Below is the text of Mr Major’s Parliamentary written question on RAF Alconbury, published on 31st March 1981.
Mr. Major asked the Secretary of State for Defence whether there are any proposed changes in the deployment of the United States Air Force aircraft to RAF Alconbury.
Mr. Pattie Yes. Her Majesty’s Government have agreed to a request from the United States Government to station TR1 reconnaissance aircraft at RAF Alconbury. The role of the aircraft will be to provide timely tactical reconnaissance information in all weathers about the deployment and movement of enemy forces at a tune of crisis or war. This will reduce the likelihood of surprise attack and enable NATO commanders to deploy their own forces in the best way to resist aggression. Basing a TR1 force in Europe will enable it to be readily available for use at a time of crisis or war. The deployment of these aircraft will involve additional construction work, at an estimated cost of about £40 million over a five-