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Armed Forces: Operation Herrick 9

Volume 704: debated on Wednesday 22 October 2008

asked Her Majesty's Government:

How many troops in Operation Herrick 9 who are full-time members of (a) the Royal Marines, (b) the Royal Navy, (c) the Army, (d) the Royal Air Force, and (e) Her Majesty's Reserve Forces will be deployed in the current roulement; and what in-theatre role Royal Navy personnel will fulfil. [HL5456]

The endorsed force-level figure for Operation Herrick 9 is 8,067 service personnel. The exact number of personnel in theatre will naturally fluctuate on a daily basis for a variety of reasons, including leave (rest and recuperation), temporary absence for training, evacuation for medical reasons, and the roulement of forces.

Details of the force laydown were set out in my Written Ministerial Statement on 8 July 2008 (Official Report, cols. WS 29-30). Since many units contain individual augmentees from various services, it is not possible to provide precise numbers broken down by service, as these details are not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. As of 1 October 2008, there are some 690 reservists from all services deployed in Afghanistan.

Personnel from the Royal Navy fulfil a wide variety of combat support and combat service support roles in theatre. In addition members of the Royal Marines routinely deploy on land operations in the combat role. Indeed, 3 Commando Brigade took over responsibility for Taskforce Helmand on 8 October this year.