LONDON, Jan. 22 (Xinhua) -- The British Ministry of Defense on Tuesday announced a third round of army job cuts, indicating some 5,300 soldiers would lose their jobs in the coming years.
"Through the redundancy process, we will ensure that we retain the capabilities that our Armed Forces require in order to meet the challenges of the future," Defense Minister Mark Francois said.
Anyone serving in Afghanistan when the redundancy notices are issued on June 18 this year will be exempt from the cuts. No one will be made redundant immediately. Final decisions on cuts will be made by June.
The job cuts are part of a strategic review driven by budget cuts which aims to produce a new-look military by 2020. It is reported the British government faces a financial shortage amounting to 38 billion pounds (60 billion U.S. dollars) in its defence budget.
Britain now has around 9,000 personnel deployed in Afghanistan. The withdrawal process is due to start this year and by the end of 2014 most soldiers will have returned home.
The Ministry of Defense also plans to reduce the number of regular soldiers from 102,000 in 2010 to 82,000 by 2017, and increase reservists from 15,000 in 2010 to 30,000 in 2018.