HC Deb 08 July 2003 vol 408 cc699-700W
Mr. Sarwar

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on(a) Territorial Army personnel in Iraq and (b) the expected numbers stationed there over the next six months. [123479]

Mr. Caplin

Members of the Territorial Army (TA) have been deployed to the Gulf either as members of formed TA units and sub units or as Individual Reinforcements augmenting Regular Army units. Working alongside their Regular counterparts, they played a full and vital role during the war in Combat, Combat Support and Combat Service Support roles. In all, the Reserves (TA and Regular Reserves) formed just over 10 per cent. of the deployed Land element of our forces; a figure which is in keeping with the level of TA and Reserve participation in other Operations such as Kosovo, Bosnia and Afghanistan.

Of the first tranche of TA mobilised for service relating to the Gulf conflict, some 1,825 members have been demobilised so far. Approximately 1,700 remain in the Gulf and the vast majority of these will be returning home shortly. They will be replaced in the coming weeks by a second tranche of approximately 2,050 TA personnel who will have, on average, a deployment period in theatre of six months.