The Press & Journal reports (16 July 2010) on further SNP-led speculation about the future of Scottish units and bases under the ongoing Strategic Defence and Security Review. The latest speculation concerns the future of The Highlanders, 4th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland (4 SCOTS) and The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, 5th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland (5 SCOTS). In their present form, these two battalions were created in 2006 under the Restructuring of the Infantry, which was intended to improve stability for Scottish infantry personnel and their families.
SNP issues warning to Government over plans to axe units in cost-cutting review
The UK Government was warned last night against a “betrayal” of Scottish troops fighting the Taliban in the autumn by axeing one of the units being deployed under a cost-cutting review.
The caution by SNP defence spokesman Angus Robertson followed the announcement that 1,100 Scottish troops are being deployed to Afghanistan in October, including Royal Regiment of Scotland battalions formed from the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, the Royal Highland Fusiliers and the 51st Highland Volunteers.
It echoed anger at the way former Labour Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon merged Tayside’s historic Black Watch regiment into the new Royal Regiment of Scotland while its soldiers were fighting Iraqi insurgents at Camp Dogwood.
Speculation within the Royal Regiment of Scotland suggests the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders – who make up its 5th Battalion scheduled for deployment to Helmand in October – may be one of two former regiments merged under the Security and Strategic Defence Review. The other could be the Highlanders, who make up the 4th Battalion, now based in Germany. It was formerly an independent regiment, created in 1994 out of the merger of the Queen’s Own Highlanders and the Gordon Highlanders. ...
- Full article from P&J, by David Perry and Sam Marsden: Scotland’s troops ‘being betrayed’
- P&J report 15 Jul 2010: MP accuses government of bid to hit defence in Scotland