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NATO to close bases in economy, efficiency drive

#1
Looks like Northwood has been saved even though it was seen as likely to be closed last week....

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - NATO, in the midst of extended air strikes in Libya, will trim the number of its major bases from 11 to seven to cut costs and duplication, the alliance said on Thursday.

The move, which will include the closure of the joint force command in Lisbon -- one of three such installations -- and transforming the air base at Izmir in Turkey into a land command, would cut more than 4,000 posts.

Land bases at Heidelberg in Germany and Madrid will close, as will a naval base at Naples in Italy.

As compensation to Portugal for the loss of the Lisbon base, it will be the location for a deployable naval headquarters, NATO officials said.

Joint command headquarters will remain at Brunssum in the Netherlands and at Naples in Italy, while the main maritime headquarters will be at Northwood in Britain and the main air command at Ramstein in Germany.

In announcing the agreement, reached at a meeting of NATO defence ministers on Wednesday night, NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said it would make the 28-nation alliance "leaner, more flexible," as well as "more affordable."

A NATO statement said the reforms would mean a reduction in headquarters posts from 13,000 to 8,800.

NATO to close bases in economy, efficiency drive | World | Reuters
 

Grumblegrunt

LE
Book Reviewer
#3
NATO might close a couple but the yanks will stay put, interesting that canada thinks it needs to find overseas bases.

some politics to keep northwood open considering lisbon is cheaper to run, on the bloody atlantic and a newer facility - so I'm told.
 
#4
Question? I'm quite near to Northwood. If it was to close as a NATO base in the future, would it really affect it because we seem to use it as a headquarters for UK forces operations as well as NATO adventures. For instance, I seem to remember when the Falklands campaign was being fought, which was obviously not a NATO operation, there were references to Northwood in terms of where those who were directing the war were based.
 

Grumblegrunt

LE
Book Reviewer
#5
its more of a - 'we're more important than you kind of status card' than a manpower one but it would have given good reason to close it and flog the real estate off.
 
#6
Sounds about right. Keep open bases/HQs in the nations that contribute to operations, and shut those in countries who actually give **** all, but gain jobs for their economies from having the bases there.
 

Grumblegrunt

LE
Book Reviewer
#7
its a 70's throwback though back when our job was convoy protection, be a huge american aircraft carrier and a supplier of ineffectual tank armies.

I can imagine Dr Fox - 'yes yes its allright we will sort the carrier thing out - honest'
 
#8
NATO might close a couple but the yanks will stay put, interesting that canada thinks it needs to find overseas bases.

some politics to keep northwood open considering lisbon is cheaper to run, on the bloody atlantic and a newer facility - so I'm told.

But Lisbon is to become the location for a deployable naval headquarters instead. Unless of course that`s just a grand name for a fishing boat.

So it would appear they`re only rearranging the deck chairs in Lisbon.
 

Grumblegrunt

LE
Book Reviewer
#10
I think they are still traumatised by the 30,000 troops we sent there in the 1800s to dig the place over a bit.

surely a deployable naval headquarters needs a deployable navy to do that. we wouldnt have gotten that gig
 
#15
its more of a - 'we're more important than you kind of status card' than a manpower one but it would have given good reason to close it and flog the real estate off.
Northwood is prime real estate. Most of residential Northwood ranges from quite wealthy to very wealthy and the ground would be worth a huge amount.
 

Grumblegrunt

LE
Book Reviewer
#18
Northwood is prime real estate. Most of residential Northwood ranges from quite wealthy to very wealthy and the ground would be worth a huge amount.
query - was it bought under the wartime act rules or has it allways been MOD land?

I found out the other year when they were going to close innsworth near me that they thought they could get millions for the site but it was a war purchase which means it has to be offered back to the previous owners for what they paid for it. huge industrial estate down the road was flogged back to the farmer for a couple of grand and he was rubbing his hands at the thought of a fresh bargain.

one reason I gather that some of the bigger airbases are kept on and turned over to the army even if the air fields are never likely to be used again.
 
#20
query - was it bought under the wartime act rules or has it allways been MOD land?

I found out the other year when they were going to close innsworth near me that they thought they could get millions for the site but it was a war purchase which means it has to be offered back to the previous owners for what they paid for it. huge industrial estate down the road was flogged back to the farmer for a couple of grand and he was rubbing his hands at the thought of a fresh bargain.

one reason I gather that some of the bigger airbases are kept on and turned over to the army even if the air fields are never likely to be used again.
Interesting point. I live slap bang next to where RAF West Drayton was. Although I don't think it was ever used operationally, I remember as a child walking past the place to school when it was just a huge field with a couple of hangers at the back and a small headquarters. It was then split in half with the air traffic control people (LATCC) taking half of it and the RAF consolidating on the remaining half. The RAF left a quite a few years ago and the LATCC have now moved down to Southhampton. The whole site has been flogged to a developer. Half of it has had these luxury apartments built on and the other half is just being started now with further apartments being built. I wonder who did actually own it when the RAF originally blagged it. :)
 

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