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6 Dec 2007 : Column 1400Wcontinued
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what units form the UKs commitment to the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps. 
Des Browne: Only those units which are integral to HQ Allied Rapid Reaction Corps (ARRC) or under operational command of Commander ARRC on a peace-time basis are actually committed to it. Most UK formations and units on which HQ ARRC might draw for operations are affiliated for training, doctrine development, communication and other purposes, but not permanently assigned to, or commanded by, HQ ARRC. The integral and affiliated HQ ARRC units are listed as follows.
1 (UK) Signals Brigade (includes the ARRC Support Battalion)
12 (UK) Signals Group
Postal and Courier Support (99 Postal and Courier Squadron Royal Logistic Corps)
Operational Intelligence Support Group/UK National Intelligence Cell/12 Military Intelligence Company
Command and Liaison Flight (12 Fleet Army Air Corps)
Geographic Section (14 Geographic Squadron Royal Engineers)
1(UK) Artillery Brigade
16 Air Assault Brigade
Multinational Engineer Brigade (based on 8 (UK) Force Engineer Brigade)
Engineer Battalion (2) (Not identifiedwould be identified through force generation if/when required)
Electronic Warfare Battalion (14 Signal Regt)
Special Operations Forces
Joint Helicopter Force
Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defence Regiment (Joint CBRN Regiment)
Electronic Warfare Coordination Cell (from 14 Signal Regiment)
Engineer Works Team
Port Regiment (17 Port and Maritime Regiment Royal Logistic Corps)
Movement Control Company Battalion (162 Movement Control Regiment Royal Logistic Corps)
Transport and Support Group (based on HQ 2 Multinational Logistic Support Group)
Medical Group (based on 2(UK) Medical Brigade)
ARRC Multinational Military Police Battalion (based on Royal Military Police Battalion HQ)
Recovery Company (Not identifiedwould be identified through force generation if/when required)
1(UK) Armoured Division (Includes 4 (UK) Mechanised Brigade, 7 (UK) Armoured Brigade, 20 (UK) Armoured Brigade)
3 (UK) Mechanised Division (Includes 1 (UK) Mechanised Brigade, 12 (UK) Mechanised Brigade, 19 (UK) Light Brigade
Rear Area Security Brigade HQ
Mechanised Battalions (2) (Not identifiedwould be identified through force generation if/when required)
Reconnaissance Company (Not identifiedwould be identified through force generation if/when required)
Artillery Battalion (Not identifiedwould be identified through force generation if/when required)
Engineer Battalion (Not identifiedwould be identified through force generation if/when required)
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many miles of the Afghanistan Ring road run through the British Area of Operations (AO) in Regional Command South; what assessment he has made of the security of the Ring Road in Britains AO; what percentage of the Ring Road in Britains AO is paved; and if he will make a statement. 
Des Browne: A total of 86 miles of the Afghan ring road lies within the British Area of Operations in Helmand Province. The entire road within Helmand is paved. Security along the route is kept under constant review. There have been a small number of isolated attacks carried out on vehicles using the ring road by insurgents and criminal elements, but it remains an effective communication route.
Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what factors were taken into account in deciding the production and delivery timetable of (a) future rapid effects system utility and (b) reconnaissance vehicles; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: Our planning work has been and will continue to be driven by operational priorities, taking account of the experience of current operation, and planned future operations. The Department's first priority remains the delivery of the utility vehicle family. After that, the procurement of a successor reconnaissance vehicle is particularly important.
Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what conflict scenario the future rapid effects system has been designed for. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: FRES will provide a rapid intervention capability and will also have wide utility across the spectrum of conflict, supporting three main types of operation:
Peacekeeping and peace enforcement operations;
High intensity war-fighting operations.
Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 29 October 2007, Official Report, column 953W, on Armoured Fighting Vehicles: Afghanistan, what other new protected vehicles are required to make up the total number of Mastiff vehicles to 400. 
Des Browne: As I explained in my answer of 29 October 2007, Official Report, column 953W, we plan to procure some 280 Mastiff vehicles. In addition, we are planning to procure over 170 Vector vehicles, bringing the overall total of new protected patrol vehicles to over 400.
Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the allocation of funding is for each future rapid effects system utility vehicle. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: I am withholding the information as its disclosure would prejudice commercial interests.
Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence for what reason there are no Army figures for 1 July 2007 published on the Defence Analytical Services Agency TSP 09. 
Derek Twigg: Army personnel figures at 1 July 2007 were not published on 3 September due to ongoing data validation from the new Joint Personnel Administration (JPA) system. This is necessary to ensure the statistics are of the quality required of a National Statistics output, and do not mislead the public.
Figures for the rank structure of the Army at 1 October 2007 were published in Tri-Service Publication (TSP) 9: UK Regular Forces Rank Structure, on 3 December 2007. A revised 1 July 2007 version, which will include Army figures, was also be published on 3 December 2007.
Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether the BAE Systems Barrow-in-Furness yard has the capacity to build eight Astute class submarines on time for the programme for building successor submarines to those carrying the nuclear deterrent. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth [holding answer 19 November 2007]: We are working closely with industry to deliver a sustainable UK submarine programme. The Barrow-in-Furness yard remains the centre of excellence for submarine construction in the UK, however the production capacity at the facility is a matter for BAES.
In respect of the Successor programme, as was stated in December 2006 in The Future of the United Kingdoms Nuclear Deterrent (Cm 6994), it would be our intention to build the new SSBNs in the UK. This will be dependent on proposals from industry that provide the right capability, at the right time and offer value for money.
Willie Rennie: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of the cost of repairing the Astute submarine damaged during routine tests. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth [holding answer 3 December 2007]: Work is ongoing to identify the full extent of damage. The repair cost will be agreed when the scope of the recovery programme has been determined.
Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a public apology for the death of Baha Mousa in British custody in Iraq; and what related remedial steps he has taken since the completion of court proceedings on the case. 
Des Browne: The death of Mr. Baha Mousa is a matter of deep regret to the Ministry of Defence. I will make a statement in the new year, after taking account of representations from the lawyers representing Mr. Mousas family about the nature of any further inquiries that would be necessary to ensure relevant lessons are learned. It would therefore be inappropriate for me to make any further comment at this stage.
In February 2005, the then Chief of the General Staff announced that he had appointed a senior Army officer, Brigadier Aitken, to assess what lessons the Army needed to learn in light of deliberate abuse against Iraqi civilians. My predecessor, my right hon. Friend the Member for Ashfield (Mr. Hoon), gave an undertaking that the findings of the resulting report would be made public. I expect to announce the publication of those findings in due course.
Mr. Moore: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the state of readiness of NATOs Balkans Operational Reserve Force; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth
[holding answer 4 December 2007]: The NATO pan-Balkans Operational Reserve Force, currently made up of a battalion from the UK, Germany and Italy, continues to provide the necessary stand-by capability to reinforce both KFOR in Kosovo (in support of the NATO-led Operation Joint Enterprise) and EUFOR in Bosnia and Herzegovina (in support of the EU-led Operation Althea). The UK continues to work with our
EU and NATO partners to deliver peaceful progress in the Balkan region. However, if force commanders judge military reinforcements are required, the UK is prepared to meet its responsibilities as the provider of the highest readiness (four days notice to move) reserve battalion from 1 January 2008.
Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what role the Land Management Services Budget Manager of Defence Estates Operation South has in reviewing procedures for waiving liability charges for charities holding events on his Departments property. 
Derek Twigg: The Land Management Services Budget Manager of Defence Estates Operation South does not have a role in reviewing procedures for waiving liability charges for charities holding events on Ministry of Defence property.
Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much his Department has charged charitable organisations for events held on departmental property in each of the last 10 years for which figures are available. 
Derek Twigg: This information is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans his Department has to discuss a European defence capabilities charter with his EU counterparts. 
Des Browne: Our objective is to enhance the separate defence capabilities of European nations, so that Europe can play a more effective role in reducing conflict and reinforcing peace. We are therefore encouraging partners rapidly to develop the more effective, deployable, interoperable and sustainable forces required for current and likely future operations. These capabilities would be available for, and enhance, multilateral crisis interventions, including those delivered through the NATO and the UN.
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the estimated budget is for his Departments headquarters refurbishment project for each of the next 10 years. 
Derek Twigg: The estimated budget for the provision of fully serviced office accommodation in the Ministry of Defences main building and old War Office building is set out in the following table.
These figures (VAT inclusive) cover the costs for the major redevelopment of the main building, as well as for the ongoing provision of services. The planned closure of the old War Office building will be fully reflected in future budgets.
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