THE 3rd Battalion of the Mercian Regiment has been axed as part of sweeping cuts that will reduce the British Army by 20,000 troops.
Defence Secretary Philip Hammond announced this morning five infantry battalions will disappear in the reorganisation – the 5th Battalion the Royal Regiment of Scotland, 2nd Battalion the Royal Fusiliers, 2nd Battalion the Yorkshire regiment, 3rd Battalion the Mercian Regiment and the 2nd Battalion the Royal Welsh.
The changes will se the regular Army cut from 102,000 troops to 82,000 by the end of the decade - its lowest level since the Napoleonic Wars.
As part of the changes, the Armoured Corps will be reduced by two units with the merger of the Queen’s Royal Lancers and the 9th/12th Royal Lancers and the 1st and 2nd Tank Regiments amalgamating.
There will also be reductions in the number of units in the Royal Artillery, the Royal Engineers, the Army Air Corps, the Royal Logistic Corps, the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers and the Royal Military Police.
The plan - known as Army 2020 - will see the military split into two, with a reaction force ready to respond to emergencies around the globe and an adaptable force capable of carrying out a range of tasks and commitments.
Mr Hammond admitted in the Commons that the reforms would be ‘unwelcome’ but insisted they would create a ‘balanced, capable and adaptable force’ for the future.
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See next week’s Worksop Guardian for more on this story.