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Cyprus: Armed Forces

Volume 476: debated on Monday 2 June 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many (a) Army, (b) Royal Air Force and (c) Royal Navy personnel are based in Cyprus as (i) part of Operation Tosca and (ii) outside Operation Tosca; and what their respective missions are. (208159)

Currently, there are some 250 British Army personnel based in Cyprus as part of Operation Tosca. There are no Royal Navy and Royal Air Force personnel deployed in support of that operation. The mission of the armed forces personnel assigned to Op Tosca is to contribute to the implementation of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) mandate, which is to prevent a recurrence of fighting, maintain a stable environment and de-escalate the military presence along the buffer zone in order to enable a just and lasting political solution.

Excluding Op Tosca, as of 28 May 2008, there are some 1,880 Army, 40 Royal Navy and 1,160 Royal Air Force personnel based in Cyprus. These personnel contribute to the mission of British Forces Cyprus which involves: the maintenance of the sovereign base areas and retained sites for their effective use as military bases; the provision of security and protection for key facilities, British Forces Cyprus and sovereign base area administration personnel, their dependants and other designated personnel; the operation, sustainment and development of the forward mounting base; and the provision of other operational capabilities in support of wider UK operations.