Primarily for general aviation discussion, but other aviation topics are also welcome.
#1801370
Because the economy and local colour of East Anglia is dependent on it.

Because the ATSU will provide a radar generated traffic service (called 'Basic') right down to short final on neighbouring grass strips if asked.

Because the skies of East Anglia feature some lovely and interesting aircraft.

Because there have been American Air Force people around since 1943 and we'd miss them

Rob P
Last edited by Rob P on Thu Oct 08, 2020 7:35 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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#1801380
Rob P wrote:Because the economy and diversity of East Anglia is dependent on it.

Because the ATSU will provide a radar generated traffic service (called 'Basic') right down to short final on neighbouring grass strips if asked.

Because the skies of East Anglia feature some lovely and interesting aircraft.

Because there have been American Air Force people around since 1943 and we'd miss them

Rob P


Mildenhall closing would cost 300 UK civilian jobs according to west Suffolk council figures I just found. Drop in the ocean.
Lakenheath provides the ATSU, not Mildenhall.
Interesting aircraft maybe, but they are not lovely, they are weapons.
Yes I agree the American service people are good to have around, but again they wouldn't all be going, and Lakenheath is expanding.
#1801470
JAFO wrote:@lobstaboy I think that there are probably more than 300 jobs off base supported by the money the fine people of Mildenhall bring into the local economy.

I hardly think a KC135 is a weapon.


Sure, the 300 are directly employed on the base and presumably would have lost those jobs. But the off base money going into the local economy would have been more than made up for by the expansion at Lakenheath. As it is now with Mildenhall staying there will be a net positive to the local economy. I will grudgingly accept that's good, in those narrow terms.

My other reasons for thinking it's bad that Mildenhall is to stay open are political, so you'll have to speculate on them.

If the KC135 isn't a weapon to you then presumably you'll at least accept that it's 'military hardware'. Military hardware is not lovely, it's purposeful. We can be impressed by how well the designer and engineers have created something to meet that purpose, but wanting it in our skies for that reason is wrong imho.



Back to Marshall's - is it not the case that many of the apparently suitable locations wouldn't in fact work because the runways are not built to withstand the weight of the heavy stuff that Marshall's work on? That was one reason why Mildenhall was attractive and Wyton,say, wasn't.
#1801473
The effect on the local economy (and not just Mildenhall town's bars, shops etc) spreads far and wide.

There is a huge rental market in Bury: the cousins have a very generous monthly rental allowance off-base and local landlords take advantage of it.
They are good tenants (the sky drops in on them if they misbehave) and generally have fairly long (2-3+ years) rental contracts, which the landlords adore.

When we were between houses 4 years ago we rented for a year: The house was usually rented to US personnel but as the landlord was an ex colleague of mine we managed to negotiate a substantial reduction in rent for the year.......

Peter
#1801478
One of the DoD funding lines approved by Congress which Trump raided by Executive ''urgent National Security" Order (challenged in Federal Court, but he eventually won) to start building his Wall on the Mexican border was for improving facilities at Fairford for the RC135 Squadron now at Mildenhall. The work had actually started. I don't know if that contributed to the decision not to move USAF out of Mildenhall.
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By JAFO
#1801487
lobstaboy wrote:If the KC135 isn't a weapon to you then presumably you'll at least accept that it's 'military hardware'. Military hardware is not lovely, it's purposeful.


I will, of course, accept that it is military hardware. As to whether that can be lovely or not, well, we might have to disagree.
#1801493
There's fundamental problems with the move to Cranfield, actually several:

Runway length and strength - Cambridge is some 2,000 metres (LDA of 1,742m) which is only just enough some of the heavy metal they see and has a PCN of 50 vs. Cranfield which is circa 1,800m (1,672 LDA) and only a PCN of 30 - it's not long enough, nor strong enough. In previous development plans, Cranfield did envisage a runway extension however - but not strengthening of the whole runway.

Then there is migration of the workforce - a great number of the Marshall workforce live out to the north or east of the city where property prices are cheaper, towards say Bury and Newmarket. A commute from there to Cranfield will be a nightmare. The A14 is a nightmare. The normal attrition rate for such moves is fairly significant - very highly skilled and experienced individuals not prepared to move homes, move kid's schools etc. Marshall are probably assuming anyway a reduction of workforce by then regardless, but it would not be unreasonable to assume a 50%+ smaller workforce by the time this happens.

They would be better off actually migrating to where the primary 'customer' is based, i.e. Brize Norton - go the whole hog. Probably not an option on many fronts, but makes far more sense.
#1801496
Situated as it is right under the downwind leg for 29 my house gets a fair stream of military hardware over it when they are on westerlies: I must admit I love to see them: Especially the strings of blacked out C130s at dead of night.....

Over the 37 years we have been here we have seen some interesting stuff: more recently the Ospreys when the are doing extended circuits.

Even saw the Blackbird sneaking in under cover of dusk a few times in the 80s and 90s.

Like the USAAF liaison officer at Bentwaters once said to a colleague of mine who rang to complain when an A10 flew over Wayland Hospital where she was operating so low it made her jump and she dropped the knife into the patient's abdomen:
" well ma'am I sure am sorry about that but remember when you hear that sound you're listening to the sound of freedom".

(No patients were harmed: the knife fell onto a thick gauze abdominal pack).

Peter :wink:
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By Rob P
#1801522
kanga wrote: I don't know if that contributed to the decision not to move USAF out of Mildenhall.


I had always assumed it was Angela upsetting the man-child in some way.

Rob P
#1801541
[quote="Rob P"]Because the economy and local colour of East Anglia is dependent on it.

Because the ATSU will provide a radar generated traffic service (called 'Basic') right down to short final on neighbouring grass strips if asked.

Because the skies of East Anglia feature some lovely and interesting aircraft.

Because there have been American Air Force people around since 1943 and we'd miss them

Rob P[/quote]

Very true Rob for they do buy much locally I remember, as if it were just yesterday, selling a Tiger Moth G-AMES to Lt. William Douglas Jnr when he was based at Lakenheath. I was a bit annoyed as I used to fly it for fuel only but he did invite me to see The Thunderbirds Display.