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Derek Twigg: Official visits in the last 12 months by MOD Ministers to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are set out in the following table. Visits may last more than one day, and may contain several engagements. The Secretary of State has conducted visits to Scotland in his capacities both as Secretary of State for Scotland and Secretary of State for Defence.
Derek Twigg: The number of civilian personnel employed by the Ministry of Defence is published in Civilian Personnel Statistics 1 (CPS 1), Civilian workforce by grade equivalence and budgetary employing area. A copy of the latest publication, as at 1 January 2008 can be found at:
The number of service personnel employed by the Ministry of Defence is published in Tri-Service Publication 1 (TSP 1), Strength, intake and outflow of UK Regular Forces. A copy of the latest publication, as at 1 March 2008 can be found at:
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: MOD identifies the costs of operations in terms of the net additional costs it has incurred. The costs that the Department would have incurred regardless of the operation taking place, such as wages and salaries, are not included. Savings on activities that have not occurred because of the operationtraining exercises for exampleare taken into account in arriving at the net figures.
|Operational costs for Iraq, Afghanistan and the Balkans||Direct resource outturn||Capital outturn||Total near cash outturn|
The Department did not produce full accounts until the introduction of resource accounting and budgeting (RAB) for the financial year 2001-02. Prior to this financial year, the Departments outturn was reported in the end of year Appropriations Accounts and Estimates reports, copies of which can be found in the Library of the House. Appropriations Accounts do not, however, separately identify the cost of operations or the costs of the security and intelligence services and this information is not held centrally and would be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: During the 12 month period (1 May 2007 to 30 April 2008), Royal Navy vessels have visited Gibraltar on 59 occasions. In addition (and for completeness), seven Royal Fleet Auxiliary Vessels have visited Gibraltar over the same period.
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: There are presently no plans for Tornado aircraft to operate out of RAF Gibraltar. However, RAF Gibraltar is capable and prepared to operate Tornado aircraft of all types and the MOD reserves the right to operate aircraft of all types from the station in accordance with Defence requirements.
Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the Answer of 31 March 2008, Official Report, column 518W, on Iraq: peacekeeping operations, whether the members of the former Serious Crimes Unit of the Basra Police were ever in the custody of UK forces; and what information he has regarding their current location. 
Some members of the Serious Crimes Unit (SCU) have been held in the custody of UK forces in Iraq, although we have no reason to believe that
these included any of the individuals against whom arrest warrants have been issued. Those SCU members previously held by UK forces have now been released, as our in-theatre review process concluded that their internment was no longer deemed necessary for imperative reasons of security.
I am withholding information relating to the current location of former members of the SCU as disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the armed forces.
Des Browne: As I explained in my statement of 24 April 2008, Official Report, column 107WS, UK force levels in southern Iraq will stay at around 4,000 following Iraqi-led operations to enforce the rule of law in Basra, and while military commanders continue to assess the changing situation on the ground. It remains our clear intention to reduce troop numbers in Iraq as and when conditions allow.
(2) what consideration the Joint Service Review of Honours and Awards gave to (a) gallant, (b) meritorious and (c) long-standing service for (i) regular and (ii) reserve forces; if he will place in the Library a copy of the Joint Service Review's report; and if he will make a statement; 
Derek Twigg: The MODs Joint Service Review of Honours and Awards in 2000 made a number of recommendations. Details of these and their subsequent implementation are included in the final report. I am placing a copy of this report in the Library of the House.
Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether he plans to introduce a regular forces service medal to recognise long service in the armed forces; and if he will make a statement. 
Derek Twigg: There are no plans to introduce a regular forces service medal to recognise long service in the armed forces, though such matters are kept under review. This subject was reviewed in the 1990s as part of the Joint Service Review of Honours and Awards, which concluded that
The proposal that the existing Long Service and Good Conduct (LS&GC) medals should be replaced by an award open to all ranks of all three services was rejected [by the military Chiefs of Staff] in favour of no change."
Long service and good conduct is already recognised for non-commissioned members of the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force. Each of the three services
of the armed forces has its own version of the LS&GC with differing regulations, though the standard of conduct is common to each service.
Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether he plans to invite the Committee on Honours, Decorations and Medals to consider the introduction of a medal for international service for United Kingdom armed forces to replace those issued by international organisations; and if he will make a statement. 
Derek Twigg: At the present time, there are no plans to introduce a new medal that would replace medals awarded for campaign service operations under the command of international organisations such as NATO, the United Nations (UN) and the European Union (EU). As with all medal policy issues, this matter is kept under review.
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