After 75 years in the Central European country, the British Army has handed back control of the last remaining British base, Catterick Barracks Bielefeld, to Germany.

This follows a 10-year gradual drawdown in British personnel in Germany. This policy, named “Operation Owl,” was set in motion by then-Prime Minister David Cameron as part of a cost-saving effort. At the time of its announcement, roughly 20,000 British soldiers were stationed in the country.

In 2010, it was estimated that the presence of the British personnel contributed roughly €1.3 billion per year to the German economy. They were distributed across 12 bases in North Rhine-Westphalia and Lower Saxony.

Now, only 185 British Army personnel along with an additional 60 civilians working for the Ministry of Defence are expected to remain in the country. They will mainly focus on training. The remaining personnel will be stationed at the 117-squared kilometer Sennelager Training Area, which is owned by the German government. The facility provides access to live-fire training exercises. All combat units have now been withdrawn.