To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) on whose authority the decision to hold the fourth battalion of the Parachute Regiment's exercise Firemen's Revenge on civilian property in an urban area was made; and what plans there are to hold further fighting in built-up area exercises on civilian property in urban areas;(2) if he will make a statement on the aims of, and lessons learned from, the fourth battalion of the Parachute Regiment's exercise Firemen's Revenge.
Exercise Firemen's Revenge, which was designed to train members of the fourth battalion of the Parachute Regiment in fighting in built-up areas, was authorised by Headquarters North West District and took place at a derelict warehouse in Oldham on 19 and 20 June. The exercise was held with the full approval of the owners and of the local civil authorities, representatives of which were present during the exercise. Firemen's Revenge provided good military training value and demonstrated the importance of the full co-operation of the local civil authorities to the success of exercises of this sort. There are no further specific proposals to hold such exercises, but the Army will continue to look for suitable opportunities for training of this kind when it can be done without undue public inconvenience.