Monday, July 25, 2011

UK: Entire Army battalions to be disbanded, memo discloses

Entire Army battalions and regiments are to be disbanded on their return from Afghanistan, a memo sent to officers discloses.

An extra 5,000 soldiers face losing their jobs in addition to the 7,000 redundancies already announced, the document shows.

The letter appears to contradict assurances to Parliament that no more soldiers would be sacked before the end of the Afghan campaign, planned for January 2015.

Army chiefs are said to be furious that the Government has reneged on a deal to keep the numbers in place. A senior Army source they had a “big problem” with the decision, which has caused friction with ministers.

In his letter to all commanding officers, which has been obtained by The Daily Telegraph, Gen Peter Wall says he regrets the “sobering” impact this will have on soldiers and their families, and the “uncertainties” it will cause.

Revealing an about-turn in the Strategic Defence and Security Defence review, the Chief of the General Staff says the resources available mean “some significant changes to the original SDSR provision for the Army, including significant cuts”. (more)