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Military & Family Readiness Center - Relocation Programs
Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk United Kingdom IP28 8NG
Contact information for key programs and services at this installation.
Service providers are available with support both before and after a PCS move. Learn more about how to put the military’s relocation assistance program to work for you. See below for an overview of Military and Family Support Center Relocation Assistance services. Services vary by installation, so check the “Other” section below to see what other services are available at your location.
Your Military and Family Support Center provides relocation assistance to help make PCS moves as smooth as possible. Resources include:
All members making a permanent change of station to the United Kingdom are required to travel in civilian attire.
As a new arrival, you may feel like you're in limbo while waiting for your household goods. The Military and Family Readiness Center is here to help make things easier. The M&FRC, together with the Military Personnel Section, manages the base in-processing program.
The M&FRC offers cultural adaptation information during newcomers’ briefings, as leaflets, and classes, as necessary. The aim is to introduce you to the culture of the United Kingdom. You are likely to discover ideas on how to adjust to the new surroundings, and possibly where to go and what to do while you are stationed at Royal Air Force Mildenhall.
After you arrive
Your sponsor should arrange to meet you soon after arrival. This is likely to be at the airport, Gateway Inn Lodging Office, or another pre-arranged location. Make sure you know the times and pickup location of your transportation, and have unit phone numbers and a secondary plan in case any problems arise. If you are staying in lodging on base, your room number (four digits) is your phone number. Lodging and M&FRC can provide base maps if you need them.
Plan to report to your Commanders Support Staff on the first duty day after arrival to begin in-processing. Your sponsor and unit CSS will help ensure you get gained to the base. After-hours arrivals: Please report to the Lodging Office front desk and they will assist you.
Confirm with your sponsor and CSS the dates you are required to attend Team Mildenhall Newcomers' Orientations. If you need help to get signed up for this 2-day event, please contact the M&FRC in Building 460, DSN 238-3406, to get scheduled. These are held every Tuesday and Thursday, and can be attended in any order.
Thursday briefings include driver's training. All military members and any spouses, DOD civilians, contractors and dependents who plan to drive in the U.K. must attend the Thursday morning session within 14 days of arrival. If you have a valid driver’s license already, then you are required to attend the class and pass the 50-question theory test in order to receive a United States Air Forces in Europe permit and gas card to legally drive in the U.K. It's best to arrive in the U.K. with a driving license as it can be very expensive (likely over £1,000 )to get one here, and it's a lengthy process. Prior to arrival, you can start studying the Highway Code online through the U.K. government website and complete the practice tests.
Tuesday briefings are being held in-person, and Thursday briefings are offered virtually or in person. Do not bring children to briefings or classes due to the limited space. Instead, enquire at the M&FRC about PCS child care. If available, Air Force military members are entitled to 20 hours of free child care per child during the first 60 days after your arrival. The Child Development Center or Family Child Care program could be available to assist with child care.
While you wait for your household goods shipment, the M&FRC may be able to loan a variety of items to you. A dish pack for your family may be available for 30 days. Consider that bedding and towels are not available for loan. Keep this in mind when packing your unaccompanied baggage.
To assist with house hunting, you can also borrow a GPS (locally called a SatNav) for 10 days to help find your way around the area; and cell phones may be available for a 30-day loan as well.
Start saving now. Any PCS move is going to cost money. We estimate most families will need a minimum of $5,000 for expenses (initial rent deposit, auto insurance, utility deposits). Contact your sponsor or the M&FRC for more information.
If you get married before you make a PCS move, you must inform your losing unit commander and follow the procedures exactly as you are given them. The military will not pay for travel and housing of your new spouse if you do not follow proper procedures.
Contact the M&FRC at your losing base to get started in your preparation for moving overseas, and read the information listed on our RAF Mildenhall PCS & Welcome site. The Personal Financial Management Program can help you look at your finances and plan for this move. The Career Focus Program can help spouses get a head start on preparing a resume for employment, and look at our Eyes on Jobs Facebook page for current job vacancies. Also, be sure to start a special folder or bag for all of the important papers and records you will carry with you.
Make sure reservations with the RAF Mildenhall Gateway Inn Lodging Office are complete as soon as possible and confirm them just prior to the start of your travel.
Once you have a copy of your orders, you can coordinate with your sponsor to get a Post Office box, and you can use the General Delivery box to forward mail for up to 30 days before arrival.
Send out change of address letters, creditors, magazines, banks, insurance companies, family, etc. Go through your address book, bills and financial papers from the past couple of months. Make out a list of company addresses, telephone and account numbers, etc. Put this in your "carry it with me" bag. Leave a forwarding address with the Post Office and your old unit.
Talk to the staff at your finance office. They can figure out how much travel pay you will receive, including dislocation and temporary allowances. You can also check out the Defense Travel Management Office website.
Talk with your losing TMO to get current information on overseas weight allowances, packing and shipping schedules and to have up-to-date information on items you cannot ship. They can also discuss the requirements to ship your personally owned vehicle and your pet.
You can also submit an advance housing application for base housing, and the RAF Lakenheath Housing Office team that supports the tri-base area can provide assistance in finding on- and off-base housing.
Register on https://militarychildcare.com to sign up for child care for children ages 6 weeks through 5 years (pre-kindergarten) as soon as you get orders.
Get your children's school records or arrange for them to be sent to their new school. Get family records (including dental) that may be held by military or civilian doctors. You will need to hand carry all of your medical records with you.
Notify TMO Inbound of your arrival at DSN 314-238-2201, and update your details in the Defense Personal Property System, so you can be notified when your hold baggage and HHG arrive.
Contact your loved ones to notify them that you have arrived at your new duty station, but don't forget international calls can be expensive. If you are going to make many international calls, consider checking into one of the long distance services that offer cheap stateside calls or using an internet phone provider. Perhaps you can download one of the many apps that allow you to call for free.
Concurrent travel meaning your family travels with you is approved for RAF Mildenhall. The Scheduled Air Travel Office (official travel) will make flight arrangements for you and any family members authorized on your orders.
The Military Personnel Flight will assist you in obtaining official passports, visas and vignette stamps, as necessary, for anyone authorized to travel with you on your orders. If you can afford it, tourist passports are required for leisure travel overseas; but you can always wait until after you arrive to get them. Keep receipts for any lodging or transportation so you can file them with your travel voucher.
Passports and visasMilitary dependents, civilians and civilian dependents require a U.S. no-fee passport to enter the U.K. Contractors and contractor dependents require a U.S. tourist passport and a U.K. visa. If military dependents do not have a no-fee passport and enter the country on a tourist passport, they will be instructed to return to the United States to apply for one. The process for obtaining a passport or visa can take two to three months, so it is important to start the application process as soon as possible. For more details, see the check-in procedures topic.
Relocation is expensive. The M&FRC can assist with providing information on special local bills and payments, maintaining a budget, savings programs and money management. Spouses are also welcome to attend. Setting up a new banking account locally is recommended. There is a bank and a credit union on base. You could use your old bank for savings or investment accounts, but you should maintain your household budget locally so you can take care of any problems with pay, bills, account status, etc., by sitting down and talking to someone who can help solve your problems.
Develop a comprehensive projected budget until you move that establishes living expenses, enabling you to cut down on expenses and make monetary adjustments until you leave. Many of today's families rely on two incomes to make ends meet. If a second income is needed, visit the Career Focus manager at the M&FRC for help in your job search; however, do not count on spouses and/or dependents having a job immediately upon arrival. It can take six to eight months to get hired at a new job, and many jobs in the area are lower paid that what you may experience in the U.S.A.
Check out the next dates for classes or arrange an individual appointment at the M&FRC in Building 460 or call DSN 314-238-3406 or commercial 011-44-1638-543406 for more details.