Sir Michael confirmed that the Brecon Infantry Battle School will remain open, providing world-class training to 3,500 infantry soldiers each year who are preparing to become future Army leaders.
During the visit he also announced that the Regimental Museum of The Royal Welsh is likely to remain in its current location for at least a decade as the Ministry of Defence discusses a long-term lease for the site.
Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said:
Brecon has a long Army history. The Infantry Battle School and Sennybridge Training Area will stay and continue to be a vital location for training and exercises for thousands of soldiers every year.
Today was an opportunity to review our plans for the Barracks and Regimental Museum with Chris Davies and others to ensure that we help attract jobs and investment when we leave the Barracks by 2027
With a brigade headquarters and combat units continuing to be based in Wales, Wales’ long term future as a key defence location is secure.
The Armed Forces has a strong connection to Wales, and the Defence Secretary also revealed figures showing that Defence spent £870 million with Welsh industry in 2015/16, amounting to around £280 per person and supporting 5,250 jobs. Wales is also home to one of the Army’s major UK training areas at Sennybridge, which is used for various exercises throughout the year.
As part of the MOD’s Better Defence Estate strategy, Brecon Barracks will be released, opening up a prime town centre site for redevelopment with the potential to bring economic opportunities and job creation to the area. By selling sites such as these, the MOD is investing £4 billion over 10 years to provide accommodation and facilities better suited to our modern Armed Forces and their families.
160 Brigade will continue to be based out of Wales, as well as the RAF’s fast jet pilot training school at RAF Valley. Around 2180 regulars are based across the country plus a thousand of MOD civilian staff, demonstrating Defence’s continued long-term commitment to Wales.
Sir Michael’s announcements came as he met Rangers and Riflemen from 160th Infantry Brigade and presented two members of the Royal Irish Regiment with St Patrick’s Day shamrocks.