HC Deb 02 May 1995 vol 259 c165
14. Mr. Spring

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is his assessment of the role of the United States Air Force in Britain; and if he will make a statement. [20089]

Mr. Freeman

The USAF presence in the United Kingdom forms an important part of the United States' continuing commitment to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and the security of Europe. Her Majesty's Government welcome the contribution that those forces also provide to United Nations peacekeeping and humanitarian aid operations.

Mr. Spring

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the two USAF bases in my constituency, RAF Mildenhall and RAF Lakenheath, are expanding in numbers and importance at this time? Will my right hon. Friend join me, at this historic time, in saluting the USAF presence in this country, which helped to see off the forces of tyranny 50 years ago and helped to preserve democracy in Europe during the long and bitter years of the cold war?

Mr. Freeman

It is fitting, as we approach victory in Europe day, to pay tribute to the United States Air Force, based largely in this country—the Third Air Force today—which helped win freedom and victory for the allies.

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