Army to shed 500 soldiers in restructuring

Up to 500 soldiers will lose their jobs as the Army looks to restructure in a bid to better support its mission in Afghanistan.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has announced that the redundancies will be targeted at soldiers who have completed 12 or 15 years of service and work in areas of the forces which are not seen as critical to operations in Afghanistan.

The Army said the cuts would release space in the forces to employ more soldiers into roles that are needed to support operations in Afghanistan, the Times has reported.

Latest figures show that there were 101,190 soldiers in the Army in December – just 850 less than the cap on soldier numbers – following a rise in recruitment and a reduction in the number of people leaving the forces.

General Sir Peter Wall, commander-in-chief of Land Forces, said: “The Army has grown unevenly and we now need to make some adjustments.”

Between 300 and 500 soldiers will be given one year’s notice of redundancy and will be provided with help to find work outside the armed forces as well as a grant of £10,000.

The process will take place over the financial year from April 2011.

The MoD said soldiers deemed to be working in the wrong jobs would also be given the opportunity to retrain for more useful roles.

The Army will decide over the coming months which areas of the Army are less important for the Afghanistan mission.

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