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16 Jul 2003 : Column 402Wcontinued
Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how long fresh troops sent to Iraq will have for acclimatisation in Iraq before being committed to operational duties; and what period is recommended in medical advice. 
Mr. Ingram: Following an initial acclimatisation period of between three to five days, United Kingdom military personnel deploying to Iraq for operational duties gradually increase their work intensity in accordance with in theatre risk assessments. UK military medical advice does not specify a set acclimatisation period, however, personnel are not considered folly acclimatised until they have spent 10 days undergoing activity of a similar level, in the same environmental conditions, at which they will be expected to continue to work.
Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many cases of (a) dehydration and (b) heat exhaustion there have been among UK armed forces in Iraq since the start of the recent conflict; and whether, in any of these cases, inadequate time for acclimatisation for fresh troops in theatre has been deemed a cause. 
Mr. Ingram: There have been 286 reports of heat related illnesses among British forces deployed on Operation Telic since the start of the conflict. The majority of these cases are assessed as heat stroke due to the ambient environmental conditions. Other personnel are more susceptible to heat stress as a result of the effects of another illness such as diarrhoea.
Following an initial acclimatisation period of between three to five days, United Kingdom military personnel deploying to Iraq for operational duties gradually increase their work intensity in accordance with in theatre risk assessments. UK military medical advice does not specify a set acclimatisation period, however, personnel are not considered fully acclimatised until they have spent 10 days undergoing activity of a similar level, in the same environmental conditions, at which they will be expected to continue to work. In addition, all troops are made aware of the guidance on the dangers of working in hot conditions, and the measures that are to be taken to prevent heat illness.
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Mr. Caplin: As at 11 July 2003, there were 4,219 reservists mobilised to support Operation Telic. While the majority were based in the Gulf region, this figure also includes reservists directly supporting Operation Telic based elsewhere, such as in the United Kingdom, Cyprus, or Germany. A number were also either undergoing pre-deployment training or post deployment leave prior to demobilisation.
Mr. Ingram: As of 10 July 2003 43 United Kingdom service personnel had died since the start of Coalition military operations against Iraq. 34 were killed in action or subsequently died of wounds received and nine died in non-battle accidents or from natural causes.
Mr. Menzies Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many of the Iraqi prisoners of war captured by British forces have been (a) designated unlawful combatants and (b) transferred to other facilities outside Iraq; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ingram: As of 15 July 2003, the United States is holding one prisoner of war and 71 other persons captured by British forces, who are either suspected of committing criminal offences or are interned where necessary for imperative reasons of security in accordance with the Fourth Geneva Convention. All other British captured prisoners of war have been released under the supervision of British forces, and with the knowledge of the International Committee of the Red Cross. The United Kingdom does not use the designation unlawful combatant.
Mr. Menzies Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many of the detainees held at (a) Guantanamo, (b) Bagram Airbase and (c) Diego Garcia were originally captured by British forces; and if he will make a statement. 
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|(January to December)||Total Cost(37)|
(37) Cost of equipment, call charges and access charges.
Information for 1997 and 1998 is not available. All figures quoted are exclusive of VAT. The figures also exclude a number of Ministry of Defence users with local agreements who use other networks. Information on this expenditure is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to his answer of 4 June 2003, Official Report, column 451W, on Porton Down, if he will provide information on specific breeds from the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory in a similar form to that supplied by the Chief Executive of the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency in a letter to the hon. Member for Portsmouth South of 22 July 1998 (Ref DERA/SEC/S/1/255/98). 
Mr. Caplin: As my hon. Friend, the then Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Defence (Dr. Moonie) indicated to the hon. Member in his response of 4 June 2003, Official Report, column 451W, more detailed information on the specific breeds used is not held centrally and can be obtained only at disproportionate cost. In general terms, the breeds of animals used in scientific procedures from 19972002 are as follows:
|Species||Breeds commonly used at DSTL Porton Down.|
|Mouse||Mainly BALB/C, also Porton mouse, hybrids|
|Pig||Large White Cross|
|Sheep||Polled Dorset 2000 and 2001, previously mules and cross breeds|
|Goat||No one particular breed|
|Guinea pig||Dunkin Hartley|
|Rabbit||Now all New Zealand White, previously also Dutch belted.|
Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what percentage of the (a) Army, (b) RAF and (c) Naval Service is (i) preparing for, (ii) recovering from and (iii) deployed on operations. 
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Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent investigation he has made of alcohol consumption levels in the armed forces; and what alcohol education measures are being taken. 
Mr. Caplin: There has been no recent specific investigation into alcohol consumption levels in the armed forces. The armed forces employ vigorous education programmesincluding pamphlets, films and lecturesat all stages of military training and Service to promote sensible drinking, and to ensure that personnel are aware of the dangers of alcohol misuse. The programmes are regularly reviewed and updated as necessary, and are complemented by administrative and disciplinary measures to deter alcohol misuse within the Services.
Mr. Gerald Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many representations have been made to his Department by veterans of the Suez campaign regarding eligibility for a Suez Medal Clasp. 
Mr. Caplin: Since 11 June, when my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister announced in the House that the Naval General Service Medal 191562 and the General Service Medal 191862 would be awarded for service in the Suez Canal Zone between 1951 and 1954, the Ministry of Defence received 4,896 representations. These consisted of 4,790 applications for the medal to the four single Service medal offices, eight parliamentary questions, 44 letters from hon. Members and 54 letters from members of the public. In addition, there have been an unknown number of telephone calls to the Ministry of Defence about the new medal.
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