The Pentagon said Friday it plans to give back 21 European properties it makes little or no use of and said returning the sites would have no military consequence.
Relinquishing the “minor” properties — including a golf course, a hotel, and a skeet range — will save US taxpayers some $US60 million, the US Defence Department said in a statement.
The facilities’ return to their host nations in Europe, “is part of a continued effort for US European Command (USEUCOM) to shed non-enduring and excess sites” from its real estate inventory, said Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby in a statement.
“None of these adjustments affects existing force structure or military capabilities, and the efficiencies will further enable US European Command to resource high priority missions,” he said.
Officials said some of the sites are no longer needed, while others have been consolidated with other facilities.
Kirby added that the consolidation will not affect US or NATO military missions or deployments in the region.
“US dedication to our NATO security responsibilities is beyond doubt,” he said.
The move will “simply ensure that we are best-positioned to fulfil those responsibilities given changing circumstances,” he added.
The sites to be returned in Germany include a golf course and skeet range in Garmisch and a recreation center in Wiesbaden.
Other facilities the US will relinquish include a munitions storage facility at Karup Air Base, Denmark and a former NATO headquarters facility outside Naples, Italy.
Copyright (2014) AFP. All rights reserved.
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