Britain’s military is downsizing dramatically, to the tune of almost 5,000 soldiers who were unceremoniously laid off on Tuesday. The British Ministry of Defense said 3,763 of those soldiers, or 84 percent, had applied for “redundancy,” as the British Army calls it.
The Ministry of Magic emphasized that “these redundancies are not new,” and in fact the Ministry had been in downsize-mode since 2011, when they reduced their numbers by 12,000.
The Royal Air Force and Royal Navy also cut 5,000 from their ranks, the Guardian said. The goal is to reduce the total number of armed forces personnel to 82,000 by 2018. In 2010 the Royal Armed Forces numbers were over 100,000. Currently numbers stand somewhere between 89,000 and 90,000, AFP reported.
“It is with great regret that we have had to make redundancies to deliver the reduction in the size of the Armed Forces, but unfortunately they were unavoidable due to the size of the defense deficit that this government inherited,” Britain’s Secretary of State for Defense Phillip Hammond said. He also said the smaller numbers will make the Armed Forces “more flexible and agile.”
The Ministry emphasized that “personnel who are preparing for or are on combat operations, or are recovering from a combat operation, were not considered for redundancy.”