Military's 'top-heavy' command to be cut by a quarter

Image caption A new team will start in 2013 which will be responsible for managing their own budgets

Senior positions within the "top-heavy" military will be cut by a quarter, the government has announced.

About 26 civilian and military head office posts will go and a new senior structure will come in from April 2013.

The move is expected to save the Ministry of Defence (MoD) about £3.8m a year.

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said one in four posts from the ranks of commodore, brigadier, air commodore and above will go.

'No exception'

Mr Hammond said: "At a time when we are making difficult decisions about defence spending and have had to accept reductions across the board, we cannot ignore the volume of posts at the top.

"For too long the MoD has been top-heavy, with too many senior civilians and military.

"Not only does this new structure reduce senior staff posts by up to a quarter in the next two years, but it allows clear strategic priorities to be set for the armed forces.

"It will hold the frontline commands to account for their delivery and support them in the tasks they are set."

The new team will no longer be involved in day-to-day management of frontline commands, but will instead take over responsibility for managing their own budgets, the MoD says.

Government cuts will reduce the number of regular soldiers from 102,000 to 82,000 by 2020, with reservist numbers doubled to 30,000 to help fill the gap.

Tom McKane of the MoD said: "All parts of defence are being restructured as we transform the way the Ministry of Defence does business - and head office is no exception.

"A smaller head office focused on strategic direction and policy, which hands more responsibility to the frontline commands, allows for a better-run organisation."

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