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Volume 405: debated on Wednesday 14 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has for the two Gurkha reinforcement companies. [112651]

Both of the remaining Gurkha Reinforcement Companies are due to be disbanded, the first by July this year and the second by March 2004.Improved infantry manning levels mean that the requirement for the Gurkha Reinforcement Companies has reduced. Notwithstanding this we intend to maintain Gurkha force levels at around 3,500 and plan to create two additional permanent Gurkha sub-units.