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MPs warn Army cuts 'have not been thought through'

Government cuts to the Army have not been thought through and could leave Britain dangerously exposed in the event of a future crisis, MPs have warned.

British Army members walk silhouetted by the sun.
The Commons Defence Committee has issued the warning. Credit: David Cheskin/PA Wire

The Commons Defence Committee said the restructuring progamme - known as the Army 2020 plan - was driven by the need to fit a "financial envelope" rather than a proper assessment of potential threats.

It has urged the Ministry of Defence to draw up contingency plans for a rapid recruitment programme in case there was urgent need for more troops to deal with an emergency.

Death of British soldier in Afghanistan 'a tragic loss'

Commenting on the death of a British soldier in Afghanistan, the Commanding Officer of 32 Engineer Regiment Group, Lieutenant Colonel Steve Davies, said:

"The tragic death of this committed and professional sapper has hit the Task Force Helmand Engineer Group hard; the Corps has lost a rising star, and his Squadron has lost a respected comrade and friend.

"At this most difficult time, our thoughts and prayers are with his family and loved ones.”

The serviceman's next of kin have been informed.

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New British Army chief named

Lieutenant General Sir Nick Carter Credit: MoD

The former commander of British forces in Afghanistan has been appointed as the new head of the Army.

Lieutenant General Sir Nick Carter will take over as Chief of the General Staff when General Sir Peter Wall stands down in September.

Originally commissioned into the Royal Green Jackets in 1978, General Carter has seen service in Afghanistan, Iraq, Bosnia, Kosovo, Northern Ireland, Cyprus and Germany.

Ministry of Defence: 1,650 troops on standby

The Ministry of Defence says that more than 1,650 personnel are on standby at a variety of locations across the South to help with the flood relief effort.

It also outlined the role that military personnel have played so far:

  • 100 personnel from Z Company The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers are arriving in Wraysbury, Birkshire and will start work shortly
  • More than 100 personnel from HMS Sultan helped to build sandbag flood defences at Datchet near Windsor
  • 100 personnel from Seventh Battalion The Rifles and members of the 9 Transport Logistics Regiment helped protect an electrical sub-station at Pingewood
  • Marines from 40 Commando are still assisting Somerset County Council
  • About 30 personnel are repairing flood defences at Chesil Beach in Dorset

Read: Philip Hammond confronted by emotional flood warden

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1,500 military jobs to be axed

More than 1,500 military personnel will lose their jobs in the final round of armed forces redundancies, Defence Secretary Philip Hammond has confirmed.

Redundancies will include up to 1,425 members of the Army, up to 70 medical and dental officers from the RAF and up to 10 from the Royal Navy, Hammond told MPs in a Commons statement.

The fourth tranche of redundancies is part of an armed forces re-structuring programme which will see the regular Army cut from 102,000 to 82,000 by 2020, while the newly-renamed Army Reserve - formerly the Territorial Army - is being expanded from 19,000 to 30,000.

Nearly £6,000 of Viagra pills stolen from MoD property

Viagra pills were among goods worth more than £7m stolen from MoD property in the past seven years. Credit: PA

Nearly £6,000 of Viagra pills was stolen from Ministry of Defence property in the last seven years, The Times reports.

The anti-impotence drug, along with other medical supplies, weapons, a truck and a washing machine, made up over £7m worth of thefts from MoD premises.

The figures were made public in response to a question in the Commons from Tory MP Nick de Bois.

The MoD pointed out that "Viagra has other medical uses — for example it is also often used to treat low blood pressure and altitude sickness,” The Times said.

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