HC Deb 26 July 1999 vol 336 cc49-50W
Mr. Hancock

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence by what criteria the Government will decide what proportion of the costs incurred by the British armed forces(a) during the air campaign over the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and (b) as part of the contribution to KFOR, will be met from the Treasury Contingency Reserve and what proportion from his Department's budget; and if he will make a statement. [92295]

Mr. George Robertson

As I explained to the House on 21 June 1999,Official Report, column 743, it has been agreed with my Treasury colleagues that the Reserve will cover the net additional costs of those operations where my Department is unable to accommodate them without detriment to other commitments.

Dr. Tonge

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many troops the UK has pledged to KFOR; how many have been deployed so far; and when he expects all the UK troops pledged to KFOR to be deployed. [92823]

Mr. George Robertson

The United Kingdom has provided all of the forces for NATO which were requested by NATO. We currently have around 10,000 personnel committed to KFOR operations.

The withdrawals of the 1st Battalion Parachute Regiment, the 1st Battalion Royal Gurkha Rifles and the 1st Battalion Irish Guards, which I announced on 19 July 1994, Official Report, column 418, means that number will reduce to around 7,000 by mid-October as other nations build up their contributions.

The UK contribution to KFOR will be kept under review.

Mr. Key

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what discussions(a) he, (b) British military personnel and (c) his officials, (i) have had and (ii) will have with (1) French, (2) German and (3) Spanish authorities to review operations surrounding the Kosovo conflict. [91577]

Mr. George Robertson

The Ministry of Defence is looking at the lessons learned from the Kosovo conflict, and is contributing to similar work at NATO. I and my Department will continue to have contacts with Allies, including France, Germany and Spain on a wide range of issues, including lessons learned.

Mrs. Mahon

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many soldiers aged under 18 years are currently deployed in NATO's K-FOR in(a) the Balkans and (b) Kosovo. [92126]

Mr. George Robertson

Information is not available in precisely the detail requested. However, as at 1 June 1999, 17 soldiers aged under 18 were stationed in the former Yugoslavia.

Mr. Alan Williams

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he expects to be able to provide a figure for the number of Serbian tanks destroyed in Kosovo. [92493]

Mr. George Robertson

The NATO Munitions Effectiveness Assessment Team is carrying out a full assessment of the damage inflicted on Serbian military vehicles. Their findings are expected by the end of the year.

Mr. Key

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what arrangements he will make for the winter accommodation of British forces in Kosovo in respect of(a) corimec cabins, (b) new hard-walled buildings and (c) requisitioned buildings; and what is the latest date by which (i) these decisions must be taken and (ii) the purchase and construction cycle must start and finish. [92490]

Mr. George Robertson

On Friday 23 July, the Defence Procurement Agency placed a contract with Hunting Engineering Ltd. to supply, build, maintain and operate temporary field accommodation (TSA) for our forces in Kosovo at an estimated cost of about £110 million. TFA will comprise hard-walled living accommodation, appropriate to the range of weather conditions encountered in the area, together with administrative and other facilities. The accommodation is planned to be fully deployed by December and is expected to obviate the need to occupy requisitioned buildings.

Forward to