Mildenhall, Suffolk, United Kingdom
Placed on standby status after the war, it was reopened by the Royal Air Force and became a USAF-RAF joint operation base on 11 July 1950. Initially Strategic Air Command flying B-29 Superfortress bombers were assigned to the station. In 1952 it became a B-50 Superfortress base and then a B-47 Stratojet and KC-97 Stratofreighter base in 1953 until 1958. On 1 March 1959, and the base became "The Gateway to the United Kingdom", for most U.S. military personnel and dependants.
Located in Suffolk RAF Mildenhall was established as a Royal Air Force station in 1930, and opened in 1934. During World War II, RAF Bomber Command used the station for operational combat missions until 1945.
352d Special Operations Wing
The 352 SOW is the Air Force component for Special Operations Command in Europe, a sub-unified command of the US European Command. The 352 SOW has two flying squadrons, a maintenance squadron, an operations support squadron and a special tactics squadron.
The mission of the 352 SOW is to serve as the focal point for all U.S. Air Force special operations activities throughout the European theatre, including Africa and the Middle East. The 352 SOW is prepared to conduct a variety of high priority, low-visibility missions supporting U.S. and allied special operations forces throughout the European theatre during peacetime, joint operations exercises and combat operations.
The 352d SOW develops and implements peacetime and wartime contingency plans. It effectively uses fixed-wing and personnel assets in infiltration by, exfiltration by and resupplying of U.S. and allied special operations forces. The 7th Special Operations Squadron fly the MC-130 Talon II and CV-22 aircraft.
95th Reconnaissance Squadron
The 95th Reconnaissance Squadron conducts RC-135 Rivet Joint flight operations in the European and Mediterranean theatres of operations as tasked by National Command Authorities and European Command. The squadron provides all operational management, aircraft maintenance, administration, and intelligence support to produce politically sensitive real-time intelligence data vital to national foreign policy. The 95 RS supports RC-135, OC-135, and E-4 missions when deployed.
100th Air Refuelling Wing
The current host unit at Mildenhall is the 100th Air Refuelling Wing (100 ARW), which deploys aircraft for and manages the European Tanker Task Force, a rotational force which provides air refuelling to US and NATO aircraft in the European Theatre. The wing provides the critical air refuelling "bridge" that allows the Expeditionary Air Force to deploy around the globe on a moment's notice. The tactical component of the 100 ARW is the 351st Air Refuelling Squadron (351 ARS), flying the Boeing KC-135R Stratotanker - see separate article.