Defense Secretary Philip Hammond announced the U.K. government will invest 1.8 billion pounds ($2.7 billion) in new bases and supporting infrastructure when it brings home soldiers from five garrisons in Germany.
British troops have been stationed in Germany since the end of World War II, with numbers peaking at 50,000 at the height of the Cold War. That number dropped to 20,000 in the early 1990s after German reunification. Their return is designed to save the U.K. 240 million pounds a year and boost spending in the domestic economy.
“The changes take us from a Cold War posture to a future- contingencies posture,” Hammond told reporters in London today. “We are also providing our service personnel and their families with greater stability for their future.”
A total of 1 billion pounds will be spent on building new living quarters for military personnel. The new bases will be spread across the U.K., on Salisbury Plain in western England, at Edinburgh, in North Yorkshire, at Aldershot in Hampshire, Colchester in Essex, Stafford and in the East Midlands.
The U.K. has more than 15,000 personnel left in Germany. Overall, the army is reducing in size to 82,000 by 2020 as the government makes savings to narrow the budget deficit.
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