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USAF pulling out of Fairford

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USAF pulling out of Fairford

Old 15th Sep 2009, 16:29
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USAF pulling out of Fairford

BBC NEWS | UK | England | Gloucestershire | US Air Force to pull out of base

RAF Fairford is to stand down to a "care and maintenance" state next year as the USAF pulls out. The RIAT will continue to use Fairford.

Now wouldn't it have been cheaper to move Lyneham planes there instead of spending 's at Brize.
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Old 15th Sep 2009, 16:42
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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.
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Old 15th Sep 2009, 17:10
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vernon99 said:

Now wouldn't it have been cheaper to move Lyneham planes there instead of spending 's at Brize
As well as that, what about the squillions that must have been spent on all that runway resurfacing, ASP and hangar construction a few years ago at FFD!

Maybe our US cousins are as bad as us at wasting their defence budget!
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Old 15th Sep 2009, 18:46
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Nice idea but ....

The news article talks about it remaining an active field (unlike Woodbridge and Bentwaters) capable of reactivation at 24-48hrs notice (which, to be honest, as I understand it is not much different to what it is now). I guess when Uncle Sam wishes to do a bit more expeditionary policing it won't want to find its airbase covered in C130 / A400 (ho, ho) / C17 etc, all its hangars full of hangar queens, the BX replaced by a SPAR etc. It will require a lot of care and maintenance to continue to host RIAT mind.

Besides it would cost the MOD far too much money to deactivate the Burger King, bowling alley, cinema, baseball diamond, golf course....

Good option for a bolthole when Brize isn't ready on time though!
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Old 15th Sep 2009, 19:18
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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.
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Old 15th Sep 2009, 19:25
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"The plan is to pull out all uniformed staff from the base by September 2010". So just un-uniformed personnel then?
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Old 15th Sep 2009, 19:35
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Does it matter? In my experience, most Americans are uninformed anyway.
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Old 15th Sep 2009, 20:03
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Yup, it will be civvie contract staffed.

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.
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Old 15th Sep 2009, 20:06
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As I understand it, it means all uniformed American (Military) employees will be dispersed to other locations (which can be recalled in 24-48 hours for Fairford to be activated). The base will now be maintained by the remaining non-uniform (Civilian - Mainly British) employees. However up to 100 civilians will sadly also loose their jobs as part of this cut.

As Wrathmonk says, the activation time isn't much longer than the current time.

Fairford will remain the host to RIAT and also Deployed Operations Training Exercise.

Mike
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Old 15th Sep 2009, 22:27
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Fairford Future use?

Bad news for those who work there and may loose there jobs.

Given that RAF Lyneham is to close in 2011/12 and Brize will be very busy, if Fairford is to continue to be maintained, why not use it as the base for the repatriation of those British personnel killed on ops?
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Old 15th Sep 2009, 22:34
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Fairfords buildings will be maintained by civilians. However there will be no-one on base to man Air Traffic Control and there will be very limited Fire support (not enough to handle a C-17). So for Fairford to handle aircraft, they will need to call in a large amount of people from various locations for various jobs to handle an aircraft.

I imagine Brize will take repatriations back when Lyneham closes, not sure what will happen to MEDA then though...

Mike
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Old 16th Sep 2009, 07:20
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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.

Thought it be more important for the Pentagon to keep bases in the UK for a number of reasons and not for the half to a century agreement(s) but more that the UK is a trusted ally.

Ok say for example the above went then what would happen to say support for Menwith Hill go as it comes under the 501st at Alconbury.

Molesworth is pretty important as it is as well as MH.
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Old 16th Sep 2009, 08:06
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We used Fairford for 3* and 4* squadrons when the C130K entered service. A certain supersonic airliner was also based there for testing. Happy days.
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Old 16th Sep 2009, 17:49
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Don't the Americans now have bases and/or agreements with East European and muslim countries of the former USSR. With that in place they are now closer to conflict zones than being in blighty. I don't know if there is a need to stop for refuelling in the UK or can they reach Frankfurt instead when transiting from the US.
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Old 16th Sep 2009, 18:01
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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.
Most USAF-occupied bases are dual-voltage with outlets for both 110 and 220. The 110 system running on internal transformer to the building, so there is no "conversion" - simply disconnect the transformer and leave the 110 outlets unused. Alternatively, you can run virtually all computer equipment and many other electronics on 110 saving your 220 outlets for UK-spec equipment. There's not much to it, really.
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Old 16th Sep 2009, 20:47
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Guess Obama has other ideas about the Strategic power base and the 'special relationship'.

When will that Scots wretch have the grace to step down before he does any more damage to this once great nation?
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Old 16th Sep 2009, 21:30
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How long before the Belvedere plan gets exhumed and some beancounter says "Fairford would be a great SH Superbase......"

Mind you, if they kept the BX open!

Much better idea - forget all the nonsense of C130s at BZN, move them to FFD. While you're at it, close that ghastly Movers' themepark at South Cerney and put it there too!
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Old 17th Sep 2009, 05:31
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Or just take the sensible option, and keep Lyneham open saving all the time, money, hassle and disruption of personel and operations moving both C-130 fleets from an established, dedicated operating base?
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Old 17th Sep 2009, 07:11
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Too late for that, they have already spent a fortune concreting over Brize Norton! But keeping Lyneham open would have been cheaper, at a time when money is scarce. Ok in 10-20 years time, it might start to be marginally more expensive, but hopefully the economy will be better by then.
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Old 17th Sep 2009, 21:46
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or can they reach Frankfurt instead when transiting from the US.
I thought Rhein-Main was closed several years ago?
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