As announced today, the Department of Defense plans to implement several base closures and other efficiencies in its operations in Europe over the next eight years that will improve operations, eliminate excess infrastructure and reduce costs.

In Army Europe, DOD will fully return to the host nations one site in Belgium and one in the Netherlands; fully return seven sites and partially return two in Germany; and partially return one site in Italy. Specific site information is provided further below. As a result of these site closures, some 95 military, 147 U.S. civilian and 65 local national (LN) positions will be reduced by Sep. 30, 2020, and another 405 military, 1,360 U.S. civilian and 1,207 LN positions will be relocated as sites are closed by 2023. While some position reductions and relocations may begin as early as 2017, the majority will occur upon completion of construction and building rehabilitation projected for FY20, pending approval of EIC funding.

In Department of Defense Dependents Schools -- Europe (DODDS-Europe), the Bavaria district office will be relocated from Barton Barracks in Ansbach to Sembach in 2016. This action will preclude construction of a new $5.5M Bavaria District Superintendent's Office in Ansbach. There will be no reductions associated with the relocation of the 0 military, 30 U.S. civilian and 2 LN positions associated with the district office.

Also as part of these initiatives, the Defense Commissary Agency (DECA) will limit commissaries in Europe to one per military community with the exception of Grafenwoehr and Kaiserslautern. This approach is based on the serviced population and availability of another commissary or reasonable alternative within a 45-minute commute window. In Stuttgart, the stores on Patch, Kelley, Robinson and Panzer will close, once a new replacement store on Panzer Barracks is constructed. Construction is expected to start in 2017 and be completed in 2019. In USAG Rheinland-Pfalz, the small commissary in Sembach will be closed in 2015, since it is within commuting distance to both the Ramstein and Vogelweh commissaries. In USAG Ansbach, the commissary on Storck Barracks will also close in 2015, based on access to the main commissary at Shipton Kaserne. Of the 0 military, 85 U.S. civilian, and 75 LN positions associated with these commissaries, the actions will result in the relocation of 0 military, 57 U.S. civilian and 34 LN positions and the reduction of 0 military, 29 U.S. civilian and 17 LN positions by Sep. 30, 2019.

The Defense Media Activity (DMA) will also consolidate its operations in Europe by 2016 with a Regional Media Center at Sembach, overseeing four American Forces Network (AFN) "superstations" in Sembach, Naples, Rota, and Stuttgart, which will each serve several communities. DMA's command information mission will be managed by the Regional Media Center and executed by bureaus at locations close to DOD's three- and four-star headquarters in Europe, i.e., Kaiserslautern, Naples, Stuttgart, and Wiesbaden. To facilitate DMA's local community information missions, each superstation will have a studio and staff dedicated to each served location affiliate with a small staff of four remaining at each affiliate. As part of this action, 32 military, 0 U.S. civilian and 0 LN positions will be relocated, and 45 military, 5 U.S. civilian and 17 LN positions will be reduced by Sep. 30, 2016.

Another consolidation initiative will merge activities that support the U.S. Mission to NATO and the U.S. Military Delegation to the NATO Military Committee. Such functions as communications, postal services, and personnel management will be incorporated into other existing positions. As a result, 4 military, 1 U.S. civilian and 0 LN positions will be reduced by Sep. 30, 2018.

The Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) will also implement efficiencies in their bakery and water distribution operations in Gruenstadt, Germany. Of 0 military, 39 U.S. civilian and 326 LN positions at the site, the action will result in the relocation of 7 U.S. and 30 LN positions to Sembach, and a reduction of 0 military, 0 U.S. civilian and 47 LN positions by Sep. 30, 2016.

As part of these efficiencies, Defense Information Systems Agency -- Europe (DISA-E) will relocate in 2019 from Patch Barracks in Stuttgart to the Landstuhl Heliport in Kaiserslautern. Portions of DISA-E will remain at Patch Barracks, Stuttgart. This move positions DISA-E, a subordinate Defense Information Technology Contracting Office, and the Army's Regional Satellite Control Center -- Europe closer to other theater communication assets and takes advantage of available space on the site once renovated. The action will result in the relocation of 107 military, 152 U.S. civilian and 3 LN positions with DISA-E to the Kaiserslautern area. A reduction in Stuttgart support staffs of 0 military, 31 U.S. civilian positions and 27 LN positions by Sep. 30, 2019, will also result based on the decrease in community population.

The conversion of the Vicenza Health Center to only outpatient and specialty care is also part of these DOD-approved actions. Of the 108 military, 55 U.S. civilian and 53 LN positions associated with the center, this action will result in a reduction in 2019 of 10 military, 8 U.S. civilian and 4 LN positions.

Lastly, some ammunition storage bunkers at the Pisa Ammunition Storage Area in Livorno, Italy, will be placed in a caretaker status. The empty bunkers will be minimally maintained and guarded, but kept in reserve for contingencies. There are no personnel impacts associated with this action.

The site returns and other efficiency measures are part of U.S. European Command's continuing efforts to remove non-enduring sites from its real property inventory and allow more resources to be focused on other U.S. European Command mission requirements. In returning these sites, the U.S. is fulfilling its obligation to host governments to return property that is no longer necessary for our operations. These proposals have been vetted through the DOD European Infrastructure Consolidation review, and none of them affects U.S. military capabilities in Europe.

U.S. European Command's forward presence is one of the United States' most visible indicators of support to our European allies, providing assurance and demonstrating a tangible commitment to our collective defense. U.S. dedication to our NATO security responsibilities is beyond doubt; ongoing infrastructure adjustments simply ensure that we are best-positioned to fulfill those responsibilities. Overall in Army Europe, some 556 military, 1,606 U.S. civilian and 1,275 LN positions will be relocated as a result of these actions -- many within the same town, and another 152 military, 223 U.S. civilian and 177 LN positions will be reduced.

Completion of the EIC study does not represent the end of transformation in Army Europe. The Army will continue to look at ways to streamline operations, while improving capabilities to support our Allies and partners worldwide.

Site returns

As noted above, the following sites are planned for return to the host nation not later than (NLT) the dates indicated. Returns may occur earlier, as actions to clear the facilities progress; projected return dates are also subject to extension, based on operational requirements and other factors. All are full site returns, unless annotated otherwise:

Belgium
U.S. Army Garrison BENELUX
•Brussels Leased Site (NLT 2019)

The Netherlands
U.S. Army Garrison BENELUX
•Schinnen Emma Mine Site (2018)

Germany
U.S. Army Garrison Ansbach
•Barton Barracks (2021)

U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria
•Artillery Kaserne, Garmisch (2018) (Partial Return)

U.S. Army Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz
•Pulaski Barracks, Kaiserslautern (2019) (Partial Return)
•Hoppstaedten Waterworks, Baumholder (2018)
•Pfeffelbach Waterworks, Baumholder (2018)
•Husterhoeh Kaserne, Pirmasens (2017)

U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart
•Weilimdorf Warehouse Site (2018)

U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden
•Mainz-Kastel Station (2022)
•Amelia Earhart Hotel (2023)

Italy
U.S. Army Garrison Vicenza
•Camp Darby, Livorno (2016) (Partial Return)

For more information regarding this announcement, please contact U.S. Army Europe Public Affairs at 011-49-(0)611-143-537-0023/0022 or email usarmyeurope.contact@mail.mil.