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US Defense Department to Abandon Using 15 Military Bases in Europe

© East News / AP Photo/Czarek SokolowskiA soldier with the US flag.
A soldier with the US flag. - Sputnik International
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The UK, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Italy and Portugal will see partial and full closures of bases, as well as reduction in duty and civilian personnel.

Pentagon press secretary Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby speaks during a briefing at the Pentagon - Sputnik International
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MOSCOW, January 8 (Sputnik) — Fifteen military bases across Europe will no longer be used by US armed forces, saving Washington $500 million every year, the US Department of Defense said in a statement Thursday.

"The Department of Defense announced today the consolidation of some US infrastructure in Europe, including the return of 15 sites to their host nations. These actions… will save the U.S. government approximately $500 annually," the statement said.

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The UK, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Italy and Portugal will see partial and full closures of bases, consolidation and closures of US facilities, as well as reduction in duty and civilian personnel.

"I know that this will result in a reduction in size of our local host nation workforces at some nations… In the end, this transformation of our infrastructure will help maximize our military capabilities in Europe and help strengthen our important European partnerships, so that we can best support our NATO allies and partners in the region," Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said, as quoted in the press release.

The United States has a large number of military installations across Europe. Bulgaria, Germany, Italy, Greece, Spain, Netherlands, Portugal, and the United Kingdom are among the nations that host various US Army, Marine Corps, Air Force and Marine Corps forces.

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