Speaking the House of Commons on the 11th January, Defence Sub-Committee Chair Madeleine Moon warned about reductions in military personnel numbers.
Madeleine Moon is a Labour Party politician, who has been the Member of Parliament for Bridgend since the 2005 general election and has held many positions relating to the scrutiny of defence matters.
“When it comes to defence, we have to accept that without the right personnel with the right expertise and in enough numbers, the military cannot function. All the most sophisticated technology imaginable is useless if we do not have the skilled individuals to operate it. The planes cannot fly, the ships cannot sail and the vehicles cannot move without the people with the expertise. In essence, without people there is no military capability, and yet it is the people that we keep cutting.
Following the strategic defence and security review in 2010, there was a restructuring of the Army through a plan dubbed Army 2020, along with Future Reserves 2020 for the Army Reserve.
The plan was refined in 2015. It proposed to reduce the number of regular Army, or full-time, personnel from 102,000 to 82,000 and to increase the rebranded and re-enrolled reserve forces, or part-time personnel, from around 15,000 to 35,000 to make up the shortfall. On paper, that looks great. In April 2017, the regular Army numbered 83,560 personnel and the Army Reserve 29,940. However, we need to dig deeper.”
This comes as Tory backbenchers vowed to join with Labour to try and stop severe cuts to the British armed forces.