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On the 23rd February Parliament set the maximum numbers of personnel to be maintained for service with the Armed Forces during the year ending 31st March 2011. The figures break down accordingly:
|Royal Air Force||47,400||13,680||61,080|
The total combined number of Armed Forces personnel expected to be in service during the financial year ending 2011 stands at 344,020.
A number of observations can be made from these figures. In terms of the regular Armed Forces, the combined total represents an extremely modest increase in personnel compared to the previous year. By 2011, it is anticipated that 213,980 regular personnel will be serving in the Armed Forces, compared with 212,430 in 2010.
By comparison, the number of reserves anticipated to be serving with the Armed Forces is much more alarming. The combined total of reserves anticipated to be in service for the year ending 2011 is 130,240. This figure represents a continuation of the decline of reserves since the beginning of the 21st Century. According to The Military Balance, the number of reserves within the Armed Forces throughout the decade was:
One of the key messages of Andrew Murrison MP's Sixty Second Soundbite is that the reserves have played a significant part in operations in the not-so-distant and will continue to do so in the future. Whilst the Ministry of Defence may dispute The Military Balance's figures, the declining number of reserves is likely to impact on the scope of all future operations, including the regular Armed Forces.
Andrew Murrison MP on the changing role for reservists and the Armed Forces Parliamentary Scheme.