All armed forces personnel and MOD staff are subject to stringent internationally recognised civilian standards with regards to posting, shipping in military transport and individually carrying items from any theatre of operations. The criteria are defined in the appropriate dangerous goods regulations. The nature of military operations necessitate for national security and operational reasons, some key exemptions such as movement of munitions by air, which are defined in Joint Service Publication 367 for postal and Joint Service Publication 800 for movements and transport.
Punctuality data for airbridge flights to and from Iraq and Afghanistan over the last 12 months are set out in the following table:
Percentage On time or less than one hour's delay 83 72 Between one and three hours delay 11 11 Between three and six hours delay 3 7 More than six hours delay 4 11
On time or less than one hour's delay
Between one and three hours delay
Between three and six hours delay
More than six hours delay
Punctuality is measured against the scheduled time of arrival. Percentages have been rounded and may therefore not total 100 per cent.
The airbridge has provided a consistent and reliable service over the period, moving large numbers of personnel and material into hostile environments under difficult conditions and over strategic distances. Every effort is made to minimise delays.
[holding answer 1 May 2008]: I am withholding the information requested as its disclosure would, or would be likely to prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the armed forces.
We do not routinely collate data on the number of insurgents killed by UK forces in Afghanistan. Collecting accurate information would be extremely difficult, given the dynamic nature of the conflict. As we have repeatedly made clear, the long term means to defeat the insurgency in Afghanistan is through a wide range of military and non-military activities and not through an attritional military campaign. In many instances, therefore, the inevitable risks to our service personnel from trying accurately to collect the information required to answer this question outweigh the benefits from obtaining that data.