HL Deb 10 March 1999 vol 598 c37WA
Lord Acton

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What further preparations are being made for a NATO force in Kosovo. [HL1416]

The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Gilbert)

The Government announced on 22 February the deployment of some 2, 225 personnel of 4 Armoured Brigade Headquarters and the Lead Armoured Battle Group to Greece and Macedonia, and enablers for the headquarters of Allied Command Europe Rapid Reaction Corps, HQ ARRC. On 26 February, the Government announced the deployment of the majority of the remaining equipment and personnel of 4 Armoured Brigade headquarters and the Lead Armoured Battle Group. Additional engineering and support assets are also being deployed to provide necessary engineering infrastructure support: their deployment was planned as part of the overall force, but has been brought forward to cover a longer than anticipated stay in Macedonia. NATO has now decided to deploy advance elements of the HQ ARRC to manage the build-up of NATO forces in Macedonia. The UK is framework nation for this headquarters.

Together with national support elements and the British contribution to HQ ARRC, we expect the total number of British personnel in Greece and Macedonia by mid-March to be some 4, 800. This figure is consistent with our estimate of the overall British contribution of some 8, 000 which we gave to the House on 11 February.