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4 Mar 2008 : Column 2339W—continued

Afghanistan: Armed Forces

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the (a) size and (b) capability is of the (i) Afghan National Army and (ii) Afghan National Police. [190893]

Des Browne: The Afghan National Army (ANA) has approximately 50,000 soldiers trained, equipped and deployed. It is capable of both joint combat operations alongside the international forces deployed in Afghanistan, and company level independent operations—as demonstrated in the recapture of Musa Qaleh.

The Afghan National Police (ANP) is currently over 74,000 strong, but its level of capability is lower than in the ANA. Both the ANA and ANP require further training and mentoring to enable them to operate more effectively.

Afghanistan: Peacekeeping Operations

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the security situation in Kabul. [190666]

Des Browne: Although the number of violent incidents occurring in Kabul increased from 2006 to 2007, it remains low relative to the provinces in the south and east where the insurgency is stronger. However, the proportion of incidents in Kabul involving suicide attacks has increased markedly over the past 12 months.

Aircraft Carriers: Contracts

Willie Rennie: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what (a) long lead items and (b) other contracts have been let by (i) his Department and (ii) the Aircraft Carrier Alliance and its constituent companies in relation to the aircraft carrier/CVF programme. [191563]

Des Browne: Since my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence announced on 25 July 2007, Official Report, column 865, our intention to place orders for two aircraft carriers the Department has authorised the companies forming the Aircraft Carrier Alliance (ACA) to let contracts in support of manufacture as follows:

4 Mar 2008 : Column 2340W

Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) system

Blown Fibre Optical Cable Plant (BFOCP)

Integrated Navigation and Bridge System (INBS)

Long Range Radar (LRR) antennae

Davits for ships’ boats

Portable lifting equipment

Replenishment at Sea (RAS) Liquid

Windlass and capstans

Main diesel generators

Emergency diesel generators


Propulsion motors

Propulsion converters

Propulsion motor bearings

Gas Turbine Alternator (GTA) rotors

GTA Enclosures (Cabinets)

Castings for ships’ rudders

Steering gear machinery and controls

Forgings for ships’ stabilisers

Forgings for ships’ shaftlines

Low-voltage switchboards, electrical distribution cabinets and transformers

Flying Control (FLYCO) rooms

Visual Landing Aids (VLAs)

Aviation fuel systems equipment

Civil works at Rosyth dockyard

Reverse Osmosis equipment

The companies have also let numerous minor works and service contracts.

Armed Forces: Deployment

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many UK service personnel were deployed on operations on the most recent date for which figures are available, broken down by location. [190695]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The following table shows the number of UK Service personnel deployed on operations by location at 18 February 2008. The number of personnel in theatre will naturally fluctuate on a daily basis for a variety of reasons, including leave (rest and recuperation), temporary absence for training, evacuation for medical reasons, the roulement of forces and other factors.

Number of personnel deployed by location( 1)
Location Number



of which:





At Sea


















(1) Countries with 10 or more personnel are shown separately. Other countries with fewer than 10 personnel per country include Georgia, Nepal, Sudan, Sierra Leone, Democratic Republic of Congo and Liberia.

Armed Forces: Health Services

Sir Paul Beresford: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if the Government will contribute to the Help for Heroes appeal to build a new gymnasium and fitness pool for injured military personnel at the Headley Court Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre. [189181]

4 Mar 2008 : Column 2341W

Derek Twigg [holding answer 26 February 2008]: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 17 December 2007, Official Report, column 1025W. We are continuing to work closely with the charity on this project.

Armed Forces: Recruitment

Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many personnel in the (a) Army, (b) Royal Navy and (c) Royal Air Force are involved in recruitment; and whether these figures meet the manning requirement. [183150]

Derek Twigg: All armed forces personnel, either directly or indirectly, have a recruiting role. Nevertheless, the numbers of Naval Service and Royal Air Force personnel primarily involved in managing or delivering the regular service recruiting process are as follows:

Details of the numbers of Army personnel primarily involved in recruitment activities are not readily available and I will write to the hon. Member with the details in due course.

The numbers primarily engaged in recruiting activities is regularly reviewed against requirement with adjustments being made to reflect priorities.

Substantive answer from Bob Ainsworth to Nick Harvey:

Armed Forces: Terrorism

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what progress has been made on the review of the role of the armed forces in counter-terrorism announced in July 2007; when a report will be published; and if he will make a statement. [190637]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: My right hon. Friend the Member for East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow (Mr. Ingram) was asked to review the role of the Ministry of Defence in counter-terrorism and resilience by the Prime Minister in July 2007. He is making good progress and expects to report to the Prime Minister in the summer.

Armed Forces: Training

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the annual training requirement is for infantry (a) officers and (b) other ranks; and what percentage has been fulfilled in the last 12 months. [190634]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: All regular officers and other ranks are mandated to complete military annual training tests (MATT) covering the following:

4 Mar 2008 : Column 2342W

The requirements are identical for officers and other ranks although they may vary slightly depending on the individual posting—for example officers and soldiers employed within a non-deployed headquarters are not required to complete the combat fitness test unless they are preparing for an operational tour.

Information on MATT completion rates is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. However, given that this training is mandatory and that the requirement is enforced, the expectation is that the completion rate in the last 12 months has been 100 per cent. and there is no reason to suspect otherwise.

Armoured Fighting Vehicles

Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he expects the recent order for 174 Mastiff vehicles to be delivered to the UK; whether the delivery will be staggered; and how long it will take for those vehicles to be in theatre. [190408]

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he expects to complete the order for the additional tranche of Mastiff vehicles announced by the Prime Minister on 7 October 2007. [191346]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: I refer the hon. Members to the answer I gave on 20 February 2008, Official Report, columns 698-99W.

We are in the final stages of the approval period and until this process is complete, the precise delivery schedule cannot be agreed.

Army Air Corps: Manpower

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the strength of each regiment of the Army Air Corps was at the most recent date for which information is available. [190646]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: As at 27 February 2008 the regular strengths of the Army Air Corps Regiments were as follows:

Regiment Regular numbers

1 Regt AAC


2 (Trg) Regt AAC


3 Regt AAC


4 Regt AAC


5 Regt AAC


6 Regt AAC (V)


7 Regt AAC (V)


9 Regt AAC


Strength varies between regiments due to a number of factors including role and the number of squadrons each regiment contains.

4 Mar 2008 : Column 2343W

AWE Burghfield

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when the two licence instruments giving agreement to the limited continued use of process facilities for weapons assembly and disassembly at AWE Burghfield were issued; when his Department first required a warhead operations licence; and if he will make a statement. [190143]

Des Browne: The licence instruments in question were issued on 20 June and 5 November 2007. As the management and operation of atomic weapons establishment (AWE) sites is conducted under Government owned/contractor operated arrangements, it is the incumbent contractor which is licensed for nuclear operations. The first such licence was issued on 16 June 1997. The requisite licences were subsequently renewed on 29 March 2000 to take account of a change in contractor.

Cluster Munitions

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent representations he has received on the use of cluster munitions; and if he will make a statement. [191159]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: Ministers and officials meet regularly with a variety of groups to discuss the UK policy on cluster munitions.

Most recently, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence engaged with his counterparts from other nations in the run up to the ‘Oslo’ Process Meeting in Wellington and along with his Foreign and International Development counterparts, met Lord Elton and members of the All Party Landmine Eradication Group.

Chelsea Barracks: Sales

Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 6 February 2008, Official Report, column 1151W, on Chelsea Barracks: sales, what portion of the proceeds from the sale of Chelsea Barracks will be applied to (a) the defence married quarters estate and (b) single living accommodation. [186821]

Derek Twigg: Question 184828 referred to the cash flows arising from the Chelsea disposal. Defence expenditure is based on the overall spending settlements agreed with the Treasury. Within 2007-08, some £250 million will be invested in single living accommodation (SLA) and as outlined in the recent comprehensive spending review (CSR) White Paper some £550 million of the Chelsea receipt is ring-fenced for investment in service accommodation over the next three years. A further £159 million will be programmed over future CSR periods. I have therefore set out in the following table both the cash flow profile arising from sale of Chelsea and the investment profile for SLA and service family accommodation (SFA) contained in the defence financial plans.

4 Mar 2008 : Column 2344W
£ million
2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11 Next CSR period

Chelsea cash flow





SLA expenditure



(1)159 to be programmed

SFA expenditure




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