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Ribbon cutting officially opens clinic at RAF Alconbury
RAF ALCONBURY, United Kingdom – The RAF Alconbury ribbon cutting ceremony took place Oct. 19. The new clinic will see its first patients Oct. 31. The ribbon cutting at the RAF Alconbury Clinic is the first step in many the U.S. Department of Defense is taking in returning the RAF Upwood Clinic back to the host nation. The return of this site is part of U.S. European Command’s (USEUCOM) continued effort to remove non-enduring sites, bases and installations from its real-property inventory. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Brian Stives)
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Ribbon cutting officially opens clinic at RAF Alconbury

Posted 10/22/2012   Updated 10/24/2012 Email story   Print story

    


by Staff Sgt. Brian Stives
501st Combat Support Wing Public Affairs


10/22/2012 - ROYAL AIR FORCE ALCONBURY, United Kingdom -- Leaders from the 501st Combat Support Wing, 423rd Air Base Group and local communities joined more than 60 members of the 423rd Medical Squadron for the Royal Air Force Alconbury Clinic ribbon cutting ceremony Oct. 19.

"Good afternoon and welcome to the RAF Alconbury Clinic," said Col. Michael Reiner, 423rd ABG commander. "This is truly a historic day and long-awaited event."

"This brand new facility required a lot of collaboration and effort across numerous agencies, at multiple levels, and was championed by many people over an eight-year period," said Lt. Col. Cherron Galluzzo, 423rd MDS commander.

Galluzzo then painted the picture of how the 423rd MDS came to be at RAF Upwood.

"As a result of the draw down of U.S. force in the United Kingdom in 1995, RAF Upwood was returned to the British Ministry of Defence," she said. "This military restructure left medical personnel assigned to RAF Upwood separated from its base operating support located at RAF Alconbury. Recognizing the disconnect, back in 2003, the then 423rd Air Base Squadron worked alongside U.S Air Forces in Europe command's numerous divisions in an effort to fund the relocation of the clinic from RAF Upwood to RAF Alconbury."

This move would accomplish several goals: It would relocate the medics closer to the base operating support at RAF Alconbury; it would improve efficiencies by concentrating support functions in one location and decrease maintenance costs associated with maintaining two installations; and it would improve the access to medical care for families assigned to RAF Alconbury and RAF Molesworth.

"When we see our first patient on Oct. 31, we will dramatically reduce the commute time and increase road safety for our customers and staff," said Reiner. "Not only is this a tremendous quality of life win, this will directly translate to mission effectiveness by reducing the amount of time lost whilst driving to medical appointments.

Reiner then addressed the 432rd MDS team looking down from the second floor.

"This is the facility you deserve," he said. "I know many of you are sentimental about the RAF Upwood Clinic and you will always hold fond memories of your time there. However, this beautiful and comfortable new clinic truly reflects the high standards of healthcare and customer service excellence you provide to every patient who enters the front door."

The ribbon cutting at the RAF Alconbury Clinic is the first step in many the U.S. Department of Defense is taking in returning the RAF Upwood Clinic back to the host nation. The return of this site is part of U.S. European Command's continued effort to remove non-enduring sites, bases and installations from its real-property inventory.

These actions will permit more resources to other U.S. Air Forces in Europe mission requirements and the command to realize efficiency and cost savings. Based on comparing the current annual operations and maintenance costs, the return of RAF Upwood Clinic will result in an estimated annual savings of $554,000.

"The entire medical team looks forward to serving you, and to providing world-class medical care here at RAF Alconbury when we officially open our doors for business Oct. 31," said Galluzzo.



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