UK Armed Forces numbers increase to 97% of target

The stretched UK Armed Forces have moved 0.6% closer to their target number of personnel over the past three months, figures have revealed.

Defence Analytical Services Agency statistics showed that there were 178,610 full-time, fully trained members of the Armed Forces in January 2007. This is 97.1% of the target figure of 183,950, which has been reduced because the army has restructured to improve efficiency.

In October 2006, the forces were at 96.5% of the “Full-Time Trained Strength” target.

The Ministry of Defence has launched several recruitment initiatives in recent months to tackle its staffing problems.

In January, it raised the maximum age that people could join the Army from 26 to 33.

The number of recruits starting forces training rose by 280 in the past three months, while the number of people leaving fell by 250.

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