Army announces “most radical restructuring in decades” amid troop cuts.


Army announces “most radical restructuring in decades” amid troop cuts.

The British Army has announced its Future Soldier program, claiming the project will provide the most radical reform in two decades to create a force fit for the wars of the 21st century.

The restructuring comes as the regular army’s strength is slated from 82,000 to 73,000 over the next four years, with a focus on expedition units that can be deployed in conflict zones, as well as building bases abroad.

The new strategy is backed by an investment of £ 41.3 billion in equipment over the next decade, £ 8.6 billion more than previously committed.

Part of the policy will be the establishment of a special operations brigade for overseas operations, unveiled eight months ago, as Global Britain seeks a broader military presence with new and traditional allies outside Europe.

A ranger regiment will form the core of the new force, which will conduct combat operations as well as training to sign a range of defense treaties and be stationed at international hubs in Oman, Kenya, Poland and the Baltic states.

Claiming the army would be “leaner but more productive,” the Defense Secretary added, “What is critical is that it will also be an army built for real credibility in warfare as an expeditionary force that is both operational and deadly becomes when she is called to fight and to victory. ”

Speaking to defense journalists, Ben Wallace commented on the cuts: “That means we have fewer soldiers. But it also means we’ll have honest armed forces saying what they’re doing, not a lot of people and gadgets that are 20 years old, which we have had for too long. “

In response to critics of the reforms, including former commanders, Mr. Wallace was in a combative mood. “Some of the former high-ranking officers who throw bricks and mortars provided armies that were hollow,” he said. “I think we are now more reliable and ready partners for allies than ever before. And I think that is something that adds value to the UK as an offer to our allies around the world. “

Mr. Wallace believed that today’s commanders look to the future, not the past.

Referring to about 500 soldiers whose posts had been suspended, he said, “I think it’s pretty telling that with 500 additional soldiers the army didn’t just revive an infantry battalion, which they could have done with a 500 range of skills like Cyber ​​and other enablers, because that’s what is actually needed. “

In addition to light and quickly deployable armed forces such as rangers, troops and armaments are also used to increase tension in the new Cold War with Russia. Tanks and armored personnel carriers are stationed in Germany, at the NATO outpost base in Sennelager and in Estonia, where Great Britain currently leads a thousand-man combat group in turns.

The Labor Party accused the plans of leaving the fighting forces: “too small, too thin, too poorly equipped. Shadow Defense Secretary John Healey noted that the Department of Defense’s civilian workforce had increased by 2,200 over the past six years, while the number of full-time soldiers had decreased by 5,000 over the same period.

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