RAF Croughton plans ‘could boost economy’

Plans to increase the number of US Air Force (USAF) personnel at RAF Croughton have been welcomed as ‘a boost for the local economy’.

Secretary of state for defence, Michael Fallon, announced last week around 1,300 people will be moving to the base as The Pentagon shifts intelligence from RAF Alconbury and Molesworth, resulting in the loss of 200 jobs. The changes are expected to save the USAF around £49 million a year.

The transition to RAF Croughton is expected to take at least seven years and will be accompanied by the construction of new facilities such as a clinic, dormitory, fitness centre, commissary and school, to serve 6,000 personnel.

First Lieutenant Alexis McGee, from public affairs, added: “With more than £275 million investment in the local community, the growth of RAF Croughton will bring new job opportunities and expanded infrastructure to the area.”

The USA wants to intensify RAF Croughton’s top secret information channelling role between America and the rest of the world.

South Northants Council leader, Mary Clarke said: “As well as considerable investment into the site itself, this move will also provide a considerable boost to the local economy.

“A lot of the detailed arrangements relating to the process of transfer are yet to emerge, but we have a long history of integrating servicemen and women from the United States into our district and as such are working closely with those at the base to understand what is involved and try to ensure as smooth a transition as possible.”

South Northants MP, Andrea Leadsom, said: “I’m delighted at the new investment at the base in Croughton, reinforcing its position as a key landmark of south Northants.

“The entire country should take pride in the US Government’s resounding vote of confidence in the UK. It shows – yet again – the huge importance which both countries attach to our relationship.”