Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Parents to join Army cuts demos

Parents of soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan are due to take part in protests up and down the country against plans to reduce the size of the British Army.
Organisers said there would be demonstrations at 61 war memorials around the country, including the Cenotaph in London and memorials in cities including Glasgow, Leeds, Leicester, Manchester, Newcastle and Cardiff.
The demonstrations were organised earlier this month by Dee Edwards of the Protest Against MoD Cuts group after the announcement that the Army will be cut from 102,000 to 82,000 personnel.
She said at the time: "What the MoD are doing is completely wrong. What happens to all of these thousands of people when they are made redundant - how many more ex-soldiers are going to end up on the streets?
"We will be holding the protests at 11am, the same time as Armistice Day is marked, to remember all the soldiers' lives who have been lost and to think about all the ones that could die in action in the future."
The Army is to lose 17 major units in the biggest overhaul of the service for decades, Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said on July 5. He said the changes were needed to create a "balanced, capable and adaptable force" for the future.
Among the units to go are four infantry battalions - the 2nd Battalion the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, the 2nd Battalion the Yorkshire Regiment (Green Howards), the 3rd Battalion the Mercian Regiment, and the 2nd Battalion the Royal Welsh.
A fifth, the 5th Battalion the Royal Regiment of Scotland (Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders), will be reduced to a public duties company to carry out public duties in Scotland.
The Armoured Corps will be reduced by two units with the merger of the Queen's Royal Lancers and the 9th/12th Royal Lancers and the 1st and 2nd Tank Regiments amalgamating. There will also be reductions in the number of units in the Royal Artillery, the Royal Engineers, the Army Air Corps, the Royal Logistic Corps, the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers and the Royal Military Police.
The changes - to be completed by the end of the decade - will see the Territorial Army expanded to give a combined regular and reserve force of 120,000.

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