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The Army Basing Review is the latest in a series of major announcements by the Government towards a major reconfiguration of the British Army.

Shortly after the Government took office it published the Strategic Defence and Security Review which envisaged a reduction of 7,000 personnel in the Army, the redeployment of British forces personnel from Germany to the UK and a reconfiguration of the Army into five regionally-based multi-role brigades.

The Ministry of Defence announced the outcome of an initial Basing Review in July 2011, based on the decisions made in the SDSR. Among its main decisions were the transfer of a number of RAF stations to the Army, the locations of the five multi-role brigades and the expectation that approximately 6,500-7.000 personnel returning from Germany would be based in Scotland.

In July 2011 further reductions in personnel numbers were also announced, the full details of which were outlined in the Army 2020 announcement in July 2012.This identified the units that were to be disbanded or merged and a new reconfiguration based on two distinct elements: a reaction force and an adaptable force. This was a move away from the five multi-role battalions originally envisaged under the SDSR. Altogether, the size of the regular Army is to be reduced by 20,000 personnel.

The Army Basing Review announced on 5 March 2013 is based on the new Army 2020 plan outlined in July 2012. Two key principles guided the Review: that the armoured infantry brigades should be centred round a single location, and the Army should retain a UK-wide presence. The Basing Review envisages an Army increasingly consolidated around seven centres in the UK with the closure of a number of bases, a faster withdrawal from Germany and an end to the culture of routine rotation in the UK. The Government has committed £1.8 billion to the new basing plan, of which £1 billion will be spent on new accommodation. Much of the reaction to the basing plan focused on the implications for Scotland ahead of an independence referendum in 2014.

A further basing plan, for the Reserves, is expected to be announced before the summer recess. Future basing plans for other services, the training estate and logistics operations are expected to be announced over the course of 2013.


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