21 Jan 08. Major Projects: Planned Expenditure. The Armed Forces’ Minister said (21 Jan 08) that 48% of the MoD’s planned expenditure on major equipment projects is committed three years ahead; 15% is committed six years ahead and 3% nine years ahead.
Comment: The Minister added that the above calculations were based on the most recent Major Projects Report (HC 98-I & HC 98-II of 30 Nov 07). Whatever the year, the above percentages are reasonably consistent and indicate why expenditure on expensive projects is often moved into later years (or ‘slipped to the right’). (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0806, 04 Feb 08)
House of Commons Hansard Written Answers for 04 Feb 2008
EU Defence Policy
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether it is expected that the President of the European Council will convene and chair the meetings of the ATHENA Special Committee under the treaty of Lisbon if ratified; and if he will make a statement. 
Des Browne: The Lisbon treaty does not specify who will convene and chair the meetings of the ATHENA Special Committee. Currently, the chairmanship is rotated every six months among member states.
EU Defence Policy: Electoral Systems
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether (a) qualified majority voting, (b) unanimity and (c) another voting procedure is used when voting in the ATHENA Special Committee. 
Des Browne: Decisions of EU Special Committee ATHENA are taken unanimously by its members.
EU Defence Policy: Expenditure
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much the UK has spent on European Security and Defence Policy training exercises under the ATHENA mechanism since January 2004. 
Des Browne: The UK share of eligible costs under the ATHENA mechanism attributed to European Security and Defence Policy training exercises since January 2004 is £104,561.
House of Commons Hansard Written Answers for 29 Jan 2008
Iraq: Military Equipment
Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 19 November 2007, Official Report, columns 480-1W, on Iraq: military equipment, what personnel training and mentoring of Iraqi forces, UK troops are providing at (a) brigade, (b) division and (c) battle group level. 
Des Browne: The provision of training, mentoring and monitoring of Iraqi Security Forces is a primary task for UK forces in Iraq, with training provided to 10(th) and 14(th) Iraqi Army Divisions at divisional, brigade and battalion level. At the divisional level, training and mentoring focuses on the appropriate structures required of a divisional HQ. At brigade level, it focuses on the practicalities and execution of joint operations, while the battalion level receives dedicated infantry training. Training is also provided to The Department for Border Enforcement and the Iraqi Police Service.
Iraq: Peacekeeping Operations
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many days of rest and recuperation leave personnel deployed to (a) Iraq and (b) Afghanistan lost on average as a result of delays in the airbridge in each of the last 12 months.
Derek Twigg: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my hon. Friend the Minister of State for the Armed Forces on 14 November 2007, Official Report, column 257, to the hon. Member for Guildford (Anne Milton).
Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which units have been deployed to (a) Iraq and (b) Afghanistan over the last 12 months with full-strength bearing; and how many troops were deployed. [R] 
Des Browne [holding answer 28 January 2008]: All units deploy at the required strength for the tasks they are asked to fulfil during their operational tour. Information on the number of troops from each unit which deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan in the last 12 months is being collated. I will write to the hon. Member w