Installation Overview --Royal Air Force Station Lakenheath, Suffolk, United King

1
Overview

The 48th Fighter Wing covered with snow and ice. Photo courtesy U.S. Air Force; photo by: Tim Barlow

Royal Air Force (RAF) Station Lakenheath, Suffolk, United Kingdom, is located 70 miles northeast of London and 25 miles from Cambridge. 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.

The Army Air Corps activated the 48th Bombardment Group (Light) January 15, 1941. For the first two years the group and its squadrons underwent a series of re-designations and transfers to meet Air Corps operational needs. Designations changed from Bombardment Group (Light) to Bombardment Group (Dive) in September 1942, and again to Fighter-Bomber Group in August 1943. The squadrons were also redesignated as the 492nd, 493rd, 494th and 495th Fighter-Bomber Squadrons. The history of these squadrons leads to the squadrons that make up the 48th Fighter Wing of today.

The 48th Fighter Wing's leadership is responsible for training, supporting, and employing a combat fighter wing that includes one F-15C and two F-15E squadrons. The wing stands ready to provide responsive combat air power, support and services to meet our Nation's and allies international objectives-anytime, anywhere, whatever needs to be done. The Major Command is the United States Air Forces Europe. USAFE is a component command of the United States European Command and a major command of the U.S. Air Force.

Official website of Royal Air Force (RAF) Station Lakenheath

2
Location/Driving Directions

RAF Lakenheath is located approximately 80-100 miles from the major airports in a rural making it difficult to obtain transportation. When flying into the United Kingdom you will normally arrive at London Heathrow, Stansted or Gatwick Airports.

If you are taking the Bus from London Heathrow Airport,the military airport shuttle picks up from London Heathrow 3 times daily.

The bus will be marked Coach Services" and will be in bay 5-9 depending on parking availability.

If you want to travel at your own convenience, the base Outdoor Recreation department offers a Airport Shuttle bus service. They will send someone to the airport to meet and greet you then provide you with transportation to RAF Lakenheath. Groups can be anywhere from 1 to 12. To make reservations call DSN: 314-226-2146 or commercially to England on 011 44 1638 52 2146.

The National Express Coach is like the Grey Hound bus and has a pick-up and drop-off location at the airport. A ticket to RAF Lakenheath can cost as little as 30 pounds. Either book your tickets on-line prior to arrival or wait to you arrive at the airport to purchase a ticket. RAF Lakenheath is not an actual drop off location so ask for either a ticket to Mildenhall or Brandon. Both of these places are within 5 miles of RAF Lakenheath so it will be easy to obtain a taxi to get you to the base.

There are two taxi companies that have approval to come onto the perimeter without the need for you to sign them on the base, Taxi's and Phoenix Cabs. Contact number for Phoenix Cabs is 011 44 1638 52 2306 and M&L Taxi's is 011 44 1638 712261. Order this taxi in advance as it can take upto 2 ½ hours to get to the airport.

If you choose to get a local taxi on arrival this can cost you up to 250.00 pounds, obtain local taxi information at the airport. Ensure you agree the price of the taxi prior to getting into the cab and make sure they are a licensed taxi company before you leave.

You can also take the train. The best station to get off would be Brandon as this is only 5 miles from the base. You would then be able to call one of the taxi companies above to obtain transportation to the base.

If you are coming into Stansted or Gatwick Airport there are no contract bus service to or from those locations. Make arrangements with either the taxi's companies above or the out-door recreation airport shuttle. The national express bus is also available or maybe the train. Make sure your sponsor is aware of your travel arrangements so that we can make sure you get to the base easily. If you have any questions or concerns you can call the base Motor Pool at 01638524843 (24 hours a day) or commercially on 011 44 1638524843 for transportation advice.

3
Main Phone Numbers

Airman 1st Class Daniel Wisniewski , 48th Comptroller Squadron customer service technician. Photo courtesy U.S. Air force

Base Operator DSN (314) 226-1110 011-44-163852-3000

CENTRAL APPOINTMENT DESK 011-44-1638-

CHILD DEVELOPMENT CENTERS 011-44-1638-/3829 DSN: 314-226-/3829

DENTAL CENTRAL APPOINTMENTS 011-44-1638- DSN: 314-226-8795

DODEA UK-District Office RAF Lakenheath Phone: 011-44-1638- DSN: 314-226-7226

EDUCATION OFFICE 011-44-1638- DSN: 314-226-3851

FAMILY CHILD CARE PROGRAM 011-44-1638-/3718 DSN: 314-226-2994/3718

HOURLY CARE CENTER 011-44-1638 DSN: 314-226-5538

HOUSING OFFICE 011-44-1638- DSN: 314-226-2000

LAKENHEATH ELEMENTARY SCHOOL 011-44-1638-/3674 DSN: 314-226-3721/3674

LAKENHEATH HIGH SCHOOL 011-44-1638- DSN: 314-226-3115

LAKENHEATH MIDDLE SCHOOL Phone: 011-44-1842- DSN: 314-226-7006

LIBERTY INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL 011-44-1638-

LIBERTY LODGE 011-44-1638-/6713/6988 DSN: 314-226-6700/6713/6988

TRICARE OFFICE 011-44-1638- DSN: 314-226-8688

YOUTH CENTER 001-44-1638-/5437 DSN: 314-226-3180/5437

4
Population/Major Units Assigned

The Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, Honor Guard gathered with British forces and veterans for the ceremony in honor of Remembrance Sunday, or Poppy Day. Photo courtesy U.S. Air Force; photo by: Senior Airman Thomas Trower

The 48th Operations Group is host at RAF Lakenheath. The Liberty Wing is the Air Force’s largest, mission ready, F-15E/C fighter wing.

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.

5
Temporary Lodging

Liberty Lodge entrance. Photo courtesy U.S. Air force

The availability of rooms and costs at Liberty Lodge, RAF Lakenheath's temporary lodging facility, may change, so consult Liberty Lodge when making reservations to obtain the most current information.

Active Duty can make reservations anytime. Retirees are on a Space Available basis, and can make reservations 24 hours in advance. No pets are permitted in quarters. All rooms have color TV, maid service, and access to laundry facilities.

Reservations for Distinguished Visitors must be made through 48 FW Protocol, at DSN 314-226-2444.

For off base lodging, check in at the Liberty Lodge to obtain a listing of temporary lodging in the local area.

All arrivals after duty hours, should check into lodging at Bldg 955.

6
Housing

RAF Lakenheath new family housing units. Photo courtsy U.S. Air Force

The 48th CES/CEH Housing Management Office, located in Building 429 at RAF Lakenheath, serves military personnel assigned to Mildenhall, Lakenheath, and Feltwell and can be reached at DSN 314-226-2000 or (01638) 52-2000.

A satellite Housing Management office is located in building 460 at RAF Mildenhall to process TLA, OHA and AOHA. They can be reached at DSN 314-238-2808 or (01638) 52-2808.

The Unaccompanied Housing Management Office is located in Building 917 on RAF Lakenheath and can be reached at DSN 314-226-1640 or (01638) 52-1640.

There are approximately 1,775 military family housing (MFH) units serving RAF Lakenheath, RAF Mildenhall and RAF Feltwell. All active duty members must check in with the Lakenheath/Mildenhall Housing Office within 2 days upon arrival. All newcomers will receive a Housing Newcomers orientation at the Lakenheath/Mildenhall Airman and Family Readiness Center's INTRO In-processing briefing.

The wait time for on-base housing varies, depending on family size, grade and preference area. Usually, families are waiting anywhere between 0-24 months for on-base housing. Just to be on the safe side, prepare to live off-base for a few months, especially if you are arriving during the heavy PCS season (summer & winter). The new LIberty Village Housing currently has an average waiting time of 12-24 months.

Due to construction methods and insurance liabilities, waterbeds are not permitted in Military Family Housing. In addition, due to climate, there are no Air Conditioning units, or fly screens provided. Storage space is limited and very few housing areas have covered, garage parking.

All active duty military personnel, E-1 and above who have command sponsored dependents are eligible for military family housing. Unless otherwise approved, all unaccompanied military personnel E-1 to E-3 will be assigned an on-base dormitory room. Unaccompanied military personnel E-4 and above have the option to live off-base.

All military personnel and emergency essential civilians opting for on-base housing will need to submit an advanced application for housing (DD Form 1746) at their losing housing office with copy of orders. Your gaining housing office will process your application within 3-5 days of receipt and you will be placed on the waiting list effective the day you depart your losing installation. Please try to submit your paperwork NLT 40 days prior to your arrival to Lakenheath.

The Liberty Wing has nine dormitories single service members. Of these, three have a room-bath-room (two-plus-tow) configuration and six are in the new one-plus-one configuration. All Airmen assigned to the Liberty Wing are assigned private rooms. All E1-E3 and E4 with less than three years of service, are required to live in the dormitories. Due to the lack of excess dormitory space, priority 3 (E1-E4 with three years of service or more) and priority 4 (unaccompanied enlisted members) will not be housed in dormitories.

7
Schools

Franziska Christianson, Lakenheath High School senior, labels books at the Lakenheath Intermediate School library. Photo courtesy U.S. Air Force; photo by: Elysia Garcia

RAF Lakenheath or RAF Mildenhall have three basic methods for educating school-age children. They are Department of Defense Dependents Schools, British Schools or home schooling.

All Department of Defense Dependents Schools (DODDS) are accredited by the North Central Association (NCA) of Colleges and Schools. RAF Lakenheath has a total of five schools. There is one intermediate school with grades 4th and 5th, two elementary schools with grades kindergarten through 5th, one middle school with grades 6th through 8th, and one high school with grades 9th through 12th. Tuition-free, space-required enrollment is limited to command-sponsored pupils. The child's name must appear on the sponsor's overseas travel orders as proof of command sponsorship. Others may be admitted on a space-available basis, either tuition-free or tuition paying. Registration for new students takes place year-round.

School Registration is an annual requirement by DoD Regulation to determine continued eligibility for school enrollment. Accurate and complete school enrollments assist principals and district superintendents in projecting appropriate resources to support the coming school year.

DoDDS-E Students can register by either visiting the school and registering in person or you may register on-line.Registering on-line still requires a visit to the school to finalize the registration process.

Approval for the enrollment of an eligible minor dependent of a DoD sponsor must be obtained from DoDDS Europe prior to enrolling a child in a Non DoD school.

You can home school your children while you are in the UK if you choose. There are several support groups on RAF Lakenheath and RAF Mildenhall for home schooling families. Students who are home schooled can participate in "auxiliary services" if they meet DODDS registration requirements and register at the school.

Pupil transportation within DoDDS is provided based on pre-determined Catchment Areas. When you register your child for school you will be provided a school bus registration form. All students must be registered at the appropriate school bus office, as well as at the school, prior to riding a school bus. For question or concerns, please contact Lakenheath Bus Office at 01638-52-2304 or Feltwell Bus Office at 01638-52-7007.

For adults wishing to start or continue their education, five colleges/universities serve the community offering undergraduate certificate and degree programs to graduate degrees. The Spouse Tuition Assistance Program is available to help RAF Lakenheath spouses pursue their education while stationed overseas. More information can be obtained through the Education Office or Airman and Family Readiness Center. Additional educational opportunities can be found in the surrounding British communities.

8
Child Care

Dana Fraley, a caregiver at Child Development Center East, helps one-year-old Caitlyn Mabie serve herself lunch. Photo courtesy U.S. Air Force; photo by: Capt. Alysia Harvey

The RAF Lakenheath Child Development Centers (CDC) offer childcare for children ages 6 weeks to 5 years and is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children.

Members can place their child(ren) on the CDC waitlist prior to their arrival to RAF Lakenheath by faxing DD Form 2606, Department of Defense Program Request for Care Record, to (01638) 525818 or via DSN at 314-226-5818. Wait times vary between 3-12 months.

Fees are subsidized with Appropriated Funds. Families are placed on one of six fee categories, based on total family income. Families will be asked to provide their most recent Leave and Earning statement(s) and/or pay stubs. In accordance with federal guidelines, BAH and in-kind equivalent (Also BAS) are added together with earnings to determine the fee category. Fees are reviewed annually in the Fall. Fees range from $47.50- $111.00) per week.

RAF Lakenheath offers a number of other child care and support options for parents seeking care, including the Hourly Child Care Program, New Parent Support Program, Bundles for Babies and Women, Infants & Children Overseas.

The Before and After School Program (BASP) offered by the Youth Center, provides care for school age children of working parents. The program opens at 6:30 a.m. and ensures the youth arrive to school on time. The BASP staff collects the youth after school.

The Family Child Care (FCC) Home Program offers home-based child care in licensed homes for children ages two weeks through twelve years. These self-employed providers operate their home independently in compliance with strict Air Force policies, including frequent inspections and close monitoring by the Family Child Care Coordinator. Full time, part time, hourly, weekends, extended hours and school age care is available.

A listing of family child care providers residing in military housing is available from the Child Development Center, Youth Center, Airman and Family Readiness Center and Lodging. For more information, contact the FCC office at DSN 314-226 -2170 or (01638) 522170.

9
Medical Care

Capt. Cynthia LeFrere, 48th Medical Operations Squadron nurse, uses the new Emergency Severity Index to asses her patient in the emergency room. Photo courtesy U.S. Air Force; photo by: Staff Sgt. Megan Lyon

The 48th Medical Group (48 MDG) at RAF Lakenheath is the largest Air Force medical facility in Europe, providing general and specialized medical services to more than 700 military and civilian members. 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. The 48 MDG provides the highest possible quality medical and dental care to all patients. The 48 MDG averages 15,000 patient visits, 350 admissions, 261 surgical procedures and 60 births per month. The medical group provides care for over 26,000 beneficiaries, including pay patients, locally and another 10,000 throughout Britain and northern Europe.

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