Panetta: Army to withdraw 2 brigades from Europe

By the Associated Press | January 12, 2012 | 6:43 PM EST

FORT BLISS, Texas (AP) — Defense Secretary Leon Panetta says the Army will withdraw two combat brigades from Europe as part of a broad reorienting of U.S. forces and instead rotate units in and out of the region, presumably from U.S. bases.

Panetta made the comment to a Defense Department news service whose representative was traveling with him to Fort Bliss, Texas.

He said the Army will do more rotational movement of combat forces not only in Europe but also in Africa and Latin America.

Last week, the Pentagon announced a new defense strategy to accommodate hundreds of billions of dollars in budget cuts over the coming decade. Panetta said then the military's presence in Europe would "evolve." But he declined then to discuss what that would mean for the long-standing U.S. presence in Europe.