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The Government announced in the outcome of the Strategic Defence and Security Review in October 2010 that, as part of moving to Future Force 2020, we would reduce the size of the Regular Army by 7,000 personnel, and both the Naval Service and Royal Air Force by 5,000 personnel. In addition, in order to balance the British Army's Regular and Reserve forces, further reductions were subsequently identified to deliver a Regular Army of around 82,000 by 2020. We also made clear that, in order to maintain balanced force structures for the future, an element of these reductions would need to be made through a redundancy programme. (Further details on next page)
Our statement of 1 March 2011 set out the process and timetable for the Armed Forces Redundancy Programme. Consequently, in September 2011, 2,860 Service Personnel were notified of their redundancy in the first tranche,(1,020 Service Personnel from the Naval Service, 920 from the Army and 920 from the Royal Air Force) 62% of whom had applied for selection. On 12 June 2012, 3,760 Service Personnel were notified of their selection for redundancy in the second tranche, (160 Service Personnel from the Naval Service, 2,880 from the Army and 720 from the Royal Air Force) 72% of whom had applied for selection.
Today the Army are announcing the fields from which they will select personnel to be made redundant in the third tranche of the programme; this will comprise up to 5,300 Army Personnel. There is likely to be a need for a further tranche for Army personnel and medical and dental personnel from the RN and RAF in due course.
The same selection principles as used in the last two tranches will be applied. The Army will seek to maximise the number of applicants from all personnel that meet the published criteria. The redundancy programme will not impact adversely on current operations in Afghanistan, and no one who is serving on specified operations on the day the redundancy notices are issued on 18 June 2013 will be made redundant unless they are applicants. Similarly, those preparing for, or recovering from such operations on the day the redundancy notices are issued will not be made redundant unless they have applied. Those personnel who are liable to deploy with their units to Afghanistan in Autumn 2013 on the day the redundancy notices are issued will be exempt from Tranche 3 unless they are an applicant; as a result of the drawdown plans already announced, those units liable to deployment will not be confirmed until April 2013.
Any applicant who is selected for redundancy and whose unit is subsequently deployed will be able to choose whether to deploy with the unit, or not. Personnel who are assessed as being permanently below the level of fitness required to remain in the Forces will not be considered for redundancy, and will instead leave through the medical discharge route at the appropriate stage in their recovery.
Throughout the redundancy process, we will ensure that we retain the capabilities that our Armed Forces require in order to meet the challenges of the future.