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Territorial Army Centre In Wick To Close In MOD Cuts

3rd July 2013

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The TA Centre in Wick is to close as part of the MOD reorganisation to save money. Although the TA is to be increased in numbers the range of bases will be reduced.

The bases to be closed are in Wick, Dunoon, Keith, Kirkcaldy. In Dunfermline, Glasgow and Edinburgh three smaller sites will also close Increases in these towns will balance the changes for them. But there will be little comfort for Wick when the nearest base for TA will be in Inverness. For any members of the TA this might be up to 250 miles round trip for a training session.

Although seven TA bases would be closed, Maj Gen Eeles, head of the army in Scotland speaking for the army said they had few staff and some of the closures would be offset by expansion elsewhere.

Scotlands TA strength currently stands at 2,286 some way short of the funded places. Therefore, there would need to be better recruitment in order to fill the 3,700 places required by 2018. Caithness has always been a good recrutiing area but as with other areas this has fallen in recent years. Despite that TA from Caithness have served in Iraq and Afghanistan in recent years.

The changes are part of a major change in the armed services that will see redundancies in the main sections.

Army reservists are to receive improved benefits and pension entitlements as part of a move to boost the number of part-time troops, the Defence Secretary Phillip Hammond announced yesterday.

Soldiers who have been made redundant in the recent rounds of Ministry of Defence cuts are being offered 5,000 to sign up as reservists.

The measures are part of a 1.8 billion reorganisation of the reserve forces which will see 38 Territorial Army centres shut down, seven of them in Scotland.

The government aims to drive up the number of reservists in the army from 20,000 to 30,000 and has offered the new package of benefits to attract recruits as it restructures the armed forces.

The size of the regular army is being cut from 102,000 to 82,000, with the new Army Reserve the new name for that replacing the TA and making up the shortfall with a much enhanced role.

Among the other benefits being offered include privileged access to employment tribunals for anyone who loses their job as a result of being a reservist.

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