|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
ISAF forces operating in Helmand come from a number of different nations, which often operate closely alongside each other. These forces also operate very closely alongside Afghan Army and police units. Without undertaking a detailed assessment of each engagement, it is not possible precisely to define in every case whether an attack was aimed at UK forces, at our ISAF partners, or against Afghan units. Data are therefore collected on the number of incidents involving ISAF forces in Helmand without attempting to identify the nationality of the forces actually being attacked. The environment also makes it extremely difficult precisely to distinguish between incidents initiated by insurgent forces and those initiated by ISAF.
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.
Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 27 October 2008, Official Report, column 622W, on Afghanistan, what his reasons were for not stating which of Helmands districts are under the control of the International Security Assistance Force, the Afghan National Security Forces and the Government of Afghanistan. 
Mr. Hutton [holding answer 30 October 2008]: The Government of Afghanistan, Afghan national security forces and the international security assistance force maintain a significant presence across Helmand Province as referred to in my answer of 27 October 2008, Official Report, column 622W.
Counter-insurgency operations, like our operation in Afghanistan, are more complex in nature than traditional warfare. Control of territory is not simple to define in a situation with no easily identifiable front-line.
Mr. Hutton [holding answer 10 November 2008]: I am withholding the information requested as its disclosure would, or would be likely to prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of our armed forces.
Mr. Hutton: There are currently no Gazelle helicopters deployed in Afghanistan. I am withholding detailed information on the number of Lynx helicopters deployed to Afghanistan as its disclosure would, or would be likely to prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the armed forces.
Mr. Hutton: We do not keep information specific to the cost of ordnance. In the year 1 April 2007 to 31 March 2008 expenditure in Afghanistan on Guided Weapons, Missiles and Bombs was £57 million and expenditure on Armament Stores, which included small arms ammunition and shells, was £121 million.
Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of the anticipated cost of urgent operational requirements for the Tornado aircraft in order to meet theatre entry requirements for Afghanistan. 
Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many (a) air crew and (b) ground crew personnel will be deployed in support of the Tornado aircraft due to replace Harriers in Afghanistan. 
Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many hours per week on average Harriers have flown (a) on Operation Herrick and (b) on peace time training in the latest period for which figures are available. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: Figures for the hours flown by Harrier aircraft are collated on a monthly basis. The flying statistics, for the last three months for which figures are available are detailed in the following table:
|Months||Operation Herrick||Peacetime training|
Figures have been rounded to the nearest five hours.
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: As announced by the then Secretary of State on 16 June 2008, Official Report, columns 677-78, the Harrier force has been continuously operational in Afghanistan since November 2004 and has proven time and again its value in defending the lives of our troops, our allies and those they are there to protect. Mindful of the strain that this extended deployment has put upon the crews, their families and the wider role of Joint Force Harrier we have decided to withdraw the Harriers from Afghanistan and replace them with an equivalent force of Tornado GR4s.
Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of the cost additional to that of normal peacetime flying tasks of (a) continuing to sustain eight Harrier GR9 aircraft on Operation Herrick and (b) deploying and sustaining eight Tornado GR4 aircraft on Operation Herrick. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The financial costs for continuing to sustain eight Harrier GR9 on Operation Herrick are estimated to be £30 million p.a. This cost includes, for example, fuel, forward and depth maintenance, associated equipment support and is based on current levels of activity. The costs associated with sustaining eight Tornado GR4 on Operation Herrick are estimated to be £31 million p.a. on an equivalent basis. The cost of deploying Tornado GR4 to Operation Herrick is up to £40 million.
Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the aircraft performance differences between Harrier and Tornado experienced during their deployment in Afghanistan over the summer months. 
Mr. Kevan Jones:
As I explained in my answer on 20 October 2008, Official Report, column 120W, the majority of blood products used on deployed operations overseas by the Defence Medical Services is supplied by the UK National Blood Services, who also supply the NHS hospitals where service personnel are treated in the UK.
The Surgeon General has received advice that current pathogen inactivation technology is not suitable for use in deployed UK operational facilities. He will continue to monitor developments in this area, including the practices adopted by our allies and the future review of pathogen inactivation that will be undertaken by the UK Advisory Committee on the Safety of Blood, Tissues and Organs.
Mrs. Humble: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps in cases of a death where a significant event analysis in primary care has been completed according to instructions outlined in Director General of Army Medical Services Policy Letter 62/03 are taken to make that analysis available to (a) the commanding officer of the deceased, (b) the service inquiry and (c) HM Coroner. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The Commanding Officer receives limited medical information about an individual where this is justified in order to protect the patient, in accordance with the Director General of Army Medical Services Policy Letter 62-03.
Once an individual has been designated at risk of suicide, he/she is placed on the unit Suicide Vulnerability Risk Management (SVRM) Register. A care assessment plan is also completed by the Commanding Officer. The Commanding Officer would therefore be aware of actions taken in primary care prior to a death.
Mr. Blunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what pension is payable to a soldier who retired after 22 years in the British Army on 30 April 1997 as a sergeant in (a) a Gurkha regiment and (b) a regiment recruited in the UK. 
Mr. Kevan Jones: The comparison requested is not possible as, under the then Gurkha Terms and Conditions of Service, a Gurkha sergeant would not serve beyond the 18 year point. He would have been awarded a pension under the Gurkha Pension Scheme, payable straight away, while his regular Army counterpart would have been awarded a preserved pension under the Armed Forces Pension Scheme 1975 (AFPS 75) payable at age 60. Assuming that both individuals were aged 40 when they left, the ex-Gurkha sergeant would have received 20 years pension before his regular Army counterpart was entitled to receive his pension benefits.
I should mention that under the new Gurkha Terms and Conditions of Service, all sergeants transferred to the same engagement as British personnel which means that they, too, could potentially serve to the 22 year point, with pension benefits under either AFPS 75 or AFPS 05, depending on which they chose.
|Officer outflow to civilian life from UK Regular Forces|
|All Services||Naval Service||Army||RAF|
|(1) Denotes provisional. Due to ongoing validation of data from the Joint Personnel Administration System, all Naval Service and Army flow statistics for financial year 2006-07 and 2007-08 and all RAF flow statistics for financial year 2007-08 are provisional and subject to review.|
1. Figures show outflow from UK Regular Forces including recalled reservists on release and outflow to the Home Service battalions of the Royal Irish Regiment. The Royal Irish Regiment disbanded on 31 March 2008.
2. UK Regular Forces includes all trained and untrained personnel. Gurkhas, Full Time Reserve personnel, and mobilised reservists are excluded.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|