Update: RAF Mildenhall to close as Pentagon reveals plans to move assets to Germany
PUBLISHED: 16:39 08 January 2015 | UPDATED: 10:41 09 January 2015
RAF Mildenhall US Air Force Base is set to close as part of a sweeping reorganisation, according to reports.
RAF Mildenhall through the years
The crew of USAF jet Blackbird, pictured at Mildenhall, in 1974.
RAF Mildenhall. Pictured: SR-71A Blackbird.
The airshow at RAF Mildenhall in 1988.
RAF Mildenhall terminal lounge.
RAF Mildenhall. Pictured: SR-71 Blackbird.
RAF Mildenhall Officers mess in 1987.
RAF Mildenhall from above. PICTURE: ANDY ABBOTT
RAF Mildenhall. PICTURE: ANDY ABBOTT
Back from the Gulf. American service personel arrive at RAF Mildenhall. Photo: Graham Corney
RAF Mildenhall home comming servicemen arrive back greeted by collegues. PIC MICHAEL HALL
Aerial view of RAF Mildenhall. Picture: Mike Page
Photos of a Peace Camp outside of RAF Mildenhall.
The First Lady Michelle Obama visits RAF Mildenhall, meeting troops and families based there. Picture: Matthew Usher
The First Lady Michelle Obama visits RAF Mildenhall, meeting troops and families based there - the plane takes off. Picture: Matthew Usher
The First Lady Michelle Obama visits RAF Mildenhall, meeting troops and families based there, waves as she gets on a plane to leave. Picture: Matthew Usher
An Italian peace flag flies in the wind as protesters gather outside the gates of RAF Mildenhall in 2006. Photo: Chris Radburn / PA.
A US Air Force KC 135 tanker lands at RAF Mildenhall. Photo: Simon Finlay
9/11 Memorial and Retreat Ceremony featuring security forces and fire department first responders from both RAF Lakenheath and RAF Mildenhall.
The road leading to the The Main Gate at RAF Mildenhall at Beck Row in 2007.
Bob Hope on stage at RAF Mildenhall during his one-day stop over in the United Kingdom in 1990. Picture: (U.S. Air Force Photo
The US military news outlet, Stars and Stripes, reports that the Suffolk base, home to the USAF special operations forces, refueling tankers and 3,200 military personnel, will be moved to other locations such as Germany.
Meanwhile, two squadrons of F-35s will now be relocated to RAF Lakenheath by 2020.
The move will see RAF Mildenhall’s 352nd Special Operations Wing move to Germany.
A spokesman for USAF said it would keep people in the local area informed, but that it could not comment until the review process - known as the European Infrastructure Consolidation (EIC) - was completed.
“The European Infrastructure Consolidation process is still ongoing, with no final information available for release.
“The Secretary has approved recommendations he intends to move forward with, and the department is now coordinating efforts to finalize an execution strategy.
“This infrastructure consolidation will not affect our operational capabilities. The United States remains fully committed to European security and continued cooperation with our European Allies and partners in meeting our shared global interests.
“Because the process is still ongoing, it is inappropriate to speculate as to the final outcomes of the EIC,” he said.
What’s at RAF Mildenhall?
RAF Mildenhall is home to the USAF 100th Air Refueling Wing. It conducts air refueling and combat support operations throughout Europe and Africa.
It is formed of:
•100th Operations Group which provides air refueling to Air Combat Command (ACC), Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC), Air Mobility Command (AMC), United States European Command (EUCOM), United States African Command (AFRICOM), and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies. The group’s two squadrons have 15 KC-135R aircraft
•The 100th Maintenance Group keeps the aircraft mission-ready
•The 100th Mission Support Group consists of five squadrons. The group ensures the capability of the base to deploy, receive, employ and sustain Air Expeditionary Forces. The group also provides support to approximately 16,800 military, civilian, dependent and retirees, as well as law enforcement on the 1,100-acre site
An official announcement is expected this afternoon.
Two other US facilities in the UK - RAF Alconbury and Molesworth, will also close. Most of their missions will move to RAF Croughton.
A number of closures will also take place in Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy and Portugal.
The Pentagon expects to save $500m a year from the consolidations, which have been under review for more than a year.
Will you be affected by the closure? Email reporter Andrew Fitchett on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07584 503055.