28 FEB 2019

Therese succeeds in keeping Rock Barracks Open

Therese has welcomed an announcement due to be made today by the Secretary of State, Gavin Williamson MP, that the MOD will keep open Rock Barracks.

Rock Barracks will now house the Army's new Counter-Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear capability, a Defence task currently being undertaken by the RAF Regiment at Honnington. This will see a Royal Engineers squadron move in from its current location in Germany with other elements being added as the capability grows over time. 23 Parachute Engineers will also stay at Rock Barracks for the foreseeable future.

Therese said: "I'm delighted by the announcement from the Defence Secretary to keep Rock Barracks open. When the MOD first suggested closure back in 2016, I along with Cllr Geoff Holdcroft, immediately met Defence Minister, Mark Lancaster, to make the case on why the base should be retained for its special characteristics and also pointing out its planning constraints would not generate the financial income it may have expected. I have continued to make the case with ministers. I'm really pleased that they have now taken the decision not to close it."

Therese added: "As well as the local pride of hosting the Army in our part of Suffolk, Rock Barracks is home to many service personnel and their families and their presence brings enormous economic benefits to Woodbridge and surrounding villages. Although in the medium term the 23 Parachute Engineers will be on the move, I'm really pleased that we will still have a military presence at Rock Barracks. I also welcome the newly formed regiment with its specialist capability. As the government minister responsible for responding to chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear incidents, I have had the pleasure of working with members of the units that will be coming together with the new regiments during the horrendous Novichok incidents in Wiltshire. They will be great professionals and warmly welcome to Suffolk."

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