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Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many apprentices were recruited into the Defence and Communication Services Agency technical apprenticeship scheme at (a) HMS Collingwood, (b) RAF Henlow and (c) Highbury College, Portsmouth in each year since 2003; what estimate he has made of the number of apprentices to be recruited in the next 12 months; and if he will make a statement. 
Derek Twigg: The D E and S Information Systems and Servicesformerly the Defence Communications Services Agencyceased to recruit new apprentices at RAF Henlow and Highbury College in 2002. Since 2003, 16 Apprentices have been recruited each year for the scheme run at HMS Collingwood. Based on the estimated requirements of the D E and S Information Systems and Services, it is planned to recruit 12 new apprentices in 2007.
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 3 May 2007, Official Report, column 1848W, on armed forces: cadets, when short service limited commissions were first introduced; and how many were granted since their introduction. 
The number of untrained officers who joined the Army on short service limited commissions between 1 April 1986, the earliest date for which information is available, and 31 March 2000, when these commissions were discontinued, is as follows:
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Mr. Roger Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the steps the Government are taking to reduce the backlog of military inquests for the fatalities of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. 
Location statistics may be compiled based on posted (stationed) location or deployed location. Posted (stationed) location is where an individual is permanently based. Deployed location is
where an individual is physically located on operations at a particular point in time and is typically used for short tours of duty.
The strength of UK regular forces posted outside the UK is available in Tri-Service Publication (TSP) 6Global Location of UK Regular Forces. However, due to the introduction of a new personnel administration system, TSP6 RAF location data for 1 April 2006 are provisional and subject to review, and after 1 April 2006 are not available. TSP6 naval service location data are not available after 1 October 2006.
Mr. Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on which occasions the (a) Commander in Chief Land, (b) General Officer Commanding Northern Ireland, (c) Adjutant General and (d) Chief of General Staff met journalists in the last 12 months. 
Derek Twigg: In the period 27 April 2006 to 27 April 2007 neither the Commander in Chief Land nor the General Officer Commanding Northern Ireland had any formal meetings with journalists. In the same period the Chief of the General Staff and his predecessor met with journalists on nine occasions, as did the Adjutant-General. The breakdown for these meetings is as shown:
15-18 May 2006Richard Norton-Taylor, Stryker McGuire, William Shawcross and Sarah SandsIraq visit.
25-28 June 2006Robert Fox, Sarah Sands and Con CoughlinArmed Forces Germany visit.
1-4 September 2006Sir Max Hastings and Ron MoreauArmed Forces Germany visit.
5 September 2006Defence Journalists ReceptionCavalry and Guards Club.
6 October 2006Final Parade and Review in Belfast for Home Service Battalions of the Royal Irish Regimenttribute interviewsvarious.
10 October 2006Interview with Sarah Sands.
11 October 2006Interview with Patience Wheatcroft.
8 December 2006Izzy Barnard (British Forces Broadcasting Service) and Mark Page (Garrison Radio).
13 March 2007BBCstatement regarding medical care to Armed forces personnel.
10 May 2006Sir Max Hastings.
19 June 2006John Elliot - (Editor Soldier Magazine)Blake Report Interview.
11 July 2006Interview with Andy Simms(Deputy Editor Soldier Magazine).
17 October 2006Sir Max Hastings.
4 December 2006Josette Lessor(Garrison Radio)Christmas message.
8 December 2006Rob WatsonDitchley Foundation.
3 January 2007BBC NewsDefence Estate issues.
5 January 2007Max HastingsSSAFA event.
7 March 2007Kate Adie.
Mr. Roger Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent assessment he has made of the rate of pay of (a) armed forces personnel and (b) those beginning a career in the armed forces. 
Des Browne: Pay rates for UK service personnel are recommended by the independent Armed Forces' Pay Review Body (AFPRB), which reports annually to the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for Defence. The AFPRB bases its recommendations on broad comparability with the pay of civilian occupations of similar job weight and responsibility within the UK.
I announced in my written ministerial statement on 2 March 2007, Official Report, column 106WS, the Government's acceptance in full of the recommendations contained in the 2007 AFPRB report and these took effect from 1 April 2007. The key recommendations were an increase in the basic military salary for officers and all other ranks of 3.3 per cent. and a targeted restructuring of pay range 1, which resulted in overall increases of between 6.2 per cent. and 9.4 per cent. for about 19,000 of the most junior trained service personnel on the lowest pay levels.
1,274 were new pension awards made, using data from the Compensation and Pension system that interfaces with the Joint Personnel Administration (JPA) system, in order to obtain data required for pension calculation and payment.
62 cases remain outstanding because information and/or application forms are awaited from units or individuals, in order for their pension entitlements to be calculated and paid. Wherever it is possible the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency assist and hasten units and individuals to ensure the necessary information is supplied in order to make payment.
Mr. Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence from which budget the cost of the Chief of the General Staffs attendance at the North East Economic forum was met; and how the Chief of the General Staff travelled to the event. 
[holding answer 14 May 2007]: The Chief of the General Staff attended the North East Economic Forum as a guest speaker. His travel arrangements for the day are shown as follows. All transport was provided by Ministry of Defence assets
and the associated costs were absorbed by the relevant budgetary areas. The visit gave rise to no external costs.
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Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Orkney and Shetland of 25 April 2007, Official Report, column 1115W, on ballistic missile defence: USA, what legal advice he has received on the compatibility of the upgrading of RAF Fylingdales in support of the USA Ballistic Missile Defence System with the UK's obligations under the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, Article 1. 
Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to his answer of 30 April 2007, Official Report, column 1461W, on the Defence and Communications Services Agency, for what reasons the schemes that trained in a commercial environment through civilian technical colleges were transferred to HMS Collingwood; and if he will make a statement. 
Derek Twigg: In 2002, a review of DCSA Apprentice Training recommended the letting of a single out-sourced contract to replace the existing schemes based at the DCSA Training Centre Henlow and Bedford College (part in-house, part contracted out) and at Highbury College Portsmouth (contracted out). An Investment Appraisal concluded that a single outsourced model offered the Agency more flexibility to determine the size of future apprentice intake and also offered long term financial savings. Following Management Board approval, my endorsement of the proposal in December 2002, and TU Consultation, an Invitation To Tender (ITT) was, therefore, issued. Flagship Training, based at HMS Collingwood won the competition.
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