Over 40 million gallons of fuel are being ordered for military bases in England, specifically for Royal Air Force (RAF) bases used by the U.S. as forward operating locations for bomber units, ammunition supplies, and intelligence-gathering operations, U.S. Trade & Aid Monitor has learned.
The U.S. Defense Logistics Agency this afternoon uploaded a solicitation (#SP060011R0223 ) to a federal contracting database seeking potential vendors to supply these mass quantities of petroleum products over the next three years. The destinations for the fuel include RAF Menwith Hill, RAF Mildenhall, RAF Lakenheath, RAF Alconbury, RAF Croughton, RAF Welford and RAF Fairford.
The U.S. military has occupied several of these sites since the end of World War II, originally as a means of building up a deterrent in Europe against the Soviets,” according to GlobalSecurity.org.
It remains unclear whether the volume of fuel for this solicitation is typical or is indicative of an increase in magnitude, as a database search did not produce comparable requests for multi-base procurements in the United Kingdom. Prior fuel acquisitions found in the database were limited to single-purchases of no more than 1.2 million gallons.
In the absence of that data, the Monitor offers the following summary of the primary functions of the sites for which the fuel is destined.
RAF Menwith Hill is known as one of the largest communications intercept stations in the world. According to the Federation of American Scientists, Menwith Hill is jointly operated by the U.S. National Security Agency and the British Ministry of Defence and is capable of handling up to two-million worldwide communications-intercepts per hour.
RAF Mildenhall touts itself as one of the most diverse bases, housing units from four major commands: Air Combat Command, Air Force Special Operations Command, Air Mobility Command and U.S. Air Forces in Europe. It also accommodates U.S. Navy operations as well.
RAF Lakenheath houses units such as the 48th Operations Group, which “provides three flying squadrons of F-15C/D/E aircraft capable of accomplishing fighter operations worldwide…” according to a U.S. Air Force official website. It also is home to the 48th Medical Group, which “provides direct and operational Expeditionary Medical Support (EMEDS) Capability to the United States European Command, Africa Command and Central Command.”
RAF Alconbury hosts the 423rd Air Base Group, which provides a variety of “mission support” services while RAF Croughton is home to the 422nd Air Base Group, which “provides command, control, communications and computer support to Department of Defense and civilian agencies across the European theater…” The Croughton facility “operates one of Europe's largest military switchboards and processes approximately a third of all U.S. military communications in Europe.” Both groups are part of the 501st Combat Support Wing.
RAF Welford is a key ammunition compound serving U.S. forces across Europe.
Aside from delivery destinations, the contracting document offered little else with the exception of the fuel category breakdown: “The types of fuel and estimated quantities are: Premium Unleaded Gasoline: 26,241,871 USG; Super Premium (High Octane) Gasoline: 3,816,000 USG; Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel: 11,752,987 USG; Kerosene Class C2: 10,000 USG.”
OTHER MILITARY- and FUEL-RELATED ARTICLES FROM U.S. TRADE & AID MONITOR