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6 Nov 2006 : Column 808Wcontinued
The problems were rectified by the ships company using on board resources.
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the (a) originally estimated, (b) most
recently estimated and (c) outturn cost was in each of the five largest information technology contracts agreed with outside suppliers over the last five years. 
Mr. Ingram: The information requested is as follows:
|Contract||Originally estimated cost (£ million)||Most recently estimated cost (£ million)||Outturn cost (£ million)||Comments|
Expenditure does not include expenditure from other areas within the Department that call up SATCOM services. 'Most recent cost' reflects revised contract to include a third satellite and a fourth satellite in the event of the failure at the launch stage of one of the three satellites. Should there be no loss the cost will reduce to £3,273 million.
This relates to the Increment 1 contract only. Increments 2 and 3 have not yet been let.
These estimates comprise all extramural costs for JPA and include the cost of personnel administration services using JPA up to the end of financial year 2008-09. Outturn costs cover extramural expenditure to the end of financial year 2005-06.
This includes JAMES 1 and 2, Whole Fleet Management and Engineering and Asset Management.
| Note: Purely voice communications systems are not considered to fall within the scope of the question.|
Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of the numbers of insurgents entering Iraq from (a) Saudi Arabia and (b) Iran since March 2003; and if he will make a statement. 
Des Browne: Given the covert nature in which they operate it is extremely difficult accurately to assess how many foreign fighters have entered Iraq. We currently estimate that a few hundred foreign fighters may have entered Iraq from Saudi Arabia and Iran since March 2003, with the vast majority of them entering from Iran.
Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the estimates of Iraqi deaths made in The Lancet; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ingram: Maintaining records of civilian deaths in Iraq is ultimately a matter for the Government of Iraq and we believe they are best placed to monitor the situation. The Lancet report is one of a number of recent studies that attempts to estimate the numbers of civilian casualties in Iraq, none of which can be regarded as definitive. The figures in The Lancet report are significantly higher than other casualty estimates.
Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what representations he and his coalition partners have made to the Iraqi authorities on progress in disarming militia in Iraq; and if he will make a statement. 
Des Browne: Alongside our coalition partners we continue to press the Iraqi authorities, both at a national and provincial level, to recognise and take action on the issue of militias. The process of Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration forms a key part of tackling armed militia groups. We are ready to support this process in any way we can.
Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what mechanisms are in place for the audit and accountability of spending on the joint Iraqi and American Baghdad Security Plan; what estimate he has made of how much the (a) security and (b) non-security element will cost; whether security personnel will carry out the non-security element; and how many Iraqi civilian jobs will be created in consequence. 
Des Browne: This is a matter for the US Government.
Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what (a) funds and (b) other resources have been provided to British forces by the US in Iraq. 
Des Browne: The US does not provide direct funding for the UK military deployment in Iraq. However, the UK does have access to US Commanders Emergency Response Programme funding. Between 1 October 2004 and 30 September 2006 $145.3 million was drawn from this and allocated directly to reconstruction projects in MND(SE).
Coalition partners also share logistical support and may make available military assets in support of specific military operations. Where payment is required for these activities, it is provided on a repayment basis.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the cost has been to the UK of military action in Iraq since January 2003; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ingram: The cost of operations are calculated on a net additional basis and audited figures are published each year in the MODs annual report and accounts. The total of the annual audited figures for the cost of operations in Iraq for the years 2002-03 to 2005-06 was £4,026 million.
Patrick Mercer: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many personnel in each unit stationed in Iraq (a) speak and (b) have received instruction in Arabic. 
Derek Twigg: It is not possible to provide details of how many personnel in each unit stationed in Iraq speak Arabic or have received formal Arabic language education as the information is not held centrally and to collate the information would be at disproportionate cost. However, PJHQ have identified a formal requirement for 30 official interpreters. These are both civilian contractors and military personnel. I should stress this does not include locally employed personnel, many of whom provide interpretation and translation services and those individuals who might speak Arabic but are not official interpreters.
In terms of troops receiving Arabic instruction, there are three courses specialising in Iraqi language training open to troops prior to deployment to Iraq; Survival Standard (one soldier per sub-unit/four gunners per squadron), Basic Patrol Arabic (Junior Commanders and soldiers) and Operational Linguist. Details of those deployed to Iraq that have undertaken this training is not held centrally and can be provided only at disproportionate cost.
All personnel deploying to Iraq will receive some form of language training in the form of their unit level pre-deployment training, known as Cascade training. Once deployed, further continuation training for all ranks is conducted. In addition, every soldier is issued with a language card which is taught during pre-deployment training.
Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many (a) MAMBA and (b) Cobra are deployed in (i) Iraq and (ii) Afghanistan; what the response time is of each under incoming fire; and how the information generated by each is used. 
Des Browne: Equipment for battlefield surveillance and target acquisition is available in both Iraq and Afghanistan. I am withholding details on the precise number of MAMBA (Mobile Artillery Monitoring Battlefield Radar) and COBRA (Counter Battery Radar) and information on how they are used tactically as this would, or would be likely to, prejudice the security of our armed forces.
Mark Pritchard: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what measures are in place to ensure fair and equal access by all broadcast and print media reporting from combat areas in Iraq and Afghanistan. 
Des Browne: The MOD has dedicated staff, processes and systems designed to provide balanced access for UK and international correspondents. These processes are laid out in the MOD Green Book (MOD Working Arrangements with the Media for use Throughout the Full Spectrum of Military Operations) a copy of which is available on the MOD website (www.mod.uk). The Green Book provides details of how correspondents should apply for operational media assignments. Applications for operational assignments are assessed on a case by case basis and decisions to approve applications are based on a range of factors, such as the ability of the military to facilitate the media visit. The MOD aims at all times to ensure a fair and balanced approach by ensuring that a wide a variety of responsible media organisations are represented.
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what measures his Department uses to assess the success of mental health treatment for (a) service personnel and (b) veterans; and what his assessment is of the outcomes of each of the treatment centres that his Department uses. 
Derek Twigg: The MOD uses the Medical Employment Standard (MES) as the main measure of outcome of its medical treatment including for mental health. The MES gives an indication of the employability of Service patients from the beginning (diagnosis) through to the end of their care pathway. The MES is derived from a medical assessment of the patients illness, the treatment course required and various occupational factors. The MES indicates whether the Service person can carry out full service, serve in some restricted form/role for a temporary period or, in some cases, a permanent basis or whether they should be discharged from the Service on medical grounds.
With regard to outcomes, in the majority of cases, personnel treated at the MOD's Departments of Community Mental Health are able to return to Service. Medical discharge rates for mental health conditions are lowout of 2000 personnel medically discharged annually from the UK armed forces, only about 150 will have a mental health problem. Of these, 20-25 will meet the criteria to be diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
With regard to veterans, upon leaving the armed forces or on demobilisation for reservists it is the long established practice that responsibility for medical care passes to the NHS. This has been the case since 1948 under successive Governments. Responsibility for assessment of mental healthcare for veterans provided by the NHS rests with the UK Health Departments.
For veterans who are also war pensioners, under the War Pensions Scheme the MOD has a discretionary power to meet the cost of any necessary expenses in respect of the medical, surgical or rehabilitative treatment of ex-members of the armed forces that arise wholly or mainly arise as a result of the disablement due to service, before 6 April 2005. It cannot be used to fund treatment provided under other UK legislation. Where appropriate remedial treatment at homes run by the Ex-Services Mental Welfare Society (Combat Stress) is funded by this route for pensioned psychological conditions.
Over the last few years research evidence of effective best practice treatment and interventions for mental health disorders has been published and officials of MOD, the UK Health Departments and Combat Stress are currently working to develop and implement a new community mental health service for veterans. This will involve public, private and charitable providers working together to deliver evidence based interventions and will be subject to appropriate clinical governance.
In addition, the department recently announced that reservists demobilised since January 2003 will be entitled to a mental health assessment by Defence Medical Services personnel, and out-patient treatment if appropriate. A further announcement will be made later this year to confirm the details of the service that
will be provided including the location(s) at which the assessments will be provided, and the date on which the service will commence.
Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many military exercises were cancelled in (a) 2004 and (b) 2005; how many have been cancelled in 2006; and what the reasons were for cancelling each exercise. 
Mr. Ingram: During financial year 2004-05, a total of 379 training events were scheduled on the Defence Exercise Programme (DXP) of which 79 (20 per cent.) were cancelled. While specific reasons for cancellation are not available in many cases, and could be provided only at disproportionate cost, the Programme was affected by competing operational priorities. Since that time, improved data capture has enabled a more detailed review of the DXP.
During FY 2005-06, a total of 533 training events were scheduled on the DXP of which 58 (10.8 per cent.) were cancelled. In detail, 30 exercises were cancelled due to operational commitments, 13 were removed as savings measures and 10 were cancelled by other nations. The remaining five events were cancelled in response to changing priorities or rescheduling.
During the period 1 April 2006 to 31 October 2006, a total of 438 training events were scheduled on the DXP of which 30 (6.8 per cent.) were cancelled. In detail, 13 exercises were cancelled due to operational commitments, two were removed as savings measures and 11 were cancelled by other nations. The remaining four events were cancelled in response to changing priorities or rescheduling.
Further details of the military exercise cancelled since 1 April 2005 are set out as follows.
|Exercise name||Location||Type||Reason for cancellation|
Cancelled due insufficient time to resolve Ukrainian requirements.
Cancelled due insufficient time to resolve Ukrainian requirements
Ex reduced in scope due to Australian operational commitments
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