BERLIN (Reuters) - President Donald Trump has ordered the U.S. military to remove 9,500 troops from Germany, a senior U.S. official said on Friday, which would reduce the U.S. contingent to 25,000.
Below are some facts about the contingent:
- The U.S. military presence is a legacy of the post-World War Two Allied occupation from 1945 to 1955, when millions of American, British, French and Soviet troops were stationed in Germany. U.S. troops were concentrated in the south.
- On June 25, 1948, General Lucius D. Clay, in charge of the U.S. Occupation Zone in Germany, gave the order for the Berlin Airlift in response to a Soviet blockade of West Berlin, the sectors of the city occupied by the Western Allies. The blockade was lifted on May 12, 1949.
- The Convention on the Presence of Foreign Forces in the Federal Republic of Germany, signed in 1954, allowed eight NATO countries including the United States to station forces in West Germany after the Allied occupation ended.
- Elvis Presley was stationed in West Germany from 1958-1960 during his military service. As a soldier in southern Germany in the late 1980s, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo patrolled the fortified border between West and East Germany, part of the Cold War ‘Iron Curtain’ dividing communist Eastern Europe from the West.
- Since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the number of U.S. troops in Germany has been steadily reduced from some 200,000, but they have generally remained welcome among Germans.
- The Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, adjacent to the Ramstein Air Base, southwest of Frankfurt, is the largest U.S. military hospital outside the continental United States.
- The U.S. European Command, headquartered in Stuttgart, coordinates U.S. forces across 51 primarily European countries.
- The SPD party said in 2017 it wanted U.S. nuclear weapons, about which many Germans have misgivings, withdrawn from German territory. The United States has declined to confirm or deny their presence.
Compiled by Paul Carrel; Editing by Kevin Liffey