Previous Section Index Home Page

2 Jun 2008 : Column 664W—continued


Aircraft Carriers

Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his estimate is of the time which will elapse between (a) completion of the construction of each Future Aircraft Carrier and formal handover to the Royal Navy and (b) formal handover of each Future Aircraft Carrier to the Royal Navy and entry into service with the Fleet. [206328]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth [holding answer 20 May 2008]: The carriers will be accepted progressively throughout construction, with a period of some six months elapsing between completion of construction of each Future Aircraft Carrier and formal handover to the Royal Navy. The ships will be available to be deployed by the Fleet after they have successfully completed operational sea training and operational readiness inspection, which is assessed as requiring some four months.

Aircraft Carriers: Procurement

Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence for what reason the order for the future aircraft carriers has not been placed; and what conditions will have to be fulfilled before it will be placed. [206626]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth [holding answer 22 May 2008]: I refer the hon. Member to the written ministerial statement laid by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence on 20 May 2008, Official Report, column 15WS, indicating we have given our written assurance to industry of our intention to place the contract once the proposed shipbuilding joint venture company has formed.

Armed Forces: Cadets

Mr. Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many young people are members of cadet contingents attached to HM Forces in (a) Northumberland, (b) Tyne and Wear, (c) County Durham and (d) Cleveland. [201037]

Derek Twigg: There are cadet contingents which are affiliated to all of the four MOD sponsored cadet forces in Northumberland, Tyne and Wear, County Durham and Cleveland. Cadet forces are not attached to HM Forces. The numbers of young people in the cadet forces in the respective counties are as follows:

Northumberland County Durham Tyne and Wear Cleveland

Combined Cadet Force

0

285

115

40

Sea Cadet Corps

196

0

123

112

Army Cadet Force

680

858

821

Air Training Corps

1,098

260


2 Jun 2008 : Column 665W

Cadet forces are not all organised on current regional government lines; numbers above are broken down as closely as possible.

Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what resources will be made available to establish combined cadet forces in state schools. [207232]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The MOD is working closely with the Department for Children, Schools and Families to develop costed plans for increasing the number of cadet force units in state schools. It is too early to say how much this will be.

The scale of these plans will be predicated on the willingness of schools to take part and the availability of sufficient suitable adult volunteers prepared to commit their time and energy to this worthwhile activity. We must also ensure that any further expansion is properly resourced so as not to dilute the value of the cadet experience to the 97,000 state school pupils that currently take part in the Combined Cadet Force, Sea Cadet Corps, Army Cadet Force and Air Training Corps.

Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what discussions (a) he has had and (b) he plans to have with the National Union of Teachers on the establishment of combined cadet forces in state schools. [207233]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: Defence Ministers have not met, nor have any current plans to meet, with the National Union of Teachers to discuss establishing Combined Cadet Force units within State Schools.

The Department is working closely with Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) on ways of improving awareness of, and access to, cadet activity for state school pupils. While the DCSF is supportive of activities that help children and young people understand the role of the armed forces it is for head teachers to determine whether to invite cadet forces into their schools.

Armed Forces: Deployment

Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which force elements reported (a) no serious or critical and (b) no critical weakness against (i) the ability to generate from peacetime readiness to immediate readiness for deployment on operations and (ii) required peacetime readiness levels in each year since 2004-05. [206915]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: Information concerning readiness statistics against PSA targets is published in the Department's Annual Report and Accounts and quarterly performance reports, copies of which are available in the Library of the House. This information is broken down into land, maritime and air force elements. More detailed differentiation is not reported for reasons of national security.

Patrick Mercer: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the peacetime establishment was of (a) 3rd Regiment Royal Horse Artillery, (b) 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers and (c) The
2 Jun 2008 : Column 666W
Highlanders, 4th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland before deployment to Iraq; what the strength on deployment of each unit is; how many reinforcements each received from (i) the regular Army, (ii) the Territorial Army and (iii) the regular Army Reserves; and how many of all ranks in each are remaining in the UK (A) on recruitment duties, (B) physically unfit to deploy and (C) in barracks in reserve. [207088]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth [holding answer 22 May 2008]: The peacetime establishment of the requested units as at 1 June 2008 is shown in the following table. As disclosure of exact numbers would be likely to prejudice the capability, effectiveness and security of our armed forces, I have rounded numbers to the nearest 100.

Unit Peacetime establishment prior to deployment

3 RHA

500

1 RRF

700

4 SCOTS

700


I am unable to provide the remainder of the information requested until these units have completed their deployment to Iraq. I will write to the hon. Member in due course.

Patrick Mercer: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the peacetime establishment was of (a) 7(th) Parachute Regiment, Royal Horse Artillery, (b) The Royal Highland Fusiliers, 2(nd) Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland and (c) The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, 5(th) Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland before deployment to Afghanistan; what the strength of each on deployment was; how many reinforcements were received by each from (i) the regular Army, (ii) the Territorial Army and (iii) the regular Army Reserves; and how many of all ranks of each are remaining in the UK (A) on recruitment duties, (B) physically unfit to deploy and (C) in barracks in reserve. [207089]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth [holding answer 22 May 2008]: The following table provides the information requested: however as disclosure of exact numbers would or would be likely to prejudice the capability, effectiveness and security of our armed forces, I have rounded numbers to the nearest 100 or where less than 100 to the nearest 10, as appropriate.

7 PARA RHA 2 Scots 5 Scots

Peace Establishment

500

600

700

Deployed Strength

400

400

500

TA reinforcements

<10

<10

50

Reg Reserves Reinforcements

0

0

<10

Regular Army

100

0

50

Unfit to deploy

40

70

60

Recruitment duties

<10

10

20

Rear Party

70

30

60


7 Para RHA are heavily reinforced from other Regular Army units due to their current role in theatre. This is not unusual for specialist roles.


2 Jun 2008 : Column 667W

Patrick Mercer: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what headings are used to sub-categorise troops unfit to deploy; and how many troops from (a) 3rd Regiment Royal Horse Artillery, (b) 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, (c) The Highlanders, 4th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, (d) 7th Parachute Regiment, Royal Horse Artillery, (e) The Royal Highland Fusiliers, 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland and (f) The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, 5th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland are classified under each of those headings. [207090]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth [holding answer 22 May 2008]: Soldiers who are unfit to deploy on operations are
2 Jun 2008 : Column 668W
categorised as either non-available or non-effective. These are additionally sub-categorised as being either medical or G1 (personnel) reasons. Personnel who are classed as non-available for medical or personnel reasons may still be able to make a contribution to the Unit Rear Party. Personnel who are classed as non-effective are unfit for any task.

The number of troops categorised as unfit to deploy in the requested units as at 1 March 2008 are shown in the following table.

Non-available Non-effective
Unit Medical G1 Medical G1 Total unable to deploy

3 RHA

13

40

4

0

57

7 PARA RHA

10

29

1

0

40

1 RRF

18

12

5

2

37

4 SCOTS

15

21

0

0

36

2 SCOTS

33

32

5

0

70

5 SCOTS

9

49

3

0

61


Patrick Mercer: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many troops from 3rd Regiment Royal Horse Artillery have been sent to Afghanistan; and whether he plans to transfer these troops to Iraq to rejoin their regiment. [207091]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth [holding answer 22 May 2008]: I am withholding the exact number of troops from 3rd Regiment Royal Horse Artillery deployed in Afghanistan as its release would, or would be likely to, prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the armed forces. There are currently no plans to transfer these troops to Iraq to rejoin their regiment. Once they have completed their commitments in Afghanistan, they will be reunited with the regiment on return to the UK.

Patrick Mercer: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence from which battalions or regiments reinforcements have been taken to provide troops to (a) 3rd Regiment Royal Horse Artillery, (b) 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, (c) The Highlanders, 4th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, (d) 7th Parachute Regiment Royal Horse Artillery, (e) The Royal Highland Fusiliers, 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland and (f) The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, 5th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland; and how many reinforcements have been taken from each battalion or regiment. [207092]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth [holding answer 22 May 2008]: The units and number of individuals which are providing reinforcements for the requested regiments and battalions are shown as follows:


2 Jun 2008 : Column 669W

2 Jun 2008 : Column 670W
Units providing reinforcements Number provided

3 Regt RHA

0

0

1 RRF

The Royal Regiment of Gibraltar

<20

5th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers

<10

4th Battalion The Mercian Regiment

<10

4 Scots

0

0

7 Para RHA

5 Scots

<10

2 Scots

<10

3rd Battalion The Parachute Regiment

<10

3 Regt RHA

<100

26th Regiment Royal Artillery

<10

1st Battalion The Royal Irish Regiment

<10

13th Regiment Royal Logistic Corps

<10

Armoured Division Signal Regt

<10

Australian Army

<20

Royal Air Force

<20

2 Scots

Various TA units

<10

5 Scots

0

0


Next Section Index Home Page