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Armed Forces: Health Services

Volume 482: debated on Wednesday 5 November 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the average length of time spent in decompression was in (a) Cyprus and (b) elsewhere by troops returning from (i) Iraq and (ii) Afghanistan in the most recent period for which figures are available. (233040)

The average length of time spent in decompression on Cyprus by troops returning from both Iraq and Afghanistan is 24 hours.

We believe this duration strikes the right balance between giving our people the opportunity to wind down at the end of an arduous operational tour whilst also meeting their very understandable desire to be reunited with friends and family as quickly as possible after a lengthy period away from home.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what proportion of regular troops returning from theatre undertook decompression in (a) Cyprus and (b) elsewhere in the most recent period for which figures are available; (233041)

(2) what proportion of reserve forces returning from theatre undertook decompression in (a) Cyprus and (b) elsewhere in the most recent period for which figures are available.

Regular and reserve troops from all formed units returning from active service in Iraq and Afghanistan undertake a period of decompression after leaving theatre. This decompression either takes place in Cyprus, if the troops are returning to permanent bases in the UK or Germany; or at the Al-Udeid base in Qatar, if returning to permanent bases in Cyprus.