Today, I am announcing that, having examined the findings of the project team's initial review, I have decided that Headquarters Allied Rapid Reaction Corps (HQ ARRC), 102 Logistic Brigade (102 Log Bde) and 1 Signal Brigade (1 Sig Bde) should move to the UK over the period 2009-2014. This initial decision will need to be confirmed following scrutiny of the detailed plans for the moves. The site currently occupied by the RAF at Innsworth in Gloucestershire has been selected as the most suitable for HQ ARRC and its supporting elements, and RAF Cosford in Shropshire is the project team's recommended site for 1 Sig Bde and 102 Log Bde. We will continue to assess other sites for the two brigades until such a time as Cosford's future defence use has been decided. Securing the final approval for this work will also mean that a series of other moves will take place within Germany, which would lead to the closure of Rhine Garrison and Münster Station, the latter completing the closure of Osnabrück Garrison, by 2014.
The project team's work will now focus on drawing up detailed plans for all the moves, including additional infrastructure requirements at the selected UK sites and a clear timetable. This work will start with the proposed move of HQ ARRC. The team will consult with all interested parties, including local county councils, health and education providers and trades unions. In Germany, we will continue to engage with the relevant authorities and employee representatives at national and local levels.
Although we may make further modest adjustments to our force levels in Germany, our plan remains to base UK forces there in the form of HQ 1 (UK) Armoured Division and the majority of its formations and supporting units, some 15,000 service personnel, for many years to come. These moves and the work of the project team in no way signal a change in either our commitment to the NATO Alliance or in our overall defence policy, nor do they in any way devalue the continued close bilateral defence relationship between the UK and Germany.