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European Defence Agency: OCCAR

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will place in the Library a copy of the declaration on co-operation between the European Defence Agency and the Organisation for Joint Armament Co-operation. [236447]

Mr. Quentin Davies: The declaration on co-operation between the European Defence Agency and OCCAR is Annexe I of the Council conclusions from the General Affairs and External Relations Council on 10 November. I will arrange for the Council conclusions to be placed in the Library of the House.


Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has to increase the number of helicopters in Regional Command South; and if he will make a statement. [234320]

Mr. Hutton: Helicopter support to ISAF operations in Regional Command (South) is provided from a multinational pool of helicopters, to which the UK makes a significant contribution. We fully recognise the vital role played by helicopters of all types in supporting NATO operations in Afghanistan and we have taken a range of measures which have increased our capability in this area. By improving crew arrangements and enhancing logistic support, we have increased available helicopter hours by around 60 per cent. in the last two years. And we have eased the pressure on the military helicopter fleet by making maximum use of civilian helicopters and aircraft for the provision of logistic support.

Looking to the future, we are examining options to deploy Merlin helicopters and additional Chinook airframes to Afghanistan. We will continue to investigate ways to get more capability out of our existing deployed airframes. And we continue to work closely with our allies to ensure other nations make an appropriate contribution in this area.

Housing: Construction

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps he is taking to ensure developers and contractors in the house building industry consider the whole life costs and the production process of housing; and whether he plans to introduce producer responsibility for ( a) the construction industry and (b) house building industry products. [239435]

Mr. Quentin Davies: It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

Information Warfare

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what (a) reports and (b) statutory instruments which relate to cyber terrorism have been produced by his Department in the last three years. [230579]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The MOD had produced a number of reports relating to cyber terrorism over the past three years. I am withholding further details as their release would, or would be likely to prejudice national security.

No statutory instruments which relate to cyber terrorism have been produced by MOD in the last three years.

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Iraq: Armoured Fighting Vehicles

Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many armoured or protected land rovers of each type were deployed to Iraq prior to October 2003; and when they were deployed. [239850]

Mr. Hutton: It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

Iraq: Detainees

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) when (a) officials and (b) Ministers in his Department were informed of the allegations made by the International Committee of the Red Cross about abuses by United States forces at Abu Ghraib prison in its report of February 2004; [Official Report, 11 December 2008, Vol. 485, c. 5MC.] [228972]

(2) whether Ministers in his Department were informed by officials of (a) allegations concerning the treatment of prisoners in Abu Ghraib and (b) the interim report of the International Committee of the Red Cross of February 2004 on the treatment of prisoners by coalition forces in Iraq. [229017]

Mr. Hutton: I refer the hon. Member to the answers given by my right hon. Friend the then Defence Secretary on 27 May 2004, to the then hon. Member for Cheadle (Mrs. Calton), Official Report, column 1843, and the hon. Member for Mid-Sussex (Mr. Soames), Official Report, column 1845W, and by my right hon. Friend the then Foreign Secretary to the right hon. and learned Member for Devizes (Mr. Ancram) on 16 June 2004, Official Report, column 992W.

An advance copy of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) report “The Treatment by the Coalition Forces of Prisoners of War and Other Protected Persons by the Geneva Convention in Iraq during Arrest, Internment and Interrogation”, dated 10 February 2004, was received by the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq and, on 12 February, copies were passed to the offices of the UK Special Representative and the Senior British Military Representative in Iraq (SBMR-I). SBMR-I passed a copy to Headquarters Multi-National Division (South East) in Iraq on 13 February, to the Permanent Joint Headquarters in the UK on 16 February, and posted a copy to the Ministry of Defence in London that arrived on 27 February.

On 26 February 2004, the ICRC formally presented the report to Ambassador Bremer as Head of the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq at a meeting attended by an official from the Office of the UK Special Representative. The proceeds of this meeting were reported by telegram to the FCO in London within 24 hours.

In their meeting on 18 March 2004, the President of the ICRC, Dr. Kellenberger, did mention briefly to the then Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office my hon. Friend the Member for Harlow (Bill Rammell) that the February ICRC report contained allegations concerning treatment of detainees by forces other than UK forces, although naturally the part of their discussion which covered detainees in Iraq focused on specific allegations against UK forces. The Minister discussed the concerns raised by Dr. Kellenberger with officials on his return to
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London. Officials had already received assurances that UK investigations were under way into allegations of abuse of detainees at Abu Ghraib prison. Defence Ministers became aware of the specific allegations against UK forces contained in the ICRC report when they read the report over the weekend of 8-9 March 2004. A copy had been passed by officials to the Defence Secretary’s office on 7 May 2004.

The ICRC report summarises a series of working papers handed over to coalition forces based on observations and interviews during the 29 visits the ICRC conducted in 14 places of detention throughout Iraq between 31 March and 24 October 2003. Ministers had been aware of those issues relating to UK forces for five months before they were aware of the report itself. Allegations of abuse are taken very seriously and, by the time the ICRC report was published, the Royal Military Police were already engaged on several investigations into specific alleged incidents of abuse by UK forces.

Iraq: Military Aircraft

Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what role the Harrier Force played in Operation TELIC in 2003. [238820]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The Harriers deployed on Operation Telic in 2003 were tasked with a variety of roles, primarily close air support and tactical reconnaissance.

Iraq: Peacekeeping Operations

Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the Answer of 15th May 2008, Official Report, columns 1715-6W, on Iraq: peacekeeping operations, when each member of the Serious Crimes Unit was taken into the custody of UK forces; when each was released; whether any legal proceedings were initiated against any of them; and if he will establish an investigation into the circumstances leading up to their detention by UK forces and during the period of their detention. [207680]

Mr. Hutton: The situation in Iraq makes it very difficult to be certain of the identity and background of individuals detained by UK forces and in particular whether or not they are or have been members of the Serious Crimes Unit. Releasing detailed information of the date of capture and release of suspected members of that unit could enable the individuals concerned to be identified and thus pose a threat to their security. I am therefore not prepared to release such information.

As we have made clear previously, there are no reasons to believe that there were outstanding arrest warrants against any of the members of the SCU previously detained and subsequently released by UK forces in southern Iraq. As a result, there was no basis on which the Iraq authorities would wish to take forward legal proceedings against these individuals. They were interned by UK forces under the authority of the UN Security Council Resolution 1546 and subsequent resolution for imperative reasons of security. Their internment and release was overseen by our in-theatre internment review procedures and they were released because of a judgment that they no longer represented an imperative security threat. I therefore have no intention of initiating further investigation into these events.

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Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many civilian contractors employed by his Department were serving on (a) Operation Telic and (b) Operation Herrick at the latest date for which figures are available, broken down by company providing the contractors; and which service or function is performed by each such contractor. [207910]

Mr. Quentin Davies: There are currently some 2,200 civilian contractors listed as working for the Ministry of Defence on Operation Telic and some 3,000 civilian contractors listed as working for the Ministry of Defence on Operation Herrick. The Prime Contractors for whom these individuals work and their functions are listed in the following table:

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Operation Telic
Contractor Function

148 Squadron (EFI)

NAAFI Services



AIEE Motorola

Supply of Radios

Al Alghanin

White Fleet Supplier

Al Bahar and Bardawil (B&B)

Security Walls, Accommodation, General— Trading

Al Hanafi

Cleaning Services

Al Hasan Fuel Station

Fuel Coupons

Al Hilal Enterprise


Al Khaleej


Al Majd United Engineering Company

Engineering and sub contractors

Al Sawari

Waste Disposal

Al Yamama

Building/Engineering and sub contractors

Almoayed Services


American United Group






BLK (British Link Kuwait)

Building, Tented Accommodation and Services

Blue Helix


Budget Car Rental

White Fleet








Logistics/Freight/Parcel delivery/Office Accommodation


General Support Equipment



Elite Logistics

White Fleet

Elite Properties


Fast Supplies

Aircraft Coolers and general building supplies

Fine Foods

Bottled Water

Garda World

Vehicle Maintenance

Gulf Hotel


Gulf House Markets

Forklift Truck hire

Harlow Specialist Life Support & Logistics

Hire of Photocopier



Inchcape Shipping Services

Logistics (with KBR UK)

Iraqi Local Goods

Gift Shop


Forklift Truck hire

Jarir Bookstore


Jassim Transport

Hire of Vehicles (RTCH)


Accommodation/Bulk Fuel Installation Management, Maintenance, Interpreters

KGL (Kuwaiti Gulf Link)

Bus Services

London Gifts

Gift Shop

Mott MacDonald

Consulting Civil Engineering

No Lemons

Vehicle Repair (Toyota Land Cruisers)

Oman Air Engineering

Aircraft Washing

Paper Arts Products



Communication Services

Redmack Industrial Services

Waste Disposal


Design and Construction

Said Al-Shuali


Shah Nagardas Manji


Specialist Coffee Shop

Coffee Shop

STS (Specialist Transport Services)

Bulk Fluids


IT Services and Communication


Infrastructure Support

United Car Rental

White Fleet

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