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7 July 2008 : Column 1153Wcontinued
Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 12 June 2008, Official Report, column 424W, on Suez: Navy, on what basis his Department's historic Royal Navy personnel records are organised. 
Derek Twigg: Historic records for Royal Navy ratings and officers are archived on behalf of the Ministry of Defence by TNT Archive Services in Swadlincote, Derbyshire. For ratings, the records consist of a Central Record index card for each individual and for officers, there are individual personnel files.
For an applicant to receive the Canal Zone clasp, the individual's record must be retrieved from the archive facility and the application assessed to determine whether
the required 30 continuous days service, on a vessel that has been assessed as qualifying for the award, was achieved. A record of those who have received the award is held electronically at the Ministry of Defence Medal Office at Innsworth.
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of the average annual maintenance cost of one Type 45 Destroyer. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: We have not yet reached the main decision point for the contract to provide in-service support for the Type 45 Destroyers and the associated costs have yet to be fully determined.
Mark Pritchard: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what discussions he had with his French counterpart before announcing the cancellation of the procurement of the seventh and eighth T45 destroyers. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: My right hon. Friend has had no discussions with the French Defence Minister relating to the MOD's decision not to take the option to order the seventh and eighth Type 45 destroyers.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many US nuclear weapons are maintained at (a) RAF Lakenheath, (b) other UK mainland bases and (c) UK bases overseas; and if he will make a statement. 
Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether all US nuclear weapons have been removed from the UK; and if he will make a statement. 
Des Browne: NATO's Strategic Concept (paragraph 63) states that,
"nuclear forces based in Europe and committed to NATO provide an essential political and military link between the European and the North American members of the Alliance. The Alliance will therefore maintain adequate nuclear forces in Europe."
It is NATO and UK policy to neither confirm nor deny the presence of nuclear weapons at a given location.
Mr. Kemp: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many (a) veteran badges and (b) Bevin Boys badges have been issued to people in the North East. 
Derek Twigg: The information is not held in the format that identifies how many HM Armed Forces Veterans badges and Bevin Boys Veterans badges have been issued in the North East region and can be provided only at disproportionate costs.
Between May 2004 and 2 June 2008, over 594,000 HM Armed Forces Veterans badges have been issued.
Between March 2008 and 2 June 2008, over 4,000 Bevin Boys Veterans badges have been issued.
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what role 7 Regiment Army Air Corps performed during the 2007 floods. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: A Gazelle helicopter was deployed from 7 Regiment Army Air Corps to Gloucester. It undertook liaison, reconnaissance and observation tasks over the flooded areas for the armed forces and supplemented the capabilities of the civil authorities.
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many (a) suicide bombings and (b) improvised explosive device attacks were recorded in Afghanistan in each month since February 2008.  [Official Report, 23 November 2009, Vol. 501, c. 3MC.]
Des Browne: Records of incidents for the whole of Afghanistan are not held centrally and could not be provided without incurring disproportionate cost.
Data are more readily available for attacks within Regional Command (South), which includes the majority of UK forces deployed to Afghanistan.
Between 1 February and 12 June 2008, there were a total of 176 improvised explosive device attacks recorded in RC(S), and 21 suicide or suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive device attacks. These data are broken down per month as follows:
|Month||Total IED attacks (including suicide-borne)||Suicide-borne IED attacks|
These figures do not include IED finds with no detonation or IED false alarms. These data are based on information derived from a number of sources and can only be an estimate, not least because of the difficulties in ensuring a consistent interpretation of the basis for collating statistics in a complex fast-moving multinational operational environment.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the use of vacuum bombs in Afghanistan, including the circumstances under which they are permitted to be deployed; on how many occasions deployment in this theatre has occurred; and how many deaths he estimated have resulted. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth [holding answer 30 June 2008]: The UK has not procured or deployed any weapon systems designed to deliver effect by means of a vacuum.
John Battle: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what proportion of newly deployed troops to Afghanistan have been deployed (a) to help build up infrastructure and (b) to train and support Afghan security forces; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: Of the 630 new posts announced by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence on 16 June 2008, Official Report, column 677, some 75 will be engaged in helping to rebuild Afghanistan's infrastructure. Around a further 155 will deploy to assist in the training and support of the Afghan National Security Forces.
Mr. Holloway: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many M-WMIKS vehicles are in Afghanistan. 
Des Browne: We have deployed a significantly improved version of the standard M-WMIK vehicle to Afghanistan, which has been recently renamed Jackal. I am withholding detailed information on the precise number of Jackal vehicles deployed as its disclosure would, or would be likely to prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the armed forces.
Mr. Holloway: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence for what operational purposes Snatch vehicles are being used in Afghanistan; and if he will make a statement. 
Des Browne: Snatch Land Rovers continue to form an important part of the overall vehicle fleet available to our forces in Afghanistan. Commanders on the ground select the optimum vehicle type for a particular task, weighing up the need for force protection, capacity, mobility, fire power and profile. Snatch will therefore tend to be favoured for tasking in relatively low threat areas for tasks requiring high levels of mobility and a high capacity to transport dismounted troops.
Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how much was spent on purchases of locally produced Afghan food by the armed forces and Government agencies in Afghanistan in the financial years (a) 2005-06, (b) 2006-07 and (c) 2007-08; 
(2) what proportion of expenditure on food for the armed forces and Government agencies in Afghanistan was spent on locally-produced Afghan food in each of the last three years for which figures are available; 
(3) how much was spent on food for (a) the armed forces and (b) Government agencies in Afghanistan in each of the last three years for which figures are available. 
Des Browne: No locally produced Afghan food has been procured for British troops by the MOD food supply contractor during this period. Plans are under way however to commission Afghan farmers to grow produce for supply through the MOD food supply contract.
Separate figures for the value of food supplied to British forces and Government agencies in Afghanistan who have been fed through the MOD food supply contract are not available; however, the total sums spent over the last three financial years are as follows:
|Financial year||£ million|
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many people who escaped from Kandahar Prison on 13 June have been recaptured; and how many of these were originally captured by British forces. 
Des Browne: Sarpoza Prison is run in its entirety by the Afghan Government, and we have no reason to believe that any of the individuals who escaped originally were captured by UK forces. Operations to recapture escapees from Sarpoza Prison near Kandahar are being led by the Government of Afghanistan, and the Ministry of Defence does not have figures for the total numbers recaptured.
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many people who escaped from Kandahar Prison on 13 June were originally captured by British forces. 
Des Browne: The MOD does not hold detailed records on those individuals being held in Sarpoza Prison near Kandahar either before or after the incident on 13 June, as the prison is run by the Government of Afghanistan. However, we have no reason to believe that any of the individuals who escaped were originally captured by UK forces.
Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of the length of roads (a) repaired and (b) constructed by the armed forces directly or under their direction in Helmand province in the last two years. 
Des Browne: In the last two years, UK Royal Engineers have repaired, reconstructed or constructed over 40 kilometres of road in Helmand province. This has been achieved by project managing locally employed contractors on behalf of the UK's provincial reconstruction team based in Lashkar Gah.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much funding his Department plans to provide to the Africa Conflict Prevention Pool in 2008-09. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth:
In April 2008 the Africa and Global Conflict Prevention Pools (the ACPP and GCPP) were merged to form a single combined Conflict Prevention
Pool (CPP). The CPP is managed jointly by the Department for International Development (DFID), the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and the Ministry of Defence (MOD). Its budget is voted on separately by Parliament to support the Government's conflict prevention policy in line with the tri-departmental Public Service Agreement (PSA) on conflict.
The CPP is divided into six regional and two thematic programmes, including a dedicated Africa Programme, reflecting priorities set by Ministers through NSID(OD) (the Overseas and Defence Ministerial Subcommittee of the National Security, International Relations and Development Committee). The Africa Programme has been set an initial allocation of £62.5 million for financial year 2008-09 from the total CPP budget of £112 million.
Mr. Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether the design of the new aircraft carriers incorporates podded propulsion. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The design does not incorporate podded propulsion.
Mr. Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will order the construction of the new aircraft carriers to be nuclear powered. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: No. I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 11 June 2008, Official Report, column 255W, to the hon. Member for Portsmouth, South (Mr. Hancock).
Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many babies were born to (a) service personnel and (b) military families based (i) overseas and (ii) in the UK in each of the last three years for which figures are available. 
Derek Twigg: Data on the number of babies born to service personnel and military families are not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
David T.C. Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many UK personnel were deployed on operations on the most recent date for which figures are available, broken down by location. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The following table shows the number of UK service personnel deployed on operations by location at 30 June 2008. The number of personnel in theatre will naturally fluctuate on a daily basis for a variety of reasons, including leave (rest and recuperation), temporary absence for training, evacuation for medical reasons, the roulement of forces and other factors.
|Number of personnel deployed by location( 1)|
|(1) Countries with 10 or more personnel are shown separately. Other countries with fewer than 10 personnel per country include Georgia, Nepal, Sudan, Sierra Leone, Democratic Republic of Congo and Liberia.|
(2) Figures for Iraq and Afghanistan have been rounded to the nearest 100. Other figures have been rounded to the nearest 10. Due to rounding methods used, the total may not equal the sum of the individual locations.
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