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25 Jan 2007 : Column 1941W—continued


Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence in what locations British troops are (a) deployed and (b) stationed; and how many troops are deployed or stationed at each location. [110431]

Mr. Ingram: Location statistics may be compiled based on posted (stationed) location or deployed location. Posted (stationed) location is where an individual is permanently based. Deployed location is where an individual is physically located at a particular point in time and is typically used for short tours of duty.

The following table shows the number of personnel deployed on operations by operation at 1 January 2007. The individual location could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Operation Number of personnel deployed

Telic

7,020

Herrick

5,700

Oculus

630

UN operations

290

Total

13,640


25 Jan 2007 : Column 1942W

The strength of UK regular forces posted outside the UK is available in Tri-Service Publication (TSP) 6—“Global Location of UK Regular Forces”. The strength of UK regular forces posted in the UK by Government office region and local authority is available in Tri-Service Publication (TSP) 10—“UK Regular Forces Distribution across UK”. Reliable data below local authority are not available centrally.

TSP 6 and 10 are published quarterly; the most recent publications show the numbers of service personnel at 1 October 2006.

Copies of TSP 6 and 10 are available in the Library of the House and at:

and

respectively.

Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many British forces are deployed overseas; what the cost has been of such overseas deployment in the last 12 months; and what the cost was of overseas deployments in 1996-97. [117477]

Mr. Ingram [holding answer 23 January 2007]: As at 9 January 2007 there were 14,100 military personnel deployed overseas on operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Balkans. The total cost of these operations in 2005-06 was £1,220 million. The total cost of operations in 1996-97 was £253 million.

Executive Agencies

Mr. Hurd: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much was spent by each of his Department's executive agencies in each of the Government office regions in the most recent year for which figures are available. [116666]

Derek Twigg: The information is not readily available and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Mr. Hurd: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which of the executive agencies of his Department have regional offices outside London. [116729]

Derek Twigg: All the defence agencies have offices in the UK outside London, other than Service Children's Education, which is located entirely overseas, primarily in Germany and Cyprus.

Free Newspapers

Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what arrangements are in place for the provision of free newspapers to UK services people serving overseas; whether he has any plans to change these arrangements; and if he will make a statement. [117366]

Derek Twigg [holding answer 22 January 2007]: Newspapers are provided free of charge to operational theatres on the basis of one paper per 10 personnel. They are delivered, by the contracted supplier, daily to RAF Brize Norton for onward transmission. There are no plans to change these arrangements.


25 Jan 2007 : Column 1943W

Helicopters

Mr. Bone: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the availability of helicopters for immediate deployment. [117267]

Mr. Ingram: All UK helicopters deemed fit for purpose are available for immediate deployment. They are deemed fit for purpose if they are capable of undertaking a specific role identified in a particular theatre on a given day. Helicopters 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. A helicopter assessed as not fit-for- purpose may be returned to the front line at very short notice to meet operational demand.

I also refer the hon. Member to my answer of 8 January 2007, Official Report, column 87W, which gives details on forward fleet and average fit-for- purpose figures.

HMS Sheffield: Board of Inquiry

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the evidential basis was for the conclusions of the HMS Sheffield Board of Inquiry that (a) (Annex A-1 para 10) neither Sea Dart nor 4.5 inch Mk 8 engaged the missile or the firing aircraft, 4.5 inch alarm procedure was not used and (b) (para 11) Weapons were neither manned nor loaded; and if he will make a statement. [115225]

Mr. Ingram: The conclusions were based on information contained in Annexes H (Narrative of Attack) and J (Analysis of Attack and Response) of the BOI Report into the loss of HMS Sheffield. This information, in turn, was drawn from written and oral evidence provided to the Board by witnesses from HMS Sheffield, HMS Glasgow and HMS Coventry.

Annexes H and J of the BOI report are due to be published on the MOD website before the end of January, as part of the release of the second tranche of documents relating to the sinking of HMS Sheffield. However, as advised in my written ministerial statement on 2 November 2006, Official Report, column 24WS, we will be withholding from publication copies of the witness statements that were taken by the board, as we believe that the disclosure of this personal data would be unfair to the individuals concerned and would be contrary to the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998.

Information Infrastructure Contract

David Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what criteria the Atlas Consortium is expected to meet in order to be awarded Increments (a) 2b, (b) 2c and (c) 3 of the Defence information infrastructure contract. [116466]

Mr. Ingram [holding answer 19 January 2007]: Detailed criteria for Increments 2b, 2c and 3 have not yet been decided, but will be based on normal MOD practice:


25 Jan 2007 : Column 1944W

Additional criteria will cover appropriate indicators of past performance and evidence of likely future performance in the requirement areas.

Japanese Internment

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many claims for compensation for British civilians interned by the Japanese have been made by British Jews interned in Singapore; and how many have been paid. [117026]

Derek Twigg: I am aware from the Association of British Civilian Internees Far East Region that a number of Jewish internees, as other ethnic groups, who were held by the Japanese in Singapore during the second world war may fail to qualify under the Government’s ex-gratia payment scheme for former far east prisoners of war and civilian internees. However, our records do not allow us to determine the number of applicants in this category and whether they were accepted or rejected under the scheme. The underlying principle of the scheme remains that awards will be made to those who were British at the time of their internment, who can demonstrate the required close link to the UK.

Nuclear Submarines

Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence where each decommissioned nuclear-powered submarine is stored. [116905]

Mr. Ingram [holding answer 24 January 2007]: Fourteen nuclear powered submarines have left naval service and are stored safely afloat at the following locations:

Submarine Location

Conqueror

HM Naval Base (HMNB) Devonport

Courageous

HMNB Devonport

Sovereign

HMNB Devonport

Spartan

HMNB Devonport

Splendid

HMNB Devonport

Valiant

HMNB Devonport

Warspite

HMNB Devonport

Churchill

Rosyth Dockyard

Dreadnought

Rosyth Dockyard

Renown (Ship Submersible Ballistic Nuclear (SSBN))

Rosyth Dockyard

Repulse (SSBN)

Rosyth Dockyard

Resolution (SSBN)

Rosyth Dockyard

Revenge (SSBN)

Rosyth Dockyard

Swiftsure

Rosyth Dockyard


Three of the submarines (Sovereign, Spartan and Splendid) are awaiting defuel.

Officer Training

Mr. Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many officer cadets are in training at the Royal Air Force College, Cranwell; what the service personnel establishment is; what the civilian establishment is; and what the annual costs were in each of the last five years. [111416]


25 Jan 2007 : Column 1945W

Derek Twigg: As at 23 January 2007 there were 320 officer cadets in training at the Officer and Aircrew Cadet Training Unit (OACTU) at the Royal Air Force College Cranwell. The service personnel establishment at OACTU is 100 and the civilian establishment is 20.

The following table gives the annual direct costs for training at the OACTU for each of the last five financial years:

Financial year Cost (£ million)

2001-02

4.136

2002-03

5.384

2003-04

5.980

2004-05

5.892

2005-06

8.316

Notes:
1. Financial figures have been rounded to the nearest £1,000.
2. Personnel figures have been rounded to the nearest 10.

Operation Active Endeavour

Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the UK contribution to Operation Active Endeavour; and if he will make a statement. [116907]

Mr. Ingram [holding answer 24 January 2007]: Operation Active Endeavour is a maritime focused NATO Counter Terrorism Operation in the Mediterranean. Its importance was reaffirmed at NATO’s Riga Summit in November 2006. As a committed NATO member the UK fully supports the Operation and makes a highly effective contribution. The UK provides a dedicated surface warship for between 2 to 4 months each year and, on an opportunity basis, other assets operating in the Region.

Parachute Training

Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the adequacy of parachute training (a) facilities and (b) resources for (i) new and (ii) serving members of the airborne forces between 2008 and 2011; and if he will make a statement. [116507]

Mr. Ingram: The parachute training facilities at No. 1 Parachute Training School, RAF Brize Norton and the Brigade Parachute Squadron at Wattisham Airfield, support the training of new and serving members of the airborne forces. Aircraft availability is to some extent dependent on current operational requirements but parachute training continues to be conducted to meet our requirements.

In terms of future facilities and resources, I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 8 January 2007, Official Report, column 326W, to the hon. Member for Canterbury (Mr. Brazier). The departmental planning round is yet to be completed but it remains the case that all troops deployed on operations will receive the required level of training to enable them to fulfil their military tasks.


25 Jan 2007 : Column 1946W

RAF Coltishall and RAF Scampton

Mr. Ellwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the future of (a) RAF Coltishall and (b) RAF Scampton. [116947]

Mr. Ingram [holding answer 22 January 2007]: Former RAF Coltishall has been declared surplus to defence requirements and is currently in the process of disposal.

An element of the United Kingdom’s Air Surveillance and Control System, one of the Air Combat Service Support Units and the RAF Acrobatic Team are based at RAF Scampton. The RAF is conducting studies to consider basing options for these units and this may affect the future of RAF Scampton. No decisions have yet been taken.

Trident

Dr. Gibson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether the conclusions of the naval base review will be available to the House prior to the debate on Trident replacement; and if he will make a statement. [116647]

Des Browne: The Government have committed to a full debate on our decision to renew the UK's independent nuclear deterrent. It is only right that Parliament has the opportunity to debate and vote on this decision. The outcome of that debate will, therefore, inform the naval base review.

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether the UK is dependent on the US for conducting tests on the Trident warhead. [114895]

Des Browne [holding answer 15 January 2007]: There are a number of areas where the UK and US undertake joint trials programmes under the auspices of the 1958 Mutual Defence Agreement as it is more cost-effective than each nation undertaking wholly independent trials programmes. For these trials, each nation is dependent on the other for the provision of agreed facilities and trials information.


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