Results 161–180 of 1000 for (in the 'Commons debates' OR in the 'Westminster Hall debates' OR in the 'Lords debates' OR in the 'Northern Ireland Assembly debates') speaker:Lord Drayson

Afghanistan: National Army and Police (10 May 2007)

Lord Drayson: My Lords, I am not aware of any initiative to provide a central recruiting facility for the ANA. Our assessment is that the progress of training the ANA is going well. We are now at a level of approximately 30,000 Afghan soldiers. The way in which the Afghan national army has been able to be deployed successfully alongside coalition forces and the bravery and effectiveness that it has shown...

Afghanistan: National Army and Police (10 May 2007)

Lord Drayson: My Lords, the noble Lord, with his experience, is absolutely right in making the comparison to Kosovo with regards to the level of resources per head of population. Nevertheless, the contribution that this country is making, in terms of military support, through aid, and to governance and effectiveness—the way in which we are acting in a joined-up sense from this country's point of...

Afghanistan: National Army and Police (10 May 2007)

Lord Drayson: My Lords, I do not have the breakdown of the Pashtun community within the Afghan national army and the police. If we have those data, I will write to the noble Lord with them. Our experience over the past year is that there is a role for the local warlords in the development of auxiliaries as part of the Afghan national army, but it depends very much upon the approach and the level of support...

Afghanistan: National Army and Police (10 May 2007)

Lord Drayson: My Lords, the noble Earl puts his finger on a key issue which affects the motivation of the Afghan national army. The difficulty is that for the soldiers to be paid they have to return to base. It is difficult for them to distribute their pay to their families. We have recognised this situation and are taking action to improve it. We need to be quite innovative in finding solutions for it. We...

Afghanistan: National Army and Police (10 May 2007)

Lord Drayson: My Lords, I cannot give the noble Lord the precise breakdown. If we have those figures I will write to him. As he highlights, there has been a real increase in effort by the United States. The primary coalition responsibility for the development of the Afghan national police has been with Germany. It has been recognised that that needs to be supported by an acceleration of new approaches to...

Afghanistan: Combat Vehicles (8 May 2007)

Lord Drayson: My Lords, I am sure that the whole House will wish to join me in extending our sincere condolences to the families and friends of Major Nick Bateson and Guardsman Simon Davison, who died last week in Iraq and Afghanistan respectively, and of Private Kevin Thompson, who died over the weekend of injuries received in Iraq. There is currently no shortage of combat vehicles in Afghanistan.

Afghanistan: Combat Vehicles (8 May 2007)

Lord Drayson: My Lords, I am aware of the press reports to which the noble and gallant Lord refers. I have carefully studied the data on the availability of combat vehicles in Afghanistan, and can confirm to the House that requests for combat vehicle equipment that come up through the chain of command from theatre have been met in all cases. Those in theatre do have the combat vehicles that they require to...

Afghanistan: Combat Vehicles (8 May 2007)

Lord Drayson: My Lords, I am happy to place in the Library the data that I can provide on the availability of our combat vehicles. I cannot be specific about each vehicle type because that would prejudice operations, but I can give data relating to the total number of combat vehicles, their availability and the trend thereof.

Afghanistan: Combat Vehicles (8 May 2007)

Lord Drayson: My Lords, the noble Lord, Lord Garden, highlights exactly the points on which we need to focus. The level of operations with which we are now coping puts pressure on equipment and means that equipment priorities for operations have consequences for the availability of equipment at home base. Dealing with these issues is about investing in more equipment where required. We are addressing the...

Afghanistan: Combat Vehicles (8 May 2007)

Lord Drayson: My Lords, as I have said a number of times, there is no such thing as a perfect vehicle that will protect our troops against all threats. There is a balance between the mobility of the vehicle and the threats it comes up against. The key is for commanders to have a range of vehicles from which they can choose the most appropriate for the given mission. The measures that we have put in place...

Afghanistan: Combat Vehicles (8 May 2007)

Lord Drayson: My Lords, let me absolutely clear about this. We have the number we need of each type of vehicle. I can put in the public domain—and, therefore, in the Library—the total number of vehicles and their availability. I cannot break that down by individual vehicle type because our policy is not to put into the public domain the specific numbers of, for example, Viking, Snatch and Mastiff...

Royal Navy: Aircraft Carriers (30 Apr 2007)

Lord Drayson: My Lords, I am sure that the whole House will wish to join me in offering sincere condolences to the family and friends of Rifleman Paul Donnachie, who was killed yesterday during operations in Iraq. The construction and certification standards applied to the two aircraft carriers are the Lloyd's Register Rules and Regulations, supplemented by tailored Defence Standards capturing specific MoD...

Royal Navy: Aircraft Carriers (30 Apr 2007)

Lord Drayson: My Lords, I agree with the noble Lord; we need to get on with this project. We have worked very hard to reach a conclusion on both the design of the aircraft carriers and the agreement with industry. We have strongly encouraged industry to make the necessary changes to ensure that the carriers are built effectively. We are keen for all this to be resolved as quickly as possible.

Royal Navy: Aircraft Carriers (30 Apr 2007)

Lord Drayson: My Lords, I recognise the concerns that the noble Lord has raised about the cost of the Joint Strike Fighter; it is something that we are looking at very closely. I am satisfied that our acquisition process is appropriate to the task, and I concentrate on it as a high priority. Indeed, towards the end of this year I expect to get a clearer view of the aircraft's overall acquisition costs and,...

Royal Navy: Aircraft Carriers (30 Apr 2007)

Lord Drayson: Yes, my Lords. As the noble Baroness says, it is important that the carrier strike force has the necessary protection, both undersea and on the surface. Air defence is an important part of it, and the new class of Type 45 destroyers is a central part of that.

Royal Navy: Aircraft Carriers (30 Apr 2007)

Lord Drayson: My Lords, I can give the House that assurance. There will not be a period in which our aircraft carriers do not have that aircraft cover.

Royal Navy: Aircraft Carriers (30 Apr 2007)

Lord Drayson: Yes, my Lords. Last year we signed an agreement with the French where the French acquired the rights to the British designs for the aircraft carriers. They are looking at their own project to build one carrier. The fundamental principle of the collaboration was to find ways of working together to improve the effectiveness of the build, but that it must not come at a cost or delay to the...

Royal Navy: Aircraft Carriers (30 Apr 2007)

Lord Drayson: No, my Lords, that is not accurate. It is a little more complicated than that. My noble friend is right that the aircraft carriers are being built in sections. That is a modern shipbuilding practice that has developed over a number of years. We are confident that the blocks—a total of four, rather than the two that he describes—will be successfully brought together and assembled at...

Royal Navy: Aircraft Carriers (30 Apr 2007)

Lord Drayson: No, my Lords; I am very keen that that does not happen. The important principle behind the project is that building these carriers—at 65,000 tonnes, the largest two ships that the Royal Navy has ever had—requires the entire assets of the British shipbuilding industry. All of the yards have to work together. Our alliance approach has worked well in making the yards better at communicating...

Armed Forces: Equipment (25 Apr 2007)

Lord Drayson: My Lords, first, I am sure that the whole House will want to join me in offering sincere condolences to the families and friends of Corporal Ben Leaning, Trooper Kristen Turton and Kingsman Alan Joseph Jones, who have died in the past week during operations in Iraq. As my right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Defence has made clear, force protection is our top equipment priority...


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