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Region braces itself for army cuts

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond with troops in Afghanistan Credit: PA

The region's army personnel are bracing themselves for further cuts.

The Defence Secretary Philip Hammond will reveal later where the axe is to fall in the latest round of military cutbacks.

It's though about a fifth will lose their jobs by 2020 while dozens of units will be scrapped or merged.

More than four hundred Gurkha soldiers, many of whom are based in Kent, lost their jobs in a previous round of defence cuts.

Britain also lost its flagship aircraft carrier, the Portsmouth based HMS Ark Royal.

Army numbers will be slashed by 20,000

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond has confirmed that army numbers will be cut by 20,000 over the next few years.

Mr Hammond confirmed that some historic Army units would be scrapped and others merged in the coming years as it scaled back its regular strength from 102,000 to 82,000.

He said the changes would mean an increased reliance on private military contractors and on part-time reservists as a result of plans set out in the Government's Strategic Defence and Security Review.

In future, the reserves would take on some tasks currently carried out by regular troops.

Mr Hammond also indicated that when it came to deciding which units were to be axed, the Army would take account of demographic changes.

He said: "While we are determined to maintain an effective regimental system, it must be based on the realities of today, and the primacy of capability."

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