The Welsh Affairs Committee launches an inquiry examining Wales and the Armed Forces, looking specifically at the impact of Armed Forces reform on the Ministry of Defence estate and personnel in Wales, recruitment in Wales and to Welsh units, and how to encourage historic links between units and Wales.
The Armed Forces have undergone significant restructuring since 2010 which has led to decrease in regular military personnel numbers, an increase in reserve capabilities and a rationalisation of the Ministry of Defence estate. Wales has historically been a strong base for the Armed Forces, particularly the Army with a long history of Welsh regiments.
Following these reforms, however, bases in Wales have been or are due to be closed or downsized. Further questions have been raised around recruitment to the Armed Forces. Army recruitment in particular has been the centre of controversy where the contract has been outsourced to Capita who have failed to hit recruitment targets. The Committee will investigate the effect of these issues on Wales.
Launching the inquiry, Committee Chair David T. C. Davies MP said:
"The Armed Forces are an integral part of Welsh culture and society. However, the Armed Forces presence in Wales has reduced in recent years and because of the closure and downsizing of many Welsh units and bases.
My Committee's inquiry will examine the effect of this restructuring and consider the current state of Welsh units as well as the effectiveness of current recruitment practices in attracting personnel from Wales."
Terms of reference
The Committee is inviting written evidence submissions on the following points:
- The level of overall Ministry of Defence spend in Wales and its distribution;
- The impact of Ministry of Defence estate rationalisations on the number of Armed Forces personnel based in Wales, and on the local economies and the society of areas affected;
- The effectiveness of current recruitment policies for the Army, Air Force and Navy in Wales, including Capita’s performance in Army recruitment;
- The state of recruitment to the ‘Welsh combat units’ and the prospects for these units in the future;
- The Regimental Band & Corps of Drums of The Royal Welsh and its importance to Welsh society;
- How to ensure that the Welsh units retain their links to Wales.
The deadline for submissions is 5pm on Thursday 4 April 2019
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