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Locals going to USAF Lakenheath 

THE USA is trying to return nuclear bombs to the UK. The Lakenheath nuclear mission is part of a worrying upgrade of US/NATO nuclear infrastructure across Europe with discussions about taking nuclear missiles out of storage and placing them on standby, for an anticipated war with China and Russia. US allies, including the UK, are offering forces to NATO’s command at a scale not seen in decades, having 500,000 troops at high readiness across all domains.

Angie Zelter, of Knucklas, Powys, is co-founder of Lakenheath Alliance for Peace, that is now a coalition of around 40 groups, dedicated to preventing the return of US nuclear weapons to USAF Lakenheath. She stated:-

‘I lived in Norfolk for 33 years and was active in local peace groups from the 1980’s onwards. We engaged in a nonviolent and effective local direct action campaign which helped get the 110 US nuclear bombs stored at Lakenheath removed in 2008. I have been living in Wales for the last 15 years, but feel impelled to return to East Anglia to join the peace camp, now I know the USA wants to bring nuclear weapons back.’

Massive building works are already underway at Lakenheath, including building housing for the anticipated influx of nuclear-related personnel. Angie stated, ‘Our ‘special’ relationship with the USA seems to mean our government just do what they are told without question and without informing the British public. We are now probably nearer to a nuclear exchange, by design or accident, than at any time in the past. US nuclear weapons based at Lakenheath would make the UK once again a forward nuclear base for the US, and thus a prime target in the event of a nuclear war. It is insane to bring US nuclear weapons back into the UK and continue to be a member of the nuclear NATO alliance. We should, instead, be dismantling our own weapons of mass destruction and cooperating with every single nation on this fragile planet to stop runaway climate change and exponential biodiversity loss.’

She will be joined by artist Mike Layward, of Leintwardine, who points out that, ‘2023 was the hottest year on record, global greenhouse gases have increased, Arctic ice is disappearing and droughts, floods and other catastrophic ‘extreme’ climate events are impacting the environment, health and food production all over the world. The jet fighters at Lakenheath are F35-As, and they burn 22 gallons of jet fuel per minute,2 when flying in their least fuel-intensive mode. When doing high-powered maneuvers, they use far more. The F-35s are specifically designed to deliver satellite-guided B61-12 nuclear bombs, or Lockheed Martin ‘wind-corrected’ cluster bombs.3 Both weapon systems are illegal under international humanitarian law.’

Musician, Camilla Saunders of Knucklas, will also be joining the camp at Lakenheath, stating, ‘The USA has around 800 military bases in 80 countries and has deployed its forces to surround both Russia and China. The UK has 145 military bases in 42 countries, while Russia has 21 in 9 countries and China 2 in 2 countries. The UK and USA military forces are engaged and deployed in provocative and war threatening military ‘exercises’ right on the borders of Russia and China. But we need peace, not more war, to deal with the existential crises facing our global community. Our ecological life support system is being destroyed by the rampant military industrial nexus, that US President Eisenhower warned us of so many years ago.’

The peace movement managed to rid us of cruise missiles, turf the military out of Greenham Common, and keep nuclear weapons out of Lakenheath for almost 20 years. The Lakenheath Alliance for Peace is supported by many concerned, compassionate people, and will be at the forefront of stopping USA nuclear weapons from returning to Lakenheath. This is part of a civilian call to sanity and peace.