Under the plans announced today by the Defence Secretary, Phillip Hammond, the Territorial Army will become the Army Reserve, to better reflect its enhanced role and its full integration into the whole force.
The raft of measures included in the White Paper ‘Reserves in the Future Force 2020’ will help grow the UK’s Reserves to around 35,000 across all three Services and will give crucial support and incentives to Reservists, their families and employers.
£80 million will be invested in the Army Reserve estate to accommodate the larger numbers, with £110 million invested across the tri-service Reserve estate.
In Wales, the number of Army Reserve units will increase from six to seven and a recruitment drive to fill additional reservist places by 2018 will now begin in earnest. Soldiers will welcome a host of new benefits, including paid annual leave, pension entitlements and enhanced training programmes intended to bring them closer to the standards of the regulars.
Secretary of State for Wales, David Jones is supporting the drive to retain and attract high quality recruits to the all new Army Reserves.
Wales has a proud history of providing reservists in support of the UK’s regular forces dating back to the 19th century. In recent times, reservists have been deployed on a range of operations, including Iraq and Afghanistan and it is only right that the changing nature of their contribution is reflected appropriately in support and in benefits they receive.
The announcement that Wales’s Army Reserve units will increase is welcome news. Britain is transforming and building the military capability it needs in the coming years. I have no doubt that it will attract the high-quality recruits we need to ensure that Wales’s distinguished contribution to the defence of the United Kingdom will continue.
Image courtesy of Defence Images on Flickr