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|RAF full- time trained Strengths and Requirements( 1) by NATO Rank|
|RAF||Paid rank||Requirement as at 1 April 2008( 2,3)||Strength as at 1 March 2008( 4)|
|(1) The full time trained strength and the trained requirement both comprise trained UK regular forces, trained Gurkhas, FTRS (full time reserve service) personnel and nursing services. They do not include the home service battalions of the Royal Irish Regiment or mobilised reservists.|
(2) There is no Royal Air Force stated requirement for 1 March 2008 therefore the 1 April 2008 requirement has been provided.
(3) For the RAF, including the FTRS, there is no agreed breakdown by rank for the 1 April 2008 regular requirement. Requirement by rank has been derived by calculating the proportion of total strength for each rank and applying these proportions to the total requirement. FTRS requirement is 180 officers and 220 other ranks, and has been included on the same basis.
(4) FTRS strength figures include full commitment (FC), home commitment (HC) and limited commitment (LC) individuals. For the Army, FC and LC individuals serve against the requirement while HC individuals fill posts specifically for FTRS personnel. For the RAF, FC individuals serve against the requirement while HC and LC individuals fill posts specifically for FTRS personnel. All Navy FTRS individuals serve against the requirement.
(5) The Royal Air Force does not produce a rank breakdown of requirement for OF-6 to OF-9.
(7) The Royal Air Force has no personnel at NATO ranks OR-3 or OR-8.
1. The requirement and strength figures have been rounded to the nearest 10 and figures ending in five have been rounded to 20 to prevent bias, therefore totals may not always equal the sum of the parts.
2. Due to ongoing validation of data from the new Personnel Administration System, Army statistics from 1 April 2007 are provisional. All naval service and RAF statistics from 1 May 2007 are provisional and subject to review.
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many times the (a) Royal Air Force and (b) Army have trained for conducting humanitarian airdrop operations in each of the last five years. 
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 19 May 2008, Official Report, column 7W, on Air Force: military aid, how baseboards are (a) replaced and (b) recovered after use in humanitarian airdrop operations. 
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will visit the Armed Forces Memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum near Lichfield to
discuss issues arising from increased visitor numbers; and if he will make a statement. 
Derek Twigg: Ministers have visited the National Memorial Arboretum a number of times over recent months and both they and officials have discussed and corresponded with trustees and the Royal British Legion on issues arising out of the increase in numbers of visitors following the dedication of the Armed Forces Memorial in October of last year. Officials are due to meet representatives of the trusts involved and the Royal British Legion on 29 May to discuss the issues raised by this increase.
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many personnel were entitled to the Long Service Advance of Pay in each year since 2003; and what estimate he has made of the number of entitlements in the next three years. 
Derek Twigg: The date of inception of Long Service Advance of Pay (LSAP) was 1965 for the Royal Navy, and 1996 for the Army and RAF. Information for the period 1965 to financial year 2000-01 could be supplied only at disproportionate cost. The amount paid since financial year 2000-01 is shown in the following table:
|Financial year||Value (£ million)|
|Financial year||Number of service personnel|
Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs treat LSAP as a benefit in kind liability for national insurance contributions. The Ministry of Defence has therefore made an average annual payment of £300,000 in each of the last six financial years to satisfy this requirement. A more detailed breakdown could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the Written Ministerial Statement of 20 May 2008, Official Report, columns 15-18WS, on helicopters on operations, (1) what the budget for the Helicopter Fund is in 2008-09; and what percentage of that budget will be met by the UK; 
Des Browne: The UK has made a one off contribution of £5.75 million to this fund. We continue to seek additional contributions and have not yet considered applications for programmes to be resourced from the fund.
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the Written Ministerial Statement of 20 May 2008, Official Report, columns 15-18WS, on helicopters on operations, whether (a) NATO or (b) the EU is responsible for the Helicopter Fund. 
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the Answer of 13 May 2008, Official Report, column 1519W, on armed forces: training, how many of the eight Fighting in Built-up Areas facilities have been specifically designed to replicate Afghan villages. 
However, there are, at present, no equivalent facilities on the defence estate specifically designed to replicate Afghan villages. Plans exist for Middle East style compounds/hamlets to be constructed in the future, but no timeframes are as yet available.
Mr. Keetch: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what representations he received from the French government in support of Nexter's bid to supply the Future Rapid Effect System utility vehicle requirement; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: Ministers and officials often exchange correspondence and discuss defence issues with their French counterparts. The French Government have supported Nexters bid for the Utility Vehicle design of the Future Rapid Effect System, both in writing and during discussions.
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the Answer of 12 May 2008, Official Report, column 1307W, on Army deployment, what the (a) mean, (b) mode and (c) median interval is between tours of duty for Army units. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: Tour intervals are calculated for units within the Infantry, Royal Armoured Corps and Royal Artillery. In relation to the last tour intervals for these units the mean interval is 25 months. The mode and median figure for these units is 23 months.
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many (a) Army, (b) Royal Air Force and (c) Royal Navy personnel are based in Cyprus as (i) part of Operation Tosca and (ii) outside Operation Tosca; and what their respective missions are. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth:
Currently, there are some 250 British Army personnel based in Cyprus as part of Operation Tosca. There are no Royal Navy and Royal Air Force personnel deployed in support of that operation. The mission of the armed forces personnel assigned to Op Tosca is to contribute to the implementation of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) mandate, which is to prevent a recurrence of fighting, maintain a stable
environment and de-escalate the military presence along the buffer zone in order to enable a just and lasting political solution.
Excluding Op Tosca, as of 28 May 2008, there are some 1,880 Army, 40 Royal Navy and 1,160 Royal Air Force personnel based in Cyprus. These personnel contribute to the mission of British Forces Cyprus which involves: the maintenance of the sovereign base areas and retained sites for their effective use as military bases; the provision of security and protection for key facilities, British Forces Cyprus and sovereign base area administration personnel, their dependants and other designated personnel; the operation, sustainment and development of the forward mounting base; and the provision of other operational capabilities in support of wider UK operations.
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