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Armed Forces Exercises

Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the (a) date, (b) participating units, (c) timing, (d) nature of exercise and (e) total cost of exercise, were for each exercise involving British armed forces, originally planned for BATUS in Canada during this financial year; and if each exercise is still scheduled to take place. [62229]

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Mr. Ingram: Details of British Army training exercises that are scheduled to take place in BATUS during this financial year along with their attendant costs are shown in the table. All the BATUS exercises scheduled for this financial year are still due to take place.

Dates/timings Exercise Participating units Timings (prairie days) Nature of exerciseExpected cost of exercise(23) (£ million)
16 April 2002 to 23 May 2002Exercise MEDMAN 1Scots Dragoon Guards Battlegroup23 April 2002 to 17 May 2002 (25 days)Battlegroup all arms live fire and simulation exercise8.3
23 May 2002 to 27 June 2002Exercise MEDMAN 21 Black Watch28 May 2002 to 21 June 2002 (25 days)Battlegroup all arms live fire and simulation exercises8.3
27 June 2002 to 3 August 2002Exercise MEDMAN 31 Royal Regiment of Fusiliers Battlegroup2 July 2002 to 26 July 2002 (25 days)Battlegroup all arms live fire and simulation exercises8.3
3 August 2002 to 21 October 2002Exercise IRON ANVIL 0219 (Mechanised) Brigade24 August 2002 to 8 October 2002 (46 days)The Exercise consists of MEDMAN 4 and MEDMAN 5.
(Includes Exercises MEDMAN 4 and MEDMAN 519 Brigade HeadquartersFor 2 Royal Tank Regiment and 1 Kings Battlegroup and Brigade all arms live fire and simulation exercises.
2 Royal Tank Regiment1 Kings Own Scottish Borderers join for the Brigade level exercise to allow 19 Mechanised Brigade to exercise with 3 manoeuvre Battle Groups under command.
1 Kings Battlegroup
1 Kings Own Scottish Borderers
40 Regiment Royal Artillery
38 Engineer Regiment
5 Battalion Royal Electrical Mechanical Engineers
29 Regiment Royal Logistic Corp

(23) Costs are calculated by dividing the total BATUS resource consumption by the number of MEDICINE MAN Exercises. (Exercise IRON ANVIL equates to approximately 2 MEDICINE MAN exercises).

Medical Categories (Armed Forces)

Mr. Keetch: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to his answer of 8 May 2002, Official Report, column 181W, how many (a) women and (b) men in the (i) Army, (ii) Royal Navy and (iii) RAF are in a downgraded medical category; to which category they belong and the percentage of trained strength this represents; and if he will make a statement. [56171]

Dr. Moonie [holding answer 15 May 2002]: The information requested is shown in the table. My answer of 8 May 2002, Official Report, column 181W, related to certain specified Army medical downgrading categories only. My answer of 10 June 2002, Official Report, column 732W, provided a list of the medical downgrading categories used by all three services.

Downgraded categoryMaleMale percentage of total strengthFemaleFemale percentage of total strength
Naval personnel by downgraded medical category
P3R (pregnant)nilnil810.19
Regular army personnel by downgraded PULHHEEMS employment standard
P3—RE (PP)nilnil3640.38
P7—HO (UK)1580.16120.01
P7—HO (NNI)5410.56350.04
P7—HO (UK not NI)290.033*0.00
Regular RAF personnel by downgraded medical employment standard


1. The figures are as at 1 May 2002.

2. Figures have been rounded to the nearest two decimal places. Those marked with an asterisk are 0.004 per cent. or less.

3. Army and RAF figures show medically downgraded trained personnel as a percentage of trained strength.

4. Naval figures show totally medically downgraded personnel, including new entry trainees, as a percentage of total strength as the Royal Navy is unable to provide separate figures for medically downgraded trained personnel only.

5. The Army PO category normally relates to personnel undergoing hospital treatment or on hospital sick leave, but may also include personnel for whom no PULHHEEMS employment standard is recorded on the personnel computer.

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Army (Recruitment)

Mr. Dodds: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many applications to join the Army in each year since 1998 were rejected with no reason given to the applicant; and in what circumstances the Department refuses to give reasons for rejection of applicants. [62640]

Mr. Ingram: No applications to join the Army are refused without a reason being given to the applicant. However, in common with other Government Departments, it is the Ministry of Defence's policy to maintain the freedom to accept, or reject, any person for employment without giving a detailed explanation.

Wind Farms (Scotland)

Mr. Peter Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list those applications for wind farms in Scotland since January 2000 that his Department have (a) objected to and (b) not objected to. [64346]

Dr. Moonie: I will write to the hon. Member with a list of all wind farm proposals for Scotland received during the time specified and I will place a copy of my letter in the Library of the House.

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The Ministry of Defence has received a total of 182 wind energy proposals in Scotland since 1 January 2000, of which 112 received no objection and 70 were objected to. The objections were for varying reasons of interference to low flying, radar or microwave links.

Meteor BVRAAM Missile Programme

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the projected contract schedule for the Meteor BVRAAM missile programme is; and if he will make a statement. [64282]

Dr. Moonie: A draft contract for the development and production of the Meteor (BVRAAM) missile was sent to our partner nations at the end of April. A number of amendments have now been incorporated into a final version, which was passed to our partners earlier this month. We very much hope that all partner nations will confirm within the next few weeks that they are content for the contract to be signed and that Germany will also sign the Meteor Memorandum of Understanding (already signed by the other five nations). Our aim remains to award the contract to MBDA in July.

Chinook Helicopter

Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when the decision was taken by his Department not to provide a full response to letters received on the subject of the fatal accident to Chinook ZD576. [64564]

Mr. Ingram: No such decision has been taken.

Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence to whom the reasons for the two suspensions of RAF Chinook HC2 flight trials at Boscombe Down in 1994 were communicated at the time. [64562]

Mr. Ingram: The distribution of the aircraft and armament evaluation establishment, Boscombe Down's internal minutes communicating the reasons for the temporary suspension of flight trials included the Procurement Executive, the RAF Air Operations Branch and the Director of Flying, and our Liaison Officer in Philadelphia.

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