Q&A: Army redundancies defence cuts
Some 5,000 Army personnel are to be made redundant, as the Ministry of Defence (MoD) embarks on its latest round of defence cuts.
The redundancies, announced today, will primarily affect soldiers, although it is understood medical personnel may also be liable to be dismissed.
This is the third round of redundancies since 2011.
But what are the defence cuts about and why are they being implemented? Find out with our Q&A guide:
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The Ministry of Defence has today announced a third round of Army redundancies - up to 5,300 job losses.
It is understood the Army will bear the brunt of the cuts, as the Navy and RAF have already completed most of their necessary cuts.
Personnel will today find out who is and isn’t being considered for this latest round of redundancies, and how many will go once decisions have been taken in the summer. Redundancy notices will be issued on June 18.
Any personnel preparing for, serving on, or recovering from operations on that date will not lose their jobs unless they have applied for redundancy.
The redundancies are part of cuts already announced by the Government to reduce Army numbers from 102,000 to 82,000 by 2017.
This is the third round of redundancies since 2011. More than 2,800 personnel from across the armed forces were made redundant during the first round in August and September 2011.
The second round, in June 2012, saw more than 4,000 military personnel lose their jobs.
Why are these redundancies being made?
The overall aim is to help fill a £38 billion hole in the defence budget.
About 17,000 armed forces jobs are scheduled to go under the terms of the Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR), announced in 2010.
The Navy and Air Force have to cut 5,000 jobs each, the Army 7,000 and about 25,000 civilian staff working at the MoD face redundancy.
In 2011 a further reduction of 12,000 was identified for the regular Army, as the Government sought to put greater emphasis on military reserves.
By the end of the process the Army will have scaled down to 80,000 soldiers, a reduction of around 20,000. This has been done primarily through a redundancy process, but also through slower recruitment.
It will result in the smallest army since the 18th century, Sky News reports.
What will happen to those made redundant?
No-one will be made redundant immediately. Final decisions will be made by June.
Anyone accepted for voluntary redundancy will be expected to work a six-month notice period and those selected for compulsory redundancy will have a full year to find alternative employment before leaving the service.
Some 72 per cent of redundancies ended up being voluntary in the last round of cuts.
What will happen next?
This third round of redundancies will most likely be followed by further sackings later this year or early next year. This has not yet been confirmed, however.
The MoD today said further job losses among Royal Navy and RAF medical and dental personnel, as well as additional Army redundancies, was "likely".
Aren’t people worried about these cuts?
Shadow defence secretary Jim Murphy fears the extra emphasis on the contribution of reservists coupled with the speed of the reduction in the Army's size could cause problems.
Mr Murphy told the BBC the manner of the cuts, with its emphasis on reservists, could cause difficulties if there were problems freeing them up to take on more responsibilities.
He said: "If we're going to ask more of men and women in other jobs to be involved in the reservists, which can be a fantastic opportunity, we have to rely upon the goodwill and support of employers.
"If a reservist goes for an interview and they're equally qualified with someone else who also goes for the interview, we have to work with employers to make sure they don't have at the back of their mind: 'My gosh, this employee, as a reservist, will be away for six months and I can't cope with that as a company'."
Labour has also questioned the cuts in the wake of the recent hostage crisis in Algeria.
Meanwhile many retired service chiefs question the UK's ability to face global threats with a reduced military.
America's former top commander in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal, recently said Britain risks being shut out of key decisions in the "special relationship" with the US if it does not maintain credible military capabilities.
And earlier this month three military experts warned the cuts must be reversed if the armed forces are to protect British interests and meet their commitments for the rest of the decade.