European Infrastructure Consolidation

In 2015, the Department of Defense announced the consolidation of some of the U.S. infrastructure in Europe, including the return of 15 sites to their host nations. The goal of these actions is to ensure that U.S. and allied forces are positioned in the most effective way to respond quickly to crises worldwide, in addition, the move will save an estimated 500 million dollars every year.

Part of the European Infrastructure Consolidation (EIC) is the planned closure of two 501st Combat Support Wing installations, RAF Alconbury and RAF Molesworth, and the transition of the majority of U.S. personnel, and many of the U.S.-funded host nation positions assigned to these bases, to RAF Croughton instead.

The missions at RAF Alconbury and RAF molesworth are not being eliminated, instead they are being moved to RAF Croughton, in and effort to consolidate intelligence and support elements to ensure the continuation of the strong U.S. intelligence relationship with the U.K. and will result in effective consolidation efficiencies, greater cost savings, operational synergy and U.S.-U.K.-NATO intelligence collaboration advantages.

Rational

Many options were taking into consideration when the decision to close RAF Alconbury and RAF Molesworth was made, including the renovations of the current bases. However, relocating the intelligence centers presented an opportunity to generate significant long-term base operating support savings. The savings, coupled with the fact that current facilities were never intended to house the missions or amount of information that is processed, made economic sense for this move.

Because of the move new facilities will have to be constructed at RAF Croughton. The new intelligence facility and associated support facilities are estimated to cost approximately $238 million (funded in 3 phases: $92M in FY15; $94M in FY16; and requested $53M in FY17). Keeping the existing intelligence units and support functions at RAF Alconbury and RAF Molesworth would cost $300 million and would not realize any savings. The consolidation at RAF Croughton will realize savings of approximately $74 million each year, resulting in a return on differential investment of approximately two years.

Timeline

An exact timeline is still being developed, factoring construction efforts and personnel moves. Most construction and consolidation efforts will begin in Fiscal Year 2018. However, USAFE will continue to engage with the host nation government to determine how to best conduct the realignment. We expect the realignment process to take approximately seven years.