Armed Forces

Ministry of Defence written question – answered on 2nd August 2019.

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Photo of Lord Campbell of Pittenweem Lord Campbell of Pittenweem Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Defence)

To ask Her Majesty's Government by how much (1) the Royal Navy, (2) the army, and (3) the Royal Air Force, are under strength.

Photo of Baroness Goldie Baroness Goldie Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip), The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence

The current strength of the Armed Forces as at 1 April 2019 is give in the table below:

ServiceTrained StrengthWorkforce Requirement
Royal Navy/Royal Marines29,22430,568
Royal Air Force30,01031,756

Trained Strength comprises military personnel who have completed Phase 1 and 2 training for Royal Navy/Royal Marines, the Army (prior to 1 October 2016) and the Royal Air Force. Following the change in definition of trained strength for Army, from 1 October 2016, trained strength for the Army comprises of personnel who have completed Phase 1 training.

The Ministry of Defence remains committed to maintaining the overall size of the Armed Forces and we have a range of measures under way to improve recruitment and retention. The challenge is kept under constant review.

Importantly the Services continue to meet all their current commitments, keeping the country and its interests safe.

The strength of the Armed Forces is published every three months and can be found in the UK Armed Forces Quarterly Service Personnel Statistics at the following link:

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