Work has begun on a £2.5m national coastguard training centre.
Prince Michael of Kent cut the first sod of turf at the site at Daedalus Airfield in Lee-on-Solent earlier.
The facility will include an 8m (26ft) high cliff face to train teams how to carry out rescues on the coastline, and will be completed in 2015.
The artificial construction will also descend 4m (13ft) into a pit, to enable coastguards to train in tight spaces.
The site will also be the new base for the Hill Head Coastguard Rescue Team.
Royal Naval Air Station HMS Daedalus ceased operating there in 1996.