London: Up to 2,900 members of the British
army including 400 Gurkhas will lose their jobs along with
1,000 air force personnel in the latest round of defence cuts,
the government said Tuesday.
Around 300 members of the Royal Navy will also be axed.
Many senior army posts will be cut, including eight
Brigadiers and 60 Lieutenant Colonels and the Ministry of
Defence (MoD) said the Gurkhas affected would be those with
more than six years` service.
Defence minister Philip Hammond insisted the government
had "no choice" but to axe the posts as part of the Strategic
Defence and Security Review (SDSR) after the previous Labour
government overspent on defence.
But Hammond insisted the British army, which still has
more than 9,000 troops in Afghanistan, would be more flexible
and responsive after the cuts.
"Difficult decisions had to be taken in the SDSR to deal
with the vast black hole in the MoD budget," he said.
"The size of the fiscal deficit we inherited left us no
choice but to reduce the size of the armed forces, while
reconfiguring them to ensure they remain agile, adaptable and
"As we continue with the redundancy process, we will
ensure we retain the capabilities that our armed forces will
require to meet the challenges of the future.
"The redundancy programme will not impact adversely on the
current operations in Afghanistan, where our armed forces
continue to fight so bravely on this country`s behalf."
After the SDSR was carried out in 2010, Prime Minister
David Cameron`s Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition
government said it would cut 17,000 jobs from the army, navy
and Royal Air Force (RAF) over four years.