Castle Eaton Parish Council


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RC-135 RIVET JOINT Approval for Mission Re-location to RAF Fairford

I am writing as the RAF Commander at RAF Fairford to let you know that the MoD has agreed to a United States request to relocate their RC-135 RIVET JOINT mission to RAF Fairford from its existing location at RAF Mildenhall in Suffolk. The United States Air Force (USAF) intent is for the relocation to take place by 2023 as part of the drawdown at RAF Mildenhall. In the region of 530 USAF personnel and 740 dependants will relocate to RAF Fairford. The numbers of personnel may fluctuate as the USAF plans mature and we will of course notify you of any significant changes.
RC-135 aircraft will use RAF Fairford as a Forward Operating Location and will deploy as required from the United States, as they currently do at RAF Mildenhall. Between zero and three RC-135 aircraft could be present at the base at any one time. Some infrastructure works at the base will be required as part of the relocation. This investment, together with the presence of USAF personnel and their families, is expected to bring substantial financial benefits to the local economy and local communities, and secures the US presence at the base.
The RC-135 RIVET JOINT mission is undertaken by the USAF 95th Reconnaissance Squadron and the 488th Intelligence Squadron. The aircraft is a dedicated electronic surveillance aircraft that can be employed in all theatres on strategic and tactical missions. The Royal Air Force also operates RC-135 aircraft.
RAF Fairford's status as a Forward Operating Location for USAF strategic aircraft remains unchanged. The base will continue to host regular deployments by USAF strategic aircraft.
MoD officials will continue to engage with Local Authorities and Parish Councils as the USAF plans mature. RAF Fairford is planning to host a briefing evening in January 2019 and you will be notified of the date as soon as it is confirmed. If you have any specific queries or concerns, please let us know in advance so that they can be addressed in the January briefing.


You may be aware that RAF Fairford has a tanoy system (called the "Giant Voice") which is used to relay messages across the base during times of emergency.
To ensure the system is working correctly, the base is introducing a monthly test of the Giant Voice system which will then take place routinely on the first Thursday of each month. The test will take place around 10:30 to 11:00am and will start with the words "Test Test Test" before going on to make a number of noises with different tones, and will finish with the words "test concluded'.
RAF Fairford sincerely hopes that the monthly test will not be intrusive to local residents.



For many years we have been waiting for BT to upgrade its service to Castle Eaton and provide faster broadband. UK Broadband Ltd, in partnership with SBC has now installed a mast to supply wireless broadband to the village. This mast is now live and a high-speed broadband service can be installed and supplied by a number of companies, including Voneus. For more information about wireless broadband click here and for more information about Voneus click here.

A commercial company, Gigaclear, is providing a fibre service in Gloucestershire and is planning to extend this to Castle Eaton in 2018. For more information click here



There has already been communication about this and lots of articles in the local press.
Swindon Borough Council (SBC) wish to transfer to Parish Councils some of the services they have traditionally provided, to allow them to meet the spiraling costs of Social Care. This would mean that Parish Councils would need to raise their precepts (the amount paid to them annually by SBC) to cover the costs of providing these services. Obviously, for very small Parish Councils like Castle Eaton, this is not easy.
Negotiations are on-going, but it is getting to the point of ‘if the Parish Council does not take this on, it will no longer be provided’!
Castle Eaton Parish Council has agreed in principle to take on extra grass & hedge cutting, emptying litter bins and minor street cleaning. A current stumbling block is the disposal of fly-tipping, which the Parish Council is simply not equipped to do. Also, further information has been requested on maintaining public footpaths.


Castle Eaton Parish Council was fortunate to receive a considerable amount of money from a solar park developer, which has to be spent according to strict rules. So far, projects have been funded for the Village Hall and also for the Childrens’ Play Area.

The fund is still open and proposals are requested from residents on tangible projects that will give benefits to the community.




Last updated 12 February 2019. © Castle Eaton Parish Council 2017