Army reservists to be used to police Kosovo peace deal
Friday 02 July 1999
The Second Battalion Royal Green Jackets is being sent to Macedonia on 8 August but officers have been told that they will have to take Territorial Army or regular reservists to make up about one-sixth of their strength. The Second Battalion will need reservists to fill 140 infantry posts, with more reservists for other trades.
The Tory defence spokes-man, Robert Key, used a Commons debate yesterday to highlight the manpower shortage in the armed forces, which is requiring some soldiers to spend a year away from their families.
The Secretary of State for Defence, George Robertson, recently admitted to the Select Committee on Defence he was concerned at the problems in retaining troops in the Army.
Tory sources said the numbers leaving were partly due to the "overstretch" on troops, with long tours of duty abroad.
However, Doug Henderson, the Armed Forces minister, disclosed that the 1,400 soldiers currently on guarding duties in the UK - the equivalent of two and a half infantry battalions - could be moved to frontline service . "They want to be in the field with their units, putting into practice the skills they have learnt," he said.
An expansion of the military Provost Guard service to 600 was announced last month and Mr Henderson said he planned to expand the guard by another 200 to release personnel for the front line. The Government planned to expand the guard further to replace the 1,400 regular soldiers engaged in guarding - a move that would meet about one-sixth of the current shortfall of soldiers.
Richard Ottaway, for the Tories, said the Strategic Defence Review undertook to increase the Army's strength by 3,300 but did not expect full manning to be achieved until 2004.
"With 89 per cent of the [deployable Army] deployed or warned to deploy, we do not have a lot of room for manoeuvre to confront contingencies that may emerge. To fulfil our commitment to Kosovo, we will need up to 30,000 troops."
- 1 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 2 Kim Kardashian on Bruce Jenner's 'story': 'We support him no matter what, and I think when the time is right, he'll talk'
- 3 Russian girl takes her own life after parents find pornography on her computer
- 4 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 5 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
Michelle Obama highlights harsh restrictions faced by Saudi women after meeting King Salman without wearing a headscarf
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Kim Kardashian on Bruce Jenner's 'story': 'We support him no matter what, and I think when the time is right, he'll talk'
Russian girl takes her own life after parents find pornography on her computer
Ball pool for adults opens in London
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
£40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A reputable organisation within the leisure i...
£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: I am currently working in partnersh...
£96000 - £200000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Looking for a better earning p...
£32000 - £36000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A rapidly expanding company in ...