Welsh: Mildenhall Closure About Savings and Efficiency

The Pentagon’s decision to close RAF Mildenhall. Britain, is a chance for the Air Force to save money over time in a “fairly significant way,” said Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh. The Air Force determined the cost to update Mildenhall would be “excessive” compared to the actual combat capability the Air Force generates at the base, he told reporters during a Jan. 15 briefing at the Pentagon. Mildenhall, which hosts mobility aircraft and special operations airplanes, has “very old infrastructure that hasn’t been maintained well over the last 30 or 40 years,” said Welsh. Other locations could serve as beddown sites for Mildenhall’s aircraft “at much less operating cost over time,” said Welsh. Host-nation Britain has also done a lot of military downsizing over the last decade, and the Air Force has been very supportive of the ally’s plans and decisions. “Neither one of us really likes giving things like this up. … But this is all about cost savings and efficiency,” said Welsh. (James-Welsh transcript)