The region's only search and rescue helicopter base - at Wattisham in Suffolk - is to be axed after the service was privatised.
Britain's search-and-rescue helicopter service, which employs the Duke of Cambridge, is to be run by Bristow Helicopters, the Government announced today.
The award of the £1.6 billion deal ends 70 years of a service run by the RAF and Royal Navy squadrons.
It also spells the end of the use of Sea King helicopters - flown by William - in search-and-rescue (SAR) work.
Under the new contract, 22 state-of-the-art helicopters will operate from 10 locations around the UK.