Britain said on Tuesday it would bring more troops home sooner from bases it is shutting in Germany to accelerate a cost-cutting drive.
Seven barracks in Britain would also be shut and the government would spend 1.8 billion pounds on rehousing troops and their families around seven other centres, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said in a statement.
In 2010 the MoD said 20,000 troops would return to Britain by 2020, around half of whom would be repatriated by 2015. Now the Mod says 70 percent will return by 2016.
The changes are not purely cost-driven, and reflect changing defence needs in an era where large scale deployments of ground troops are less likely, and smaller more agile forces and high-tech equipment could be more useful, the MoD said.
Britain set up bases in Germany at the end of World War Two and maintained them afterwards to counter the Cold War threat from the Soviet Union and its allies.
"By setting out our plans to bring troops back to the UK we are ... generating a saving of around 240 million pounds a year in operational running costs," Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said in a statement.
Britain is trying to rein in a big budget deficit, and defence, along with other government departments, has had to make deep cuts to spending.
The MoD has also announced plans to reduce its army to around 82,000 personnel by 2020, and rely more on army reservists rather than full-time soldiers.
(Reporting by Mohammed Abbas; Editing by Louise Ireland)