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24 Oct 2007 : Column 330Wcontinued
Mr. Ellwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many frontline personnel were casualty evacuations during 12 Brigades operational tour in Helmand Province. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth [ h olding answer 23 October 2007]: The Relief in Place of 12 Mechanised Brigade is not yet complete. In the period 12 April 2007 to 10 October 2007, 213 personnel were aeromedically evacuated from units of 12 Mechanised Brigade during their operational tour.
During the same period, a further 131 individuals, including UK personnel serving under the wider ISAF force structure, civilians, contractors and other military personnel serving on secondment or attachment with other units deployed to theatre, were aeromedically evacuated.
Both sets of figures include aeromedical evacuation for all reasons, including battle injuries, non-battle injuries, illness and disease.
The MOD publishes casualty details for Afghanistan on its website under the following URL:
Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what definition he uses of killed in theatre; and whether it is used of those who sustain injuries in theatre but who die later. 
Des Browne: We do not routinely use the term killed in theatre. The operational fatality figures published by the Department include those personnel who died as a direct result of injuries sustained in the operational theatre, but who were evacuated elsewhere prior to their death.
Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether the Treaty between the Government and the US Administration concerning defence trade co-operation includes transfers of component parts for (a) national missile defence and (b) nuclear weapons systems. 
Des Browne: The detailed arrangements for the Defence Trade Co-operation Treaty are still under negotiation. The Treaty will operate alongside the existing UK export control regime and transfers of controlled components will be subject to the current arrangements. Controls on exports from the United States are a matter for the US Government.
Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent discussions he has had with the US Administration on the stationing of interceptor missiles at USAF Lakenheath or other US bases in the UK; and if he will make a statement. 
Des Browne: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave on 17 October 2007, Official Report, column 1116W, to the hon. Member for Harrogate and Knaresborough (Mr. Willis).
Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what strategic military capabilities his Department will seek to develop in the next 10 years. 
Des Browne: Details of the future military capabilities can be found in the 2003 Defence White Paper, Delivering Security in a Changing World (Cm 6041-1) and Delivering Security in a Changing WorldFuture Capabilities (Cm 6269) published in July 2004.
We continue to keep future capabilities under review through our regular planning process.
Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what factors are taken into account by Defence Estate officials when reviewing in detail the background to a charity event to be held on defence property; what factors were taken into account in carrying out this function in respect of the Sergeant Biddiss Charity event held at RAF Brize Norton; and when officials decided to waive the liability charge for that event. 
Derek Twigg: Each case would be considered on its merits. In the case of the specific event referred to, the main factor considered by officials in deciding to waive the nominal charge was the nature of the charitable event. The decision to waive the liability charge on a Defence Estates license was taken on Friday 30 March 2007.
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what guidance his Department follows on the maximum time taken to respond to hon. Members correspondence; and what performance against that target was in the most recent period for which figures are available. 
Derek Twigg: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster on 22 October 2007, Official Report, column 45W.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many websites his Department operates; how many it operated at 1 January 2005; and what the estimated annual cost has been of running his Department's websites in the last five years. 
Derek Twigg: The Ministry of Defence and armed forces collectively maintain four corporate websites. Identified direct expenditure on running these in the last five years was as follows:
|Annual expenditure (£)|
(1) Cost for site management only
(2) Includes £64,000 cost of running two sites during transition
(3) This was erroneously shown as the cost for 2006-07 in the table10 May 2007, Official Report, column 348W.
(4) Includes cost of re-launch.
In accordance with the Cabinet Office-led programme of website rationalisation, the MOD is progressively reducing the number of other websites maintained by business units within the Department. On 1 January 2005 MOD and the armed forces collectively maintained eight corporate websites, which have now been reduced to the four listed above. In phase one of the Cabinet Office-led web rationalisation programme MOD identified 44 additional sites, which have now been reduced to 31. I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 10 May 2007, Official Report, columns 348-52W, to the right hon. Member for Maidenhead (Mrs. May) which gave the costs of running sites in this category in 2006-07. A further 18 sites, now reduced to 17, were identified within the scope of phase 2 of the web rationalisation programme. Further reductions are planned between now and 2010. Costs for these sites could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
In addition, there are numerous individual unit, regiment, charity, sports and recreation sites, which are maintained independently by the organisations in question and are not classed as part of the corporate websites maintained by the Department. Lists of these sites could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make it his policy, when answering a written question by reference to written answers previously given by him or junior Defence Ministers to hon. Members other than the one tabling the current question, to enclose a copy of the past written answer or answers referred to with the reply. 
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the alternative arrangements for electricity are at (a) GCHQ and (b) AWE Aldermaston in the event of a catastrophic failure of the National Grid; and if he will make a statement. 
Derek Twigg: Robust arrangements are in place at AWE to ensure the continued safety and security of operations in the event of the failure of electrical supplies. These include multiple-point connection to the national grid and the capability for on-site electricity generation.
Information on arrangements at GCHQ is a matter for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
Mr. Spellar: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 8 October 2007, Official Report, column 71W, on Iraq: armed forces, what changes were made to plans agreed before the invasion as a consequence of the flexibility to respond to events. 
Des Browne [ holdi ng answer 22 October 2007]: The details of planning remain confidential. Planning was reviewed on a regular basis and adapted in light of developments on the ground in Iraq.
Mr. Blunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his estimate is of the number of incidents of intersectional violence in Basra in (a) July, (b) August and (c) September. 
Des Browne [holding answer 15 October 2007]: Overall reported crime rates for September in Basra remain at a similar level to previous months, and where security incidents have occurred the Iraqi Security Forces have demonstrated their ability to deal with them swiftly and effectively. It is not practicable to determine whether each act of violence is politically or criminally motivated but our assessment is that sectarianism is not a major factor in Southern Iraq.
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how many times British or coalition military forces have intervened militarily in (a) Maysan, (b) Dhi Qar and (c) Al Muthanna since the handover to the Iraqi Government; 
(2) who will make the decision for any British military intervention in (a) Maysan, (b) Dhi Qar and (c) Al Muthanna; 
(3) under what conditions British forces would be expected to intervene in (a) Maysan, (b) Dhi Qar and (c) Al Muthanna. 
As the Prime Minister outlined in his statement to the House on 8 October, once Basra province has transitioned to Provincial Iraqi Control, UK forces would only re-intervene in any of the provinces within Multi-National Division South East
at the specific request of the Government of Iraq or where action is necessary for the self-defence of coalition forces.
Since Maysan, Dhi Qar and Al Muthanna provinces transitioned to Provincial Iraqi Control, on no occasion have coalition forces been required directly to re-intervene, as the Iraqi security forces have been able to deal with the isolated incidences of violence that have occurred. On occasion, at the request of the Iraqi Government, coalition forces have, however, provided limited support to Iraqi security operations in these provinces.
Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many members of the Territorial Army have been killed in operations in (a) Iraq and (b) Afghanistan since 2003. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth [pursuant to the reply, 17 October 2007, Official Report, c. 1118W]: I incorrectly stated that the number of Territorial Army personnel killed in Iraq since 2003 was four, the correct figure was five. The error occurred due to a misinterpretation of operational casualty records.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will place in the Library a copy of the NATO and Egypt Individual Cooperation Programme. 
Des Browne: I am withholding the information as its release would, or would be likely to prejudice international relations.
Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether Territorial Army personnel on weekend training are expected to pay for their meals. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: In general, reserve forces personnel working at their parent unit (or Territorial Army Headquarters) who are in receipt of full-time pay or over eight hours daily rate of pay are treated as full-time service personnel and therefore pay for their food. However, personnel on exercise being fed under field conditions do not pay for their food.
Sarah McCarthy-Fry: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on how many occasions over the last 12 months Royal Navy ships ported in Devonport have been required to sail to Portsmouth or Marchwood in order to undertake ammunitioning or de-ammunitioning activity. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: During the past 12 months, ammunitioning or de-ammunitioning support has been provided at HM Naval Base Portsmouth or Marchwood Military Port to five Royal Navy ships that are base-ported at HM Naval Base Devonport.
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on how many occasions during the last 12 months Royal Navy or Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessels
have been required to remain outside Devonport harbour and await entry to the port due to tidal window or other movement restrictions. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: Arrival and departure times at Devonport harbour are adjusted regularly to allow vessel movements to take place with the minimum of disruption. Over the last 12 months, only one Royal Navy or Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) vessel, RFA Largs Bay, was required to remain outside of the harbour due to movement restrictions and the availability of berths.
Sarah McCarthy-Fry: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on how many occasions over the last two years it was necessary to divert Royal Navy or Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessels due alongside in Devonport to other commercial or military ports as a result of tidal window or other restrictions. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: Over the last two years, only one Royal Navy vessel was diverted from HM Naval Base Devonport. In February 2007, HMS Ocean was transferred to HM Naval Base Portsmouth due to the unavailability of a Devonport berth for unplanned defect rectification.
Sarah McCarthy-Fry: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on how many occasions during the last 12 months it was necessary to stop Royal Navy or Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessel movements within Devonport harbour as a result of poor visibility due either to fog, rain or high winds. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: Disruption to routine sailings due to adverse weather conditions is not routinely recorded although it is estimated that during the last 12 months there were six occasions when Royal Navy or Royal Fleet Auxiliary movements were disrupted within Devonport harbour as a result of poor visibility due to fog, rain or high winds.
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