- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Pentagon on Thursday described how the new, smaller defense spending plan will affect the military’s presence in Europe.

The 170th Heavy Brigade at Baumholder, Germany, will be deactivated later this year, and the 172nd Heavy Brigade at Grafenwoehr, Germany, will be deactivated in late 2013. Troops serving those units will be reassigned.

Families of service members in the units were informed of the changes Thursday, a senior defense official said.

The 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team will be relocated from Germany to Vicenza, Italy.


Defense officials said the impact of the deactivations on the local German economy would be minimal because most troops in the brigades serve in Afghanistan.

In addition, the Army’s V Corps Headquarters at Wiesbaden, Germany, will be deactivated, as well as the Air Force’s 81st Fighter Squadron at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, and the 603rd Air Control Squadron at Aviano Air Base, Italy.

Pentagon press secretary George Little stressed that cutting troops in Europe does not mean the U.S. is declining its engagement in Europe.