HC Deb 14 March 2001 vol 364 c601W
Mrs. Fitzsimons

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on future UK force levels in the Balkans. [154042]

Mr. Spellar

Following a review by NATO of the Statement of Requirement for aircraft in the Balkans theatre we have agreed new burden-sharing arrangements with the US Air Force. This agreement means that for three months in 12, we will meet the requirement for four strike aircraft, and the US for the remainder of the year. We have now completed our first three-month commitment, allowing us to withdraw four RAF Harriers and some 150 support personnel from Gioia del Colle from 1 April. The RAF will next deploy four aircraft again in early 2002.