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Troops to leave their German base after 2017
They're coming home.
Hundreds of Hampshire soldiers will be returning to the south for good after the latest round of defence cuts ordered the removal of troops from Germany.
The 1st Battalion, Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment, currently based in Germany, will come back to a new home just over the Hampshire border at Bulford camp, near Salisbury, after 2017.
The details were revealed in a massive Government document detailing the future of British troops as the Ministry of Defence tries to plug a £38bn hole in its budget.
The battalion, nicknamed The Tigers, are among the most highly regarded frontline soldiers who draw much of their 500-man strength from Hampshire as well as Brighton and Kent.
Formerly known as The Hampshire Regiment, they were amalgamated with The Queen’s Regiment in 1992 with the late Diana, Princess of Wales as their colonel in chief – a position now held by Queen Margrethe of Denmark.
She famously visited troops in Gemany where pictures were taken of her with soldiers and families enjoying a sports and recreation day.
Since then they assumed a new home in Barker Barracks in Paderborn, northern Germany, where as an infantry regiment who use armoured tanks they have been able to take advantage of miles of open land on which to train for deployments to war torn countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan.
A large number of the regiment are currently on exercise in Kenya where they will have learnt the news of their futures yesterday.
They are one of a number of regiments based in Germany and fall under the umbrella of 20 Armoured Brigade, whose headquarters is also there.
Although nobody was able to comment officially, insiders say the news has been well received in that it finally “brings clarity in what was a sea of uncertainty”.
A source told the Daily Echo that as the news spread, soldiers were glad to finally know what was happening.
However it will mean big decisions for those who have moved to Germany with families, or who have since met spouses and got married there. In particular, it will affect those who have children in German schools who are at a critical stage of their education.
The source said: “People are more receptive than they previously might have been to returning home to the UK.
“They are pleased to finally know what they are facing.”