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Department of the Air Force
Brandon Suffolk United Kingdom IP279PN
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The Wing mission is to provide worldwide responsive combat airpower and support. The three Wing priorities are Nuclear and Conventional Readiness, F-35 beddown, and to Grow the Lakenheath Community. The 48th Fighter Wing is America's premier combat Wing for significant contributions to global security. Each Airman and Family Member departs RAF Lakenheath with a life-long sense of pride for having joined a storied line of patriotic Americans serving in this corner of Europe.
Moving to and living in England can be expensive. One of your immediate concerns should be to assess your present financial status and then construct a spending plan based on anticipated expenses. Building a spending plan means knowing what your entitlements will be and what type of expenses you can expect when you arrive at your next duty location. Work closely with your sponsor to estimate anticipated expenses. Major items such as vehicle purchases, vehicle/home insurance, heating oil, utilities, rent, UK Road Tax and UK TV Tax, etc., should top your list. Additionally, depending upon your present financial situation, you may want to consider the following options:
Visit your Military Personnel Office to obtain Government Fee-Paid Passports for your family members; these passports allow them to travel to and from the overseas location.
You are also encouraged to obtain tourist passports because the No-Fee passports WILL NOT allow entry into some European countries. To travel freely within Europe you and each family member should obtain a Tourist passport at your own expense.
You can apply for a tourist passport before or after your arrival. If you apply after you receive a No-Fee passport, you can use the No-Fee passport as proof of citizenship, however may not be able to travel as freely initially.
Other documents you should be preparing and updating early:
Passports and Visas
Ensure member and/or dependents have the required passports and/or visa prior to final out-processing. Member and/or dependents are not allowed to final out-process without the required passports/visas in hand for themselves (if applicable) and/or dependents. Members electing the accompanied tour will not be permitted to out-process without having the required passports/visas in hand for themselves (if applicable) and/or dependents.
These actions are necessary to prevent unforeseen hardships to the military members and their families. Therefore, as a last reiteration, it is essential, members do not out-process without having the appropriate passports/visas for themselves (if applicable) and/or dependents.
Drivers MUST have a 3rdAir Force driver's permit to operate a vehicle on base and to obtain fuel from the base service station, as well as the service stations at other USAF bases in the U.K.
Driving in the U.K. is a privilege, not a right. All personnel assigned to RAF Lakenheath who require driving privileges:
You and your dependents will attend the driver's briefing during in-processing with the Military and Family Readiness Center. The exam will be administered during that time. Service Members and their Dependents must study The British Highway Code book online and are encouraged to the use the USAF Connect APP for the 48 FW for additional driving related materials. This can be found under the Newcomers Tab and Driving in the UK. Please contact the staff with the Relocation Program at the Military and Family Readiness Center for the current guidance. +44 01638-52-3847
Weapons in Public and UK Law
All sponsors arriving in country will sign a memorandum at Pass and Registration indicating their understanding and compliance with laws and regulations regarding weapons, weapon storage and weapon accountability.
Personnel may store their firearms and weapons in their government military family housing quarters provided the method complies with British law, and they register their firearms at 48 SFS Pass and Registration.
Unusually dangerous weapons other than firearms are defined as any item concealed on the person or carried which could be used to cause bodily harm to others, or are likely to make reasonable persons fear for their safety. These weapons must also be registered with Pass and Registration. This list is not all-inclusive. Examples include:
48 SFS Pass and Registration will be responsible for maintaining a current listing of all personnel who register any weapon on RAF Lakenheath. This listing will be available, either in hard copy at the Pass and Registration section, or electronically on the squadron shared drive so that security forces, other agencies or personnel reasonably needing it have access to the information.
Questions/Confused? Call on DSN 314-226-1853 or Comm 011 44 1638 521853.Shipping Your Pets
A couple of other things to note when shipping your pets are:
You see that you must have a microchip implanted in your pet. The microchip implanted in your pet must be a 13-digit encoded chip. Many widely available microchips in the US do not meet the UK requirement, so have your chip checked by your vet before you assume it is acceptable.
A USDA certificate is required. Finding out where your state's nearest USDA vet is located will help determine if you need to mail the paperwork to them, or drive the paperwork there to get it filled out. Expect to pay at least $70.00 for this additional requirement.
While you prepare your pet for shipping, it is important to mention that contacting the airline you will be flying on about a month out is of the utmost importance. There tend to be very limited spaces for animals and there is typically a date when spaces are available for you to book your animal for the flight. TMO will not arrange the shipment of your pets for you. Communicating with the airline about when and where to drop the animals off is important as well, as the cargo areas that will accept pets for international shipping varies from airline to airline. With that said, pay close attention to the DEFRA website's pet travel scheme as there are only a few places that your pets may originate from in the US. Working with the airline and TMO together to sync everything up will make this process much smoother for your family. Be prepared to do most of the coordination yourself.
There are also other considerations like the breed of the animal and the time of year you plan on flying that may affect, or even prevent you from bringing your animal via commercial carrier all together. Once you have worked out those details, you must make sure your pet's carrier is of the appropriate size for your pet. Your pet must be able to stand in the carrier without their ears touching the top, or it will be considered too small. The carrier must also be fastened together with metal hardware to keep it from coming apart, i.e. nuts and bolts. Some cheaper carriers lock with plastic tabs, and are not acceptable for airline transport. Finally, the carrier must be outfitted with a food and water dish that can be accessed by the airline without opening the door. Fastening it to the door with zip ties is acceptable.
Looking to learn more about RAF Lakenheath? View the in-depth overview.
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Support and assistance is available to you if you have a family member with medical or educational needs. Check out what information and resources are available to you at this installation.
Medical support and services may vary by location. Check out what services and resources are available to you at this installation.
Learn about your housing options before your move – government and non-government housing is available across installations. Contact your housing office to find out housing availability both on and off the installation.
Resources and services are available to help you understand your legal affairs.
Provides support for deployment, relocation and financial assistance as well as installation specific resources such as employment and availability of support on the installation. Utilize these resources to help you and your family balance life in the military.
A network of support and leisure services offer service members and their families options to engage with the community. Programs and activities vary by installation but may include health and wellness opportunities or discounted ticket options.
Relocation assistance programs and services are available to support you throughout your move.
Learn about your transportation options and key and essential information when moving to a new installation.