A.P. asks from APO, AE on May 06, 2008
Anyone Stationed at Mildenhall England or Have Info on It?
I am looking for any and all info in Mildenhall AFB in England. Our overseas assignment list just came out and we are looking into that base as a possability.
I would love to hear what you have experianced and how the base, housing and area is. I would absolutly LOVE Photos!
Oh Yeah How are the BUGS / SNAKES? Does base housing have Washer dryers or hookups and how about A/C in the base housing?
Also we will be trying for baby #2 and unless they will do a VBACK I will have to have another c section. Anyone deliver or C-sec there? How was it?
D.M. answers from Stationed Overseas on May 07, 2008
I hope you and your family stay open minded to coming out here. My husband and I (of 10 years) love it here! Our daughter who just turned one of course doesn't have much of an opinion on the whole matter. :0)
Let me just say you have a lot of great questions about coming here. I personally have never seen a snake here... I'm not even sure if they have them. Bugs... hmmm... they actually don't have window screens in their house so that is sort of a problem but their are some base housing areas that have sort of a pull down shade type window screen. I am super bug phobic... hate spiders. I only remember one day that there were lots of flies coming in my house. Usually we just have the odd creepy spider. We don't live in the middle of a farm field though.
We purchased an a/c unit when we got here (aprox 200 pounds or $400!!! ouch!!) That came in handy durning our first summer. It did get pretty hot... like Washington summers -I used to live in Spokane, WA... but it was only like that for about 3 weeks. Last summer was nothing!! We really didn't even turn on the a/c. The weather here is so mild you really don't need them. Most business don't even have a/c!!
The summers are usually around the 70's and the winters don't usually get more than a day or two of snow... mostly just rain.
The base homes come with a nice big jumbo sized American washer and dryer. (I actually got ones exactly like my big whirlpool ones back in storage in the states.) If you decide to live off base you'll probably get stuck using a tiny British washer. These are of course provided by the base. But... like the last lady said... most homes just come with one hook up... in the kitchen underneath the sink. You have the option of puttinga washing machine or a dishwasher there.
When we first moved here we decided to try living off base. I chose the washing machine (even though I hate doing dishes!!) The washer was in the kitchen and and then we had to put the dryer outside in the garage. (hmmm... that was fun!!) This only lasted for a few weeks until I realized how much time it takes to wash clothes in a dinky little machine. Then we swapped the clothes washer for the dishwasher and hit the laundromat once a week instead. Whew... I'm so glad we live in base housing now!! I love my American washer and dryer!!!
As for the c-section. I just had my second on base and they were wonderful. You do of course have the option of having your baby on base... or off base at either West Suffolk (about 25 minutes away) in Bury St. Edmunds or at Rosie Maternity in Addenbrooks hospital down in Cambridge (45 minutes away). This is a super big hospital that offers water birth... drugs... no drugs... whatever you want. I even have a friend planning a home birth and they provide you with a midwife etc. It's all up to you how you deliver but you will most likely be told that you should have a c section if you decide to have the baby on base.
Oh... they are in the process of redoing the labor and delivery ward. It was nice before... my husband actually got his own bed in my room... but I guess they're trying to make the rooms over so they're more like a bedroom not a hospital room. You know... no hospital stuff in view. If you're not already pregnant yet you'll get to have a new room when they're finished!!
If you haven't lived overseas this is definately a long way from what life is like in the states. Walmart and target exhist only online. I do miss drive throughs... and restraunts. This is a rural area with lots of English style pubs... and the English favs like fish and chip shops... Indian, Thai and Chineese food. But... that being said... like the girl earlier mentioned it does cost a lot to do anything off base. A $40 meal back home will set you back $80 here!! Ouch!! Somehow my cooking has improved since we got here though... I wonder why??
Oh... but the travel is incredible!! We just got back from Stonehenge and Salisbury cathedral yesterday. We stayed at a base in the area so we could do things at a slower pace. Super fun!
We also have traveled to Italy, France and Germany too. It's super easy to travel!! You can drive your car over there or fly for next to nothing. Check out www.easyjet.com or www.ryanair.com -- Sort of like the European Southwest airlines. Super cheap and easy to fly!! I'm so thankful for this opportunity to live in Europe. We're having a great time
Write me if you have more questions... I'm certainly no expert but we have been here now just over 2 years and have already extended our tour lenght!!
You can look at local off base homes at
Just beware that most homes are tiny compared to American standards. You just have to be creative about how you set up your home. Oh... some other helpful sites...
click on the newcomer link.
When we moved here I loved
it has a phots and more info about the bases over here.
Hope this info is helpful!!
Good luck with your orders. :0)
L.C. answers from Stationed Overseas on May 07, 2008
England is a beautiful country. Lakenheath, Mildenhall and Feltwell are very close to each other and each share a portion of the BX (one has clothes, one has furniture and the other has toys and outdoor sporting eqip). Housing on the bases are tight but possible (moreso at Feltwell), but the rental market here is huge and there are usually plenty to rent from. There is also base housing in other areas, within a 20-30 minute drive to base. We are about 60-70 miles outside of London, and public transport in the area is slim and expensive- it is more of a country life. The pound/dollar ratio is 2 or more to 1 right now, which means double everything. Gas prices on base are high ($4.00 a gallon as of yesterday) and off base are even worse ($8.00 or more a gallon). Driving is a must here or you will go bonkers in base housing or whereever you live. I have lived here for 6 years and love it, but if finances are going to be tight, you don't drive or feel comfortable going places, or you aren't very adventurous, I wouldn't recommend it. The other issue is that the deployment tempo is very high here, so if your spouse being gone for 6 months a year is going to be rough without family around, I would look at another assignment. Don't mean to be such a downer, but I have seen a lot of younger troops and families just become so miserable. On the other hand, the winter weather should remind you both of home! Good luck with your decision.
T.D. answers from Stationed Overseas on May 07, 2008
This is my first response on 'Mama' and I hope I'm doing it properly! What caught my eye about your message was where you may be going and where you're from. We were stationed at Mildenhall for 3 years (04-07) and I grew up in Anchorage. We are still in England, but stationed right outside of London in High Wycombe (~2hrs sw).
I had baby #2 vaginally at Lakenheath, which is right next to Mildenhall, and know of 2 gals who had VBACKS (sp?) there. I personally had a fantastic experience at Lakenheath, but couldn't tell you about their experience.
Bugs are around, but I don't find them overwhelming. There aren't any poisonous species of spider and I don't recall any instances with snakes in our time.
Base housing will have washers and dryers, but no A/C. It is only 'hot' about 2 months out of the year, so there isn't a need for it. You can buy a unit for about $400, but I personally don't think it's a good investment.
I hope this helps! If you have any more questions, please email me: ____@____.com
S.W. answers from Stationed Overseas on May 08, 2008
Hiya - My hubby is stations on RAF Lakenheath but the area around here is GORGEOUS!!! I will have to pass on the housing in Mildenhall - but there are other base housing areas that I know are really nice. The Ely housing is nice and the town of Ely is GORGEOUS!!! The Liberty Village housing is nice, a lot of it is just being built and RAF Feltwell housing is nice and the base is QUIET!!!
They will not let you go VBac here, mainly because they don't have the facility or the emergency capabilities if something goes terribly wrong. I had a C Section on July of 07 and the doctors I had were AWESOME! Dr Adams was wonderful and did a fabulous job. The hospital staff (at the time) was wonderful a lot of the nurses that I had were civilian nurses and were great. The military tech doing vitals were a pain in the arse though - not really personable and well, basically I felt were there to get their GI bill and that was it. :( But OVER ALL it was a great experience...
Good luck in your assignment!!!
J.C. answers from Stationed Overseas on May 07, 2008
My husband is stationed at RAF Mildenhall and we have been here for 3 years. At first driving was very nerve racking for me but you just make yourself do it and very soon it is all second nature. The roads here are not as wide and open as we are used to, but totally doable.
You get COLA here so that has helped our finances a lot. We do most of our shopping on base or on-line so the exchange rate hasn't hurt us.
There is a wait for on base base housing, especially now because they are building new houses on Lakenheath and everybody wants in those. There seems to be plenty of base housing available if you are willing to drive. There is base housing all over the place out here. Some 30 minutes one direction and some 60 minutes another directon etc. There is also plenty of rental property. The further away you get from base, the cheaper larger houses are. We live about 30-40 minutes (depending on traffic) from base and have a nice American sized house that we rent.
My husband is deployed a lot, but that is because of his job not just because we're over here. I have heard that there is a high deployment rate here though.
Some things Brtis don't have that we are used to are: screens on their windows, air conditioning, garbage disposals, garbage is collected every other week and the bins are smaller than we're used to, most Brits don't have dishwashers or dryers (for clothing) but the houses that Americans rent often have a place for the appliances as does most of base housing.
As far as going overseas, it is a nice place to be because they speak English. Traveling all over Europe is pretty easy and fairly cheap considering how much it would cost from the US. Hope that helps!
C.S. answers from Stationed Overseas on May 07, 2008
I just wanted to add my two cents. Everything that everyone else has written is exactly spot on. When we first moved here we lived in Littleport which is about 25 or 30 minutes from the bases (depending on traffic ie. tractors or trains. it got tiring after awhile so I only made trips when we had to and made several stops to save on gas and mileage on the car). We have only one car, I am a stay at home mom and did not see the need for two, and some times being out there with only my children drove me nuts. (We did not have very many sociable neighbors) Also there are very few playgrounds like what you find in the states in the towns here. My kids are 3 1/2 and 30 months. so finding some place for them to play out side was hard. Our rental did not have a back yard and the front was on the main road through town. Last year we moved on base (Mildenhall) and we love it. There is a playground right out the front door. The driving takes some getting used to but you just have to do it. Traveling around it great. If you are going to spend over night somewhere there may be a base near by that you can stay at and it will cut down on costs. A lot of places are child friendly. There are so many places to go and see and do. The sea is not that far away either, 2.5 hr or 3 hr. There are some that have sand beaches and some that are rock beaches when the weather warms up everyone goes there. It is a location that it is what you make of it.
Hope this helps.
S.O. answers from Stationed Overseas on May 07, 2008
I agree with both of the other posts. We've been living in this area just over two years. I like the area and we have a great church, which is really good support. Good friends always make it a lot easier. My hubby is gone for the second time since we've been here. So far the spring/summer looks like it will be a nice one. I can't really help you more then they have but you can ask me anything. I have a 2 and 4 year old daughters.