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Army to lose 5,000 more soldiers

By Vivienne Russell | 22 January 2013 

More than 5,000 soldiers will lose their jobs under the third wave of the Armed Forces Redundancy Programme announced today.

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said the 5,300 army redundancies were unavoidable given the size of the defence deficit and the need to scale down the size of the army. The cuts take forward the aims of the government’s Strategic Defence and Security Review.

Hammond added: ‘We will have smaller armed forces but they will in future be properly equipped and well-funded, unlike before.’

Current operations in Afghanistan would not be affected by the redundancies and soldiers on active combat operations or preparing for them would keep their jobs unless they voluntarily applied for redundancy. Soldiers recovering from serious injuries sustained on operations would also be exempt.

General Sir Peter Wall, chief of general staff, said: ‘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 [transfer] to civilian life.’

No personnel from the Royal Navy or Royal Air Force are included in this latest redundancy programme, although the Ministry of Defence said some medical and dental personnel in the navy and RAF were likely in a future redundancy round, along with more soldiers.

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