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Afghanistan: Peacekeeping Operations

Volume 497: debated on Tuesday 13 October 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many soldiers from Northern Ireland are serving in Afghanistan. (289289)

Data on the residential location of armed forces personnel are not held centrally and it is therefore not possible to provide figures for the numbers of service personnel serving in Afghanistan by country of residence.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether he has had recent discussions with representatives of other nations engaged on military operations in Afghanistan on the effect of such operations on defence budgets. (289490)

We regularly discuss with our allies the provision of resources for the ISAF mission and we continue to call on contributing nations, particularly our European partners, to share more of the burden in Afghanistan.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has for changes to the number of British troops in Afghanistan in the next three months; and whether he expects the number of British troops deployed in that country to change as a result of the presidential elections in that country. (289491)

The Prime Minister will be making a full statement to Parliament on Afghanistan later this week, it would therefore not be appropriate for me to comment further on plans for troop levels before then.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many helicopters of each type serving in Afghanistan have previously been used in operations in (a) the Falklands, (b) the First Gulf War and (c) Iraq. (289656)

The statistical information requested is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

The following table provides details on the helicopter types currently deployed in Afghanistan.

Helicopter types used in:

Platforms currently serving in Afghanistan

(a) Falklands (1982)

(b) First Gulf War

(c) Iraq

Lynx Mk 7

No

Yes

Yes

Lynx Mk 9

No

No

Yes

Sea King Mk 4

Yes

Yes

Yes

Chinook Mk 2

Yes

Yes

Yes

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he expects the RAF Typhoon to be deployed to Afghanistan. (290066)

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will commission research into post-traumatic stress in pilots of unmanned aerial vehicles operating in conflict areas in Afghanistan. (291629)

MOD takes seriously the mental health of all armed forces personnel. The RAF Medical Services have not detected any instances of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, nor any acute stress reaction, in any UK pilot responsible for the operation of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles in Afghanistan. There are currently no plans to commission specific research into the mental health of these particular aircrew.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if his Department will make arrangements to embed the journalist Michael Yon with British forces in Afghanistan. (292511)

Any request by Michael Yon to embed with British forces in Afghanistan will be considered alongside other requests from the media, as was the case for his previous embeds.

He will ‘not’ be given special treatment, neither will he be disadvantaged by comparison with others.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the key user requirements relating to the current improvised explosive device threat in Afghanistan are, as used by his Department in the procurement of armoured fighting vehicles. (292512)

The requirements of vehicles for Afghanistan are primarily determined by the specific task the vehicle is to carry out and the threat it is expected to face. This means we need to find the right balance between capability, survivability, mobility and the physical protection that operational commanders demand. I cannot comment on the specific types and levels of protection, as disclosure could prejudice the security of the armed forces.