Royal Fleet Auxiliary

Oral Answers to Questions — Defence – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 24th January 2000.

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Photo of David Heath David Heath Shadow Spokesperson (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) 12:00 am, 24th January 2000

With what frequency the inventory of materials and equipment carried by Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessels is reassessed. [104543]

Photo of John Spellar John Spellar The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence

The inventory of materials and equipment carried by Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessels is reassessed and tailored to each operational deployment. Key holdings are also reviewed during major maintenance periods.

Photo of David Heath David Heath Shadow Spokesperson (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

I pay tribute to the work of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary, but is it not important that the basic inventory of equipment carried by the supply ships should be kept relevant to the operational requirements? If so, and given that warships are often now required to take on a humanitarian role, is it not important that kit and equipment that cannot be carried on a fighting ship are carried on Fort George or Fort Victoria and are available for immediate use?

Photo of John Spellar John Spellar The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence

The hon. Gentleman is right. Inventory ranges carried by RAF vessels are tailored to each deployment. As a result of a number of deployments that we have recently undertaken, a detailed review of humanitarian relief stores is in hand and due for completion in April this year.