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Rosyth site secure after transfer back to Royal Navy

Brigadier Andrew Muddiman, Naval Regional Commander Scotland and Northern Ireland at Caledonia
31 March 2023
The future of Ministry of Defence site MOD Caledonia is secure after transferring back into the hands of the Royal Navy.

Following a period when the site was run by the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO), the establishment will be recommissioned as “HMS” Caledonia on April 1st, with His Majesty The King approving the move.

“The recommissioning of HMS Caledonia preserves the strong and historic links between the Royal Navy and the Rosyth and wider Forth communities,” said Brigadier Andrew Muddiman ADC RM, Naval Regional Commander Scotland and Northern Ireland.

“These links date from both World Wars, to Rosyth’s role preparing for the Falklands Conflict, through to the ship building and maritime innovation activities today.

“The continuation of Caledonia as a support base proves the ongoing commitment by UK Defence to revitalise local communities and promote prosperity across Scotland.”

The return of the site to Navy Command will see HMS Caledonia refreshing its role of a Naval Support Activity to the growing Royal Navy presence at nearby Babcock Rosyth.  The site also supports Scottish shipbuilding both on the Forth and Clyde.

The recommissioning of HMS Caledonia preserves the strong and historic links between the Royal Navy and the Rosyth and wider Forth communities

Brigadier Andrew Muddiman, Naval Regional Commander Scotland and Northern Ireland

Currently, Scottish shipyards have orders to build 13 Royal Navy frigates, with five Type 31 ships being built by Babcock at Rosyth.  There are another three Type 26 vessels under construction at BAE Systems on the Clyde, including the first of class, HMS Glasgow, with a contract in place to build another five securing around 4,000 jobs throughout the UK supply chain.

This, and the potential future opportunity of the Forth Green Freeport initiative, herald an exciting time for Rosyth and the wider Forth area.

HMS Caledonia will also continue to support the Royal Navy Headquarters Scotland and Northern Ireland, Maritime Reserve units HMS Scotia and Royal Marines Reserve Scotland, the Royal Marine Scotland Band, the Royal Navy’s Candidate Preparation Centre-North, as well as RN and RM Cadet training facilities and other Youth organisations. 

The establishment will also continue to provide support to a range of critical resilience activities in support of the civil authorities, via the Joint Military Commander for Scotland, as it did throughout the pandemic.

The Royal Navy has a long and proud history at Rosyth.  Work on constructing the dockyard began in 1909 with the site used as a Naval Base during the First and Second World Wars.

HMS Caledonia was originally commissioned in 1946 as a Naval artificers training establishment.  The closure of HMNB Rosyth in 1995, as well as its tender establishment HMS Cochrane, saw Caledonia become a RN Support Establishment to the naval activity in Rosyth Royal Dockyard.

The site was eventually transferred to the Defence Infrastructure Organisation in 2011 as “MOD Caledonia”, coinciding with Babcock Rosyth taking ownership of the nearby dockyard.

From 2014 through to 2019 Caledonia provided a vital base for the build programme of the Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers.  With the transfer back to Navy Command the site will do so again for the new Type 31 Inspiration Class frigates, starting with first of class, HMS Venturer. 

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