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Mr. Kevan Jones: As my right hon. Friend the Minister for the Armed Forces announced in our response to the National Recognition Study, the first Armed Forces Day will be held on 27 June this year, building on the success of Veterans Day events held in previous years. The day will provide an opportunity for the public to show their appreciation for the contribution made to society by those who serve and have served the nation in the armed forces. We are working with a wide range of organisations to deliver events that will mark the day and planning is progressing well.
17. Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent representations he has received on access to treatment by those with post-combat stress disorder who live in North Yorkshire. 
Mr. Kevan Jones: During the past 12 months both my predecessor and I have responded to parliamentary and ministerial correspondence relating to access to treatment for specific individuals in the North Yorkshire area who are suffering from PTSD.
We are working with the four UK Health Departments in piloting a new mental health service for veterans in five NHS trusts across the UK to address treatment of veterans mental health problems. I spoke at a conference in Hull which has pioneered support for veterans.
We are also working with the Kings Centre for Military Health to monitor the mental health of a cohort of serving personnel to better understand the true prevalence of psychiatric disorders and the treatment required.
Mr. Quentin Davies: We are already replacing Snatch Land Rover with Snatch Vixen. As my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence said in his written ministerial statement of 16 December 2008, Official Report, columns 103-04WS, we do not believe that there is a better vehicle than Snatch Vixen currently available anywhere in the world to fulfil the Light Protected Patrol Vehicle requirement. But we are also looking to the future and anticipating new threats, and we have begun a programme to develop the next generation of these vehicles which will in due course take the place of Snatch Vixen.
23. Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the effects of his proposed reductions in defence procurement expenditure on the UK's defence capability. 
Mr. Quentin Davies: The defence procurement budget has not been reduced. The effect of the examination has been to focus our budget on the delivery of those capabilities of highest immediate urgency for current operations, while allowing us to continue to invest in those capabilities needed to respond to future threats.
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: In most parts of the world, incidents of piracy and maritime armed robbery are decreasing. It is clear however, that the increase in incidents around the Horn of Africa is a growing problem that needs to be tackled by the international community.
The Ministry of Defence is therefore supporting two international efforts to counter piracy off the coast of Somaliathe Coalition Maritime Forces operations, and the EU counter piracy mission, which a UK officer will command and for which we are providing the operational HQ and one Frigate.
We have also stiffened our rules of engagement and instructed Royal Navy vessels to actively seek out pirates. Under these new guidelines, HMS Cumberland successfully deterred an attack and rescued a pirated Yemeni vessel and crew last November.
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the Prime Ministers statement on the European Council, Afghanistan, India and Pakistan of 15 December 2008, Official Report, columns 813-31, what units will form the increase of 300 troops to Afghanistan. 
As detailed in my statement of 16 December 2008, Official Report, column 105WS, The Second Battalion, The Princess of Wales Royal Regiment are temporarily deployed to Afghanistan until March 2009.
They will be replaced by The Second Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, who will be deployed until August 2009.
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the Prime Ministers statement on the European Council, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India of 15 December 2008, Official Report, columns 813-31, what the Governments policy is on the number of trained Afghan national army troops required for security purposes in Afghanistan. 
Mr. Hutton: We welcome the decision taken by the Afghan authorities and the International Community on 10 September 2008 to increase the size of the Afghan National Army from 80,000 to 134,000. This includes operational units, trainers and enablers.
Building Afghanistans capacity to provide security for its people remains key to success. Therefore the UK supports ANA expansion both of its combat capabilities and in key supporting elements such as engineering, intelligence, and logistics.
The majority of people in Afghanistan can go about their daily lives without fear of violence
but, in certain areas of the country, particularly in the south and east, significant security challenges remain.
Mr. David Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how many training hours were flown from (a) RAF Linton-on-Ouse, (b) RAF Cranwell and (c) RAF Valley in each of the last three years for which records are available; 
(3) what effect he estimates the award of the UK Military Flying Training System contract will have on the number of flying training hours flown from (a) RAF Linton-on-Ouse, (b) RAF Cranwell and (c) RAF Valley. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The flying hours flown in the last three years and anticipated for the next three years are detailed in the following table. It should be noted that figures for future years are estimates only and may be subject to change as part of the normal management process.
The UK Military Flying Training System (UKMFTS) will cater for the future flying training needs of the armed forces. Delivery will be incremental, with full delivery of the service planned for early in the next decade. No decisions have yet been taken on the number of UKMFTS flying training hours to be undertaken from individual stations.
Mr. Gerald Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of the effects on the project cost of later than originally planned in-service dates for HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales. 
Willie Rennie: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate his Department has made of the effect on his Department's costs of the decision to put back the in-service date of HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales. 
Mr. Hutton [holding answer 18 December 2008]: We have estimated the costs of a delay to in-service dates in close consultation with the Aircraft Carrier Alliance and other stakeholders. Further negotiations with industry will be necessary to reach a firm figure and I am therefore withholding this information as its release would, or would be likely to, prejudice commercial interests.
Mr. Kevan Jones:
A copy of the most recently published report, that for second half of 2007, compiled by the Chief of the General Staffs Briefing Team was placed in the Library of the House and remains current. I refer the hon. Member to the answer my right hon. Friend,
the Minister of State for the Armed Forces, gave on 1 September 2008, Official Report, column 1464W. The next report is being prepared for publication in 2009 and a copy will be placed in the Library of the House when formally published.
|Location||Endorsed number (at 16 December 2008)( 1)|
|(1) Rounded to 50|
(2) On 15 December 2008, the Prime Minister announced a temporary increase in the number of British troops deployed to Afghanistan, from just over 8,000 to 8,300 ( Official Report, column 816). The endorsed figure for Operation Herrick 9 remains unaffected.
(3) Providing support to the Senior British Military RepresentativeIraq.
(4) Small scale deployments in support of EU and UN missions, and headquarters liaison officers.
The precise number of personnel in each theatre at any one time fluctuates on a daily basis for a variety of reasons, including mid-tour rest and recuperation, temporary absence for training, evacuation for medical reasons, the roulement of forces, visits and other factors.
|Percentage deployed on contingent operations||Percentage undertaking military tasks|
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