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RAF Alconbury in Alconbury, United Kingdom US Military Bases in the United Kingdom


Royal Air Force Alconbury is a British military base located in Cambridgeshire, in the southeastern part of the United Kingdom. It is less than 100 km from London and only 8 km from Huntingdon. Always used by the British forces, the base is run by the United States of America now. It is actually one of the three RAF installations in this situation in Cambridgeshire. Due to being located one close to another, they are usually referred to as the Tri Base Area. Although they are run by the Americans, the internal rules and regulations come from the British government.


The base is named after the close human community from Alconbury. It was raised as a satellite base. Multiple such bases were built by the British forces in case they were attacked or raided by the enemies. When such an attack occurred, the troops were supposed to “hide” the aircrafts in these camouflaged satellite bases that were relatively hard to find from the air. They were supposed to be relatively far from the real bases, at reasonable distances. Around 1938, the British Air Ministry purchased 150 acres around Alconbury to use them for a satellite base. The initial construction was minimal. There was nothing too fancy or to advanced, but only the vital elements. Multiple tests took place in the upcoming months, all of them with positive results. For the first couple of years, the base was a little improved with a few extra huts. The authorities also took in consideration some air refueling operations.


Soon after the World War II outbreak, the British forces started to improve RAF Alconbury some more, while transferring some of their aircrafts. Although the base was under attack by the Luftwaffe forces, no real damage occurred. Therefore, it was no need for the transportation. The new construction drew the attention of the German pilots, but it looked like a useless and abandoned site. In the upcoming nights, the British forces bombed some of the German industrial areas, as well as some ports. Most aircrafts lifted from this satellite base. The night attacks annoyed the Germans even more, who attacked the base two more times, destroying an aircraft each time.


In 1942, the base was handed over to the Americans, more precisely to the famous Eighth Air Force. As a matter of fact, this installation is one of the two that still stand after being run by the Eighth Air Force. Ever since then, the place hosted dozens of different units and went through a few series of upgrades.


These days, RAF Alconbury hosts the 501-st Combat Support Wing and the 423-rd Air Base Group. Since the base is in a stand-by position, the units ensure the inhabitants benefit from a proper homelike life and are constantly trained and equipped to serve the interests of the country whenever unexpected situations arise. The base hosts a few associate tenant units too, not to mention about family members and civilian contractors dealing with various services throughout RAF Alconbury.