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Mr. Ingram: As my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence (Mr. Hoon) announced on 21 July 2004, Official Report, columns 34370, the reduction in the number of battalions committed to Northern Ireland, means that the overall requirement for infantry battalions can be reduced by four. This reduction will comprise of one battalion recruited from Scotland and three recruited from England.
Together with the phasing out of the Infantry Arms Plot, a new infantry structure is required. This will seek to preserve the best elements of the regimental system while adapting to ensure operational success for the future. The new structure will be based on large single-cap badge regiments of two or more battalions. Details of the new organisation will be worked through by the Army and announced by the end of the year.
|198284||Northern Ireland (Ballykelly)||As resident Northern Ireland Battalion (an accompanied tour)|
|198891||UK (Chester)||Northern Ireland (Armagh)|
|199496||UK (Cakington)||Northern Ireland (Fermanagh|
|199698||Northern Ireland (Ballykelly)||As resident Northern Ireland Battalion|
|19982000||UK (Chepstow)||Northern Ireland||Eight week tour|
|200002||Cyprus||Falkland Islands||Coy only deployed|
|200205||UK (Bulford)||Northern Ireland (Dungannon) Iraq||Unit returns from Iraq in November 2004|
Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 10 February 2004, Official Report, column 1321W, on deaths in service, when he will write to the hon. Member for Kingston upon Hull North. 
Mr. Ingram: The Royal Navy makes a significant contribution towards UK efforts to combat international drug smuggling. At home, the Royal Navy act in support of HM Customs and Excise under the terms of "Military Aid to the Civil Power". In the Caribbean, the RN deployment (Atlantic Patrol Task (North), primarily promotes UK interests in the region and provides security to UK Overseas Territories. It is also tasked to carry out counter-drugs activities as part of its deployment and provides a tangible presence as one element of the UK's broader counter drugs activities in the region. In addition. Royal Navy units East of Suez may also be involved in efforts to reduce narcotics trafficking.
Mr. Gerald Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to his oral statement of 21 July 2004, Official Report, columns 34370, if he will list the principal areas where he expects to make the efficiency savings of £2,800 million; how much will be attributable to each area; and over what time scale these savings will be delivered. 
Mr. Hoon: The Ministry of Defence is committed to achieving annual efficiency gains in excess of £2.8 billion by 200708. The principal areas where it is planned to make efficiency gains are set out in the 2004 Spending Review White Paper (Cm 6237), chapter 13; work is continuing to refine these figures. Further details of the Department's efficiency plans, and bow performance against those plans will be measured, will be included in an Efficiency Technical Note, which will be published on the Department's website by the end of October 2004.
Mr. Garnier: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how the Government's departmental efficiency savings are to be implemented in the British Army in the (a) current and (b) next two financial years. 
Mr. Ingram: An additional £3.7 billion was allocated to Defence over the period of Spending Review 2004. In parallel the Ministry of Defence is committed to achieving annual efficiency gains in excess of £2.8 billion by 200708. The principal areas where it is planned to make efficiency gains are set out in the 2004 Spending Review White Paper (Cm 6237), Chapter 13; work is continuing to refine these figures. Further details of the Department's efficiency plans, and how performance against those plans will be measured, will be included in an Efficiency Technical Note, which will be published on the Department's website by the end of October 2004.
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether British (a) officials, (b) Ministers and (c) service personnel were issued with copies of International Committee of the Red Cross working
7 Sept 2004 : Column 1186W
papers about detainee conditions and treatment in Iraq delivered to Coalition Forces headquarters in October and November 2003. 
Mr. Hoon: The International Committee of the Red Cross produces confidential working papers following visits to detention facilities. The majority of these papers contain information relevant to local Commanders, and concern issues that can be resolved at a local level. However, where working papers have contained more substantive issues, these have been brought to the attention of Ministers.
A working paper dated 11 October 2003 was issued by the International Committee of the Red Cross to US service personnel in Iraq. This working paper was subsequently passed to UK service personnel and MOD Officials. This working paper was not passed to Ministers.
Adam Price: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what information has been given to the families of the deceased about the (a) progress and (b) conclusion of Royal Military Police investigations into deaths allegedly caused by UK forces in Iraq. 
Mr. Ingram: Details of the information passed to the families of Iraqis whose deaths were allegedly caused by UK forces are being withheld under Exemption 12 of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information. Bereaved families are kept informed of progress and results wherever possible, although the prevailing security situation in Iraq has made this difficult to achieve in every case.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many service personnel serving in Iraq since 1 January 2003 have been discharged from the forces as a result of injuries sustained from (a) road traffic accidents, (b) armed conflict and (c) other causes; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ingram: As of 31 May 2004 centrally held records show that 16 service personnel who had been deployed on Operation Telic have subsequently been medically discharged from the armed forces as a result of injuries. The main reasons for medical discharges are as follows:
Causes of medical discharge
|Number of military personnel medically discharged (81)|
|Road traffic accidents||6|
|Battle wound or injury||1|
|Total number of injuries||16|
The Ministry of Defence has commissioned no external research on the offensive capabilities of enemy insurgents in Iraq. However, MOD continuously evaluates the offensive capabilities being used, working-closely with other relevant
7 Sept 2004 : Column 1187W
Government Departments. This evaluation draws on a range of materials from a variety of sources, and includes work to identify the weaponry and equipment available to insurgent groups as well as their training and military experience.
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