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The Brits will want to avoid closing BATUS completely because they won't want to repay the Government of Canada for environmental damages. My guess is they will drastically scale down their presence but keep minimum manning there to avoid paying anything. BATUS will exist, it will just be 3 Corporals and a Dog there instead of an actual BattlegroupRaincoats on, raincoats off...
BATUS: Army's Canada training base to see 'change' but won't close, Wallace says
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has responded to reports that soldiers will leave the huge training area to move to the Middle East.
The British Army's training base in Canada will see "change" but will not be closing, the Defence Secretary has said.
Ben Wallace dismissed reports that troops would be completely leaving British Army Training Unit Suffield (BATUS) in Alberta, Canada, the service's largest battleground in the world, to move to the Middle East.
British soldiers have been training at BATUS since 1972.
He said "BATUS is not being closed" but added: "Of course, we'll change what we do there because some of those forces we might use elsewhere but no we're not closing BATUS."
When pressed on whether there was a shift of focus towards the Middle East, Mr Wallace said: "We are being present where it matters, and the Middle East matters.
"We're also going to be forward and present in places like Kenya because Africa matters to our security and matters to our interests as well."
The former Army officer recently said he wants British personnel to "see the world", with training set to be increased around the globe.
Oman is tipped to be one of five of the UK's 'land hubs', which, Mr Wallace said "are about us increasing our training – Oman is one – Kenya another and there'll be others".
Mr Wallace reiterated that on Wednesday, saying: "There's no good sitting back in a British base - if you want influence, if you want to deter, if you want to provide resilience, you need to be out and around in parts of the world that matters.
"The Middle East is one of those parts of the world, Oman and Qatar, for example, would be one of those areas."
The Ministry of Defence earlier said: "Canada is one of the UK's oldest and closest allies.
"Contrary to reports today, we are not closing BATUS.
"It will continue to be a vital training base for the British Army."
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has responded to reports that soldiers will leave the huge training area to move to the Middle East.www.forces.net