An urgent RAF investigation is underway as reports suggest a Search and Rescue helicopter was used to transport servicemen to play a round of golf.
A dozen passengers, thought to be mostly non-commissioned officers from RAF Chivenor in north Devon, were seen exiting the Sea King helicopter at nearby Willingcott Valley Golf Course just outside Woolacombe.
As questions were asked about the appropriate use of military resources, a Ministry of Defence spokesman said: “There are strict rules in place regarding use of military aircraft and we are urgently investigating this incident to ensure regulations have been observed.”
Lib Dem defence spokesman Nick Harvey told one newspaper: “If true, this is an outrageous abuse of an exceptionally precious commodity.
“Soldiers’ lives are being put at risk because of helicopter shortage and Search and Rescue is under great strain. The public will want answers on how the MoD this is an appropriate use of resources.”
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