Update: RAF Mildenhall to close as Pentagon reveals plans to move assets to Germany

Airmen at RAF Mildenhall

Airmen at RAF Mildenhall - Credit: Gregg Brown

RAF Mildenhall US Air Force Base is set to close as part of a sweeping reorganisation, according to reports.

A USAF KC-135 tanker from RAF Mildenhall makes an approach into RAF Lakenheath. Photo: Simon Parker

A USAF KC-135 tanker from RAF Mildenhall makes an approach into RAF Lakenheath. Photo: Simon Parker - Credit: Archant

The US military news outlet, Stars and Stripes, reports that the Suffolk base, home to the USAF special operations forces, refueling tankers and 3,200 military personnel, will be moved to other locations such as Germany.

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RAF Mildenhall from above. PICTURE: ANDY ABBOTT

RAF Mildenhall from above. PICTURE: ANDY ABBOTT

Meanwhile, two squadrons of F-35s will now be relocated to RAF Lakenheath by 2020.

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The move will see RAF Mildenhall's 352nd Special Operations Wing move to Germany.

A spokesman for USAF said it would keep people in the local area informed, but that it could not comment until the review process - known as the European Infrastructure Consolidation (EIC) - was completed.

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'The European Infrastructure Consolidation process is still ongoing, with no final information available for release.

'The Secretary has approved recommendations he intends to move forward with, and the department is now coordinating efforts to finalize an execution strategy.

'This infrastructure consolidation will not affect our operational capabilities. The United States remains fully committed to European security and continued cooperation with our European Allies and partners in meeting our shared global interests.

'Because the process is still ongoing, it is inappropriate to speculate as to the final outcomes of the EIC,' he said.

An official announcement is expected this afternoon.

Two other US facilities in the UK - RAF Alconbury and Molesworth, will also close. Most of their missions will move to RAF Croughton.

A number of closures will also take place in Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy and Portugal.

The Pentagon expects to save $500m a year from the consolidations, which have been under review for more than a year.

Will you be affected by the closure? Email reporter Andrew Fitchett on andrew.fitchett@archant.co.uk or call 07584 503055.

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