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Overseas Operations

Volume 449: debated on Wednesday 19 July 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many members of the British armed forces are serving on operations overseas. (83116)

Location statistics may be compiled based on posted location or deployed location. Posted location is where an individual is permanently based. Deployed location is where an individual is physically located at a particular point in time and is typically used for short tours of duty.

The numbers of personnel posted to each location abroad are shown in Tri Service Publication 6, Global Location of UK Regular Forces (TSP 6). Copies of TSP 6 are held in the House of Commons Library and are also available at

Figures for the number of Regular and Reserve Service personnel deployed on operations are shown in the following tables, as is the percentage of deployed personnel against the total UK Regular and Reserve Force.

Number and percentage of UK Regular Forces1 deployed at 1 May 2006

All Services

Naval Service



Total trained strength





Total deployed3





Percentage deployed





1 Figures are for trained UK Regular Forces, and therefore exclude Gurkhas, Full-Time Reserve Service personnel, the Home Service battalions of the Royal Irish Regiment, mobilised reservists and Naval Activated Reservists. 2 Denotes provisional. Naval Service trained and untrained split, and Army Officer figures are provisional pending investigation. Due to the introduction of a new Personnel Administration System for RAF, all RAF data from 1 April 2006 are provisional and subject to review. 3 Figures for deployment are shown at the 2 May 2006. Note:Data are rounded to the nearest 10 to prevent disclosure of sensitive information. Percentages are calculated from unrounded figures.

Source: DASA (Tri-Service).

Number and percentage of trained UK Reserve Forces mobilised at 1 May 2006All ServicesNaval ServiceArmyRAFTotal Reserve strength1,2,3,4,5,686,54012,77064,2209,550Regular Reserve1,2,3,4,550,57010,40032,0608,100Volunteer Reserve1,3,4,635,9702,36032,1501,450Total mobilised Reserves7Number71,480301,340110Percentage7,91.7%0.2%2.1%1.1% Mobilised Regular Reserve7Number72609—2609—Percentage70.5%9—0.8%9—Mobilised Volunteer Reserve7Number71,220301,090110Percentage73.4%1.2%3.4%7.4%1 Reserve strength figures are at 1 April 2006. 2 Figures exclude full-time Reserve Service personnel. 3 Naval Service excludes University RN units. Army excludes non-regular permanent staff, Officer Training Corps and full-time Reserve Service. RAF excludes University Air Squadrons. 4 It is not possible to identify whether Volunteer Reserves are trained, hence figures show total Volunteer Reserve. 5 It is not possible to identify from central sources which reserves are mobilised overseas. Consequently figures show all mobilised reservists, irrespective of location, including those on pre-deployment training and post-operational leave. 6 Percentage of total Reserve strength. 7 Percentage of Regular Reserve strength. 8 Percentage of Volunteer Reserve strength. 9 Denotes zero or a percentage rounded to zero. Note: Data are rounded to the nearest 10 to prevent disclosure of sensitive information. Percentages are calculated from unrounded figures. Source: DASA (Tri-Service).