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The Pentagon Thursday unveiled sweeping plans to consolidate its forces in Europe, taking thousands of U.S. military and civilian personnel out of bases mostly in the United Kingdom and Portugal, in an effort that will save about $500 million each year.
Off-setting some of the troop reductions in the U.K., the U.S. has selected RAF Lakenheath in Britain to be the first permanent European base for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. The restructuring will take place over the next several years, and the first F-35 aircraft would arrive in the U.K. in 2020. They will replace F-15 fighter jets, which are leaving.