3,800 jobs axed in Armed Forces

Soldiers after a tour of duty in Afghanistan Photo: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

3,800 soldiers learned today that they will lose their jobs in the Army, Navy and RAF.

The number was slightly lower than the 4,100 jobs that the Ministry of Defence (MOD) had said were at risk when the redundancies were first announced in January.

2,900 jobs were stripped from the Army - the maximum number expected - while the Navy and RAF lost 170 and 730 staff respectively.

  • Army - 2,900 jobs out of a possible 2,900 (72% voluntary)
  • Navy - 170 jobs out of a possible 300 (71% voluntary)
  • RAF - 730 jobs out of a possible 900 (71% voluntary)
Defence Secretary Philip Hammond Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

This is the second major round of redundancies since the 2010 Strategic Defence Security Review recommended a reduction of 17,000 posts. The first tranche of redundancies, numbering 2,860, was announced last September.

The Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said that today's cuts would be the last "significant reductions" for the Navy, Marines and RAF but that further measures were required to reduce the size of the Army to 82,000.

The Royal Navy and RAF redundancy figures are smaller than anticipated due to the MOD’s ability touse other measures such as slowing recruitment. No further significant reductions are expected for the Royal Navy or RAF. We still have some way to goto bring the size of the Army down to 82,000 and decisions on what is necessaryto achieve this are yet to be taken

He added that having a smaller Armed Forces would mean the MOD could afford to equip them better.

Ministry of Defence headquarters in Whitehall, London Credit: Tim Ireland/PA Wire

Labour has accused the Coalition of not explaining how it intends to change regimental structures or how a diminished Armed Forces will meet future demands. Shadow Defence Secretary Jim Murphy said:

We are concerned about the human and military impact of these job losses. Capability is being lost, as are people's livelihoods. The Government are not reforming but dithering. We have no final decisions on the future of basing or regiments and the continued uncertainty is deeply debilitating."

For those leaving the Armed Forces there are a number of support services available to help the transition into civilian life, both through the MOD and charities.

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There's lots of support available for those selected for redundancy today. If you're affected there's information here: http://t.co/YIjeE1TE

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Worried by today's announcement of redundancies among the Armed Forces? Talk things through in confidence w/ Forcesline http://t.co/gU8xyp24