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Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many RAF (a) C-17 Globemaster, (b) C-130K Hercules, (c) C-130J Hercules, (d) Tristar and (e) VC-10 aircraft will be used for the upcoming EU mission to Chad/Central African Republic. 
Derek Twigg: MOD has a very wide range of mechanisms available to support the families of Service personnel with their childcare needs, including while Service personnel are deployed on operations. In particular, we have recently introduced a childcare voucher scheme to assist personnel with the cost of childcare. In the UK, though local authorities and devolved administrations have the lead responsibility for facilitating access to appropriate childcare, many Service locations also have onsite childcare provision tailored for the Service community. This is particularly the case in many overseas locations where the MOD takes the lead in service provision. Service families seeking childcare can access information through the MOD HIVE Information Service and, in UK, through the normal childcare information services. All of these services continue to be available to families while Service personnel are deployed.
In addition, the armed forces have welfare and community support staffs that focus on providing additional support and guidance to the Service community, including childcare development. They and other support groups, such as the Families Federations, are available throughout periods of deployment.
Ultimately, the care of their children must remain the personal responsibility of all Service parents regardless of deployment. This includes a requirement to make plans in advance to cater for their families during any deployments. However, in exploring further ways in which they can be supported in this, the Department is completing a review of the provision of childcare across the armed forces and plans to publish a new MOD childcare policy in early 2008.
Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the cost was of providing legal representation for (a) the families of servicemen and women killed on operations which were paid for by his Department and (b) his Department at coroners' inquests in the last 12 months for which figures are available. 
Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many departmental personnel on average attended coroners' inquests into the deaths of a serviceman or woman in the last 12 months for which figures are available. 
The Ministry of Defence (MOD) is keen to support coroners in the conduct of their statutory duty to inquire into certain deaths. The level of MOD attendance at the inquests into the deaths of service personnel will vary depending on the circumstances of the death, and the roles of those attending are varied.
The Ministry of Defence provides the family of a deceased service person with a dedicated visiting officer to support them through their bereavement and it is usual for visiting officers to attend inquests as part of their duties. On occasion, other welfare support staff will also attend to assist the families; each case varies and is largely dependent on the wishes of the families.
An inquest into a road traffic accident on public roads in the UK may have only one or two MOD personnel attending, made up of the family's visiting officer and, as needed, an officer to report on the proceedings and findings. For more complex inquests, there is a greater level of attendance; this may include MOD service and civilian personnel who have been called as witnesses, as well as MOD subject matter experts provided to assist the coroner to establish the facts around more complex areas such as operational or technical issues. The MOD may also have support staff for witnesses and a press officer in attendance on some occasions.
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The Apache was first deployed to Afghanistan in April 2006. The current operational tour length for Apache crews is six months, which is generally split into two three-month deployments separated by a three month gap. As of May 2008, operational tours for Apache crews will last for four uninterrupted months.
Patrick Mercer: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of the number of armed forces marriages that broke down in each year since 2001; and what support his Department provides for armed forces marriages in circumstances where services personnel are absent for long periods of time on training activities or deployment. 
The MOD places a very high priority on the welfare of its service personnel and their families. There are a range of measures in place designed to support marriages for all service personnel and their families including the provision of service family accommodation, and a range of pastoral and welfare services where service families can go for advice and support at all times. This includes close links with organisations such as RELATE.
Support to armed forces personnel deployed away from their home base is primarily through the Chain of Command, supported by service religious leaders and medical staff where appropriate. Service welfare staff remain available in home base locations to support families during deployments of service personnel.
Additional support for those on operational deployments and certain overseas exercises include briefings before and during deployment, free telephone calls, e-blueys' and internet access to facilitate communication, extra travel allowances available to dependants and close family members and welfare grants to assist parent units to fund group welfare activities and facilities. Local commanders retain discretion to return service personnel from theatre for welfare reasons. When service personnel return from operations they receive post operational leave (20 days for a six-month tour), which enables them to spend quality time with their families and friends.
Sir Paul Beresford: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what contribution the Government have made to the appeal to build a new gym and fitness pool for injured military personnel at the Headley Court Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre in Mole Valley. 
A new charity, Help for Heroes, with the support of a local business Arkenis, advised us in the summer of their plans to launch an appeal for funds to build a new rehabilitation complex, including a gym and swimming pool, at the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre, Headley Court. The project would provide a very welcome enhancement of existing
facilities, which currently include five gyms and a hydrotherapy pool. We are working closely with the charity to establish how we can best blend their generous offer of assistance with existing plans for improving facilities at Headley Court, a site which is itself owned by a charitable trust. This is yet another example of the third sector compliementing the work of the public sector in providing support to our people by working together.
Derek Twigg: A review of the UK's military hospitals as part of the 1994 Defence costs study confirmed that they were no longer able to provide the volume and range of cases essential to train our medical personnel in the advancing medical skills needed for their essential operational roles. The majority of the hospitals were closed during the 1990s, with the training needs of Defence Medical Services personnel being managed through Ministry of Defence hospital units (MDHUs) established within NHS hospitals at Derriford, Frimley Park, Peterborough, Portsmouth, Northallerton, and at the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine (RCDM) at University Hospital Birmingham Foundation Trust (UHBFT).
It was originally intended to retain the Royal Hospital Haslar, Gosport, as the tri-service core hospital, primarily to train military medical personnel for their operational role. But the volume and range of cases did not occur, and in December 1998 the Government announced their decision to phase out Haslar and consolidate training within the NHS, building on the establishment of the MDHUs.
Clinical management of Haslar passed to the Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust in 2001, and it has not been a military hospital as such since that time. We continued to be responsible for the management of the site until March 2007, when this responsibility also passed to the trust. It is still owned by the MOD and will continue to function, under a partnership arrangement with the NHS Portsmouth Hospitals Trust, until late 2009 when clinical services, along with NHS and some military staff, will transfer to the redeveloped Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham, Portsmouth.
The Duchess of Kent's Psychiatric Hospital at Catterick, closed in December 2003, with subsequent inpatient mental health care for service personnel being provided by a contract with the Priory Group.
While not a full-scale military hospital, the Duke of Connaught Unit, located in the grounds of Musgrave Park Hospital, Belfast, provides a restricted range of inpatient secondary care to military patients, and Defence Medical Services nurses and health care assistants work at the unit.
Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many properties are rented as substitute service family accommodation and substitute single living accommodation in each region; and at what cost. 
Derek Twigg: MOD is required to accommodate entitled personnel within 10 miles of their duty station (or 20 miles with permission of their service commander). Where no suitable service family accommodation (SFA) can be found, substitute SFA is offered within the appropriate distance from a duty station.
Substitute single service accommodation (SSSA) is granted to entitled personnel requiring single accommodation when single living accommodation (SLA) is not available at or close to an individuals place of work.
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