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Armed Forces: Training

Volume 496: debated on Wednesday 15 July 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many airborne jumps armed forces personnel undertook for training purposes from civilian aircraft in each of the last five years. (284535)

The total number of annual parachute descents by entitled service personnel conducted between 2004 and 2008 from civilian aircraft is provided in the following table. This includes displays conducted by the RAF Falcon display team, whose descents cannot be broken out from the totals.

Descents from civilian aircraft

2004

5,610

2005

3,462

2006

2,139

2007

203

2008

3,470

Civilian aircraft make a valuable and cost-effective contribution to parachute training particularly when military aircraft are deployed on other high priority military tasks. The relatively small number of descents made in 2007 is due to an increased availability of military aircraft in that year.