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Armed Forces: Leave

Volume 712: debated on Monday 5 October 2009


Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their assessment of the advantages and the disadvantages of allowing home leave for military personnel after shorter intervals of service in operations overseas in order to reduce the incidence of stress-related illness. [HL5208]

The determination of tour lengths is a matter of military judgment. There is a balance to be struck in the conduct of operations between the needs of the mission and the need for appropriate periods of leave. Longer tours allow for greater continuity which has many operational advantages but such tours may place greater stresses on deployed personnel. The current tour length of about six months for those fighting on the front line, which is usually broken by a period of approximately 10 days’ rest and recreation, is believed to achieve the correct balance.