In an announcement to MPs yesterday, Phillip Hammond, said he also wants to double the size of the UK’s reserve force, over the next six years to compensate for cuts to the regular army.
Hammond unveiled the Green Paper Future Reserves 2020, which included plans to increase the number of reservists from 15,000 to 30,000 soon after regular army numbers have been slashed by 20,000. Under the proposals, now open for consultation, the current Territorial Army (TA) would in future be known as the Army Reserves.
The proposals, which include allowing reserve soldiers to take up to 40 days a year, have been criticised by business groups.
Jim Murphy, Labour’s shadow defence secretary, said: “Without business on side, increased reservist numbers will falter….