31 July 2020
RAF Mildenhall: Reprieve for US air base destined to close
BBC News


RAF Mildenhall, pictured, had been due to close by 2027

Plans to close a US Air Force (USAF) base have been scrapped.

RAF Mildenhall in Suffolk had been due to shut in 2027, but has now been deemed "crucial to operational efficiency" of US forces in Europe.

The decision follows President Donald Trump's announcement of the withdrawal of almost 12,000 troops from Germany.

USAF Capt Shelley Spreier said the decision to keep RAF Mildenhall open was part of "the adjustments to our US troop presence".

The closure of the station was first announced in 2015 and was originally due to shut in 2023, but that date was pushed back to 2027.

The move would have resulted in more than 500 USAF personnel and their families relocating to RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire.

Between them Suffolk's RAF Lakenheath, Mildenhall and Feltwell employ more than 12,000 US and UK nationals

Capt Spreier said: "There are currently no plans to close RAF Mildenhall."

She added the Office of the Secretary of Defence had been working with Congress "and our Nato and European allies and partners on the adjustments to our US troop presence in Europe and has determined the positioning and operations of RAF Mildenhall are crucial to operational efficiency".

President Trump said the decision to move troops out of Germany was in response to it failing to meet Nato targets on defence spending.


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