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Fury over pounds 20m TA training cutbacks.

TERRITORIAL Army soldiers are to have their training slashed for six months as part of Government cost-cutting.

Weekend exercises and extra drill-hall instruction will be shelved in a desperate bid to save pounds 20million. Frontline troops fear the move will hit operations in Afghanistan, where hundreds of TA veterans serve. A senior rank volunteer said: "This is outrageous.

"The weekend camps are where we really learn the nitty gritty of soldiering and mix with the regulars.

"It could mean some lads heading to the battlefield undercooked and it's a dangerous enough place as it is."

Impact The size of the TA has fallen from more than 57,000 a decade ago to 19,000.

Scotland has two brigades, with 2000-plus volunteers.

Last night, an Army spokesman confirmed the cutbacks but insisted there would be no impact as many of the Scots train with the regular army before deploying to Helmand.

He said: "The TA in Scotland will still continue to train to their minimum of 19 days a year.

"All resources and training days above the minimum have been redirected to operations."

He added: "These are challenging times and like all departments, we have to live within our means."
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Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Oct 11, 2009
Words:199
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