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21 Apr 2008 : Column 1636Wcontinued
Mr. Ancram: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many UK military helicopters were deployed in Afghanistan in (a) May 2005 and (b) April 2008. 
Des Browne: I am withholding detailed information on the number of military helicopters in Afghanistan, as its disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the armed forces.
Mr. Ancram: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many serviceable UK military helicopters there are in (a) Helmand province, (b) Kandahar and (c) Afghanistan, broken down by type. 
Des Browne: The UK has deployed: Chinook CH-47; Sea King; Apache AH-64; and Lynx light-utility helicopters to Afghanistan. I am withholding further information on the number, location and availability of military helicopters in Afghanistan, as its disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the armed forces.
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many British servicemen and women experienced heat exhaustion in (a) Afghanistan and (b) Iraq in each year since 2006. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The Ministry of Defence records instances of heat illness, as part of its monitoring of climatic injury. Heat illness has traditionally been divided into heat exhaustion and heat stroke, but in practice it is difficult to define the division between the two. Heat illness is therefore used to cover a continuum of illness ranging from mild symptoms such as muscular weakness, headache and excess fatigue to collapse, coma and death.
In Iraq in 2006, 71 service personnel were recorded with a climatic illness, of whom 21 were bedded down in a medical facility as a result. In 2007, 90 service personnel were recorded with a climatic illness of whom nine were bedded down. In Iraq, the temperature and humidity can change very quickly, increasing the likelihood of sudden instances of heat illness.
In Afghanistan, between August 2006 (when data collection started) and the end of 2007, 91 personnel were recorded with a climatic injury of whom 32 were bedded down.
These figures provide an indication of instances of heat illness. It is likely that there have been other cases of heat injury which could not be identified from the available records as they may have been recorded under a variety of symptoms (e.g. dehydration, headache etc.) common to other illnesses.
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the Answer of 18 March 2008, Official Report, column 812W, on Afghanistan: peacekeeping operations, how many times (a) fixed wing and (b) rotary wing aircraft from the Mesopotamia Group have supported British troops in Helmand Province since the start of the contract. 
From the start of the ISAF Contracted Air Transport (ICAT) contract until 1 March 2008, the latest date for which data are available, only helicopters have been used, undertaking a total of 23 sorties. This
has included making 30 visits to Forward Operating Bases in support of UK forces.
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the Answer of 18 March 2008, Official Report, column 812W, on Afghanistan: peacekeeping operations, what the start date of the contract was; and how long the contract is for. 
Des Browne: The start date of the ISAF Contracted Air Transport (ICAT) contract was 1 February 2008. This is a 12-month contract, with an option to extend for a further 12 months.
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Operational Mentor and Liaison Teams (OMLTs) are in Afghanistan; how many countries are providing troops for OMLTS; and what percentage of OMLTs are led by British forces. 
Des Browne: There are currently 39 Operational Mentor and Liaison Teams (OMLTs), which mentor Afghan National Army personnel, either on the ground in Afghanistan or whose deployment has been confirmed. Troops for OMLTs are contributed by 15 countries. The United States also provides Embedded Training Teams which fulfil a similar role. 18 per cent. of the operational or confirmed OMLTs are led by British forces.
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many hours of training were required for those flying (a) fast jets, (b) transport aircraft and (c) helicopters in the RAF in each year since 2003. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: I will write to the hon. Member with the information requested and place a copy of my letter in the Library of the House.
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what specifications are included in the design of British aircraft carriers to enable them to absorb battle damage shock in the (a) superstructure, (b) flight deck and (c) main hull; what such design specifications have been agreed for the two future aircraft carriers; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: Battle damage survivability considerations and shock resilience have been taken into account in the design of aircraft carriers currently in-service and in the agreed design specifications for the two future aircraft carriers. I am, however, withholding detailed design information as its release would, or would be likely to, prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of our armed forces.
Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether any Minister has made an authorisation under section 48 of the Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001. 
Des Browne: In 2001 the then Secretary of State for Defence signed two authorisations under Section 48 of the Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001. I am withholding further information as its release would, or would be likely to, prejudice national security and international relations.
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what percentage of the (a) Army, (b) Navy and (c) Royal Air Force exceeded the guidelines for individual separated service in the latest period for which figures are available. 
Derek Twigg: The latest figures as at 31 December 2007 (Q3 07/08) show that:
Less than 1 per cent of RN/RM personnel were in breach of the single service guidelines.
10.3 per cent of the Army were in breach of separated service guidelines.
This is a year on year improvement from 14.5 per cent in 2006-07 and 13.4 per cent in 2006-07). The Army continues to monitor separated service with due diligence utilising directed recruitment and retention initiatives targeted at pinch point trades in particular.
10 per cent of RAF personnel breached the single Service guideline. This is an increase of 3.3 per cent on the previous quarter due to changes in the base reporting requirements, which has brought the RAF into line with the RN and Army reporting.
Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the average length of non-combat deployment for servicemen and women stationed within the UK is, not including short-term training exercises, that does not require relocation. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The information is not held in the format requested and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many UK service personnel were deployed on operations, broken down by location of deployment, at the most recent date for which figures are available. 
Des Browne: The following table provides the number of UK service personnel deployed on operations by location as at 31 March 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)|
|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.|
2. Figures for Afghanistan are artificially high due to a current relief in place roulement of forces in operation.
Numbers for each location are rounded to the nearest 10, except for Iraq and Afghanistan which have been rounded to the nearest 100.
Mr. Ellwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans his Department has to provide a new swimming pool at Defence Medical Service Rehabilitation Centre at Headley Court. 
Derek Twigg [holding answer 5 February 2008]: The Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre at Headley Court has a hydrotherapy pool on site which is in regular use. The centre has also for many years used a local authority swimming pool for water-based therapy, as part of its comprehensive rehabilitation programme.
A new charity, Help for Heroes, has offered to raise funds to build a swimming pool at Headley Court, as part of a new rehabilitation complex on the site. We warmly welcome this very generous offer, in addition to the money we plan to spend to enhance the unit's existing facilities. We shall work closely with the charity as its proposals are developed. Headley Court is owned by a Charitable Trust and charitable funding has contributed to the enhancement of the facilities at Headley Court since the site was first used for the rehabilitation of military personnel in 1946.
Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much was paid out by his Department for medical negligence claims made by (a) service personnel and (b) service dependants relating to their treatment in (i) service facilities, (ii) civilian medical facilities abroad and (iii) civilian medical facilities in the UK in each year since 1997. 
Derek Twigg: The amount of compensation, including legal costs, paid out each year for clinical negligence claims to service personnel and civilian personnel, which includes service dependants, since 1997-98 is set out in the following table. Claims are not recorded in a format that differentiates between medical facilities in the UK and overseas nor between service and civilian facilities.
|Service personnel claims||Civilian claims||Total|
Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the Answer of 11 March 2008, Official Report, column 288W, on armed forces: housing, what was being repaired in the case of the call-out which took 324 days to resolve; and what the reasons were for the time taken to resolve the case. 
Derek Twigg: At the time the data was taken MHS data collection processes and housekeeping procedures were still being developed. While works had been completed in a timely fashion, many orders had not been closed on the system. It is believed that the repair was completed in less than 324 days, but was recorded retrospectively on our repair reporting system. The system has since been updated to ensure that similar anomalies do not occur in the future. The change in process has, however, meant that it is not now possible to retrieve details of this repair.
Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many service family accommodation units that are both earmarked for disposal or demolition and no longer in use as family accommodation are within a perimeter security fence; and how much rent his Department paid in respect of such units in the last financial year. 
Derek Twigg: There are currently 112 service family accommodation (SFA) properties in England and Wales which are located within a perimeter fence and are earmarked for disposal, the vast majority of which are currently void. These are owned by Annington Homes Ltd. (AHL). No properties within a perimeter fence are earmarked for demolition.
The MOD pays 42 per cent. of the market rent on each of these properties. However, as the number of void properties across the estate changes constantly, it is not possible to identify an exact sum for rent paid on AHL void properties over the last financial year. The average rent paid to AHL across all properties has recently been recalculated at £3,650 per property per annum.
Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much of the proceeds from the sale of his Department's former housing and other land, subsequently sold by Annington estates, was passed to the Government in each year since such sales have taken place; and what this represented as a percentage of the sale price in each year. 
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