Speaking to ITV News, the Defence Secretary Philip Hammond did not rule out further cuts to the defence budget. But he said the Government would aim to limit any reductions.
Shadow Defence Secretary Jim Murphy says the historic bond between the army battalions and the towns where they have been stationed will be broken by the closure of four barracks. Mr Murphy claimed the Government had only succeeded in creating a great deal of cynicism in the Armed Forces.
Stephen Crabb is a Welsh Office Minister and represents the constituency of Preseli Pembrokeshire, home to Cawdor Barracks.
Army review: Our Political Correspondent Phil Hornby talked to Julian Brazier, Conservative MP for Canterbury, about the closure of Howe Barracks.
Major Dan Howard says moving back to the UK will have little impact on the way British forces train and prepare for operations.
During his Army career, Sergeant Ben Peden has spent 7 years in Germany. But he said the time was right for troops to head back to Britain.
- Around 11,000 British troops based in Germany will return home by 2016
- Nearly £2 billion will be invested in Army housing and bases
- The remaining 4,500 troops will be back in the UK by 2019, a year earlier than planned
- Around £1 billion of the funding being announced today will be go towards 1,900 new houses for service families and accommodation for 7,800 single soldiers
- Another £800 million will be spent on infrastructure and refurbishment of bases
The Defence Secretary says the changes will save £240 million a year in running costs as soldiers are moved into "clusters" in key locations. Returning forces will mainly be stationed around Salisbury Plain, Edinburgh and Leuchars, Catterick, Aldershot, Colchester, Stafford and the East Midlands.
– Philip Hammond, Defence Secretary
This announcement represents a costed and funded plan to bring our Army back from Germany... and provide the accommodation our troops deserve fulfilling our commitments to consolidate the Army estate and providing certainty to Army personnel and their families about where they will be based in the future.
Defence Secretary Philip Hammond has confirmed plans to press ahead with the closure of:
- Howe Barracks in Canterbury
- Claro Barracks, in Ripon, North Yorkshire
- Craigiehall Barracks in Edinburgh
- Cawdor Barracks in Brawdy in Pembrokeshire
- Elements of Redford Barracks, Edinburgh; Forthside Barracks, Stirling; and Copthorne Barracks, Shrewsbury