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USAF pulling out of Fairford

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USAF pulling out of Fairford

Old 18th Sep 2009, 06:39
  #21 (permalink)  
 
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Other UK Bases

Hnnmmm whats the odds that Lakenheath and Mildenhall will close within the next decade? 50/50, 60-40, 70-30.

Then that means Alconbury and Molesworth and Croughton will also have to shut.
Croughton doesn't have anything to do with Lakenheath and Mildenhall. It is a significant comm relay point, especially for the US State Department. If the JAC at Molesworth is moved then stand by for Alconbury to close since its only mission is to support Molesworth with housing, schools, etc, etc.

Of all the beses in the UK, I would suspect Menwith Hill to be the safest, followed by Croughton, then Molesworth. There is spare room back in the states for the squadrons with aircraft.

It is interesting that the only base in Europe equipped to handle the B-2 is being reduced in status.

Rhein-Main was returned to Germany several years ago. Hence the second runway and major ramp work at Ramstein.
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Old 18th Sep 2009, 11:18
  #22 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by ECMO1
Croughton doesn't have anything to do with Lakenheath and Mildenhall. It is a significant comm relay point, especially for the US State Department. If the JAC at Molesworth is moved then stand by for Alconbury to close since its only mission is to support Molesworth with housing, schools, etc, etc.

Of all the beses in the UK, I would suspect Menwith Hill to be the safest, followed by Croughton, then Molesworth. There is spare room back in the states for the squadrons with aircraft.
Croughton is pretty safe at the moment, seeing as they're now the base who are now overseeing RAF Fairford.


Originally Posted by ECMO1
It is interesting that the only base in Europe equipped to handle the B-2 is being reduced in status.
Considering Fairford has only been used twice by the B-2s since it was fully equipt to take the B-2, I don't think it's that surprising - any Global Deployment is organized months before it goes ahead, so there would be plenty of time to prepare Fairford for them.

In a real time war situation, in less than 48 hours Fairford can be ready to handle them. Which I'm sure could be sped up dramaticly if it was needed.

Hopefully, Fairford in C&M won't stop future Global Power Deployments. But time will tell...
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Old 18th Sep 2009, 12:50
  #23 (permalink)  
 
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Will Welford be closed too?
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Old 18th Sep 2009, 20:08
  #24 (permalink)  
 
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Why not close Brize & Lyneham and move the whole shooting match to Fairford?
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Old 19th Sep 2009, 01:21
  #25 (permalink)  
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In a real time war situation, in less than 48 hours Fairford can be ready to handle them.
That's provided the UK approves what we're doing, an increasingly questionable assumption.
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Old 19th Sep 2009, 06:51
  #26 (permalink)  
 
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BenThere -

Actually, I rather think that following your election last year, most of the UK are rather more likely to trust the judgement of the US, not less.

S41
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Old 19th Sep 2009, 22:31
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Given his track record regarding sticking with allies, I'm sure he'll be all over any requests for help down Falklands way should they arise during his tenure.

Or the turning of the Russian gas tap this winter.
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Old 26th Sep 2009, 20:44
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Sgt Slabber:

Vernon,

Were there not proposals some years ago to move the Harriers from Wittering to Bentwaters/Woodbridge when the A10's moved out? The reason that didn't happen was because most of the domestic electricity supply was US standard 110V, allegedly. The cost of conversion to 230/240v failed the cost benefit analysis.

I guess the same would apply to Fairford.


Hardly. As somebody else stated, the power supply to USAF installations is the same as it is to your house. 240v 50 Hz.

Americans use (at home) 120v 60 Hz (or 240v 60 for larger appliances), so if they bring over coffeepots, washing machines, dryers, answering machines, clocks or microwaves (relative duty cycle problem) they can't use them in the UK. - And they couldn't use them at BTW/Woodbridge, either. The domestic supply to their houses was 240v 50Hz, but as somebody else mentioned, they use domestic transformers to drop the voltage to 110v. (Can't do much about the frequency, but it's hardly a new problem; they've found ways around that for more than 60 years.)

High Tow:

I guess it'll need to be kept usable for a couple of years yet as it's a designated landing field for the Shuttle.


And your source for that is?

Gee Ram:

A USAF guy I'm working with told me earlier this year that they were actively recruiting for this with a view to pulling out serving staff by next year.

He's also said that the USAF will likely pull out of Mildenhall and Lakenheath as well before too long.


I don't think much of your source, either. This guy you work with ... would that be Lt General Frank Gorenc? - Or Beetle Bailey?

Grimweasel:

Guess Obama has other ideas about the Strategic power base and the 'special relationship'.


And how would you describe the 'special relationship'? - Is that some sort of scheme whereby the US taxpayer bails out the impoverished Brits? - Get Gordie to give you a loan.

Obama is a democrat and isn't renowned for willingness to spend more than he has to on the military. Gen Peter Jones (when he was SACEUR) devised a plan to reduce overseas spending. That plan requires drastic force reductions in both the European and Pacific theatres. It has et to be implemented fully and until that has happened, it would perhaps be premature to speculate on further massive (like Lakenheath and Mildenhall) reductions in US forces in the UK.

ECM01:

Croughton doesn't have anything to do with Lakenheath and Mildenhall. It is a significant comm relay point, especially for the US State Department. If the JAC at Molesworth is moved then stand by for Alconbury to close since its only mission is to support Molesworth with housing, schools, etc, etc.

Of all the beses in the UK, I would suspect Menwith Hill to be the safest, followed by Croughton, then Molesworth. There is spare room back in the states for the squadrons with aircraft.


I agre with most of that. Croughton is a communications switch. It is unlikely to close.

Molesworth is an MU ... it could (or at least the MU part of it could) close. The agency which runs the MU completed a massive realignment in 2002 and it's probably not very likely that there will be further reductions. - the MU at Molesworth is the HQ for a huge and diverse area.

The other part of Molesworth is the JAC. If you're wondering why the US JAC is at Molesworth, ask yourself where JARIC is situated.

Menwith Hill isn't a 'base'- AFAIR (haven't been up there for a while) it's run by Ford Aerospace. I doubt - as you suggest - it's likely to close.

Lakenheath and Mildenhall are very important. Somebody (in an earlier post) tried to suggesthat Fairford was a 'port'. Rubbish. Mildenhall is the port and as such, it's not very likely to be subject to closure. Lakenheath is a good 'plan 2' and it acts as an emergency runway for Mildenhall (as well as a transit storage for aircraft.)

The main USAF bases in Europe and Ramstein and the Lakenheath/Mildenhall complex. The existing plans (those devised by Gen Jones) assume that those bases will remain operational.

As far as 'there is spare room back in the states for the squadrons with aircraft"goes, there isn't.

Not onl do you have to move the squadrons and their aircraft back, but you also have to move the people who fly those aircraft, their families and all those who support them back, too. They need houses, schools, hospitals and jobs (not everybody works on the squadron.)

If Lakenheath and Mildenhall closed tomorrow, the local economy would be devastated. All those Americans who were pouring millions (and it's many millions of dollars into the local economy would go away. Disaster.

But another disaster at the other end, too. Where would the returnees live? Where would they shop? Where would they send their kids to school? Where would they work?

The main reason (I suspect) that Gen Jones' plan (return 60,000 military people from Korea, return 60,000 military people from Europe - plus their dependents) - was OK, as far as it went ... but where do you put all those people?

So why did the Americans bother with Fairford?

Marham and Fairford can handle B52s. They are the only two military airfields in the UK which can do so (outrigger wheels on the wingtips require wide taxiways.)

The Royal Air Force runs Marham, but if the USAF has no need to send B52s or B2s to Europe (with a landaway) they have no need for a plan 2 diversion which can handle those aircraft.

As for the cost of moving facilities and amenities, don't count your chickens! Or your Whoppers. (Burger King was a British company until Diageo managed to flog it off, so I don't think they'll be too bothered about that.

I lived near Upper Heyford from 91 to 95. When I arrived there, the 'leg-warmer ladies' (who lived in a camp near the end of the runway) had daubed a sign on a concrete wall which said: "We like your faces, but we don't like your bases."

Then the Americans said they were going. Those same people who wanted them to leave wanted them to leave their wallets behind ... fat chance!

The local council was rubbing its hands in glee! The Americans have 2 large stores (The Commissary, a massive grocery store and the Base Exchange, a massive department store.) They've also got a fully-fitted 10 lane Bowling Alley and a large and well-equipped hospital.

I think the council really thought that when they moved into the hospital after the Americans had left, all they would have to do would be to open the cupboard doors and out would pop doctors, nurses, surgeries and all the medical equipment they were dreaming about.

The Americans left the buildings. - They belong to the host nation - but they took all their equipment and personnel with them. Hardly surprising, really.

When the Americans left, the ladies in leg warmers left, too ... Perhaps they didn't want to pay the increased rates (and domestic rates rose by 20%) which the local populace had to pay to make up the fiscal deficit.

Brick History:

Given his track record regarding sticking with allies, I'm sure he'll be all over any requests for help down Falklands way should they arise during his tenure.

Or the turning of the Russian gas tap this winter.


If you don't want the Russians to turn off the gas tap, why are you selling all your gas to the Hollanders?
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Old 26th Sep 2009, 22:39
  #29 (permalink)  
 
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High Tow:

I guess it'll need to be kept usable for a couple of years yet as it's a designated landing field for the Shuttle.

And your source for that is?
I dont know about High Tow, but my source (amongst others) for confirmation of this is the current USAF base commander, and his predecessor, and his predecessor etc etc.
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Old 26th Sep 2009, 22:48
  #30 (permalink)  
 
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I attended a briefing by NASA a few years ago in which this was discussed. The location of choice for a minor but significant problem during launch is Sigonella, Italy, although there are several others within Europe that could be called upon. They went on to suggest that if such an event happened, the Shuttle would immediately claim the Blue Riband for the fastest Atlantic crossing in the certainty that they would keep it until time immortal. I had heard a rumour of Manston being the UK airfield of choice because of its width and length but have no reason to not believe that Fairford would be an alternative.
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Old 27th Sep 2009, 00:38
  #31 (permalink)  
 
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Fairford Airmen prepare for shuttle launch

'Fairford Airmen prepare for shuttle launch

by Tech. Sgt. Kristina Barrett
501st Combat Support Wing Public Affairs

11/21/2007 - ROYAL AIR FORCE FAIRFORD, United Kingdom (AFPN) -- When the Space Shuttle Atlantis, mission number STS-122, launches on Dec. 6, a world will stand watching. While it takes a massive crew to get the shuttle off the ground, there will be hundreds more waiting after the blast off. They are ground crew members of the Space Shuttle Transatlantic abort landing sites, one of NASA's "just in case" options if anything should go wrong with a launch. RAF Fairford is one of nine sites around the world.

If a launch needs to be recalled in first four minutes after a launch, a return-to-landing site is ordered. The TAL mode is an option when the last RTLS opportunity has passed, but before the shuttle enters orbit. Based on the trajectory of the shuttle, a TAL site is selected and the shuttle continues across the Atlantic Ocean. If the launch is aborted within 14 minutes of take off, RAF Fairford would be the site selected.

"Although the shuttle has never had to use Fairford, the base must still train to receive the Shuttle," said Mr. John Summers, human space flight support training officer. "Our engineers have determined that the possibility of using the base exists and, regardless of how remote the possibility, base members have to be ready."

Fairford's mission to recover the shuttle was tested Nov. 16 when members of the Air Force's space flight support staff stationed at Patrick Air Force Base, Fla., evaluated Airmen on their ability to respond.

Even before the shuttle launches, ground support crews at Fairford are standing alert. If a launch abort is called, the shuttle could land within moments -- just 10 minutes from launch abort to landing. They know the special circumstances of dealing with the shuttle - from chemicals present to egress procedures.......'

TJ
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Old 27th Sep 2009, 07:15
  #32 (permalink)  
 
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Rupertnav, Waddington is also capable of handling B52. And the electrical power issue was one of the key reasons why the RAF did not take on BTW/Woodbridge - the domestic power supply was, as you point out, dealt with via individual transformers. But the on-base installations were all geared to the US system, all the power outlets were US-style and much of the technical accommodation would have required re-wiring to meet UK standards. The cost of doing this was a significant factor in the business case.
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Old 27th Sep 2009, 17:19
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Perhaps this would explain why DOT is moving to Leeming next year!!
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Old 27th Sep 2009, 20:47
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Originally Posted by Mighty Quercus
Perhaps this would explain why DOT is moving to Leeming next year!!
Not really, because RAF Exercises (presumably DOTEX) are still due to continue at RAF Fairford.

I've certainly not heard Leeming are having DOTEX next year?

Originally Posted by airpolice
There was a B52 at Leuchars a few weeks ago. I suspect that Brize would also be able to accomodate them.
Indeed, Brize has handled B-52's in the past. Room wise I doubt they could accomodate a deployment now though.

Last edited by MichaelBuckle; 27th Sep 2009 at 21:03.
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Old 5th Oct 2009, 20:21
  #35 (permalink)  
 
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Bentwaters & Woodbridge all have both types of electric sockets (British & American) in the buildings on base.

- Graham,
Bentwaters Cold War Museum
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Old 3rd Nov 2010, 22:50
  #36 (permalink)  
 
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Drawdown date been and gone without a word here (and nothing in media).

Anyone know if Fairford is now fully non-uniformed? I notice their METAR comes and goes these days, if that means anything.

Had some happy days in the bowling alley there in years gone by. Always sad to see a military community disappear.

KP
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Old 3rd Nov 2010, 23:02
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I understand that their was a U2 changover at Fairford last week, maybe even one Dragon Lady went tech on departure and RTBd.
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Old 4th Nov 2010, 02:11
  #38 (permalink)  
 
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NA,

You can follow that U-2 returning to Fairford on this animation.

http://i54.tinypic.com/qn31hk.gif

From

FighterControl • Home to the Military Aviation Enthusiast • Login

FighterControl • Home to the Military Aviation Enthusiast • Index page

TJ
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Old 24th Nov 2018, 14:02
  #39 (permalink)  
 
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Fairford to have 95th RS and Molesworth is safe

After a few years since this thread was active, thought I would update it with the following press release links to the 95th RS from the 'hall relocating to Fairford from the 'Hall long with the 488th Intel Squadron.

https://www.501csw.usafe.af.mil/News...-raf-fairford/

and Molesworth is here to stay..

https://www.itv.com/news/anglia/2018...dgeshire-base/

cheers
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