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Dr. Moonie: The Victoria Cross is awarded for most conspicuous gallantry of the highest order during active operations 1 . As such it is the highest award available for operational gallantry. Lesser degrees of operational gallantry are recognised by awards of the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross, Distinguished Service Cross, Military Cross, Distinguished Flying Cross and a Mention in Despatches. Recommendations for any of these awards are initiated by the service man's or service woman's Commanding Officer and considered by Committees at various levels in the Ministry of Defence. The Committees consist mainly of senior officers of all three services who will have had considerable operational experience. Successful recommendations are passed to the Queen for her approval. The awards are then published and recipients invited to a State Investiture where they are invested by the Queen or her representative.
The Victoria Cross along with the other awards for operational gallantry may be awarded to all ranks of the naval, military and air forces of the United Kingdom, all members of the Merchant Navy and civilians serving under the orders of any of the above forces. All these awards may be made posthumously.
Tony Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of benefits there are going to be to Tanzania from the deal to supply a military air traffic control system. 
Dr. Moonie: Export licensing decisions are the responsibility of my right hon. Friend the Secretary for Trade and Industry. The Ministry of Defence provides advice to the DTI, together with the other advisory Departments, as appropriate. Following the policy set out by previous Governments, the Government do not comment on individual export licence applications for reasons of commercial confidentiality. Details of export licensing decisions will continue to be published in the Government's annual report on strategic export controls and will be subject to retrospective scrutiny by the all-party Quadripartite Committee.
Dr. Moonie: The A400M aircraft will meet all current international noise regulations, but exact noise characteristics will not be known until the aircraft's development and flight tests have been completed. The C130J aircraft meets all relevant US Federal Aviation
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Authority civil noise regulations. The Ministry of Defence does not hold noise information on the C130J in the form requested. We expect the noise characteristics of the A400M and the C130J will be similar. But their overall noise impact should be less than that of the C130K aircraft they are replacing, because significantly greater usage of ground simulators for training will reduce the overall number of flights.
Dr. Moonie [holding answer 15 January 2002]: Purchases of vehicle for the Ministry of Defence Police are made on the basis of best value for money. We are pleased to procure British-built vehicles where they meet our requirements and offer best value for money. We have no plans designed to increase the proportion of British-built vehicles at the expense of these key criteria.
Dr. Moonie [holding answer 15 January 2002]: The Toyota and Mitsubishi are used for specialist police operation and were selected primarily on the basis of operational requirements. As such the requirement was not subject to competition.
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Dr. Moonie: The procedure for considering gallantry awards for Operation Veritas will be identical to that used for all other operations. Recommendations for awards, whether they be for gallantry or meritorious service, are initiated by an individual's commanding officer and passed to the Ministry of Defence where they are considered by various Committees. Successful recommendations are then submitted to the Queen for her approval prior to publication. Lists of operational awards are published biannually each spring and autumn and notified to the press. The names of certain recipients may have to be withheld in the interests of personal security.
Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the complement, gender and ethnic balance of the Operational Support Unit of the Ministry of Defence Police is; what the OSU's annual running costs are for the current financial year; if he plans to increase the budget for running costs for 200203; if he will make a statement on the base of the OSU; and what changes are planned in these arrangements. 
Dr. Moonie: The complement (as at 1 January 2002) of the Operational Support Unit was 50 and the strength 45, which included six female officers and one member of an ethnic minority. The budget allocated for the OSU, for the current financial year, is £2.651 million. While there are no plans to relocate the OSU based at MDP Wethersfield, approval has been given to form a second OSU (of 50 personnel) based at a location in the north of England.
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