HL Deb 17 May 2004 vol 661 cc57-8WA
Lord Astor of Hever

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What are the current availability and strength of the 14 civil contingency reaction forces; and [HL2661]

Which units provide the headquarters of the 14 civil contingency reaction forces; and [HL2662]

What additional training is given to reservists to qualify them for duty in the 14 civil contingency reaction forces; and [HL2663]

How many additional man-training days by service will be made available to the reserve forces for initial and continuation civil contingency training in the training year 2004–05; and [HL2664]

What are the forthcoming exercises between the civil contingency reaction forces and relevant civilian authorities and agencies. [HL2665]

Lord Bach

All 14 Civil Contingency Reaction Forces (CCRF) have around 500 members. The MoD can mobilise CCRFs within 24 hours of a request to do so. Regional headquarters providing immediate command and control are located at:

2 South East Bde Shorncliffe
49 East of England Bde Chilwell
145 Home Counties Bde Aldershot
43 Wessex Bde Bulford
143 West Midlands Bde Shrewsbury
160 Wales Bde Brecon
15 North East Bde (N) York
15 North East Bde (S) " "
42 North West Bde (N) Preston
42 North West Bde (S) " "
51 Scottish Bde Stirling
(Highland) " "
51 Scottish Bde London
(Lowland) Ballymena
London Regt
Northern Ireland

CCRF volunteers receive five days' training per year over and above their normal reservist training. In addition, all reservists receive at least two days' training to familiarise them with civil contingency tasks and the civil authorities. The Armed Forces, including CCRFs, are also engaged in a wide range of exercises with the civil authorities at local, regional and national level.

CCRFs are just one of the ways in which the Armed Forces can support the civil authorities. Their role, if needed, would be to provide general duties support to the civil authorities, which could include reconnaissance, assistance with mass casualties, transport, and operating feeding and water points.