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Mr. Graham Stuart: To ask the Solicitor-General how many (a) away days and (b) conferences that took place outside the Serious Fraud Office's (SFO) buildings attended by civil servants in the SFO there have been since 2005; and what the cost was of each. 
Mr. Quentin Davies: My officials are developing plans with the range operator, QinetiQ, for new investment in the Hebrides Range including the possible replacement or upgrade of surveillance and tracking equipment. The plans are at an early stage and no decisions have yet been taken. These plans will not involve redundancies.
Mr. Quentin Davies: My officials are currently considering whether the existing electricity generators on St. Kilda should be replaced due to their age. This assessment will take into account the affordability and relative priority of any replacement compared with other potential investments. These plans will not involve redundancies.
While there have been several initiatives by the Government of Afghanistan to form local auxiliary forces outside the Afghan National Security Forces, including plans for an Afghan national auxiliary police and an Afghan public protection programme, these have not been adopted in Helmand.
Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what information his Department holds on the tribal origins of the (a) officers and (b) other ranks in the (i) present and (ii) expected future Afghan National Army; and what proportion are (A) currently serving and (B) expected to serve in Helmand province. 
We expect the future tribal origins of the Afghan National Army to be consistent with the tribal targets for the Afghan National Army set by the Government of Afghanistan in 2002 which are Pashtuns-42 per cent; Tajiks 27 per cent; Hazara-9 per cent; Uzbek-9 per cent; Other-13 per cent.
As announced by the Prime Minister on 30 November extra Afghan soldiers have started to arrive in Helmand this month with 600 arriving which equates to an extra company for each Afghan battalion there. A further 10
Afghan companies (1,000 more troops) will soon reinforce the Afghan army's 205 corps across southern Afghanistan.
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The last official population census carried out in Afghanistan, which included Helmand Province, was in 1970. A number of population estimates have been undertaken since then by international organisations and forces. For example in 2003 the Afghan Central Statistical Office/United Nations Population Fund conducted a Socio-Economic Demographic Profile which included a population estimate.
Mr. Keith Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the Prime Minister's Statement of 30 November 2009, Official Report, columns 831-6W, on Afghanistan and Pakistan, on what date it was agreed with the Afghan government that the number of Afghan police in Helmand would increase to 4,100; and how many Afghan police were deployed in Helmand prior to that agreement. 
The decision to uplift the number of Afghan police in Helmand to 4,100 was announced by Afghan Minister of the Interior Hanif Atmar in July 2009. It followed discussion and agreement with the international community, including the UK, at the International Policing Coordination Board, chaired by Minister Atmar. It was part of a review of the Afghan national police by the Interior Ministry, which resulted in the decision to increase the number of police by 10,000 for 14 high-threat provinces ahead of the Afghan elections in August. Prior to that the Helmand allocation for Afghan national police was 3,500.
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The operational costs in Afghanistan are prepared and audited on an annual basis for the whole of the operation and do not separately identify information regarding the cost of each individual deployed in theatre. This is because deployed troops conduct many different tasks, using different equipment, which results in varying consumption rates.
The current forecast of costs for military operations in Afghanistan during the financial year 2009-10 is £3.754 million, as published in Winter Supplementary Estimates, 24 November 2009, Official Report, column 45-46WS. The cost of military operations (Request for Resources 2) is based on the net additional costs incurred for the full cost of items such as transport/movement, consumption, operational equipment and equipment
support, operational allowances and welfare, utilities, infrastructure, communications, food, training, medical supplies, as well as non-cash costs such as depreciation and cost of capital charge. The costs that the Department would have incurred regardless of the operation taking place, such as payroll costs, are recorded against the core (Request for Resources 1) Defence budget.
However, a benchmark, based on the total level of expenditure against the total number of troops deployed in theatre in any given period, would equate to approximately £390,000 per service person as set out by the Prime Minister on 4 September 2009.
Mr. Bob Ainsworth [holding answer 10 December 2009]: I discuss the security situation in Afghanistan with my US counterpart regularly. I spoke to Secretary Gates on 1 December ahead of President Obama's announcement that the United States would send an additional 30,000 troops to Afghanistan. Most recently, I met Secretary Gates in Afghanistan on 10 December 2009.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he expects 8 Squadron Royal Air Force to deploy as part of the NATO Airborne Early Warning and Control Force; and what estimate he has made of the cost of the deployment. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The deployment of personnel and equipment from 8 Squadron, Royal Air Force started on 8 December 2009. The estimated additional cost to the UK of the deployment of the Boeing E3D Sentry detachment is about £1.5 million.
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The UK's Boeing E3D Sentry aircraft assigned to support the International Security Assistance Force will operate in Afghan airspace to meet the need for improved air traffic control in Afghanistan.
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: As I told the House on 8 December, Official Report, columns 14-15WS, the UK's Boeing E3D Sentry detachment that will operate in support of the International Security Assistance Force will be based in the middle east. I am not prepared to be more specific as to do so could harm our international relations.
Mr. Holloway: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what plans are in place to ensure that Christmas cards and gifts reach British troops serving in Afghanistan in time for Christmas; 
Bill Rammell: Mail posted before the last date of posting (4 December) will already have arrived in Afghanistan. All mail is expected to be with service personnel by Christmas subject to the availability of space within the supply chain in Afghanistan.
To ensure that mail reaches HM Forces in time for Christmas, MOD published last posting dates via the MOD, BFPO and Royal Mail websites. In addition, extra space on aircraft was allocated to move mail to Afghanistan and additional seasonal staff were employed by BFPO to process the Christmas mail surge.
Mr. Kevan Jones: MOD takes very seriously its responsibility to provide high-quality mental health care to its personnel. Diagnosis and treatment of mental health disorders in members of the armed forces are performed by trained and accredited mental health personnel. In Iraq, we deployed uniformed mental health nurses to provide in-theatre care and treatment for our personnel. If personnel needed to leave the operational environment, then their care continued either on an out- or in-patient basis in the UK or their permanent base overseas.
In the UK, our mental health services for military personnel are configured to provide community-based mental health care, primarily through our 15 military Departments of Community Mental Health (DCMH) across the UK (plus centres overseas), which provide out-patient mental health care. The DCMH mental health teams, comprising psychiatrists, mental health nurses, clinical psychologists and mental health social workers, have particular expertise in treatments for psychological injury.
For the relatively small number of military patients who need it, in-patient care is currently provided by a group of seven NHS trusts located throughout England and Scotland, led by South Staffordshire and Shropshire NHS Foundation Trust (SSSFT) through a central MOD contract.
Bill Rammell: The term "tactical training area" is not recognised by the Ministry of Defence. However the term air tactical training is recognised and refers to the three areas of the UK where operational low flying is permitted.
There are however three training areas in the West Yorkshire area (Ellingham Banks, Laver Banks and Ripon Parks) which are primarily used for low level dry training which does not involve live ammunition.
Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many members of the Officer Training Corps joined (a) the regular army and (b) the Territorial Army in 2008; and what percentage of the establishment of the corps this represented in each case. 
Bill Rammell: In 2008, 271 members of the Officer Training Corps joined the Regular Army Commissioning Courses at Royal Military Academy Sandhurst; 86 members of the Officer Training Corps joined the Territorial Army Commissioning Courses at Royal Military Academy Sandhurst; and 129 members of the Officer Training Corps enlisted as soldiers. These numbers equate to, respectively, 9 per cent., 2.9 per cent. and 4.4 per cent. of the overall establishment of the Corps. In total, just under 50 per cent. of those leaving the Corps as graduates in 2008 went on to embark on a career in the Army.
Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many helicopters belonging to each of the armed services are in (a) the United Kingdom, (b) Afghanistan and (c) each other location. 
|Service||Total number of UK-based helicopters|
A proportion of the UK-based Army, Navy and Royal Air Force helicopter fleets are currently deployed on expeditionary operations. We do not disclose the exact number of aircraft deployed on operations as to do so would, or would be likely to, prejudice the capability, effectiveness and security of these forces.
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