The Secretary of State for Defence announced the Regular Army Basing Plan on 5 March 2013, rebases across the UK and restructures to its future Army 2020 formations.
The Army Basing Programme (ABP), a joint Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) and army programme, was set up to put the plan into action. It will provide the facilities to enable more than 100 army units to relocate, reconfigure, disband or re-role and deliver the government’s 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review commitment to bring all units back from Germany by 2020. The Germany drawdown will produce savings building to £240 million per year.
The government has committed £1.8 billion to the programme to be invested in infrastructure across the UK. This includes funding for accommodation improvements and will provide about 1,200 new homes for service families, thousands of new single living accommodation bed spaces and working, technical and training infrastructure. This will provide crucial jobs for local economies and quality accommodation and facilities for troops and their families.
The programme will see the army maintain its UK wide footprint, but with personnel increasingly concentrated in key geographic areas around Salisbury Plain, Edinburgh and Leuchars in Scotland, Catterick, Aldershot, Colchester, Stafford and Cottesmore and North Luffenham in the East Midlands.
DIO and the army are working closely with local authorities, the NHS and other government departments and local service providers to ensure sufficient housing, schooling, medical, leisure and dental provision is available as units move into their new bases.
Salisbury Plain will see the largest increase in troop numbers under the programme, as it is the only place in the country that can accommodate the complex and demanding training needed to maintain operational effectiveness of the army’s 3 high readiness Reaction Force Brigades.
Following a public consultation the MOD set out how it intends to accommodate the 4,300 extra army personnel and their families that will move to the area in its Salisbury Plain Masterplan. Current proposals include new build accommodation for single soldiers, more than 1,000 new service family homes and the construction, conversion or refurbishment of nearly 250 buildings such as offices, garages, workshops and mess facilities.
DIO and the army continue to work closely with Wiltshire Council to develop and deliver the required infrastructure and help ensure local services are in place as units move.
There will be a major re-role of units at Catterick with 5 units moving there from Germany. There will be significant investment with plans to build new accommodation for single soldiers and new build workshops and stores.
The first phase of the Army Basing Programme completed successfully in 2014 with 29 military unit moves and/or re-roles in the UK, plus one move from Germany.
During 2015, more than 5,000 troops (14 military units) will move from Germany to the UK, 10 military units will move within the UK, 9 units will re-organise in their current location and 1 new unit will be created.
Please see the latest Army Basing Programme newsletter available on the army website for the latest information on completed moves.
More information is available on the army website website.