12th May 2022, 23:35
Published by GBC News
MOD Gibraltar is planning to build a new accommodation wing at the Buffadero Training Centre that would allow it to become a more self-sufficient facility.
It is envisaged this will include "kitchen galley areas" and its own washing facilities and toilets.
The Commander British Forces Gibraltar, Commodore Steve Dainton, told GBC's Viewpoint that - in the next 12 months - approximately 2,500 visiting troops are expected to use what he said were exceptional facilities at Buffadero.
He said currently demand is over-matching capacity, which is "a great place to be".
The CBF said the new accommodation wing at the Buffadero Training Centre is "in the programme" and "ready to go", confirming the money is available. Commodore Dainton described it as "a real addition" for Gibraltar.
He told GBC that MOD Gibraltar is looking at final designs and are hopeful that the new training wing will be fully functional within the next couple of years.
The CBF also said it remains possible that the King's Line fuel depot could be used to give the MOD the ability to store fuel and provide its own refuelling services. He said this would be an efficient way of supporting warships that would allow the armed forces to be more independent.
They are three quarters of the way through a feasibility study and hope to progress to the fourth stage, preparing more detailed design work, with a view to deciding whether to proceed in 12-18 months.
Cdre Dainton said it would be costly but said there is increased intent and ambition for Gibraltar, expressing confidence that the resources and investment would be made available if the project is deemed feasible.
More generally, the CBF said MOD Gibraltar is in a fabulous place, with the UK investing in Gibraltar to develop as a global hub, supporting the armed forces.
The Commander British Forces Gibraltar said there is also investment in improving the MOD's communications infrastucture and in the refurbishment of the South Mole with the hope that the Queen Elizabeth class warships will be able to berth on the inside of the South Mole.
Commodore Dainton said the MOD is talking to the Gibraltar Government about using some of the tunnels currently owned by the government, and that both parties - together with the Convent - are nearing in on a solution for the runway crossing once the tunnel opens.
You can currently watch the full interview with Commodore Dainton on Viewpoint here.