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Jim Dobbin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether Gurkhas who were stationed in the UK prior to 1997 receive a pension from the Armed Forces Pension Scheme; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Kevan Jones: Whether or not Gurkhas had been stationed for a period of time in the United Kingdom prior to 1 July 1997 had no bearing on their pension entitlement. Gurkhas who were serving on or after 1 July 1997, when the Brigade became based in the United Kingdom, were given the opportunity to transfer to the Armed Forces Pension Scheme, and the majority did so. Gurkhas who left the Army prior to 1 July 1997 were not included in the offer to transfer and remain on the Gurkha Pension Scheme.
A small number of officers who were commissioned from the Brigade through the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst served in the wider British Army on full British terms and conditions of service. These officers receive a pension from the Armed Forces Pension Scheme.
Bill Rammell: The Development, Concepts and Doctrine Centre (DCDC) and the Service Warfare Centres have conducted over 20 studies incorporating counterinsurgency since 2003 and a list of the main publications is available on the MOD website found at the following link:
One of the key studies currently being produced by DCDC is Joint Doctrine Publication (JDP) 3-40, Doctrine for the Military Contribution to Security and Stabilisation in a Changing World'. The aim of JDP 3-40 is to provide authoritative guidance about the military contribution to the provision of security and stabilisation. This is one of the most comprehensive studies conducted to date and will become a principal guide for conducting joint operations within failing states.
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many instances of damage to the axles of each type of armoured vehicles have been recorded by his Department in (a) Iraq and (b) Afghanistan in each year since 2006. 
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of the cost of replacing assets lost, damaged or prematurely worn out by the conflicts in (a) Iraq and (b) Afghanistan in each of the next five years. 
Mr. Quentin Davies: For Iraq, work is ongoing to ascertain the final impairment costs of fighting equipment deployed in Iraq, but our previous estimates of the cost of recuperation of assets lost, damaged or prematurely worn out in operations in Iraq is around £300 million. The figure will remain under review and excludes the costs of replenishing munitions.
We are not in a position to accurately predict the forward level of recuperation necessary for the ongoing operation in Afghanistan. These will be dependent on a number of factors, including the size and type of the force in theatre and the operational tempo at the time. In Afghanistan recuperation for equipment and assets is carried out through a program of rolling-recuperation, for financial year 2008-09 costs were in the order of £150 million.
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many military and what percentage of each helicopter type in the (a) Army Air Corps, (b) Royal Navy and (c) RAF are (i) in service and (ii) fit for purpose. 
Mr. Quentin Davies: The numbers and types of helicopters used by the Army Air Corps, Fleet Air Arm and Royal Air Force which are in service, in the forward fleet and considered fit for purpose are detailed in the following table. "In service" has been taken to mean the effective fleet which covers all aircraft barring those which are redundant, declared as surplus or awaiting disposal. Aircraft in the "forward fleet" are those that are available to the front line command for operational and training purposes, including those that are classed as "short-term unserviceable": aircraft undergoing scheduled depth maintenance, or planned routine fleet maintenance are excluded. Fit for purpose aircraft are those in the forward fleet considered capable of carrying out their planned missions on a given date.
|N umber of aircraft||P ercentage||N umber of aircraft||P ercentage|
|Helicopter Type/Mark||Departmental f leet||Effective f leet||In-Service||Forward f leet||Fit for purpose||Fit for purpose|
Mr. Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when the future requirements for Defence Training Estate Magilligan will be announced; and what consultation will be undertaken once an announcement has been made. 
Mr. Kevan Jones: A study is in progress to determine how best to meet the garrison's future training requirements. It is unlikely that any decision will be taken on specific establishments before 2010. Formal consultation with the trades unions will then follow as appropriate but some informal discussions have already taken place. Depending on the outcome of the review other suitable consultation will be arranged.
The Royal Navy will always seek to interdict any vessel they suspect as being directly involved in carrying out or planning acts of piracy, however,
every incident will differ. The decision on whether or not to detain suspected pirates is the responsibility of the UK Maritime Component Commander, based on legal advice given to him in theatre.
If it is considered that there is sufficient evidence on which to charge suspected pirates they will be detained and subsequently transferred to a regional state for prosecution. If, after thorough investigation, there is insufficient evidence on which to charge suspected pirates, they will be released. Any piracy equipment, such as ladders and weapons, which are found will be seized.
The Royal Navy can take robust action to come to the aid of a victim vessel under attack by pirates in international waters. This can range from deterring and disrupting the attack to the use of reasonable force to defend the victims.
Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what reports he has received on the recent incident at RAF Brize Norton, in which a TriStar Ascot 833 made an emergency landing and was immobilised on the runway, resulting in a Vulcan aircraft being diverted to RAF Lyneham; and if he will make a statement. 
Bill Rammell: It is not standard practice to inform Ministers of routine technical issues that affect RAF aircraft. In this case the Tristar had a problem with its undercarriage which required it to be towed off the runway. As the runway was occupied the Vulcan could not land immediately and instead chose to land at RAF Lyneham.
Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the likelihood of the single runway at RAF Brize Norton being put out of action after the transfer of the fleet from RAF Lyneham; and what contingency arrangements are in place to avoid the immobilisation of the Air Transport fleet in such circumstances. 
Bill Rammell: In taking the decision to co-locate the Air Transport and Air-to-Air Refuelling fleets at RAF Brize Norton, it was assessed that these fleets could operate satisfactorily from a single base. In the event of the runway at RAF Brize Norton being unavailable for any reason, aircraft would be diverted to and operate from other RAF bases or, where appropriate, civilian airports.
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what arrangements have been made for reservists from 33, 34 and 35 Signal regiments of the Territorial Army
to continue their duties after the disbanding of their regiment. 
Territorial Army [TA] personnel from a unit/sub-unit that are not to be absorbed into the new order of battle are to be regarded as surplus to establishment and are to be subject to the following provisos:
(a) TA volunteers will not be surplus to the overall TA manning liability and every effort will be made to find alternative employment and arrange for voluntary transfers.
(b) Where candidates for transfer exceed demand, open competition will be conducted by a review board with some limited opportunities for overbearing.
(c) Candidates who are not selected for transfer or for whom there is no suitable alternative employment, are to be offered the opportunity to transfer to the 'Un-posted List'.
No final decisions have been taken on which individual units will be affected by the changes. However, we are committed to supporting all our personnel through this restructuring, which is to be completed by 31 March 2010.
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