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PARLIAMENTARY QUESTIONS

PARLIAMENTARY QUESTIONS

17 Dec 08. The Defence Committee is today announcing its second inquiry of 2009, which will be into readiness and recuperation. This will examine the Armed Forces’ current state of readiness, the nature and extent of gaps in current readiness, and how force elements will be recuperated back to the required level of readiness. In 2007-08 the Ministry of Defence failed to meet its Public Service Agreement Target 3, “to generate forces which can be deployed, sustained and delivered at the scales of effort required to meet the government’s strategic objectives”. This was in large part down to a particular failure to meet the target of 73% of force elements showing no serious or critical weakness against their required peacetime readiness levels. On average between April 2007 and March 2008 only 58% of force elements could show no such weaknesses. In the first quarter of 2008-09, despite some relaxation to the targets for certain force elements, readiness further declined to 39%. The average over year 2005-06 was 77%. The principal cause of this stark decline in readiness has been high operational tempo over the last six years. As the MoD’s Annual Report and Accounts for 2007-08 says: “for the sixth consecutive year in 2007-08, the Armed Forces continued to operate above the level of concurrent operations which they are resourced and structured to sustain over time”. This means the UK Armed Forces are not as ready as they ought to be to meet challenges that might arise at any time, outside current commitments overseas. In order to reach the targets that the MoD has set for readiness, force elements will have to be recuperated. Readiness is measured in terms of manpower, equipment, training and sustainability; recuperation will have to address not just issues of damaged or worn equipment, but also personnel and training issues, as well as the matter of how to sustain new operations over time. The Committee is particularly interested in:
The extent to which shortcomings in current readiness are the result of operational tempo or rather decisions about the funding of force elements not currently involved in operations;
The balance to be sought between recuperating force elements whose readiness has slipped through lack of employment in current operations (and consequent diversion of funding) and those which need to be recuperated on the basis of recent intense use;
The balance in priorities for recuperation between manpower, equipment, training and sustainability ; and
The role of industry in the recuperation of the Armed Forces.
The likely costs of and time-scale for the recuperation of the Armed Forces, and how such recuperation will be funded;
House of Commons Hansard Written Answers for 16 Dec 2008

Defence

Armoured Fighting Vehicles

Nick Ainger: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many armoured vehicles on average were used in each training session at Castlemartin Range in the last 12 months. [242643]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The average number of Armoured Fighting Vehicles used in each training package at Castlemartin Range in the last 12 months is 26.

Nick Ainger: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what the cost was to
his Department of private haulage of armoured vehicles to and from Castlemartin
Range in each of the last five years; [242644]
(2) what the cost was of transporting armoured vehicles to and from Castlemartin
Range in each of the last five years. [242645]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: This information is not held centrally and could be provided
only at disproportionate cost.

Nick Ainger: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many large goods
vehicle movements transporting armoured vehicles to and from Castlemartin Range
there were in each of the last five years; and how many of those were undertaken
by (a) private sector vehicles and (b) army transporters. [242646]
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: This information is not held centrally, an

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