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Derek Twigg: Much service living accommodation is already of a high standard, but some remains below the standard that our service personnel and their families deserve. For this reason, we continue to invest heavily in all types of accommodation with a further £8 billion planned over the next decade, including over £3 billion on new or upgraded accommodation and over £2 billion on refurbishment and maintenance.
Mr. Bob Ainsworth:
We ensure that commanders in operational theatres have a flexible and balanced vehicle fleet that provides the range of capabilities needed. Protected patrol vehicles form part of that approach,
although the protection afforded by appropriate operational tactics and procedures is also important in the protection of our armed forces.
18. Mr. Bone: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what additional commitments were made by NATO members to the mission in Afghanistan at the recent NATO summit; and if he will make a statement. 
Des Browne: At NATO's Bucharest Summit, President Sarkozy confirmed the deployment of an additional battalion of French troops to the east of Afghanistan. This enabled President Bush to announce the movement of a substantial US force from the east to Kandahar in the south. A number of other allies, including Poland, Romania and Slovakia also announced increased contributions. Canada confirmed that it would remain in Kandahar until 2011.
Des Browne: The Government have made no formal assessment of the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 in Afghanistan. Nonetheless, the UK is keen to fulfil its commitment under this resolution to protect the rights of women and girls in areas suffering conflict, and to incorporate their perspectives in conflict resolution and peacekeeping planning.
To this end we fund various programmes, including a five-year Women's Empowerment programme that began in 2005, implemented by the NGO Womankind. This initiative focuses on promoting women's equal participation in governance and building awareness of women's rights among civil society and policy makers.
Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Woodspring (Dr. Fox) of 30 January 2008, Official Report, column 364W, on Afghanistan: peacekeeping operations, whether the balance of helicopter force levels has been decided; and whether any Merlin helicopters will be deployed in Afghanistan. 
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the command relationship between British Forces and elements of the US 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit operating in Helmand Province will be. 
Des Browne: In 2006, security forces operating in Helmand province discovered four weapons caches, and in 2007, 24 were found. Up to 30 January 2008, the latest date for which data have been recorded this year, one cache had been found.
Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 12 March 2008, Official Report, column 450W, on Afghanistan: peacekeeping operations, whether the balance of the UK helicopter force levels across theatre, including the deployment of Merlin helicopters to Afghanistan, has been decided. 
In 2006 the projected requirement for RAF pilots for the end of Financial Year 2007-08 was 2,268. The total number of RAF pilots as at 1 March 2008 was 2,080. Reliable figures for a more recent estimate are unavailable following the phased implementation of the Joint Personnel Administration (JPA) system.
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the divorce rate among service personnel was in each year since 1997, broken down by service; and how many divorces involving a member of the armed services were recorded in each year. 
Derek Twigg: The following table shows annual divorce rates and number of divorces for Army and RAF personnel for each year since 1997. Naval service data are not available as the naval service groups Separated, Divorced and Widowed together.
|Divorces within the Army and RAF, and rate as a percentage of average married strength: 1997 to 2006|
|Number||Rate (percentage)||Number||Rate (percentage)|
|n/a = not available|
(1) Figures for 2006 are for the most recently available 12 months which cover the period up to 1 December 2006.
(2) For the years 1999, 2000 and 2001, annulments are excluded from the calculations for divorce rates, as the information was not available, however the remaining years do include annulments in their calculation.
Figures are for UK Regular Forces, and therefore exclude Gurkhas, full-time Reserve Service personnel, the Home Service battalions of the Royal Irish Regiment and mobilised reservists. Figures are for trained and untrained personnel excluding officer designates.
Rates are calculated as a percentage of the average married strength during the calendar years. The term divorce includes decree absolute and marriage annulled. It excludes decree nisi and individuals who are separated.
http://www.mod.uk/defenceinternet/factsheets/operations factsheets/operationsinafghanistanbritishcasualties. htm_for_Afghanistan
Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much his Department has paid in each year for improvements and modernisation of residential dwellings since Annington Homes acquired the former Ministry of Defence housing stock. 
Derek Twigg: In Financial Year 2007-08 we spent some £32 million on Service Family Accommodation (SFA) as part of life-cycle maintenance activity (for example replacing bathrooms, kitchens or boilers) in addition to some £18 million spent on upgrades.
|Financial Year||£ million|
The maintenance and investment in Service Families Accommodation overseas and in Northern Ireland is carried out by the respective budget holders. It is therefore held separately and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence with reference to paragraph four of the Defence Medical Services Departments policy letter of 20 January 2006 entitled The use of influenza vaccines and anti-virals
in the event of an influenza pandemic , reference DMSD/13/1/4 if he will reassess the assumption on the proportion of the armed forces who may be affected during the course of a pandemic and if he will make a statement. 
Derek Twigg: MOD pandemic influenza planning assumptions on overall clinical attack rates are based on modelling provided by the Health Protection Agency (HPA), which underpin the National Planning Framework. In 2006 this accorded with the national plan that 25 to 33 per cent. of the armed forces overall may be affected during the course of a pandemic. However, in line with the revised National Planning Framework issued in 2007, which raised the upper potential impact to 50 per cent., our planning is being adjusted to reflect this higher potential clinical attack rate.
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