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RAF Mildenhall airmen due to move to Germany to 'remain in the UK'




Thousands of airmen based at RAF Mildenhall who were due to move to Germany are to stay in the UK, the Pentagon has announced.

The plan was announced yesterday as part of a decision to move 11,900 US personnel from Germany with 6,400 returning to the United States and nearly 5,600 moved to other countries.

Mark Esper, US Secretary of Defense, said: "The 2,500 airmen based in Mildenhall, United Kingdom, who are responsible for aerial refueling and special operations, and who had been scheduled to rebase to Germany, will remain in the United Kingdom, thus ensuring the uninterrupted readiness and responsiveness of these units."

Six KC-135 Stratotankers of the 100th Air Refuelling Wing move on the taxiway at RAF Mildenhall..(Photo USAFStaff Sergeant Jeanette Copeland). (39502042)
Six KC-135 Stratotankers of the 100th Air Refuelling Wing move on the taxiway at RAF Mildenhall..(Photo USAFStaff Sergeant Jeanette Copeland). (39502042)

It follows a decision earlier this year to keep RAF Mildenhall open until 2027 ‘at the earliest'.

The base was previously scheduled to close in 2023.

Asked by the Newmarket Journal what the latest announcement meant for the future of RAF Mildenhall, a spokesman for the base reiterated Secretary Esper's comments.

They added: "There are currently no plans to close RAF Mildenhall."

Cllr John Griffiths, leader of West Suffolk Council, welcomed the move to keep the 2,500 airmen in the UK.

He said: “The service personnel of Mildenhall and Lakenheath are our friends and neighbours and not only important to our community but play a part in supporting the local economy too.

"As the base will remain open we, of course, will continue to welcome the 2,500 personnel based in Mildenhall, who are responsible for aerial refueling and special operations and will now remain in the UK , as they are an intrinsic and valued part of our local community.

"We look forward to continuing and developing further our close working relationship with all those involved in Mildenhall airbase and its future as this develops."