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Derek Twigg: For all surface vessels at sea, connection is provided to the main Joint Personnel Administration (JPA) system in the UK via a satellite link. When vessels are in port the ship-to-shore local area communications network is used.
Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what assessment his Department has made of the significance of (a) the flotation of KBR on the stock market and (b) delays which recently prevented DML from securing a shipbuilding contract for Appledore shipyard for KBRs commitment to its UK defence interests; 
(3) what assurances his Department has received from KBR that (a) the UKs strategic interests and (b) the future of DML will be safeguarded now that Halliburton-KBR are separate commercial entities; and if he will make a statement; 
(5) what assessment his Department has made of the impact of KBR splitting from Halliburton on (a) the future carrier programme, (b) the Vanguard class submarine overhaul and the refit of HMS Victorious and (c) the ongoing naval base review; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ingram [holding answer 5 December 2006]: Devonport Royal Dockyard is a strategic asset that plays a direct role in maintaining the UKs nuclear deterrent. The Government require assurance that any prospective change of ownership of Devonport Royal Dockyard Ltd (DRDL) or any new influence or control should not adversely affect the essential security interests of the UK. On this basis the Government need to assess whether the planned separation of KBR from Halliburton would be acceptable. MOD is now in active discussion with KBR to ensure that the UKs essential security interests are protected. The ability for Devonport Management Ltd. to bid freely for defence contracts is a key element of these interests.
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many personnel have been treated for (a) post-traumatic stress disorder and (b) other mental health problems after serving in (i) Iraq and (ii) Afghanistan since February 2004; what percentage of troops serving in each of these theatres the figures represent; and if he will make a statement. 
Derek Twigg: Between 1 January 2003 and 30 June 2006, 1,897 UK service personnel (regular and reservists) who deployed to Iraq on Operation Telic were diagnosed at a DCMH with a mental health condition thought to be related to their deployment. This represents around 1.5 per cent. of personnel deployed to Operation Telic over the same period. Of this number, 278 fulfilled the diagnostic criteria for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. This represents around 0.3 per cent. of personnel deployed to Operation Telic over the same period.
The figures do not include any personnel who have received treatment for a mental health condition since leaving the armed forces. This is because on leaving the armed forces, or on demobilisation for reservists, it is the long established practice that responsibility for
medical care passes to the NHS. To collate figures on medical treatment received by every veteran would require an examination of the records of every NHS trust (and every independent healthcare provider) in the country and could therefore be done only at disproportionate cost.
At a time when personnel have been deployed to other operational theatres before or after deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan, it is becoming increasingly difficult to attribute a subsequent mental health condition (which in some cases might not present itself until some time after the persons deployment ends) to service on a specific deployment. We therefore have not conducted a similar collation for Afghanistan. The Department is currently reviewing its methods of collating figures on service personnel diagnosed with a mental health condition.
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the extent to which the Meteorological Office has achieved value for money exploiting synergies between its weather service and its research on climate change. 
Derek Twigg: There is significant interdependency between weather forecasting and climate research and significant financial efficiencies are derived from collocation of these programmes within the Met Office. As a result the Met Office has a world leading capability in weather forecasting and climate research.
The Met Office's Unified Model is used for both numerical weather prediction and climate modelling as well as a variety of related research activities, and shared development of the model brings huge benefits to both disciplines.
Significant value for money is also derived by maximising the utilisation of the Met Office's supercomputing capacity. Weather forecasting requires short bursts of supercomputing capacity, allowing climate research activities to be scheduled when the supercomputer would otherwise be idle.
Climate change research also benefits from ready and efficient access to global observational data collected by the Met Office for its global weather forecasting capability and by utilising research of atmospheric processes carried out by the Met Office's research aircraft.
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what work the Meteorological Office's Hadley Centre for Climate Change Research undertakes (a) to enable the Government to plan for the impacts of climate change in the UK and (b) to assess the impact of climate change in developing countries; and if he will make a statement. 
The Met Office's Hadley Centre provides advice on the impacts of climate change to a number of Government Departments, including MOD and Defra. The Hadley Centre provided extensive input to the Stern Review about climate impacts and helps develop scenarios of future climate change for the UK Climate Impacts Programme (UKCIP). In addition, the Hadley Centre's model for tides and
storm surges in European coastal waters helps the UK improve its plans for protecting against changes in extreme sea levels.
The Hadley Centre also takes a lead in international science, and is central to the production of the forthcoming Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report on "Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability".
The Hadley Centre has developed a regional climate modelling system, Providing Regional Climates for Impacts Studies (PRECIS) that is available free of charge to developing countries, enabling them to produce high resolution climate change scenarios and assess regional vulnerability to climate change. There are currently over 190 users of PRECIS from more than 60 countries worldwide.
The Hadley Centre is expanding its programme of research into the impacts of climate change. The research has both a global and UK focus. The main areas are currently water resources, flood risk, agricultural yields, natural ecosystems, sea level rise and human health.
Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what targets have been set for savings by the Meteorological Office; and what assessment he has made of the implications of savings measures for the offices climate change research programme. 
It is important that MOD regularly reviews its spending plans, balances relative priorities and drives efficiency in public spending. Ministerial decisions on the forward Defence programme will be taken in the first quarter of 2007, and appropriate announcements on the outcome of the planning round will be made in that timeframe.
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what total number of personnel has been deployed to (a) Afghanistan and (b) Iraq since October 2001, broken down by (i) roulement and (ii) service. 
Mr. Ingram: The specific information requested is not held centrally by the Ministry of Defence. Accurate information on the total number of personnel that have been deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq since October 2001, broken down by roulement and service could be aggregated from individual records and only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Ingram: There are no plans to introduce (a) automatic activation devices and (b) audio altimeters for military trainee parachutists. The use of automatic activation devices and audible altimeters was considered but it was determined that for military trainee parachutists the risks to safety would outweigh any benefit that these devices might provide.
|Visits by Secretary of State, 1 November 2005 to 1 December 2006|
|Date of visit||Place visited|
|Visits by min(AF) 1 November 2005 to 1 December 2006|
|Date of visit||Place visited|
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