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 reduce excess infrastructure capacity and more efficiently and effectively array existing force structure within the theatre, ultimately ensuring U.S. and allied forces are positioned in the most effective way to respond quickly to missions worldwide.
Part of the European Infrastructure Consolidation (EIC) is the planned consolidation of two 501st Combat Support Wing installations, RAF Alconbury and RAF Molesworth, to create efficiencies in operational mission support. This will likely result in the transition of the majority of U.S. personnel, and many of the U.S.-funded host nation positions assigned to these bases, to alternative locations.
The missions at RAF Alconbury and RAF Molesworth are not being eliminated - instead they are being moved, in an effort to consolidate intelligence and support elements to ensure the continuation of the strong U.S. intelligence relationship with the United Kingdom. This will result in effective consolidation efficiencies, greater cost savings, operational synergy, and U.S.-U.K.-NATO intelligence collaboration advantages.
The Department of Defense is currently re-assessing the future location of the Joint Intelligence Analysis Complex and the NATO Intelligence Fusion Center. This is in alignment with the Department's strategic priorities to generate decisive and sustained military advantages and to ensure we are good stewards of taxpayer dollars. This reassessment will ensure we locate this critically important facility, which supports military operations in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, at the most optimal site.
This decision does not change the U.S. commitment to strengthen the NATO alliance, deter aggression from potential adversaries, and to support multinational operations. We are working closely with the United Kingdom to determine next steps for the future location of the JIAC and NIFC. We will conduct a new analysis of options within the UK consistent with our previous commitments to NATO and the UK Government. We remain committed to the centrality of our partnerships and alliances, especially with NATO.
An exact timeline is still being developed, factoring construction efforts and personnel moves. However, USAFE will continue to engage with the host nation governments to determine how to best conduct the realignment. This process will take some time.