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Armagh TA base to close in shake-up

By James Tapsfield

Published 04/07/2013

An Army reservist base in Northern Ireland is to close as the Government frees up funding for a major expansion of numbers.

Armagh Territorial Army Centre is one of 35 bases across the UK to be shut down.

However, Kinnegar Barracks in Belfast has been saved.

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond unveiled plans to recruit an extra 12,000 part-timers to bolster the armed forces. The 35,000 fully-trained reservists will now be concentrated into 25 fewer bases.

An MoD spokesman said: "Numbers in Northern Ireland are to remain static, in real terms it's a small increase in the overall percentage of reservists from NI who will be part of the new force structure."

Col Nick Tougher, the senior reserves officer in Northern Ireland, believes the operational success and high standards here have been recognised in the review.

"Men and women in the reserves, whilst representing only about 4% of the total UK reserves strength, have consistently provided around 20% of all reservists on difficult and dangerous overseas deployments," he said.

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