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Posted: 6/17/2006 11:37:28 AM EDT
As Iceland exodus proceeds, rescue squadron moves to Lakenheath

By Ben Murray, Stars and Stripes
European edition, Saturday, June 17, 2006

The only unit based in Naval Air Station Keflavik, Iceland, that will be
left intact when the base closes down later this year started its move to a
new home at RAF Lakenheath, England, this week.

Two HH-60G Combat Search and Rescue helicopters and personnel from the 56th
Rescue Squadron arrived at Lakenheath aboard C-17 cargo planes Monday and
Tuesday, the vanguard of five aircraft that will be stationed there by the
fall, according to an Air Force news release.

The move comes amid the exodus from NAS Keflavik, which got under way in
March with the U.S. government's announcement that it would shutter the
outpost and reduce the U.S. presence to a fraction of its current size.

Prior to this week, military officials had not publicly announced its plans
for the Iceland-based units in the face of the closure, though most
personnel had already been reassigned and many left the station.

Iceland Defense Force spokesman Fridthor Eyedal said Friday that all other
units that called the base home, including Navy detachments assigned there,
will be disbanded, most significantly the Air Force's 85th Group and its
five subordinate squadrons.

The 85th Group is the command and control unit for the Air Force in Iceland,
and will furl its colors June 28, he said.

The 932nd Air Control Squadron in Keflavik, Eyedal added, has already
deactivated.

Of the 56th Rescue Squadron's Iceland-based personnel, only about 25 members
and their families will make the move to England, said Capt. Beth Horine,
spokeswoman for the 48th Fighter Wing, the unit's parent command. The rest
have been reassigned or otherwise transitioned, she said.

Over the next year, the 56th will take on new personnel until it reaches a
functional size of about 200 airmen, she said.

Two of the unit's helicopters will remain in Iceland until mid-September,
with the fifth moving to Lakenheath sometime in the coming months, according
to Thursday's release.

The loss of the aircraft and rescue personnel has been a sore point with
Icelanders unhappy with the U.S. pullout.

American rescuers have aided or saved hundreds of people in the dangerous
waters and terrain around the island nation in the past three decades,
according to Eyedal.

Back at Keflavik, the base is reaching the climax of its efforts to be empty
by Oct. 1, the closure date set back in March. Base commanders have said
that by mid-July, the original population of about 2,500 servicemembers and
civilians will be reduced to fewer than 500.
Link Posted: 6/17/2006 11:59:19 AM EDT
[#1]
Related story and pics:  www.af.mil/news/story.asp?storyID=123021849

For the click wary:



RAF Lakenheath welcomes new mission, aircraft

by Capt. Beth Horine
48th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

6/15/2006 - ROYAL AIR FORCE LAKENHEATH, England (AFPN) -- The first two HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters from the 56th Rescue Squadron arrived here from Naval Air Station Keflavik, Iceland, via a C-17 Globemaster III June 12 and 13.

Five aircraft and many operators and maintainers are moving here as part of the reallocation of the Iceland-based unit.

“We’re thrilled to welcome the Airmen from the 56th to RAF Lakenheath,” said Brig. Gen. Robert P. Steel, 48th Fighter Wing commander. “Although they’ve been a part of our wing for about a year as a geographically separated unit in Iceland, having the 56th RQS continue its mission from here only increases our wing’s ability to meet our nation’s warfighting mission."

Three more helicopters and approximately 25 people will continue to arrive at RAF Lakenheath over the next several months to help bring the squadron back to full operational strength, said Lt. Col. Steve Huss, 56th RQS director of operations.

“The 48th has made the (our) transition to RAF Lakenheath extremely smooth,” Colonel Huss said. “The Jolly Green Giants look forward to the outstanding opportunities this move creates. We look forward to further integration.”

According to U.S Air Forces in Europe officials, approximately 200 Airmen and their families will be assigned to RAF Lakenheath over the next year as part of the move. The Air Force will maintain two HH-60 helicopters in Iceland until mid-September to provide backup support and training.










I'm personally thrilled about the move, the 56th was my last assignment and I have no desire to ever go back to Iceland.  The squadron being located at Lakenheath gives me one more decent assignment opportunity at my next base.  
Link Posted: 6/17/2006 11:59:59 AM EDT
[#2]
Weren't they bitching about us being there?

Now we are leaving they are like, WHO IS GOING TO RESCUE ALL THE DUMB ICELANDERS?
Link Posted: 6/17/2006 12:04:20 PM EDT
[#3]

Quoted:
Weren't they bitching about us being there?

Now we are leaving they are like, WHO IS GOING TO RESCUE ALL THE DUMB ICELANDERS?



Damn right they were bitching about us being there.  I can't tell you how many fights I saw or participated in downtown there.  They are a completely socialist pacifist tree hugging country, it's like Berkeley, the country there.  They will cry and whine that we are gone now because they are "defenseless" and they liked us picking up their fisherman all the time.  We had somewhere around 10 rescues in the time I was there, every one of them a sick/injured fisherman.  It's the same kind of whining you hear from libtard states like Kali that make having bases there an absolute PITA for the DoD, then whine and cry when BRAC comes to town.  Cry me a river libtards.    
Link Posted: 6/17/2006 12:12:13 PM EDT
[#4]
When in the AF reserve part of the unit was going there for the two week thing.  Some who had been there told us younger guys few things.  For example, a fishing license was $2000.00
I guess they really stuck it to those willing to pay.  All work on the base (changing a light bulb, door knob, or toilet) was only allowed to be done by civilian union labor.  And they talked about it was the bomb and place to be  To me the place sounded like the US tax payers really took it up the ass for the privilage of being there.
Link Posted: 6/17/2006 12:16:35 PM EDT
[#5]

Quoted:
When in the AF reserve part of the unit was going there for the two week thing.  Some who had been there told us younger guys few things.  For example, a fishing license was $2000.00
I guess they really stuck it to those willing to pay.  All work on the base (changing a light bulb, door knob, or toilet) was only allowed to be done by civilian union labor.  And they talked about it was the bomb and place to be  To me the place sounded like the US tax payers really took it up the ass for the privilage of being there.



I heard (but can't confirm) that we provided directly or indirectly 1/4 of the entire country's income.  I can believe it though, since there are only about 250K people there and tons of them are welfare leeches.  The VAT there is 25%, the customs duty is 45%, income tax is insane, gas is $7 a gallon, beers are $10 each downtown, the place is a socialist catastrophe.  There was no reason for the US military to be there one single day after the Berlin wall came down.  The on base contractors made a starting wage of around 25 bucks an hour for menial labor IIRC, have to be "fair" to the locals, ya know.  
Link Posted: 6/17/2006 12:20:28 PM EDT
[#6]
OK it sucked being there, but the chicks were hot right?
Link Posted: 6/17/2006 12:26:13 PM EDT
[#7]

Quoted:
OK it sucked being there, but the chicks were hot right?



What do you think the fights were about
Link Posted: 6/17/2006 12:26:29 PM EDT
[#8]

Quoted:
OK it sucked being there, but the chicks were hot right?



Yes.  
Link Posted: 6/17/2006 1:48:21 PM EDT
[#9]
Icelandic music is pretty cool
Link Posted: 6/18/2006 8:33:05 PM EDT
[#10]

Quoted:
Icelandic music is pretty cool



You like djork?  
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