Latest figures released by the Ministry of Defence have underlined the declining number of size in Britain’s armed forces. According to reports, the number has fallen for the ninth consecutive year.
The figures elaborate a sharp drop in the recruits of fully-trained personnel in the Army, the Navy and the RAF, with an overwhelming fall in the number of Army recruits.
According to a statement by the Labour, the government was ‘running down’ the UK military and called it a ‘crisis’ in retention and recruitment. Based on the news from the Ministry of Defence, the armed forces have met all their operational requirements.
Reports allege, the Army had more than 7000 troops, a number which was still short of the government’s target of 82,000. Moreover, July recorded a number of 74,440 full-time and fully-trained troops, a figure which was less than last year’s 76,880. On the other hand, a lesser decline in number was observed in RAF and the Royal Navy, but the number still failed to meet the expected strength.
The RAF required a total of 31,840, the current number was however 29,930. A similar decline was observed in the Royal Navy and Royal Marines, the number dropped from the intended 30,600 to the current number of 29,090.
The Ministry of Defence alleged that it was working hard on improving the process of recruitment. The source also added that the number of applications for the Army was still high compared to the five years statistics.
The latest number of recruits showed that 13,520 joined the army in the past 12 months, which is an increase of 1,593 than the previous year. The news however also indicated that 14,880 people had left, a number higher than 14,860 in 2018.
A statement reported by Shadow defence secretary Nia Griffith commented that the government was recruiting numbers ‘well below their own targets’, a number that has been declining ‘year after year’.
“Ministers are either in complete denial about this crisis in recruitment and retention, or they are actively in favour of cutting the armed forces to these historically low levels,” she added.
The announcement also shed light on MPs concern of use of private firm capita in the recruitment and wider efforts to maintain personnel. Reports suggest, the Capita was awarded £495m contract for Army recruitment in 2012, however the body failed to recruit below the intended target every year.