The Armed Forces are 9,900 trained personnel short of their government set target, new figures released today reveal. The British Army is also over 4,600 personnel smaller than it was 3 years ago.
Under the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review, the Armed Forces need to have 144,200 trained personnel by 2020. They’re currently at 134,300, with the number having fallen continually since 2016. Doubts have now been raised over the Ministry of Defence’s ability to meet the target by 2020.
The MoD’s Quarterly Service Personnel Statistics, which can be read here, showed that the:
- Royal Navy and Royal Marines are 1,230 short of their 30,450 personnel target
- Royal Air Force are 1,740 short of their 31,750 personnel target
- British Army are 6,930 short of their 82,000 personnel target
The full time trained strength across all services is 6.9% lower than the 2020 target, compared to 3.9% below in 2016.
The @DefenceHQ personnel crisis, shown in one image.
They're almost 10,000 full-time trained personnel below their 2020 target. pic.twitter.com/mLuVFid7bv
— Henry Jones (@hthjones) May 16, 2019
A Ministry of Defence spokesperson defended the figures, telling the UK Defence Journal: “The Armed Forces continue to meet all of its operational commitments to keep Britain safe.”
“We are fully committed to improving our recruitment process, including working with Capita to ensure any challenges are being addressed.”
The MoD declined to comment on the implications of failing to meet the 2020 target.