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Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the average length of service of personnel opting for voluntary outflow from the armed forces was in the latest period for which figures are available. 
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what percentage of force elements have reported (a) no serious weaknesses, (b) no critical weaknesses and (c) no serious or critical weaknesses against required peacetime readiness levels in each of the last four quarters; 
(2) what percentage of force elements have reported no serious or critical weaknesses against the ability to deploy, sustain and recover force elements at the most demanding level of the Defence Planning Assumptions for contingent operations in each of the last four quarters; 
(3) what percentage of force elements have reported (a) no serious weaknesses, (b) no critical weaknesses and (c) no serious or critical weaknesses against the ability to move from peacetime readiness to immediate readiness for deployment on operations in each of the last four quarters. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth:
We have previously sought to measure our ability to bring force elements from their peacetime readiness levels up to the level required to deploy on potential contingent operations at the most demanding scale of effort, known as force generation, and to deploy them on such operations, sustain them there and recover them to their home base thereafter. This system has been predicated on the assumption that, for the most part, the armed forces will be operating below the concurrency level envisaged in defence planning assumptions and that they should therefore be working to maintain their capacity to deploy on potential contingent operations. The longer we have been operating above that concurrency level, the more theoretical this has become. By definition we have consistently, over several years, been successfully generating, deploying, sustaining
and recovering force elements above the long term concurrency levels assumed in our long term planning. The metrics we have been using to measure and report our hypothetical capability have consequently provided little or no meaningful management information. We are therefore working to develop a more useful way of measuring and reporting performance in this area for the time when the operational tempo has reduced and the forces structure is recuperated to the point where it is appropriate once more to seek to measure our contingent as opposed to our current capability.
Statistical reporting against the graduated readiness profiles is published in the MOD public service agreement reports. The most recent report, setting out the Q3 2008-09 position, was published on the MOD website on 5 May 2009 and can be found at the following link:
|No serious weakness||No critical weakness||No serious or critical weakness|
Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what research he has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on the relationship between experience of combat and evidence of psychological wounding; 
Mr. Kevan Jones: The Department fully supports the need for high quality research which examines the psychological health of personnel engaged on operational duties. The Kings Centre for Military Health Research (KCMHR) and Academic Centre for Defence Mental Health website
contains links to a wide range of individual research papers. The 2006 KCMHR 10-year report provides a particularly useful summary of research during the first 10 years since its foundation in 1996. These studies examine the psychological health of Armed Forces personnel and veterans including intensity of operations, but there is no specific study of psychological health correlated with number of contacts.
Mr. Kevan Jones: A discharge medical assessment is undertaken 90 days prior to discharge. This detailed examination is undertaken by a doctor and the results are recorded on the individual's F-Med-1 form. This form contains a specific assessment of the mental capacity and emotional stability of the individual. A reassessment is carried out seven days prior to discharge to confirm the record or reflect any further changes.
A summary of each individual's medical history while in the armed forces, including the results of the discharge medical, is recorded on an F-Med-133 form which is given to the individual to pass on to their civilian GP. The F-Med-133 also contains information on how the GP can gain access to the individual's complete service medical records if required.
Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what levels of Operational Allowance are payable to troops in (a) Afghanistan, (b) Iraq and (c) each other country in which Operational Allowance is payable. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The operational allowance is paid at the same rate for all qualifying locations. The allowance amounts to £2,380 for a six month operational tour, equating to £13.08 per day. Operational allowance is paid at a flat rate, recognising that all service personnel serving in the most challenging and dangerous operational circumstances are facing a broadly similar risk. The operational allowance is paid to all service personnel (regular, mobilised reserves and those on full-time reserve service) who are serving in specified operational locations, predominantly Afghanistan, Iraq and Iraqi territorial waters.
Mr. Quentin Davies: The Panther Command and Liaison vehicle has been modified under an urgent operational requirement to a theatre entry standard appropriate for deployment to operations in Afghanistan, at a cost of approximately £20 million.
Mr. Kevan Jones: The Ministry of Defence has some 200 individual property assets on Ascension Island recorded on its asset registers ranging from stores to accommodation blocks. Valuations are carried out on a rolling five-year basis based on the depreciated replacement cost of the assets. The last formal valuation of the assets was carried out in 2005-06 and the next will take place during 2010-11.
The assets on Ascension Island valued at more than £1 million in 2005-06 were disclosed as part of the 2007 National Asset Register which is available on the HM Treasury website, with a total value at that time of £25.7 million.
Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when his Department plans to change to Faslane the homeport of (a) HMS Trenchant, (b) HMS Talent and (c) HMS Triumph; and when each vessel will have its mid-commission major maintenance period. 
Mr. Quentin Davies: HMS Trenchant, HMS Talent and HMS Triumph will transfer progressively to HM Naval Base Clyde between 2014 and 2017 upon completion of their mid commission major maintenance periods.
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much (a) his Department and (b) its agencies paid in interest to suppliers under the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998 in the last three years for which figures are available. 
Mr. Quentin Davies: Information on interest paid to suppliers under the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998 is published in the Ministry of Defence Annual Report and Accounts. Payments made in the last three years are provided in the following table:
The Meteorological Office and Defence Support Group have no record of any payments being made to suppliers in the last three years in respect of interest arising under the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998.
Mr. Vara: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many (a) review and (b) taskforce projects his Department has commissioned in each of the last five years; what the purpose of each such project is; when each such project (i) began and (ii) was completed; what the cost of each such project was; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Kevan Jones: The Department keeps all of its business under regular review. As a result, a wide range of reviews are in hand at any given time. Information on these is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Quentin Davies: The Ministry of Defence does not own any White Fleet contract cars. We do, however, have two lease agreements in place for the provision of the majority of non-operational cars (White Fleet Vehicles). As at 12 May 2009 there were 8,376 cars leased under the UK and British Forces Germany White Fleet contracts.
Under the UK White Fleet contract, the number of vehicles (including vans, trailers, minibuses, motorbikes and coaches) based at each of the estates in England, Scotland and Wales is currently 15,228. The breakdown of this information is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will consider the merits of conducting a veterans' population study analysis similar to that undertaken by the US administration following the Vietnam War. 
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what seized property has been transferred to the Kenyan authorities by the EU-led naval force under the Provisions of Transfer of Suspected Pirates and Seized Property published in the Official Journal of the European Union of 25 March 2009; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: Operation Atalanta is an EU led operation and the operational detail requested is held by the EU Operation Commander for Atalanta, who reports to EU member states sitting in the Political and Security Committee in Brussels.
The EU-led naval force (EUNAVFOR), Operation Atalanta, where practicable, has handed over seized property such as skiffs (small boats) and other pirate related paraphernalia such as ladders, buoys and weapons. In some cases the skiffs and weaponry have been destroyed by the detaining ship for navigational and safety of life reasons. All of the incidents in which suspected pirates have been detained by EUNAVFOR are currently being prosecuted by the Kenyan authorities and therefore a more specific answer is not possible without jeopardising the court proceedings.
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