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Iraq: Peacekeeping Operations

Volume 475: debated on Monday 12 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which units have served (a) one tour, (b) two tours and (c) three tours and more in (i) Iraq and (ii) Afghanistan. (190602)

These data are not currently held in the format requested. Officials are working to collate this information from a number of sources. I will therefore write to the hon. Member.

Substantive answer from Des Browne to Liam Fox:

I undertook to reply to you in answer to your Parliamentary Question on 17 March 2008 (Official Report Column 815-6W) about the number of tours of Iraq and Afghanistan undertaken by Units. I am now in a position to be able to reply.

The information which you requested is shown the table below;

Unit

Iraq

Afghanistan

Total

1 Grenadier Guards

1

1

2

1 Coldstream Guards

1

1

2

1 Scots Guards

2

2

1 Irish Guards

2

2

1 Welsh Guards

1

1

1 Scots (Royal Scots)

2

2

1 Scots (Kings Own Scottish Borderers)

1

1

2 Scots (Royal Highland Fusiliers)

2

1

3

3 Scots (Black Watch)

2

2

4 Scots (Highlanders)

2

2

5 Scots (Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders)

1

1

1 Princess of Wales Royal Regiment

2

2

2 Princess of Wales Royal Regiment

1

1

1 Royal Regiment of Fusiliers

2

2

1 Royal Anglian

1

2

3

2 Royal Anglian

1

1

2

2 Lancs (Kings)

3

3

2 Lancs (Queens)

1

1

3 Lancs (Kings Own Royal Border Regiment)

2

2

1 Yorks (Prince of Wales)

1

1

2 Yorks (Green Howards)

2

2

3 Yorks (Duke of Wellington)

1

1

1 Mercian (Cheshires)

2

2

2 Mercian (WFR)

1

2

3

3 Mercian (Staffords)

2

2

1 Rifles (Devon and Dorset Light Infantry)

1

1

2

2 Rifles (1 Royal Green Jackets)

1

1

3 Rifles (2 Light Infantry)

1

1

4 Rifles (2 Royal Green Jackets)

1

1

5 Rifles (1 Light Infantry)

2

2

1 Royal Irish

2

2

1 Para

1

1

2 Para

1

2

3

3 Para

1

1

2

1 Royal Gurkha Rifles

1

1

2 Royal Gurkha Rifles

2

2

1 Royal Welsh

1

1

2 Royal Welsh

3

3

Household Cavalry Regt

1

1

Queen's Dragoon Guards

2

2

Scots Dragoon Guards

2

2

Royal Dragoon Guards

1

1

QRH

2

2

9/12 Lancers

2

2

KRH

2

2

Light Dragoons

2

1

3

QRL

1

1

2 Royal Tank Regt

1

1

1 Royal Horse Artillery

2

2

3 Royal Horse Artillery

2

2

4 Regt Royal Artillery

1

1

7 Para Royal Horse Artillery

1

2

3

19 Regt Royal Artillery

1

1

26 Regt Royal Horse Artillery

2

2

29 Cdo Regt Royal Artillery

1

1

2

40 Regt Royal Artillery

2

2

3 Cdo Bde Royal Marines

1

2

3

40 Cdo RM

2

1

3

42 Cdo RM

1

1

2

45 Cdo RM

2

2

Cdo Logistics Regt RM

1

1

2

Commander UK Amphibious Forces

1

1

2

1 Force Protection Wing RAF Regt

4

1

5

2 Force Protection Wing RAF Regt

3

1

4

3 Force Protection Wing RAF Regt

4

1

5

4 Force Protection Wing RAF Regt

2

2

5 Force Protection Wing RAF Regt

1

1

2

6 Force Protection Wing RAF Regt

1

1

7 Force Protection Wing RAF Regt (Tactical Police Wing)

1

1

2

1 Sqn RAF Regt

3

3

2 Sqn RAF Regt

3

1

4

3 Sqn RAF Regt

2

1

3

15 Sqn RAF Regt

1

1

2

34 Sqn RAF Regt

3

1

4

51 Sqn RAF Regt

3

1

4

63 Sqn RAF Regt (Queen's Colour Sqn)

2

2

This has proved to be a complex question to answer. You will be aware that most Infantry battalions have deployed on operations at least once in the last five years. The Infantry tend to deploy as formed units with the tour intervals in relation to Army units being based on (a) ‘Units’ defined as any Regiment deploying with a Regimental Headquarters and more than two Sub Units and (b) ‘deployment’ as any Unit deploying for four months or more. The Army's Harmony Guidelines recommend that Army units achieve 24 months between each six month operational tour.

Elements from other Arms and Services regularly deploy as sub-units, on attachment to other units, or as individual augmentees. For example, this is the case for Royal Engineers, Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers and Explosive Ordnance Disposal personnel. Information on some units, such as Logistics have not been included in the return as this would incur disproportionate cost. Although other Corps may deploy with an RHQ and two or more sub units, it may not always be with the same formation or with the same individuals and would therefore make the information very difficult to collate.

A Squadron is the key unit of deployment for the RAF and figures are collated accordingly. Additional Wings have been formed due to the increasing demand for Force Protection and this is the reason why some Wings have deployed fewer than others.

You can see from the table that while some Army units have undertaken three deployments, others have only completed one. Whilst operations have been continuing in Iraq and Afghanistan, units will also have been covering endorsed standing Military tasks such as commitments in Northern Ireland, Cyprus, the Balkans and the Falkland Islands as well as Public Duties, in addition to conducting essential training and recuperating from operations. Moreover, there have been occasions where one or two sub units of a Battalion or Regiment have deployed, but these instances do not qualify as unit deployments and are therefore not included in the table.

I am sorry that this information has taken so long to compile, but its collation has involved trawling through a substantial amount of information to ensure as full and accurate a response as possible based on the criteria set out above. Now that this detail has been gathered it will be maintained to prevent any such delay occurring in the future.

I am placing a copy of this letter in the Library of the House.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many servicemen and women normally resident in East Dunbartonshire were serving in (a) Iraq and (b) Afghanistan at the latest date for which figures are available; and how many such service personnel have served in each country in the last five years. (204553)

[holding answer 9 May 2008]: Data on the UK residential location of armed forces personnel are not held centrally in databases of individual records and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many members of the Territorial Army are on active service in (a) Iraq and (b) Afghanistan. (204561)

As at 31 March 2008, there were 512 members of the Territorial Army serving in the Afghanistan Joint Operational Area (JOA), and 122 in the Iraq JOA.