Lancers to merge as part of Army shake-up

HRH The Duke of York presents members of the 9th and 12th Royal Lancers for the April to November Afghan tour
HRH The Duke of York presents members of the 9th and 12th Royal Lancers for the April to November Afghan tour
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The 9th/12th Lancers, which recruits from Northamptonshire, will merge with the Queen’s Royal Lancers as part of an Army shake-up.

The move was announced today (Thursday 5) as part of plans by the Army is to lose 17 major units in the biggest overhaul of the service for decades.

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said the changes were needed to create a “balanced, capable and adaptable force” for the future.

The Armoured Corps will be reduced by two units with the merger of the Queen’s Royal Lancers and the 9th/12th Royal Lancers and the 1st and 2nd Tank Regiments amalgamating. 9th/12th Royal Lancers are part of 7th Armoured Brigade – The Desert Rats.

Among the units to go are four infantry battalions - the 2nd Battalion the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, the 2nd Battalion the Yorkshire Regiment (Green Howards), the 3rd Battalion the Mercian Regiment, and the 2nd Battalion the Royal Welsh.

A fifth, the 5th Battalion the Royal Regiment of Scotland (Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders) will be reduced to a public duties company to carry out public duties in Scotland.

There will also be reductions in the number of units in the Royal Artillery, the Royal Engineers, the Army Air Corps, the Royal Logistic Corps, the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers and the Royal Military Police.

The changes - to be completed by the end of the decade - will see the regular Army cut from 102,000 to 82,000 while the Territorial Army will be expanded to give a combined force of 120,000.

“After inheriting a massive overspend from the last Government, we have had to make tough decisions to implement our vision of a formidable, adaptable and flexible armed forces,” Mr Hammond said.

“After a decade of enduring operations, we need to transform the Army and build a balanced, capable and adaptable force ready to face the future.

“Army 2020 will create a more flexible and agile Army. Unlike the past, it will be set on a firm foundation of men and material, well trained, well equipped and fully funded.

“The regimental system will remain the bedrock of the Army’s fighting future.”