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Blackleaf

US servicemen banned from London

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Blackleaf

From AOL News -

Thousands of American servicemen and women based in Britain have been banned from entering London in the wake of the terrorist attacks.

Members of the US Air Force stationed at two RAF bases in Suffolk were instructed not to go within the M25 until further notice.

Matt Tulis, a spokesman at RAF Mildenhall, said the directive was issued to 10,000 personnel in the aftermath of the bombings and was considered the most effective measure to protect their troops.

"We are are concerned about the safety of our folks and are trying to do what we can to protect them," he said. "This is the best course of action right now."

Mr Tulis said the instruction was also issued to give the British authorities and officials the chance to "do their job" in the aftermath of the atrocity.

The instruction involved around 5,000 servicemen based at RAF Mildenhall and a further 5,000 based at RAF Lakenheath.

Staff Sgt Jeff Hamm, at RAF Lakenheath, said: "Because the attacks were so recent there is an uncertainty as to the reasons why and how imminent the threat is right now.

"Obviously it is in the interests of the air force to ensure its personnel are as vigilant and as safe as possible."

Asked whether he thought the directive may send out a negative message to Britons, he insisted the US military did sympathise with them, particularly having experienced the September 11 terrorist outrage.

"While it's important for some to carry on business as usual, the interests in keeping the air force out of harm's way until we have a bit more knowledge about about what has happened is greater than the need to send them back into the city," he said.

The directive was issued to all active servicemen and women at the two bases but their families were also "highly encouraged" to follow the same guidelines, Mr Tulis said.

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Space Commander Travis

yes, that really conveys the right message, doesn't it: "Come to London!" (Um, unless you're a member of the US military) ... holy mother, it's hardly downtown Baghdad ... rolleyes.gif

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Iilaa'mpuul'xem

Yes I just read this, you can't beat the support from your Allies it is outragious.

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girty1600

I can understand this to an extent. We aren't sure who was responsible for the bombings even though a radical Islamic group claims its their work. The sight of an American solder might enrage people further.

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Iilaa'mpuul'xem

Girty... they don't walk around London in full uniform no one would know if they were from America, France or Russia.

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girty1600

Forgive me; I did not know that.

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Essan

Just shows that ordinary Britoins are made of sterner stuff that the the US military grin2.gif Which is probably a bit worrying.

Though to be fair on the servicemen, they themselves would probably be quite happy visiting London. It's just the base commander who's gone a bit doo-lally tongue.gif

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Mr Ed

This ban was issued on the day of the attacks and is therefore completely understandable and acceptable.

The cannot just quickly disolve the ban which is why it is taking a while.

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__Kratos__

This was just for the security and safety of our soldiers. How can you really judge the threat when England it's self has no idea where to even begin on tracking these people? Better to stay out and out of the way.

XSAS, How can our military going there, with no uniforms, show support for England? blink.gif It isn't like we completely packed up and left England, just put up a security measure.

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The Caspian Hare

The ban has been lifted.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/4673987.stm

US forces lift London travel ban

The US military has rescinded an order to its personnel to avoid London in the aftermath of the bombings.

Personnel, most of them from US Air Force units at RAF Mildenhall and RAF Lakenheath, in Suffolk, were told last week not to go within the M25 motorway.

But there was criticism that it sent out the wrong signals at a time when the emphasis was on "business as usual" in London after the attacks.

The US embassy said the order had been reviewed and had now been lifted.

The Commander of US Forces in Europe, General James L. Jones, based at Mons in Belgium, said in a statement: "[We have] lifted all travel restrictions for US personnel stationed in the United Kingdom.

"While all personnel are encouraged to be vigilant, we cannot allow ourselves to be intimidated by the acts of terrorists. All US personnel are encouraged to continue with their normal routine."

'Temporary measure'

The US air force had said the order had been made in the interests of the safety of its personnel.

The prime minister's official spokesman described the ban as "a temporary measure that has been reviewed".

Defence Secretary John Reid told BBC News he had been "trying to get to the bottom of this".

In this difficult hour, the people of Great Britain can know the American people stand with you

US president George W Bush

But he emphasised that the decision was taken locally in the immediate aftermath of the bombings, when many companies were telling staff to stay out of central London because of the confusion and the need to leave emergency services unhindered.

Most of the 12,000 US personnel in the UK are based at Mildenhall and Lakenheath.

Lieutenant Gloria Smith, based at RAF Mildenhall, said: "It's just a prudent measure, it's normal procedure any time there's such an incident.

"Our presence in Great Britain is our voice of saying we stand with the British people. We have a long historic relationship and we will stay here to stand by the British people."

US Charge D'affairs David Johnson said the embassy was advising Americans to go about their business as usual in London.

"You should be aware of your surroundings and that's what we're telling people who work in our building, that's what we're telling American citizens who inquire of advice from us."

Conservative defence spokesman Andrew Robathan said: "I suspect that this was a decision made when London was not a place to visit, on Thursday and Friday.

"I also suspect it was a decision made by somebody who was rather risk-averse - perhaps a middle-rank commander, not one of the top people."

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Iilaa'mpuul'xem
This was just for the security and safety of our soldiers. How can you really judge the threat when England it's self has no idea where to even begin on tracking these people? Better to stay out and out of the way.

XSAS, How can our military going there, with no uniforms, show support for England? blink.gif It isn't like we completely packed up and left England, just put up a security measure.

728906[/snapback]

What I meant is the Military don't walk the streets of London in Uniform so that everyone can identify who they are, unless they are on duty or on some sort of official duty, they are in Civvies. You don't need to walk around in Uniform to show support in the same way all our Territorial soldiers don't walk around in uniform to show we have their support also.

During Terrorist threat levels uniforms are not worn out side the camp anyway unless on duty.

Edited by XSAS

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bacca

I don't see what the problem is with them being ordered to stay out of the city is such a big deal...What's wrong with asking them to stay safe until things were figured out.....Whether they are military or civilian safety first. It's not like they could have done anything to help. Even here on 9/11 bases went into lock down for security reasons with armed guards outside of base houseing. I'm just not understanding the issue but whatever the ban is lifted no big deal......

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Iilaa'mpuul'xem

So we all stay clear of London and let the Terrorists win, what about showing them we don't crumble under pressure rather than crawl under some rock and hide.

Edited by XSAS

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__Kratos__
So we all stay clear of London and let the Terrorists win, what about showing them we don't crumble under pressure rather than crawl under some rock and hide.

729213[/snapback]

O, now I get ya.

"Pressure makes diamonds."

- General George Patton

Edited by __Kratos__

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