Germany

British Military Base Handed Back To Germany

The closure of Catterick Barracks Bielefeld completes the withdrawal of 20,000 British personnel from Germany.

A flag-lowering ceremony has marked the handover of the British Forces Germany (BFG) base in Bielefeld.

Catterick Barracks has been the last remaining headquarters for BFG since 2013.

Its closure marks the complete withdrawal of 20,000 troops in Germany, first announced by the Government in 2010.

The UK is keeping a training presence in the country, however, despite all major field and combat units having left Germany.

The Army will be based out of Sennelager Training Area, with support from other areas including Mönchengladbach.

It is understood German police are interested in turning Catterick Barracks into a training academy.

Lieutenant Colonel Tony Maw, the officer commanding the Germany Enabling Office, said: "Today I think, not only for me but for the British forces as a whole, means the end of an era."

Troops have been slowly rebased in the years following 2010, moving back to the UK under Operation Owl. 

"Today also marks the start of a new era, with our footprint now firmly set up in Sennelager with the Germany Enabling Office," Lt Col Maw said.