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22 Jan 2004 : Column 1391W—continued

European Defence

Mr. Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what discussions he has had with the NATO Secretary General about European defence. [149470]

Mr. Hoon: I had regular discussions with Lord Robertson across a wide range of issues concerning European defence and I look forward to working with the new NATO Secretary General in the same way. There have been no meetings of the NATO Defence Ministers since the beginning of the year, when Mr. de Hoop Scheffer took on his new role, but one is scheduled for early February.

In a telephone conversation on Friday 9 January 2004, I congratulated Mr. de Hoop Scheffer on his appointment and outlined some of the United Kingdom's priorities for NATO including the importance of the European nations' contribution to the Alliance and the NATO/EU relationship.

Falklands War Veterans

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Falklands War veterans were still serving in the (a) Army, (b) Navy, (c) RAF and (d) Royal Marines in 2003. [148457]

Mr. Caplin: The matter is being investigated and has taken longer to compile than initially thought. I will write to my hon. Friend when this work is complete and place a copy of the letter in the Library of the House.

Fire Service

Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the cost is of modernising the Defence Fire Service to the standard envisaged by Fire Study 2000. [149059]

Mr. Caplin: The recommendations contained in Fire Study 2000 for modernising the organisation of the Defence Fire Service would expect to achieve yearly savings rather than increased expenditure.

Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans there are to co-ordinate tri-Service civil emergencies fire training. [149061]

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Mr. Ingram: The Ministry of Defence has no plans to co-ordinate tri-Service civil emergencies fire training. Dealing with a civil emergency remains the responsibility of the civil authorities. Any assistance provided by the armed forces in the event of such an emergency would be in support of those authorities and at their specific request. It would most likely take the form of general duties support.


Adam Price: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many international law enforcement officers are stationed in the British zone in Southern Iraq. [141680]

Mr. Ingram: As at 16 January 2004, there were around 645 international law enforcement officers stationed in the British zone in Southern Iraq. This figure includes international civilian police officers, contract police officers and carabinieri who are mandated with civilian policing powers.

Mr. Cummings: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the cost to the Department has been to date in respect of the Iraq conflict; and what the projected costs are for (a) 2004, (b) 2005 and (c) 2006. [148779]

Mr. Ingram: Outturn information for 2002–03 on the cost of operations in Iraq has been published as part of the Ministry of Defence's Annual Report and Accounts. Operating Costs for 2002–03 for operations in Iraq total £629.531 million. Expenditure on capital equipment amounts to £217.680 million. The grand total is, therefore, £847.211 million.

For 2003–04, funding voted at Winter Supplementary Estimates amounted to £1.2 billion and covered the cost of peacekeeping and associated Urgent Operational Requirements (UORs). The MOD will seek a further £300 million at Spring Supplementary Estimates to cover primarily the cost of the Recuperation of my Department's operational capability. Thus, the total sought in 2003–04 will be £1.5 billion.

It is too early to say what costs might be incurred after 2003–04.

Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to his statement of 13 January 2004, Official Report, column 690, on the National Audit Office Report on Operation Telic, when he gave Mrs. Samantha Roberts, a (a) summary of the incident in which her husband died and (b) ballistics report; when he met Mrs. Roberts; when the Royal Military Police Special Investigation Branch report into Sergeant Roberts' death will be published; and when the Army Board of Inquiry into Sergeant Roberts' death will be convened. [149539]

Mr. Hoon: Mrs. Roberts was provided with a summary of the incident on 18 June 2003 by the Casualty Visiting Officer. A report summary of the weapons test was passed to Mrs. Roberts in December 2003. I met Mrs. Roberts, together with other members of Sergeant Roberts' family, on 15 October 2003 and 19 January 2004.

It is not clear when the Royal Military Police Special Investigation Branch investigation will conclude, but a briefing will be offered to Mrs. Roberts as soon as is

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practicable, once the SIB's findings are known. A Board of Inquiry will be convened when the SIB investigation has concluded.

Night Vision Goggles

Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) for what reason the pilots of the two helicopters of 849 Naval Air Squadron which collided on 22 March 2003 had not been issued with night vision goggles; [149876]

Mr. Ingram: Night vision goggles (NVG) can be operated only in aircraft that have been specifically modified for this role. Naval helicopters are fitted to allow operation with NVG according to their tactical role in operations. The operational role for the helicopters of 849 Naval Air Squadron involved in Operation TELIC did not require the modifications to the helicopters that are necessary for the provision of NVG.

For RN helicopters, safety is provided by operating procedures such as, air traffic control awareness of hazards through radar detection, communications, lighting and lookout. NVG can, in certain circumstances, enhance these capabilities. But ships operating NVG aircraft need to be compatible. Darkening a ship to allow aircraft NVG operations brings its own safety issues.

Policy for a fleet-wide night vision capability is currently under consideration.

Non-British Naval Ships (UK Waters)

Mr. Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to his answer of 8 December 2003, Official Report, column 278W, if he will make a statement on co-ordination between external security measures taken by the UK and on-board security measures taken by a visiting nation during the docking of non-British naval ships in UK waters. [148966]

Mr. Ingram: External and on-board security measures put in place during the docking of a non-British naval ship in the United Kingdom waters are closely coordinated between the relevant UK authority and the visiting nation. Jurisdiction, however, is clearly delineated, with the visiting ships' Commanding Officer responsible for security within the confines of the ship while external security measures rest with the local police authority or the Naval Base Commander for visits to a Naval Base.

Oath of Allegiance

Mr. Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans the Government have to change the

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requirement that members of the armed forces take an oath of allegiance to Her Majesty the Queen, her heirs and successors. [148930]

Mr. Ingram: None.

Port Facilities (Iberian Peninsula)

Mr. Tynan: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what preference is given to the use of port facilities at Gibraltar over those at other Iberian ports where Royal Navy, Royal Fleet Auxiliary or other vessels owned or chartered by his Department transit the Straits of Gibraltar or operate in, or transit, nearby waters. [148958]

Mr. Ingram: The goodwill generated from visiting foreign ports makes a significant contribution to Defence Diplomacy, the continuing development of bilateral relations and support to the United Kingdom Industry. A balanced approach is, therefore, taken to ensure that Gibraltar and other ports in the region, including those of other Iberian states, are visited on a regular basis. In addition, ships en route to or returning from deployments east of Suez and Atlantic Patrol Tasks are routinely programmed to visit Gibraltar.

Mr. Tynan: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list each (a) Royal Navy, (b) Royal Fleet Auxiliary and (c) other vessels owned or chartered by his Department which has visited (i) Gibraltar and (ii) other Iberian ports in the last year; and what the (A) date, (B) length and (C) location of each visit was. [148959]

Mr. Ingram: The following tables lists visits by Royal Navy, Royal Fleet Auxiliary and Ministry of Defence-owned or chartered vessels to Gibraltar and other Iberian ports over the 2003 calendar year.

Visits to Gibraltar by RN, RFA and MOD-owned/chartered vessels during 2003

RFA Orangeleaf13 January 13 January
RFA Orangeleaf24 January 31 March
MV Laine28 January 28 January
HMS Westminster31 January 1 February
MV Ulusoy-41 February 2 February
HMS Westminster5 February6 February
MV Pancaldo11 February11 February
HMS Richmond14 February17 February
MV Strada Gigante15 February15 February
HMS Westminster18 February21 March
MV Dart-926 February27 February
HMS Westminster28 February3 March
MV Southern Trader2 March2 March
MV Ulusoy-55March5March
HMS Westminster7March10 March
MV Germania3 April3 April
MV Kapitan Burhanettin Isim7 April7 April
HMS Turbulent7 April12 April
MV Arroyofrio Uno11 April11 April
Mv Tychy27 April27 April
RFA Fort Victoria2 May5 May
RFA Fort Victoria6 May8 May
HMS Scott10 May10 May
MV Valibur11 May11 May
RFA Gold Rover16 May17 May
MV Pacific Winner18 May18 May
NAV Kinterbury18 May18 May
RFA Argus20 May24 May
HMS Ocean21 May24 May
HMS Edinburgh24 May24 May
HMS Westminster5 June6 June
HMS Westminster6 June7 June
HMS Westminster11 June12 June
HMS Sutherland13 June14 June
MV Arroyofrio Uno18 June18 June
HMS Chiddingfold27 June3 June
RFA Orangeleaf4 July7 July
HMS Cornwall12 July13 July
HMS Grimsby24 July28 July
HMS Ledbury24 July28 July
HMS Ramsey24 July28 July
HMS Shoreham24 July28 July
RFA Sir Tristram24 July28 July
RFA Orangeleaf25 July28 July
HMS Richmond26 July27 July
HMS Marlborough3 August4 August
MV Arroyofrio Uno11 August11 August
MV Dart-824 August24 August
HMS Northumberland3 September4 September
MV Dart-1015 September15 September
HMS Marlborough20 September22 September
HMS Marlborough26 September27 September
HMS Campbeltown7 October8 October
RFA Orangeleaf8 October8 October
HMS Turbulent9 October 15 October
HMS York11 October13 October
RFA Orangeleaf14 October15 October
HMS Cornwall17 October19 October
HMS Norfolk19 October21 October
HMS Gloucester26 October28 October
MV Anvil Point3 November8 November
RFA Brambleleaf14 November 20 November
HMS St. Albans14 November17 November
HMS Scott19 November24 November
MV Eddystone21 November22 November
MV Hurst Point23 November23 November
RFA Orangeleaf28 November1 December
HMS Richmond29 November1 December
MV Hurst Point4 December7 December
HMS Lindisfarne5 December10 December
HMS Richmond5 December5 December
HMS Kent12 December15 December
RFA Orangeleaf12 December14 December
HMS Portland13 December 13 December

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Visits to Spanish Ports by RN, RFA and MOD-owned/chartered vessels during 2003

Las PalmasMV Hartland Point5 January31 January
AlgecirasRFA Brambleleaf9 January12 January
AlicanteRFA Brambleleaf13 January13 January
AlgecirasRFA Oakleaf16 January20 January
AlicanteRFA Brambleleaf24 January25 January
Palma, MallorcaHMS Grimsby31 January3 February
Palma, MallorcaHMS Ledbury31 January3 February
RotaHMS Cornwall17 March20 March
RotaHMS Cornwall20 March21 March
RotaHMS Cornwall21 March26 March
AlicanteHMS Cardiff24 March29 March
EL FerrolRFA Wave Knight7 April9 April
Palma, MallorcaHMS Ark Royal29 April5 May
Palma, MallorcaHMS York29 April5 May
RotaHMS Northumberland1 May2 May
CartagenaHMS Northumberland4 May7 May
IbizaHMS Blyth8 May11 May
IbizaHMS Brocklesby8 May11 May
PalmaHMS Northumberland12 May14 May
RotaHMS Ark Royal13 May13 May
Villagarcia De ArosaHMS Blyth15 May17 May
Villagarcia De ArosaHMS Brocklesby15 May17 May
BarcelonaRFA Fort Austin20 May23 May
Palma, MallorcaHMS Roebuck30 May3 June
AlicanteHMS Northumberland2 June3 June
AlicanteHMS Northumberland3 June5 June
AlicanteHMS Northumberland5 June9 June
Palma, MallorcaHMS Bangor7 June11 June
Palma, MallorcaHMS Sandown7 June11 June
RotaHMS Kent9 June10 June
La CorunaHMS Bangor16 June17 June
La CorunaHMS Sandown16 June17 June
RotaHMS Kent19 June20 June
BarcelonaHMS Chatham25 July29 July
CadizRFA Sir Galahad29 July1 August
MalagaRFA Grey Rover31 July4 August
MalagaHMS Liverpool31 July4 August
AlgecirasRFA Orangeleaf13 August14 August
Las PalmasRFA Fort Victoria1 October5 October
Santa CruzHMS Invincible1 October5 October
RotaHMS Somerset11 October14 October
BarcelonaHMS Portland29 October3 November
BarcelonaHMS Sutherland21 November26 November
Las PalmasRFA Fort George29 November2 December
La CorunaHMS Pembroke11 December14 December

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Visits to Portuguese Ports by RN, RFA and MOD chartered vessels during 2003

LisbonHMS Grimsby24 January27 January
LisbonHMS Ledbury24 January27 January
LisbonHMS Cumberland9 February11 February
LisbonHMS Ramsey1 April2 April
LisbonHMS Shoreham1 April2 April
PontadelgadaHMS Scott24 July24 July
PortoHMS Grimsby30 July30 July
PortoHMS Shoreham30 July30 July
PortoHMS Ledbury30 July30 July
PortoHMS Ramsey30 July30 July
LisbonHMS Chatham1 August5 August
OportoHMS Marlborough29 September1 October
LisbonHSM Glasgow10 November10 November
LisbonHMS Monmouth13 November18 November
LisbonHMS York29 November1 December
LisbonHMS Albion4 December8 December

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