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Before the First World War and during the inter world war years, the burying of the deceased was traditionally a function of the ship, regiment or unit to which they belonged or of the individual's family. No formal assistance was offered by the then Admiralty, War Office or Air Ministry, and over the succeeding years only a limited number of such graves have been maintained by the Ministry of Defence. These are usually in a military cemetery funded by the Ministry of Defence, where failure to maintain all the graves to the same standard would detract from the overall appearance of the cemetery.

With effect from 1 January 1948, UK Armed Forces personnel who die in service are provided, subject to their next of kin's agreement, with a suitable funeral and military headstone and their grave maintained in perpetuity through the Ministry of Defence. In addition, there is the Armed Forces Memorial (AFM), which is located at the National Memorial Arboretum and

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commemorates some 16,000 service personnel who were killed or who have died on active service or as a result of terrorist action since 1 January 1948.

Rolls of honour that record all known service personnel who have died while in service will be placed in the Church of St Martin in the Fields for the Royal Navy, the Chapel of the Royal Hospital Chelsea for the Army and the Church of St Clement Danes in the Strand for the Royal Air Force. Their details can already be found on the Armed Forces Memorial website at the following link: http://www.forcesmemorial. org.uk/roll-of-honour.asp.

Armed Forces: Helicopters

Questions

Asked by Lord Moonie

The Minister for International Defence and Security (Baroness Taylor of Bolton): No decisions with regard to maintaining the Apache helicopter beyond its current out-of-service date of 2030 have yet been made.

Asked by Lord Selkirk of Douglas

Baroness Taylor of Bolton: The UK MoD has a fleet of 70 Merlin aircraft that are currently in service. The Merlin Mk1 which is used by the Royal Navy entered service in March 1999. The Merlin Mk 3 entered service in June 2000 and the Merlin Mk3a achieved initial operating capability in March 2008; both of these are used by the RAF. The first Merlin to be deployed in Afghanistan has just arrived, and others will follow shortly.

Asked by Lord Ashcroft

Baroness Taylor of Bolton: There is no delay to the Puma upgrade programme. The contract was placed in mid-September 2009 and is progressing to schedule. We expect that the upgrade programme will be completed by the end of 2014.

Asked by Lord Ashcroft

Baroness Taylor ofBolton: Following the Defence Select Committee's review into battlefield helicopters in June 2009, we have been looking again at our future helicopter strategy, including whether there is an

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opportunity to replace some of our older types earlier than planned. We concluded in September 2009 that we should proceed with the planned upgrade to the Puma fleet but have continued to review our plans for the Sea King fleet and how best to meet our future helicopter requirements. This work has focused on ensuring continued delivery on operations, increasing the percentage of our future fleet that can operate effectively in the harsh conditions that we are experiencing in Afghanistan, and reducing the through-life cost of owning and operating our fleets, including by minimising the number of types operated and the variation of build-standard within each type. We anticipate being in a position to clarify our future plans in the coming weeks.

Armed Forces: Medical Treatment

Question

Asked by Lord Swinfen

The Minister for International Defence and Security (Baroness Taylor of Bolton): The MoD's Defence Analytical Services and Advice (DASA) organisation publishes on its website statistics on new attendances to the MoD's in-patient contractor, effective back to 2007. Equivalent verified data prior to 2007 are not available and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. New patients assessed as having a mental disorder and admitted to the MoD's in-patient contractor by deployment are shown in the following table. Note that, for those who deployed to Afghanistan, this does not specifically attribute their disorder to that deployment.

YearAll first admissions assessed with a mental disorderOf which, patients who had previously deployed to Afghanistan

2007

247

33*

2008

213

35

2009 (to 30 June 2009)

108

19

The single services record, for management reasons, the numbers of personnel who are at any one time "unfit for task" or "unable to deploy", although their records do not identify the length of time each individual has been so categorised. Details of the numbers of personnel fit for task and fit to deploy in each quarter since 2006 were given in Answers dated 20 and 22 January 2009 (Official Report, cols. 1262-64W and 1664-66W) and 28 April 2009 (Official Report, col. 1156W). The majority of those personnel who fall into the category of medically "not fully fit" remain fit

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enough to work in some capacity and therefore continue to make a contribution to operational effectiveness, often within theatres of operation.

The number of UK service personnel medically discharged with a principal condition of mental and behavioural disorders during the period 2004-08 is shown in the following table.

Of this total, number previously deployed to AfghanistanTotal20042005200620072008

Naval Service1

6

185

29

46

42

39

29

Army

27

602

121

119

111

114

137

RAF

8

271

65

38

78

49

41

Figures have been compiled using the International Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems version 10 (ICD 10 codes F00-F99).

Note that a previous deployment should not be assumed to be the cause of the principal disability leading to medical discharge. Although medical boards recommend medical discharges they do not decide whether the principal disability is attributable to service. A medical board could take place many months or even years after an event or injury and it is not clinically possible in some cases to link an earlier injury to a later problem which may lead to a discharge.

Armed Forces: Nimrod

Question

Asked by Lord Selkirk of Douglas

The Minister for International Defence and Security (Baroness Taylor of Bolton): The planned in-service date of the Nimrod MRA4 is December 2010.

Armed Forces: Royal Gibraltar Regiment

Question

Asked by Lord Kilclooney

The Minister for International Defence and Security (Baroness Taylor ofBolton): The primary role of the Royal Gibraltar Regiment is to support the defence and security of Gibraltar. Deployments in support of other tasks have been undertaken by individual volunteers; 15 personnel from the Royal Gibraltar Regiment have deployed on operations in Afghanistan between August 2004 and February 2009. Since then there has been a temporary suspension in volunteers being deployed while we investigated a potential issue with compensation

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arrangements covering such deployments. The Royal Gibraltar Regiment is entitled to compensation benefits under its own terms and conditions of service including when deployed to Afghanistan. Work has commenced to bring these compensation arrangements in line with the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme through legislation. The temporary suspension has now been lifted.

Armed Forces: Staff

Questions

Asked by Lord Selkirk of Douglas

The Minister for International Defence and Security (Baroness Taylor of Bolton): The following table gives strength of the trained UK regular forces by service and nationality as at 1 April 1997 and 2009.

Strength of the Trained UK Regular Forces by Service and nationality as at 1 April 1997, 2009
Number
01 Apr 9701 Apr 09

All Services

193 630

168 240P

UK

..

159 380P

Non-UK

..

7 670P

Unknown

..

1 190P

Naval Service

41 680

34 400P

UK

..

33 580P

Non-UK

..

660P

Unknown

..

160P

Army

97 760

94 590P

UK

97 190

86 770P

Non-UK

570

6 910P

Unknown

-

900P

Royal Air Force

54 200

39 250P

UK

..

39 030P

Non-UK

..

100P

Unknown

..

120P


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