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Air Force: Military Aid

Volume 476: debated on Monday 19 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when the Royal Air Force last conducted humanitarian air drop operations; and in what circumstances. (206630)

The last time that the RAF, jointly with the Army, conducted dedicated humanitarian air drops was in April 1991 in Iraq.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the Royal Air Force’s capability is to conduct humanitarian air drop operations; and if he will make a statement. (206654)

Humanitarian air drops are conducted jointly by the Royal Air Force providing the aircraft and the Army loading the aircraft and delivering the load.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many (a) 463L pallets and (b) other pallets used for airdrop operations, the Royal Air Force had in its inventory in each year since 2001, broken down by type. (206656)

Unlike commercial airlines, which use pallets, the Royal Air Force uses baseboards to load airdrop goods. Records for the number of baseboards held by the Royal Air Force for each year since 2001 are not held centrally.

Currently, we have 207 baseboards in store and it is estimated that there are in the order of 200 baseboards in use.