US to close facilities in Germany

BERLIN (AP) -- The U.S. Department of Defense says the United States plans to cease operations at 15 minor Army facilities in Germany amid a wider effort to realign the military's overseas structure.

A statement Thursday says the department has determined that the facilities are surplus to requirements because of changes already carried out "and the attendant reduction in installation and personnel support requirements."

They include barracks, family housing areas and storage areas at Idar-Oberstein, Dexheim and elsewhere. Their current annual operating costs total some $15 million

The Department of Defense says the site closures will affect 49 military personnel, 350 U.S. civilians and 140 local employees. The facilities will be returned to German authorities -- many of them this year or next.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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