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8 Mar 2007 : Column 2126Wcontinued
Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Harrier aircraft are currently deployed on each Royal Navy carrier. 
Mr. Ingram [holding answer 6 March 2007]: There are currently six Harrier aircraft embarked on HMS Illustrious. There are no Harriers embarked on any other Royal Navy ships.
Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Harrier pilots are certificated for night take-off from, and landings onto, Royal Navy aircraft carriers. 
Mr. Ingram [holding answer 6 March 2007]: I am withholding the number of pilots qualified as this information would, or would be likely to, prejudice the security of our armed forces. Joint Force Harrier maintains a cadre of sufficient night certificated pilots to meet its contingent liabilities.
Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether facilities are being made available for treatment of Iraq and Afghanistan military casualties in addition to those at Selly Oak Hospital. 
Derek Twigg: Since April 2001, the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine (RCDM) at University Hospital Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHBFT) has been the main centre for the receipt of UK armed forces casualties aeromedically evacuated from all over the world, including Iraq and Afghanistan. UHBFT runs the Selly Oak and Queen Elizabeth hospital sites. In a few individual cases, operational casualties have been placed initially for clinical reasons in other hospitals in the Birmingham area and elsewhere, but UHBFT has the capacity to cope with surges in the number of military casualties. In the event of a significant casualty surge, the MOD and UHBFT would jointly manage the receipt under the existing reception arrangements for military patients (RAMP) plan.
Patients with moderate/minor musculoskeletal injuries, once they have been assessed and provided with a working diagnosis and a planned care pathway, may be referred to the MOD regional rehabilitation unit most convenient for access from the patient's home or parent unit. There are 15 such units throughout the UK and Germany.
In addition, patients who have received their initial treatment at Birmingham may subsequently be transferred from there to another NHS hospital nearer to their home or parent unit. Patients with multiple injuries (including amputees and those with brain injury) will be transferred at the appropriate stage of their treatment to a rehabilitation facility for further specialist treatment. Dependent on clinical need, this referral is most likely to be to the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre at Headley Court, Surrey.
Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what medical, therapeutic or support provision has been made for members of the armed forces who have had to undergo amputation of one or more of their limbs. 
Derek Twigg: Service patients who have had to undergo amputation of one or more of their limbs will usually be treated at first in an NHS hospital, generally the Royal College of Defence Medicine (RCDM), where they will be fitted with an initial basic limb. At the appropriate stage in their recovery, they will be transferred to the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre (DMRC) at Headley Court, Surrey.
DMRC is the principal medical rehabilitation centre run by the armed forces and contains the complex rehabilitation and amputee unit. Here, an individually moulded and appropriate prosthetic limb is manufactured on site and tailored to the specific patient. MOD also has a contract with an external prosthetics provider, whose personnel attend DMRC and contribute to the assessment of the individual. A range of technicians and therapists will be involved in
the day-to-day care and treatment, including those employed by the prosthetics contractor.
A high priority is given to enabling personnel to return to service duty in the same or a similar role to the one they occupied before their injury if at all possible. During their continuing service career, any maintenance of officially-issued prosthetics is provided by the Defence Medical Services. This will usually be provided at one of 15 MOD regional rehabilitation units across the UK and in Germany.
Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the average annual pay is of (a) a British soldier and (b) a soldier from Gibraltar serving in Iraq; and if he will make a statement. 
Derek Twigg: From 1 April 2007, a trained private in the British Army will receive between £15,677 and £24,328 depending on their trade and length of service. A trained private in the Royal Gibraltar Regiment who deploys for service away from the Territory will receive the same rate of annual pay as his/her UK regular counterpart.
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much was spent by his Department on the Golden Hello programme in each year since 1997. 
Derek Twigg: The first of the current Golden Hello schemes was introduced in 2002. Information is not currently centrally held on costs on a year by year basis, across all schemes, but their overall cost since 2002 has been £7.24 million.
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether the Golden Hello programme has been (a) suspended and (b) partially suspended at any time. 
Derek Twigg: There has been no suspension or partial suspension of the current Golden Hello schemes since the first was introduced in 2002.
Mr. Galloway: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on what dates Ministers in his Department made official visits to the London boroughs of (a) Tower Hamlets, (b) Newham and (c) Waltham Forest in each year since 1997. 
Derek Twigg: The Department does not maintain details about the local authority areas visited on official visits. The retrospective collection of the information would incur disproportionate cost.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what consideration he has given to operationally resting a number of C130 airframes. 
Mr. Ingram: We routinely rest aircraft during normal operations for planned scheduled maintenance and to carry out any required upgrades. This ensures that airworthiness and safety are never compromised.
In financial year 2006-07 a decision was made to retire four C130 Hercules aircraft at the end of the financial year. Three of these aircraft were then operationally paused because they were either due scheduled maintenance or had reached the end of their outer wing safe life. It was therefore deemed as uneconomical to carry out this scheduled maintenance or wing replacement activity prior to their formal retirement from service.
Mark Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many soldiers in Welsh regiments have been killed in Iraq, broken down by cause of death. 
Derek Twigg: Five armed forces personnel from Welsh regiments have been killed in Iraq since March 2003, three were killed in operational accidents (road traffic accidents), one was killed in action and one died of wounds sustained from hostile action.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what ships were represented by the survey of Royal Navy personnel at sea on 9 January. 
Derek Twigg: The ships at sea on 9 January 2007, representing those from which we calculated the number of Royal Navy personnel at sea, were Her Majestys Ships:
In addition, we were maintaining the continuous at sea deterrent. Of the Royal Fleet Auxiliaries at sea on 9 January, only RFA Fort George has permanently embarked Royal Navy personnel.
Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence for what reason some information provided in the 1945 General Questionnaire for British/American Ex-Prisoners of War has not been released into the public domain; when he expects to be able to release that information; and if he will make a statement. 
Derek Twigg [holding answer 1 March 2007]: The surviving cache of War Office Directorate of Military Intelligence Liberated Prisoner of War Interrogation Questionnaires totalling more than 400 boxes was transferred to The National Archives (TNA) in 2004 into TNA class WO344. No information from these questionnaires remains closed in MOD.
Where allied prisoners of war reported that they had witnessed or obtained information about war crimes, supplementary questionnaires might have been completed. These Form Q questionnaires were often passed to war crime investigation units, and surviving files copies may be at TNA in classes WO235, WO309, WO310, WO311 and WO325.
In recent months around 500 files covering World War II war crime investigation have been transferred by MOD to TNA with another, final, transfer of 600 files due in the next few months. These files are known to contain a small number of Q questionnaires linked to specific war crime investigations.
Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) if he will update the committed and contingent figures in table 7 of Annexe B to Supporting Essay 6 of the Strategic Defence Review 1998; 
(2) what the estimated annual operating cost is of conventional forces (a) committed to the protection of Trident and (b) with a contingent role in the protection of Trident, calculated on the same basis as the figures provided in the answer to the hon. Member for Crawley of 2 November 1998, Official Report, columns 349-50W, on Trident. 
In addition to the four Vanguard-class submarines, all of which are dedicated to Military Task 1.2Nuclear Deterrencethe current planned force elements assigned to support nuclear deterrence are shown in the following table. The changes in both committed and contingent forces since publication of Supporting Essay 6 of the Strategic Defence Review
reflect the changing nature of the threat to the deterrent, and of our response to that threat as described in paragraphs 2.7 and 2.8 of the 2004 White Paper, Delivering Security in a Changing WorldFuture Capabilities (CM6269).
|Force element||Committed( l)||Contingent( 2)|
|(1) Force elements committed to the military task as their primary role|
(2) Force elements held contingent are assigned to a number of tasks and are not planned routinely to deploy in support of the deterrent.
We do not routinely calculate the operating cost of specific committed or contingent force elements in support of the deterrent, and such estimates are necessarily illustrative, given the differing cost of varied operating patterns. A broad order estimate, however, of the annual operating costs of committed conventional force elements would be around £25-30 million.
A similar estimate for contingent conventional force elements would be around £250-300 million, although this is the estimated cost of generating these force elements for a range of tasks and it is not the cost of support to the deterrent.
These estimated costs are not directly comparable to those given in 1998, as the calculation has been conducted on a different basis using a more recent methodology.
Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will identify the four warships of destroyer or frigate size and above at (a) low and (b) very low readiness due to their being in refit referred to in his letter of 12 February 2007 to the hon. Member for New Forest, East; and if he will identify the sixth such warship, other than those four vessels and HMS Invincible, which is also in such a readiness state. 
Mr. Ingram [holding answer 6 March 2007]: I refer the hon. Member to my letter of 6 March 2007, a copy of which has been placed in the Library of the House.
Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the future programme of activities is for (a) HMS Albion, (b) HMS Bulwark and (c) HMS Ocean. 
Mr. Ingram [holding answer 6 March 2007]: I am withholding the information as it would, or would be likely to, prejudice the security of our armed forces.
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