Page last updated at 17:00 GMT, Thursday, 6 December 2012

Defence personnel debate

MPs held a backbench business debate on defence personnel, on 6 December 2012.

The subject for debate was chosen by the chair of the Defence Select Committee, Conservative MP James Arbuthnot.

The British army is set for major change over the next few years following a restructuring review known as Army 2020.

The government is cutting the army's size by a fifth as part of the wider defence cuts. In 2010, the Army's strength was about 102,000 troops - by 2020 it will be a regular army of just 82,000.

The government wants the new-look army to be divided into two parts. There will be a reaction force made up entirely of regulars that will be the "teeth" of the Army - highly-trained units and ready to deploy at short notice.

The second element will be the adaptable force - this will consist of regular troops and an increased number of reservists from the Territorial Army.

The Territorial Army, which is to be known as the Army Reserves, will double from 15,000 to 30,000.

Reservists will receive more training and increased opportunities for promotion in exchange for having to make a greater commit to regular training and deployment.

New structures, roles, terms and conditions of service for the Army Reserve will be announced in the spring of 2013, along with details of where they will be based.

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