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Active Duty

Volume 455: debated on Thursday 25 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many members of the armed forces are serving abroad on active duty, including reserve forces; and what their average length of duty overseas is. (114334)

Location statistics may be compiled based on posted (stationed) location or deployed location. Posted (stationed) 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 active duty.

Deployment figures are provided at high levels based on manual returns and include reserve forces. At 1 January 2007,13,660 personnel were deployed on operations abroad.

The strength of UK regular forces posted outside the UK is available in Tri-Service Publication (TSP) 6—“Global Location of UK Regular Forces”. TSP 6 does not include reserve forces.

TSP 6 is published quarterly; the most recent publication show the numbers of service personnel at 1 October 2006.

Copies of TSP 6 are available in the Library of the House and at:

The average length of duty of personnel on active duty overseas is not held centrally. However, operational tours of duty are generally between four and six months.