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7 Feb 2006 : Column 1083W—continued


Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much (a) revenue and (b) capital expenditure has been allocated to the HELEN laser at AWE Aldermaston in each of the last five years. [47820]

John Reid: The expenditure allocated to the HELEN laser in each of the last five years is set out in the following table:
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£ million

All figures are at out-turn prices.


Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many non-infantry personnel have served in an infantry role in Iraq. [43420]

Mr. Ingram: Since July 2003 , approximately 5,280 non-infantry personnel have served in Iraq in an infantry role. It is not unusual for non-infantry personnel to deploy in an infantry role; every soldier in the British Army is trained as infanteer first, and as a specialist second.

Patrick Mercer: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what information he has received concerning the rocket attack on Basra Airport on the night of 6 January; and what arrests followed the attack. [49423]

Mr. Ingram: On the evening of 6 January 2006 two rockets were fired at Basra Air Station. Neither caused any significant damage. No casualties were sustained and no arrests have been made yet.

Patrick Mercer: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether an Iraqi national, Al-Saokhi, was detained and then released by British forces in 2005. [49424]

Mr. Ingram: We have no record of an Iraqi national named Al-Saokhi being detained and then released by United Kingdom forces in 2005. However UK forces do not routinely keep records of individuals they detain temporarily.

Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many troops each country which has participated in the operation in Iraq has provided for active service in each year since the start of the war. [49448]

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Mr. Ingram: The Ministry of Defence does not keep records of coalition troop deployments. The current troop deployments of multinational partners in the UK's area of responsibility in Multi-national Division (South East) are as follows:
Czech Republic100

More detailed information on coalition troop contributions is held by the individual countries that have deployed forces to Iraq.

The following table provides information relating to UK troop deployments.
RoulementDatesNumber of troops deployed
Telic 1February-June 200346,000
Telic 2July-October 200310,000
Telic 3November 2003-April 20048,900
Telic 4May-October 20048,200
Telic 5November 2004-April 2005(7)9,200
Telic 6May-October 20058,500
Telic 7November 2005-April 2006(8)8,000

(7) increase due to Op Bracken—Black Watch deployment
(8) roulement is ongoing


Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what assessment he has made of the effects of NATO ISAF operation being integrated more closely with Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan; and if he will make a statement; [45165]

(2) what progress has been made in establishing a mechanism for increased alignment of the NATO ISAF mission and Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan; and if he will make a statement. [45167]

John Reid: As NATO seeks to expand its International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) further across Afghanistan, there are clear benefits in seeking greater synergy with the US-led Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) mission. These include less duplication of effort between the two missions, a more concerted approach to support for the reconstruction of Afghanistan, and simplified coordination with the Government of Afghanistan of the international community's military involvement in the country.

ISAFs mission is focused on reconstruction, though ISAF forces need also to be sufficiently robust to defend themselves against terrorists, insurgents and other illegally armed groups. The OEF mission also has a significant reconstruction element, though counter-terrorism is its core objective. ISAF does not, and will not, conduct counter-terrorism operations. NATO's revised operational plan for Afghanistan seeks to ensure greater synergy between the ISAF and OEF missions as ISAF expands, particularly in the field of support to reconstruction. The plan also incorporates clear
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command arrangements for coordination and, where necessary, deconfliction of operations under the respective missions.

Naval Deployment (Somalia)

Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will deploy Royal Navy ships off the coast of Somalia to prevent piracy. [49854]

Mr. Ingram: The Royal Navy routinely deploys vessels and aircraft to the Horn of Africa, and many other regions as part of ongoing work to counter terrorism and crime on the high seas worldwide.

Rest and Relaxation

Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether the rest and relaxation flights for troops serving on (a) Op Telic and (b) other operations have been reduced. [49118]

Mr. Ingram [holding answer 6 February 2006]: No. Flight schedules for operational theatres are maintained at a level sufficient to meet operational requirements, including rest and relaxation, and priority is given to aircraft serviceability to ensure that any interruptions or delays are kept to an absolute minimum.

Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps he is taking to ensure that flights returning troops from theatre for periods of rest and relaxation are as short as possible. [49121]

Mr. Ingram [holding answer 6 February 2006]: Usually, Rest and Relaxation (R and R) trooping flights will return to the Main Operating Base in the UK, RAF Brize Norton. Flights take the most direct route available, having due regard to political, weather and safety considerations, which may from time-to-time affect the route. Aircraft may also pick-up/drop-off in other airports such as Durham Tees Valley and Hannover, Germany, depending on the location of where the troops are normally stationed and the availability of aircraft and crews to undertake any additional flying required.


Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what (a) training and (b) support is being provided for the Rwandan military by UK forces. [49218]

Mr. Ingram: The UK provides a small amount of training annually for the Rwandan Defence Force (RDF). This is focused on increasing Rwanda's capacity to contribute to international Peace Support Operations (PSO).

Training activities this year have included sending Short Term Training Teams to Rwanda, as well as selected personnel to the British Peace Support Team (East Africa) in Karen, Kenya to attend United Nations sponsored and other relevant PSO courses. We have additionally provided training on courses in the UK. There are currently 140 Rwandan military engineers attending a course in humanitarian de-mining techniques at the British funded International Mine Action Training Centre in Nairobi.
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Our Defence Adviser in Kampala, who is accredited to Kigali, provides advice to the RDF on related military matters.

Troop Deployment

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many troops are deployed in (a) Germany, (b) Iraq, (c) Afghanistan, (d) Bosnia and Kosovo, (e) Cyprus, (f) the Falklands, (g) Gibraltar, (h) Ascension Island, (i) Diego Garcia and (j) Northern Ireland. [49174]

Mr. Ingram: As of 2 February 2006, the United Kingdom had the following military contingents deployed overseas:
Bosnia and Kosovo829
The Falklands and Ascension Island (South Atlantic Islands)1,212
Diego Garcia37

As of 31 December 2005, the United Kingdom had 9,943 troops deployed in Northern Ireland.

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