On 5 March 2013 the Regular Army Basing Plan was announced by the Defence Secretary and in broad terms it provided a timetable of when units are to move and to which location.
The Army Basing Programme (ABP), a joint Army and DIO programme, was set up in May 2013 to put the plan into action. It is providing the facilities to enable nearly 100 Army units to relocate, reconfigure, disband or re-role and deliver the Government’s 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review commitment to bring all units back from Germany by 2020. The Germany drawdown will produce savings building to £240M per year.
The government has committed £1.8 billion to the programme to be invested in infrastructure across the UK. This includes funding for accommodation improvements and will provide about 1,500 new homes for Service families, 4,500 new single living accommodation bed spaces and working, technical and training infrastructure. This will provide crucial jobs for local economies and quality accommodation and facilities for troops and their families.
In 2014, 30 units successfully moved or re-roled as planned. In 2015, 33 units successfully moved or re-roled plus one new unit was created. This included returning 5,200 Service personnel and their families from Germany to the UK. In 2016, eight units moved or re-roled. Since 2010 82% of the 20,000 Service personnel based in Germany and their families have relocated to the UK.
It was confirmed on 5 November 2015 that the final Field Army units will return from Germany in 2019. The final units, including those from 20 Armoured Infantry Brigade, currently based around Paderborn and Sennelager in Germany, will return to their new home on Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire in the final phase of the Army Basing Programme.
The Army and the DIO is working closely with local authorities, the NHS and other government departments and local service providers to ensure sufficient housing, schooling, medical, leisure and dental provision is available as units move into their new bases.
In Germany Celle Station, Munster Station, Rheindahlen Military Complex, Hameln, Fallingbostal Camp, Elmpt Station and Herford Station have closed and been handed back to the German Federal authorities. Hohne Station was taken over by the Bundeswehr on 1 January 2016. Gutersloh, Dulmen and Kiel Adventurous Training Centre were released during 2016. 2017 and 2018 saw two unit moves from BFG to the UK with the speed of infrastructure delivery increasing to provide the living and working accommodation required for the final moves in 2019.
Headquarters British Forces Germany is based in Bielefeld, at the centre of the remaining military population in Germany, from where it is best placed to provide key services to the remaining troops, their families and support staff.