Revelations that the Aeronautical Rescue and Co-ordination Centre in Moray had led the way to more than 7300 rescues in the last three years provoked a angry exchange at Westminster this week.
Moray MP Angus Robertson tabled a question in the House of Commons seeking statistics on the work undertaken by the Kinloss-based ARCC, which the Ministry of Defence has said will be transferred to Hampshire.
The response was that staff at the Moray facility were involved in 2488 rescues in 2011, 2389 in 2012 and 2482 in 2013.
Mr Robertson, who is also the SNP’s defence spokesman at the UK Parliament, said the figures demonstrated the “devastating decision” was simply wrong.
He said: “These figures confirm just how wrong it is to close such a busy and effective centre.
“It was a devastating decision and simply the wrong thing to do – but it is the latest in a series of disproportionate MoD cuts to defence bases, capabilities and personnel in Scotland.
“Two of the three Scottish airbases have been cut, the entire maritime patrol fleet has been scrapped and we have the lowest personnel numbers in Scotland in living memory.”
A total of 27 RAF and 10 Civilian jobs will be moved from Moray as a result of the closure of the Kinloss centre, which took over the ARCC role from centres in Plymouth and at RAF Pitreavie Castle in 1997.