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Army Training (Kenya)

Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will (a) list the dates of British Army training exercises in Kenya during the past 12 months and (b) make a statement on the training undertaken during each of these deployments. [49308]

Mr. Ingram [holding answer 16 April 2002]: Details of British Army training exercises that have taken place in Kenya during the past 12 months are as follows:

Exercise nameDatesTraining undertaken
MONOPRIX 0110 April 2001Infantry Company Group training exercise incorporating dry and live firing in both arid and jungle locations. Live firing occurred at Mpala Farm and Archer's Post—both of which are live firing ranges.
16 May 2001
SHARP POINT 0110 April 2001Medical Squadron exercise providing primary health and veterinary care to the Kenyan community.
16 May 2001
PINEAPPLE 0110 April 2001Engineer Squadron Explosive Ordnance Clearance operation of the training areas used by British Forces for Live Firing in Kenya.
16 May 2001
GRAND PRIX 3/0125 October 2001Infantry Battlegroup training exercise incorporating dry and live firing in both arid and jungle locations. Live firing occurred at Mpala Farm and Archer's Post—both of which are live firing ranges.
6 December 2001
CRABAPPLE 0125 October 2001Troop level Royal Engineer construction exercise.
6 December 2001
GRAND PRIX 1/025 January 2002As GRAND PRIX 3/01
23 February 2002
OAKAPPLE 025 January 2002Squadron level Royal Engineer construction exercise.
7 April 2002
GRAND PRIX 2/0226 February 2002As GRAND PRIX 3/01
7 April 2002
MONOPRIX 027 April 2002As MONOPRIX 01
16 May 2002
SHARP POINT 027 April 2002As SHARP POINT 01
16 May 2002
PINEAPPLE 027 April 2002As PINEAPPLE 01
16 May 2002

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Roll On/Roll Off Vessels

Mr. Hepburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) when he expects to sign the contract with AWSR Shipping Ltd. for the provision of roll on/roll off ferries under the PFI; [50884]

Dr. Moonie: Bids were assessed against the criteria of best value for money, having regard to price, delivery and quality. Tenderers were required to produce financial evidence of guarantees or other financing arrangements that underwrote their ability to sign a contract in a timely manner. Government Departments and regional and industrial bodies with a legitimate interest in the strategic sealift service competition were consulted at all stages. The complexity of the transaction has extended the negotiations but all major questions have been resolved and we foresee no significant obstacle to early signature.

Mr. Hepburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) when he expects to transfer to AWSR Ltd. responsibilities for the two roll-on, roll-offs being built by Harland and Wolff; [50892]

Dr. Moonie: On completion of the two ships being built by Harland and Wolff, due this financial year, AWSR will reimburse the Ministry of Defence and assume ownership. The overall effect on the Government's finances is therefore neutral. The period of notice for the six ships forming the strategic sealift service will be:

24 Apr 2002 : Column 260W

ShipsNotice
15 days
310 days
120 days
1 30 days

Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if the Department's contract for Ro-Ro ferries has been signed; and if he will make a statement. [51134]

Dr. Moonie: We foresee no significant obstacles to early signature. Negotiation of the terms of a 20-year service has inevitably been complex and changes in the commercial shipping environment since the events of 11 September 2001 have had to be factored in. We have, however, at the same time, been able to take advantage of policies developed in recent years as set out in "British Shipping Charting a New Course" and elsewhere.

Private Gray

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what duties Private Gray was deployed in on (a) 16 September 2001 and (b) 17 September 2001; who his immediate superior officer was on that night; and if he will make a statement; [51157]

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Dr. Moonie: These questions collectively concern the circumstances surrounding the death of Private Geoff Gray at the Princess Royal Barracks, Deepcut, on 17 September 2001. Some of the information requested has already been placed in the public domain in the form of witness evidence given at the coroner's inquest into the death of Private Gray, which was held on 19 March 2002. However, jurisdiction for the investigation into this incident was retained by the Surrey Police who will be briefing the family of Private Gray shortly on the circumstances surrounding his death. It would, therefore, be inappropriate for me to comment further at this stage. The evidence will also be considered by an internal Army Board of Inquiry, which will convene on 25 April 2002. The inquiry is likely to take some time. The next of kin will, as a matter of courtesy, be afforded a copy of the final report in due course.

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether there was an MOD inquiry into the death of Private Geoff Gray in September 2001 at Deep Cut Army Camp; and if he will make a statement. [51155]

Dr. Moonie: The Army Board of Inquiry into the death of Private Geoff Gray will convene on 25 April 2002. The purpose of a Board of Inquiry is to establish the facts and ascertain whether any shortcomings in service

24 Apr 2002 : Column 262W

equipment or procedures caused or contributed to the incident leading to a death and, if necessary, make recommendations to prevent a recurrence. Although this is normally an internal investigation and not open to members of the public or the media, the next of kin are afforded a copy of the completed Board of Inquiry report as a matter of courtesy (subject to any minimum security/disclosure requirements). The inquiry is likely to take some time and I cannot, at this stage, say when the board will make its final report.

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on (a) the cause of death, (b) the circumstances and (c) the coroner's verdict on the death of Private Geoff Gray in September 2001 at the Deep Cut Army Camp; and if he will make a statement. [51149]

Dr. Moonie: Private Geoff Gray, Royal Logistic Corps, died from gunshot wounds to the head while on guard duty at the Princess Royal Barracks, Deep Cut, on 17 September 2001. The coroner's inquest was held on 19 March 2002 and recorded an open verdict. Jurisdiction for the investigation into this incident remains with the Surrey police who will be briefing the family of Private Gray shortly on the circumstances surrounding his death. It would, therefore, be inappropriate for me to comment further at this stage.


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