Mar 20, 2014

RAF Lakenheath recommended for closure in report commissioned by US government

The future of RAF Lakenheath is up in the air as a report commissioned by the US Government has recommended it for closure.
The report by thinktank RAND Corporation has suggested a range of cost-cutting measures in Europe to the US Department of Defense, including the closure of RAF Lakenheath.
Another option is moving the resident 48th Fighter Wing squadron to another air base and keeping RAF Lakenheath as an intelligence and communications centre.
In its current state RAF Lakenheath costs the USAF around $211 million per year to run.
The report also suggests relocating some forces from nearby RAF Mildenhall but the base would remain open and continue to host the 100th Refuelling Wing.
RAF Lakenheath and RAF Mildenhall contribute an estimated £500 million annually to the local economy and residents are concerns about the impact the potential closure.
A spokesperson for RAF Lakenheath said they were unable to comment on the report.
It was revealed last month that thousands of troops could leave both USAF bases this year as part of the US government’s sequestration programme which aims to reduce the number of global staff by 25,000 in the next five years.
Lakenheath is home to 5,000 servicement and women and 2,000 civilians, and Mildenhall to 3,000 military and more than 3,500 civilians.

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