The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) will soon reveal the second tranche of armed forces redundancies as part of the cuts recommended by the UK Government’s 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR).
According to the SDSR, which is aimed at recovering a £38 billion deficit in the defence budget, each service will run a number of redundancy tranches over the next four years, with the reductions fully achieved by April 2015. The British Army is expected to slash 3,000 jobs; up to 400 personnel from the brigade of Gurkhas, 1,000 from the RAF and 500 from the Royal Navy, with those affected ranging from private soldiers to brigadiers.
The british Army has also frozen recruitment, reducing the number of new soldiers entering the service from 7,000 to 5,000 in line with cuts that will total 18,000 by 2020, reducing it to a force of 82,000 as suggested by the SDSR. The 3,500-strong brigade of Gurkhas was singled out for redundancies as it is considered to be over-manned following a terms-of-service extension four years ago, enabling the soldiers to serve for 22 years rather than the previous 15 years.
A MoD spokesman said: "As nearly all the Gurkhas chose to serve longer, this has meant that the Brigade has grown over time and needs to be reduced to its proper size."
The Gurkhas lost 140 personnel in the first round of lay-offs in September 2011 as part of the MoD’s efforts to trim the total down to 3,000 troops. The MoD has refused to rule out compulsory redundancies, but said that no personnel currently on operations in Afghanistan or preparing for deployment will be axed in the latest tranche unless they volunteer.
The ministry has sent around 14,000 notices to personnel in each of the three services, including soldiers serving in Afghanistan, offering them voluntary redundancy.
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