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Kosovo: Peacekeeping Operations

Volume 475: debated on Wednesday 7 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he expects the UK's commitment for NATO's Operational Reserve Force to arrive in Kosovo. (203216)

It is planned that the UK's commitment for the NATO Operational Reserve Force will be present in Kosovo and ready to begin its mission no later than 31 May 2008.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what vehicles he expects British forces to use while serving as NATO's Operational Reserve Force in Kosovo. (203218)

The vehicles to be used by British forces serving as NATO's Operational Reserve Force in Kosovo include Snatch armoured Land Rovers, standard Land Rovers, Saxon personnel carriers, 4-ton trucks, battlefield ambulances and various engineering vehicles.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the oral answer of 28 April 2008, Official Report, column 16, on what date his Department (a) began and (b) completed pre-positioning equipment for the UK's commitment for NATO's Operational Reserve Force in Kosovo. (203288)

The pre-positioning of equipment in Kosovo for potential use by the UK troops operating as the NATO Operational Reserve Force began in early November 2007. The transportation of equipment will be completed by 31 May 2008, the date when the UK Battalion is due to be in Kosovo ready to begin its task.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the oral answer of 28 April 2008, Official Report, column 16, what equipment has been pre-positioned in Kosovo for the UK's commitment to NATO's Operational Reserve Force. (203289)

As of 30 April 2008, equipment that has been pre-positioned in Kosovo includes Snatch Land Rovers, standard Land Rovers, Saxon personnel carriers, 4-ton trucks, engineering equipment, vehicle spares, ammunition, food, riot control equipment (including shields and batons) and fuel.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the oral answer of 28 April 2008, Official Report, column 16, how many (a) C-17 Globemaster, (b) C-130K Hercules, (c) C-130J Hercules, (d) Tristar and (e) VC-10 aircraft sorties were flown to pre-position the equipment required for the UK's commitment to NATO's Operational Reserve Force in Kosovo. (203290)

Two sorties were flown by C-130J Hercules in order to deliver ammunition. The C-17 Globemaster, C-130K Hercules, Tristar and VC-10 have not to date been used to pre-position equipment.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the oral answer of 28 April 2008, Official Report, column 16, what estimate he has made of (a) the number of troops which can be sustained by the pre-positioned equipment provided for NATO’s Operational Reserve Force and (b) the length of time UK forces can be sustained with the equipment. (203291)

It is planned that the battalion assigned to the NATO Operational Reserve Force (approximately 600 troops) will be sustainable for 30 days from the date its mission in Kosovo begins. This is in accordance with the requirements of the NATO Operational Reserve Force high readiness commitment.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he was first informed that NATO would make a request for the UK to deploy a high readiness battalion to Kosovo; and when the request was formally received by his Department. (203935)

This commitment began on 1 January 2008. Since then, Ministers have been kept informed of discussions between the UK and NATO on this subject. The Department received a formal request from NATO for the deployment of the UK element of the operational reserve force on 7 April 2008. I said in the House on 28 April 2008, Official Report, column 15 that we were responding to the request imminently. An announcement was subsequently made to Parliament on 29 April 2008 and a formal reply to NATO made on 2 May 2008.