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US Army commander says end of Iraq, Afghan wars offers chance to retool, refocus training

The top U.S. Army commander in Europe says the end of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will give the military an opportunity to review and refocus training at a time of financial cutbacks throughout the armed forces.

Lt. Gen. Donald M. Campbell assumed command of the 40,000-strong U.S. Army Europe in January. Plans call for the force to be scaled down to about 30,000 in the next two years.

European-based units fought in both the Iraq and Afghan conflicts, straining resources. An armored cavalry squadron is due to deploy from Germany to Afghanistan this year.

Campbell said Monday the end of combat deployments will enable the Army to "step back and look at training" in more creative ways, including computer simulations and using facilities of other NATO members.

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