In addition to the 7,000 previously announced, the British army will make another 5,000 soldiers redundant by 2015. 01/08/2011
The reduction in numbers will be off-set by an increase in Territorial Army soldiers and an increased future spending budget for the armed forces.
At a cost of £1.5billion, the government hopes to increase the number of fully trained reserves in the navy, army and air forces to compensate for the reduction of regular soldiers.
The government hopes to increase the trained reserves from around 20,000 to 35,000. Even so, by 2020 the entire British armed forces will shrink to 82,000.
The decision has been made as part of the strategic defence and security review (SDSR), and will lead to the smallest British army in a century, along with the closure of several RAF bases.
The Daily Telegraph reported that the head of the army, General Sir Peter Wall wrote a letter to commanding army officers addressing the results of the SDSR.
‘The additional manpower cuts are now being scoped but will inevitably require a further redundancy programme,’ he said.
Liam Fox, the Defence Secretary, has cut the army by 19,000 in the last ten months – just under a fifth of the entire force.
‘No one who is preparing for or is deployed on operations will be made redundant unless they volunteer… only those who have returned from operations and have taken all their leave will be considered,’ said a spokesman from the Ministry of Defence.
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