Defence review 'will boost TA reservists'

Royal Marine in Afghanistan The last defence review was in October 2010 and led to several cuts being announced

Related Stories

A government report on Britain's reserve forces will recommend a U-turn in plans to cut back the Territorial Army, it is believed.

It will warn against dramatic cuts in TA numbers as part of efforts to slash defence budgets, the Times reports.

Commissioned as part of the Strategic Defence and Security Review, it is due to be completed this summer.

It is expected to suggest boosting the ratio of reservists to regular troops from 15 in every 85 to as many as 30.

Deputy head of the armed forces Gen Sir Nick Houghton was commissioned by the government to produce a review of the future role and structure of the TA and their Royal Navy and RAF equivalents.

It followed October's Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR), in which Defence Secretary Liam Fox announced that warships, fast jet fighters and thousands of soldiers, sailors and airmen would face the axe.

'Better appreciated'

Reservists were spared any immediate reductions, despite reports during the negotiations over where the cuts should happen that their numbers could drop by as many as a third.

Tory MP and long-time TA officer Julian Brazier, who worked on the report, told the Times there would be no backing for "overnight slashing" of personnel.

"At the end of this process we want to end up with a much better relationship between the regular and reserve forces and with the reservists feeling that they are better appreciated," he said.

"The size and scale of the reserves will depend upon where the prime minister decides to set the balance," he said.

"I think what we will be announcing will please reservists."

The UK has a far lower proportion of reservist to regular soldiers than major allies - presently around 15 to every 85 full-timers compared with a 50:50 split in the US and 40:60 in Australia.

An MoD spokesman said it would be wrong to speculate on the outcomes of a review while it was still ongoing.


More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites


This entry is now closed for comments

Jump to comments pagination
  • rate this

    Comment number 48.

    My lad has been in the TA for over 15 yrs and has served in Iraq and Afghan. He gets paid the same as the regs but is treated like Dog Muck by the regs, especially the officers. They don't get a pension like the regulars but can still be shot just like the regs.He is a NCO but although he carries that rank into war when called the reg officers treat him like a private.The regs need the TA

  • rate this

    Comment number 37.

    This business about the TA and Reserves has been going on for many years. It has always been the case even during the cold war that we couldn't cope without them! Why on earth anyone would want to cut them back when the Regulars are being reduced is beyond sensible. I am in the Air Cadets as a Reserve Officer but would only be used in extremis on RAF Stations. We need Regulars and TA to survive.

  • rate this

    Comment number 28.

    The TA and Air Cadets have nothing to do with replacing professionals.

    They are voluntary and have a vital purpose/role for the protection of civilian population in Britain in times of natural or contrived disasters. They are under-estimated and should be commended.

    The only people who let down our professional armed forces are our Governments and the MoD.

  • rate this

    Comment number 13.

    Surprised at lack of awareness of Reserve Forces, considering the comments below. Approx 12% of UK forces in Afghanistan are Reservists, most have specialised trades and add considerable skills. A large percentage of those are NHS medics, working in what I consider the best hospital in the world; they return adding incredible experience to our NHS. A good enough reason to 'boost' our reserves!

  • rate this

    Comment number 8.

    LOL, so much for "Be The Best".

    The equipment etc for our professional forces has been at NEGLIGENT levels, the equipment levels for reservists is EVEN WORSE.

    Basically, FODDER on the cheap, especially as they are also NOT entitled to the SAME rights & obligations as the professional army.

    Yes we could do with more reservists, but NOT at the expense of professionals.


Comments 5 of 6


More UK stories



Try our new site and tell us what you think. Learn more
Take me there

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.