Tuesday, 29 July 2014
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Promotions, new jobs and retirements in the UK Armed Forces. One stars on next page

It is our intention to publish brief biographies of all officers serving at three and four star levels


lorimer 10552811523 a0185c021d zLieutenant-General John Gordon Lorimer, DSO MBE is about to leave the post of Deputy Commander, ISAF. Born 1962, he read Arabic and Islamic Studies at Cambridge. Commissioned into the Parachute Regiment 1982, his early service included commanding at platoon, company and battalion levels, including in Belize, Norway, Northern Ireland and Iraq.

Promoted to lieutenant 1984, to captain 1988 and to major 1994. Served in the Ministry of Defence from 1998-2000. Promoted to lieutenant-colonel 1999 and to colonel on 2003. Appointed Commander of 12th Mechanised Brigade in June 2005. Deployed to Iraq and then Afghanistan. Promoted to brigadier 2005, to major general 2010. Appointed as the Chief of the Defence Staff's Strategic Communications Officer. Appointed General Officer Commanding 3rd (UK) Mechanised Division 2011. Promoted to lieutenant general 2013, appointed Deputy Commander, International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). In February 2014, it was announced that Lorimer would become Chief of Joint Operations from January 2015.

16AABimagesThe 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review stipulated that the Ministry of Defence (MOD) would suffer a 7.7% reduction in its budget in real terms over four years; resulting in the loss of 7,000 Army, 5,000 RAF and 5,000 Royal Navy personnel by 2015. These savings will be reinforced with myriad cuts to defence procurement projects, in an attempt to ensure that British forces are organised both efficiently and cost effectively to meet the future security challenges of the United Kingdom. Combined with the Army 2020 programme of cutbacks, the SDSR has reduced the requirement of high readiness forces that can conduct airborne operations by parachute, or assault operations by aircraft, at short notice. Due to this, the 16th Air Assault Brigade, the UK's elite rapid reaction force will be hit particularly hard by the cuts, losing an estimated 3,000 of its 8,000 troops by the end of the year.

The newly reduced and restructured force will have the Parachute Regiment at its core, supported by two regular Army Air Corps regiments and some supporting units, and be focused on providing one Air Assault Task Force (AATF) that can be mobilised within 72 hours. Only one battalion will make up the AATF at a time. The other two will provide the role on rotation for twelve-month periods, with only one company-sized group of troops providing the parachute role at any time. The cuts will also result in the 1st and 2nd Battalions of the Royal Irish Regiment being transferred to a lower-readiness force, and 5 SCOTS of the Royal Regiment of Scotland disbanded, bar one company placed on ceremonial duties and located in Scotland.

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