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13 Jun 2005 : Column 14W—continued


Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he expects a decision to be made on whether to allow full rights of accompanied service to the wives of Gurkha soldiers. [2827]

Mr. Touhig: I refer the hon. Member to the Statement made by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence on 11 January 2005, Official Report, column 10WS. We expect to make an announcement about Gurkha Married Accompanied Service this summer.

Medical Staff

Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether his Department has used (a) agency nurses and other medical specialists and (b) Frontier Medical staff in (i) Iraq and (ii) any other country where UK armed forces are deployed to augment UK military units. [3793]

Mr. Touhig: The Ministry of Defence has used a small number of agency nurses and other medical specialists, including from Frontier Medical, to fill specific operational posts in Iraq and Bosnia when there has been a temporary shortfall, or to reduce the frequency of deployment of some specialist capabilities.
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Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what work NATO is undertaking in connection with capability where there is no host nation support; and if he will make a statement. [3109]

Mr. Ingram: NATO is continuing to pursue improvements to the availability of Combat Support and Combat Service Support through the Prague Capabilities Commitment and the force planning process. In particular, NATO's Logistics Force Planning Advisory Committee is working towards better clarification of the logistics capabilities made available by allies, and encouraging the creation of better balanced force structures. This will further enhance the deployability and sustainability of NATO forces for expeditionary operations, thereby reducing its reliance on host nation support.

The NATO Response Force—which is due to achieve Full Operational Capability by October 2006—will provide a rapidly deployable, stand alone force capable of sustaining itself using embedded logistic capabilities for up to one month without host nations support, or for longer if re-supplied.

Mr. Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will define the roles of the NATO Response Force. [2649]

Mr. Ingram [holding answer 9 June 2005]: The primary role of the NATO Response Force is to provide a rapid response in the initial phase of a crisis. On achieving Full Operational Capability by October 2006, NATO expects it to be capable of deploying as a stand alone force for crisis response across a range of potential scenarios (peacekeeping or embargo operations, for example); as an initial entry force to facilitate the arrival of follow-on forces; and as a force package that demonstrates the resolve of member nations.

Natural Disasters (Military Assistance)

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent discussions he has had with (a) the Secretary of State for International Development and (b) others, about improving the effectiveness of MOD assets in assisting with natural disasters around the world in the light of the experience gained from the recent tsunami; and if he will make a statement. [2060]

Mr. Ingram: During the Government response to the tsunami, DFID and Ministry of Defence officials worked extremely closely and productively on the disaster relief effort, the United Kingdom armed forces providing a range of niche capabilities, including airlift, which achieved much in the affected area. Our guiding principle for this operation and for any such future response is that the armed forces will task the most appropriate assets to meet the requirement, as defined by DFID.

As is routine after any operation, the MOD has conducted a review in order to identify what improvements we could make in any such future operation. DFID has been fully involved in this process. In addition, MOD is fully engaged in the Government's efforts to support reform of the UN and EU humanitarian co-ordination mechanisms.
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Naval Auxiliary Ships

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether naval auxiliary ships are required to go through the EU tendering process for construction and fitting out. [2872]

Mr. Ingram [holding answer 9 June 2005]: Where auxiliary vessels are regarded as warlike" MOD takes the view that such vessels are exempt from the EU procurement directives on competition.

Private Finance Projects

Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the private finance initiative and public private partnership projects his Department is undertaking; and what the status of each is. [2370]

Mr. Ingram: Using the HM Treasury definitions of private finance initiative and public private partnerships, the PFI and PPP projects in which the Ministry of Defence is currently engaged, and their operational status are as follows:
Project nameStatus of project
Storage FacilitiesOperational
TAFMIS (IT)Operational
Defence Helicopter Flying School (DHFS)Operational
Hazardous Stores Information System (HSIS)Operational
Electronic Messaging System (Armymail)Operational
Defence Fixed Telecommunications Service (DFTS)Operational
Medium Support Helicopter Aircrew Training Facility (MSHATF)Operational
Hawk SimulatorOperational
Tidworth Water and SewerageOperational
RAF Lossiemouth Family QuartersOperational
Joint Services Command and Staff CollegeOperational
RAF Lyneham SewerageOperational
Yeovilton Family QuartersOperational
Attack Helicopters TrainingOperational
Apache Simulator Training RAF MailOperational
RAF Fylingdales (Power)Operational
Light Aircraft Flying Training (LAFT) (Bulldog)Operational
RAF Cosford and Shawbury Family QuartersOperational
NRTA Fire Fighting Training UnitsOperational
Defence Intelligence System (DIS)/Information System (Touchstone)Operational
Tornado GR4 SimulatorOperational
Central Scotland Family Quarters (HQ)Operational
Army Foundation College (AFC)Operational
Main Building RefurbishmentOperational
Tri Service Materials Handling ServiceOperational
Naval CommunicationsOperational
Defence Electronic Commerce Service (DECS)Operational
RAF Sentry E3D AircrewOperational
Lynx Aircrew TrainingOperational
Defence Animal Centre (DAC)Operational
Tri Service White FleetOperational
Commercial Satellite Communication Service— INMARSATOperational
Wattisham Married QuartersOperational
Defence Housing Executive-Information Systems (DOMIS)Operational
ASTUTE Class Training Service (ACTS)Not yet operational
Bristol, Bath and Portsmouth Family Married QuartersOperational
Heavy Equipment Transporters (HET)Operational
Marine support to Range and Aircrew ServicesOperational
Material Handling Equipment (MHE)—(Follow on)Operational
Strategic Sealift (Ro-Ro Ferries)Operational
Field Electrical Power Supplies (FEPS)Operational
MOD-wide Water and Waste Water Project (Aquatrine)—Package AOperational
ColchesterNot yet operational
Skynet5Not yet operational
Hayes PFI Project-Records Storage and ManagementOperational
Defence Sixth Form College (DSFC)Operational
Devonport Support Services ARMADANot yet operational
MOD-wide Water and Wastewater (Project Aquatrine)—Package BNot yet operational
MOD-wide Water and Wastewater (Project Aquatrine)—Package CNot yet operational

13 Jun 2005 : Column 17W

RAF Brize Norton

Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which new aircraft will be based at RAF Brize Norton; and what their in-service dates will be. [2641]

Mr. Ingram: The A400M, the UK's solution for the Future Transport Aircraft (FTA) requirement, is currently planned to enter service at RAF Brize Norton in 2011.

The Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft (FSTA) contract currently under negotiation with AirTanker Ltd. is based on the firm assumption that the FSTA aircraft are both operated from, and maintained at, RAF Brize Norton. The project is currently in its Assessment Phase and is expected to be introduced into service around the end of the decade.

Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when the C130K aircraft based at RAF Lyneham are due to be redeployed to RAF Brize Norton. [2637]

Mr. Ingram: I informed the House on 4 July 2003, Official Report, column 38WS, that the C130K fleet will remain at RAF Lyneham until the aircraft goes out of service by 2012. I also indicated that the Hercules C130J aircraft will relocate from RAF Lyneham to RAF Brize Norton by 2012.

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