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Afghanistan: Peacekeeping Operations

Volume 501: debated on Wednesday 25 November 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence with reference to his contribution of 15 October 2009, Official Report, column 466, how many Mastiff 2 and Ridgeback armoured vehicles military forces will receive in (a) the UK for re-deployment training and (b) Afghanistan for actual combat missions; and when he expects such vehicles to be issued to forces personnel. (301526)

I am withholding the information requested about how many armoured vehicles military forces will receive in Afghanistan as its disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of our armed forces.

However, I am able to confirm that there are currently 51 Mastiff 2 and 59 Ridgback vehicles available for pre-deployment training in the UK. Under existing procurement, a further 22 Mastiff 2 for training purposes are due for delivery in third quarter 2010.

A further procurement package is being planned which will provide additional Mastiff 2 and Ridgbacks.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many troops are involved in the training of Afghan security forces in Helmand province. (301528)

While there are currently approximately 440 UK troops directly involved in the training of Afghan National Security Forces in Helmand Province, over the coming year, as the UK re-configures its force structure in Helmand to fully support COMISAF's partnering plan, the proportion of UK troops in Helmand involved in the training of Afghan Security forces will increase significantly.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether he plans to increase the amount of training forces personnel receive in counter-insurgency measures relevant to combat operations in Afghanistan. (301530)

All forces deploying to Afghanistan receive a comprehensive training package that incorporates up-to-date tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs). These TTPs are constantly informed by a Lessons Learned process ensuring that current counter-insurgency measures being used in Afghanistan are taught to those about to deploy. The amount and content of such training is continuously reviewed and adjusted as and when operational requirements dictate.