Territorial army told to stop training

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The Independent Online

The Territorial Army has been told to stop training for six months amid intense pressure on Government budgets, it was disclosed today.

Drill-hall instruction, weekend exercises and all other training associated with the TA are set to stop temporarily, cutting costs by about £20 million.



The move is likely to raise fears that operations in Afghanistan will be hit, as hundreds of "weekend warriors" serve in the troubled country.



However, the Ministry of Defence insisted there would be no impact, because TA soldiers train with their regular army counterparts before deployment to Helmand province.



The size of the TA has fallen rapidly since Labour came to power, from more than 57,000 to a trained strength of around 19,000.



An MoD spokesman said: "These are challenging times and like all Government departments, we have to live within our means.



"We routinely review our spending to balance priorities, focusing on the highest priorities including on our operations, particularly in Afghanistan."

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