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9 Dec 2002 : Column 16Wcontinued
Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 2 December 2002, ref 82556, what factors will determine the length of the period for which Operation Amber Fox will continue under a NATO mandate. 
Mr. Ingram: Operation Amber Fox concludes on 15 December 2002 and will be succeeded by the NATO-led Operation ALLIED HARMONY on 16 December 2002: Operation ALLIED HARMONY is scheduled to operate until 16 June 2003.
The factors which determine the length of the NATO operation remain those normally applied: namely, the assessment of military requirements and the views of the Macedonian authorities. A NATO review of Operation ALLIED HARMONY is planned for February 2003.
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Dr. Moonie: The level of parachute training undertaken from aircraft has not changed as a result of the introduction into service of the parachute Virtual Reality Simulator in 1999. The Virtual Reality Simulator enhances the training and safety of static line square parachute courses, but does not reduce the number of descents or flying hours required to complete the static line square parachute course.
Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the PFI projects approved by his Department since 1st April together with (a) the capital value and (b) the through-project costs estimated in each case. 
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Mr. Gerald Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many staff officers are employed by the Royal Air Force in dealing with redress of grievances; and how many cases are outstanding. 
Dr. Moonie: Staff officers throughout the chain of command are involved in processing redresses of complaint among a wide range of other personnel-related duties. Only three staff officers, at HQ Personnel and Training Command, are dedicated to redress work. The number of redresses not yet resolved at Command and Air Force Board level is 359, of which 247 relate to the introduction of Pay 2000.
Mr. Keetch: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much separated service was recorded by the (a) RAF Separated Service Recording System in each year since 1997 and (b) Navy Separated Service Recording System in each year since 2001. 
|Personnel on Separated Service spending|
|Average trained strength||<28 days||2889 days||90139 days||140279 days||280+ days||Total personnel spending time on Separated Service||Percentage of average trained strength who were on Separated Service||Total days spent on Separated Service|
(2) An incidence of Separated Service is recorded when an individual is absent from their parent unit on duty for three nights or more and a permanent order has not been issued. The table shows separated service for operational and training commitments excluding resettlement and expedition training.
(3) Information up to 30 September 2002 only.
The Royal Navy Separated Service Reporting System was introduced in October 2001, initially with data held only at unit level. Information was first collected centrally in July 2002 and results from this will become available once the data have been quality assured and analysed. This is expected to be in the first half of 2003.
Dr. Moonie : The Skill Force scheme is now in its third year in secondary schools at its two original locations. A further nine locations are in their second year of piloting and this autumn we are putting Skill Force teams into a
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further 13 locations. This latest expansion is being taken forward jointly between the Ministry of Defence and Department of Education and Skills (DfES) as part of DfES's Behaviour Improvement Programme which, in turn, is part of the Government's Street Crime Initiative.
Independent evaluation of the impact of this exciting scheme is an integral part of the approach we have taken to the piloting of Skill Force. This focuses on testing the scheme's achievement against the key objectives: reducing truancy; reducing exclusions; improving educational and vocational attainment; improving behaviour; and reducing the number of young people who are not in employment, education or training on completion of their mandatory schooling.
The latest evaluation by the British Market Research Bureau reviews the original schemes in Newcastle Upon Tyne and West Norfolk and shows positive results. Attendance rates exceeded 90 per cent. among children who were otherwise expected to display sharply declining attendance through years 10 and 11; for many it would have been expected that declining attendance would have led eventually to exclusion. Exclusion levels have also reduced dramatically; only 13 participants were excluded, compared to 46 who were identified at being at risk of permanent exclusion. One Norfolk Head Teacher said:
Dr. Moonie: In March 2001 the Ministry of Defence assumed responsibility for the contracts for the two RoRo vessels to be built at Harland and Wolff and made its first payments in respect of the contracts. The payments amounted to some #3.7 million in respect of the first ship and #3.8 million for the second. As both ships are now nearing completion the total sums paid are approaching the contract prices originally agreed between the shipbuilder and the service provider. Total payments are commercially sensitive and I am withholding this information in accordance with
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Exemption 7 of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information, which relates to effective management and operations of the public services.
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