Germany

British Forces Germany Given Top Military Honour

British Forces Germany's Headquarters will close later this year due to a big reduction in Britain's troop presence there.

The Headquarters of British Forces Germany has received one of the country's top military honours.

It is the equivalent of a local authority and supports service personnel and their families - tracing its roots to the British force that entered Germany in 1945.

It is now managing the departure of the Army’s last remaining field units still based there.

A band plays during the ceremony.
A band plays during the ceremony.

A big reduction in Britain's troop presence in Germany means that the headquarters will close in September.

Peter Godwin, Civil Secretary of British Forces Germany, said: "For the last few weeks we've been marching up and down a car park in Bielefeld being shouted at by our excellent Regimental Sergeant Major and the result today I think dare I say was a success."

Commander of British Forces Germany, Brigadier Richard Clements, said it had been a "great privilege to command a very joint combined mixed headquarters".

The German government has now recognised the headquarters' achievements with the Fahnenband ceremonial ribbon - one of the country's highest military honours.

A big reduction in Britain's troop presence in Germany means that the headquarters will close in September.
A big reduction in Britain's troop presence in Germany means that the headquarters will close in September.

The President of North Rhine Westphalia’s Parliament was pleased the British are staying.

Andre Kuper says there is not only a military relationship but much deeper historical ties between Britain and North Rhine Westphalia, and that is why he is delighted a training unit will continue to be stationed in the state.

Future support for military personnel in Germany is to be restructured.

Headquarters British Forces Germany has a job to do for at least another four months.