HC Deb 08 March 2001 vol 364 cc286-7W
Mr. Menzies Campbell

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the average interval between tours and the average length of operational tour was for(a) Army field ambulance units and (b) Army field hospital units in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. [151802]

Dr. Moonie

[holding answer 7 March 2001]: The tour length for Field Hospitals, or main elements of Field Hospitals, was extended from six months to one year in 2000. The average tour interval for Field Hospitals between 1995 and 1999 was nine months. The usual tour length for all Field Ambulance units is six months, although in the last five years some units have deployed on short notice deployments for less than this. The average tour interval for Field Ambulance units between 1995 and 2000 was 26 months. It is not possible to break these averages down by year as requested, as many deployments span more than one calendar year and the reorganisation of nine Field Ambulance units into five Medical Regiments between 1999 and 2000 further complicates the issue.

Tour lengths and intervals for individuals do not necessarily match those for units. For example, individuals in Field Hospital units would not normally deploy for more than six months, and some only for much shorter periods, even though the unit tour length is now one year.

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