Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Redford Barracks is venue for Army Reserve summer training

Army Reserve recruits have started their full-time summer basic training programme in Edinburgh.

The four week course, based at Redford Barracks, is designed to demonstrate the reality of life in the forces and focuses on personal fitness.

Exercise Summer Challenge gives recruits the opportunity to learn both mental and practical military skills.

Earlier this month, the UK government outlined plans to drive up reservist numbers from 20,000 to 30,000 by 2018.

The residential course in Edinburgh is aimed at those who are free of other commitments during the summer.

Other elements involve learning to handle and fire the SA80 A2 rifle, first aid, navigational skills, marching and how to live in the field.

As well as learning new skills, candidates earn a sum of money for taking part.

The UK government published a White Paper on 3 July outlining changes to the Territorial Army - renaming it the Army Reserve.

Reservists are to receive higher payments, more training and increased opportunities for promotion in exchange for having to make a greater commitment to regular training and deployment.

It said changes were necessary to ensure Britain's future military capabilities, as the regular army was reduced.

Critics have claimed it is an attempt to create "an army on the cheap".

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