MP ‘delighted’ after US government announces plans to retain RAF Molesworth intelligence unit

RAF Molesworth

RAF Molesworth - Credit: Archant

The United States government is expected to rubber-stamp plans to retain a presence at an air force base in Huntingdonshire that had been under threat of closure.

The future of RAF Molesworth was under review by US defence chiefs in April last year, as part of efforts to save money and to consolidate bases in Britain and Germany.

Molesworth and nearby RAF Alconbury were scheduled to close in 2023, along with 13 other European US bases.

However, it was announced this week that the United States European Command (EUCOM) was reviewing the decision in response to the heightened security situation on the continent.

And, on Friday, the United States government formally notified the Ministry of Defence (MoD) of its proposal to retain the Joint Intelligence Analysis Centre (JIAC) at RAF Molesworth, rather than seeking its relocation.

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The decision will, the US has said, be accompanied by new facilities at the base and the MoD will be working closely with Cambridgeshire County Council to develop the plans.

The proposal is expected to pass through the US Congress shortly and, according to Shailesh Vara, MP for North West Cambridgeshire, serves as a “testament to the continued relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom”.

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Mr Vara said: “I am delighted that RAF Molesworth will retain the Joint Intelligence Analysis Centre at its base.

“The JIAC plays a key role in maintaining the UK-US defence relationship and the combined expertise of our two countries working together helps to ensure European security.

“I am also very pleased that as a result of this decision by the US government, the economic benefits to the local community will continue.”

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