Military Cuts - Latest

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Mr_C_Hinecap, Apr 2, 2004.

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  1. From today's Telegraph...........

    Five RAF bases to close in £1bn cuts
    By Michael Smith, Defence Correspondent

    (Filed: 02/04/2004)

    The Ministry of Defence is planning the biggest cuts in Armed Forces' equipment for decades as part of attempts to save more than £1 billion from the defence budget.

    Five RAF bases are to go, with the scrapping of all the RAF's 62 ground-attack Jaguars, all its 79 ground-attack GR7 Harriers and all its 39 Puma helicopters.

    The Royal Navy will lose the two carriers Illustrious and Invincible, at least two frigates and its 88 Sea King helicopters, and close four naval storage bases.

    The Army will have to close a number of camps on the Salisbury Plain training area and axe at least 50 Challenger 2 tanks, 50 Warrior armoured personnel carriers and all 118 of its Gazelle helicopters.

    The cuts are so wide-reaching that ministers are planning to hold back the announcement of some until after a general election.

    At least three Scottish infantry battalions are in danger of being amalgamated, a move that could spark a widespread defection of Labour voters north of the border to the Nationalists.

    But the Government believes the suggestion by Oliver Letwin, shadow chancellor, that the Conservatives would cut the defence budget, now denied by the Tories, makes it impossible for them to challenge any cuts.

    The Royal Scots and the Black Watch, two of the most famous Scottish regiments but both with recruiting problems, are most likely to go.

    The overall cuts will lead to 2,000 officers being made redundant across all three services as well as a number of senior NCOs. The large-scale disposals come after the Treasury won its battle with the MoD over cash shortages caused by the adoption of a new accounting system, the cost of expensive new programmes and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    Under the new Resource Account Budgeting system it costs government departments more money to keep open large numbers of bases.

    Working groups within the MoD were told to find ways to save money from current equipment to protect projects such as the Navy's two new carriers and the RAF's Eurofighter/Typhoon aircraft.

    The RAF bases to close include Coltishall in Norfolk, which houses all the RAF's Jaguar ground-attack aircraft, Wittering in Cambridgeshire, home of Joint Force Harrier, and Benson in Oxfordshire.

    Military commanders are furious at the long list.

    Nicholas Soames, shadow defence secretary, accused the Defence Secretary, Geoff Hoon, of planning "to wreak havoc on the Forces".

    Seems like we're all getting reamed this time - right across the board. You, me, everybody.
  2. So the wars cost so much they've got to cut back to an extent where they will be unable to sustain another war?

    There's probably a logic in there somewhere but it's over my head! 8O

    Those of you still serving are really going to feel the heat. Then come the next crisis they'll (the politicians) be bleating about an inability to do things.

    One hopes this is where the top brass will stand up and show what they're made of and forget about any political role they may be expected to play.
  3. Five years left to push - thank God I'm not in the infantry any more - no long weekends for those bu**ers for a while if this goes through.
    Kosovo now, Cyprus next (maybe) and Iraq for the rest of our natural lives, I suspect.
    Give us the tools to do the job, please - and remember, even the best tools do a little better if you take them out of the box and give them a polish once in a while... :(
  4. Still, the crabs will have all those lovely Eurofighters to fight the Soviets
  5. Un bloody believable - the treasury, the civil service and the Government have really lost the plot if they go through with utterly disgusted

    Makes a total mockery of everything the forces have / are going through around the globe...what short sighted wan*ers.
  6. Think you'll find there will be a lot less of them too. Eurof**kup will be like hen's teeth methinks.
  7. These type of cut backs are not new e.g. the same type of politician idiots in charge made similar decisions after WWI and there was only a flap of quick funding when it was evident where Hitler was going.
    No doubt, cut backs will continue in the future until the govt/population want the armed services to protect them but find there is nothing to do it with.
    I would be surprised if the top brass do anything more then make a few overt noises and then get back to cultivating either their a) careers or b) their pension plans.
  8. If true this a disaster of epic proportions, however I've seen enough scare stories in the Telegraph to be a little sceptical.
  9. Just the same, it does look like a case of "All callsigns, PUFO, I say again, PUFO, out" :evil: :evil:
  10. If the rumour of redundancies is true (and I've heard many rumblings at many levels) then there will be a queue outside HQ to sign on!

    There is the possibility that the worst-case scenario is being presented so that, when the cuts do fall, they are portrayed as "not as bad as it seemed at first". This is a well-worn strategy.

    As many other commentators have pointed out on the thread, the Forces will still be expected to pull off whatever is thrown at them by HMG. This is the first time I can say wholeheartedly that I have no regrets about my PVR. Not long to go now.....
  11. Emigrating to Australia is looking more & more attractive. Our country's gone mad!
  12. Hmm...I think this is a "let's give Toby Gullible, Torygraph deputy assistant defence correspondent (teaboy), something that will get a scare going". There have been reams of these over the years. (Both Jag and GR7/9? So no CAS at all, and no FAA either due to lack of FA2s? But not cancelling CVF? Twibble. No Puma or Sea Queen? So that'll be 16AABde gone too, no? Incoherent.)
  13. I suppose this is what comes of letting accountants run the MOD! Hopefully this is just a wind up (The Telegraphs' April Fool a bit late), failing that lets convert to Islam to defeat the "War on Terror" at home as we'll have bugger all else to defend ourselves with at this rate!
  14. 50 Chally 2s and warriors.
    Is this not more to do with making more light and shite tps, (sorry the FRES Bdes) than anything else. If the crabs didn't go 5* then maybe they could have some planes to fly :twisted:
  15. Will the last man out please switch off the lights.

    Thanks Mr Hoon you were terrific, you really showed Gordon that time.