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PARLIAMENTARY QUESTIONS

House of Commons Written Answers 17 December 2013

Afghanistan and Pakistan

Lindsay Roy: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many attacks by unmanned aerial vehicles were carried out by British armed forces in (a) Afghanistan and (b) Pakistan in the last three years. [180624]

Mr Dunne: Reaper is the UK’s only armed remotely piloted aircraft system and is operated under the legal authority of a UN Security Council Resolution and in accordance with International Humanitarian Law. A total of 332 weapons were released by UK Reaper between 1 December 2010 and 30 November 2013 (inclusive) in Afghanistan. The UK Rules of Engagement (RoE) and policy governing the use of Reaper is the same as that which is used for conventionally piloted combat aircraft. UK Reapers only operate in support of coalition ground forces in Afghanistan.

Cybercrime

Alison Seabeck: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many people he plans to recruit to the new cyber defence unit; and over what period of time such recruitment will take place. [173287]

Mr Francois: The Secretary of State for Defence, my right hon. Friend the Member for Runnymede and Weybridge (Mr Hammond), announced on 29 September 2013 that recruiting for the Joint Cyber Unit (Reserve) would commence in October 2013. I can confirm that recruitment is well under way for this new unit and the large response it has elicited is extremely heartening. The details of their numbers, ranks and positions, must be withheld for the purpose of safeguarding national security, but I can confirm that the eventual strength of the Joint Cyber Reserve will number in the hundreds of personnel. I would also stress that cyber security is the responsibility of all personnel within the Ministry of Defence, and we are taking action to mainstream it into the way we conduct operations and business.

Defence Equipment and Support

Alison Seabeck: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when consultations between (a) him, (b) Ministers in his Department and (c) officials in his Department and trades unions regarding the implementation of the Defence Equipment and Support plus proposals are planned to take place. [180018]

Mr Dunne: The Secretary of State for Defence, my right hon. Friend the Member for Runnymede and Weybridge (Mr Hammond), officials and I have met regularly with the trade unions on various topics including the reform of Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S). Officials will shortly be meeting with the trade unions to agree the arrangements for formal consultation on the practicalities for implementation of the future DE&S model, in accordance with Ministry of Defence policy and legal obligations.

Alison Seabeck: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when (a) he, (b) Ministers in his Department and (c) officials in his Department have met their counterparts in the Cabinet Office and the Treasury on the liberalisation of pay and conditions as part of his Defence Equipment and Support plus proposals in each of the last six months. [180019]

Mr Dunne: The Secretary of State for Defence, my right, hon. Friend the Member for Runnymede and Weybridge (Mr Hammond), officials and I meet regularly with our counterparts in the Cabinet Office and HM Treasury on a range of issues, including reform of Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S).

Alison Seabeck: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what employment changes will apply to (a) existing Defence Equipment and Support (DE & S) personnel and (b) staff brought into DE and S under his DE & S plus model; and whether any such staff will receive remuneration higher than that of the Prime Minister under these proposals; [180020]
(2) whether the introduction of a new human resources function within the Defence Equipment and Support plus model will include powers of hiring and firing beyond those currently used within the civil service. [180027]

Mr Dunne: A key feature of the new organisation is the freedom arou

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