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Mr. Ingram: No Royal Navy ships have had to be recalled from sea so that crew members can be trained in firefighting duties. However, the planned activities of the Fleet's ships have inevitably had to be re-prioritised due to the need to train and deploy personnel in anticipation of the Fire Brigades Union strike.
(3) if he will make a statement on the nature and duration of firefighting training being undertaken by service personnel. 
Mr. Ingram: Armed Forces personnel will provide emergency fire and rescue cover during the fire brigades dispute. Whilst this cover cannot replace in full the service provided by professional firefighters, it will be designed to ensure that the loss of life which may be occasioned by the dispute is minimised, drawing on the proven effectiveness and dedication of the Armed Forces in serving the public. Cover will be provided by 827 Green Goddess crews, 331 Specialist Breathing Apparatus Rescue Teams, and 59 Rescue Equipment Support Teams.
About 3,000 RN personnel, 7,700 Army personnel and 2,300 RAF personnel have been trained to provide this front line emergency cover. The training lasts up to five weeks, depending on the skill and role of the individual. Information on the monthly breakdown of these figures is not readily available and could only be provided at disproportionate cost.
The specialist teams will have all the skills required to use breathing apparatus necessary for fire rescue and the use of cutting equipment required to free people from damaged buildings and vehicles. Green Goddess crews are being trained to control fires from outside the building. Other training includes specialist driver training, first aid training and specialist equipment maintenance training.
A further 6,500 personnel from all three services will be engaged in administrative, security, command and control and other duties drawing on normal Armed Forces skills and training. A total of more than 19,000 Armed Forces personnel will therefore be engaged in providing emergency cover during a strike.
Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence from which Royal Air Force squadrons personnel will be taken in the event of armed forces personnel taking on national firefighting duties. 
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47, 51, 54, 56, 70, 99, 101, 120, 201, 202, 203, 206, 216 and 2623, as well as from ground based Air Defence Headquarters and the Joint Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Regiment. Manpower will also be drawn from units at Cranwell, Digby, Cosford, Brampton, Wyton, Henlow, Uxbridge, Innsworth, Halton, St. Athan, Sealand, Valley, Shawbury and Linton-on-Ouse.
Mr. Ingram: The expected reduction in fire cover at RAF stations will result in some loss of flying hours. A prolonged strike will also have some impact on engineering support, which will adversely affect aircraft serviceability and also lead to some loss of flying hours.
Mr. Keith Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many service men have had their post-operational tour leave cancelled as a consequence of preparing to train for firefighting duties. 
Mr. Ingram: In order to train for emergency firefighting duties, nearly a thousand personnel who have recently returned from the Balkans have had some or all of their post-operational tour leave delayed. It is intended that all post-operational tour leave will be taken as soon as these troops can be released. In the meantime, some leave is being taken as opportunities arise, within the constraints of preparations for firefighting duties, and the Ministry of Defence is actively pursuing options in order to reduce the impact to a minimum. Depending upon the duration of strike action, further personnel may also be affected.
Mr. Ingram: Emergency cover in Dorset, as in the rest of the country, will consist of a number of elements including Green Goddess crews, breathing apparatus teams, rescue teams (equipped with specialist equipment) and the police. The provision of Ministry of Defence emergency fire cover has been planned in consultation with the Chief Fire Officer and local police to minimise call-out response times and maximise the availability of the range of firefighting capabilities.
Three temporary fire stations will be located in Dorset itself, at Weymouth, Poole and Bournemouth. The operational control centre, based at Winfrith, will be responsible for co-ordinating emergency response in the
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quickest time possible, either through the deployment of assets based in Dorset or by requesting assistance from other operational areas.
The Ministry of Defence's emergency cover will not replicate the fire fighting capabilities of the Fire Service, but will minimise as far as possible the danger to human life. Service personnel will provide basic fire and rescue cover.
Dr. Lewis Moonie: Challenger II was purchased with an initial spares package and sufficient repairables to cover planned activity and anticipated operations. These holdings are supplemented by further purchases as and when required.
Mr. Adam Ingram: These capabilitiesthe Land Commander's Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) requirementswill be met principally by a combination of the WATCHKEEPER Unmanned Aerial Vehicle and manned ground reconnaissance. We expect the latter to be provided by the ISTAR variant of the Future Rapid Effect System (FRES). Arrangements have been put in place to utilise key technologies developed in the TRACER programme in new programmes such as FRES.
Dr. Moonie: There has been no change in the approved In Service Date of September 2005, as reported in the National Audit Office's Major Projects Report 2001. The ASTOR programme is currently on course to meet this ISD.
The Sea Harrier is equipped with the AMRAAM missile on Operation SOUTHERN WATCH, patrolling the no-fly zone over southern Iraq. The aircraft was also equipped with the AMRAAM missile during Operation DELIBERATE FORCE (Kosovo) and Operation DENY FLIGHT (Bosnia) between 1995 and 1999.
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