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Volume 448: debated on Wednesday 5 July 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the distribution is of UK forces between Operation Enduring Freedom and security assistance to the Afghan Government; and whether personnel may be moved between each role. (81840)

[holding answer 3 July 2006]: When the UK forces’ current deployment to Afghanistan is complete, there will be around 5,000 troops deployed to Afghanistan, of which the majority will be under the command of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) with a small number, including the training teams in Kabul and a number of staff officers remaining under Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) control. Our detachment of Harrier GR7s will be available to support both ISAF and OEF. These are separate and distinct missions, although troops deployed on OEF may also act in support of the NATO mission.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when the deployment of 16 Air Assault Brigade to Afghanistan is due to cease. (81994)

The deployment of HQ 16 Air Assault Brigade and associated force elements will end as planned in October.

An announcement on which units will replace them will be made in the House in due course.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 27 June 2006, Official Report, column 2511W, on Afghanistan, what the time interval was between notification of the incident to the local HQ and the arrival of the CH-47 Chinook helicopter on the scene. (82244)

[holding answer 4 July 2006]: The CH-47 Chinook helicopter reaches the scene of the incident within the time period determined by the medical planning guidelines for emergency responses of this type. I am withholding the exact details as disclosure would, or would be likely to prejudice the security of the armed forces. However, a recently completed post-incident report found no fault with the CASEVAC service.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the quality of the intelligence information available to coalition and NATO forces in Afghanistan; and if he will make a statement. (82622)

We constantly assess and evaluate the information and intelligence available to coalition and NATO forces in Afghanistan. Such material is evaluated and, where necessary, graded to ensure only reliable and credible material is used.