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1,000 military personnel to go

More than 1,000 military personnel are set to lose their jobs in the fourth and final round of the Government’s armed forces redundancy programme, to be announced today.

Almost three out of four (72%) soldiers, sailors and airmen and women who will now leave the services under the scheme had applied for voluntary redundancy.

The latest tranche will take the total number to have gone under the programme since it started in 2011 to more than 12,000.

In all, 1,060 personnel will leave in the final round – down on the 1,505 officials were predicting in January would have to leave.

The heaviest losses will be in the Army, with 995 personnel set to go. The RAF will lose 55 and the Royal Navy 10.

The latest losses come the day after the National Audit Office warned that the Ministry of Defence would struggle to meet its target to expand the number of part-time Army reservists from 19,000 to 30,000 by 2018 to help make up for the loss of full-time regular soldiers.

The Whitehall spending watchdog said it could be a further six years before the Army Reserve was up to full strength – a claim dismissed by Defence Secretary Philip Hammond, who insisted that its recruitment programme was on track.

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