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Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many and what percentage of (a) C-17 Globemaster, (b) C-130K Hercules, (c) C-130J Hercules, (d) Tristar, (e) VC-10 and (f) Nimrod aircraft are (i) in service, (ii) in the forward fleet and (iii) fit for purpose. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The number and percentage of C-17, C-130J, C-130K, Tristar, VC10 and Nimrod that are in the Forward Available Fleet and considered Fit for Purpose (FFP) during the month of April are detailed in the following table. Forward Available Fleet (FAF) aircraft are those that are available to the front line command for operational and training purposes; aircraft undergoing scheduled depth maintenance, or planned routine fleet maintenance are not included. Aircraft defined as Fit for Purpose are those considered capable of carrying out their planned missions on a given date. The figures shown are the average for the month of April 2008, and have been rounded to the nearest whole number.
|Number in service||Average number of aircraft in Forward Available Fleet||Average percentage of total fleet in FAF||Average number of aircraft Fit for Purpose||Average percentage FFP of Forward Available Fleet|
|(1) The fifth C-17 was delivered for squadron service in this month and is only counted in the Fit for Purpose statistics from 10 April 2008.|
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many civilian employer complaints his Department received on the deployment of reserve forces in the last period for which figures are available; and what percentage of the total number of deployments this represents. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: Under the Reserve Forces Act 1996, the employer of a member of the reserve forces is entitled to apply for his or her employees exemption from call out or recall into permanent or mobilised service or to have the employees call out or recall deferred or revoked or, if the employee has been accepted into service, to seek his or her release from permanent service. Such an application is made to a service adjudication officer, whose decision or determination can be challenged by way of a re-hearing of the application by a Reserve Forces Appeal Tribunal, a judicial body independent of the Ministry of Defence.
As detailed in the following table, in 10 cases only have applications for exemption, etc., by employers been decided at Reserve Forces Appeal Tribunals, established on 1 April 1997, since which more than 17,000 members of the reserve forces have been deployed on mobilised service.
|Reserve Forces Appeal Tribunalsemployer exemption cases 1 April 1997 to 16 May 2008|
|(1) One case only since March 2004.|
Mr. Quentin Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on which occasions RAF aircraft have flown sorties in response to unannounced incursions by Russian military aircraft into areas adjacent to United Kingdom airspace in the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement. 
Des Browne: In the last 12 months no Russian aircraft have penetrated UK national airspace. However, Russian aircraft have approached or entered the NATO Air Policing Area (APA) for which the UK has responsibility.
I am withholding the exact dates that Russian military aircraft entered the APA as its disclosure would, or would be likely to prejudice the capability,
effectiveness or security of the armed forces. However, the following table gives the number of days within a month that Quick Reaction Alert aircraft have been launched to identify Russian military aircraft approaching or entering the APA.
Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, (1) what steps he will take to (a) minimise the potential for disruption and (b) retain (i) skills and (ii) service levels in relation to the proposed re-location of the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency; and if he will make a statement; 
Derek Twigg: I will write shortly to the hon. Member regarding my decision about the proposed relocation of the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency functions undertaken currently at Innsworth Station.
You may recall that I wrote to you on 22 April (ref: D/US of S/DT MC02052/2008) in reply to your letter of 2 April (ref: AM/JCP/29/020408) enclosing one from your constituent, Ms K Eastwood of 17 Bush Court, Priors Road, Prestbury, Cheltenham who expressed her concern about the proposed relocation of the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency (SPVA) from Innsworth to Gosport and Norcross.
As you will be aware from my letter to you on this issue, I undertook to write to you once I had made my decision. I trust you will also accept this as my written reply to your written questions ref 204670,204676, 204677 and 204678.
I have considered carefully all of the issues surrounding the options outlined within the Future Accommodation Study (FAS) for the relocation of the SPVA functions from Innsworth, and have decided that SPVA should retain a four site structure based at Centurion Building, Gosport, Tomlinson House, Norcross, Kentigern House, Glasgow and Building 247, Innsworth (i.e. Option One under the FAS).
While I recognise that there would be business benefits in the medium term to be gained from moving the SPVA functions currently undertaken at Innsworth, I consider that the risks associated with moving the Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre and the MOD Medal Office at this time, given the vital role and the excellent service they provide, to outweigh these benefits. Therefore, I have decided that, on balance, those functions currently undertaken at SPVA Innsworth should remain there for the foreseeable future.
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: There is a requirement for each TA unit to have one driving instructor on strength with two in infantry battalions. This equates to a requirement for 128 driving instructors in TA units. This requirement may be filled by either TA or regular personnel within the TA unit.
Mr. Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Territorial Army personnel from Northern Ireland took part in active service outside the United Kingdom in each of the last five years. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The number of Territorial Army (TA) personnel, with their permanent residence in Northern Ireland, who have been mobilised for operations or in support of operations outside the United Kingdom in each year since 2003 is as follows:
|Number of TA personnel mobilised|
The duration of mobilised service is generally 11 and a half months (invariably spanning two calendar years) and includes a period of pre-deployment training and integration, the operational tour itself, decompression, demobilisation and a mandatory period of post operational leave.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the membership of the External Advisory Group looking at airport-related issues is; on what dates it has met since September 2004; and which of those meetings have been attended by Ministers. 
Air Transport Users Council
Airport Operators Association
Aviation Environment Federation
Board of airline representatives in the UK
British Air Transport Association
Confederation of British Industry
Friends of the Earth
Manchester Airports Group
Strategic Aviation Special Interest Group
Sustainable Development Commission
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