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Fast Facts

 Defender Park at RAF Lakenheath

Location:  Royal Air Force (RAF) Station Lakenheath, Suffolk, United Kingdom, is located 70 miles northwest of London and 25 miles from Cambridge. The closest town is Lakenheath village which is located two miles from the base. RAF Mildenhall and Mildenhall village are approximately seven miles away. RAF Feltwell and the village of Feltwell are approximately eight miles away. RAF Lakenheath is the largest U.S. Air Force-operated base in England and the only U.S. Air Forces in Europe (USAFE) F-15 fighter wing. RAF Lakenheath homepage.

MANDATORY READING:

If you are being assigned to RAF Lakenheath, then you are required to" click" the below link and read the official Memorandums and guidance regarding your upcoming assignment.

Please note that 30% of Newcomers fail the drivers test! For more information please review Driving Permit Guidelines under Critical Installation Information.

Cost of Living: The United Kingdom is a high cost of living area for the military. Personnel should be prepared to defray added expenses not normally found in the States, i.e., television license and road tax.

Base Operator:  011-44-1638-523000, or DSN 314-226-1110

Population:  RAF Lakenheath consists of approximately 5,500 active-duty military members, 2,700 British, Icelandic and U.S. civilians, and includes geographically separated units at nearby RAF Feltwell as well as Keflavik Naval Air Station, Iceland.

Area Population:  Lakenheath Village: 8,200

Child Development Centers:  Two centers on base offer care for children six weeks of age to their Kindergarten year. Full-time care is provided at both the East Center (located in between the Alterations shop and base housing) and the West Center (near Gate 2 and base housing) with an overall capacity of 322 full-time spaces. We also offer hourly care and a Preschool Enrichment Program for 3-5 year olds. Call East Center CDC, 314-226-3285 or West Center CDC, 314-226-5812.

Family Child Care homes available for children, six weeks to 12 years of age, for full-time, part-time, hourly, evening, weekend, swing shift and extended basis. Call 314-226-2170.

Schools:  There are three basic avenues for educating school-age children while you are stationed at RAF Lakenheath - Department of Defense Dependent Schools, British Schools or Home Schooling. 

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

Standardized test scores for Isles District schools are available through the DoDEA Data Center.

British Schooling -- For detailed information on Education and Learning in Britain, the Government public service website You can also contact the School Liaison Office for help finding a local school and for applying through the Local Authority. 

The School Liaison Officer (SLO) acts as a community facilitator; connecting schools, families, and community services to address education issues impacting military children.  No matter where military service takes our families the SLO is there to help make a positive school transition.  For school questions relating to your inbound or outbound transition or issues that arise during your assignment, please contact the RAF Lakenheath/Mildenhall School Liaison Office. 

School Liaison Office: DSN 314-226-5077/5078 or 01638 52-5077/5078.  Email: 48msg.ccl@lakenheath.af.mil

Youth Programs:  Youth programs provide a wide variety of services, instructional classes and activities for children five to 18 years of age including before and after school programs, full day camps during summer vacation and school holidays, youth sports and Open Recreation. Located in Building 250. Call DSN 314-226-KIDS/5437.

Airman and Family Readiness Center: Airman and Family Readiness Center, 011-44-1638-52-3847 or 314-226-3847. For the most up-to-date information find us on social media: Facebook:facebook.com/RAFLakenheathAFRC Twitter:@LakenheathAFRC, Pinterest: pinterest.com/airmanandfamily.

Housing: The Main Housing Office is located in Bldg 429 at RAF Lakenheath. There are approximately 1,875 military family housing (MFH) units serving RAF Lakenheath and RAF Feltwell, located in 13 different locations. Some government housing areas are located on Lakenheath and others are as far away as 31 miles from the base. MFH units are available for active-duty military, of all ranks, who have command sponsored dependents.

The communities surrounding Lakenheath offer a number of affordable and beautiful rentals for those seeking off-base housing. The Lakenheath Housing Office has a phone number specifically for off-base referral inquiries. You can reach them at DSN 314-226-2000 Option 1. The housing office offers a courtesy drive service to view housing in the community.

Call the Housing Office-Lakenheath, 011-44-1638-52-2000/2804.

Employment:  Like many other overseas locations, RAF Lakenheath is a challenging environment for spouses who are seeking employment outside the home. It is not uncommon for applicants to wait 6 months or longer to gain a job commensurate with their education and/or experience. Employment opportunities exist on base through local community banks, credit unions, AAFES, Non-Appropriated Funds (NAF), DECA, DoDDs, area contractors and the concessionaires at RAF Lakenheath and RAF Mildenhall. Visit the Human Resource Office website for information about employment opportunities on base.

To obtain the higher paying positions on the British economy may require individuals to drive to Cambridge (approximately 45 minutes from base). 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 more than 700 military and civilian members. It is the largest Air Force medical facility in Europe. The 48 MDG is the referral medical facility for the US Air Force, Navy and Army personnel assigned to the United Kingdom, as well as a referral facility for USAFE. Its focus is to provide customers with local service whenever possible. The group also offers several surgical procedures performed nowhere else in the USAFE. Call 011-44-1638-52-8010 or DSN 314-226-8010.

Critical Information: 

  • Lodging is available at the Liberty Lodge, RAF Lakenheath, 011-44-1638-546700 or DSN 314-226-6700.
  • The currency used in the UK is pounds or 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.
  • 30% of Newcomers fail the drivers test! Studying the British Highway Code book is highly recommended.

Driving Permit Guidelines

It is critical that all new members to RAF Lakenheath must obtain a 3AF Form 435 (drivers permit) to operate any motor vehicle in the UK. Members have 15 days to complete Local Conditions/CRS II training and obtain their 3AF Form 435. After 15 days new members who do not obtain a drivers permit are not authorized to operate any motor vehicle (to include rental cars) on/off base.

Members must study The British Highway Code book (squadrons and Airman & Family Readiness Center have copies and copies can be obtained online).

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.

Explore the links to the left for in-depth information.

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