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European Asylum Support Office

Question for Ministry of Defence

UIN HL1003, tabled on 5 July 2016

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they plan to make fuller use of personnel with regular reserve commitment liability to enhance the size of the armed forces, in particular the army, in times of tension and war; and how many men and women would be available from that source.

Answered on

14 July 2016

The Regular Reserve Force comprises the Royal Fleet Reserve, Army Regular Reserve and Royal Air Force Regular Reserve. Many of these former members of the Regular Forces retain a liability to be called up for service, the duration of which is determined by their previous contract type, length of Regular service and reason for leaving. They meet two functions: some are available to provide specialist capability for a limited time after leaving Regular service; all form a strategic reserve for resilience and regeneration of our Armed Forces in case of national crisis. In general, ex-Regular reservists have only been called upon to support routine operations if they have volunteered or when volunteer reservists have not been available.

With our growing numbers of Tri-Service Volunteer Reserves, which had a trained strength of 27,520 as at 1 May 2016, and our ability to recall ex-Regulars we are confident that we would have the resources necessary to meet our requirements in times of tension and war.

Strength figures for the Reserve Forces, including the Regular Reserve Force, are set out in Monthly Service Personnel Statistics on Gov.uk at https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/uk-armed-forces-monthly-service-personnel-statistics-2016