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PARLIAMENTARY QUESTIONS

PARLIAMENTARY QUESTIONS

Defence Committee: UK-US Trade Treaty. The Committee intends to scrutinise the UK-US Defence Trade Treaty before it is ratified by the UK Government and is seeking the views of Industry and others. The Committee intends to take oral evidence on the Treaty during the morning of Wed 21 Nov 07, in Westminster.
Comment: The UK-US Defence Trade Treaty was published on 24 Sep 07 as Command 7213. The Committee wishes to establish whether the Treaty will remove barriers to Defence trade and technology transfer. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0741, 22 Oct 07)

Written Answers

Monday 15 October 2007

Afghanistan: Operational Mentor and Liaison Teams

Lord Astor of Hever asked Her Majesty’s Government: How many Operational Mentor and Liaison Teams (OMLTs) the United Kingdom is currently providing to assist Afghan army units; how the OMLTs are structured; and what resources they have. [HL5342]

The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence & Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (Lord Drayson): The UK currently provides five operational mentoring and liaison teams (OMLTs) to 3 Brigade, 205 Corps Afghan National Army (ANA), one for each kandak (battalion). To reflect the structure of 3 Brigade, there are three infantry kandak OMLTs, one combat support kandak OMLT and one combat service support kandak OMLT. The OMLTs are predominantly drawn from a UK infantry battalion (currently the 1st Battalion the Grenadier Guards, soon to be 2nd Battalion the Yorkshire Regiment). The combined strength of the OMLTs is around 250 personnel. The OMLTs have the same equipment levels as other UK battle groups in theatre and can call upon close air support and other fire support in the same way as other UK battle groups.

Armed Forces: Russia

Lord Astor of Hever asked Her Majesty’s Government: What recent attempts have been made by submarines and other vessels of the Russian navy to enter United Kingdom waters; and what has been their response to such attempts. [HL5339]

The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence & Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (Lord Drayson): The UN Convention of the Law of the Sea (1982) allows right of innocent passage to all warships through territorial waters provided it is not prejudicial to peace, good order or security of the coastal state. Submarines and other underwater vehicles are required to navigate on the surface and to show their flag. It is normal international practice to seek diplomatic clearance before warships enter or transit territorial waters. In September the Russian destroyer Severomorsk was invited to enter UK waters to participate in a memorial ceremony. HMS Lancaster hosted Severomorsk while in UK territorial waters.

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