RAF Brampton is almost certain to close in the next five years, with work transferred to RAF Wyton. And at least 700 logistics and support jobs from the two bases will be transferred to the south-west as the Defence Logistics Organisation - which currentl

Group Captain Nigel Beet, base commander

RAF Brampton is almost certain to close in the next five years, with work transferred to RAF Wyton.

And at least 700 logistics and support jobs from the two bases will be transferred to the south-west as the Defence Logistics Organisation - which currently has 2,600 staff at Wyton - merges with the Defence Procurement Agency.

The future of the remaining 1,800 DLO jobs at Wyton will be decided by the end of September, said its director-general, Air Vice-Marshal David Rennison, on Monday.

But it is more than possible that some of those jobs, too, will take the south-west passage, be transferred to other bases or work contracted out.

Air Vice-Marshall David 
Rennison, director-general DLO

The longer-term future of RAF Wyton is assured, however, according to the base commander, Group Captain Nigel Beet, although the total number of personnel employed there will have reduced, even after the transfer of work from Brampton.

AVM Rennison euphemistically described the transfer of jobs as a "drawing down in the number of DLO personnel" working at the two bases.

He promised to continue consultations with the trade unions, but said planning for moving the work to the Bristol area would continue simultaneously.

"I aim to ensure the most effective support is given to the personnel affected" by the moves, Grp Capt Beet added.

Bill Clark, agency secretary, Defence Estates

The trade unions, which reacted angrily to the announcements that were "as clear as mud", hastily arranged a mass protest meeting for today (Wednesday).

They accused the DLO of undermining its own business case by not withdrawing completely from RAF Wyton.

"The plan submitted to the Minister is now wrong," said Angela Powell, chairman of the Public and Commercial Services Union branch. "Yet he has approved it and still insists that the forecast £200million in savings will be made.

"This does not make sense and just proves that the business case is very weak and does not stand up to scrutiny."

She accused AVM Rennison of planning to bulldoze the plans through, irrespective of the trade union consultation.

"He did not want to talk about what would happen to the vast majority of staff, who are likely to be made redundant."

The unions say the timing of the announcements allows little opportunity to make representations to Ministers through MPs, because of the long Parliamentary summer recess, which begins later this month.

Unless a new requirement for the base is identified, the 125-acre Brampton site, where 1,200 people are currently employed, will close in 2011, said Defence Estates' Bill Clark, although service accommodation there will continue to be used by personnel working at Wyton.

A new junior ranks' mess will be built at Wyton, along with flats for single servicemen.

The base is also home to the Universities of Cambridge and London air squadrons, with 30,000 aircraft movements a year, and the Defence Communications Services Agency.