HC Deb 11 May 1995 vol 259 c548W
Mr. Worthington

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what was the strength of the British Army in Northern Ireland at the time of the IRA ceasefire; what reductions in manpower strength have taken place since then; and what is the current strength of the British Army in Northern Ireland. [23042]

Mr. Soames

In August 1994, there were some 17,000 soldiers deployed in support of the Royal Ulster Constabulary. This figure included 12 major units deployed to the Province in the infantry role and six battalions of the Royal Irish Regiment. Since the IRA ceasefire, a sub-unit of some 140 personnel has been withdrawn and its task reassigned to other units already in the Province, and two major units have been relocated to their home bases outside Northern Ireland but remain available to the General Officer Commanding and can return at short notice if required. These adjustments have brought the number of soldiers deployed to the Province to some 16,000.