HC Deb 23 July 2004 vol 424 c722W
Patrick Mercer

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the irreducible manpower level is that needs to be maintained by the Royal Air Force such that an independent operational capability can continue for the UK. [184596]

Mr. Ingram

The RAF's requirement for trained manpower is dependant on a number of factors including changing commitments, both at home and abroad, the types of operations we may have to take in the foreseeable future and the introduction of new aircraft types and equipment. I refer the hon. Member to the statement made by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence (Mr. Hoon) on 21 July 2004,Official Report , columns 343–70, which set out the future manpower requirements of the armed forces.