South Northants MP Andrea Leadsom is delighted by The Penatgon’s ‘resounding vote of confidence’ in the region after its decision to shift more than 1,200 personnel to RAF Croughton.
The former bomber base, which is now fully operated by the USAF, will welcome intelligence operatives from RAF bases Alconbury and Molesworth.
It will result in the loss of 200 jobs at the Cambridgeshire bases but is estimated to save the USAF $74 million (£49 milllion) each year.
This could signify a boost for the local economy as the new wave of personnel use shops and restaurants in their leisure time.
Mrs Leadsom said: “This is excellent news. I’m delighted at the new investment in the base in Croughton, reinforcing its position as a key landmark of South Northamptonshire.
“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.”
Councillor Mary Clarke, leader of South Northants Council, 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 to try and ensure as smooth a transition as possible.”
The USAF says the consolidation will improve its efficiency and allow The Pentagon to meet mission requirements in a cost-effective way.
General Frank Gorenc said: ”The RAF Croughton site ensures continuation of the strong US intelligence relationship with the UK and will result in an exponential increase in US-NATO intelligence collaboration efforts.
“The consolidation at RAF Croughton will realise savings of approximately $74 million each year, with a return on investment of approximately four years.”