Germany to close 31 military bases
The German government announced Wednesday the closure of 31 military bases in Germany as part of plans to scale back the army.
A large number of the sites will be shuttered by 2015. Others will close by 2017 or later, while some of Germany's 381 military bases will be downsized, according to a text adopted by the cabinet.
Defence Minister Thomas de Maiziere was due to unveil details later in the day.
The move is part of a major overhaul of the German army, adopted in May, which aims to slash troop levels from 250,000 to some 185,000 to improve efficiency.
It is the most radical shake-up of the German army since its creation 56 years ago.
Under the new plan, Germany will have an exclusively professional force of about 170,000 soldiers, along with 5,000 to 15,000 short-term volunteer recruits.
Some 10,000 soldiers will be available on a permanent basis for action abroad.
Germany, which was one of the few countries in the NATO military alliance to retain the draft, ended conscription in March.
© 2011 AFP