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British Brigade to Leave Germany (Jan 31)

The 4th Armoured Brigade, currently based in Osnabruck and Munster garrisons in Germany, will return to Catterick Garrison in North Yorkshire by 2008/09, Defence Secretary John Reid announced today.

As part of the rebalancing envisaged under the Future Army Structure programme announced in Dec 2004, they will also re-role to become a Mechanised Brigade.

John Reid said:

"Operational experience and our assessment of future threats have shown us that we need to rebalance the Army to ensure it is structured and equipped to conduct the full range of tasks we ask of it. The re-roling of these two brigades is another step towards developing an Army fit for the challenges of the future.

"With the continued agreement of the German Government, the UK expects to maintain the remaining 21,800 personnel, where we will continue to enjoy excellent relations with the local population and contribute to the strong UK/German bilateral relationship."

Following its conversion, 4th Armoured Brigade (4,400 personnel) will move back to the UK in line with the continuing policy to concentrate the mechanised capability in the UK.

An additional 2,200 troops will deploy to Germany in a similar timeframe in order to support the remaining 2 UK Armoured Brigades.

The net reduction of British Forces in Germany will be roughly 2,200 soldiers over the next three years as part of the Future Army Structure.

19 Brigade will re-role to a Light Brigade and will subsequently relocate away from Catterick to Scotland and Northern Ireland, although decisions on the final location of individual units have yet to be taken.

Two major units will remain at Osnabruck and Munster: 1st The Queens Dragoon Guards in Osnabruck and 1 Close Support Medical Regiment in Munster.

Reid: 4th Armoured Brigade to Return to Catterick