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PARLIAMENTARY QUESTIONS

PARLIAMENTARY QUESTIONS

10 Dec 2007

Defence

Afghanistan: Peace Keeping Operation

Mr. Carswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Lynx
helicopters are available for service on a 24 hour basis throughout the year in
Afghanistan.

Des Browne: I refer the hon. Member to the reply given to him by the then
Minister of State for the Armed Forces on 26 March 2007.

David T.C. Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many British
helicopters are carrying out operations in Afghanistan. [172578]
Des Browne: I have nothing to add to the reply given by the then Minister of
State for the Armed Forces on 26 March 2007, Official Report, column 1353W.
Lembit Öpik: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many combat-related
injuries requiring hospitalisation of service personnel in (a) Afghanistan and
(b) Iraq there have been since January 2001, broken down by the home
constituency of such personnel; and if he will make a statement. [168063]
Derek Twigg: Casualty figures for Iraq and Afghanistan are published on the MOD
website: http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/FactSheets/OperationsFactsheets.
These are updated fortnightly, in arrears, and show explicitly the number of
personnel who were admitted to UK field hospitals and categorised as wounded in
action, including as a result of hostile action, as well as the numbers
aeromedically evacuated on medical grounds, whatever the reason.
However, it is not possible to provide details of the home constituency of these
personnel. To provide this information would involve disproportionate cost.
Lembit Öpik: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has to
acknowledge the contributions made by service personnel who have suffered
injuries during service in Afghanistan and Iraq; and if he will make a
statement.

Derek Twigg: It is recognised that the intensity of current operations in Iraq
and Afghanistan, coupled with the level of fatalities and wounded, has resulted
in considerable public interest in how we recognise the contribution made by our
servicemen and women. The military chiefs of staff keep this complex subject
under constant review and they are the best placed to make recommendations on
the way forward. I and my fellow Defence Ministers visit injured personnel on a regular basis, both in field hospitals on operations, in UK hospitals and at our rehabilitation centre at Headley Court. Ministers and service chiefs regularly highlight the courage and sacrifice of those wounded in operations. Access to the wounded services personnel has also been given to the media on a number of occasions at Headley Court.

Airborne Task Force

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) which battalion forms the
Airborne Task Force (ABTF); whether it is fully equipped; whether the ABTF is
deployed; and when the next ABTF will take over from the current ABTF; [170803]
(2) which brigade forms the Joint Rapid Reaction Force (JRRF); whether it is
fully equipped; whether the JRRF is deployed; and when the next JRRF will take
over from the current JRRF. [170806]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth [holding answer 4 December 2007]: The Joint Rapid Reaction
Force (JRRF) is made up of 3 Commando Brigade Royal Marines, 16 Air Assault
Brigade and the High Readiness Mechanised or Armoured Brigade. None of these
units is currently deployed in a JRRF capacity. The elements of the JRRF that
are currently held at high readiness, therefore, are the Lead Commando Group
(LCG) and the Lead Airborne Task Force (ABTF). The LCG is made up of elements of
3 Commando Brigade, while the ABTF is currently provided by the 2nd Battalion,
The Parachute Regiment (2 PARA). The remaining element of the high readiness
reserve is provided by the Spearhead Land Element. The ABTF is due to be
replaced by a Small Scale Focused Intervention Battlegroup, based on a Light
Infantry Role Battlegroup, between

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