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Army ‘faces cuts of 10,000 soldiers’ in audit next month

Military personnel numbers could be cut by up to 10,000 following an official audit.

Experts fear the Integrated Review, which is due to be delivered next month, will call for the Army to be reduced to 72,000 soldiers – despite repeated Government pledges to keep a permanent force of 82,000 troops.

It is thought that infantry commanders face a particularly anxious wait amid concerns that their regiments will either be reduced in size or redeployed to meet new strategic priorities.

The development comes after The Mail on Sunday obtained leaked documents last month revealing plans to dramatically reduce numbers in the Adjutant General’s Corps – backroom soldiers who support combat troops. 

Up to 15 per cent are expected to go in the 3,000-strong Staff and Personnel Support branch.

Military personnel numbers could be cut by up to 10,000 following an official audit. Experts fear the Integrated Review, which is due to be delivered next month, will call for the Army to be reduced to 72,000 soldiers ¿ despite repeated Government pledges to keep a permanent force of 82,000 troops. (Above, a military exercise on Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire, last year)

Military personnel numbers could be cut by up to 10,000 following an official audit. Experts fear the Integrated Review, which is due to be delivered next month, will call for the Army to be reduced to 72,000 soldiers ¿ despite repeated Government pledges to keep a permanent force of 82,000 troops. (Above, a military exercise on Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire, last year)

Military personnel numbers could be cut by up to 10,000 following an official audit. Experts fear the Integrated Review, which is due to be delivered next month, will call for the Army to be reduced to 72,000 soldiers – despite repeated Government pledges to keep a permanent force of 82,000 troops. (Above, a military exercise on Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire, last year)

The development comes after The Mail on Sunday obtained leaked documents last month revealing plans to dramatically reduce numbers in the Adjutant General's Corps ¿ backroom soldiers who support combat troops. (Above, soldiers carry supplies as they prepare to offer Covid tests in Liverpool last November)

The development comes after The Mail on Sunday obtained leaked documents last month revealing plans to dramatically reduce numbers in the Adjutant General's Corps ¿ backroom soldiers who support combat troops. (Above, soldiers carry supplies as they prepare to offer Covid tests in Liverpool last November)

The development comes after The Mail on Sunday obtained leaked documents last month revealing plans to dramatically reduce numbers in the Adjutant General’s Corps – backroom soldiers who support combat troops. (Above, soldiers carry supplies as they prepare to offer Covid tests in Liverpool last November)

The Integrated Review is a blueprint for how the Government sees Britain’s global role in the 2020s and how the Armed Forces should be remodelled to meet those objectives. It was meant to be published last autumn but was held back due to the pandemic.

Last night, Tobias Ellwood, chairman of the Commons Defence Select Committee, said: ‘All the indications suggest we are moving towards an even smaller, high-tech force.

‘But retaining relationships with our allies is critical and cannot be achieved if we cut the Army by 10,000. I fear the Army is bracing itself for cuts to numbers, especially infantry regiments, before its wider fundamental purpose has been established.

‘Any further delay to the publication of the review denies the Ministry of Defence the clarity it seeks in understanding our global ambitions and the threats we face. We must not forget our allies and adversaries are watching this.’

The British Army’s full-time strength was 79,010 last April – 2,990 down on the Government’s target of 82,000. 

Last night, Tobias Ellwood (pictured), chairman of the Commons Defence Select Committee, said: 'All the indications suggest we are moving towards an even smaller, high-tech force'

Last night, Tobias Ellwood (pictured), chairman of the Commons Defence Select Committee, said: 'All the indications suggest we are moving towards an even smaller, high-tech force'

Last night, Tobias Ellwood (pictured), chairman of the Commons Defence Select Committee, said: ‘All the indications suggest we are moving towards an even smaller, high-tech force’

The total is thought to have increased since then. Any job losses are expected to come from natural wastage rather than redundancies.

Shadow Defence Secretary John Healey said: ‘Highly trained Service personnel are indispensable and should be at the heart of this review. Since 2010, full-time forces have been cut by a quarter.’

The Ministry of Defence said: ‘The Integrated Review is not yet complete and decisions about Army force structure have not been finalised. 

‘The Defence Secretary has been clear that ambitions must match resources. 

‘Taxpayers are entitled to expect the Armed Forces to be credible, capable and ready to confront the threats of the future.’

Wanted: Clarinet and saxophone players to join the Army 

Serving soldiers are being offered up to £12,000 – to persuade musicians to enlist.

In a recruitment drive with a difference, for every musician who joins and completes military training, including weapons handling, squaddies will get £1,500, up to a maximum of eight new recruits.

Due to skills gaps, such ‘finders’ fees’ are commonplace, particularly in branches such as the Royal Engineers and Royal Signals. 

But this is the first time the Royal Corps of Army Music – which is made up of 14 bands, 753 musicians and 27 training teams – has had to offer incentives.

Serving soldiers are being offered up to £12,000 ¿ to persuade musicians to enlist. In a recruitment drive with a difference, for every musician who joins and completes military training, including weapons handling, squaddies will get £1,500, up to a maximum of eight new recruits. (File image)

Serving soldiers are being offered up to £12,000 ¿ to persuade musicians to enlist. In a recruitment drive with a difference, for every musician who joins and completes military training, including weapons handling, squaddies will get £1,500, up to a maximum of eight new recruits. (File image)

Serving soldiers are being offered up to £12,000 – to persuade musicians to enlist. In a recruitment drive with a difference, for every musician who joins and completes military training, including weapons handling, squaddies will get £1,500, up to a maximum of eight new recruits. (File image)

In particular, it needs clarinet and saxophone players due to shortages caused by retirements and repetitive strain injuries. 

The Mail on Sunday revealed last year that 348 military musicians had been medically downgraded in a decade, with 137 suffering musculoskeletal disorders.

Since the money was put up, some 15 musicians have joined the Royal Corps of Army Music. 

But they must complete training for their recruiters to be paid. The scheme runs until the end of March.

The MoD said: ‘The Royal Corps of Army Music referral scheme demonstrates how becoming a military musician is a viable and rewarding career option.’

Source: Daily Mail |World News

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