The move would see the number of regular soldiers in Scotland being cut from 3,700 to 2,000.

According to The Sunday Times, three of Scotland’s seven garrisons now face early closure in cuts to be announced by the end of the year.

“Up to 1,700 soldiers could be axed in Scotland as the Ministry of Defence seeks to cut costs and create a leaner army to meet the demands of the cyber era.

Three of Scotland’s seven garrisons face closure in cuts to be announced by the end of the year.

Fort George near Inverness, home to the Black Watch, and the Glencorse and Redford barracks in Edinburgh were scheduled to close by 2032 but army chiefs want to speed up the plans.

A regiment of Royal Engineers at Kinloss may relocate to England.”

A spokesman for the MoD, said:

“The plans for structural reform [of the army] are not yet finalised so speculation at this stage is unhelpful and misleading. Detailed plans will be submitted to ministers later this autumn and decisions made public when finalised.”

You can read more on this here.

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Jonny
Jonny
1 month ago

I don’t understand why numbers are being cut when the recruitment targets aren’t even being met. Am I missing something?

Angus
Angus
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonny

The MOD wants to cut costs on keeping the separate small garrisons and move the troops into the super garrisons of Aldershot and Catterick as the more up to date services are already there. But as you say the numbers wanting to join are so so low its hardly worth calling it an Army anymore. Sorry it may be modern times but boots on the ground will forever be the way to beat the aggressor. They do not all use high tech to win. Look at Afghan and earlier Vietnam both lost at such a cost. God help us if… Read more »

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
1 month ago
Reply to  Angus

We are not going to re-fight past wars. And the military didn’t lose anything in Afghanistan. The politicians who tied the militarys hands behind there backs is why things turned out the way they did.

Lusty
Lusty
1 month ago
Reply to  Robert Blay.

Certainly agree with that. Time to move on and modernise as it were, while hopefully trying to learn the lessons of the previous conflicts we have been involved in.

Plus, investing in property itself is just as important as investing in new kit and things that go bang. If the troops are housed in poor housing and if the equipment is stored in less than optimal conditions, you’re setting yourself up for a bad day regardless of numbers.

John Clark
John Clark
1 month ago
Reply to  Robert Blay.

I certainly agree with not fighting past wars, I’ve no particular issues with the new ethos of out of area rapid reaction forces.

The issue as I see it, is the troop numbers are being reduced, but the enabling technology doesn’t seem to be arriving, ie, sufficient numbers of support helicopters and airlift.

Added to this we need capable air transportable armed wheeled transport and support/ logistics capability.

We need to be able to transport and support 3,500 troops quickly Worldwide with all the key enabling technology.

If we can manage that I will be happy enough.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  John Clark

Can’t we move 3,500 troops quickly, worldwide? What has changed?

John Clark
John Clark
1 month ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

We can probably move that number in a a fairly short timeframe, but we lack the necessary air portable equipment to fight effectively.

From an infantry perspective, If it can’t be deployed in a C17 or A400, don’t bother procuring it….

No point having flexible rapidly deployable forces if the equipment is plodding along in a ship weeks behind them!

We need light formations, well equipped with plenty of deployable firepower.

Backed up with enough helo support and strategic transport to do the job effectively.

Graham
Graham
30 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

John, we don’t just need rapidly deployable light forces – we have those in 3 Cdo Bde and 16 AA Bde, and I am pretty sure that all their equipment types are transportable by C17 or A400M.
We also need medium and heavy forces and if the equipment en
masse needs to go in a ship then so be it. As an aside Ajax is a big mistake for many reasons not least its very poor strategic mobility for a recce vehicle, which needs to be in Theatre quickly.

John Clark
John Clark
29 days ago
Reply to  Graham

Heavy forces have virtually gone anyway Graham, small numbers of increasingly obsolete kit and absolutely chaotic and shambolic re-capitalisation programmes, have effectively neutered our ability to deploy a heavy armoured force. The fall back to two Armoured Brigades, is a signal to the world that the UK is effectively retiring from heavy armoured manoeuvre warfare, in anything but a supporting side line roll in the future. Our future is high tech, we will be kicking the door wide open and malleting the opposition with cyber warfare, Spear3, Tempest, Mosquito etc, for US Armoured divisions to roll through the gap we… Read more »

Python15
Python15
29 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

3,500 troops? You’re having a laugh! They’re all to busy driving ambulances…or tankers…or giving OAP’s injections…or putting out fires! Best make that 500 so the other 3000 can keep the country running!

Steve
Steve
30 days ago
Reply to  Robert Blay.

I don’t agree with that comment. We for sure will fight another afgan/Iraq/kosovo war and the same policial restrictions will apply. The question is whether we will be better prepared next time around. I fear the answer is no, as to win any such conflict you need raw numbers and constantly cutting them means they are not there.

John Clark
John Clark
29 days ago
Reply to  Steve

I can’t see that happening for a generation Steve, there is no appetite in the government, opposition (if there is one) and public, for any sort of armed intervention that goes beyond a few months… The way the Army is being configured, an operation similar to our Afghanistan presence (10,000) being maintained for anything other than a few months, would be quite impossible anyway. It would physically break the Armed forces and require the call up of the majority of the trained Army Reserve to support it. So simply not sustainable. Any sort of future enduring presence, will be 1,500… Read more »

Steve
Steve
29 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

It’s hard to tell, depends if the government gets their hands forced, as happened in kosovo, we only took part because it was in europe and the press were all over it.

Something Different
Something Different
1 month ago
Reply to  Angus

There is no invasion happening at present

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  Angus

It is sad to compare our armed forces strength to that of France – they get so much more ‘bang for the buck’.

John Clark
John Clark
1 month ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

We actually have a pretty healthy defence budget Graham, but we throw it away on stupid projects, the next great waste of money will be Puma replacement, just watch the MOD chuck billions away reinventing the wheel….

Graham
Graham
30 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

I agree that we certainly do have a reasonable defence budget albeit not as high in %of GDP terms as in the Cold War era, which is understandable. Just that we should have as much manpower and kit as the French who put us to shame in pretty much every area. I am also envious that their Industry is still able to build nationally designed fast jets and unflawed AFVs. I had not thought about Puma replacement but do we often get helicopter procurement wrong? Still, you are right to have concerns as there have been too many examples of… Read more »

Marius
Marius
30 days ago
Reply to  Angus

Afghanistan and Vietnam are yesterday’s wars. Both those wars were lost because of political ineptitude.

Trident is not meant to deter the dinghies crossing the Channel. The Channel problem is purely due to lack of political backbone.

Jacko
Jacko
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonny

Troop numbers won’t be cut, just moved down into England.

Bill
Bill
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonny

No you’re missing nothing. This government will just keep on cutting numbers regardless. I think even they realise that spouting the usual BS ‘justifications’ are pointless and insulting.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonny

Jonny, did you miss the 2021 Defence review? The regular army is being cut from an Establishment of 82,000 to 72,500.

Lusty
Lusty
1 month ago

-insert noises about frigates here just because-

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  Lusty

Why not also leering about OPV’s as well, up arming and deficiencies of well anything you can think of?

Don’t mention all the thinks the UK has that work perfectly.

Does that cover it?

Lusty
Lusty
1 month ago

I’m sure wee cranky will find a way of lumping frigates into this debate.

Dern
Dern
1 month ago

No, you forgot to mention the Carriers.
I’d say something about migrants in the channel but we’ve already got a comment about that above here *rolls eyes dramatically*

Lusty
Lusty
1 month ago
Reply to  Dern

Don’t forget, we need to use the entire Royal Navy to stop them!

(hate those comments too)

Something Different
Something Different
1 month ago
Reply to  Dern

Yep, those kind of comments are not accurate or really relevant to this topic

Fedaykin
Fedaykin
1 month ago

Closing Fort George will be a costly problem for Historic Scotland, they have been trying to avoid taking on the running costs for many years.

In military terms it needs to close as an Army base, one of the worse postings in the Army nowhere near where most of the recruits come from these days.

Rob
Rob
1 month ago
Reply to  Fedaykin

Fort George. Is it acceptable to ask 21st century soldiers to live in an 18th century star fort? By all means let Historic Scotland take it on as a tourist attraction but it isn’t right to ask soldiers to live in it.

The super Garrisons model is far better; newer housing, networked family support, schools built for soldiers kids etc, etc.

Dern
Dern
1 month ago
Reply to  Rob

I’m not fond of the super Garrisons model, usually because they are in the right middle of nowhere. Aldershot isn’t too bad, but have you ever seen what’s near Tidworth/Bulford? Or Catterick?
Who wants to be posted to those places where you have to drive for ages to go anywhere?

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  Dern

I enjoyed my time in Catterick. Plenty of places nearby: Darlington, Thirsk, Richmond, Ripon, the lovely North York moors and many very picturesque villages.
The advantages of Super Garrisons is that they have a lot of organic facilities and pffer plenty of posting points to allow for job change without a tiresome accomodation move.

Dern
Dern
1 month ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Sorry but “Moors and Picturesque Villages” doesn’t cut it, and Thirsk? Richmond? You’re having a laugh. Simply put: Super Garrisons are fine if you’re married and living in a pad and have no desire to do anything with your free time. But if you want a life outside the army, Catterick and Tidworth are simply terrible. Simply put your lifestyle has to be “enjoys driving to places to hill walk” or “never does anything off an army camp.” otherwise you’re SOL. Aldershot is better because at least Aldershot has decent rail links to London, and from there to the rest… Read more »

Andy P
Andy P
1 month ago
Reply to  Dern

Slightly off topic but related to your post Dern, was speaking to an old oppo the other day who told me that Faslane has now banned ALL smoking within the base and those who want a tab are now having to hang around outside the gate. I’m sure the ‘brass’ can give themselves a big pat on the back but its another reason to piss off the tabbers. I’ve never been a smoker but that’s a bit too draconian for this ‘live and let live’ cat. Yet another small nail in the coffin for some when looking for reasons to… Read more »

Graham
Graham
30 days ago
Reply to  Andy P

It’s not just Faslane. There is no smoking allowed on any MoD site, since a policy change last month. I really don’t get what was wrong with the outdoor smoking shelter concept.
Are they going to turn the screw on drinking next?

Andy P
Andy P
30 days ago
Reply to  Graham

I’m sure the boys at the top can’t wait until we get Unsullied/Clone Warriors/Robots but until then they’re going to have to use people and us people like our wee indulgences.

I could maybe get it if there were queues out the doors of the recruitment offices but…. ya know…. In all honesty, even then it just seems a bit twatish.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
29 days ago
Reply to  Graham

Noooooo!

Not the Rum!!!

rob
rob
30 days ago
Reply to  Dern

What is the priority, partying at night or defending the country? With China on the rise I think we need to get our priorities straight.

Dern
Dern
30 days ago
Reply to  rob

Nice assumptions there about what I’m talking about, and they’re wrong.
Putting the army in quiet out of the way places has a host of problems, and certainly are not limited to “partying at night” (and the fact that that is the only thing you could possibly imagine me talking about speaks volumes).

Rob
Rob
30 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Errrrmm you’re the one that raised the subject of Nightlife! LOL

Graham
Graham
30 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Yes, you are right. But army Garrisons need to be be near sizable training areas and ranges which means they are generally going to be in remote areas as a rule.

Ian Skinner
Ian Skinner
30 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Catterick is actually pretty well sited, close to Richmond and other towns with some nightlife.

Graham
Graham
30 days ago
Reply to  Rob

Surely the interior of Fort George has been modernised to a reasonable standard?

Aethelstanthecurious
Aethelstanthecurious
29 days ago
Reply to  Rob

When we visited the area some years ago I was surprised to see real soldiers in an interesting but bleak museum, surprised they are still there.

Jason M Holmes
Jason M Holmes
1 month ago

So that’s the end for ‘RAF’ Kinloss then

PragmaticScot
PragmaticScot
1 month ago
Reply to  Jason M Holmes

I can see them wanting to get out of Leuchars as well, I mean having a full sized military airfield for transporting troops probably isn’t needed when there’s no one nearby to airlift.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  PragmaticScot

Leuchars has been an army station since early 2015. I suspect the airfield tech facilities will soon be dismantled.

PragmaticScot
PragmaticScot
1 month ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Still fully serviceable to this day, the runway and infrastructure is maintained as shown by QRA North relocating there last year whilst resurfacing took place at Lossiemouth. Also the Army operates helicopters from there fairly regularly.

Trevor W Hogg
Trevor W Hogg
1 month ago
Reply to  Jason M Holmes

Perhaps not, if it could be repurposed as Lossie is getting overcrowded. How ironic. that Kinloss gets a major upgrade to its faciilities then the Nimrod is cancelled. We then buy the P8 to be based in Lossie but cant fly in as the runway is being resurfaced so they use Kinloss. for the Army to pull out and leave a high quality station to unused.

Heidfirst
Heidfirst
30 days ago
Reply to  Jason M Holmes

It may be apocryphal but it has been suggested that under the original terms of the land acquisition for RAF Kinloss that in the event of it no longer being needed by MOD etc. it reverts to the original owners in original condition. It would cost the MOD billions to restore Kinloss to original condition…

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
1 month ago

Glencorse only got knocked down and remade 15-20 years ago. I live next to the offsite housing and they are very nice.
Redford is at least half empty anyway and the cavalry barracks would take a lot to get to a nice garrison to live in I think.
Fort George while not been inside it should probably have closed years ago.
Stayed in kinloss and it was ok.
Not been to a super barracks so can’t comment.
I’m guessing it doesn’t help for recruitment in ur local regiments if they are all down south but maybe I’m wrong.

David Steeper
David Steeper
1 month ago

If it saves money it’s a good idea. If the money it saves is spent on improving accomodation very good. My worry is it’s the Army we’re talking about. If there’s an organisation in the UK with worse leadership I can’t think of it.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  David Steeper

David, I am sure you are not damning all leadership in the army, are you?

Anyway, the army has nothing to do with running or modernising accomodation – that is the remit of the ‘Defence Infrastructure Organisation’ (formerly ‘Defence Estates.’)

David Steeper
David Steeper
1 month ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Umm not all just those who take decisions about procurement or organisation or promotion i’m sure the others/other are dedicated and not at all useless catty brownosing ratbags ! As for def estates well never underestimate the Army brass if it’s possible to flip up they’ll find a way. LOL.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
1 month ago

As we should expect from public representatives of the local areas. I would expect the same noise to be made by any mp losing bases/troops from there area.

Mark Forsyth
Mark Forsyth
30 days ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Don’t look in isolation, look at the whole picture. How many jobs does Defence support in Scotland. Of the top of my head, Faslane, Army Personnel Centre Glasgow, Lossiemouth, Kinloss, and that is before we talk about shipyards and industry. As a total percentage, I think North of the Border does alright.

peter fernch
peter fernch
30 days ago

“Create a leaner Army” if it was any leaner it would be a ple of bones , seriously”
Can we be any more stupid, no we cant
Its beyond beleif. The Navy is sizeing up but if we dont have the troops to put on shore whats the point
When will we learn

David Steeper
David Steeper
30 days ago
Reply to  peter fernch

We’ve still got the RM’s.

Mike
Mike
30 days ago

I think some of the bases in Scotland are in need of significant overhaul and rather than pay that cost, it is cheaper to move early. Fort George being the prime example here.

Angus
Angus
30 days ago
Reply to  Mike

Anyway the RN is there with 7000+ in Faslane and they do fine so Scotland has more than its share of the budget. Oh one last word, the lads and lassies did rather well considering the constraints on them but once you leave and the set up you have paid dearly to set up fails, then sorry its a loss. I have seen first hand the price paid and all now for nothing. Yes Politics are the fault but then that is always the case when a service person has to go to war. Kinloss and Leuchars will remain as… Read more »

Marius
Marius
30 days ago

The decision to relocate soldiers is the right one. Historical and ceremonial barracks are niceties and unnecessary.

Available budgets and funding are increasingly going into technology driven military projects i.e. cyber, robots, drones et al. Boots and the beloved FN SLR mentality belong to yesterday.

And please – Scottish secession is not in the gift of the SNP. End of!

Python15
Python15
29 days ago
Reply to  Marius

Agreed, let’s start with the Red Sparrows then?

Ian
Ian
30 days ago

Discussion on Talkradio with a senior army officer saying the recruitment process is not working.
Applications are not progressed and they give up trying!!!

Angus
Angus
30 days ago
Reply to  Ian

Thats what happens when you pass that over to the private sector. So much better to come face to face with someone in Uniform when you have the desire to join the Military. Cheap skates which cost us more in the end. Bring back the MOD Recruiting Office and lets get the numbers in and the right people that actually want to make a difference in keeping our Freedom not these woks that are now dictating so much rubbish.

Mark
Mark
30 days ago

Could this be a ramp up of budget tightening so they can scrape enough dough to scrap Ajax and get new reliable off the shelf replacement?
Also I wonder what happens to the millions the navy seizes doing drug busts or is that how we got the QE & POW…

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
29 days ago
Reply to  Mark

The Aussies have a dustbin with holes in the bottom and a fire hose into it . The whole Heath-Robinson contraption hangs over the back end above the water. Wearing PPE the crew empty the drugs into the bin and the water from the hose washes it into the sea.

Keeps the marine life happy…they follow the ship around everywhere trying to get another fix!

The plastic wrapping cannot be burnt onboard or ditched at sea so they are kept under lock and key and are disposed of as Haz waste at the next port of call.

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
29 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Or just get a drug waste gel for narcotics like the NHS uses. Put controlled drug into gel pot. Add water. Put lid on. Shake. Hey presto narcotics now utterly useless and unable to be used. You can then incinerate or dispose of gel as you see fit.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
29 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

From experience when the Navy finds drugs its not a couple of wraps …its usually measured in hundreds if not thousands of kilos. When you end up with 2 tonnes of smack on your flight deck its impossible to store it securely onboard. You take the photos, do the press release and ditch it!

Its hard enough storing Gash pails from the incinerator and crusher for shore side disposal

Gary
Gary
30 days ago

https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/1507234/British-Army-plans-revealed-cut-force-smaller

Could it get any worse! Not sure how accurate article is, but definitely concerned the numbers are getting way too low. Ultimately this will impact UKSF in time also. the recruitment pool will get lower & lower.

If the argument is less numbers and better equipped. Unfortunately I don’t see much new kit on the horizon. Unfortunately the wars in Afghanistan etc, were not paid for with additional monies. But largely form the centralised pot. It’s meant allot of kit is outdated or left unmodernised.

At the moment things are looking dire, no wonder morale/recruitment is low.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
30 days ago

All previously announced and in some cases needed, like FG.

Why does Edinburgh need Dreghorn, Redford Infantry and Redford Cavalry barracks, and the Castle too. Keep Dreghorn and the Castle.

I hope Leuchars and Kinloss are retained. Naval facilities and airfields are strategic assets, elderly barracks not so.

Scotland has plenty of other MoD sites and gets a fair share of the budget.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
29 days ago

Yes I agree. I think the Redford cavalry barracks is listed 🙄 so would need to be sold as is. What on earth u would do with it I don’t know. Not so sure about the other part of Redford. Dreghorn was ok. Glencorse is probably the newest one. The castle isn’t used for anyone I think. Just there. Same with Redford cavalry barracks. Glencorse is a training and has one of the Scottish/Fijian regiments. I would have to walk to check the sign lol. 1 Or 3 Scots I think.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
29 days ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

I think the castle has HQ GoC Scotland now Craighall has closed and a few other minor elements?

I knew Glencorse was a training barracks / ATR and has 1 battalion in more recent times, forget who without checking.

Didn’t know the state the cavalry barracks was in!

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
29 days ago

When I was at cavalry barracks I was told they main building was made in an Indian style. Large airy corridors etc. I would of been great in 1900. Can hold a 1000 odd people. I only saw it busy when housing visiting units or the tattoo performers. I can’t think anyone would be able to develop it if they had to keep the original building and I think some of the stables are listed as well. Nice big parade areas. If the goal was to make a profit for services it may be a hard sell. I would go… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
28 days ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

It’s a good question . Were serving personnel ever asked before this super garrison idea appeared?

I’d read by ending the arms plot it would give stability to families but that was from MoD so usual waffle, especially as even now many battalions are still moving and the Cyprus ones rotate.

Forming multi battalion regiments from single ones was also meant to give more choice / experience between Mech/AI/Light.

I read they raised over a billion selling off Chelsea barracks, so no jackpot this time with Cavalry it seems.

rob
rob
30 days ago

Good timing with China on the rise. Sigh.