Military Cuts - Latest

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.
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.
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.
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... :(


Still, the crabs will have all those lovely Eurofighters to fight the Soviets
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.
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.
If true this a disaster of epic proportions, however I've seen enough scare stories in the Telegraph to be a little sceptical.
Just the same, it does look like a case of "All callsigns, PUFO, I say again, PUFO, out" :evil: :evil:
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.....
Emigrating to Australia is looking more & more attractive. Our country's gone mad!
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.)
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!
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:
Will the last man out please switch off the lights.

Thanks Mr Hoon you were terrific, you really showed Gordon that time.
All this over an "accounting system"? Seems like the system is to blame. It is outrageous and will be a vote loser for the government. The loss of the facilities on Salisbury Plain. We will never get them back. What p*isses me off is that the Army is short of accomodation anyway. I have had to stay in civie motels on occaision because of a shortage of service accomodation. I personally have no faith in accountants and the way they fiddle the books.

My bet is that this will not actually sav any money whatsoever, the problem is that our senior Officers do not have the skill set to challenge the accountants.

So how many civil servants will go? They are all safe in their newly refurbished Whitehall address thanks.

I fear the (rapidly approaching) day when Gordon Brown becomes Prime Minister. The services will be slashed to the bone.
Jeez what a bunch of penny pinching w'anchors we work for. I have a few years left, I might be the last one out who hangs closed on the gates.
Before last years little adventure the shout was that we needed more mobile less heavy armoured forces. Just under a year ago I heard Robin Brims (alright GOC 1 Div or sir, as I prefer to call him) say 'I can go anywhere in Basra I want to go, as long as I'm in a Challenger of Warrior.

I'm a democrat and will do everything democratically possible to consign this useless pack of *******, tossers and dinner party marxists that masquerade as a government to the dustbin of history where they so rightly belong.

Tell everyone who will listen (except the reptiles of the press) we have a pack of ******* who have never heard the maxim about reinforce success not failure. One of the few successes in this country over the past seven years has been HM Forces. Failed on the NHS, failed on Education, failed on Immigration, bugger me! we are having some success somewhere, better stop that now and make sure we live up to the greatest tenants of practical socialism and fck the military up too.

Sometimes I think we should all refrain from voting - it only encourages these bastards.


The £200million Royal Centre of Defence Medicine in Birimingham has been radically revised- i.e. there wont be one by all accounts!

I have it from a reliable source that rumours of the RCDMs (Birmingham) demise are premature. It stays in Brummyland and the plans to expand accommodation and facilities continue.

More tish tosh from the Telegraph although this time I believe they were fed duff info by our end rather than making it up - which makes a change.