if anyone locally has any questions about this, I hope they will get in touch.”
Exciting plans for St Athan | aluncairns.co.uk
 

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