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Reserve Forces: Deployment

Volume 486: debated on Monday 12 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the average amount of time was between the first contact signalling activation of a reserve member of the armed forces and that individual's mobilisation date in each year since 2000. (246700)

The information requested is not held. I can confirm that in preparation for Operation TELIC in 2003 large numbers of Reservists were called out, some at very short notice. This was because the rapidly developing situation in Iraq at that time required us to act quickly and we were not able to give as much notice to Reservists as we would have wished. Since then, the mobilisation process now ensures that Reserve units receive advance notice that they will be required to provide individuals to support a specific operation (this can be up to six months notice). More importantly, once Reservists have been selected for mobilisation, we have tried to ensure that, whenever possible, a minimum notice of 28 days is given to the individual and his employer before the Reservist reports for duty. In many cases it is far more than 28 days. However, it must be accepted that the nature of military operations means that inevitably individuals may receive less notice of mobilisation due to rapidly changing requirements.