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PARLIAMENTARY QUESTIONS

11 Jun 12. Co-operative Engagement Capability (CEC): Cancelled. The Defence Secretary confirmed (11 Jun 12) that the CEC has been cancelled (after the expenditure of some £45m on the programme). According to the MoD (also on 11 Jun 12), the CEC project was not cut since “it was never in the committed core equipment programme”.
Comment: As recently as 19 Jan 12, the Defence Equipment Minister said that it was planned to fit CEC to Type 45 destroyers and to Type 26 frigates. The MoD declared an interest in CEC as far back as July 2000 when a Memorandum of Understanding was signed with the US. Application of CEC technology was expected to “improve the RN’s ability to detect, monitor and counter current and future air threats”.
(Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 12/24, 18 June 12)

12 Jun 12. Helicopters: Study Complete. The Armed Forces’ Minister announced (12 Jun 12) completion of the ‘Defence Rotary Wing Capability Study’, which concluded with no major changes to previously announced plans. The following plans were confirmed:-
* A move to four core helicopter fleets: Apache, Chinook, Merlin & Wildcat.
* Completion of the Puma programme, extending the Puma Mk2 out of service date to 2025.
* Transfer of Merlin Mk3/3A to the RN’s Commando Force.
Comment: The end of MoD Search and Rescue with the withdrawal of the Sea King in April 2016 was also confirmed. A summary of the study’s findings can be found in ‘Hansard’ for 12 Jun 12, as a Written Statement.
(Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 12/24, 18 June 12)

House of Lords Written Answers for Thursday 14 June 2012

Armed Forces: Training

Asked by Lord Judd: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what arrangements are being made, in the training of military service personnel, to strengthen the United Kingdom’s effective integration in combined international operations.[HL312]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever): The single services have primary responsibility for the generation of force elements, trained, equipped and prepared for operational employment, including alongside international partners in combined international operations. Service personnel receive progressive training at the individual, team, unit, formation, component and joint task force level within a joint and combined environment. From 1 April 2012, HQ Joint Forces Command was given the responsibility of co-ordinating joint and combined training events under the mantle of the Defence Exercise Programme; this should reinvigorate and reinforce the imperative for such training as we start to withdraw from Operation Herrick and adopt a more contingent posture. The programme will be strongly influenced by the defence engagement strategy.
Building and maintaining alliances and partnerships was a cross-cutting theme in the strategic defence and security review and training and education activity (including combined exercises, international student exchange and military capacity building) contributes to this theme. Furthermore, the development of analytical and creative thinking skills that complement other professional competences is embedded in progressive military education. This equips our future military and civilian leaders with the skills to decide, communicate, engage and lead effectively in complex joint, multi-national and inter-agency environments.
The UK also participates in North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) military exercises. The overall aim of these exercises is to improve the capability and interoperability of both NATO’s and national force’s headquarters and agencies, for the full spectrum of potential military tasks. The UK takes a co-ordinated and pro-active approach to ensure that, as far as possible, NATO and UK exercise policies are aligned and that scarce national assets and exercise programming conflicts are avoided. The UK also participates in a number of other programmes with NATO and non-NATO countries, including

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