Page last updated at 11:14 GMT, Monday, 19 April 2010 12:14 UK

Royal Navy ship to return stranded servicemen

HMS Albion
HMS Albion will bring back stranded service personnel from Spain

Hundreds of troops due to fly back to RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire will be brought home by a Royal Navy ship, as UK airspace remains restricted.

About 150 service personnel left RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus on Thursday by plane, but were told to turn round.

RAF spokeswoman Kata Zasada said about 550 personnel would be flown to Zaragoza, Spain, before being driven to Santander in the country.

HMS Albion would then bring them back, she added.

Ms Zasada said: "We haven't got any outgoing passengers at the moment, so RAF Brize Norton is quiet and deserted.

"Those returning are a mixture of service personnel ending their tour in Afghanistan and those returning home for rest.

"The situation is not causing any disruption at RAF Brize Norton at the moment, but it may cause problems longer term."

HMS Albion is among three Navy ships being drafted in to return Britons stranded abroad.

The ship is expected to arrive in Santander on Tuesday morning.



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