I refer the hon. member to the answer I gave to him on 18 July 2005, Official Report, columns 1320W-1322W. The number of armed forces personnel (Army, Navy and Air Force) stationed in Northern Ireland since then is set out in the following table:
Number of armed forces personnel 31 October 2005 9,490 31 May 2006 8,890
Number of armed forces personnel
31 October 2005
31 May 2006
In addition, other troops can be made available to the General Officer Commanding Northern Ireland from Land Command if required, for example during the marching season.
A list of military sites (military bases and installations, joint PSNI/military bases, towers and observation posts) as at 31 January 2006 was given in the ninth report of the Independent Monitoring Commission. This was laid before Parliament by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, in a written ministerial statement, on 9 March 2006, Official Report, column 79WS.
Since 31 January 2006, three observation towers (R21, R13A and G40) have been closed. Work has been completed on R21 and R13A, and the land has been handed back to Defence Estates for disposal. Work is still ongoing on the G40 site.