Statistics reveal UK Armed Forces still operating below full strength

The stretched UK Armed Forces are still operating below strength, official statistics have revealed.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has published provisional figures showing that as of 1 July 2007, the total trained strength for the Royal Navy was 94.7% manned compared with its target of 36,720.

On the same date, the Royal Air Force (RAF) was 94.3% manned compared with its target of 45,020. The Army’s trained strength is 97.6% against a requirement of 101,800 as of 1 April 2007.

The MoD said it was not possible to provide Army figures for 1 July, as records transferred on to the new Joint Personnel Administration system (JPA) required further validation before they complied with guidelines from the Office for National Statistics.

Minister of state for the Armed Forces, Bob Ainsworth, said: “These official statistics show that recruitment into the Royal Navy and RAF remains strong in the demanding conditions of a buoyant economy.

“We know that there are shortages in pinch-point areas, but we are taking action where we can to reduce the pressure.”

The JPA system provides staff with self-service infrastructure and online access to HR functions, including posting details, expenses and pay statements.

The aim is to modernise and harmonise the MoD’s multiple stand-alone systems.

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