|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mr. Moore: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what level of co-operation exists between multi-national forces and Iraqi (a) police, (b) military and (c) local council officials in (i) Al Basrah,(ii) Al Muthanna, (iii) Dhi Qar and (iv) Maysan provinces in Iraq; and if he will make a statement. 
Des Browne: Multi-national forces work closely with the Iraqi police, military and local council officials across the four provinces in Multi-National Division (South East). We have re-established full co-operation with Basrah Provincial Council following its decision earlier this month to end its boycott of UK forces. Elements within Maysan Provincial Council have withdrawn their co-operation with multi-national forces on a personal basis, but there is no official or widespread boycott in operation. Our work with the Governor of Maysan, many of the council officials and the Iraqi security forces has continued unimpeded.
Adam Price: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what commitment has been given by the UK Government regarding the reconstruction of the Serious Crime Department building destroyed in the Jamiyal district of Basra in September 2005. 
Mr. Ingram: The Consul General and Provincial Governor have agreed that, as the Jameat police
building itself has been deemed structurally unsound, it would be preferable to relocate the facility, rather than refurbish it. Both parties have agreed that it would be sensible to move into a number of sites already partially or wholly funded by the UK as part of the Security Sector Reform process in MND(SE).
Patrick Mercer: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what the average daily operational ability is of (a) the Warrior fleet, (b) Snatch Land Rovers and (c) soft skin Land Rovers based in Iraq; 
Mr. Ingram: For reasons of operational security, we do not release details of military capability. On average, however, UK armed forces conduct a total of some 120 to 140 patrols by road vehicle per day across Multi-National Division (South-East).
Mr. Watson: All those who served in HM Forces up to 31 December 1954 are currently eligible to apply for the HM armed forces veteran's badge, as are war widows and widowers who are in receipt of a war pension where their deceased spouse served over same period. Applications from those who served between 1 January 1955 and 31 December 1959 will be accepted from 27 June 2006. Further extensions to eligibility to cover those who served more recently will be made at the earliest practicable opportunity.
Mr. Ingram: Two types of submarines make up the Royal Navy Submarine Service. There are 10 fleet submarines, of which eight are operational. There are four ballistic missile submarines, of which three are operational.
18. Dr. Vincent Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what expenditure he plans to make available in the next five years for preliminary work on renewal of the Trident missile and submarine systems prior to a decision on its future. 
Des Browne: No decisions have been taken on any replacement for the Trident system but we continue to keep options open for the future. We expect to spend around £5 million this year, and a similar amount in 2007-08, on initial preparatory work on possible options for any future deterrent. There is also some additional expenditure on elements of the current system to keep options open but it is not possible precisely to distinguish between elements of this expenditure that support the current system and those necessary to keep options open.
Mr. Watson: We are keen to encourage communities throughout the UK to mark the first Veterans Day on 27 June. The Ministry of Defence has undertaken a comprehensive publicity campaign to promote the day and to highlight the funding available to assist local communities to organise their own events. This has included letters to all hon. Members, to 14,000 schools and to around 3,000 councils and lord lieutenants. We have also placed information on the internet and have worked closely with the main ex-service organisations.
Des Browne: During the UK presidency of the European Union last year, we took forward an assessment of the military capabilities the EU needs and assisted partners in developing these capabilities to ensure that EU battlegroups are able to respond rapidly to crises. We also encouraged the EU to adopt a comprehensive approach to missions, better integrating the civil and military contributions that the EU can make to crisis management and disaster response. This year we have encouraged member states to consider what contribution they can make to increasing the amount of strategic lift available for both EU and NATO operations. We will continue to support the development of a European Security and Defence Policy able to complement and reinforce NATO.
22. Mr. Devine: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what proportion of UK Hercules aircraft
deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan have been fitted with anti-explosive foam; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ingram: A programme is currently under way to fit a number of our Hercules aircraft with explosion suppressant foam, but revealing the numbers or types of Hercules being fitted might prejudice the security of our armed forces. The first aircraft fitted is expected to be ready for operational deployment within the next few months.
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his assessment was of the security situation in Helmand province in January 2006; what his current assessment is; and if he will make a statement. 
Des Browne: The security situation in the south of Afghanistan is less benign than in the north. In the south, authority and the rule of law have yet to be firmly established and, at present, insurgents, drug traffickers and a range of illegally armed groups all pose a threat to security, as they did in January 2006. As anticipated, there has been an increase in attacks in the south as the numbers and profile of NATO troops has increased with the deployment of forces for stage 3. We remain committed to the expansion of the international security assistance force (ISAF) across all of Afghanistan.
Mr. Ingram [holding answer 16 February 2006]: Elements of 16 Air Assault Brigade, the formation currently deployed to Helmand Province, completed part of the conversion to the Bowman family of radios at the end of 2005. Full conversion will not take place until next year although it has received the Bowman capabilities necessary for the operation.
Willie Rennie: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps his Department plans to take to make progress on international talks on an international arms trade treaty in the next six months. 
Des Browne [holding answer 15 May 2006]: As part of a cross-Whitehall team the Ministry of Defence (MOD), the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Department for Trade and Industry and the Department for International Development are working together towards an international arms trade treaty.
The MOD is fully supportive of this initiative and will continue to play an active role. When opportunities arise to further progress and raise awareness of this treaty the MOD will seek, as will other Departments, to act.
Deputy Military Secretary
Colonel Manning (Army)
Colonel Personnel Services 2 (Army)
Head of Land Forces Secretariat
Staff Officer 1, Occurrence Wing, Army Personnel Centre
Staff Officer 2, Terms of Service Officer, Directorate of Manning (Army)
Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many pleas of conscientious objection to military service have been (a) considered, (b) approved and (c) rejected by the Army Retirements Board on behalf of the Defence Council in each of the last five years. 
Mr. Watson: Fewer than five cases from officers, which have cited conscientious objection to military service in the Regular Army or Officer Reserves, have been presented to and accepted by the Army Retirements Board within the last five years. To break down this figure any further would contravene the rules of disclosure as individuals could be identified.
Des Browne: I have nothing to add to the answer given by the then Secretary of State for Defence, my right hon. Friend the Member for Airdrie and Shotts (John Reid) to the hon. Member for North Devon (Nick Harvey) on 19 April 2006, Official Report, column 674W.
Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 4 May 2006 to Question reference 68593, on the Defence Export Services Organisation, if he will make a statement on the purpose of the Saudi Armed Forces Project and the number of (a) British based and (b) Saudi based full-time equivalent staff working on the project. 
Mr. Ingram: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 3 November 2003, Official Report, column 437W, to the hon. Member for North Norfolk (Norman Lamb). The Saudi Armed Forces Project currently employs 111 staff in the UK and 62 in Saudi Arabia.
Des Browne: The European Union Satellite Centre purchases imagery from commercial satellite owners to produce both analysis and geographic information in response to requests from member states. Where the European Union as a whole agrees that requesting information from the Satellite Centre is valuable, this information is designated a Council Task and products are made available to both European Union institutions and member states at no additional charge. The Ministry of Defence routinely receives these products.
The Ministry of Defence did not task the European Union Satellite Centre with any requirements prior to the 2003 invasion of Iraq. The Ministry of Defence did receive some products requested by other member states designated as Council Tasks.
Mr. Watson: Ministry of Defence officials have drafted detailed rules for the new 20-year residence criterion and held initial discussions on these with the Chairman of the Association of British Civilians in the Far East Region. Revised rules reflecting these discussions will be considered by the working group which my predecessor, my hon. Friend the Member for Islwyn (Mr. Touhig) announced on 28 March 2006, Official Report, columns 681-90, at their meeting on the 25 May. We aim to implement the new criterion as soon as possible.
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will place in the Library a copy of his Department's (a) chart of accounts and (b) resource account codes for financial year 2006-07. 
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will place in the Library copies of the monthly forecasts of payment and receipts provided by his Department to the Treasury under its cash management scheme for the second half of 2005-06. 
Mr. Ingram: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 1 December 2005, Official Report, column 676W, to the hon. Member for Aldershot (Mr. Howarth). The answer provided monthly forecasts of payments and receipts from February to October 2005. I have placed copies of the forecasts for November 2005 to April 2006 in the Library of the House.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|