RAF Fairford takes next step in its rich history
By Staff Sgt. Joel Mease , 501st Combat Support Wing
/ Published October 07, 2009
RAF FAIRFORD, United Kingdom -- The 420th Air Base Group, after nearly six years of service, was deactivated in a ceremony Oct. 6 at RAF Fairford.
While the group has been deactivated, the 420th Air Base Squadron will still play an important role in keeping the ability to provide airpower at RAF Fairford. With the deactivation the 420th ABS was redesignated under the 422nd Air Base Group at RAF Croughton.
"From the start when Fairford was constructed in 1943-44 the installation has seen numerous mission and population changes," said Col. Timothy Cashdollar, 501st Combat Support Wing commander. "However, one thing has remained constant over the years, the importance RAF Fairford has in airpower operations."
During the process of changing operations to fall under the 422nd ABG, the commander said RAF Fairford will continue to have an emphasis on its role in future airpower operations.
"The face of Fairford might change a little, but the capability will remain and Fairford will remain an important installation within the 501st ," Col. Cashdollar said.
Colonel Joseph Dill, the outgoing 420th Air Base commander, mentioned at the ceremony why he believes the bond between the American and British communities will remain strong.
"The support the community has given us has been great," Col. Dill said. "We are together a great coalition, and we will only success if we continue to work together."
The group was activated at RAF Fairford Jan. 12, 2004, and stood with five squadrons. Its mission was to support and provide oversight of several geographically separated units across the United Kingdom and Norway. As time progressed and mission requirements changed those support and oversight programs fell onto the 501st Combat Support Wing, after it was stood up on May 12, 2005.
"We are committed to ensure this next change in the history of RAF Fairford is done with class and with a focus on taking care of the people involved," Col. Cashdollar said.