Almost 18,000 British Army soldiers not fit to be deployed
With force numbers falling and a large number of unfit soldiers, it has left only 60,546 members that can be sent to the frontline, British Forces News reported.
The British Army is supposed to have 82,000 troops but that has now fallen to just 78,407. With 22% of this force declared not fit enough to be sent to all war zones, there are fears that the force could be left dangerously undermanned.
The latest figures were revealed by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) in response to a written Parliamentary question tabled by the Conservative MP Andrew Bowie.
They show that 7,890 Army personnel were 'medically not deployable' in April 2017, and another 9,971 were categorised as 'medically limited deployable' - meaning they can only be sent to some areas.
Mr Bowie, MP for West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine in Scotland, told Forces News: “Of course, it would be impossible to have every soldier fit to fight in every warzone. However, it is extremely worrying that only 77% of the current Army are medically able to deploy.
"Only having 60,000 troops ready to deploy is a place that I don’t think we can afford to be, given the number of jobs that the government ask them to do on our behalf."
An Army spokesperson said: "The Army has enough people to perform its operational requirements to keep Britain safe. 95% of posts are filled and in the last year we've recruited nearly 8,000 people into a variety of posts which will give them skills for life." ■