Member of Parliament visits RAF Croughton

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Jennifer Zima
  • 501st Combat Support Wing Public Affairs

US Visiting Forces at RAF Croughton had the distinct privilege of hosting the Rt Hon. Dame Andrea Leadsom DBE MP on April 27, 2023.  This engagement between the MP, U.S. Air Force Colonel Edward Spinelli (422d Air Base Group Commander) and, Royal Air Force Squadron Leader Tina Sheeran (RAF Commander for Alconbury, Croughton, and Molesworth) provided an opportunity to discuss items of import as well as strengthen the close partnership between the base and local communities.

“We had a great meeting, and it was our honor to host Dame Andrea,” said Col Spinelli. “During her visit, we reiterated our commitment to our long-standing, strong community ties and discussed several specific topics, such as: off base schooling for our children, housing in the local community, our desire to continue to promote on-base employment opportunities for U.K. nationals, and our efforts to improve installation security while doing so in the most environmentally green way possible.”

Dame Andrea mentioned that her own adult kids have childhood friends from the base, and told Col Spinelli:  “As the local member of Parliament, I am interested in how people are enjoying life here, and am always happy to help with issues of local housing or schooling when I can." Dame Andrea went on to say that she welcomes the efforts made by staff at the base to join in wherever possible with community events, and also the determined effort they have made to improve safety on the local roads since the tragic death of Harry Dunn.

Both the MP and Col Spinelli collaborated on ways U.S. members associated with Croughton and local U.K. nationals can continue to support each other and bolster their already outstanding ties.

“Come to the base, come work with us,” said Col Spinelli. “We are guests here and we are part of this great community. The more people we work with, the closer we’re integrated into the neighborhoods and the local populace. I think that’s incredibly beneficial for everybody and emblematic of the tremendous partnership our nations have shared for decades. I want us to be the best neighbors we can be, as open as we can be, and have as much contact within the local community as possible.”