Des Browne (Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence; Kilmarnock and Loudoun, Labour)
I can confirm that, as announced on the 10 July 2006, Hansard, column 1133, the additional force package deployed to the Helmand Province contained 320 engineers from 28 Regiment Royal Engineers (28 Regt RE), an Infantry Company from the 2nd Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers (2 RRF), two Platoons from the 1st Battalion, The Royal Irish Regiment (1 R IRISH) and one company from three Commando Brigade Royal Marines. The armed forces harmony guidelines recommend a tour interval of 24 months between each six month operational tour. The average tour interval for 28 Regt RE as a whole is 24 months, although, 35 individuals deployed facing a tour interval of between six and 24 months. The average tour interval for 2 RRF is 34 months, although one individual will have deployed for 15 months in a 30 month period. The average tour interval for 1 R IRISH is 25 months but most of the 60 personnel who deployed will now experience a tour interval of six months. The company of three Commando Brigade Royal Marines who deployed as the force protection unit for 28 Regt RE have a tour interval of 28 months.