UK & World News
Defence Cuts: 5,300 Soldiers To Lose Jobs
More than 5,000 soldiers will be made redundant in the latest round of job cuts, the Government has announced.
The Army will bear the heaviest burden in this third wave of redundancies because the Navy and RAF have already completed most of their necessary cuts.
Up to 5,300 soldiers will lose their jobs, although anyone serving in Afghanistan when redundancy notices are issued on June 18 will be exempt.
It will also not affect soldiers recovering from a recent tour of duty or those preparing to deploy within the next six months.
No-one will actually be made redundant immediately and the announcement marks the start of the process for the latest round of cuts. Final decisions will be made by June.
Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said: "The Army is actively managing recruitment to reach the target numbers, but unfortunately redundancies are unavoidable due to the size of the defence deficit that this Government inherited and the consequent scale of downsizing required in the Army.
"We will have smaller Armed Forces but they will in future be properly equipped and well funded, unlike before. These redundancies will not affect current operations in Afghanistan, where our Armed Forces continue to fight so bravely on this country's behalf."
Chief of the General Staff General Sir Peter Wall added: "The Army is unfortunately reducing to 82,000 by 2015 and this tranche of redundancy is essential to achieving that.
"I fully recognise the unwelcome uncertainty and pressure for those who will be liable in the employment fields announced today. For some it may present an opportunity; for others it will curtail their Service prematurely.
"Our aim now is to apply the process as fairly as possible and to prepare to support those individuals who are selected as they and their families transition to civilian life."
In the last stage of cuts, in June 2012, 72% of the redundancies ended up being voluntary. Military leaders and politicians are hoping for a similar outcome this time round.
Anyone accepted for voluntary redundancy will be expected to work a six-month notice period and those selected for compulsory redundancy will have a full year to find alternative employment before leaving the service.
They will also be given resettlement support.
By the end of the process, the Army will have shrunk to 82,000 soldiers - a reduction of around 20,000 - mostly through a redundancy process but also achieved through slower recruitment.
The Ministry of Defence confirmed on Tuesday that further cuts to the Army, Navy and RAF are "likely" but gave no indication of timing.
The job losses are part of a strategic review driven by budget cuts which aims to produce a new look military by 2020.
The biggest commitment by some way is in Afghanistan - 9,000 personnel are deployed in the country - but the withdrawal process is due to start this year and by the end of 2014 most soldiers will have returned home.
Final numbers have not been announced.
In October last year the Defence Secretary announced plans to rename the Territorial Army the "Reservists" and double its members to 30,000.
There is also a hope that some of those leaving the military because of the redundancy scheme might sign up to the TA so that their experience is not lost.
By the end of the redundancy process, the number of serving personnel in all three services will be reduced to 150,000 from 180,000.
It will result in the smallest army since the 18th century and plenty of concerns over effectiveness.
It is not just serving military personnel taking the hit - the Ministry of Defence is in the process of cutting around 25% of its staff.
The aim is to save £3.8m a year and to make the department less top-heavy with management.
The UK still faces real or potential threats around the globe, demonstrated in the past few weeks by the hostage situation in Algeria and conflict in Mali.
Some, particularly retired service chiefs, question the UK's ability to face these threats with a reduced military and gaps in the equipment locker.
The Government will again need to convince detractors, home and abroad, that the UK military can still earn international respect despite its reduced size.
what do you think?
Better to throw money away on overseas aid (laundering scam) eh? Rather than our forces. Pathetic!!
Agreed Jasmin, we're governed by idiots.
gengis there are times your over the top and times when you understate things - this is the later my friend. Have no fear though David will come up with an answer ... we hope
Let's hope the Argies dont invade, especially as our aircraft carriers aren't even ready yet.
stevie you forget we got a deal with the French ...... mmmmmmmmmm
Yeah blue side, Hopefully that means ze frenchies wont flog exocet missiles to Buenos Aires this time. . .
It's not only the carriers aren't ready stevie, the only aircraft capable of being used on these carriers, the VSTOL F35-B, has problems with the fuel tanks potentially exploding in stormy weather and require redevelopment and modifications. Another genius move by McRuin to penny-pinch on essentials by not including electro-magnetic catapults on these carriers, which means without VSTOL aircraft, these 4 billion pound carriers are floating targets.
Typical Tories - trying to cover the loss of committed, experienced troops with extra T.A part-timers. Course it impacts on operations. It puts more strain on those full-time troops that are left when there's more T.A running around. Hope the Police and Health Service staff are watching. You're next!
Are the part-time Windsors getting their cards?
d and d Phillips
We'll soon be reduced to using Day Release students!
Roger W Patrick
Well at least the nasty party won't be able to claim how they support the Armed Forces. They're just the same as they were before the 2nd world war. Cut, cut, cut, and then they had to grovel and try to appease. But guess who they expected to go out and save their bacon when it came to the crunch. Ordinary Joe Public! Let's hope everyone remembers this along with the other fiascos they have perpetrated when they come calling for your votes!!!
Darn right Roger
I am glad you read your history Roger the skullduggery was different but very much the same as today.
This is senseless one day Cameron is on about the threat and the next we are reducing our regular forces. Did we not do something like this in the 30s ? Maybe David and the other 600 plan to make themselves ready for war.
well what the hell is our government about to put our country in danger of terrorist but, we can keep immigrants in a manner to what they are NOT accustom to ....... time to get rid of them and vote for UKIP or BMP
Another senseless comment. If terrorists on our shores was such an issue, it'd be hindering your day-to-day activities Ann. That clearly isn't the case!
More chance of winning the lottery than being attacked by a fabled terrorist. You are aware that predominantly, terrorist organisations are funded by the CIA etc? Probably not.
"Not hindering our day-to-day activities" Mo-Mo. Thats true, as when our immigration border control department was recently investigated - over 100,000 unopened letters were discovered - how many of those letters were warnings of illegal immigrants or terrorists? It's too late now, we'll never know. as they'll have disappeared into illegal gangs arranging child prostitution etc. Sure, nothing is being hindered because nothing is being done to protect the citizens of this country.
I dont get it, all these cuts and yet im still seeing ads on the TV and hearing ads on the radio of the army recruiting new people. So which is it? the forces being cut or recruiting, why waste tax payers money making advertisments on recruiting for the forces if the forces are being cut. strange world we live in.
The adverts you hear are mostly for recruitment to the TA, RN and RAF Reserves. Also they will hope that the soldiers leaving the Regulars will enlist in the Reserves when they leave. Bit strange considering that anyone leaving automatically joins the Reserves.
So what happens if a few Frenchmen turn up and yell "Boo". Do we then have a repeat of 1066 and do we then have to grovel before King Francoise?
Sage if you remember we have a deal with the French - you help us and well help you. Seems to me we had similar deals in the past !!!
Oooh, and what if aliens invade, or Satan rises on earth.
how about getting rid of some of the goverment staff such as james robins who cost the tax payer a fortune including taking his wife with him at tax payers expense they think they are the untoucherbles NOT IN MY NAME
hope we dont get overtaken by taliban ill have to get a costume and hide like atowel from m and s in laden section
Never mind 1066 SPW, when a Dutch army landed on our shores several hundred later, the English king did a runner, the new Dutch king took over, business as usual, nobody ever talks about that invasion. Regarding the redundancies, our dear gobsmiths are replacing experienced soldiers with cheaper recruits and part-timers to save money, isn't it is a bit rich when MPs are demanding a 32% wage increase for themselves.
Technically William of Orange was invited, but good point. Seems they want to go for the US model of the National Guard. That works in a country that size, not so sure here. Our army is tiny as it is.
Southy Softy King betrayed by the his Kent tribes.Do not worry us true Celtic Brits will free you soon and boot out all the invaders:)))
All of these cuts and the government want a rise.We must be the laughing stock of the world.anyone want a country to over run,come here we have not got anyone to stop you.It is time this government were thrown out before we have riots in the streets.
And who exactly do you think is going to come here and overrun us that requires the armed forces to stop them? Perhaps you should go out and buy a huge barrier for the side of your house in case a train comes through the Wall.
Don't make them redundant, link them to the border agency as they need a lot more help.
Sorry to see hard pressed soldiers used and thrown on the scrap heap by ALL our politicians makes you wonder was there a threat of terrorism in the first place . I think what has happened over the last 10 years in Asia /North Africa there was another agenda. The whole region now in a state of civil war.
Well dont the Government...... make it even more difficult for our brave forces to defend us... give it all to Africa!!!!. What in the name of God is this Government doing