The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has announced the fourth and final round of the armed forces redundancy programme, ending a period of uncertainty for the country’s service personnel.
Cuts comprise 995 UK Army personnel, ten officers from the Royal Navy, as well as 55 soldiers from the Royal Air Force (RAF), and forms part of the armed forces redundancy programme announced in response to the strategic defence and security review (SDSR) in October 2010.
UK Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said: "As announced in 2010, we will have smaller armed forces, but bolstered by our reserve forces they will be more flexible and agile and able to react to challenges with the protection and equipment they need.
"The armed forces will continue to provide extremely rewarding and exciting careers for future recruits."
UK Defence Staff chief general Sir Nicholas Houghton said: "For both applicants and non-applicants this announcement today will present opportunities and challenges, but I can assure you that you will be supported throughout by the wider military community as you make the transition into civilian life or into our reserve forces."
Due help ease the transition to civilian life, the MoD has already ensured a robust resettlement process and a tax-free payment for all personnel selected for redundancy.
The MoD seeks to reduce the number of trained regular soldiers to 82,000 from 102,000, while increasing the number of reservists from 19,000 to approximately 30,000 by 2020, generating expected savings of £10.6bn.
More than 12,000 service personnel have been made redundant by the ministry since 2011, as reported by BBC News.
However, the National Audit Office (NAO) has warned that the plans to cut the regular army and increase reservists have ‘significant risks’, and affect the service’s ability to achieve its objectives.
Image: UK soldiers on parade. Photo: library image.