The Ministry of Defence has today announced that around 11,000 soldiers will be relocated from Germany to the UK, in a bid to cut costs.
Many changes will alter the military landscape across the Midlands.
7th Theatre Logistic Regiment from The Royal Logistic Corps, to move from Germany to Cottesmore by 2013.
5th FS Battalion Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers to move from Tidworth Devizes to Cottesmore by 2015.
1st and 16th Signal Regiment to move from Herford Germany to Stafford by 2015.
The current Headquarters 143rd (West Midlands) Brigade will merge with 11th Signal Brigade in Donnington, near Telford, to form the RPoC Headquarters in the West Midlands.
2nd Medical Regiment to move from Hohne, Germany to North Luffenham by 2015.
1st Military Working Dogs Regiment (Royal Army Veterinary Corps) to move from Sennelager Germany to North Luffenham by 2015.
Also announced by the Defence Secretary, Phillip Hammond, was the closure of Copthorne Barracks in Shrewsbury.
The Defence Secretary says the changes will save £240 million a year in running costs as soldiers are moved into "clusters" in key locations. Returning forces will mainly be stationed around Salisbury Plain, Edinburgh and Leuchars, Catterick, Aldershot, Colchester, Stafford and the East Midlands.
Relatives of soldiers killed fighting in Iraq today began the latest phase of their fight for the right to launch damages claims against the Government.
Families want to sue for negligence and to make claims under human rights legislation.
The Supreme Court began hearing arguments from lawyers representing relatives and counter-arguments from the Ministry of Defence (MoD) at a hearing in London.
Judges in the Court of Appeal and in the High Court have already considered the issues.
In October 2012, appeal judges said relatives could bring negligence claims but not claims under human rights legislation
In June 2011, a High Court judge had come to the same conclusions.
A panel of seven Supreme Court justices is expected to analyse arguments over the next four days.
Lawyers today began by outlining arguments relating to human rights legislation and are due to debate negligence issues later in the week.
Justices are expected to reserve judgment and deliver a ruling later in the year.
If given the go-ahead by the Supreme Court, relatives would be entitled to launch damages claims in the High Court.
Debi Allbutt has spent ten years trying to hold the MoD to account over the death of her husband, in March 2003.
Corporal Stephen Allbutt died in a “friendly fire” incident in Basra.
Debi felt there could have been better training for the use of equipment.
She said: "In every day life our employers have a duty of care to all their employees, so what makes the MoD any different?"
Following the deaths of a number of soldiers, a group of families started legal action, judges have heard.
- Corporal Stephen Allbutt, 35, of Sneyd Green, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire
- Trooper David Clarke, 19, of Littleworth, Staffordshire
- Soldiers Dan Twiddy, of Stamford, Lincolnshire
- Andy Julien, of Bolton, Greater Manchester
Soldiers Corporal Stephen Allbutt and Trooper David Clarke died after a Challenger 2 Tank was hit by another Challenger 2 Tank.
Soldiers Dan Twiddy and Andy Julien were injured in the same incident.
- Private Phillip Hewett, 21, of Tamworth
Private Hewitt died in July 2005 after a Snatch Land Rover was blown up.
Lawyers said similar explosions claimed the lives of:
- Private Lee Ellis, 23, of Wythenshawe, Greater Manchester, in February 2006, and Lance Corporal Kirk Redpath, 22, of Romford, Essex, in August 2007
Relatives of soldiers killed in Iraq will today ask the UK's senior judges to rule that they can bring damages claims against the Government.
Lawyers have said the families want the right to sue for negligence to make claims under human rights legislation.
The hearing, which is expected to last four days at the Supreme Court, will analyse arguments from lawyers representing relatives and counter-arguments from the Ministry of Defence (MoD).
Relatives say the MoD failed to provide armoured vehicles or equipment which could have saved lives, and should pay compensation.
But the MoD says decisions about battlefield equipment are for politicians and military commanders.
Debi the widow of Corporal Stephen Allbutt from Stoke-on-Trent who was killed in Iraq learned this morning from the court of appeal that she and others can continue on with their legal battle to sue the Government for the way their relatives were killed.
The families are claiming the Ministry of Defence were negligent in failing to provide equipment that could have saved lives.
The Ministry of Defence has failed in its attempts to get a negligence claim thrown out of court.
Families of Private Phillip Hewett and Corporal Stephen Allbutt claim that the MoD didn't deliver a duty of care.
In his judgment today, Lord Neuberger described the MoD’s arguments as ‘fatally flawed’ and agreed that the claims should continue.
“The duty of care owed by the MoD, as employer, to the members of the armed forces, as employees, does exist and has been recognised, without demur, by the courts. It includes a duty to provide safe systems of work and safe equipment, as I have demonstrated. There was no suggestion that the courts were ill-equipped to deal with such issues, or that the resolution of the claims would be detrimental to the troops. The question whether a duty of care owed by the MoD to armed forces should be recognised has long since been answered. There is no basis for asking it in the instant appeals”
The relatives of two Staffordshire soldiers killed in Iraq have secured a victory today after the Court of Appeal said they could pursue damages claims against the Government.
The decision was announced after a hearing in London.
The families of Private Phillip Hewett and Corporal Stephen Allbutt, from Staffordshire, are waiting to hear today whether they can sue the Government for compensation over the deaths of the two soldiers.
“We await the verdict having fought for many years to get these claims to Court. We maintain that the MOD’s position has been morally and legally indefensible, as they owe a duty of care to those who fight on behalf of this Country.
“British troops should at the very least have adequate equipment and training, ranging from the very basic such as a GPS devices, to sophisticated satellite tracker systems, which the Americans had available to them."