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Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the revisions to Battlefield First Aid training since May 1997; what the cost of such revisions have been; how many (a) reservist and (b) regular personnel defaulted on qualifications due to failure to re-qualify in time; what proportion of these required complete retraining; and if he will make a statement. 
Following a review undertaken in 2005 a further change to Battlefield Casualty Drills Training will take place on 3 April 2006 with the introduction of new Military Annual Training and Testing and Basic Life Support protocols.
Mr. Ingram: For reasons of operational security, it has not been the policy of successive governments to make public details of the military capabilityincluding numbers of specific aircraft variantsdeployed on operations.
Mr. Touhig: Combined Cadet Force contingents are based at various schools throughout the country. When considering applications from a prospective school to start a new unit the Ministry of Defence makes no distinction between private or state maintained schools. The establishment of a new school contingent requires two key resources. Firstly there must be sufficient funds available to establish and maintain the unit. Secondly, the school must be able to provide sufficient adult volunteers from within its staff who are keen to assist in the running of the contingent.
Mr. Touhig: Members of the cadet forces have the opportunity to gain a wide range of national qualifications, from St John's Ambulance First Aid certificates and the Duke of Edinburgh Award, to vocational qualifications such as BTEC Diplomas in Public Services and Music which are equivalent to four GCSEs grades A to C or to four Scottish Standard Grades Levels 1 to 3.
Additionally, the adult volunteers who so ably run the cadet force units have the opportunity to work towards instructor qualifications in Sports and Adventure Training and to gain National Vocational Qualifications up to and including the Level 5 Graduateship in Youth Management and Training.
Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps he is taking to ensure that the standard of catering on charter flights for troops is equivalent to that provided on RAF flights. 
Mr. Ingram: The standards of catering on charter and RAF flights are similar, and there are no plans to ensure equivalence. For example, charter flights to the middle east/central Asia are required to provide, as a minimum, a substantial hot meal commensurate with flight duration, together with a light snack and hot drinks. Complimentary soft drinks should also be made available throughout the flight. To the same destinations, RAF flights would normally provide a hot three course meal and a hot or cold snack, four hot and three cold drinks.
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many explosives tests for departmental projects
27 Feb 2006 : Column 10W
have been carried out at Chorley Royal Ordnance in the last 12 months; and what the nature of the test was in each case. 
Mr. Ingram [holding answer 13 February 2006]: There have been 55 explosive tests carried out on behalf of the Department at the BAE Systems (Land Systems) facility at Chorley in the last 12 months. 16 were explosives testing, nine were munitions testing, 24 were inspection tests of items prior to more detailed testing elsewhere and six were non destructive evaluation (NDE)-Radiography.
Mr. Goodwill: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his policy is on whether cluster munitions should be subject to similar restrictions to those imposed on land mines under the Ottawa Accord. 
Mr. Ingram: Some cluster munitions remain unexploded through malfunction and leave Explosive Remnants of War (ERW). United Kingdom played an active role at the United Nations in creating a new legally binding protocol on ERW that will offer significant humanitarian benefit to those areas affected. Cluster munitions differ from anti-personnel landmines in a number of ways and the UK has not supported steps to broaden the scope of the Ottawa Convention to include them.
Mr. Gerald Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what discussions his Department has had with industry about the maintenance of design and manufacturing capabilities for complex weapons and missile systems in the UK. 
Mr. Ingram: During the development of the complex weapons element of the Defence Industrial Strategy (DIS) we consulted widely with the relevant suppliers. Recently, an implementation team has been established to take this element of the DIS forward. Detailed engagement with the relevant suppliers will continue to determine how best to sustain the critical design and manufacturing capabilities the UK requires over the long term.
Mr. Ingram: As announced in the Defence Industrial Strategy, we have established a multi-disciplinary team to work with UK-based industry to establish how we might together seek to sustain the critical guided weapons technologies that we judge to be important to our operational sovereignty. Our intention is that we should have a clearer way ahead by the end of 2006.
Mr. Ingram: Provision for witnesses to give evidence by live video link in civilian proceedings is contained in part 8 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003. These provisions have not yet been brought into force. Once they have been, consideration will be given to applying them to service courts.
Robert Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many convicted (a) Royal Navy, (b) Army and (c) Royal Air Force personnel subject to a court martial had (i) their sentence mitigated after presentation of a petition to the reviewing authority, (ii) their sentences mitigated without the presentation of a petition to the reviewing authority, (iii) the finding quashed after the presentation of a petition to the reviewing authority and (iv) the finding quashed without the presentation of a petition to the reviewing authority in each calendar year between 2000 and 2005. 
|Sentence mitigated after presentation of a petition to the reviewing authority||Sentence mitigated without the presentation of a petition to the reviewing authority||Finding quashed after presentation of a petition to the reviewing authority||Finding quashed without the presentation of a petition to the reviewing authority|
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