Ministry of Defence written question – answered on 29th March 2021.

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Photo of Kevan Jones Kevan Jones Labour, North Durham

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether the number of full-time army personnel is planned to be higher than that of US Special Operations Command.

Photo of James Heappey James Heappey The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence

Yes. As the Defence Secretary said in the House on Monday 22 March, the future regular trained strength of the British Army will be 72,500. USSOCOM develops and employs multi-domain capability with a personnel count of nearly 70,000 consisting of military (regular and reserve) and civilian staff. Direct comparisons do not truly reflect the different purpose and value provided by the two forces.

In an era of robotics and artificial intelligence, we need to stop thinking about the strength of the Army simply in terms of numbers and focus on how best it can achieve what we ask of it. The Army will be leaner, lighter, faster to respond and more effectively matched to current and future threats. It will be integrated across domains, with allies in NATO, and beyond. It will be ever more globally engaged, with an increasing number of soldiers supporting Special Operations and amplifying the performance of partner forces.

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