More Kinloss jobs may be at risk
Exclusive: Defence communications staff could be axed under restructure plans
Jobs could be axed at a Moray military base where experts receive and transmit messages from UK and Nato forces around the world.
The Press and Journal has learned that a contractor is planning a shake-up – including possible redundancies – at the Defence High Frequency Communications Service (DHFCS) at Kinloss Barracks.
The move would represent a fresh blow to the base, which has already been slashed in size from more than 1,200 personnel to about 700 since the Army replaced the RAF at the site.
Kinloss has suffered by far the most redundancies of any Scottish base under Ministry of Defence (MoD) cutbacks, with 160 posts axed in recent years, 31% of the total in Scotland.
Moray MP Angus Robertson, the SNP defence spokesman, has writ- ten to contractor Babcock seeking urgent clarification over the DHFCS site.
The firm confirmed last night it was consulting workers and trade unions at Kinloss over a possible restructuring, and could not rule out redundancies or re-deploying staff.
The civilian communications experts at DHFCS oversee transmissions from control stations in Harrogate and Kinloss, sup- ported by another 12 radio stations in the UK, Cyprus, Ascension Island and the Falklands.
All information has to be routed and transmitted and could be supporting military operations, sea rescues, anti-piracy or antidrug operations.
The MoD and Babcock would not disclose last night how many DHFCS staff were based at Kinloss, or how many posts were under threat, but one source suggested six staff could face redundancy or redeployment.
A spokeswoman for Babcock said: “We have embarked on the very early stages of consultation with our trade unions and workforce based at Kinloss Barracks regarding the potential restructure of that part of our organisation.
Mr Robertson said: “Yet again weare hearing of further possible defence redundancies at Kinloss, which has already lost substantial numbers of service personnel against a backdrop of chronic defence-under-spending in Scotland.”
DHFCS was set up in 2003 under a public-private partnership agreement for 15 years. It was originally run by VT Group, and taken over by Babcock in 2010.
HIT HARD: RAF Kinloss in Moray suffered the highest redundancies in MoD cutbacks with 160 posts chopped in recent years