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PARLIAMENTARY QUESTIONS

06 May 11. Aircraft, frigate extensions for Libyan ops cost £5m. Electronic intelligence aircraft, transport aircraft and a frigate had to be extended in service because of the Libya crisis at a cost of almost £5m ($8.2m), according to UK Defence Equipment and Support Minister Peter Luff. He told UK parliamentarians on 4 May that the service lives of a single Hawker Siddeley Nimrod R.1 surveillance aircraft, two Lockheed Martin C-130K Hercules transport aircraft and the Type 22 frigate HMS Cumberland were extended in response to the conflict in Libya. (Source: Jane’s, JDW)

24 May 11. STRATEGIC DEFENCE & SECURITY REVIEW (SDSR) AND THE NATIONAL SECURITY STRATEGY (NSS)The oral evidence session will now take place in Committee Room 15, Palace of Westminster.
Witnesses:
At 1.15 pm
*Ian Godden, Chairman, ADS
*Peter Rogers, Chief Executive Officer, Babcock, and President, ADS
*Air Chief Marshal (rtd) Sir Brian Burridge KCB, CBE, ADC, Senior Military Adviser, Finmeccanica
*David Hansell, Managing Director, MSI-Defence Systems, and Chair, ADS Small Companies Committee
At 2.15 pm (approximately)
*Admiral (rtd) Sir Jonathon Band GCB, former First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff

19 May 11. Government response to the Select Committee on the Armed Forces Bill Special report, HC 779. The Select Committee on the Armed Forces Bill has today received a formal response (see below) to the Select Committee on the Armed Forces Bill Special Report, HC 779. The Minister for Defence Personnel, Welfare and Veterans: The Rt Hon Andrew Robathan MP: I shall begin with the Committee’s recommendation that Select Committee scrutiny should continue to be the convention for Armed Forces Bills. I believe that the appointment of a Select Committee which was able to take evidence and conduct visits allowed Committee members an opportunity to visit Armed Forces units, to hear from members of the Armed Forces and their families, and to develop a better understanding of Service life. These experiences helped Committee members in their role of scrutinising the legislation. I therefore welcome the Committee’s recommendation. The Select Committee spent a significant amount of its time examining the provisions in the Bill that relate to the Armed Forces Covenant report. There were differences of view on some issues, but Committee members were united in their support for Service personnel, veterans and their families. I therefore strongly welcome the Committee’s conclusion that military service is unique and that individuals who serve in the Armed Forces should be recognised for the contribution they make. The Government has already made significant progress in rebuilding the Armed Forces Covenant. The commitment to produce a report on the Covenant will make the Secretary of State accountable to Parliament for this work. The Government’s announcement that it will table amendments to the Bill, so that the key principles of the Covenant are written into law, will further strengthen that element of the legislation. I agree with the Committee’s recommendation that, in creating a tri-Service document, we should use the term Armed Forces Covenant to signify its inclusivity. Committee members will be aware that we have used that title in the new version of the Covenant which we published on 16 May 2011. I welcome the Committee’s comments about the external reference group. The Government values the important contribution that the Group has made and continues to make in driving forward our work on supporting the Armed Forces community. The group has proved its worth and at no time has its continued existence, or its vital role, been in doubt. Our aim is to strengthen the group rather than to sideline it. The Government agrees that its terms of reference should be updated. Ultimately it is for the group to decide how its work will be taken forward, and we have asked its external members for their views on its future role, terms of reference and mem

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