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Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many (a) C130K and (b) C130J Hercules aircraft are based at RAF Lyneham; how many Hercules are fit for purpose; how many Hercules are deployed (i) in Iraq, (ii) in Afghanistan, (iii) to Cyprus and Lebanon and (iv) elsewhere; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ingram: There are a total of 24 C130Ks and 25 C130J Hercules aircraft based at RAF Lyneham of which a number are deployed to operational theatres. I am withholding information about how many Hercules aircraft are deployed to which operational theatre, as this might prejudice the operational security of our armed forces.
Aircraft are deemed fit for purpose if they are capable of undertaking the required task on a given day. Aircraft are not available for tasking if they are undergoing scheduled maintenance, modification programmes or any unforeseen rectification work that can arise on a day-to-day basis. The figures do not reflect the fact that an aircraft assessed as not fit for purpose may be returned to the front line at very short notice to meet the operational need.
Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what percentage of infantry soldiers come from (a) Muslim and (b) ethnic minority backgrounds. 
Derek Twigg: As at 1 June 2006, the percentage of UK Regular Army Infantry Soldiers that have recorded Muslim as their religion is 0.2 per cent.
Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the Government's policy is on UK troops remaining in Iraq after all provinces controlled by the UK are handed over to the Iraqi Government; what information has been issued to the media on the UK's plans; and if he will make a statement. 
Browne [holding answer 11 September 2006]: As we
have consistently made clear, Coalition troops will remain in Iraq
until the conditions for drawdown are right. The transfer of provincial
security responsibility to the Iraqi Security Forceswhile an
important stepwill not necessarily result in the complete
withdrawal of UK troops. Coalition troops will need to
remain in Iraq for some period after provincial transfer to continue training and mentoring of the Iraqi Security Forces, and to assist with the provision of security until we, the Iraqi Government, and our coalition partners are confident that the Iraqi Security Forces can operate without our support.
Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which parent unit the members of the composite company of the Royal Rifle Volunteers shortly to be deployed on Operation Herrick are from, broken down by (a) rank and (b) company. 
Mr. Ingram: The composite company of the Royal Rifle Volunteers deploying on Operation Herrick broken down by parent unit, company and rank is shown in the following table:
Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and
(2) Royal Wessex Yeomanry
(3) Devon and Dorset
(4) Royal Green Jackets
(5) Honourable Artillery Company
(6) Royal Rifle Volunteers
(7) Highlanders. This individual is a Regular Reservist
Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what proportion of (a) UN peacekeeping troops and (b) NATO operationally deployed troops come from the British armed forces. 
Mr. Ingram [holding answer 24 July 2006]: The UN publishes details of troop contributions to UN missions on its website at www.un.org/depts/dpko/dpko/contributors I am placing a copy in the Library of the House.
1. Data are rounded to the nearest 10 to prevent disclosure of
sensitive information. 2. Figures include mobilised
reservists. 3. ISAF (International Security Assistance
Force). 4. Figures for the total NATO strength are not held
centrally and it is therefore not possible to show these figures as a
proportion of the total
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the roles are of the Royal Irish Regiment (Home Service) battalions; which roles will be taken up by other regiments or battalions on disbandment; and which roles will no longer be carried out. 
Mr. Ingram: The Royal Irish Regiment (Home Service) battalions, like their predecessors, the Ulster Defence Regiment, were raised specifically for operations in support of the police in Northern Ireland known as Operation Banner.
Over the years they have played a crucial role in creating the environment which led to the announcement on 1 August 2005 of the start of the process of normalisation which will see the end of Operation Banner on 31 July 2007. With the police no longer needing routine military support, the three Home Service battalions will have successfully completed the tasks for which they were raised and will disband.
The revised Security Annex to the Joint Declaration makes it clear that, assuming the maintenance of an enabling environment, Army support to the police after 31 July 2007, will reduce to a residual level, e.g. in providing specialised ordnance disposal and support for public order as described in Patten recommendations 59 and 66, should this be needed.
Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many British troops have been involved in UN missions in each year since 1995. 
Mr. Ingram: The UN publishes details of troop contributions to UN missions on its website at www.un.org/depts/dpko/dpko/contributors I am placing a copy in the Library of the House. Data prior to 2000 is not currently available on the website. Nor is it held centrally by the Ministry of Defence, and it could be compiled only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many members of W Company, 45 Commando, shortly to be deployed to Afghanistan were serving in the company on an established Line Serial Number two months before deployment. 
Mr. Ingram: The established Line Serial Number for W Company 45 Commando Royal Marines is 78 personnel for their conventional role. But 45 Commando are not deploying to Afghanistan as a Battle Group: they have a number of individual roles for which they have been specifically reorganised. W Coy restructured in early July 2006 and now comprises 100 individuals. The majority of the Coy have been training for an operational deployment since Easter 2006; and all personnel undertake legally mandated pre-deployment training including the five members who joined the company two months before the deployment. They will conduct individual replacement training next week.
Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many members of W Company, 45 Commando or currently attached to W Company for the duration of the deployment shortly to be deployed to Afghanistan are members of the Royal Navy, not including Royal Marines. 
Mr. Ingram: There are currently no Royal Navy personnel serving with or attached to W Company, 45 Commando Royal Marines. W Company, who are deploying to Afghanistan, comprise Royal Marine personnel, one Army Captain and one RAF Regiment Troop Sergeant.
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