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Derek Twigg: The Department has made 35 statutory instruments since 1 October 2006. The information requested about the number of instruments which have been revoked in the period could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Derek Twigg: The Defence Management Board normally holds awayday meetings twice a year at Defence locations, to review in an informal setting strategic issues facing the Department. The locations and net additional costs of the last four awaydays are set out in the following table:
Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Veterans' Badges have been issued by the Veterans Agency; what estimate he has made of the number of people who are entitled to receive such badges; what plans he has for further publicity relating to the badges; and if he will make a statement. 
Derek Twigg: The Veterans Policy Unit administered HM armed forces veterans badges from May 2004 until 17 April 2005. During this period 82,000 badges were issued. Since 18 April 2005 the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency have been responsible for the badge administration and have issued 461,212.
Every HM armed forces veteran, approximately 4.8 million, is entitled to the HM armed forces badge. The eligibility to apply for the HM armed forces veteran's badge and UK merchant seafarers veteran's badge is advertised on the service personnel and Veterans Agency website:
It has also been publicised through Government and ex-service organisation publications, local and national press articles and through badge-presentation ceremonies. Opportunities to provide further publicity for the scheme are continually sought. Currently badge applications have been invited from personnel who served prior to 31 December 1994 and an announcement of the next extension of eligibility to apply for the badges will be made in the near future, which will bring future publicity.
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the status is of the licence his Department has applied for to the Dartmoor National Park Authority to use Dartmoor for military training from 2012; and if he will make a statement. 
Derek Twigg: The Ministry of Defence (MOD) does not require a licence from Dartmoor National Park Authority in order to use Dartmoor for military training. However, the MOD does hold licences to train on privately owned land within the Dartmoor national park, this includes a licence granted by the Duchy of Cornwall which expires in 2012. We are currently undertaking an environmental appraisal in order to inform prospective renegotiation.
Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answers of 26 November 2007, Official Report, columns 39-41W, on fisheries: Navy, (1) for what reasons the recall of the river class offshore patrol vessels between 15 and 19 June 2007 due to a davit failure was not classified as lost patrol days; and if he will make a statement; 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: Structural deformation of HMS Mersey's davit occurred during routine safety testing during a planned maintenance period in June 2007. In consultation with all the regulatory authorities it was concluded that a structural modification was required to ensure continued safe operation of the davits on all three vessels. The modification was completed and all three vessels were able to resume their operational duty within seven days. No further problems have been experienced.
The programmed fishery patrol days not undertaken as a result of this maintenance period were rescheduled and the number of patrol days agreed in the contract between the MOD and DEFRA will be achieved.
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: On present plans, which are routinely reviewed, the Type 22 frigates will begin to leave service around the middle of the next decade. HMS Cornwall will be withdrawn in 2015, followed by HMS Campbeltown and HMS Cumberland in 2017, then finally HMS Chatham in 2018.
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence with reference to the answer of 9 October 2007, Official Report, columns 437-8W, on Iraq: overseas aid; how much of the £744 million the Government have allocated to Iraq came from his Department. 
Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the average length of time to evacuate soldiers with brain injuries to neurosurgical facilities is in (a) Iraq and (b) Afghanistan. 
Derek Twigg: In both Iraq and Afghanistan, for all serious operational injuries that require treatment in a field hospital, our doctrine is to provide emergency battlefield care within the first hour after wounding, andfor those requiring further treatmentwithin two hours to have transported every casualty to a UK or coalition field hospital.
In Iraq, we routinely adhere to this two-hour to surgery limit, although in Afghanistan, where the distances can be significantly greater, we may, if appropriate, deploy a medical emergency response team (MERT) directly to the casualty, enabling advanced medical care to be provided at the point of wounding. An analysis of MERT timelines in Afghanistan over a 13-month period from May 2006 to June 2007 showed that the median time from injury to handover at the field hospital emergency department for all UK military casualties requiring emergency care and life-saving surgery was one hour 39 minutes.
On arrival at the field hospital, the clinical condition of the casualty will be assessed by the surgical team, and a decision made as to the most appropriate course of action. This could include provision of immediate surgery in the field hospital; aeromedical evacuation casualty to the UK following stabilisation of their condition; or transfer to another coalition field hospital facility.
In Iraq, the nearest specialist neurosurgical facilities are available at the US medical facilities at the Balad
airbase. If it is assessed that this is the most appropriate course of action, UK casualties may be transferred there from the UK field hospital at Basrah. The average transfer time to Balad is one hour 20 minutes by fixed-wing aircraft or three hours by helicopter.
In Afghanistan, neurosurgical facilities are currently available in the UK role 2 (enhanced) field hospital at Camp Bastion, consisting of one neurosurgeon, one anaesthetist and two intensive treatment unit nurses.
Derek Twigg: In Iraq, direct voice communication is available between all fixed medical treatment facilities (MTFs) and the UKs role 2 (enhanced) field hospital, located at the contingency operating base, Basrah. Electronic text communication is also available through MOD's defence information infrastructure (DII).
In Afghanistan, all MTFs have direct voice communications with the role 2 (enhanced) field hospital at Camp Bastion (the UK military base in Helmand Province) through either fixed or satellite communication systems. Electronic text communications facilities are available at principal operating bases.
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what reports his Department has produced since 2003 on the effects combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan have had on equipment readiness; and if he will place in the Library a copy of each report. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: With regard to Iraq, I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 19 November 2007, Official Report, column 480W. With regard to Afghanistan, the Directorate of Operational Capability has to date produced two volumes of its Lessons Report on Operation Herrick. I am withholding these reports as their release would, or would be likely to, prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of our armed forces.
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: There are currently eight UK personnel based in Camp Arifjan in Kuwait. One liaison officer is stationed with the headquarters at the Coalition Forces Land Component Command, with the remaining seven staff located at either the operational stand-down facility or the local resources section. These figures do not include those temporarily deployed in connection with roulements or other temporary support activities.
Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many breaches of security were reported at his Departments bases and headquarters in each of the last five years; how many (a) arrests and (b) prosecutions resulted; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: This information will take time to be collated as the data will have to be obtained from different areas of the Department. I will write to the hon. Member when the information has been compiled and place a copy of my reply in the Library of the House.
I undertook to write to you in response to your Parliamentary Question on 21 November 2007, (Official Report, column 899W) about the number of breaches of security at MOD establishments for the last five years and the resulting arrests and prosecutions.
I have taken your question as relating to reported physical incursions onto the Defence estate in the UK. The figures in the table below therefore cover a range of sites from the main Departmental and Service establishments to storage and maintenance depots. An incursion can involve an individual or a group of individuals and can arise from a breach of the security fence, trespass on MOD property, unauthorised entry and infiltration onto a site and will typically include protester, criminal and vandal activity.
Figures on arrests and prosecutions relate to Aggravated Trespass and Criminal Trespass are detailed in the following table. The great majority of the arrests related to anti-nuclear and anti-Iraq war protests, 2003 being the end of a period of several years of a high level of protest activity. Information on arrests and prosecutions dealt with by local constabularies could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
|(1) Until 22 November|
The degree of protection required at MOD sites will vary from site to site and area to area according to the threat, location and the nature of the establishment and it would therefore be inappropriate to give all establishments equal protection. Security measures are informed by threat assessments, derived from available intelligence. They involve risk management decisions, taking into account the effectiveness and proportionality of available countermeasures. We have to accept that guaranteed security against all forms of incursion is not achievable. It would not, for instance, be realistic to attempt to secure the outer perimeters of any MOD site to a level that would guarantee that it could never be penetrated, or to exclude the possibility of material damage in a non-sensitive area. We
rely on defence in depth, with priority being given to the protection of life and those assets critical to the delivery of defence capability.
I can assure you that we continue to strive to adapt and improve the security measures already in place so that they meet the evolving threat. As part of this continuous review of security 13 MOD sites and three MOD licensed nuclear sites were designated for protection by a new offence of criminal trespass, under the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 on 1 April 2006. The number of incursions at these sites has reduced significantly, and the number of prosecutions has increased as a result of this added protection.
I am placing a copy of my letter in the Library of the House.
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