The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has decided to offload three Royal Air Force (RAF) bases currently occupied by the US Air Force (USAF).

The RAF Mildenhall, Alconbury and Molesworth are among 12 sites that will be disposed of for an estimated £500m, generating land for 15,000 homes.

UK Defence Minister Mark Lancaster said: "By streamlining the defence estate, we will ensure that it better meets the needs of the Armed Forces well into the future.

"By streamlining the defence estate, we will ensure that it better meets the needs of the Armed Forces well into the future."

"Defence has the strongest incentive to become more efficient; with every pound we make by disposing of excess land reinvested into a defence budget that keeps Britain safe."

The move follows the ministry’s announcement in November of £9bn savings in defence.

The decision complies with the MOD’s plan to reduce the size of its built domain by 30%, generating £1bn through land sales and contributing up to 55,000 homes.

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The airbases which are currently occupied by the USAF on lease will be put up for sale after the USAF pulls out of the three bases as part of a programme to save £320m ($500m) a year across Europe.

RAF Mildenhall currently houses USAF Special Forces and a fleet of air-to-air tankers, meanwhile RAF Alconbury and RAF Molesworth are used as USAF communications bases.

The defence ministry is expected to announce further sites for sale later in 2016.