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Goodbye Mildenhall

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http://www.defense.gov/Releases/Release.aspx?ReleaseID=17097

Highlights

DoD Announces European Infrastructure Consolidation Actions and F-35 Basing in Europe

[...] RAF Lakenheath, UK, was selected as the first location in Europe to host the F-35. [...] The first aircraft are scheduled to arrive at RAF Lakenheath in 2020. [...] The DoD has concluded the Lajes streamlining process should continue, and is expected to complete by the fall of 2015. [...] In Italy, the DoD will add approximately 200 military positions, after the 606th Air Control Squadron relocates there from Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany. In Portugal, there will be a decrease of approximately 500 U.S. military and civilian personnel at Lajes Field in the Azores, necessary for our consolidation efforts in Europe. [...]

United Kingdom • Divest RAF Mildenhall [...] the assigned KC-135s and the 352nd Special Operations Wing to Germany, and the assigned RC-135s within the U.K. This consolidation paves the way for the stationing of two squadrons of F-35s at RAF Lakenheath, starting in 2020. • Divest RAF Alconbury/RAF Molesworth [...]

Germany • Close Mainz Kastel Station [...] • Relocate HQs DISA-Europe from Stuttgart to Kaiserslautern. [...] • Close commissaries at Illesheim and Sembach, as well as the four commissaries in Stuttgart at Kelley Barracks, Patch Barracks, Panzer Barracks and Robinson Barracks, once a new replacement store on Panzer is constructed. [...]

Belgium • Divest Leased Site in Brussels [...]

The Netherlands • Divest Shinnen Emma Mine Leased Site, Netherlands and consolidate U.S. facilities at Brunssum.

Italy [...] • Partially close Camp Darby near Livorno. [...] • Convert the Vicenza Health Center to outpatient and specialty care only.

Portugal • [...] Reduces [Americans at Lajes Field] by two-thirds. [...]

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My God Daughter was born there, I remember launching every -135 we had for Eldorado Canyon, I remember having to sign in girls to the Galaxy club, I remember Hog Call ( dance at the Bob Hope rec center every Wed night), remember never getting to tired of seeing a SR-71 takeoff, remember the MX Sq CC getting pissed during a dorm shake down of finding more Brit women living there than his own troops. The Bird in hand, Smoke House , all crawling distance back to billeting. All my TDY's there. Started to believe in ghosts from stuff I could not explain on the flightline. It was my home away from home. The green grass on the hardstands after rotating out with your jet from the AOR.

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Moldyhole was a great place to cut one's teeth on the KC-135. Constant crosswinds, low-vis, and a short runway (for the tanker), all make for an excellent breeding ground for competent tanker pilots. The "Bloody Hundredth's" lineage will also be less meaningful in Germany. That said, having lived in both Germany, and England, I'm envious of the new generation of tanker bubbas who will get to experience all Deutschland has to offer. Please just remember to toast your Square D predecessors with a room temperature pint of Old Speckled Hen on occasion.

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What about the Smokehouse?

Long gone, unfortunately. The whole building was demolished 8-ish (?) years ago....

Perhaps that's why they're closing the base?

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http://www.defense.gov/transcripts/transcript.aspx?transcriptid=5562

PERFORMING THE DUTIES OF ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF DEFENSE JOHN CONGER: The largest installation that is part of this announcement is our return of RAF Mildenhall to the UK. Approximately 3,200 U.S. personnel from Mildenhall will be re-stationed elsewhere. This move will be partially offset by the addition of about 1,200 personnel that will support the F-35s being stationed in RAF Lakenheath. Both of these events will occur in the 2018 to 2021 timeframe. There are a number of divestitures that will be occurring, but this is the largest example. [...] Approximately 1,200 U.S. military and civilian support positions will be eliminated and about 6,000 more U.S. personnel will be relocated within Europe. Up to 1,100 host nation positions could also be eliminated and approximately 1,500 additional Europeans working for the U.S. could end up being impacted over the next several years as many of their positions are relocated to areas we need to maintain for the long term. [...]

Q: [...] does the department believe that this process will strengthen its hand politically in going back next -- or going back this year with the budget and asking for BRAC again? Because you'll be able to say, "We've consolidated the infrastructure in Europe, now we want to turn our attention to the United States"?

MR. CONGER: I think so. I think that's a fair statement. Congress has raised several issues with regard to BRAC in the past, one of which was ‘please look at what your excess is overseas before you start looking at the domestic installations again.’ This was in part in response to that. And I think it was a responsible effort that we can go back to Congress with.

Edited by deaddebate

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EGUN: home of the AF's worst fuel servicing for transient aircraft. There are a few civilian ATOC employees that I suspect will be looking for different careers due to this move.

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Long gone, unfortunately. The whole building was demolished 8-ish (?) years ago....

Perhaps that's why they're closing the base?

Too bad - many a hazy post and pre Died memories (I think) were had there. Preferred getting off-base in Cambridge but that was not often.

Last time I took a USAF aircraft there - it was Prestwick - out of the way but nice.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Edited by Clark Griswold

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Too bad - many a hazy post and pre Died memories (I think) were had there. Preferred getting off-base in Cambridge but that was not often.

Last time I took a USAF aircraft there - it was Prestwick - out of the way but nice.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Stayed at the Holiday inn in Cambridge, great pub not far from there called the Eagle, just across the street from Kings College Cathedral, good place to see all the RAF history on the walls just enjoying a pint. Also stay at the Sheraton at Gatwick, PHHHHHH!

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I like the surrounding area (especially Cambridge, the Eagle, etc) but EGUN had the worst support of anywhere I've ever been. Even Hickam. Maybe now we (tankers) can leverage going to Prestwick, ETAR, Lajes, Moron, or pretty much anywhere else a little easier.

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Now you'll get to deal with gateway's terrible radio. Your 20 min out call will only be heard once you are in the chocks. Enjoy.

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Now you'll get to deal with gateway's terrible radio. Your 20 min out call will only be heard once you are in the chocks. Enjoy.

So like the Deid? Except I bet we won't wait 1-2 hours after landing for a parking spot.

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