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
SERVICES FROM SWINDON BOROUGH COUNCIL
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
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.
COMMUNITY BENEFIT FUND
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.