Medically Non Deployable
Freedom of Information requests are often used for all sorts of spurious reasons, many are for things like how much British meat is in a UK ration pack, vehicle history requests* or other trivia but other times reveal interesting information.
Released a week ago was a response to this question;
To tee up the numbers, an explanation of the terminology
And now for the numbers.
It is important to understand the definition of full time trained personnel means.
These figures are a snapshot in time and don’t go into detail what categories of medical grading personnel listed as MLD and MND are at, a full description of the different Codes, Categories and Medical Employment Standards, click here
They also fail to list the reasons for medical downgrading, training injuries, injuries sustained from accidents, Afghanistan, illness or other medical conditions. The other figures show that personnel, of course, enter and leave these categories on a regular basis for a variety of reasons.
Like all figures, there are figures behind the figures and reasons behind the stories they tell, so, proceed with caution when making sweeping assumptions.
What they do show however, is the basic numbers of personnel unable to deploy.
When these are compared against trained strength for the same period.
- Naval Service, trained strength, 30,510
- Army, trained strength, 87,270
- Royal Air Force, 33,390
In percentage terms;
- Naval service; MLD 6%, MND 9%
- Army; MLD 12%, MND 9%
- Royal Air Force; MLD 4%, MND 11%
Totting these up shows that at the point at which these figures were published, just under 10% of the British Armed Forces were medically non deployable, 18% either non, or limited.
For the Army, over a fifth of its full time trained strength was either medically non deployable or medically limited.
When the full Army 2020 reductions are in place, for example, and making a big assumption that the percentages remain constant (which I think is unlikely) the Army will at full tilt be able to deploy less than 65,000 personnel without restriction.
Similar percentages, although slightly smaller, apply to the Royal Air Force and Naval Service.
* Given the cost of processing FOI requests would it not be worthwhile to just digitise old Army vehicle records, the MERLIN reports FOI requests always want, and put them on a website somewhere?