Royal Navy: Atlantic Patrol Task

House of Lords written question – answered on 10th February 2010.

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Photo of Lord Watson of Richmond Lord Watson of Richmond Spokesperson for Innovation, Universities and Skills

To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the status and resourcing of the Royal Navy's Atlantic Patrol Task (North); and why it is not participating in the relief efforts for Haiti.

Photo of Baroness Taylor of Bolton Baroness Taylor of Bolton Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Ministry of Defence, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Defence and Security) (also in the Ministry of Defence), Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence) (International Defence and Security) (also in Foreign and Commonwealth Office)

The primary purpose of the Atlantic Patrol Task (North) is the promotion of British interests in the region and the security of the overseas territories. The Royal Navy has a task to maintain a presence in the Caribbean during the hurricane season. As part of a package of savings measures identified to enable the MOD to remain within 2009-10 budgets, cover outside the hurricane period has been temporarily withdrawn. We expect the task to resume in time for the forthcoming hurricane season.

Working closely with colleagues in the Department for International Development, the Royal Navy is supporting relief efforts. The Royal Fleet Auxiliary "Largs Bay" departed the UK on 3 February and is expected to arrive in Haiti around the 19th of the month, staying in the region for a number of weeks. She is carrying shelter materials, as well as critically needed port handling equipment and vehicles for use by Save the Children, the International Federation of the Red Cross and other humanitarian agencies.

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