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Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Gulf War veterans in Northern Ireland are in receipt of (a) financial and (b) medical support provided by his Department. 
As at 30 June (the latest date for which figures are available), there were approximately 50 veterans in receipt of a war disablement pension whose service included operations in the Gulf Conflict with addresses in Northern Ireland. Others with a lower level of disablement may have received a gratuity award, but we do not have available figures for these. Not all the injuries or medical conditions claimed relate to service in the Gulf but our statistics do not enable us to distinguish the origin of the disablement. Veterans may also qualify for financial assistance through armed forces occupational pension schemes in addition to the
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normal social security benefits. Information on the numbers of veterans in receipt of benefits under the occupational schemes are not recorded.
127 199091 Gulf veterans, with addresses in Northern Ireland have attended the Gulf Veterans' Medical Assessment Programme (GVMAP), based at St. Thomas's Hospital, London. GVMAP patients with mental health issues are referred to specialised centres, including those administered by Combat Stress. Approximately 25 per cent. of the 53,462 veterans who deployed to the Gulf in 199091 are still serving and their medical care is the responsibility of the Defence Medical Services. The Department may under the provisions of the War Pension Scheme defray expenses in respect of medical treatment that is not provided free of charge under other United Kingdom legislation. Information is not available on the number of payments made under this provision in Northern Ireland.
Mr. Touhig: As a result of the lessons identified during the 199091 Gulf conflict, the Ministry of Defence took early action to put in place a large scale epidemiological study to monitor the physical and psychological health of personnel who served in Operation Telic. This research is being undertaken by King's College, London and the results are expected to be published in 2006.
Mr. Touhig: A number of measures, including the introduction of new information technology and an additional medal engraving facility have recently been introduced, and our procedures for the issuing of medals remain under continuous review.
Since forming in March of this year, the Ministry of Defence Medal Office has reduced the overall backlog of medal applications from 50,000 to some 24,000. With the exception of a handful of human administrative errors, all have been handled accurately.
Mr. Ingram: The Ministry of Defence maintains a record of all civil registered aircraft that have landed at UK military airfields, including aircraft registration numbers, the name of the pilot and the departure date and destination of the aircraft.
Mr. Ingram: Where individuals have arrived in the United Kingdom on aircraft registered with any nation and stay in the UK, their details are passed by the Ministry of Defence to HM Revenue and Customs and the Immigration Service in accordance with standing military instructions and the local stipulated requirements of those organisations. Such details are not necessarily retained by the MOD.
Where aircraft transit through military airfields, to refuel for example, and passengers do not leave the airfield, the MOD records the names of the pilot and aircraft owner but does not record the details of passengers; international and national aviation regulations do not require the recording of passenger information when transiting UK territory or airspace.
Mr. Ancram: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the planning assumption is for entry into service of the UK military flying training system; what the forecast cost is for (a) spending on the assessment phase of the project and (b) the demonstration and manufacture phase of the project; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ingram: Initial service provision of the UK military flying training system (UKMFTS) will be set at the time of the main investment decision. We expect that we will spend up to £39 million during the assessment phase. UKMFTS is being procured as a public private partnership that does not have a conventional demonstration and manufacture phase.
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many recruits to the Royal Air Force there were in each of the last eight years; and how many he expects there to be in the next two years. 
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Mr. Touhig: All service personnel are liable to compulsory drug testing and selection for testing of military units is carried out randomly. The Royal Navy tests all ships, establishments and Royal Marine units over a two year cycle; the priority for the Army is operational units which are liable for deployment to operational theatres; the RAF tests each of its large units at least twice per annum.
Mr. Ingram: The defence budget is not broken down by individual service. Tables 2 and 3 of The Government's Expenditure Plans 200506 to 200708, Ministry of Defence (Cmd 6532), show the resource and capital spending plans of the Navy's two Top Level Budget holders, the Commander-in-Chief Fleet and the 2nd Sea Lord/Commander-in-Chief Naval Home Command, in the years 200506 to 200708. Spending plans for later years will be determined by the outcome of the comprehensive spending review and the subsequent departmental planning round.
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