Military Readiness

Defence written question – answered on 29th June 2005.

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Photo of Andrew Robathan Andrew Robathan Shadow Minister (Defence)

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the finding of the National Audit Office report Assessing and Reporting Military Readiness, paragraph 2.22, concerning the land contribution to any Joint Rapid Reaction Force; what land contribution the UK is able to make to such a force; what units are potentially available at the moment in extremis; and what limitations are being imposed by the factors mentioned in the paragraph.

Photo of Adam Ingram Adam Ingram Minister of State (Armed Forces), Ministry of Defence

It is accepted that our continued commitment to operations in Iraq is impacting on the Army's ability to recuperate all land elements of the Joint Rapid Reaction Force (JRRF). Under routine circumstances, the Army would maintain the following contingent land forces: a brigade sized grouping held at High Readiness; and two Strategic Reserves—the Spearhead Land Element (SLE) held at Extremely High Readiness and the Airborne Task Force (ABTF) held at Very High Readiness.

Since Operation Telic commenced the High Readiness Brigade has been routinely deployed to Iraq and has therefore been unavailable to the JRRF. Nonetheless, the SLE and ABTF have been maintained throughout.

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