Military Capabilities

UK artillery has nearly 15% personnel shortfall

03 September 2019

Data released to under the UK’s Freedom of Information Act on 30 August shows that the Royal Artillery’s 29 Regiment equipped with the 105 mm Light Gun has a personnel shortfall of 90 soldiers. Source: MoD/Crown Copyright

Frontline units of the British Army's artillery branch are nearly 15% short of their regular and reserve personnel, according to data released to Jane's under the UK's Freedom of Information (FOI) Act on 30 August.

The data shows that the Royal Artillery only had about 6,640 trained personnel in its 17 frontline regular and reserve regiments on 1 April, against a workforce requirement of about 7,784 personnel. This shortfall of 1,144 personnel represents 14.69% of its personnel requirement.

While the 12 regular or active duty regiments were about 562 personnel or 9.6% short of their required number of soldiers and officers, the five reserve regiments were 582 or 29.36% short of personnel.

According to the breakdown of the data by regiments, only one of the 17 artillery regiments - 32 Regiment, which operates Desert Hawk mini unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) - had more troops than its workforce requirement.

The worst recruited regiment was the Royal Artillery sole Watchkeeper UAV-equipped unit, 47 Regiment, which was 178 personnel short of its 548 requirement.

The next worse unit was the 105 mm Light Gun equipped 29 Regiment, which was 90 personnel short. This regiment is assigned to support 3 Commando Brigade Royal Marines and is required to be at high readiness for amphibious missions. Coming close behind with a shortage of 89 troops was 26 Regiment, which is in the process of relocating from Germany to Larkhill on Salisbury Plain. The other regular regiments have shortfalls ranging from 15 to 61 soldiers.

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