UK Privatizes Search and Rescue

Country to halt use of govt. helicopters

United Kingdom Transport Secretary Justine Greening announced Monday that the country will no longer use military helicopters to help rescue stranded hikers and climbers. By 2016, the Ministry of Defense and Her Majesty's Coast Guard will retire its fleet of Sea King helicopters and transfer search and rescue responsibilities to private companies. "We are confident that ... a fully civilian service will be able to maintain the same standards in the future," Greening said. The announcement is part of a broad effort to trim the United Kingdom's $58 billion annual defense budget. 


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