Posted on November 19, 2018
From RAF Fairford the USAF personnel, part of the 95th Reconnaissance Squadron and the 488th Intelligence Squadron, will provide the support mission for the RC-135 surveillance aircraft. The base is already the only European base for American heavy bombers. The move was announced by Defence minister Tobias Ellwood. He said: “For more than a hundred years now our armed forces have fought in defence of our common values and interests. Our two countries have developed the deepest, broadest and most advanced defence relationship of any two nations. “The agreement to relocate the United States Rivet Joint capability to RAF Fairford cements US presence at the base and will bring substantial benefits to Gloucestershire and local communities.” As part of the relocation – which will involve flight crew, maintenance, intelligence analysts and communications personnel – there will be some infrastructure work and the MoD has said it is expected to bring “financial benefits”. The Cotswolds MP Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown said: “The presence of over 1,200 personnel and dependents to the area will bring substantial financial benefits to the local economy and our local community.” RAF Mildenhall is home to more than 3,000 personnel as well as another 1,000 dependents and USAF Europe estimates the base has a £230.73m economic impact on the local area.