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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 United Kingdom (U.K.) 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 U.K. 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 250 pounds a year). More details can be found in the ‘Financial Assistance’ section.

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

Population:

  • 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 DSN 314-238-2339 or 011-44-1638 542339 for more information.

Child Development Centers: RAF Mildenhall has a CDC which offers child care for children 6 weeks to 5 years of age (pre-Kindergarten). The CDC is located in Building 293 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. 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 100fss.childdevelopment@us.af.mil 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 (DoDDS), 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 is 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 commercial 011-44-1638-52-5077/5078.

Youth Services: RAF Mildenhall's Youth Center, is located in Building 293, and offers many programs for youth ranging from 2-18 years of age. Please call 011-44-1638-545437 or DSN 314-238-5437 or email 100fss.schoolageall@us.af.mil for further information.

Airman and Family Readiness Center (A&FRC): Visit Building 460 on your first duty day to sign up for newcomer briefings (after checking in with your squadron and Military Personnel). The briefings 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 planning to drive in the UK. Please do not bring children to either of these briefings due to testing and AFI mandated briefings. Ask the A&FRC about PCS child care, the Child Development Center for drop in care, or plan on attending these briefings alternately with your spouse. Driver's training, including a 50 question test based on the UK Highway Code will be held on Thursday mornings. Study the signs and information at GOV.UK. 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 twice weekly event being offered for newly arrived spouses (Tuesdays from 1015-1115, and Thursdays from 1500-1600). This enables spouses to connect with others, and have their questions answered to help with adapting to life in the UK. See the ‘Relocation’ and ‘Check in procedures’ topics for more details.

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 worldwide.

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 Vignette in their US no-fee passports. This 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 .

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. 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. Off-base, 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, commercial 011-44-1638-542965 or DSN 314-238-2965. 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 are currently closed for renovation. 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 U.K. 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. Do not import cordless telephones operating below 853 MHz which do not conform to the UK requirements as these are prohibited.
  • In-processing requirements: Active Duty members must report to the Unit Commander's Support Staff (CSS), Military Personnel Section (MPS), Building 436 on the first duty day after arrival to officially in-process. You will receive in-processing checklists and ration cards. Then visit the Airman & Family Readiness Center Building 460) to get signed up for the two-day newcomer briefings (as mentioned above). 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 cents) 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.
  • All dependents must be command sponsored and have a U.S. no fee passport to accompany military members on your tour to the U.K. All U.S. Civilian employees, and their dependents must have a Visa prior to arrival in country. U.S. Contractors must have Visas reflecting their contract terms. The Visa may cost approximately $1000.00 (prices subject to change) and is a reimbursable expense. An "Official No-Fee Passport" can be obtained from your local Military Personnel Section. For additional information on passports and Visas visit this webpage, in addition 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 here, and information can also be found in ‘Shipping Pets’ section. Read the Animal Welfare Act to ensure you understand how to care for your pets while in the UK.

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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