Troops currently fighting in Afghanistan could be out of work by end of the summer
By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 2:32 AM on 2nd April 2011
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Soldiers and sailors currently in action in Afghanistan and Libya could return home to a redundancy notice rather than a hero's welcome.
Military chiefs are planning to sack more than 2,000 troops in September as a cost-cutting measure - and both soldiers currently fighting in Afghanistan and seamen deployed in the Mediterranean could find themselves in the firing line.
According to the Daily Telegraph, the Army is planning to shed 1,600 uniformed personnel by the end of the summer, while the Navy is looking to make 561 redundancies. The sackings are part of a long-term plan to reduce the strength of both services by a total of 12,000 staff over the next three years.
In the firing line: British soldiers from 2nd Company, 1st Battalion, Irish Guards on patrol in the town of Pasab, Afghanistan, last month
Ministers have previously insisted that no one serving in Afghanistan would be sacked because of the cuts, which were announced in last year’s defence review.
But while troops serving in Afghanistan on September 1 will be immune from redundancy, soldiers currently deployed in the hotspot could be axed as they will return home before the September announcement.
Sailors now deployed on HMS Cumberland in the Mediterranean enforcing the Libyan arms embargo, could also be vulnerable to cuts.
Andrew Robathan, the Minister for Defence Personnel, Welfare and Veterans, told the newspaper: 'That we have to make any Armed Forces personnel redundant is deeply regrettable and a consequence of the dire economic situation and appalling deficit in the defence budget that we inherited.
On the dates redundancy notices are issued no personnel preparing for, deployed on, or returning from combat operations and in receipt of post-tour leave will be made compulsorily redundant.'
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