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20 Jan 2004 : Column 1121W—continued

Call-out Notices

Mr. Swayne: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many compulsory call-out notices have been issued in each of the last three years; and how many individuals were mobilised in each of those years. [R] [147136]

Mr. Caplin: In 2003, over 13,500 call-out notices were issued. However, it should be noted that some individuals received more than one call-out notice to report for a particular operation. The number of call-out notices issued in 2001 and 2002 is not centrally held and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

The number of reservists who were mobilised in the last three years is as follows:


These figures include Volunteer Reserves, Regular Reserves and Sponsored Reserves.


Mr. Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what shortcomings were identified in the Oscar strategic communications system procured for use during Operation TELIC; and how much was spent on the system. [147276]

Mr. Ingram: The Operations and Strategic Communications Architecture (OSCA) system was procured at short notice to enhance our strategic communications capability. The lack of scope to engineer the solution full and the requirement to integrate OSCA into the existing UK military communications infrastructure caused some difficulties. These difficulties did not significantly affect the operational outcome.

Some £13 million was spent on acquiring the hardware and costs of some £20 million have been incurred in running the system up to December 2003.

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Death-in-service Benefit

Mr. Gerald Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether the proposed increase in death-in-service benefit from one and a half to four times salary will be payable to Service personnel who opt to remain within the existing Armed Forces Pension Scheme. [148063]

Mr. Caplin: No, but those who wish to have that benefit will be able to transfer to the new scheme, which is entirely a matter of choice for each individual member of the armed forces.

Dog Patrols

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many dog patrols were made on (a) Army bases and (b) RAF stations in the United Kingdom on (i) 1 January 1997 and (ii) 1 January 2003. [148397]

Mr. Caplin: The information is not recorded as there is no requirement to do so. Security at MOD establishments is kept under constant review and dog patrol duties, which form an important element of security procedures at MOD establishments, are no exception.

Gulf Campaign Medal

Mr. Flook: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many British servicemen and women were awarded the Gulf Campaign Medal for Operation Desert Storm in 1990–91, broken down by armed service. [148320]

Mr. Caplin: Operation Desert Storm was the name given to the American operations during the Gulf War of 1990–91. The term used to describe the British operations was Operation Granby. The Gulf Medal 1990–91 was either awarded on its own, or together with one of two clasps which were attached to the medal ribbon and acknowledged specific periods of operational service. The details were published in Command Paper 1627 which the then Prime Minister presented to Parliament by Command of Her Majesty The Queen, in August 1991. A copy was placed in the Library of the House.

As far as can ascertained from records held by the Ministry of Defence's four single service medal offices, a total of 59,687 medals with and without clasps were issued to Service personnel, including those people recalled to the Armed Forces from the Reserves for service during the conflict. The distribution of these medals can be broken down as follows:

ServiceMedalonlyMedal with clasp2 August 1990Medal with clasp16 January–28 February 1991Total
Royal Navy2,409Nil3,9426,351
Royal Marines130Nil407537
Royal Air Force5,673208,27513,968

In addition, medals with and without clasps, were awarded to members of various civilian organisations and to foreign nationals who served with British Forces in the Middle East.

20 Jan 2004 : Column 1123W

Gulf War Veterans

Mr. Flook: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Gulf War veterans of 1990 were still serving in the armed forces in 2003. [148269]

Mr. Caplin: Approximately 16,600 of the 53,464 United Kingdom armed forces personnel who served in the Gulf conflict of 1990–91 were still in Service on 1 January 2003.


Adam Price: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his policy is on the extra-territorial applicability of the European Convention on Human Rights in territories under the military occupation of United Kingdom forces. [141685]

Mr. Ingram: I will write to the hon. Member and place a copy of my reply in the Library of the House.

Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the total cost is since September 2002 of the deployment of United Kingdom forces in Iraq; and if he will make a statement. [148298]

Mr. Ingram: Outturn information for 2002–03 on the cost of operations in Iraq which have been subject to National Audit Office (NAO) audit, have been published as part of the Department's Annual Report and Accounts. Operating Costs for 2002–03 for operations in Iraq total £629.531 million. Expenditure on capital equipment amounts to £217.680 million. The grand total is, therefore, £847.211 million.

For 2003–04, funding voted at Winter Supplementary Estimates amounted to £1.2 billion and covered the cost of peacekeeping and associated Urgent Operational Requirements (UORs). The Ministry of Defence will seek a further £300 million at Spring Supplementary Estimates to cover primarily the cost of the Recuperation of the Department's operational capability. Thus, the total sought in 2003–04 will be £1.5 billion.

It is too early to say what costs might be incurred after 2003–04.

Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to his answer of 4 December 2003, Official Report, column 127W, on Iraq, what the latest total is of deaths in British custody; what the status of investigations into them is; and if he will make a statement. [148435]

Mr. Ingram [holding answer on 19 January 2004]: There have been a total of 6 deaths of Iraqis in UK custody in Iraq. All are, or have been, the subject of investigations by the Royal Military Police Special Investigations Branch. The investigation into the death of Radhi Nama concluded that he died of natural causes. The other five investigations are continuing and it would therefore be inappropriate to comment further until they are complete.

Mr. Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to his answer of 15 December 2003, Official Report, column 30W, on Iraq, how many of the armoured Land Rovers operating in Iraq have been used in field operations. [148550]

20 Jan 2004 : Column 1124W

Mr. Ingram: All of them.

Mr. Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to his answer of 5 January 2003, Official Report, column 30W, on Iraq, how many of the Gazelle and Puma helicopters operating in Iraq have been used in field operations. [148585]

Mr. Ingram: All of them.

Manning Control

Mr. Keetch: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what plans he has to compensate soldiers who were subject to manning control where it is proved that the wrong procedures were applied to their discharge; [147890]

Mr. Caplin: There is no evidence to suggest that incorrect procedures have been applied to soldiers who have been discharged as a result of manning control, and the issue of compensation has therefore not arisen. Should any such cases come to light, the onus would be on the individual to make a claim against the Ministry of Defence. Anyone believing they have been wrongly discharged from the Army is entitled to redress of complaint which, if successful, could lead to reinstatement.

Overseas Deployments

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the countries in which United Kingdom troops are stationed, giving numbers in each case. [147400]

Mr. Ingram: Approximate numbers of British troops stationed permanently overseas are:

Falkland Islands1,200
Diego Garcia40

In addition, some 650 Service personnel are posted overseas on representational duties in British Embassies and High Commissions, or on Loan or Secondment in support of the Government's Defence Diplomacy objectives.

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