MoD struggling to reduce Army by 20,000

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PostTue Jun 12, 2012 5:03 pm » by Flecktarn


MoD struggling to reduce Army by 20,000 despite biggest redundancy cull for decades
Military chiefs are still struggling to reduce the Army by 20,000 as part of cost-saving defence cuts despite the biggest round of redundancy in two decades, the Defence Secretary said today.
Philip Hammond's words came as almost 3,000 soldiers were made redundant alongside 170 Navy and 730 RAF personnel.
More than 1,000 Service personnel were made forcibly redundant out of a total of 3,800. Volunteers will leave by December 11, with compulsory redundancies taking effect in a year's time.
But with Army numbers needing to drop to 82,000 by the end of the decade, the Defence Secretary admitted further tranches of redundancies would be difficult.
“We still have some way to go to bring the size of the Army down to 82,000 and decisions on what is necessary to achieve this are yet to be taken, but we won’t compromise the mission in Afghanistan," he said.
"Of course I regret that it has been necessary to make redundancies to deliver our plans for reducing the size of the armed forces.
"We inherited a multibillion-pound black hole in the defence budget which had meant the previous government had not been able to afford to properly equip our troops with the kit they needed.
"We will have smaller armed forces but we will ensure they will have the protection and equipment they need."
Have you been affected by today's redundancies? Tell us your stories at mynews@telegraph.co.uk
Gen Sir David Richards, the head of the Armed Forces, said: “Some of you may see redundancy as an opportunity. Others will see it as a significant challenge.”
Of those 2,800 soldiers who have been told of their redundancy, 2,000 have served their country for at least six years.
At 9am this morning thousands of soldiers, sailors and airmen were ordered to appear before their commanding officers and handed their redundancy letters.
The biggest redundancy of service personnel for two decades involves a cull of mid-ranking officers who have gained the most operational experience in a generation with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Officers starting their advanced course at the Joint Services Command and Staff College in Shrivenham said they were waiting the news with “great trepidation” last night.
“We have all been on near constant operations for almost a decade but some of us know it’s going to be good bye tomorrow without much gratitude or respect for all we and our families have gone through,” said one officer.
“You can imagine the state of morale.”
Major General John Lorimer: cuts will not affect operational capability
The axing of 4,100 troops from all three Services comes as the Armed Forces reduces from 180,000 to 150,000 over the next five years as part of cost-saving defence cuts.
Almost 3,000 soldiers were sacked in the first round of sackings last September. The second round will be the last tranche of redundancies for the Navy and the RAF with the Army expecting a third tranche later this year.
It is expected up to a third have asked for voluntary redundancy.
But Labour said the Government must do more to demonstrate how the Armed Forces would meet future demands and criticised the continued uncertainty over changes to regimental structures.
Jim Murphy, the shadow defence secretary, said: "We are concerned about the human and military impact of these job losses. Capability is being lost, as are people's livelihoods.
"The Government has focused on structures not purpose. Savings have to be made but ministers must do much more to explain our future ability to project force around the world as well as how they intend to support the thousands being sacked.
"The Government are not reforming but dithering. We have no final decisions on the future of basing or regiments and the continued uncertainty is deeply debilitating."


sad fact is its cheaper to employ a pmc
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