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EU Rapid Reaction Force

Volume 487: debated on Thursday 5 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which components of the UK's commitment to the Helsinki Headline Goal comprise an (a) armed mechanical brigade and (b) amphibious brigade. (253368)

The United Kingdom currently offers:

Three brigades from the army to HG2010. The three brigades offer a degree of flexibility that allows the UK to provide either an Armoured Brigade (based on Warrior Armoured Fighting Vehicles and Challenger 2 Main Battle Tanks), a Mechanised Brigade (based on Saxon Infantry Fighting Vehicles and Challenger 2 Main Battle Tanks) or an Air Assault Brigade consisting of lightly equipped infantry in the Air Manoeuvre role.

One amphibious brigade from the Royal Navy to HG2010.

A member state's declaration to the Headline Goal indicates the range of forces that could be made available to support potential EU operations. It does not bind the member state to providing the forces declared for any specific mission.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to paragraph 106 of the Explanatory Memorandum of 11 December 2008 on the French Presidency Report on European Security and Defence Policy, European Union Document No. 16686/08, what (a) resources and (b) capabilities the UK has declared for the (i) Maritime Rapid Response Concept and (ii) Air Rapid Response Concept for 2009. (254421)

The Maritime Response Concept and the Air Rapid Response Concept are mechanisms to speed up the force generation process in the EU and do not indicate any standing forces. The UK has committed no capabilities or resources specifically to either concept but has set out in its response to the EU Headline Goal 2010 the forces, including maritime and air, that are potentially available for planning purposes for EU missions.