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Fast Facts

Location:  RAF Mildenhall is located in the county of Suffolk, in the region of East Anglia, England, a rural farming area, with extensive travel opportunities both in the UK and on the European continent. East Anglia has a magnificent coastline, stretching for 250 miles boasting 39 beaches. The U.S. Air Force activated the 100th Air Refueling Wing, host wing at RAF Mildenhall, England, Feb. 1, 1992. Since its reactivation, the 100th ARW has served as the lone air refueling wing for U.S. Air Forces in Europe. RAF Mildenhall homepage.

Cost of Living: The United Kingdom is a high cost of living area for the military, so you should prepare and start saving for the move months before you PCS.  To help offset the higher price of non-housing goods and services, you will receive an Overseas Cost of Living Allowance (COLA). To find more information about COLA, visit the Defense Travel Management Office website. Remember that in securing rental housing at a new location, you may be required to pay the first month's rent (which can range from 500 pounds to 2,500 pounds) in advance and also a security deposit equivalent to a month's rent, which is a major expense. Personnel should also be prepared to defray added expenses not normally found in the States, i.e., television license (annual cost is approximately 150 pounds), and road tax (approximately 200 pounds a year).  More details can be found in the ‘Financial Assistance’ section.

Base Operator:  011-44-1638-541110 and DSN 314-238-1110


  • Approx 3,000 United States military members
  • Approx 900 Civilians (U.S. and MOD)
  • Approx 3,000 Family members

Area Population:  East Anglia is made up of the counties of Cambridgeshire, Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk. The region has a population of 3.3 million.

Base Transportation:  If you will be arriving at a London airport, plan your flight for early morning arrival in order to use the base shuttle bus. The shuttle bus service is provided two times each day from Heathrow to RAF Mildenhall. This will cost 50 pounds each, including dependents. Coordinate with your sponsor to find out more information about airport arrival, and how to find the right shuttle bus. If you cannot find the shuttle bus upon arrival, go to the WELCOME counter at the airport and they may be able to help you with directions. If your flight arrives after the departure of the shuttle you are authorized to take a taxi, bus, or stay in a hotel overnight. You can claim the expense on your travel voucher during the newcomer briefings offered on Thursday afternoons. Additional on base transportation includes a shuttle bus to and from the flightline area, and a free base taxi for military members from RAF Mildenhall to RAF Lakenheath for official appointments. This is provided by 100th Logistics Readiness Squadron, so please call 238-2339 or 01638 542339 for more information.

Child Development Centers: RAF Mildenhall has one CDC which offers child care for children 6 weeks to 5 years of age (pre Kindergarten).  The CDC is located in building 288 and is open Monday-Friday, 6:30 a.m.-6:00 p.m.   Military members can request a Child Care slot prior to their arrival to Mildenhall. Call DSN 314-238-2042 or 011-44-1638-54-2042. Family Child Care approved homes are also available. Call 011-44-1638-522170 or DSN 314-226-2170, or email for more information.

Schools:  There are three basic avenues for educating school-age children while you are stationed at RAF Mildenhall - Department of Defense Dependent Schools, British Schools or Home Schooling. Consider school bus routes when you are looking for a house, as there may only be one bus stop in the village where you choose to live.

There are no DoDDS schools located on RAF Mildenhall. The Department of Defense operates five schools serving members based at RAF Lakenheath, RAF Feltwell and RAF Mildenhall. These schools are located on RAF Lakenheath and RAF Feltwell and are part of the Isles District of DoDDS Europe.

British Schooling -- For detailed information on Education and Learning in Britain, the Government public service website be a good place to start. If you are considering the option of sending your child to a British school contact the School Liaison Office for frequently asked questions that will help you make a decision.

School Liaison Office: DSN 314-226-5077/5078 or Stateside 011-44-1638-52-5077/5078.

Youth Services: RAF Mildenhall's Youth Center, is usually located in Building 293, and offers many programs for youth ranging from 2-18 years of age. The Youth Center programs will be temporarily relocated to different locations while Building 293 is closed for renovation from 1 Dec 2014 until 28 May 2015.

  • The School Age Care Program will be relocated to the RAF Mildenhall Child Development Center (Building 288). 
  • The Open Recreation Program will be relocated to the Teen Center (Building 220). 
  • The Youth Sports Program (basketball) will be relocated to the Hardstand Fitness Center on the southside of RAF Mildenhall. 
  • Gymnastics, karate and piano classes will be relocated to the Teen Center (Building 220). 
  • Dance classes will be relocated to the Bob Hope Community Center. 

Please call 011-44-1638-545437 or DSN 314-238-5437 or email for further information.

Airman and Family Readiness Center:  Airman and Family Readiness Center , 011-44-1638-54-3406 or DSN 314-238-3406. Please visit the A&FRC Bldg. 460 for relocation services upon arrival, including mandatory in-processing briefings which are held on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 0745 - 1630. Driver's training, including a 50 question test based on the UK Highway Code will be held on Thursday mornings from 0745 - 1200, and you will need to study at in order to pass the 50 question test. As of 1 May 2014, all military members must report to your Unit and Military Personnel Section to get gained to RAF Mildenhall before signing up for newcomer briefings at A&FRC. Household items, GPS, maps, and cell phones may be available for loan out to assist with house-hunting and settling in. Spouses' Hour is a weekly event being offered for newly arrived spouses. This enables spouses to connect with others, and have their questions answered to help with adapting to life in the UK.

Housing: Visit the Air Force Housing website to find your new home with the Air Force. This website serves as a one-stop shop for Airmen and their families to obtain information about the housing options and support services available to them at RAF Mildenhall, and at Air Force bases world-wide.

Employment:  Retail, manufacturing and services comprise much of the job market in towns close to the base.  Job prospects are good depending on qualifications and type of employment sought, but there is competition. On base jobs consist of Federal, Non-Appropriated Fund (NAF), contracts, and Local National Direct Hire (LNDH).  LNDH positions are limited to British and European citizens.  Federal civil service requires US citizenship and NAF positions are open to all North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) citizens. Spouses are required to be command sponsored, and have a UK visa in their passports. The visa allows them to work in the UK without additional work permits. To obtain the higher paying positions and professional positions may require individuals to drive to Cambridge (approx 30 minute drive from the base). East Anglia has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the UK, at an average of 7%. To search for jobs in the UK visit the UK government website and for Jobs in Cambridgeshire, click on their website.

Base Services:

Medical Services:  The 48th Medical Group (48 MDG) at RAF Lakenheath provides general and specialized medical services to active duty and retired military, their family members and US civilians employed in the area. The 48 MDG is the referral medical facility for the US Air Force, Navy and Army personnel assigned to the United Kingdom, and is a referral facility for all of USAFE. The United States European Command also has a Bill of Rights for Behavioral Health Care.  To view the document, click here. Flight Surgeons' offices are located at both RAF Mildenhall and RAF Lakenheath and provide limited care for flyers, active duty and some flyers' family members. RAF Mildenhall Dental Clinic provides services for military members, and family members are seen on a space-available basis at RAF Lakenheath. For more information or to arrange an appointment call DSN 314-226-8010.  Offbase, the nearest community hospital is in Bury St Edmunds, click here to find the closest hospital or doctor’s surgery.

Critical Information: 

  • All members PCSing to the United Kingdom are required to travel in civilian attire.
  • Lodging is available on base at the Gateway Inn, 011-44-1638-542965 or DSN 314-238-2965. Be sure to arrange for your lodging well in advance of your arrival, as bookings can be made up to one year in advance. Lodging provides maps of the installation support agencies which will be useful during in-processing. Lodging has limited rooms available for pets, and these will be closed for renovation from 1 Aug 2014 until 1 Aug 2015. Non-availability slips are unlikely to be given if a normal room is available, so you will need to find a local kennel or cattery until you move into a house. If the Gateway Inn is full, lodging may also be available at the Liberty Lodge, RAF Lakenheath, 011-44-1638-546700 or DSN 314-226-6700. RAF Lakenheath is a neighboring USAF base about 15 minutes away from RAF Mildenhall.
  • Ensure that you do not bring American cordless devices to the UK as there is a good chance the frequency will interfere with the local emergency response system. Fines of 5,000 pounds can be issued to all offenders. The import of cordless telephones operating below 853 MHz which do not conform to the UK requirements are prohibited.
  • In-processing requirements:  Active Duty members must report to the Squadron and Commander's Support Staff (if you have one), Military Personnel (Bldg 436) on the first duty day after arrival.  At this time you will to receive in-processing checklists and ration cards. Everyone is required to visit MPS to update Common Access Cards in order to get network access. Members should also contact the Airman & Family Readiness Center at 011-44-1638543406 or DSN 314-238-3406 to get signed up for the Newcomer's briefings.  These briefings last 2 days and are held every Tuesday and Thursday from 7:45 a.m.-4:30 p.m.  Spouses are welcome to attend both days but MUST attend on Thursday if they plan to drive in the UK. It is asked to not bring children to either of these briefings due to testing and AFI mandated briefings. Therefore, please ask the Airman & Family Readiness Center about PCS child care, the Child Development Center for drop in care, gaining unit resources or plan on attending these briefings alternately with your spouse.
  • Members must report to the RAF Mildenhall Housing Office within five duty days of arrival (Bldg 231).
  • The currency used in the UK is pounds sterling. The pound is divided into 100 pence. Paper money comes in 5, 10, 20, or 50 pounds notes. Pence (similar to what we call coins) are 5, 10, 20, 50 or the 1 or 2 pound coin. Money can be exchanged from dollars to pounds (or vice versa) at the bank, credit union or clubs.
  • Active Duty Members do not need a VISA to enter the U.K. All U.S. Civilian empoyees, and military and civilian dependents MUST have a 5-year visa prior to arrival in country. U.S. Contractors must have visas reflecting their contract terms. An "Official No-Fee Passport", along with information on how to obtain a "Residence Permit" Visa prior to entering the U.K can be obtained from your local Military Personnel Flight. The Visa will cost approximately $1000.00 (prices subject to change) and is a reimbursable expense. For additional information on passports and VISAs, you can visit this webpage, or go directly to the U.K. border agency Website.
  • In order for pets to come into the United Kingdom with little or no quarantine, a certain procedure must be followed. Details on this procedure can be obtained from the DEFRA website, and information can also be found in ‘Shipping Pets’ information.

Defense Service Network (DSN) Dialing Instructions

The DSN is the provider of long-distance communications service for the Department of Defense (DoD). Every installation has a special DSN number and the numbers vary by world-wide location. In order to place a call using DSN, the caller must be using a military phone on an installation. Cell phones cannot dial DSN numbers. When dialing a DSN number from a United States installation to another United States installation, it is unnecessary to dial the DSN 312 area code. When dialing a DSN number to/from overseas locations, the DSN area code must be included. The operator can be reached at commercial (719) 567-1110. Please note that long distance charges may be incurred.

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