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RAF Mildenhall to close. Lakenheath to get F-35 by 2020

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Re: RAF Mildenhall to close. Lakenheath to get F-35 by 2020

Post by page_verify » Wed Jul 29, 2020 5:14 pm

Spitfire88 wrote:
Wed Jul 29, 2020 3:58 pm
Proteus wrote:
Wed Jul 29, 2020 3:55 pm
It would seem odd that the 135 infrastructure remains at Mildenhall and the RCs would go to Fairford.
Work has started on the RJs stuff at Fairford
Planning work, but not actual construction work.

Who's going to now approve $250m+ of upgrade work to move the capability to operate 1 or 2 aircraft away from a base that's been proving it's good enough for the last decade?
I suspect the $250m is more likely to be spent on upgrading Mildenhall now (although yes I know ACC was paying for the RJ move and USAFE would pay to upgrade Mildenhall).

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Re: RAF Mildenhall to close. Lakenheath to get F-35 by 2020

Post by 2e1var » Wed Jul 29, 2020 5:23 pm

Spitfire88 wrote:
Wed Jul 29, 2020 3:32 pm
Vulcan74 wrote:
Wed Jul 29, 2020 3:30 pm
I don't think it will all go to Fairford, imagine 5X B52's on detachment as well as the resident KC-135's, C130's, Ospreys, RC135's etc. Then the transiting aircraft from the states & back for night stop over's. There would be no space left for anything else!!
There’s over 80 bays at Fairford, lots of room
Doesn't seem to have many hangars and buildings and stuff though.
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Re: RAF Mildenhall to close. Lakenheath to get F-35 by 2020

Post by TankBuster » Wed Jul 29, 2020 5:41 pm

I just read this article on the subject. A very interesting read too.👍
https://www.airforcemag.com/u-s-to-end- ... m-germany/

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Re: RAF Mildenhall to close. Lakenheath to get F-35 by 2020

Post by Richard B » Wed Jul 29, 2020 6:19 pm

With Mildenhall staying open, do they really need Fairford.
The Hall can accommodate the role and cost saving of Fairford.

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Re: RAF Mildenhall to close. Lakenheath to get F-35 by 2020

Post by thevulcan » Wed Jul 29, 2020 6:29 pm

The issue with that Richard B would be the B2 facilities at fairford. As I don't think these can be replicated at mildenhall. I also believe fairford will be around for a while yet given the B21s are smaller then the B2's and so will be able to fit in the same hangars with ease.

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Re: RAF Mildenhall to close. Lakenheath to get F-35 by 2020

Post by johnwayne » Wed Jul 29, 2020 6:29 pm

thevulcan wrote:
Wed Jul 29, 2020 4:59 pm
I believe the RJ's will still move as there was some sort of issue with take off weight restrictions at mildenhall and fairfords runway is better suited?
You are correct - strengthening Fairford overrrun(s) to extend TORA (take off run available), planned for RC move but put on hold , enabled higher take off weights than currently possible at Mildenhall thus reducing need for 'top up' tanking after take off . Made sense with the Hall closing but now looks a costly luxury . :whistle:

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Re: RAF Mildenhall to close. Lakenheath to get F-35 by 2020

Post by Ian1963 » Wed Jul 29, 2020 7:00 pm

We love Mildenhall ya :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

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Re: RAF Mildenhall to close. Lakenheath to get F-35 by 2020

Post by CHINOOKER » Wed Jul 29, 2020 7:38 pm

Wonder if this means that Fairford may become busier with "transient" aircraft?. At present we have C-5s,C-17s and Herks etc transiting through Belfast/Prestwick and occasionally Cardiff. Maybe now Mildenhall's future is secured,the powers that be may be thinking of utilising both bases more often for these?. In the case of Fairford,it would keep ground crews/ATC staff etc occupied a little more than handling the one or two U2/RC movements each day!

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Re: RAF Mildenhall to close. Lakenheath to get F-35 by 2020

Post by graham luxton » Wed Jul 29, 2020 7:44 pm

CHINOOKER wrote:
Wed Jul 29, 2020 7:38 pm
Wonder if this means that Fairford may become busier with "transient" aircraft?. At present we have C-5s,C-17s and Herks etc transiting through Belfast/Prestwick and occasionally Cardiff. Maybe now Mildenhall's future is secured,the powers that be may be thinking of utilising both bases more often for these?. In the case of Fairford,it would keep ground crews/ATC staff etc occupied a little more than handling the one or two U2/RC movements each day!
Doubt if Fairford will gain anything out of this at all. Reckon It'll be business as usual!

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Re: RAF Mildenhall to close. Lakenheath to get F-35 by 2020

Post by KyleG » Wed Jul 29, 2020 8:28 pm

Mildenhall and Fairford both have a heap of different reasons why they're useful, looking at it as a case of if you close one then you'll save money is too simple.

Mildenhall has all the infrastructure for supporting C-135s, C-130s and V-22s as well as the regular transport flights. Fairford might have the physical room, but all of that would have to be rebuilt there - hangars, maintenance facilities, crew rooms, operations facilities, cargo handling (I know Fairford handles cargo flights too, but it can't really compare to the volume that Mildenhall gets).

Then the other way around, Fairford has the facilities to support intensive bomber operations as well as the almost unique ability to handle the B-2's specific needs. It might be empty a lot of the time, but that's the point of it. If it was suddenly completely filled with former Mildenhall aircraft its ability to act as a forward base for strategic bombers would suffer.

The RC-135s might (saying this just in theory) still move regardless of the facilities being existent at Mildenhall already because if those more in depth facilities are required the aircraft can simply be moved there, the RC fleet isn't a stranger to operating from all kinds of far flung bases.

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Re: RAF Mildenhall to close. Lakenheath to get F-35 by 2020

Post by Knife 04 » Wed Jul 29, 2020 10:47 pm

graham luxton wrote:
Wed Jul 29, 2020 7:44 pm
CHINOOKER wrote:
Wed Jul 29, 2020 7:38 pm
Wonder if this means that Fairford may become busier with "transient" aircraft?. At present we have C-5s,C-17s and Herks etc transiting through Belfast/Prestwick and occasionally Cardiff. Maybe now Mildenhall's future is secured,the powers that be may be thinking of utilising both bases more often for these?. In the case of Fairford,it would keep ground crews/ATC staff etc occupied a little more than handling the one or two U2/RC movements each day!
Doubt if Fairford will gain anything out of this at all. Reckon It'll be business as usual!
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Re: RAF Mildenhall to close. Lakenheath to get F-35 by 2020

Post by Stewyb1 » Wed Jul 29, 2020 11:39 pm

This thread has disintegrated in to a mine is bigger than yours. Suggest everyone just waits and sees!

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Re: RAF Mildenhall to close. Lakenheath to get F-35 by 2020

Post by Thunder » Wed Jul 29, 2020 11:48 pm

Looks like the savings are going to made through the run down and possibly the eventual closure of Spangdahlem.

I remember reading an article back in the mid 90’s, which stated back then that the US would rather sacrifice everything in Germany before the UK, due to the various limitations placed on them by the German Government.

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Re: RAF Mildenhall to close. Lakenheath to get F-35 by 2020

Post by the concerned » Thu Jul 30, 2020 4:26 am

Quite a few years ago there was a failed planning application at mildenhall to buy the land where the road goes round the back of beck row and west row. This was with extending the runway in mind I wonder if they will try again. They did offer to relocate the road.

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Re: RAF Mildenhall to close. Lakenheath to get F-35 by 2020

Post by page_verify » Thu Jul 30, 2020 6:09 am

There seems to be some risk of over-interpreting the announcement;

The announcement said the tankers and special ops aren’t leaving the UK.

It didn’t say Mildenhall would close, it didn’t say Fairford would close.

It didn’t say any thing at Mildenhall will change, it didn’t say anything at Fairford will change.

Unless the USAF budget, rather than the EUCOM strategy, says anything will change then nothing will change. Until then, we don’t have any reason to believe anything will change at Mildenhall or Fairford.

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Re: RAF Mildenhall to close. Lakenheath to get F-35 by 2020

Post by RJ79 » Thu Jul 30, 2020 6:14 am

There was also the comment of everything changing should there be a change of President (Biden making friends with Germany again). It’s not all as cut and dried as it may originally sound.
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Re: RAF Mildenhall to close. Lakenheath to get F-35 by 2020

Post by page_verify » Thu Jul 30, 2020 7:05 am

Indeed, and we'll known when changes are planned because they'll be announced.

Even the media is speculating as all that's been officially released is that "the 2,500 airmen based in Mildenhall, United Kingdom, who are responsible for aerial refueling and special operations, and who had been scheduled to rebase to Germany, will remain in the United Kingdom, thus ensuring the uninterrupted readiness and responsiveness of these units." Does that mean they'll stay at Mildenhall or move to another base in the UK? We don't know, it doesn't say.

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Re: RAF Mildenhall to close. Lakenheath to get F-35 by 2020

Post by Reach1985 » Thu Jul 30, 2020 7:52 am

I’ve read Dr Esper’s speech the key word for me as regards Mildenhall is “uninterrupted” Which suggests that there will be no change in the current basing.

And remember Dr Esper visited Mildenhall just a few weeks ago. No doubt to give them the good news.

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Re: RAF Mildenhall to close. Lakenheath to get F-35 by 2020

Post by RJ79 » Thu Jul 30, 2020 9:08 am

I think the only thing that may change (IMO) is the closure of the facilities at Stuttgart and move to Belgium, billions on moving this to spite the Germans isn't the brightest of ideas. One squadron at Spang is pointless and the move to Aviano is sensible though. It was never a smart move to stick your special forces in a place where you can't go low level, though I thought the 100 ARW was slated to move to Ramstein and not Spang? Lets hope Mildenhall gets a cut of the Spang budget and gets a really good facility upgrade (that it apparently needs)
Cheers,

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Re: RAF Mildenhall to close. Lakenheath to get F-35 by 2020

Post by CHINOOKER » Thu Jul 30, 2020 9:24 am

With regard to my post above,if I were a "bean counter" within the DoD,I would be asking questions as to why we were paying landing fees/transport and hotel costs at civilian airports,when we have readily available facilities of our own,down the road. I thought that some of the decisions made with regard to the DoD report,was not just about moving equipment and personnel around,but saving Uncle Sam a load of$$$$$.
As for transient flights throug Fairford,they seem to cope easily with the regular Embassy C-17 flight,so why would it be that difficult to handle the odd aircraft,when required??

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