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Afghanistan: Peacekeeping Operations

Volume 475: debated on Monday 28 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Woodspring (Dr. Fox) of 30 January 2008, Official Report, column 364W, on Afghanistan: peacekeeping operations, whether the balance of helicopter force levels has been decided; and whether any Merlin helicopters will be deployed in Afghanistan. (195167)

The Merlin fleet will remain committed to southern Iraq for the foreseeable future. As always, we keep force levels and structures under regular review.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the command relationship between British Forces and elements of the US 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit operating in Helmand Province will be. (200948)

Both Task Force Helmand and the US 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit are under the control of the Commander of the International Security Assistance Force.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what percentage of attacks made by (a) Taliban and (b) Al-Qaeda forces in Afghanistan occurred in Helmand province in 2007. (200960)

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many weapons caches have been found in Helmand province in each year since 2006. (200961)

In 2006, security forces operating in Helmand province discovered four weapons caches, and in 2007, 24 were found. Up to 30 January 2008, the latest date for which data have been recorded this year, one cache had been found.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 12 March 2008, Official Report, column 450W, on Afghanistan: peacekeeping operations, whether the balance of the UK helicopter force levels across theatre, including the deployment of Merlin helicopters to Afghanistan, has been decided. (201415)

The Merlin fleet will remain committed to southern Iraq for the foreseeable future. As always, we keep force levels and structures under regular review.