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28 Aug 08. The Department of Defense announced today that the United States will cease operations at 15 U.S. Army, Europe, sites in Idar-Oberstein, Dexheim and other locations in Germany. Due to U.S. European Command force structure realignment and transformation, and the attendant reduction in installation and personnel support requirements that have occurred during the past several years, the Department of Defense has determined the following facilities are excess to its needs: The sites and timeframes for return are as follows. Closure of sites noted with a return date to be determined (TBD) are contingent upon the availability of facilities for relocating tenant activities:
U.S. Army Garrison Baumholder
Strassburg Kaserne (Idar-Oberstein) NLT Summer 2009
Idar-Oberstein Family Housing (Idar-Oberstein) NLT Summer 2009
Birkenfeld Family Housing Area (Baumholder area) NLT Summer 2008
Neubruecke Hospital Kaserne (Baumholder area) NLT Summer 2009
U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden
American Arms Hotel – Return Date TBD
Dexheim Family Housing NLT 1st Quarter 2009
Dexheim Missile Facility NLT 1st Quarter 2009
Anderson Barracks NLT 1st Quarter 2009
Camp Oppenheim NLT Summer 2008
U.S. Army Garrison Mannheim
Friedrichsfeld Quartermaster Service Center – Return Date TBD
Friedrichsfeld Storage Area – Return Date TBD
Dannenfels Communications Station – Return Date TBD
U.S. Army Heidelberg
Stem Kaserne – Return Date TBD
U.S. Army Giessen
Dautphe Boy Scout Camp NLT 1st Quarter 2009
Hommertshausen Girl Scout Camp NLT 1st Quarter 2009
In addition to previously announced force structure changes, closure of these sites will affect 49 military, 350 U.S. civilians, and 140 local national employees with agencies such as the Installation Management Command-Europe (IMCOM-E), Europe Regional Medical Command, and Department of Defense Dependents Schools.
IMCOM-E will begin the process of returning facilities affected by this decision to the host nation. Current annual operating costs for these sites are approximately $15m.

21 Aug 08. Cyprus: Change of Resident Infantry Battalion. 2nd Bn The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment took over from 1st Bn The Royal Welsh as Resident Infantry Battalion in the Western Sovereign Base Area (SBA) of Cyprus on 21 Aug 08. As Theatre Reserve Battalion 2 LANCS will be on permanent standby to deploy on Operations, in particular to Iraq and Afghanistan, during their two and a half year tour.
Comment: The Resident Battalion is stationed, with families, in Episkopi near Limassol. The two SBA were established in 1960, when Cyprus became independent. The SBA cover 98 square miles (254 square kilometres) and include a staging post at RAF Akrotiri as well as important communications facilities. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0833, 25 Aug 08)

Aug 08. Former HMS BRECON: Conversion Complete. Defence Equipment & Support reports (Desider, August 2008) completion of HMS BRECON’s conversion to a seamanship training vessel. The former mine countermeasures ship has replaced the training barge Ajax and is now moored near the training establishment HMS RALEIGH, in Cornwall.
Comment: Before her conversion, BRECON’s propulsion system and other key equipment were removed “to support Fleet shortages”. BRECON and two of her Hunt Class sister-ships were paid-off on 12 Sep 05. BRECON is said to be more capable than the previous training barge since she allows trainees to live on board “and experience a real ship environment”.(Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0833, 25 Aug 08)

27 Aug 08. Marshall Specialist Vehicles (MSV) the Cambridge based specialist vehicle and shelter designer, developer and manufacturer has launched a programme to upgrade its specialist facilities. Called “Specialist Upgrade”, it includes work on improved RFI measurement, metal working and provision of additional facilities to improve the development workshops and labor

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