UK & World News
Special Forces: 600 Support Posts To Go
Around 600 posts could be cut from the support network for Britain's special forces after the military pull-out from Afghanistan.
The Special Forces Support Group is expected to be restructured as Britain's role in the Afghan conflict draws to an end.
The Ministry of Defence thinks the extra support and logistics will no longer be necessary.
The unit is primarily made up of paratroopers from 1 Para and a contingent of Royal Marines.
It was bolstered around five years ago to cope with the demands of fighting in Afghanistan.
These personnel, although some of the UK's most exceptional armed forces, do not complete the same training as SAS or SBS soldiers, neither do they apply the same rules of anonymity.
Their role is to provide logistical support, intelligence gathering and force protection.
The Government does not comment on the special forces, but senior defence sources have stressed this should not be seen as an attack on the special forces.
Of the posts that will be closed, 156 will be from the support group itself, the remainder from a wider network that assists the SAS and SBS.
It is understood that none of the personnel affected will actually lose their jobs because both the Royal Marines and paratroopers are exempt from the latest redundancies.
In the case of the marines, this is because the Navy has pretty much made all the cuts it needs to. The paras are deemed exempt because they are a specialist regiment.
The posts will be closed and those affected will go back to their original jobs.
Paranoia about redundancies in the Armed Forces was revived last month when the latest tranche of job losses was announced. The third round will mean 5,300 soldiers learning they have lost their jobs in June.
The Ministry of Defence defends the cuts as necessary to "meet the challenges of the future".
Confusion also persists over the defence budget post-2015.
On his recent trip to Algeria, Libya and Liberia, Prime Minister David Cameron told reporters that defence spending would start to rise again beyond 2015, but Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said he thought this only applied to equipment spending.
Jim Murphy, shadow defence secretary, said: "This seems senseless and serious.
"These very specialised, high-end forces, which the UK now needs more than ever, may lose their roles at the same time as ministers hail their importance."
He added: "The country will demand an explanation as to why at a time when more is being demanded of Special Forces these roles may be lost."
what do you think?
watch a good amount of these war hereos end up in kings cross and victoria station pissed and begging
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Wouldn't be the first time our brave soldiers/sailors have been betrayed by the ruling elite. After the Spanish Armada was defeated in 1588 the British sailors were kept on board their ships and not allowed to come ashore for years. Queen Elizabeth had promised them each a bounty of gold but didn't have the means to pay them. Most of them died before getting paid. After Waterloo in 1815 most of the soldiers ended up starving on the streets. . Whilst the ruling elite took all the glory and the wealth. Same story throughout history in every nation
Disgraceful comment Farmer. You can't wait to see them like that just because they do a job you don't have the testicular fortitude to do.
lord my comment is honest governments use young people to fight for money, oil, land etc then when they come home they are treated like dirt, as mr stevie may describes back in the old days as well. so many ex military are homeless and begging
Our politicians are disgraceful. Next time there's a war let's see them go to the front and risk their lives. Vile, immoral money grasping capitalistic cowards
The way Cameron works, and thinks, we will have another war on as soon as these people are made redundnant. He scapped the Harriers and an aicraft bcarrier before going to atack Libya, and mae 5,000 soldiers redundan before getting involved in Mali, where mission creep has already started.
You could almost argue that the powers that be want to scale down the armed forces so that if we get bogged down they can kick off a huge recruitment drive. So that all these young unemployed people will sign up and become cannon fodder. Only problem is as they have also scaled back our navy and airforce there would be no support. And so casualty numbers would be astronomical because you would be sending young inexperienced men to the front line. Of course this is just a theory
What a way to treat our service men and women , who do more for this country than every Mp and politician put together. Think its about time we cut back on Mps and reduce their wages and fat cat expenses or better still, go back to the days when politicians served this country in an honarary capacity.