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U.S. looks at base cutting in Europe

April 29, 2013 at 3:02 PM
WASHINGTON, April 29 (UPI) -- The U.S. Department of Defense is eyeing additional reductions or realignment of military facilities in Europe.

A review of bases and training facilities was ordered in January by U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and results and results are expended by the end of the year.

"We're doing a thorough scrub," John Conger, acting deputy undersecretary of defense for installations and environment told the Senate Armed Service Committee's readiness and management support subcommittee recently.

"We have been reducing our force structure in Europe for quite some time and we have been reducing our facilities in Europe for that same amount of time. There's a lot that's been done already."

Conger said the "BRAC-like" review is a result of force reductions in Europe that are under way or are planned. Also, Congress had directed the Defense Department to find ways of cutting infrastructure in Europe before seeking realignment or closure of facilities at home.

U.S. military forces in Europe have dropped from a high of 450,000 during the Cold War -- with 1,200 facilities -- to 64,000, with 21 major sites plus smaller facilities.

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