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28 Apr 2008 : Column 53W—continued

Armed Forces: Manpower

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the (a) target and (b) actual voluntary outflow rate for (i) officers and (ii) other ranks in each service was in the latest period for which figures are available. [200937]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The Department does not set targets for the maximum number of people that leave early (Voluntary Outflow).

Voluntary exit rates broken down by officers and other ranks can be found in Tri-Service Publication (TSP) 5—Trained Outflow to Civil Life. Monthly figures show the number of personnel who have outflowed in the previous 12 month period. TSP 5 is published monthly. The most recent publication presents outflow for the 12 months to February 2008 and can be found at

Copies of TSP 5 are available in the Library of the House and are also at

Martin Horwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many service personnel were employed by each of the armed forces in the last year for which records are available. [201005]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: Information on the number of service personnel employed by each of the armed forces is published in Tri-Service Publication 1, "Strength, Intake and Outflow of UK Regular Forces" (TSP 1). Copies are available in the Library of the House and also at:

The latest available data published in TSP 1 is as at 1 March 2008. TSP 1 is a monthly publication, previous copies of which can be found at www.dasa.mod.uk. The next edition of TSP 1 is due to be released on 22 May 2008 and this will contain figures as at 1 April 2008.

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the (a) required and (b) actual number of unit welfare officers is. [201019]


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Derek Twigg: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 21 April 2008, Official Report, column 1646W, to the hon. Member for North Devon (Nick Harvey).

Armed Forces: Schools

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on his Department's policy on visits by armed forces personnel to schools. [196605]

Derek Twigg: We welcome the opportunity to visit schools. Armed forces personnel do visit schools to raise awareness and understanding and help with youth work, e.g. sports and engineering projects. Any visit will be at the invitation of a school and the school will work with the armed forces to determine what information will be provided to young people. This will include information on careers in the services as well as providing general information to make students aware of the work of the MOD and armed forces worldwide.

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many (a) full-time and (b) part-time teachers were employed by Service Children's Education at the latest date for which figures are available; and what estimate he has made of the full-time requirement. [199492]

Derek Twigg: As at the 1 April 2008, Service Children's Education (SCE) employed 775 full-time teachers and 37 part-time teachers

The estimated teacher establishment for the academic year 2008/09 is 737 full-time teachers and 37 part-time teachers, with the bulk of these reductions reflecting the closure of OsnabrÃ1/4ck Station in Germany during 2008-09.

Armed Forces: Training

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what specialist training in the immediate management of traumatic injuries and Major Incident Medical Management and Support medical officers on the Army's Entry Officer course receive. [200945]

Derek Twigg: All Army medical officers undergo the post graduate medical officers course which is delivered by the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine. It includes a full major incident medical management and support course, followed by an examination which has to be passed. The remainder of the course covers a broad range of topics specific to military medicine, with a specific focus on time at general duties. All military medical officers also undertake four months accident and emergency experience during training.

Those students notified for deployment on operations within three months of the course end, undertake the battlefield advanced trauma life support course. Those scheduled to deploy at a later date undertake this training from within their units.

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what proportion of Role 1 medical officers deployed on operations had received refresher training in the management of trauma at the latest date for which figures are available. [200946]


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Derek Twigg: 100 per cent. in all three services as of 21 April 2008.

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many hours of pre-deployment training personnel are required to complete before deployment to (a) Iraq and (b) Afghanistan. [201028]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: There is a mandatory ‘pre-deployment course’, which is run separately by each service and is followed up by role-specific orientation training in theatre. Represented in days, the mandatory course duration is as follows:

Number of days

Royal Navy

10

Army and Royal Marines

4

RAF

6

Civilians

3


Pre-deployment courses differ between the services due to differing roles undertaken and theatre specific relevance of other training undertaken. Pre-deployment training is very much longer than these service specific pre-deployment courses.

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what training personnel serving in the Queen's Colour Squadron received prior to their deployment to Afghanistan in spring 2008. [201029]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The Queen's Colour Squadron is not currently committed to squadron-level operations in Afghanistan. However, a small number of its personnel have been deployed on force-protection duties there since last October. Prior to their deployment, personnel undertook an intensive training package designed specifically for their role in Afghanistan. The package included briefings, practical training and an intensive series of live firing exercises.

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what training in Arctic flying conditions was provided to armed forces helicopter pilots in 2007. [201136]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: Arctic flying training for armed forces helicopter pilots takes place on an annual basis at the Joint Helicopter Command Clockwork facility at Royal Norwegian Air Force Base Bardufoss, which provides ground and air training for all rotary wing and support units. The flying syllabus covers day and night flying sorties, mountain flying and other sorties pertinent to aircraft type and role.

For the winter training period of 2007, the units receiving this training were:

Army: Training

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the (a) shortest and (b) average number of months between the completion of Phase 2 training and the deployment of personnel in the Army was for the latest period for which figures are available. [200938]


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Mr. Bob Ainsworth: All soldiers are deployed or ‘posted’ directly to their parent unit upon completion of Phase 2 training. Data on time between completion of Phase 2 training and deployment on a operational tour is not readily available.

Departmental Credit Cards

Richard Younger-Ross: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on how many occasions a government procurement card was used by his departmental officials and by service personnel in each of the last five years; how much was spent via such cards in each such year; and what effect on administrative costs the use of such cards is estimated to have had since they came into operation. [200542]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The total expenditure and total number of transactions on the Government Procurement Cards (GPC) held by departmental officials and service personnel over the last five years is detailed as follows:

Expenditure (£) Transactions

2007-08

231,103,509

819,903

2006-07

218,631,506

754,329

2005-06

202,499,078

714,471

2004-05

168,594,451

627,006

2003-04

100,438,586

401,980


Since its implementation in the MOD, the GPC has achieved total process and administration cost savings of £101,894,044, based on the NAO savings figure of £28 per transaction. A breakdown of this is shown in the following table:

Transactions Savings (£)

2007-08

819,903

22,957,284

2006-07

754,329

21,121,212

2005-06

714,471

20,005,188

2004-05

627,006

17,556,168

2003-04

401,980

11,255,440

2002-03

227,725

6,376,300

2001-02

61,296

1,716,288

2000-01

30,155

844,340

1999-2000

2,208

61,824

Total

3,639,073

101,894,044


Departmental Public Expenditure

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his Department’s financial (a) losses and (b) special payments for 2007-08 were. [200935]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: This information is intended for future publication in the MOD’s Annual Report and Accounts, which we plan to lay before the House in July.

Departmental Temporary Employment

Mr. Todd: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many full-time posts were filled on a temporary basis for a period in excess of six months in his Department in each of the last three years. [200660]


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Derek Twigg: The information is not held in the format requested. However, I am able to provide the monthly average of the number of people filling a post on a temporary basis for Financial Year 2006-07 and for 2007-08 which was 2,581 and 2,867 respectively. These numbers do not include temporary or agency staff filling vacancies nor do they distinguish between full-time and part-time posts. They also exclude staff in Trading Funds.

Devonport Dockyard

Mr. Streeter: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he expects to make final decisions on the baseporting of frigates and submarines at Devonport Naval Base. [201994]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 18 February 2008, Official Report, column 113W, on the baseporting of ships at Devonport. The position applies equally to frigates and submarines.

European Fighter Aircraft

Mr. Carswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Typhoon Eurofighters are fully operational and in service with the Royal Air Force. [200538]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: As of 21 April 2008, there are 49 Typhoon aircraft in service with the RAF, of which 34 aircraft are fully operational for daily tasking and 15 in capability upgrade, flight test activities and scheduled maintenance.

Fleet Air Arm

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Fleet Air Arm personnel were (a) qualified and (b) serving as fighter pilots at the latest date for which figures are available. [200302]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: As at 21 April 2008 the number of qualified Fleet Air Arm personnel who hold the post award of the flying badge is 63.

The number of fast jet pilots employed on operations or direct support to them is 36.

Future Large Aircraft: Procurement

Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether the A400M aircraft ordered by his Department will have an explosive suppressive foam capability to respond to fuel tank explosions. [198842]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth [holding answer 21 April 2008]: Explosion suppressant foam is one of several fuel tank inerting systems available to prevent fuel tank explosion. An alternative inerting system is the on board inert gas generation system (OBIGGS), such as that fitted as standard to C-17s.

All but one of our A400M aircraft will, during manufacture, will be fitted with the necessary equipment to enable fuel tank inerting to be installed. The one exception to this is an early development aircraft which is already under construction and cannot be fitted with
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the enabling pipework for fuel tank inerting during its production. We are currently looking at ways to address this shortfall.


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