Link to The Times

Saw a frontpiece in the Times ref:

MOD cuts jobs and joes onto say 10,000 to be cut.

Anyone got any other info? or a working link
Here you go:,,2-1166502,00.html

Overspending MoD to cut 10,000 Service jobs
By Michael Evans, Defence Editor

THE Royal Navy and RAF will suffer the brunt of huge cuts in personnel and equipment to be announced this month, The Times has learnt.
The announcement of the cuts in manpower — 7,000 from the RAF and 3,000 from the Navy — comes as the Fire Brigades Union is once again threatening a strike, making it likely that the Services will be needed for firefighting duties.

John Prescott, the Deputy Prime Minister, is expected to decide whether to call up troops next week.

The cuts will be announced by Geoff Hoon, the Defence Secretary, on July 16, four days after Gordon Brown gives details of his spending review for all government departments. They result from a long-running review of the growing imbalance between resources and “military activities”. The MoD has been spending beyond its means and has to make the cuts to stay within its budget.

On the positive side, Mr Hoon is expected to be awarded a real-terms increase in his budget of about 1 per cent, which will be seen as a successful outcome of the tough negotiations between the MoD and the Treasury.

However, the additional money will not put off the cuts in manpower and equipment that will lead to some of the biggest reductions since the Conservative’s Options for Change review in 1990.

The Army will also be affected by the cuts, losing four out of forty infantry battalions. However, the “surplus” soldiers will be absorbed into a restructured Army that will consist of larger regiments — a minimum of two battalions each instead of only one in some cases as at present.

The MoD wants a positive spin to be put on the changes, describing them as part of a crucial modernisation of the services.

However, Service chiefs, who will have to explain to those under their command why they are about to face cuts for the third time in less than 15 years, want the facts spelt out honestly.

Under the cuts now agreed by ministers, the Navy is to lose six surface warships — three of the old Type 42 destroyers and three Type 23 anti-submarine warfare frigates. One or two of the nuclear-powered Swiftsure class submarines will also be axed.

An additional option is to sell one of the three aircraft carriers: HMS Ark Royal is already in “extended readiness” — effectively in mothballs at Rosyth with a skeleton crew — and would be the most vulnerable.

The RAF is to be even more heavily cut back, with 7,000 personnel going, and dozens of bases closed. According to defence sources, those engaged in the review recommended the elimination of the Jaguar combat aircraft squadrons, which would mean the axeing of 40-50 aircraft and the possible closure of RAF Coltishall in Norfolk, where they are based.

The long-term plan for the Army is to reduce its overall trained strength to about 101,000.

Four battalions are to be axed after a review of security in Northern Ireland, where there are still 12,500 soldiers committed to the Province.

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