The United States will close 15 military bases across Europe, a move that will save around $550 million a year, Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel has confirmed.
The plan comes at a time the US military seeks to shift its attention towards Asia, BBC reported citing Pentagon.
However, the RAF Lakenheath will be the first permanent European base for the F-35 aircraft, the US has added. The US military presence is currently seen in mostly Germany, Italy and the UK and it has over 60,000 troops stationed in Europe, according to reports.
The number of troops in Europe will not decrease, but training programmes will be placed on rotation in different bases, the US military said adding that only smaller bases will be closed including those that are remnants of the cold war.
However, US officials have decided to cut about 500 military personnel from the Lajes military base in the Azores islands. Over the next few years, there will be a total reduction of about 2,000 US personnel in the UK, the BBC further stated.
The US Air Force will leave RAF Mildenhall located in the county of Suffolks in Britain and RaF Alconbury and RAF Molesworth in the county of Cambridgeshire will also be closed.
"I know that this will result in a reduction of the host nations' workforce at some locations," Hegal said acknowledging that the move will affect many people's employment.
"I value the tremendous support they provided us for decades," he added.