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RAF Mildenhall

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RAF Mildenhall.

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IP28 8NF

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Runway(s) :
9,219ft (11/29)

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RAF Mildenhall and Lakenheath Movements in 2018.

RAF Mildenhall.
KC-135R Stratotanker at RAF Mildenhall - Andy Court

RAF Mildenhall is located north-west of Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk, and is home to the 100th Air Refueling Wing (100 ARW) with their Boeing KC-135R Stratotankers. Mildenhall is also home to 352 Operations Group operating the RC-135, MC-130B, MC-130P and CV-22B.

On 8 January 2015, the Department of Defense announced that operations at RAF Mildenhall would end and be relocated to Spangdahlem Air Base in Germany. On 18 January 2016, the British Ministry of Defence announced that the site is to be sold. As of February 2020, closure of RAF Mildenhall has now been postponed until at least 2027.

RAF Mildenhall Satellite View

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Plane Finder tracks mainly civilian flights but does also include some military aircraft such as the Tutor, Tucano, Hawk, Voyager, BAe 146, Squirrel HT1, and Sentinel R1 etc which can be seen over the UK. ADS-B Exchange (Click on ADSBX Radar View) tracks many other military aircraft such as Tornado, Typhoon, F-15, Hercules etc over the UK.

Scanner Frequencies

RAF Mildenhall Scanner Frequencies:
Tower - 122.550, 370.250
Ground - 337.975, 121.625
Metro - 284.425
ATIS - 282.025

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Aircraft & Squadrons
RAF Mildenhall is home to the United States Air Force (USAF) 100th Air Refueling Wing (ARW) operating the KC-135R Stratotanker, the 352nd Special Operating Wing (SOG) operating the MC-130J and the CV-22 Osprey, the 95th Reconnaissance Squadron operating the RC-135, OC-135 and E-4, the 488th Intelligence Squadron operating the RC-135 aircraft, .

There is also the 501st Combat Support Wing which is a non-flying unit that provides administration, and the 727th Air Mobility Squadron that provides fixed and deployed maintenance, aerial port and command and control support to deployed command forces across the globe.

100th ARW - KC-135R Stratotanker.
352nd SOG - MC-130J & CV-22 Osprey.
95th Reconnaissance Squadron - RC-135, OC-135 & E-4.
488th Intelligence Squadron - RC-135.

RAF Mildenhall was established as an RAF station in 1930, and opened in 1934. During WW2, RAF Bomber Command used the station for operational combat missions using the Wellington, Stirling, and Lancaster aircraft. New concrete runways were laid in 1943. By the end of the war, aircraft from RAF Mildenhall and its satellite airfields (Newmarket, Tuddenham, and Lakenheath) dropped over 23,000 tons of explosives, laid 2,000 mines in enemy waters, and flew over 8,000 sorties.

After the War, it was reopened in 1950 as a USAF-RAF joint operation base. Mildenhall was assigned to Strategic Air Command with the B-29 Superfortress, the B-50 Superfortress in 1952, and from 1953 to 1958 operated the B-47 Stratojet and KC-97 Stratofreighter.

In 1958, Mildenhall was closed for runway repairs, and transferred the Military Air Transport Service to Mildenhall in 1959. Mildenhall became the gateway to the United Kingdom for most U.S. military personnel.

Mildenhall became a USAFE base in 1959 and the RAF relinquished joint operations status. On 1 July 1966, Mildenhall welcomed the arrival of the 513th Troop Carrier Wing with their C-130 Hercules. In 1976, Detachment 4, 9th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing arrived at Mildenhall and operated the Lockheed U-2 and SR-71 reconnaissance aircraft. On 1 July 1978, the SAC 306th Strategic Wing was transferred to RAF Mildenhall with their KC-135 refueling aircraft, and RC-135 reconnaissance aircraft.

After the Cold War, Mildenhall was home to the 100th Air Refueling Wing of USAFE in 1992 with the KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft. RAF Alconbury was returned to the British Ministry of Defence in 1993, and the 352d Special Operations Group and its associated aircraft, the MC-130E, HC-130P/N and MH-53, transferred to RAF Mildenhall in March 1995. On 1 July 1994 the 95th Reconnaissance Squadron was activated at Mildenhall.

On 8 January 2015 the Department of Defense announced the closure of RAF Mildenhall, with aircraft and personnel transferring to Ramstein Air Base and Spangdahlem Air Base in Germany. The UK government announced the site was one of 12 that will be sold as part of the strategy for the MOD estate, although no date for the sale was given. CV-22 Osprey's and C-130's stationed at the airbase will be re-located to Spangdahlem Air Base whereas the KC-135 tanker aircraft will be sent to Ramstein. The approximate date of divestiture for RAF Mildenhall was initially 2024. The closure of RAF Mildenhall has now been postponed until at least 2027 (edited Feb 2020).

It was announced in May 2017 that the RC-135s of the 95th Reconnaissance Squadron & 488th Intelligence Squadron will be relocated to RAF Fairford, which will require a runway overrun reconfiguration, infrastructure and an intel and squad Ops facility.


KC-135R Stratotanker - Andy Court.KC-135R Stratotanker - Andy Court.

RC-135 Rivet Joint - Andy Court.RC-135 Rivet Joint - Andy Court.

MC-130 - Andy Court.MC-130 - Andy Court.

Vulcan To The Sky Calendar 2022

Mildenhall Air Fete

The very popular Mildenhall Air Fete began in 1976 as part of the celebration of America's 200th birthday. It was held every year, usually on Memorial Day weekend, until 1999, when it was called off during Operation Allied Force, the NATO-led effort to push the Serbs from the Kosovo province. It was held again in 2000 and 2001 with crowds reaching half a million people for the Saturday and Sunday.

In more recent years the Air Fete has been cancelled due to operational requirements in support of the Global War on Terrorism, and a scheduled runway construction project in 2004. However, there hasn't been an Air Fete at Mildenhall since 2001 and it has now been announced that Mildenhall is to be closed in the near future.

Mildenhall Air Fete page
Mildenhall Air Fete 1997 photos
Mildenhall Air Fete 2000 photos

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