EMCC European Monitoring Centre on Change

Armed Forces

Armed Forces

Geographic Location

Country: United Kingdom


Sector: Public administration and defence
Public administration and defence; compulsory social security
84.22 - Defence activities

Employment Effects

Announcement Date: 21-07-2004
Planned Job Reductions min: 18413
Planned Job Reductions max: 18413
Type of Restructuring: Internal restructuring
Foreseen End Date: 01-07-2008

Additional Information

Almost 20,000 military and civilian posts are to be cut in the biggest shake-up of the armed services for a generation, the defence secretary, Geoff Hoon, announced in July 2004. The RAF will bear the brunt of the cuts, losing around 7,500 jobs, with the navy facing cuts of up to 1,500 serving personnel. The army will lose the equivalent of four infantry battalions - three from England and one from Scotland. The numbers of aircraft, tanks and ships will also be reduced. Mr Hoon also announced the loss of 10,000 civilian support staff, and told the House of Commons that the changes would be completed by 2008. In March 2005 an announcement was made that one of the UK's most well-known RAF bases is to lose 300 aircraft support staff. The job losses at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire are part of nationwide cuts of 7,500 personnel across the service. Brize Norton, one of the RAF's principal bases, was heavily used in the Iraq war and the Kosovo conflict. The cuts were first announced by Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon in July 2004.