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Mr. Ingram: Combat arms are those which are trained and equipped to be in contact with the enemy and those who provide direct offensive and combat support. Manning in these arms as at 1 November is given in the table.
|Royal Armoured, Corps/Household, Cavalry Regiment||861||823||-38||-4.4|
|Army Air Corps(8)||459||411||-48||-10.5|
|Royal Armoured, Corps/Household, Cavalry Regiment||5,011||4,916||-95||-1.9|
|Army Air Corps(8)||1,309||1,324||+15||+1.1|
(7) Liability figures quoted are In-Year.
(8) Pilot shortfalls in the AAC are made up by attachees from other Arms and Services. At any one time there are approximately 100 attachees, which are not reflected in the table.
6 Dec 2001 : Column: 455W
The Army remains committed to achieving full manning by around 2005. We have always said that returning the Army to full manning would be a long haul and recognise that this represents a significant challenge. It requires a three pronged approach; maximising recruitment while reducing wastage during training and improving the return of service of trained personnel. The package of measures we have introduced has already delivered some benefits with improvements in retention and we are pursuing a number of recruitment initiatives at regional and national level.
Dr. Moonie: It is important that young peoplethe voters and taxpayers of tomorrowshould have an understanding of defence. In addition, defence has much to offer the curriculum. The Ministry of Defence produces a wide range of publications which are available to assist school students in their research, or to inform members of the public who wish to find out more about defence. These include a series of leaflets on various aspects of defence activity, a new series of leaflets describing the impact of defence activity in each region of the country, and a series of booklets including oneDefence Mattersthat is tailored specifically for students and has been sent to schools across the country. All our publications are available on demand and can also be found on the MOD website together with a wide range of other material about defence.
In addition, each of the services has a student presentation team or teams, which visit schools and colleges across the country, and we are currently in the process of appointing a schools adviser who will develop a range of defence related material that can be used to help deliver the curriculum.
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and (c) level of undermanning in percentage terms of establishment against actual strength was for the (i) Highlanders, (ii) Black Watch, (iii) Royal Scots, (iv) Royal Highland Fusiliers, (v) King's Own Scottish Borderers, (vi) Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, (vii) Royal Scots Dragoon Guards and (viii) Scots Guards on 1 November; what initiatives are under way in Scotland to address issues of (A) recruitment and (B) retention; and if he will make a statement. 
We recognise the need to maximise recruiting levels across the Army as whole. The Army launched a major recruiting campaign in autumn 2000 aimed at targeting a more diverse and well-qualified audience as well as encouraging those who have already expressed an interest in the Army as a career to make the commitment. We are also aiming at reducing the number of recruits withdrawing during training by combining Phase I and Phase II Infantry Training.
As part of the overall recruiting campaign, the Army appointed a Glasgow recruiting company, Search, to manage all the Army's recruitment in the Glasgow area for an initial one-year trial period from the beginning of April 2001. Search will undertake promotional and marketing activity to highlight the many different career opportunities available in the Army with the aim of boosting the numbers of young people choosing the Army as a career.
Retention levels among soldiers have held steady over the last 12 months or so. However, we are not relaxing our efforts in this area and have introduced several Operational welfare initiatives including: Guaranteed Post Operational tour leave, electronic blueys and 20 minutes free telephone call per week for personnel on Operations. We also recognise the importance of providing soldiers and their families a decent standard of accommodation and have several projects in hand to effect improvements to current housing stock.
|Scots Dragoon Guards||590||498||-15.6|
|One Scots Guards||620||687||+10.8|
|One Royal Scots||620||512||-17.4|
|One Royal Highland Fusiliers||620||544||-12.3|
|One Kings Own Scottish Borderers||620||642||+3.5|
|One Black Watch||741||640||-13.6|
|One Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders||620||593||-4.4|
(9) Includes 108 personnel in the Gurkha Reinforcement Company (GRC).
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much of the defence budget was spent in Scotland in the most recent year for which figures are available (a) in actual terms and (b) as a percentage of the total defence budget. 
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Mr. Ingram: As of 3 December, the RAF had accrued over 2,600 flying hours during Operation Veritas. Approximately 1,100 of these flying hours related to reconnaissance missions and almost 1,500 to air to air refuelling flights. Hours accrued during other RAF missions, primarily resupply flights from the UK, are not included in this figure.
Mr. Keetch: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what representations he has received on the exclusion of Polish pilots from the Battle of Britain war memorial at Dover; and if he will make a statement. 
Syd Rapson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what studies have been carried out in the Defence Aviation Repair Agency which recommends the closure of (a) Fleetlands, (b) St Athans and (c) Sealand in Flintshire. 
Mr. Ingram: The C-17 aircraft is capable of dropping cargo by parachute and it is used in this role by the United States Air Force. However, the UK does not currently envisage using the aircraft in this role and has not sought the clearances necessary to do so.
Mr. Ingram: The C-17 aircraft is capable of dropping paratroops and it is used in this role by the United States Air Force. However, the UK does not currently envisage using the aircraft in this role, and has not sought the clearances necessary to do so.
Mr. Ingram: Our lease contract for the RAF's four C-17s does not restrict flying hours. However, the contracted support package is based on an assumed annual fleet usage rate of 3,000 hours. Additional flying hours will give rise to an additional charge for the associated support.
Mr. Ingram: C-17 aircraft have been in service with the United States Air Force for several years. Nevertheless, prior to the aircraft entering service with the Royal Air Force, the Ministry of Defence contracted an independent safety assessor to undertake a risk-based
6 Dec 2001 : Column: 458W
safety analysis in relation to UK Health and Safety legislation. This analysis contributed to the overall safety case on the basis of which the aircraft was cleared for operational service.
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