The UK will continue to have a military presence in Germany beyond 2020, Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson announced.

Around 185 British Army personnel and 60 Ministry of Defence civilians will remain in Germany, once the withdrawal of British Army units to the UK has been completed say the Ministry of defence in a news release.

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said:

“We are increasing our British points of presence across the world. We will not be closing our facilities in Germany, and instead use them to forward base the Army.”

Army personnel will be permanently based in the country where the UK is retaining the 45-square mile Sennelager Training Area, which provides both UK and NATO forces with an expansive live firing training area. It has a long tradition as a home from home for British service personnel.

“The remaining Army personnel will also support critical NATO infrastructure and assets such as the combined river crossing capability based in Minden. It uses M3 vehicles jointly operated by British and German troops, and both nations are currently in discussions regarding a future bilateral upgrade of the vehicles.

Retaining Sennelager alongside the adjacent Athlone Barracks will provide remaining British personnel with the vital domestic infrastructure, including housing and schooling.”

Elsewhere, the MoD say that the Army is maintaining a presence at the Ayrshire Barracks in Mönchengladbach, where approximately 2,000 vehicles can be stored, and the German Wulfen Defence Munitions Storage Facility, which holds operational ammunition.

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andy
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andy

it,s also been reported that Mr Williamson stated Albion and Bulwark will not be scrapped bet that went down well with Hammond

Steve
Guest
Steve

The albions not being scrapped is not a positive yet, as it depends what is sold off to pay for them.

There has been no news on more money, so this is a give with one hand and take from another.

If we lose a large number of soldiers/sailors and/or frigates then it was a cost too far and the albions should have gone. They are a useful capability to have, but not one we are likely to use and yet the frigates/solders/sailors are needed every day.

BB85
Guest
BB85

The treasury is delaying decisions until we find out what the Brexit deal will be. If a good deal is reached I think they will finally loosen the purse strings around defense spending as its widely acknowledged the current budget is not sustainable long term. If its a bad deal I think it will be a nightmare for defense spending.

andy
Guest
andy

either way with that idiot Hammond controlling the purse strings there will be no money for defence he thinks we only need a total of 50,000 soldiers to carry out the tasks we have now even though we are undermanned over stretched with outdated equipment yet again,mind if labour get in there will be no defence under comrade Corbyn

4thwatch
Guest
4thwatch

Hammond should be parachuted into the next trouble spot with his overnight and see how he gets along. The man is a disgrace.

maurice10
Guest
maurice10

Whatever the Brexit deal or no deal turns out to be, the UK will have to face an increase in defence spending. An increase in global trade will require further reach for the RN, no matter how the government currently colours the page. Any hope of a favorable trade deal with the US, will depend on how willing the UK is to becoming even closer to US foreign policy? Such an outcome will require a sizable defence commitment going forward.

maurice10
Guest
maurice10

By the way, folks, if you want a guided tour of the Monchengladbach storage depot go on ‘Google Earth’ and zoom in, it’s 3D and a bit nebulous in close detail.

Ron
Guest
Ron

It seems that two type 23 frigates are to be laid up. This is possibly due to either monetary issues, manning issues or possibly that they are to be stripped of useful equipment for the upcoming start of the Type 31s. As for the army I hope that the MoD does not reduce numbers any more. I personally would like to see an increase in numbers so that we can have an armoured corps of one armoured div and two armoured infantry divs for Germany/NATO, three independent armoured battle-groups deployable world wide by the RN and a rapid reaction force… Read more »

Anthony D
Guest
Anthony D

Agree with option two ron for the reasons you set out. Not sure we’ll ever be able to properly equip a corps sized force and concerned that ground scanning radar is the end for mass armoured manoeuvre.

Keithdwat
Guest
Keithdwat

That’ll keep the ruskies at bay!
Seriously though I assume this is to help if we need to move mass forces onto the continent, liaisons and such, and to maintain some facilities there.

pkcasimir
Guest
pkcasimir

What UK “mass forces”? Start living in the real world.

David Steeper
Guest

It’s the way the army works. To get them out of anywhere. Except Afghanistan and Iraq ? Has always been a nightmare. They have a death grip on any overseas base you have to prise it out of their grip one finger at a time. We’re down to the last finger now just 30 yearsafter the fall of the Berlin wall. The chiefs miss Rheindahlen. That was where their army was. Not the Armoured Divisions or the Berlin Brigade.

David Taylor
Guest
David Taylor

“The chiefs miss Rheindahlen. That was where their army was.”

Poetically put and true.

andy
Guest
andy

i enjoyed being based in Paderborn,used to go all over the place in my time off,just a shame my old camp is going to be either an immigrant holding centre or turned into houses

Nigel Collins
Guest
Nigel Collins

Always good to let the opposition know in advance where to strike if a war was ever to break out!

“Elsewhere, the MoD say that the Army is maintaining a presence at the Ayrshire Barracks in Mönchengladbach, where approximately 2,000 vehicles can be stored, and the German Wulfen Defence Munitions Storage Facility, which holds operational ammunition.”

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

Nigel, I think it’s well known where the main infrastructure is in Germany, just as it’s known where the equivalent is in the UK. No state secrets here.

Anthony D
Guest
Anthony D

Sorry Danielle but it’s hardly forward basing when the front line is a thousand kilometres further away! It should be in the Baltic States or northern Norway! At the very least in Poland.

Anthony D
Guest
Anthony D

Sorry posted in wrong place, doh!

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

Lol.

Sean
Guest
Sean

FFS why?!?! Bring it all home.

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

Sean. The Ayshire barracks site has controlled humidity environment storage, like DSDC Ashchurch. Ashchurch is slated for closure, stupidly in my opinion. The Army needs to store thousands of vehicles somewhere.

Sennelager and Wulfen also sensible moves.

We are talking about strategic assets not a garrison. The brigades are still returning to the Super Garrison around Salisbury Plain, rightly so.

But if they need to deploy into Europe having forward deployed infrastructure and even pre positioned kit is totally sensible.

Think of these facilities like Mount Pleasant, Akrotiri, Ayios Nikolios, Gibraltar, and so on.

All assets to HM forces.

Sean
Guest
Sean

Forward deployment I can understand to protect OUR interests, but to protect Germany? A country with a bigger economy than ours that simply can’t be bothered to spend the money it needs to on defence?

It’s only forward deployed if we’re going to fight a land campaign in Eastern Europe, but as we don’t have land forces large enough to fight a credible campaign there.
Mount Pleasant, Akrotiti, Gibraltar are all essentially unsinkable aircraft carriers for protecting British interests.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I’m just not seeing the need, if we want to have a support stucture ready for a European deployment at a time of crisis it needs to be close to where the issues will be, I’m guessing that actual problems that need the Army would occure around 500miles east, maybe investing in facilities in Poland would be more strategically sound ?

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

Maybe. But these are developed and there now.

I wouldn’t want us spending money to develop new.

I’d prefer that money spent on as many T31 as we can get.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I think I would just close the lot down and spend it on naval hulls and manning, rotor assets ( of any colour) or front line fixed wing assets.

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

Jonathan.

I don not think we own the sites. They would be returned to the German authorities if we discard them, so apart from running costs we are not going to make the hundreds of millions selling something we don’t own.

UK sites different of course we are gaining savings from selling the site and saving on ongoing costs.

Andy G
Guest
Andy G

Those 500 miles could be gobbled up pretty quickly

Chris
Guest
Chris

(Chris H) – forgive me making an obvious observation but if the EU keep saying ‘Non’, fail to come up with a reasonable alternative to the PM’s Chequers deal (still the ONLY plan) and keep insulting us and our PM then we leave without any deal. So no £39 BN and no further £13 Bn a year. Now we will have to construct an import tariff regime that allows car manufacturers and industry to claim back any tariffs paid on import (eg: don’t have any tariffs just 40% VAT and then claim back 20% all legal under WTO) but basically… Read more »

Anthony D
Guest
Anthony D

Oh god Chris. You know NATO and EU are separate but your conflating the two. Keeping the Russians or whomever else a thousand miles away is clearly in our national interest. Also, if ww3 does break all this brexit nonsense is going to feel like small fry and every NATO member will be putting people in harm’s way.

We decided to leave, let’s stop blaming others for the cluster fuck that we now find ourselves in.

John Clark
Guest
John Clark

I have some sympathy with your position Chris, NATO is critically underfunded, with countries like Germany operating at such a low level of effectiveness to be rendered vertually useless….

Then they want to set up a rival EU military alliance … What a ridiculous sick joke it all is!

Despite the moaning Liberals who seem hell bent on turning their backs on democracy and demanding another vote ( because the snow flakes didn’t get their own way), crashing out under WTO rules suits me just fine.

The UK will do what it’s always done, trade with the world….

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

Spot on John.

Mr Bell
Guest
Mr Bell

Here here, agree 100% No deal should mean total withdrawal from the narrow minded beligerent and unfriendly EU. The EU is theologically against giving the UK any kind of deal. They have to keep the remaining 27 in-line. No one else can be allowed to even think about leaving the new Germano- Franco empire. So no deal was always what we should have expected and been planning for as the most likely outcome. Unfortunately this will mean the fracturing of NATO which Putin will be delighted about. NATO will be finished, we will need a new Anglosphere defence alliance. So… Read more »

Anthony D
Guest
Anthony D

Yeah, it’s our ball and we don’t want to play anymore. Let’s withdraw from the security council too so the nasty Frenchman doesn’t get a chance to be mean to us. FFS. NATO is nothing to do with EU. Only twice has Britain been isolated in Europe. One was the most destructive war in human history and the other time saw us lose the American war of independence. Mr bell. There is a deal on the table from our friends across the channel and it’s called EFTA aka Norway model. No tarrifs, no European court of justice, a say in… Read more »

Sean
Guest
Sean

+1 for Chris.

If the U.K. isn’t good enough enough to be treated fairly in trade with the EU why should we risk our servicemen to protect the EU?

Forge a new global military alliance based on the existing Five Eyes intelligence agreement.

Mr Bell
Guest
Mr Bell

Agree Sean it is the only possible viable outcome unless the EU suddenly has a brown pants moment and realises they have just pissed off the very nations that they rely on for their freedom. The UK and USA

Chris
Guest
Chris

(Chris H) – Anthony D – I do not ‘conflate’ I link the two – there is a fundamental difference. And while the Ukraine is in ‘Europe’ and not the ‘EU’ do you think NATO will intervene when Putin eventually has a go there again? No it won’t because its not part of NATO. So lets not get into semantics about geographical ‘Europe’. We are discussing NATO countries here compared to EU countries. Post Brexit the only countries in NATO and not in the EU / EEA will be: UK USA Canada Turkey (candidate EU country) Montenegro (candidate EU country)… Read more »

Necessary Evil
Guest
Necessary Evil

You don’t seem to understand either economics or geopolitics… I think the conservative party will need a new leader soon!

Anthony D
Guest
Anthony D
John Clark
Guest
John Clark

Absolutely Mr Bell, couldn’t agree more!

Dark
Guest

Can Germany have a military base in UK!

Steve
Guest
Steve

Brexit is just an excuse, the economic effect of whatever deal we get will be unclear. No one is clear on what a good deal is and what a bad deal is, these are just terms flying around without detail. We will probably never really know if we were better off leaving or staying, since by the time the new trade deals are in place and the real details of the negotiations are ironed out (i doubt all the details will be there for years), the world economy., booms and busts would have moved so much that it is impossible… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

We will be able to tell steve: a year after we leave, if the rest of Europe is seeing growth and we are in recession or far lower growth, we have fucked ourselves a bit, if the same is happening couple of years after that we have totally fucked ourselves and the young generation will have the moral right (when they get into power) to hammer all our pensions to pay for our mistake and try and repair the damage ( if the politicos totally drop the ball we could get here) If the situation is reversed ( Euro recession… Read more »

John Clark
Guest
John Clark

Steve and Johnathan, it’s about far more than the economic benefits, it’s about Britain being a self determining country, unlike EU members who are slowly being drawn into a Greater Germany.

Had we remained, it would only have been a matter of time before wee were forced into the Euro, a two speed Europe can’t go on for ever….

It’s about self determination and freedom first,
(the very thing that defines an independent country) eonomics are secondary….

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

John, economics is never secondary, wealth is both power and freedom, it is to be corny the life blood of a nation. There is no freedom in poverty. I don’t have a problem with leaving the EU per say, I do have a problem with people saying economics don’t matter. It’s easy to say if your secure in life, hard if your in an industry effected or on the edge of poverty and food prices do go up. This is one of my great problems with the whole process, are we going to be worse or better off, I’m well… Read more »

John Clark
Guest
John Clark

Johnathan, I fully appreciate your position and agree that the economic case is extremely important. That said, we must adhere to our democratic principles, they must come first as the very foundation of our country. The last time we were threatened after Dunkirk, we had an option to come to terms with Germany, we could have walked away, we would have saved our economy and and just carried on. Well, it’s Dunkirk again and the Germans are threatening us, so same shit, different day, same answer too … We won’t just roll over and surrender. Go WTO rules, the EU… Read more »

Anthony D
Guest
Anthony D

John Clarke. We are not at war.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Hi John As you say the vote was to leave, that’s ok with me ( I’ve always considered the arguments of both sides to generally balance out ( removing the extreme end of remain, total ecconomic collapse and brexit a brave new world of expanded worldwide trade and prosperity for all). But I do think once it was clear that the Political parties could not even agree internally what should be negotiated let alone between the parties then we should have had a number of referendum of clarification ( not re asking the question) but instead what’s the most important… Read more »

David E Flandry
Guest
David E Flandry

Was that right? 185 military troops will be kept in Germany? Is this a joke or what? I’ll bet the Russians are going to have to reformulate their doctrine after this.

Mr Bell
Guest
Mr Bell

185 too many. I do not think we should keep ANY of our armed forces propping up the EU. They are not our friends and allies but a bunch of ungrateful, self-congratulating, corrupt, rude and disrespectful inbreds. The EU is the new Germano-Franco empire and the remaining 27, are in thrall to that empire. We should not defend or support its nations. Bring our brave men and women home. True friend and allies would not treat the leader of the UK with such rudeness, mocking and undiplomatic behaviour. Their attitude at Saltzsburg was outrageous. The EU needs to be taught… Read more »

Anthony D
Guest
Anthony D

When someone takes two years to come up with something the EU ruled out at the very beginning, what exactly did you expect their reaction to be?

You’re conflating our bilateral relationship with European states, the organisation that is the EU and separate organisation that is NATO. The membership of which is different.

We’re not defending them, we’re defending each other.

Chris
Guest
Chris

(Chris H) Anthony D – here you go peddling the EU line again. Look the time wasted was a deliberate plan by the EU. THEY set out the agenda for talks and THEY have failed to even start trade deal talks until now. Which just happens to be in breach of Article 50 that we were led to believe by its text would mean all matters would be discussed in one package – including crucially ‘the future relationship’. They wanted our money first, then our money second and then a withdrawal agreement (that has NOT been agreed yet) and then… Read more »

Anthony D
Guest
Anthony D

The whole point of the EU is so that nobody’s grandad or uncle have to go to war again.

Chris
Guest
Chris

(Chris H) Anthony D – No that was the purpose of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) as defined by the Treaty of Paris in 1951. One might even extend that to the European Economic Community (EEC) as defined by the Treaty of Rome in 1957. But to fabricate an argument that the European Union (or what was intended to be the European Community (EC) until voters said ‘No Thanks’) in 1993 had an anti-war purpose just fails to stand scrutiny. And for one simple reason: The constituent countries of the ECSC and EEC were all NATO members and… Read more »

Anthony D
Guest
Anthony D

Chris. Schuman talking about the ecsc in 1950 said:

Through the consolidation of basic production and the institution of a new High Authority, whose decisions will bind France, Germany and the other countries that join, this proposal represents the first concrete step towards a European federation, imperative for the preservation of peace.

Mr Bell
Guest
Mr Bell

Only difference is can we rely on them? And with what will they be assisting us in our defence? Face facts the EU has very little defence capability. French, Italian and Spanish forces would quickly be whittled down in any sustained conflict. Our most capable ally in Europe is Norway. They punch well above their weight and are fearsome and brave in defence. Crucially they are loyal friends.

John Clark
Guest
John Clark

I would take issue with defending each other Anthony, the largest economy in the EU ( second largest in NAYO) is Germany, they are by all measures militarily infective…. Do you honestly think Germany would come to anyone’s aid? No they wouldn’t, couldn’t if they wanted to…. From a European perspective, NATO is effectively Britain and France. We provide 80% of its European capability between us. I can’t see NATO surviving in its current form to be honest, god knows I can’t stand that hateful individual Trump, but he’s absolutely right regarding NATO being underfunded. The UK needs to restore… Read more »

Anthony D
Guest
Anthony D

Well I must be imagining that other NATO countries take part in NATO standing maritime groups and the Baltic air patrol. Didn’t realize we had so many ships and aircraft.

Mr Bell
Guest
Mr Bell

John Clark
That was the best post I have seen on this site for a long time. Sorry to all for getting heated on this issue but my grandad would be turning in his grave after fighting in Europe, being evacuated from Dunkirk, then going back again on D day +4 and spending a further year fighting the Germans until they surrendered. Having first liberated northern France, Belgium (including Brussels) and all of Holland.
That is our legacy towards Europe, what have they ever done for us? Someone please tell me.

Chris
Guest
Chris

(Chris H) Mr Bell – My Uncle Jim fought with the 7th Armoured in North Africa, Sicily and Italy. Came home and was in France D Day +1 under Monty all the way. I had two Uncles I never knew killed in Burma. My Father in Law Les was shot on his way out of Dunkirk, posted a card to his wife from Dover and then when he recovered trained new recruits and was on Gold Beach as a Sergeant second landing craft in. Went all the way to see Hamburg be declared an Open City. Despite all that I… Read more »

Anthony D
Guest
Anthony D

Yep peace and security. They would hate it.

Iqbal
Guest
Iqbal

This is the last bit of willy waving, trying to make out that we matter. A couple of hundred troops are symbolic at best. We withdrew the British forces on the Rhine years ago.

Ironic that Germany hosts foreign troops as a result of the outcome of WW2 and has some limitations on its sovereignty yet rebuilt its economy in such a way as to control the EU. They finally realised why use force when we can use money to dominate.

Leave the prideful but poor British to fight unwinnable unpopular wars with yesterday’s equipment and mindset.

David Steeper
Guest

Iqbal I think we’ve learned our lesson about there willingness to fight to the last drop of our blood. But keep your fingers crossed anyway !

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

Are you TH Peder or Harold by any chance?

A strange mindset that you’re perfectly happy for your own country to not matter.

I guess you prefer a cardboard box to a semi detached house as well?

Ridiculous self loathing drivel.

I prefer to be somebody where you seem to hope to be nobody, and revel in it.

But then you’re probably not British at all are you?

John Clark
Guest
John Clark

Some excellent posts guys, if we step back and look at the whole referendum, its bleeding obvious that Cameron and the EU thought they had it in the bag and the vote would be to stay….. So we have a vote, the great British public democratically said enough is enough and voted leave. So far so good …. Then Cameron pulls on his parachute, said ” so long suckers” and jumped. It’s been an utter mess since then to be honest, our leaders incapable of pushing a strong position and the EU hell bent on damaging us as much as… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

Hear hear John!!!

Chris
Guest
Chris

(Chris H) John Clark – It wasn’t just your parents voted to remain in the EEC. I did too as it was the right trade deal with a few similar countries and our immigration stayed static @ 30,000 a year. Manageable and beneficial.

The EU is a vastly different animal and you accurately lay out its purpose. It is instructive to note those ‘liberals’ demanding another vote now (as they lost) weren’t so keen on giving us a vote in 1998 were they? Blair promised but reneged. Surprise!

R Cummings
Guest
R Cummings

It is a grave mistake to conflate NATO and the EU, as some are doing here while protesting that they aren’t! The abiding lesson from the Nazis’ rapid conquest of western Europe was united we stand, divided we fall. All the small neutral or non-aligned nations were rolled up one after the other, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Denmark, Norway, Yugoslavia, Greece, etc, etc. Many of them fought hard to the end but were completely overwhelmed by superior numbers, tactics and equipment. The lesson was and remains, try to stand alone and you will inevitably be gubbed by the next… Read more »

Mr Bell
Guest
Mr Bell

Putin would laugh at the pointless gesture of a multinational armoured division. He just carried out a military exercise with 300,000 personnel and could put a rough table of over a million men into a battle. Against those numbers a hogemony of British, German, French, Dutch, Italian armoured units would be ground down very rapidly. Britain’s army should remain on home soil. The Navy should be our expeditionary arm and it should be one hell of a lot more capable and numerous than it is now. I would change defence priorities. RAF should get 33% of the defence budget (not… Read more »

Pacman27
Guest
Pacman27

Spot on Mr Bell Ultimately the uk is short of 25-40k personnel, many of which need to go to the RN, RAF and our new Cyber force. I see us as having a single UKDF of Circa 250k personnel all told (inc civilians) primarily to get us into a position wher we can offer a stable career that balances family life with the demands of the military, whether we like it or not we need to take care of our personnel far better (and I am all for it actually). Broken down 100k Army, 38k each for RAF/RN, 20k Cyber… Read more »

John Clark
Guest
John Clark

Good post Mr Cummings, a balanced approach and taking us back to the core of the post. I would say however, I personally don’t think the Germans would react to an attack on another NATO member. I think their pacifist mentality is at their they core… France and the UK are ‘effectively’ the European arm of NATO, I am certainly not suggesting we are beyond reproach, oh no, decades of underinvestment and paying for Blairs desert wars has gutted our armed forces. The greatest threat to NATO however isn’t Russia, its the already pathetic European defence effort being diluted further… Read more »

Anthony D
Guest
Anthony D

The irony is that now we’re leaving we can’t veto an Euro army.

Pacman27
Guest
Pacman27

I want to see the UK remain a powerful NATO and EU ally, but actually dont want us to have bases in Europe at all). My view is that with a much smaller force we should concentrate on what we do best, which is predominantly light infantry maneovre. Or put another way Strike and amphibious brigades. Surely our Central European partners should have the heavy armour that suites their topology and the UK should have the maritime and specialist capabilities that suit ours. I am on record as stating the UK should be European NATO’s USMC (with a navy) as… Read more »

Pongoglo
Guest
Pongoglo

Reading most of this dribble really makes we want to weep – how many people on here have actually served in the Army, and why is it that when it comes to the SEA and AIR topics on this forum we seem at least to get some sensible informed comment but when it comes to LAND people churn out cr*p? The 185 uniformed pax and 80 civil servants are not there to fight a war, they will be highly skilled ‘enablers’ technical personnel, REME and others who are there to maintain the vehicles in store, and in tip top condition… Read more »

R Cummings
Guest
R Cummings

Mr Bell is quire right that a single NATO armoured infantry division would be ground down pretty quickly in a shooting war against the Russian masses, but that is to misunderstand its role and the sequence of events. A NATO division on the Polish border, or the Romanian/Bulgarian hinterland, is a deterrent to the kind of small, irregular actions Russia took in the Ukraine or the relatively small number of regular forces it put into Crimea and Georgia. Putin is not going to play games which lead to combat with a well-equipped NATO force of close on 20,000, backed by… Read more »

Anthony D
Guest
Anthony D

Good points, well made. Given the scale of ground formations in the Russian western military district, it would seem a British brigade would be an important trip wire but little else. Perhaps if the uk were to focus on the northern framework concept, working with the scandanavian countries, to face off against the northern fleet district with its independent naval brigade. If we were to specialise in naval, air and expeditionary ground forces then these would be well suited to supporting operations on the northern flank. They are also the type of forces that can be used worldwide to protect… Read more »