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Armed Forces: Deployment

Volume 462: debated on Thursday 28 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence for what reason military personnel have been transported by road from RAF bases in Scotland to Brize Norton for deployment to theatre; and how much rest time they have been granted on arrival in theatre before commencing air patrols. (144779)

The air-bridge to Iraq and Afghanistan operates from RAF Brize Norton. Where possible, military personnel based at Scottish RAF bases are moved to RAF Brize Norton by RAF Air Transport for onward transport to operational theatres. However, in order to make the optimum use of available aircraft this is not always possible, particularly for moves of small numbers of personnel or individuals. Guaranteeing the overseas air programme has to remain the priority.

Personnel on arrival in theatre have a minimum period of rest and acclimatisation of 48 hours prior to assignment to air patrols. This period can be reduced by operational commanders if required and it is assessed that doing so would not increase the risk to flight safety.