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German state premier to support town affected by US troop withdrawal

The premier of the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate has pledged support to one of the regions affected by the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Germany.

“Whatever happens (at the military base) in Spangdahlem in the end – and we hope it will be very little – the state will, of course, support the local council and municipalities with the necessary measures,” Malu Dreyer said on Monday during talks with local officials.

The main aim was to maintain the U.S. military base in Spangdahlem and for the U.S. announcement to be reversed, the minister said. “We are fighting for the site,” Dreyer added.

In the past week, the U.S. announced it would transfer F-16 fighter jets stationed in the town in the west of Germany to Italy, affecting around half of the 4,000 soldiers living at the air base.

The U.S. airforce said the base in Spangdahlem would continue to operate despite the troop withdrawal, though plans are not final yet. Around 11,000 people live at the air base, including relatives. U.S. President Donald Trump has announced the U.S. would withdraw about 12,000 troops stationed in Germany.

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