WADEBRIDGE, United Kingdom — Joint Maritime Facility (JMF) St. Mawgan, United Kingdom, joined local citizens of Cornwall, England, June 4-6 to celebrate the U.K.'s premier agricultural event the 2009 Royal Cornwall Show, marking the last major community relations project for the installation prior to disestablishment.
During the Royal Cornwall Show, members of JMF hosted various guests from around the Cornwall community and participated is multiple show events, including a lunch during which the installation's Commanding Officer Capt. John Jones, was presented to Her Royal Highness Princess Alexandra, a member of the British Royal Family.
When asked about the Show and the Cornwall community, Jones said he will miss spending time with the local people he has grown to respect and admire.
"For me personally, I will miss seeing old friends and faces," said Jones. "For us, today is going to be a particular sad visit because we are saying goodbye, or at least see you later."
JMF St. Mawgan, the only U.S. Navy installation in the United Kingdom, held a ceremony April 18 to signify an operational transfer from JMF to its headquarters in Dam Neck, Va. The installation's disestablishment is slated to take place later this year.
"The great thing about technology is that we can do things smarter and smaller," said Jones. "So, what we have done is consolidated into one command. We can still do the same mission with the same effectiveness, but we can do it from the facilities in Dam Neck."
The Station Commander for the Royal Air Force (RAF) St. Mawgan, Wing Commander Paul Loader, said the U.S. Navy and RAF members have developed a special relationship during the past 15 years and not just the base, but the whole community, is saddened by the disestablishment of JMF.
"The support that JMF has offered in terms of charity work, support for events like the Royal Cornwall Show, and the elements at all levels of Cornwall activities has been phenomenal and will be sorely missed," said Loader.
The operational and social relationship JMF has developed with RAF forces and the Royal Navy has also been outstanding, added Loader, which has made their farewell more difficult for him.
"Personally, this is probably one of the saddest moments within my service," said Loader, "because they add such a great element of flavor in terms of professional, operational and community focus."
Advanced technology and cost-efficiency measures for both the United States and the United Kingdom have prompted the U.S. Navy and U.K. Ministry of Defence to relocate JMF's Integrated Undersea Surveillance Systems (IUSS) operations to work remotely from the Naval Ocean Processing Facility in Dam Neck. This force structure change will save the United Kingdom nearly four million pounds per year and the United States almost nine million dollars annually in support and operations costs.
JMF ST. Mawgan was commissioned at Royal Air Force Station, St. Mawgan, in 1995 as a result of a memorandum of understanding between the United States, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland governments in 1990. The command's role has been to provide anti-submarine warfare and ocean borne acoustic information to tactical platforms and shore-based facilities, providing a link between U.S. and U.K. maritime forces and their headquarters. With its unique combination of professionals from a broad spectrum of countries and disciplines, JMF accomplishes a wide variety of mission oriented goals.
The Joint Maritime Facility, St. Mawgan, is one of seven Navy installations under Navy Region Europe, Africa, Southwest Asia (EURAFSWA), and the last remaining U.S. installation in the United Kingdom.