Select Committee on Defence First Special Report


ANNEX G: Committee Recommendations: Progress (continued)

Thirteenth Report: Iraqi No-Fly Zones (HC 453) Published: 2 August 2000
Government Reply: Sixteenth Special Report (HC 930) Published: 1 November 2000

 Recommendations and undertakings Government Response Committee Response/Follow-up Further GovernmentAction Notes
1.That the MoD provide all RAF air-crew undertaking dangerous missions in the no-fly zones with upgraded F3 aircraft as soon as possible and to ensure that the highest levels of serviceability are maintained on all aircraft participating in the mission. (Para 47) MoD is fully committed to providing upgraded Tornado F3 aircraft in order to ensure that the highest levels of serviceability are maintained on all those aircraft patrolling the Iraqi no-fly zones. The RAF draws F3s exclusively from the pool of upgraded aircraft for deployment to the Gulf.     
2.That the required improvements to the accommodation at Ali Al Salem airbase have been completed. (Para 56) Full scale work on the improvement programme is scheduled to begin in November, with a completion date of March 2001 for refurbishment and May 2001 for new build.     
 Recommendations and undertakings Government Response Committee Response/Follow-up Further GovernmentAction Notes
3.That an efficient welfare telephone system is now in place for personnel deployed in the Gulf and to respond to the rapidly increasing popularity of e-mail as a way for personnel to keep in touch with their families, by supplying an adequate number of suitable computers. (Para 58) The problems have been resolved by allowing personnel to access the Project Welcome system via the military network and by providing additional handsets. All personnel serving on Operation Bolton in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have access to the US NIPRET system for sending e-mails and for Internet access and additional computer are being procured. Personnel in Bahrain have access to these facilities using the local service provider funded by the MoD and additional computers have already been provided.     
4.That the MoD examine very carefully the balance between the financial benefit it receives by charging for military assistance and training and the less evident but real benefits which might accrue from offering such services at lower or no cost to those countries with whom it is in our interests to retain good relations. (Para 67) MoD policy on the application of charges for foreign students and the use of subsidy from the Defence Assistance Fund is kept under regular review.     
 Recommendations and undertakings Government Response Committee Response/Follow-up Further GovernmentAction Notes
5.That the MoD should be prepared, on occasions, to be more direct in linking the promotion of UK equipment to military assistance. (Para 68) Care must be taken to avoid giving the impression that our relationship is based purely on defence export marketing opportunities. But, on occasions, it is appropriate to draw attention to MoD military assistance programmes in support of British interests and to promote the competitive position of UK industry.     
6.That until the government of Iraq has clearly demonstrated that its intentions towards the countries of the region and towards its own people have changed, the UK contribution to the no-fly zones operations should continue. (Para 83) No specific response. MoD wholeheartedly agree with the Committee's overall conclusion that the UK is making a valid contribution to stability in the Gulf, to protecting the minority people of Iraq from Saddam Hussein and containing Iraq's ability to threaten its neighbours.     




 
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