An Independence Day celebration at a U.S. Air Force Base in Great Britain was cancelled after an assessment of terrorist threats. The Red Arrows, a Royal Air Force Aerobatic team, was scheduled to perform at the Independence Day event.
In a statement reported by ITV News and issued by Colonel David Eaglin, Vice Commander of the 48th Fighter Wing of the U.S. Air Force, the measures were taken based on the latest security threat assessments, and it was decided the Independence Day event should be cancelled.
“While we were certainly looking forward to this year’s celebration and hosting the US and UK communities at RAF Feltwell, we have to put public safety first and foremost. We apologise for any inconvenience this cancellation has caused and we will continue to work with our UK counterparts — both military and civilian — to make sure we keep our Airmen and the local communities safe.”
The Red Arrows had been scheduled to perform at an Independence Day Celebration at RAF Feltwell. It was part of a two-day event hosted by USAF members who were stationed at RAF bases located at Lakenheath and Mildenhall.
As reported by the Guardian, a statement on the RAF Lakenworth website said the following about the Independence Day event.
“The decision was made due to the most current local threat assessments. The base continually surveys the security environment alongside host nation counterparts and must take appropriate measures based on those assessments.”
Colonel Robert Novotny, 48th Fighter Wing commander, refused to confirm to the BBC that the cancellation was related to the beach attacks in Tunisia that killed 38 people, including 30 people from Great Britain. He cited prudence as the reason for the cancellation of the Independence Day event.
“What we learned over the last 48 hours… gave us a great pause as to whether we wanted to have a large mass gathering on a military base.”We cancelled our picnic – we haven’t cancelled a single combat sortie. We haven’t taken our foot off the throat of the enemy – none of that has changed. “So if the terrorists consider us cancelling a picnic as a victory, I think they should readdress their calculus.”
The decision to cancel the Independence Day celebration was made by event organizers. Thousands of people were set to attend. The event was also scheduled to include RAF Falcons parachute team, acrobatic displays, live bands, and carnival rides.
A public apology was issued on Twitter for the cancellation of the Independence Day celebration.
I’m sorry to say that the event at RAF Feltwell planned for tomorrow has been cancelled pic.twitter.com/6NBdaqZCtT
— Red Ten (@RAFRed10) July 3, 2015
What do you think of the cancellation of their Independence Day celebration? Should the event have been cancelled?
[Photo Credit Fear of Landing]