Reserve Forces

Defence written question – answered on 3rd December 2013.

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Photo of John Baron John Baron Conservative, Basildon and Billericay

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many annual reservist deployments his Department anticipates following the implementation of Army 2020 and Future Reserves 2020.

Photo of Mark Francois Mark Francois The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence

The future manning structure of the UK armed forces is informed by assumptions made within the current Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR). We have been clear that they will be expected to deploy in a range of roles covering the tasks and commitments set out in the SDSR. Given the difficulty of predicting the precise regularity, duration or tempo of potential future operations, it is equally difficult to predict the regularity of reservist deployments.

However, if the Ministry of Defence is engaged on major operations, our estimate—as set out in the Defence Reform Bill's impact assessment— suggests that there could be up to 3,000 individual reservist deployments a year, a figure 20% over the current norm. This estimate reflects the increased role reservists will have in the future.

As the White Paper ‘Reserves in the Future Force 2020: Valued and Valuable’, (Cm 8655) published in July 2013, made clear, in respect of mobilisations, under the future Army Reserves Structure, Reserve units will move through a training and readiness cycle. The structure is designed to provide a sustainable cycle of up to one six month deployment in any five year period. The full 30,000 would only be deployed in the event of a full-scale national emergency.

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