The end of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will allow U.S. ground forces in Europe to focus on training and reassess their mission amid spending cuts, the commander of U.S. Army-Europe said Monday.
Lt. Gen. Donald M. Campbell, who took charge of the command in January, said the end of combat rotations to Afghanistan will enable his troops to “step back and look at training” in more creative ways including computer simulations and using facilities of other NATO members, the Associated Press reported.
Nearly 40,000 soldiers are based in Europe, and almost a third of them have deployed to the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars, according to the AP. An armored cavalry squadron there is due to rotate to Afghanistan this year for what will likely be a final tour.
The U.S. will reduce its soldier presence to 30,000 by 2017, move its headquarters from Heidelberg, Germany, to Wiesbaden, Germany, and cluster remaining forces in seven towns in Germany, Italy and Belgium, the AP said.