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Afghanistan: Peacekeeping Operations

Volume 488: debated on Tuesday 3 March 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many British armed forces personnel are stationed in Kabul and the surrounding area. (259922)

Some 500 UK Service Personnel are currently stationed in and around Kabul, although the precise number fluctuates on a daily basis. This is for a variety of reasons, including mid-tour rest and recuperation, temporary absence for training, evacuation for medical reasons and the roulement of forces.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the cost of NATO’s deployment in Afghanistan was in 2007-08. (259955)

The underlying principle is that costs incurred by nations deploying their forces on NATO-led operations are borne individually by Allies. The net additional cost to the UK of operations in Afghanistan in 2007-08 (i.e. expenditure above that which would have been incurred anyway, such as salaries) was £1,504 million. Other nations’ contributions to multinational operations are a matter for them.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many and what proportion of RAF passenger carrying flights from Brize Norton to Afghanistan have left more than three hours after the scheduled time of departure since 1 January 2009; and if he will make a statement. (260365)

10 passenger flights from Brize Norton to Afghanistan were delayed for more than three hours between 2 January 2009 and 26 February 2009. This figure represents 21 per cent. of the total numbers of flights.

Severe winter weather conditions were a factor in many of the delays. Additionally, minor technical faults, which were quickly corrected, lead to some flights losing their departure or arrival slot, which had a disproportionate effect on departure times.