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Two Europe Brigades Will Be Replaced with Rotating Units, Panetta Says

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  • January 12, 2012
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Two of the Army’s four Europe-based brigade combat teams will be withdrawn and replaced with rotating units, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Thursday.

The change follows last week’s unveiling of a new defense strategy which emphasizes smaller, more agile ground forces, and increased reliance on air and sea assets. The guidance also indicated that the military’s footprint in Europe would “evolve.”

The change in the nation’s force posture in Europe could result in more U.S. forces deployed there, Panetta said, as the Army units stationed in Europe frequently were deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan, reported American Forces Press Service.

The move is not surprising. The same day the Pentagon rolled out its new strategy last week, Panetta met with his British counterpart Philip Hammond, who told reporters afterward that DOD planned to retain only two brigades in Europe.

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