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It is not possible to provide a breakdown of service family accommodation as the information is not held in the form requested and will take more time to collate and verify. I will therefore write to the hon. Member with the requested information.
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The short service commission is the normal first commission for those who become an officer in the armed forces and requires a minimum engagement of three years. Certain corps and regiments may have longer minimum engagements. It is a commission for those who do not wish to commit to a long career but would like to benefit from the high quality training and exceptional opportunities available to young officers. The gap year commission is open to people who have a firm place at a UK university for a first degree. It involves a year's commission in the Army, at the end of which, personnel can decide either to join the Army or go to university.
|Intake to the Regular Naval Service|
|Financial year||Gap year commission||Short service commission|
|Intake to the Regular Army|
|Financial year||Gap y ear c ommission( 1)||Short s ervice c ommission|
|(1) Gap year commissions are only utilised by the Army.|
|Intake to the Regular Air Force|
|Financial year||Gap year commission||Short service commission|
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the (a) recruitment target and (b) recruitment level achieved for each pinch point trade for the (i) Army, (ii) Royal Navy and (iii) Royal Air Force was in each year since 2001. 
Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what discussions he has had with his US counterpart on the Battlemind programme; and what assessment he has made of the merits of introducing it for the UK armed forces. 
Mr. Kevan Jones: There is extensive liaison at official level between UK and US colleagues on the Battlemind programme. Battlemind is a military skills training programme, developed in the US by the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, to prepare service personnel for the demands and challenges of operational deployment, and to enable them to adjust successfully to the peacetime environment when they return home. A version of the programme, modified for the UK, is currently being trialled by the Academic Centre for Defence Mental Health, King's College London (ACDMH). The results of this trial are due early 2010.
Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the merits of introducing psychometric testing for the armed forces in order (a) to assess each serviceman or woman's vulnerability to psychological wounding from exposure to combat and (b) to screen servicemen after combat operations for changes in their personality which may be attributed to psychological wounding. 
Mr. Kevan Jones: Research undertaken at the King's Centre for Military Health Research (KCMHR) has produced evidence which strongly suggests that such processes are ineffective and may indeed be counter-productive.
Recent research is summarised in the KCMHR "Ten Year Report" published in 2006 by the University of London and covering a decade's worth of research concerning the health of UK service personnel and veterans. This explains that selecting out individuals who might be at increased risk of developing mental health difficulties prior to deployment is a flawed strategy because, whether one uses clinical interviews or questionnaire-based methods, it is impossible to distinguish reliably between those who will go on to experience psychological difficulties and those who will not.
Similarly, although mental health screening after deployment is practised by other countries, the Department is not aware of any evidence which demonstrates that formal mental health interviews or the use of questionnaires on return from deployment are able to distinguish effectively between those who might benefit from further intervention and those who might not. The MOD does, however, strongly support the notion that the psychological welfare of troops is primarily a chain of command responsibility. We place great emphasis on ensuring that those in positions of command remain vigilant for signs of any mental health difficulties and support these aims through our post-operational stress management protocols which include, but are not limited to, the use of decompression and of Trauma Risk Management (TRiM).
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what preparations his Department is making to ensure that military bases (a) in the UK and (b) overseas are stocked with sufficient (i) antivirals, (ii) facemasks and (iii) gloves in relation to the swine influenza outbreak. 
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the forecast cost of the Falcon programme from his Department's (a) direct resource departmental expenditure limit (DEL), (b) indirect resource DEL and (c) capital DEL was on 31 March (i) 2001, (ii) 2002, (iii) 2003, (iv) 2004, (v) 2005, (vi) 2006, (vii) 2007, (viii) 2008 and (ix) 2009. 
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much ammunition was allocated on all courses involved in the training of artillery personnel and forward observation officers to call in fire in each year since 2003; and what the cost of this ammunition was. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The quantity and cost of the 105 mm and 155 mm artillery ammunition allocated and fired at the Royal School of Artillery, Larkhill in support of phase 3 individual training is as follows:
|Financial year||Quantity||Cost (£ million)|
During 2007-08, RSA implemented changes to training course schedules that made more efficient use of ammunition. This dramatically reduces the amount of ammunition required, without impacting the quality of training provided, at a time when the cost of ammunition has risen sharply.
Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans his Department has for the disposal of its stock of Vector armoured vehicles; and how many vehicles he expects to donate to Iraq following the withdrawal of British forces from that country. 
Mr. Quentin Davies: There are no plans to gift any Vector vehicles to Iraq. The future role of the Vector Light Protected Patrol Vehicle when it is withdrawn from operations in Afghanistan is under review.
Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many undelivered Vector armoured vehicles his Department is contractually obliged to purchase; at what cost such purchases will be made; and what plans his Department has for the deployment or disposal of those vehicles. 
Mr. Quentin Davies: The Ministry of Defence is contracted to procure an additional 20 Vector, at a total cost of £4.43 million, excluding VAT. At present the planned Out of Service date for Vector is 2015, and plans for the future role of Vector following its withdrawal from Afghanistan are still under review.
Mr. Quentin Davies: The first tranche of 108 Mastiff Protected Patrol Vehicles (PPVs) were delivered to HQ Land Forces by the end of 2007. A second tranche of 174 Mastiff PPVs have been ordered and to date 82 have been issued to HQ Land Forces. It is anticipated that this order will be completed by the end of September 2009.
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his most recent assessment is of the performance of Vector armoured vehicles in Afghanistan; and what assessment he has made of the future status of the Vector fleet. 
Mr. Quentin Davies: The evolving nature of the threat means that, following delivery of Mastiff 2, Ridgback and vehicles from the Protected Mobility package announced by the Secretary of State for Defence on 29 October 2008, Official Report, columns 28-30WS, we intend to withdraw the Vector Light Protected Patrol Vehicle from operations in Afghanistan. Vector, which has also faced some reliability issues, will have a phased withdrawal once the better protected vehicles from the Protected Mobility package have been deployed.
Mr. Quentin Davies: The current cost estimate for the Vector vehicle procurement programme is £44.43 million. This excludes costs for trials, MOD manpower costs, and additional items such as ancillaries, fuel, transport costs, ammunition, training and maintenance costs, which are not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many armoured vehicles of each type are (a) available to be deployed immediately, (b) undergoing repair, (c) undergoing Bowman conversion, (d) in storage, (e) being used for training purposes and (f) otherwise assigned. 
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