Author Topic: 20% of foot soldiers unfit to fight, MoD figures show  (Read 1444 times)

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20% of foot soldiers unfit to fight, MoD figures show
« on: January 12, 2010, 17:28:09 »
20% of foot soldiers unfit to fight, MoD figures show
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 Almost 5,000 soldiers and officers - or 20% of army infantry personnel - are unfit for frontline combat duties, Ministry of Defence figures show.

Some are not fully deployable because of physical or mental injury or illness, or lack of fitness, others because of non-medical reasons.

The data from a Parliamentary written answer showed 19 battalions had fewer than 500 fully deployable soldiers.

The MoD said most classed as medically non-deployable could still contribute.

A small number include the under-18s and pregnant soldiers, or those unable to deploy on compassionate grounds.

'Difficult decisions'

Conservative MP Bernard Jenkin, who obtained the information, told the BBC: "To have 20% of the infantry unfit for the duties they are primarily employed and trained for is quite a staggering figure.

"This reflects the long-term effect of sustained operations, and it's worth remembering the government may pay for extra ammunition and other costs of operations, but they don't fund the recruitment and training of personnel to replace those who are left unfit for combat."

Maj Gen Patrick Cordingley: 'The figures are alarming.'

More than 1,000 servicemen and women have suffered combat injuries in Afghanistan and Iraq since 2001.
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