World News - Forces staff told of redundancies
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    World News - Forces staff told of redundancies

    30 August 2011 Last updated at 21:43 ET Up to 1,000 RAF and 1,000 Army personnel will be told on Thursday whether they are being made redundant.

    RAF crews supporting operations in Libya are at risk, although nobody in Libya or its airspace or territorial waters will face compulsory redundancy.

    It is the first phase of armed forces job cuts announced in the strategic defence and security review.

    The armed forces are looking to shed 22,000 posts over the next four years - more than half through redundancies.

    Front-line staff 'exempt' Many of the redundancies were likely to be compulsory, the BBC's defence correspondent Caroline Wyatt said.

    However, the Ministry of Defence has said that non-volunteers would be able to apply for a transfer to areas suffering shortages.

    Personnel receiving the operational allowance, because they are serving on operations in Libya and Afghanistan, will be exempt from the cuts unless they apply, the MoD says.

    It also says nobody preparing for or recently returned from operations in Afghanistan will be made redundant unless they have volunteered.

    However, that means that some RAF ground personnel supporting the Libya operation in Italy or the UK could face redundancy.

    The RAF said in March its jobs losses would include 170 trainee pilots, 200 weapons technicians, 529 ground tradesmen and 121 officers.

    No trained pilots will be made redundant this time round.

    'Never a painless process' Those serving in the Royal Navy will find whose jobs are to go on 30 September.

    All three services called for volunteers earlier this year, and some areas had been heavily over-subscribed, our correspondent said.

    Those who have volunteered for redundancy will be given a six month notice period to serve, while non-volunteers will be given 12 months.

    The government was criticised for the timing of the announcement about RAF job losses in March, which coincided with the first talks on a no-fly zone over Libya.

    But Defence Secretary Liam Fox said redundancy was "never a painless process" and a timetable needed to be adhered to for the sake of service personnel and their families.

    "To delay that [process] for political expediency would have been to betray their trust," Mr Fox told the Commons.





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