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Cuts to ‘top heavy’ military announced

Senior positions in the military are to be cut by a quarter, the Government has announced, as it describes the MoD as “top heavy”.

26 civilian military head office posts will be cut, defence secretary Philip Hammond said, with a new senior structure to be introduced from April 2013.

The move is expected to save the MoD around £3.8m a year, with one in four posts from the ranks of commodore, brigadier, air commodore and above set to go.

The new senior team will manage their own budgets from next April.

Hammond said: “At a time when we are making difficult decisions about defence spending and have had to accept reductions across the board, we cannot ignore the volume of posts at the top.

“For too long the MoD has been top-heavy, with too many senior civilians and military. Not only does this new structure reduce senior staff posts by up to a quarter in the next two years, but it allows clear strategic priorities to be set for the armed forces.

“It will hold the frontline commands to account for their delivery and support them in the tasks they are set.”

The cuts to senior staff come in addition to the reduction to regular soldiers from 102,000 to 82,000 by 2020, with reserve numbers doubled to 30,000 to help fill the gap.

Tom McKane, acting permanent secretary and director-general for security policy at the MoD, said: “All parts of defence are being restructured as we transform the way the Ministry of Defence does business – and head office is no exception.

“A smaller head office focused on strategic direction and policy, which hands more responsibility to the frontline commands, allows for a better-run organisation.”

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