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30 Oct 2002 : Column 792Wcontinued
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many commissioned officers are serving on (a) HMS Invincible and (b) HMS Illustrious; and if he will make a statement. 
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Mr. Ingram: As at 25 October 2002, there were 40 commissioned officers serving on HMS Invincible and 11 on HMS Illustrious.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many (a) commissioned and (b) non commissioned officers are serving on ships in refit or not in service, broken down by ship; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ingram: Ships not in service are appropriately manned for their routine care and maintenance. Such tasks include essential daily safety check and preservation checks and low-level maintenance. In addition, during refit, these reduced crews support project managers working on board; to maintain equipment not contracted to be worked on during refit and to prepare ships for their return to fleet.
The numbers of (a) commissioned and (b) non commissioned officers serving on ships in refit or not in service, broken down by ship as at 29 October are:
(1) Albion is building up crew members to support sea trials.
(2) Completion is undergoing a docking period and retains a full crew.
(3) Fearless. This figure will reduce to nil as at 31 October 2002.
(4) Glasgow is undergoing a short period of maintenance and retains a full crew.
(5) Invincible is building up her crew as she prepares to come out of refit.
(6) Monmouth. To reduce to a total of 44 on 31 October 2002.
(7) Nottingham. To reduce to 64 to support repair.
(8) Talent crew reducing as she goes into refit.
(9) Trenchant is building up crew as she prepares to come out of refit.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many non-commissioned officers are serving on (a) HMS Invincible and (b) HMS Illustrious; and if he will make a statement. 
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Mr. Ingram: As at 25 October 2002, there were 104 non-commissioned officers (Senior Rates) serving on HMS Invincible and 50 on HMS Illustrious.
Mr. Mullin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many members there are of the Defence Fire Service; and what equipment introduced in the last 10 years it has at its disposal. 
Mr. Ingram: The current personnel establishment figure for the Defence Fire Service (DFS) is 1,300 covering all ranks. Precise details of current day-to-day manning levels are not held centrally as personnel below the officer grades are locally recruited.
The DFS, established at military airfields and bases where specific fire protection is required, is equipped with modern fire fighting apparatus and rescue vehicles, a significant proportion of which has been introduced within the last 10 years
Mr. Martyn Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the forthcoming ARRC's exercise Arrcade Fusion in Germany. 
Mr. Ingram: HQ Allied Command Europe Rapid Reaction Corps (ARRC) is holding its annual major Command Post Exercise, Arrcade Fusion, from 4 to 14 November 2002 at Javelin Barracks, Elmpt and Sennelager Training Centre. Personnel from 17 NATO Allies will take part. This is the first major exercise that HQ ARRC has conducted since it was endorsed by NATO's Military Committee as the first of the new NATO High Readiness Force (Land) Headquarters.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many general surgeons are available to the (a) RAF, (b) Army and (c) Royal Navy; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Moonie: As at 1 October 2002, there were 11 General Surgeon consultants in the Royal Navy, nine General Surgeon consultants in the Army, and two General Surgeon consultants in the Royal Air Force.
In addition, there were two Specialist Registrars within two years of qualifying as consultants in the Royal Navy and five Specialist Registrars within two years of qualifying as consultants in the Army. These personnel can be deployed, if necessary, as General Surgeons under supervision by a consultant.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many army personnel have been invalided out of the Army when deployed in (a) Sierra Leone, (b) Saif Sareea, (c) Afghanistan, (d) Kosovo and (e) Macedonia as a direct result of their involvement in the deployments; and if he will make a statement. 
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Dr. Moonie: The number of regular Army personnel medically discharged due to disabilities sustained directly from having served in these theatres of operations, as at 28 October 2002, is shown in the table.
|Theatre of operations||Number discharged|
Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps he has taken to respond to the recommendations of the Defence Scientific Advisory council on a review of the L21 A1 plastic baton round; and if he will place a copy of the report in the Library. 
Mr. Ingram : The review of L21A1 baton round performance after one year in service was completed and provided to the Sub-committee (SC) of the Defence Scientific Advisory Council (DSAC) as requested in June of this year.
The SC, DSAC have considered the review and have issued a statement, which is reproduced below. I am also placing a copy of the statement in the Library ofthe House. It concludes that there is no reason to amend the previous SC, DSACstatement that was placed in the Library of the House by my right hon Friend the Secretary of State for Defence on 2 April 2001.
The SC, DSAC statement also notes that some attempts have been made to suggest that the committee consider the L21A1 to be more dangerous than the previous system. The statement refutes these suggestions and states clearly that it is the view of the SC, DSAC that the L21A1/L104 weapon system is safer than its predecessor.
DEFENCE SCIENTIFIC ADVISORY COUNCIL
Statement on the review by MOD of medical issues arising from use of the L21A1 Baton Round from June 2001April 2002.
1. The statement of the Sub-committee (SC) of the Defence Scientific Advisory Council (DSAC) on the medical implications of the use of the new L21A1 Baton Round was placed in the Library of the House of Commons in April 2001. The statement compared the injury potential of the L21A1 system in public order role
with that of the then current Baton Round, the L5A7.
2. The SC, DSAC requested that one year after introduction of the L21A1, the MOD should review perceived or quantitative changes in the frequency and nature of serious injuries from the system. The review was due in June 2002 and the SC DSAC received the report from MOD by the specified date.
3. The SC, DSAC considers that on the data available, there is no reason to amend the DSAC statement that provided the medical advice to Ministers. The SC, DSAC notes that from the available data there is no definitive or even indicative evidence that there is a
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higher frequency of thoracic impacts from the L21A1; thoracic impacts will occur occasionally in operational use.
4. The SC, DSAC requests that the performance and medical consequences of use of the L21A1 remains under review and that a further review is conducted by 31 July 2003, to consider the period 1 June 2001 to 31 May 2003the first two years of operational use of the L21A1.
5. The SC, DSAC has noted some claims that its medical statement on the L21A1 has shown the projectile to be more dangerous. These claims appear to have arisen from taking elements of the statement out of context. It remains the view of SC, DSAC that the L21A1/L104 weapon system is a safer system than its predecessors, when operated in accordance with agreed guidelines.
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