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Written Answers to Questions
Thursday 25 October 2012
Mr Dunne: There are no current plans to operate US ISTAR assets from the Queen Elizabeth class carrier; but the ship has the ability to operate with the US ISTAR assets subject to a range of agreements and the nature of the operation which the UK and US would be undertaking.
Mr Francois: As at 17 October 2012, there were 172 apprentices on the Ministry of Defence (MOD) civilian payroll, all of whom are paid and working towards qualifications as part of their apprenticeship. The MOD employed five interns for an eight-week period in the summer of 2012, all of whom were paid.
Mrs Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many foreign and commonwealth armed forces personnel there were in the UK armed forces, by country and service, in the latest period for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. 
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Armed Forces Covenant
Armed Forces: Business Interests
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regulated by the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments. On appointment/promotion to OF6 (1 star) level in the armed forces, military officers are required to sign an acknowledgement that they have seen the rules contained in this policy document A similar acknowledgement is requested on retirement or resignation from the armed forces.
Armed Forces: Children
Mrs Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what funding under the Barnett consequentials has been given to the Welsh Assembly Government by his Department for the implementation of the Service Pupil Premium in Wales; and if he will make a statement. 
Funding for the Service Pupil Premium was allocated to Department for Education at the 2010 spending review and therefore was taken into account in determining the Welsh Government Block Grant for the spending review period.
Armed Forces: Courts Martial
|(1 )Not known.|
|Courts martial by rank 2000-11|
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|(1 )Civilians subject to Army/Service discipline. Notes: 1. The Army figures include Royal Marines up to 31 October 2009. 2. Army OR-2/1 includes all variations of the lowest Army rank.|
|(1 )Included in Army.|
Duncan Hames: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many defendants of each rank and in each service in courts martial pleaded (a) not guilty, (b) guilty, (c) not guilty and were convicted, (d) not guilty, were convicted and subsequently appealed to the Courts Martial Appeal Court, (e) not guilty, were convicted, subsequently appealed to the Courts Martial Appeal Court and were acquitted and (f) not guilty, were convicted, subsequently appealed to the Courts Martial Appeal Court and had their sentence reduced in each year between 2000 and 2011; and what the case names of neutral citation references were in cases where the Courts Martial Appeal Court acquitted or reduced a sentence. 
Armed Forces: Disciplinary Proceedings
Duncan Hames: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many summary hearings were conducted in each rank of each armed service in each year between 2000 and 2011; and at what level such hearings were conducted. 
Mr Francois: The information on the number of hearings, for the years where this is available, is provided in the following tables. A breakdown by rank could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
|Summary trials||Summary appeal court|
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These figures represent both Royal Navy and Royal Marine Corps personnel dealt with under the Navy Chain of Command. Royal Marines dealt with by the Army Chain of Command are not included in these figures. The summary trial figures only represent those found guilty. Discontinued or acquitted summary trial results were not recorded prior to 2010.
The following table shows how many proven summary hearings and appeals were held between 2001 and 2011. The figures for 2001 to 2004 are approximate as the legacy database that stored these figures is not considered fully accurate.
|Summary hearings||Summary appeal court|
The following table shows how many summary hearings, regardless of outcome, were held between 2009 and 2011. The RAF no longer retains the information requested on summary hearings prior to 2009. I can confirm there were 462 appeals between 2001 and 2011, but it is not possible to break this down by year.
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Duncan Hames: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what legal advice is provided to service personnel charged with an offence under (a) the summary hearing system and (b) the courts martial system; and what the public cost of such advice was in each of the last five years. 
Mr Francois: All those who either elect for trial or lodge an appeal during a summary hearing and all those who are referred for court martial may apply to the Armed Forces Legal Aid Scheme for financial assistance towards legal support. The scheme is based upon the same principles as the civilian criminal legal aid system in England and Wales, and is designed to mirror it while making necessary adjustments for service life. As such, access to advice and representation provided by civilian legal representatives under the Armed Forces Legal Aid Scheme to service personnel is of the same level as that provided in civilian cases proceeding through the Crown court.
All applications to the Armed Forces Legal Aid Scheme are subject to a means test and those whose income, and where applicable, capital exceeds, the relevant thresholds may be required to contribute towards their legally aided costs where they are convicted or unsuccessful in appeal. The total cost of aid provided in each of the last five years is:
|Financial year||£ million|
Duncan Hames: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many defendants in summary hearings pleaded (a) not guilty, (b) guilty, (c) not guilty and were convicted, (d) not guilty, were convicted and subsequently appealed to the Summary Appeals Court, (e) not guilty, were convicted, subsequently appealed to the Summary Appeals Court and were acquitted and (f) not guilty, were convicted, subsequently appealed to the Summary Appeals Court and had their sentence reduced. 
Armed Forces: Morale
[holding answer 18 October 2012]:The principal measure in place to monitor changes in morale within the military is the Armed Forces Continuous Attitude Survey, the findings of which are used extensively
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in shaping policy for terms and conditions of service. The results of the 2012 survey were published on 23 August 2012.
The recommendations of the strategic defence and security review have necessitated a series of tough decisions, including reshaping our armed forces as we move towards 'Future Force 2020'. While issues such as headcount reductions and pay restraint have inevitably had an impact on morale, I continue to be impressed by the dedication of our military personnel.
Armed Forces: Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
Mr Francois: The Ministry of Defence takes the issue of mental health very seriously, and we will continue to offer a high standard of treatment and care to those who need it. In Afghanistan, a Field Mental Health Team (FMHT) provides assessment and treatment for our deployed personnel. Many of those who are assessed as having a mental disorder will be successfully treated by the FMHT, although those with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) (one of the most severe and uncommon disorders) would be removed from operational duties and returned to the UK for treatment.
The UK Armed Forces Mental Health Report Annual Summary shows that between 1 April 2010 and 31 March 2011 (the most recent full 12-month summary available), 142 persons were assessed by the FMHT as having a form of mental disorder, none of which were PTSD. During the same period, 35 persons were aeromedically evacuated back to the UK from Afghanistan for psychiatric reasons. Of these, 24 were described as “mildly disturbed psychiatric patients”, with the other 11 being classed as either “intermediate” or “severe”.
Service personnel with PTSD, including those returned to the UK from operational deployment, will normally be referred to and treated in one of our 15 military Departments of Community Mental Health (plus centres overseas). These offer a wide range of psychiatric and psychological treatments, including medication, psychological therapies, and environmental adjustment where appropriate. In-patient care, when necessary, is provided in specialised psychiatric units under contract with the NHS.
Mr Francois: The Ministry of Defence (MOD) takes the issue of mental health very seriously, and we recognise that operational deployments will inevitably expose personnel to stressful experiences. The psychological welfare of troops (which covers general well-being as well as mental health) is a fundamental chain of command responsibility, and personnel benefit greatly, in terms of mental health, by being within well-led units with good support from their colleagues.
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Measures are in place to increase awareness at all levels and to mitigate the development of operational stresses. Primary preventative measures include selection for fitness at recruitment, provision of good leadership, and robust training for all personnel. Secondary preventative measures include psycho-education, use of Trauma Risk Management (TRiM), and post-operational stress management, all of which aim at early detection of problems. Unit-based non-healthcare professionals such as chaplains, TRiM practitioners and welfare staff also have a vital role in supporting the chain of command in maintaining a good state of mental health among unit personnel and in signposting those in need of treatment to the Defence Medical Services. The families of returning personnel are also offered advice on the possible after-effects of an operational deployment.
Another key aim is to reduce the stigma that is sometimes attached to mental illness, which is an issue in the civilian world as well as the armed forces. This is being actively addressed through such programmes as the Army's ‘Don't Bottle It Up’ campaign, and in the deployment briefings provided to personnel and their families. By encouraging people to come forward as soon as they begin to feel ill, we can provide treatment at an early stage and hopefully prevent the illness developing further or recurring at a later date, including after they have left the armed forces.
Personnel leaving the armed forces are given advice on seeking help at an early stage if they have concerns about their mental health. The MOD and Department of Health (DOH) are working together to improve the mental health care provided to ex-service personnel and veterans' mental health is an area which has received significant attention from this Government in the past two years. Following the publication of the report by my hon. Friend the Member for South West Wiltshire (Dr Murrison)—‘Fighting Fit’, the Government has committed £7.2 million over the remainder of the spending review period to implement its recommendations. Much work has already been completed, such as the launch of a 24-hour veterans telephone helpline, a trial of the online well-being service ‘Big White Wall’ and an e-learning package for NHS general practitioners to familiarise themselves with veteran-specific health problems.
There has been a doubling of the number of mental health professionals conducting veterans' outreach work to 30. In addition, the number of professionals working for Combat Stress in partnership with the NHS takes this total to nearer 50. Plans are in place to establish a national veterans' mental health clinical network.
Furthermore, each of the 10 Armed Forces Networks (based geographically in the old strategic health authority areas) has received £150,000 from the DOH with which to build up enhanced community veterans' mental health services in their areas. These services are now up and running in almost every region with the remainder planned to come on line by the end of this calendar year. These services were developed in conjunction with local groups, for the local population.
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Mr Francois: The Ministry of Defence (MOD) publishes the ‘UK Armed Forces Mental Health Report’ four times a year, which includes the numbers of patients attending a MOD Department of Community Mental Health (DCMH) who were initially assessed with post-traumatic stress disorder. The latest report, including previously unpublished data for the period 1 April to 30 June 2012, was published on 2 October 2012, and can be found at:
Armed Forces: Prosthetics
David Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many military personnel were fitted with microprocessor-controlled prosthetic knees in specialist rehabilitation centres in each of the last five years. 
Mr Francois: The Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre (DMRC) at Headley Court prescribe and fit prosthetics for armed forces personnel. The first microprocessor knee prescribed by DMRC was in 2008. To date, 96 armed forces personnel have been prescribed microprocessor knees which were fitted by the DMRC.
|Armed forces personnel|
|(1 )January to18 October.|
Armed Forces: Retirement
Mr Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on what occasions and for what reasons his Department's Permanent Secretary has met with retired senior armed forces personnel since May 2010. 
Mr Francois: The Permanent Secretary's meetings with external organisations, including individuals external to Government, are published in accordance with the Cabinet Office's transparency guidelines on the Ministry of Defence website at the following link:
Armed Forces: Sexual Offences
Mrs Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what training is provided to Commanding Officers in relation to the treatment of armed forces personnel who have reported a rape or sexual assault; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) what (a) information and (b) training was made available to commanding officers regarding the implications of a guilty finding at a court martial or summary hearing following the implementation of the Armed Forces Act 2006; when such information or training was made available; and if he will make a statement. 
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Mr Francois: There is a designated course for commanding officers which includes briefing on their legal and disciplinary responsibilities, service complaints and the operation of the Service Justice System.
They are briefed on a Joint Service Publication which provides definitive advice for commanding officers on the treatment of armed forces personnel who are victims of crime, including an offence of a sexual nature.
There is no specific training relating to the implications of guilty findings at a court martial or summary hearing. However, the Manual of Service Law (MSL) provides extensive policy guidance and reference material on the Armed Forces Act 2006 to all those responsible for operating and administering the Service Justice System. This includes commanding officers, the service police forces, lawyers and court administrators. The MSL is available to all service personnel internally, via the Defence intranet, and to the general public through the MOD internet site. A copy of the MSL is in the Library of the House.
Mrs Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent discussion he has had with veteran support agencies and charities who have worked with veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder linked to (a) sexual assault and (b) rape while serving in the armed forces; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Francois: Ministry of Defence officials meet regularly with a number of veteran support agencies and charities. During those meetings a number of topics are discussed, including post-traumatic stress and other forms of mental ill-health, but there is no record of specific discussions relating to post-traumatic stress disorder linked to sexual assault or rape.
Mrs Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 18 September 2012, Official Report, column 616W, on armed forces: sexual offences, whether members of the armed forces who report a rape or sexual assault incident have access to civilian support services; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Francois: I can confirm that members of the armed forces who report a rape or sexual assault in the United Kingdom are entitled to access the full range of civilian support services available. This is in addition to the extensive network of single service support which is also available.
Mrs Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how many calls to the Speak Out helpline have been related to reports of (a) rape and (b) sexual assault in each of the last three years; and if he will make a statement; 
Mr Francois: The Speak Out helpline provides support outside the Army chain of command relating to bullying, harassment and unfair treatment. Since the helpline opened in November 2010, it has handled one call related to sexual assault, which was made during 2012. It has received no calls relating to reported rapes.
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Mrs Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what requirements and documentation his Department needs to meet claims by veterans for compensation as a result of (a) sexual assault and (b) rape that took place when they were serving in the armed forces; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Francois: When an individual is pursuing a compensation claim as a result of alleged sexual assault or rape, the Ministry of Defence would normally expect to see some or all of the following: proof of the claimant's involvement with the organisation against whom the claim is made, whether proof of employment or proof of contact with the organisation, e.g. membership of the cadets if the alleged abuser was a cadet leader; notification to the police of the allegations including a police statement and, possibly, police interview; evidence of other allegations, if there are any; and medical records indicating that the allegations have been disclosed outside of the litigation.
Armed Forces: Smallpox
Mr Francois: A small number of armed forces and Defence Medical Services personnel are vaccinated against smallpox. However the precise figures are not released into the public domain as its disclosure would be likely to prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the armed forces.
Armed Forces: Yemen
Mr Holloway: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many British nationals of Yemeni origin serve in the armed forces; and how many such personnel are deployed in that region for their linguistic abilities. 
Mr Francois: The issue of deportation for any individual is a matter for the United Kingdom Border Agency and not for the Ministry of Defence (MOD). It is not appropriate to comment on individual cases. However, officials from the United Kingdom Border Agency and the MOD meet regularly to discuss a variety of issues including those relating to the immigration policy for Foreign and Commonwealth personnel.
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Defence Munitions Longtown
Defence Technology Centres
Mr Dunne: The Ministry of Defence (MOD) placed contracts for four defence technology centres (DTCs): Defence Information Fusion (DIF) DTC, which expired in March 2009, Electromagnetic Remote Sensing (EMRS) DTC, which expired in May 2010, Human Factors Integration (HFI) DTC, which expired in March 2012, and Systems Engineering for Autonomous Systems (SEAS) DTC, which expired in March 2012. The MOD's annual spend on each DTC contract over the last five years is shown in the following table.
|£ million (Exclusive of VAT at current prices)|
Mr Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which (a) Ministers, (b) civil servants and (c) senior military personnel have worked on contracts between his Department and Elbit Systems since May 2010. 
Mr Dunne: The Ministry of Defence (MOD) has agreed one contract with Elbit Systems since May 2010. Contract Apache 020 with Elbit Systems of America, worth $127,420, signed on 1 December 2010, was for the procurement of 42 visors for Apache helicopter crew helmets.
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membership. This committee has an independent scrutiny team which reports to Ministers and the permanent secretary. The equipment plan is reviewed by both the committee and the scrutiny team on a quarterly basis, when all new projects are heavily scrutinised.
Tom Blenkinsop: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for (a) the Home Department and (b) Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on granting UK passports and right of abode to people from Hong Kong who served as enlisted members of the Army during the period of UK rule. 
Mr Francois: There have been no recent discussions with either the Secretary of State for the Home Department, my right hon. Friend the Member for Maidenhead (Mrs May), or the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague), about granting UK passports or right of abode for people from Hong Kong who enlisted in the Army during British rule. Issues of nationality and immigration are matters for the Home Office.
Joint Strike Fighter Aircraft
Mr Dunne: I refer the right hon. Member to the answer my predecessor, my hon. Friend the Member for Mid Worcestershire (Peter Luff), gave on 3 July 2012, Official Report, column 626W, to the hon. Member for Moray (Angus Robertson).
Mr Dunne: The UK Joint Strike Fighter (Lightning) capability will be jointly manned by the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force. The Lightning Force will be held at high readiness to be deployed from land or sea as required by Defence.
Marchwood Sea Mounting Centre
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the written ministerial statement of 12 July 2012, Official Report, columns 41-2WS, on Marchwood Sea Mounting Centre, (1) what assessment
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he has made of the effect that the privatisation of this facility will have on the
operational effectiveness and
training programmes of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary; 
Mr Robathan: I refer the hon. Member to the statement made by the previous Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology, my hon. Friend the Member for Mid Worcestershire (Peter Luff), on 12 July 2012, Official Report, column 42W, in which he makes clear, our intention that the arrangements we are putting into place for Marchwood Sea Mounting Centre will take account of planned and contingent defence activity and will therefore not affect the operational activities and effectiveness of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary. The Royal Fleet Auxiliary does not focus training on or around Marchwood Sea Mounting Centre and therefore any change of status is anticipated to have no effect on their training.
Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which countries have hosted a British Military Advisory Training Team since 2007; and in each such case on what dates and at what costs. [Official Report, 26 November 2012, Vol. 554, c. 1-6MC.]
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where they are delivering military training and advice. The following table also shows other permanent small military teams that have delivered similar effect since 2007.
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|(1) Annual budget allocation. Costs include a small element of training provided by external teams. (2) Costs for completing training courses and extraction of team. (3) Host country pays. (4) Originally established as British Army Training Team (Kenya). (5) Annual platform costs and operational costs. (6) Last year of BMATs predecessor organisation—the British Defence Advisory Team, Nigeria.|