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25 Jun 2007 : Column 98W—continued


(b) From 2003, the Royal Navy reports that the number of surface ships that were deployed for more than four months in each of the corresponding years were:

Number

2003

40

2004

32

2005

34

2006

38

2007

41


Average fleet size over this period was around 72 ships (68 in 2003 to 77 in 2007). A more detailed breakdown could be provided at only disproportionate cost.


25 Jun 2007 : Column 99W

(c) The Royal Air Force does not deploy units in the same way as the Royal Navy and Army. The Royal Air Force allocates a tasking to an Expeditionary Air Wing for a given period of time to a given theatre of operations. An Air Wing once given the task will deploy personnel from a number of different squadrons on a trickle feed basis. Individual Separated Service figures are therefore used instead to measure turbulence and sustainability.

Armed Forces: Housing

Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how many armed forces personnel who have been discharged from service in the last 12 months are looking for housing; and if he will make a statement; [143959]

(2) how many armed forces personnel have been affected by the issue of local connection when looking for housing upon being discharged from service during the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement; [143960]

(3) how many armed forces personnel have reported being affected by housing shortages upon leaving the armed forces during the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement. [143961]

Derek Twigg: The Ministry of Defence does not hold the information requested.

On “local connection”, my hon. Friend the Minister for Housing and Planning and I announced on 21 June 2007, Official Report, columns 107-08WS, that the Government will be amending the housing legislation to ensure that Service personnel are put on an equal footing with others applying for social housing. Also, the MOD continues to work closely with DCLG and other partners to help prevent new Service leavers becoming homeless, and to provide a safety net for existing vulnerable and homeless ex-Service personnel.

Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how many calls were received by the Modern Housing Solutions helpdesk on each day from 1 November 2005 to 31 May 2007; what advice the Defence Housing Executive gave to Modern Housing Solutions on the number of calls that would be expected to be made each day to the Modern Housing Solutions helpdesk; and if he will make a statement; [144572]

(2) what estimate he has made of the average length of calls made to the Modern Housing Solutions helpdesk over the period 1 November 2005 and 31 May 2007. [144574]

Derek Twigg: The Modern Housing Solutions (MHS) helpdesk has been in operation since MHS began delivering services under the Housing Prime Contract (HPC) in January 2006. Details of the number of calls received per day for the period 1 January 2006 to 31 May 2007 and details of the average length of calls made to the helpdesk for each day for the period 14 March 2006 to 31 May 2007 have been placed in the Library of the House. Details of the average call length before 14 March are not available.

During the tendering process for the HPC the Department provided companies with details of a trial
25 Jun 2007 : Column 100W
helpdesk which ran for three years prior to the commencement of the HPC and covered service families accommodation (SFA) in the north of England. Details of that trial, including the number of calls were provided.

Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what qualifications are required of staff on the Modern Housing Solutions helpdesk; and how many of the staff employed between 1 November 2005 and 31 May 2007 are serving or former services personnel. [144573]

Derek Twigg: In recruiting helpdesk staff, Modern Housing Solutions takes account of previous experience, knowledge, skills, attitude and other competencies such as communication skills and a strong customer focus but no formal qualifications are required.

No service personnel are employed on the helpdesk. Information about previous membership of the armed services is not required from those working on the helpdesk, but there are several former service personnel (as well as spouses) employed within the helpdesk at different levels.

All helpdesk staff receive two weeks initial induction training as well as regular refresher training.

Armed Forces: Mental Health Services

Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many members of HM armed forces who (a) lost limbs, (b) suffered brain injury and (c) have been identified with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have received an appointment for psychiatric support within six months of injury in each of the last five years; how many have been waiting more than six months; and how many have not been referred. [142471]

Derek Twigg: Those service personnel who have received a serious physical injury are treated as a matter of priority, most often at the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine and then at the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre. As part of their hospital care, they will receive psychological assessment and, if necessary, treatment can commence. If required, patients can be referred later to a military Department of Community Mental Health (DCMH).

For those who do not have a serious physical injury, if their GP judges that they might be suffering from an operational related mental health condition (for example PTSD), then they will be referred to a DCMH for a detailed multidisciplinary assessment of their condition. If it is confirmed that the individual is suffering from a mental illness such as PTSD, they will receive specialist treatment at a DCMH or, if in-patient care is required, a Priory Group Facility.

Our mental health services operate in line with best practice to provide community-based mental health care. Our model for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) treatment meets the standards set by the independent National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence.


25 Jun 2007 : Column 101W

We have established 15 military DCMHs across the UK (plus satellite centres overseas) to provide out-patient mental health care. The MOD’s performance indicators require urgent cases to be seen within 24 hours and others within 20 working days of referral. The DCMHs function within these requirements and we are not aware of, nor would we expect there to be, any patients who had to wait in excess of six months for a referral.

It remains the case that medical discharge from the UK armed forces due to psychological illness is low. Out of almost 180,000 Regular Service personnel only about 150, or less than 0.1 per cent. are discharged annually for mental health reasons, whatever the cause. Of these, only 20 to 25 meet the criteria to be diagnosed with PTSD.

Armed Forces: Pay

Mr. Maples: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the ranges of pay are for all ranks in the armed services. [144169]

Derek Twigg: I refer the hon. Member to the Armed Forces Pay Review Body (AFPRB) and the independent Senior Salaries Review Body (SSRB) which are available in the Library of the House.

Armed Forces: Pensions

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the earliest age is at which a member of the armed services can receive a full pension; and if he will make a statement. [144274]

Derek Twigg: The expression ‘full pension’ is taken to mean a pension reflecting the maximum amount of reckonable service allowed under the pension scheme rules. As the majority of service personnel belong to either the armed forces pension scheme 1975 (AFPS 75) or the armed forces pension scheme 2005 (AFPS 05) my answer is in respect of those schemes.

Under AFPS 75 the most an officer can accrue is 34 years reckonable service from age 21 and, for another rank, the limit is 37 years reckonable service from age 18. The earliest that a full pension can be paid is age 55 and this full pension is worth 48.5 per cent. of representative pay.

Officers who leave having accrued at least 16 years reckonable service from age 21 under AFPS 75 and other ranks who leave having accrued at least 22 years from age 18 are entitled to a pension paid immediately upon discharge but this is a proportion of the full career pension. Those who leave with two or more years service but insufficient to qualify for this immediate pension are awarded a preserved pension payable at age 60 for service before 6 April 2006 and 65 for service after that date.

Under AFPS 05 the most that a member can accrue is 40 years reckonable service with no minimum age limit. The normal full pension entitlement is age 55. A full pension under AFPS 05 is worth just over 57 per cent. of final pensionable pay.

AFPS 05 members who leave before age 55 with two or more years reckonable service are entitled to a preserved pension payable at age 65. Those who have
25 Jun 2007 : Column 102W
given at least 18 years reckonable service and attained age 40 are eligible for payments from the early departure payments scheme. Their pensions are preserved until age 65.

Finally, members of the armed forces do not typically serve to age 55 or beyond. In 2005-06 approximately 10 per cent. of officers and approximately 7 per cent. of other ranks served long enough to receive a full pension.

Armed Forces: Radio Frequency Identification

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what use is made of radio frequency identifiers by the armed forces; and if he will make a statement. [145060]

Mr. Ingram: Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology is currently used by the armed forces solely in support of consignment tracking within the Joint Supply Chain.

Armed Forces: Recruitment

Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many people were recruited to (a) Phase One, (b) Phase Two and (c) Phase Three under the Army Recruiting and Training Division Statement of Training Requirement draft Man Plan in each of the last five years for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. [138744]

Derek Twigg [pursuant to the reply, 4 June 2007, Official Report, c . 164W]: The figure provided in the table for Input to Phase One in 2005-06 was incorrect and should have read 12,108. The following additional footnote should also have been provided:

Those who choose to join the Infantry complete a combined Phase One/Phase Two course called the Combat Infantry Course. They are shown in the Input to Phase One but as there is no separate entry to Phase Two they are not included in the Input to Phase Two figures.

Armed Forces: Training

Mr. Vara: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many members of foreign armed forces received (a) training and (b) hospitality at UK military establishments in each year since 2001, broken down by (i) nationality and (ii) reason for providing the training; and whether agreements applied to the provision of the training. [143682]

Mr. Ingram: Since April 2001 22,307 members of foreign armed forces from 148 countries have received training at military establishments in the United Kingdom. All of these individuals will have received some form of hospitality offered by the training establishment, ranging from a simple welcoming reception to the provision of MOD service accommodation. This applies to all course places whether they are part or fully paid for by MOD, or whether the country in question pays for the training itself. The provision of training places is governed by various Memoranda of Understanding and agreements. The principal objective of this training activity is to use British Defence assets to discourage hostility abroad, build and maintain trust between states, and assist in
25 Jun 2007 : Column 103W
the development of democratically accountable armed forces; thereby helping to make a significant contribution to conflict prevention and resolution.

The breakdown of countries receiving training, the total numbers of students trained by financial year, and
25 Jun 2007 : Column 104W
details of whether training is delivered under some form of agreement is tabulated as follows:


25 Jun 2007 : Column 105W

25 Jun 2007 : Column 106W

25 Jun 2007 : Column 107W

25 Jun 2007 : Column 108W
International defence training provided to overseas personnel since 2001
Country 2001-02 2002-03 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06( 1) 2006-07 2007-to date Agreements( 2)

Afghanistan

X

X

X

X

Yes

Albania

X

X

X

X

X

Yes

Algeria

X

X

X

X

X

X

Yes

Angola

X

X

X

X

Antigua and Barbuda

X

X

X

X

X

X

Yes

Argentina

X

X

X

X

X

X

Yes

Armenia

X

X

X

X

Australia

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Yes

Austria

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Yes

Azerbaijan

X

X

X

X

X

Bahamas

X

X

X

X

X

Bahrain

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Yes

Bangladesh

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Yes

Barbados

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Yes

Belgium

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Yes

Belize

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Yes

Bermuda

X

X

X

X

X

X

Bhutan

X

Bolivia

X

X

Bosnia-Herzegovina

X

X

Botswana

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Yes

Brazil

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Yes

Brunei

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Yes

Bulgaria

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Yes

Burundi

X

X

Canada

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Yes

Chile

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Yes

China

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Yes

Colombia

X

X

X

X

X

Yes

Congo

X

Cote D’Ivoire

X

Croatia

X

X

X

X

X

X

Yes

Czech Republic

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Yes

Democratic Rep. Congo

X

Denmark

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Yes

Djibouti

X

X

Ecuador

X

Egypt

X

X

X

X

X

X

Yes

Eritrea

X

X

Estonia

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Yes

Ethiopia

X

X

X

X

X

Falkland Islands

X

Fiji

X

X

X

X

X

Finland

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Yes

France

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Yes

Gabon

X

X

Gambia

X

X

X

X

X

Georgia

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Yes

Germany

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Yes

Ghana

X

X

X

X

X

X

Yes

Greece

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Yes

Grenada

X

Yes

Guatemala

X

X

X

X

X

X

Yes

Guyana

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Honduras

X

X

Hong Kong

0

0

0

0

X

X

X

Yes

Hungary

X

X

X

X

X

X

Yes

Iceland

X

X

X

X

India

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Yes

Indonesia

X

X

X

X

X

Yes

Iraq

X

X

X

X

X

Yes

Israel

X

X

X

X

X

X

Yes

Italy

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Yes

Jamaica

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Yes

Japan

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Yes

Jordan

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Yes

Kazakhstan

X

X

X

X

X

Yes

Kenya

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Yes

Korea

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Kuwait

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Yes

Kyrgyzstan

X

X

X

X

Yes

Latvia

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Yes

Lebanon

X

X

X

X

X

X

Yes

Lesotho

X

Libya

X

X

Yes

Lithuania

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Yes

Luxembourg

X

X

X

X

X

Macedonia

X

X

X

X

X

Yes

Malawi

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Yes

Malaysia

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Yes

Maldives

X

X

Malta

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Yes

Mauritania

X

X

Mauritius

X

X

X

X

Mexico

X

X

Moldova

X

X

X

X

X

X

Mongolia

X

Morocco

X

X

X

X

X

X

Yes

Mozambique

X

X

X

X

X

Namibia

X

X

X

X

X

Yes

NATO-Unspecified

X

X

Yes

Nepal

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Yes

Netherlands

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Yes

New Zealand

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Yes

Nigeria

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Yes

Norway

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Yes

Oman

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Yes

Pakistan

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Yes

Palestine

X

X

X

Panama

X

Papua New Guinea

X

X

Paraguay

X

X

Peru

X

X

X

X

Philippines

X

X

X

X

X

X

Poland

X

X

X

X

X

X

Yes

Portugal

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Yes

Qatar

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Yes

Republic of Ireland

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Yes

Romania

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Yes

Russia

X

X

X

X

X

X

Rwanda

X

X

X

X

Saudi Arabia

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Yes

Senegal

X

X

X

X

X

X

Serbia and Mont. (Inc. Kosovo)

X

X

X

X

X

X

Yes

Seychelles

X

X

X

X

X

X

Sierra Leone

X

X

X

X

X

X

Yes

Singapore

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Yes

Slovakia

X

X

X

X

X

X

Yes

Slovenia

X

X

X

X

X

X

Yes

South Africa

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Yes

Spain

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Yes

Sri Lanka

X

X

X

X

X

X

Yes

St. Kitts and Nevis

X

X

Yes

St. Lucia

X

Yes

St. Vincent and The Grenadines

X

X

X

X

X

Yes

Sudan

X

X

X

Swaziland

X

Sweden

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Yes

Switzerland

X

X

X

X

X

X

Yes

Syria

X

X

X

X

X

X

Tajikistan

X

Tanzania

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Thailand

X

X

X

X

X

X

Yes

Tonga

X

X

X

Trinidad and Tobago

X

X

X

X

X

X

Yes

Tunisia

X

X

X

X

Yes

Turkey

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Yes

Turkmenistan

X

Uganda

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Yes

Ukraine

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Yes

United Arab Emirates

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Yes

USA

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Yes

Uruguay

X

X

X

X

X

X

Yes

Uzbekistan

X

X

X

Venezuela

X

X

Vietnam

X

X

X

X

Yes

Virgin Islands

X

Yes

West Indies-Unspecified

X

X

Yemen

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Yes

Zambia

X

X

X

X

X

Totals

3,242

3,456

4,702

3,361

3,243

3,549

762

Total all years

22,307

(1 )2005-06 records may include countries invited on courses but not attending (change of database).
(2 )Agreements encompass both informal understandings and written agreements.
X = indicates forces personnel from that country attended training at UK military establishments.

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