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Armed Forces: Uniforms

Volume 467: debated on Tuesday 13 November 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many pairs of cold weather boots were issued to service personnel who were in Afghanistan on 1st October 2007. (162559)

The majority of personnel in Afghanistan on 1 October were due to leave theatre during that month having served during the hot summer months. Consequently they were not equipped with cold weather boots.

All personnel who had recently deployed with the intention of remaining in theatre during the winter were issued with a pair of cold weather boots prior to deployment. Additional stocks of cold weather boots are also held in theatre to cover any personnel who required the issue of boots or replacements in theatre.

1 October 2007 fell during the Relief in Place between 12 Mechanised Brigade and 52 Infantry Brigade with the number of personnel in theatre fluctuating on a daily basis, and therefore the exact number cannot be provided without disproportionate cost.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what items of cold weather clothing will be issued to the next roulement of British service personnel in Afghanistan; and what quantity of each item will be supplied. (162560)

All units deploying on operations are entitled to draw upon a vast range of clothing prior to their deployment, including cold weather supplements as appropriate. These have already been made available to the units who deployed to Afghanistan in October. In addition, substantial stocks of cold weather clothing have been sent to both Iraq and Afghanistan. The following items are available as supplementary cold weather clothing:

Cold Weather Boots

Thermal Jacket

Thermal Trousers

Extreme Cold Weather Hat

Extreme Cold Weather Wristlets

Extreme Cold Weather Mitten Inners

Extreme Cold Weather Mitten Outers

Extreme Cold Weather Socks

Face Mask

Windproof Desert Trousers

Moisture Vapour Permeable Desert Jacket

Moisture Vapour Permeable Desert Trousers

The actual quantity of each item issued to a particular operation or exercise is not available. Moreover, some personnel already have elements of specialist equipment due to previous tours or exercises.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the brand and type is of the standard issue of boots given to service personnel before going on operations in (a) Iraq and (b) Afghanistan. (162570)

Since July 2007, in both Theatres, the Meindl Desert Fox Combat Boot is issued as standard. Magnum Light Weight Urban Patrolling Boots are also available as necessary for certain tasks. Pro-Boot or Prabus cold weather boots are issued as required. Additionally, where they are needed, Magnum Safety Boots are also available.