MoD denies it is in crisis over Army personnel

Ministry of Defence has denied claims that 10 regiments could be axed because
of an on-going crisis in Army recruitment.

An article in The Daily Telegraph claimed the Army is considering axing
almost a fifth of its frontline strength because it cannot find enough recruits
to replace soldiers who are leaving.

But Paul Sykes, a spokesman for the MoD, said there are no Government plans
to cut services manpower. He said, "We are still working towards the
Strategic Defence Review policy manning levels of 108,000. At the moment we are
still 7-8,000 short of that. We are pressing on with a view to achieving full
manning by 2005."

Sykes said the Army is in competition with other employers. He added that in
1999 to 2000 there was a net increase in Army personnel for the first time in
15 years.

He said, "We are trying to maximise recruitment, reduce the number of
people dropping out during training and improve terms of service so Army
personnel don’t feel the need to leave."

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