Army

Ministry of Defence written question – answered on 29th January 2015.

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Photo of Douglas Carswell Douglas Carswell UKIP, Clacton

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what plans his Department has for further reductions to the headcount of the Army.

Photo of Vernon Coaker Vernon Coaker Shadow Secretary of State for Defence

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, which Minister made the decision to conduct the Army Command Review; and when that decision was made.

Photo of Vernon Coaker Vernon Coaker Shadow Secretary of State for Defence

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether his Department plans to conduct command reviews for the Royal Air Force or the Royal Navy.

Photo of Vernon Coaker Vernon Coaker Shadow Secretary of State for Defence

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether he plans to publish the Army Command Review upon its completion.

Photo of Vernon Coaker Vernon Coaker Shadow Secretary of State for Defence

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether his Department plans to conduct command reviews for the reserve branches of the Army, Royal Air Force and Royal Navy, similiar to that being carried out for the Regular Army under the Army 2020 process.

Photo of Vernon Coaker Vernon Coaker Shadow Secretary of State for Defence

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, on what date the review of the numbers of senior ranks in the Army as part of Army 2020 will consult with (a) NATO allies and (b) other groups.

Photo of Vernon Coaker Vernon Coaker Shadow Secretary of State for Defence

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, when exactly the review of the numbers of senior ranks in the Army will conclude.

Photo of Vernon Coaker Vernon Coaker Shadow Secretary of State for Defence

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many staff work on the Army Command Review.

Photo of Vernon Coaker Vernon Coaker Shadow Secretary of State for Defence

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how much the Army Command Review will cost to produce.

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

The Army Command Review was initiated by the Chief of the General Staff with the knowledge of Ministers. There is no intention to change the principles of Army 2020, or to reduce the overall size of the Army.

The purpose of the review was to improve higher command culture and structures and create a clearer distinction between the development of strategy and the delivery of operational capability. To this end, the Army Headquarters in Andover will be streamlined, with posts transferred into one of two new subordinate commands: Field Army and a support command. There will be an amended board and staff structure in the Army Headquarters. A number of cultural improvements will also be made to make the Army more agile, responsive and efficient, and attractive to the widest range of talent.

There are no manpower or financial targets for this initiative, but the Army will look for opportunities during implementation of the review to reduce senior and middle management posts where that will contribute to greater simplicity and transparency and better align responsibility, authority and accountability. The aim is to re-invest any savings in the front line.

The review was conducted over four months by a team of four led by a brigadier. Although the team drew on information from a number of sources, as an internal review there was no formal consultation with other bodies. A slightly expanded team, led by a two-star civil servant, will conduct the more detailed implementation. No additional costs were incurred by conducting the review.

The Royal Navy and Royal Air Force have undertaken Command Reviews both to ensure consistency with the principles of Lord Levene's Defence Reform Report and to reflect the nature of command responsibilities for each Service and the contribution they make, like the Army, to Joint and Central Defence leadership.

Reserves were considered as an integral part of each review, reflecting the integrated nature of regulars and reserves in the 'Whole Force' concept.

The Army will report its detailed plans for implementation to the Secretary of State for Defence in May 2015.

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