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Mercian Regiment

Volume 470: debated on Monday 7 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the peace establishment was of the 2nd Battalion the Mercian Regiment before its deployment to Afghanistan; what the strength was of the Battalion; how many reinforcements to the Battalion were received from (a) the regular Army, (b) the Territorial Army and (c) the regular Army Reserves; how many of all ranks were (i) left behind on recruitment duties, (ii) physically unfit to deploy and (iii) left behind in barracks to form a rear party; and what the Battalion's battle casualty replacement policy was. (175390)

[holding answer 18 December 2007]: Prior to deploying to Afghanistan in March 2007, the peace time establishment of the 2nd Battalion Mercian Regiment was 559; the battalion’s strength was 466; it received additional reinforcements of 58 Regular Army and 17 Territorial Army Personnel; and no reinforcements from the Regular Army Reserves. Two individuals remained on recruitment duties and 75 soldiers remained in barracks to form the rear party, 37 of whom were unfit to deploy.

The policy on battle casualty replacement was to utilise appropriately trained deployable personnel, who would be received into the unit’s rear party. In order to rectify a deficiency arising in a specific skill, replacements would be requested from other units in theatre or if necessary an individual would be deployed forward from the United Kingdom or British forces in Germany.