May 15th, 2006 12:24 EST
U.S. Navy Rolls Back Access to Two British Military Bases
Washington – As part of the ongoing restructuring of U.S. military forces in Europe, the Defense Department has announced plans to pull 165 U.S. and civilian employees from two British air bases in summer 2006.
The commander in chief of the U.S. Naval Forces in Europe prompted the decision by indicating that his forces no longer need access to the Royal Air Force (RAF) Eastcote and need less of a presence at Royal Air Force West Ruislip in the United Kingdom.
A May 15 Defense Department news release says U.S. Navy operations at Eastcote will cease by the end of June, with all facilities currently in use returned to the RAF by October 1. The decision affects 103 U.S. military and civilian employees and another 38 British workers. The Defense Department estimates this decision will save $400,000 annually.
Reductions of U.S. naval operations at West Ruislip will save $1 million annually through 2008 and even more beginning in 2009, according to Pentagon budget projections. This decision will affect 95 British employees and 62 Americans.
These changes are part of a broader transformation being carried out by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in the United States as well as around the globe. (See related article.)
They are expected to save $10 million annually and are part of the wider U.S. military effort designed to save almost $50 billion over two decades. (See related article.)
Additional information about military transformation is available on the Defense Department’s Web site.
For more information about U.S. policy, see International Security.