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Reserve Forces: Manpower

Volume 475: debated on Wednesday 7 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many people there are in the Volunteer Reserve Forces; and what proportion of them have seen active service in either Iraq or Afghanistan. (203678)

The latest manning figures for the Volunteer Reserves (VRs) are as follows:


Royal Naval Reserve


Royal Marine Reserve


Territorial Army


Royal Auxiliary Air Force



Numbers are rounded to the nearest 10

The overall proportion of VRs who have seen active service in Iraq or Afghanistan is not available, and the steady turnover of the Reserves would render such a figure relatively meaningless, but over 17,000 VRs have been mobilised in support of operations since 2003.

Since 2006, over 2,160 VRs have served in Iraq, and over 2,010 in Afghanistan.