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British Royal Army facing reforms

July 1, 2012 at 12:22 AM

LONDON, June 30 (UPI) -- British officials this week are to delineate cuts to the army that will shrink it to about 82,000 soldiers, The Daily Telegraph reported.

The heaviest cuts under the Future Force 2020 that will be announced Thursday, the newspaper said, are expected to be in battalions that rely on foreign-born recruits for up to 20 percent of their numbers.

At least five infantry battalions will be cut from the current force of about 142,000, with Defense Secretary Philip Hammond suggesting those with a high proportion of foreign and commonwealth troops will be the hardest-hit, the newspaper said.

The Telegraph the plans put together by Lt. Gen. Nick Carter will be the biggest reform to the army since 1904. Military leaders rejected suggestions that all infantry battalions be trimmed from 600 troops down to 400 in favor of eliminating five entire battalions.

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