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

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Reach1985
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Re: RAF Mildenhall to close. Lakenheath to get F-35 by 2020

Post by Reach1985 » Thu Jul 30, 2020 10:18 am

There has been a few discussions on here regarding Prestwick, Belfast etc. & some docs were recently shared - perhaps on another topic I can’t remember.

As far as I am aware Prestwick have worked very hard PR wise to attract the USAF custom especially ANG & AF reserve units transiting east (none critical missions) & they have probably been given very attractive landing fees.

I think the positives are that they are both geographically well suited as well as being open 24/7 which FFD & Mildenhall are not (due to good neighbour policies and quiet hours etc.).

I can’t see this changing anytime soon so I wouldn’t expect any increase in traffic anytime soon.

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

Post by page_verify » Thu Jul 30, 2020 10:27 am

CHINOOKER, the quick answer USAF pilots give to your point over on the Base Ops forum is that the using commercial airports and hotels, and buying commercial fuel, costs the same as using the military equivalents given the preagreed contract DoD rates . However, airports like Prestwick, they say, have far better opening hours, availability of accommodation, and turnaround times. E.g. "The ones who have routinely put me into Mildenhall when no billeting or contract billeting exists?". Making Fairford available to all and any transient aircraft is unaffordable in its current role.

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

Post by graham luxton » Thu Jul 30, 2020 10:49 am

Agree with pv. Also, was told by one crew that civil airports were the preferred option by many, as there were no military rules and regs to make life harder!

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

Post by CHINOOKER » Thu Jul 30, 2020 12:07 pm

P.V....Thanks for your reply....I didn't know that the DoD had negotiated favourable rates with these airports. Thanks for the info,makes a bit more sense now!

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

Post by skysearcher » Thu Jul 30, 2020 1:31 pm

AM I right in thinking the SecDefs statement and associated plans still have to obtain political clearances in both house and senate? if so this is not a done deal yet?

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

Post by page_verify » Thu Jul 30, 2020 2:11 pm

No easy answer. Was this a SecDef statement or was it simply EUCOM moving some of the assets under its command around within its theatre? I'm sure the reason the announcement about Mildenhall referred to the tankers and special ops was partly because EUCOM has no authority over the RC-135s.

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

Post by skysearcher » Thu Jul 30, 2020 3:19 pm

Thanks Page - I've now seen a stripes article suggesting there could be a challenge to this plan in congress, as some law-makers have attempted to put restraints on trump's ability to pull troops from Germany without further oversight... interesting to see how this plays out.

https://www.stripes.com/news/europe/maj ... s-1.639217

Snoop 95
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Re: RAF Mildenhall to close. Lakenheath to get F-35 by 2020

Post by Snoop 95 » Thu Jul 30, 2020 3:46 pm

Nothing in the press about it yet either, which does make me uneasy.

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

Post by Fives » Thu Jul 30, 2020 4:54 pm

Looks like this thread could run to One Hundred pages, lol.

Reach1985
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Re: RAF Mildenhall to close. Lakenheath to get F-35 by 2020

Post by Reach1985 » Thu Jul 30, 2020 5:32 pm

Either way I think moving the 480FS & draw down of Spang Is probably a done deal. Which would in theory secure Mildenhall’s future.

The ‘big ticket’ item in the drawdown is really the 2nd Cavalry - which is as far as I can tell the only ‘war fighting’ unit based in Germany after V Corps was dispanded in 2013 including 170th & 172nd infantry by my reckoning that leaves just the 173rd Airborne as the only Brigade Combat Team (BCT) in Europe. That’s got to hurt the top brass in the army.

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

Post by andrewn » Thu Jul 30, 2020 6:07 pm

Reach1985 wrote:
Thu Jul 30, 2020 5:32 pm
Either way I think moving the 480FS & draw down of Spang Is probably a done deal. Which would in theory secure Mildenhall’s future.

The ‘big ticket’ item in the drawdown is really the 2nd Cavalry - which is as far as I can tell the only ‘war fighting’ unit based in Germany after V Corps was dispanded in 2013 including 170th & 172nd infantry by my reckoning that leaves just the 173rd Airborne as the only Brigade Combat Team (BCT) in Europe. That’s got to hurt the top brass in the army.
On the Spang drawdown the rumours of its demise go way back, as far as the cold war peace dividend of the early 90's, and its always managed to hang on in there somehow, so you never know it may well cling on this time as well..

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

Post by Spitfire88 » Thu Jul 30, 2020 6:20 pm

They haven’t said they are closing Spangdahlem just that they are moving the squadron, safe bet would be on it being used for deployments on a regular basis.

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

Post by page_verify » Thu Jul 30, 2020 7:11 pm

There's a bit of a terminology gap here. The US doesn't keep bases in other countries open or close them, that's for the host nation to do. The US may withdraw all of its assets from a base and then hand it back to the host nation - what it may do at Spang. But Spang is a German base and for Germany to close if it wants to after the US has withdrawn. But the US doesn't announce the closure of bases outside of the US itself (despite what the media may think they heard the US say).

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RJ79
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Re: RAF Mildenhall to close. Lakenheath to get F-35 by 2020

Post by RJ79 » Thu Jul 30, 2020 9:06 pm

My own thoughts are it will go the same way as Bitburg (just up the road), that's in a bit of a state these days with not a massive amount going on. There is nothing for miles around, basically it's in the a*se end of nowhere! I can't see why the US would keep it for deployments, by the sounds of it the Poles are cosying up to them and they would head further East. It's not as if it's got a USP either like Fairford for the Bomber Task Force and given the German's reluctance to spend money they are unlikely to take it on.
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graham luxton
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Re: RAF Mildenhall to close. Lakenheath to get F-35 by 2020

Post by graham luxton » Thu Jul 30, 2020 10:46 pm

Another of Spangdahlem's roles is supporting REACH flights which Ramstein is unable to handle. In peacetime, reduced troop numbers may mean this additional capability will no longer be needed but retaining it on standby status would be an insurance in case Germany had to be re-enforced in a hurry.

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

Post by Snoop 95 » Fri Jul 31, 2020 6:12 am

Still no official announcement, which is a bit unsettling. I suppose this decision has to be run by interested parties like our MoD and the local MP (who is a bit busy as he is the Health Sec!).

Reach1985
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Re: RAF Mildenhall to close. Lakenheath to get F-35 by 2020

Post by Reach1985 » Fri Jul 31, 2020 7:31 am

graham luxton wrote:
Thu Jul 30, 2020 10:46 pm
Another of Spangdahlem's roles is supporting REACH flights which Ramstein is unable to handle. In peacetime, reduced troop numbers may mean this additional capability will no longer be needed but retaining it on standby status would be an insurance in case Germany had to be re-enforced in a hurry.
My guess is that something along these lines will happen. Indeed if troop numbers are reduced the number of REACH flights will be reduced too one would assume. I can see it being used a la Fairford (in the old days) w/ no based Flying units but an Air Base Wing/Group to manage the day to day & support transiting flights as well as possible rotational fighter wing deployments.

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

Post by thevulcan » Fri Jul 31, 2020 8:09 am

Another article still interesting how stay in the UK is the wording and not stay at mildenhall. Also nothing was said about the base not closing in the speech just that the personnel and squadrons will remain in the UK.
https://www.newmarketjournal.co.uk/news ... k-9117909/

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

Post by welshandy » Fri Jul 31, 2020 8:36 am

No way am I an expert on these matters,but assume that Mildenhall has a large fuel storage facility to service the Tankers. If they are moved elsewhere in the UK that would have be replicated(installed) at the chosen Base. Slightly off topic,with the F16's moving to Aviano, are they going to become part of the 31st FW?

Spitfire88
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Re: RAF Mildenhall to close. Lakenheath to get F-35 by 2020

Post by Spitfire88 » Fri Jul 31, 2020 8:52 am

welshandy wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 8:36 am
No way am I an expert on these matters,but assume that Mildenhall has a large fuel storage facility to service the Tankers. If they are moved elsewhere in the UK that would have be replicated(installed) at the chosen Base. Slightly off topic,with the F16's moving to Aviano, are they going to become part of the 31st FW?
That’s correct yes, the only other option is Fairford which is an ex tanker base anyway and already has kc135 hangars and a very large fuel store plus piped in fuel. But of course the may remain at the Hall but until it’s stated otherwise it’s still due to close in 2027.

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