100th Air Refueling Wing
RAF Mildenhall plays host to squadrons from four major USAF Commands, Air Combat Command, Air Force Special Ops Command, Air Mobility Command, and USAFE.
On 16 October 1934, RAF Mildenhall was commissioned, A year before King George V would hold his "Silver Jubilee" there. During World War II Mildenhall became a primary bomber station, housing Vivkers Wellingtons, Short Stirlings and Avro Lancasters. In 1941, Mildenhall was used as the setting for the film "Target for Tonight" under a fictitious name of Miller Aerodome.
For the entirety of the war, the runways were amassed with bombers that participated in a majority of the offensive bombing attacks against Germany and humanitarian support of the French Resistance. By 1945, Mildenhall had contributed to 23,000 tons, 2,000 mines, and over 8,000 sorties flown in the offensive against Germany. Immediately following the war Mildenhall would be used a staging ground for humanitarian support to Poland and the Netherlands, as well as the transport of prisoners of war.
As the US reached the height of the Cold War, Mildenhall was fortified as the strategic foothold and joint staging area for offensive bombers and surveillance aircraft aimed at the Soviet Union. Mildenhall served as the home for Strategic Reconnaissance and Command and Control Aircraft until February of 1992, when the 100th Air Refueling wing assumed command of the Base as the tensions from the Cold War began to degrade.
Celebrating Enlisted Heritage
RAF Mildenhall Airmen celebrated a proud history July 7, 2008 during the first Enlisted Heritage Luncheon entitled "Heritage began 5 minutes ago" at the Galaxy Club.
Nearly 100 Airmen listened as Purple Heart recipient Senior Master Sgt. George Anthony, 100th Operations Support Squadron, opened the event by sharing his firsthand account of the 1996 bombing of Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia.
Afterward, attendees cheered for their respective professional organizations in the Triple-threat Challenge, a quiz competition covering Air Force history. Top-3 won the event and claimed the traveling trophy for this quarter.
Chief Master Sgt. Michael Warner, 100th Air Refueling Wing command chief, delivered a speech and closed the event with the Airmen's Creed.
"Each and every day, you, your Airmen, your peers, your superiors - our team - creates a heritage that will last forever," he said. "What you do on a daily basis plays a critical piece in our nation's war on terror, on our reaching the goal of keeping the war on terror off of our home field. What we do is part of the legacy of excellence that our predecessors started with the advent of airpower.
"In World War II, our Air Force lost over 88,000 Airmen, more than the Marine Corps and Navy combined," Chief Warner said. "Yet they drove on to victory. They had the courage and dedication, and because of that and their warrior spirit they prevailed. It is easy to think, 'We are not like them. That was a different time, a different war.' But let me tell you that it is not so different because today we have Airmen on the front line. Day after day our Airmen throughout the world put their lives on the line in the defense of our nation."
The enlisted heritage committee was recently formed to come up with a strategy for emphasizing the historical significance of current operations across the wing. The focus is on recognizing the history is being written now, according to Master Sgt. Sarah Frankenhoff, enlisted heritage committee chairperson.
"We might be wearing a different uniform than our predecessors, but we are the same warrior," Sergeant Frankenhoff said. "Even though we have evolved throughout the years, we're still American Airmen fighting for freedom. In today's high operations tempo, and deployment schedule, we are all warriors and we always need to stay in the warrior mindset. That's why it's so important to focus on today's enlisted heritage.
"I was really surprised when the committee formed at how passionate they were about spreading the word," she said. "I have a super team, and the luncheon was a great success thanks to their hard work."
Painting Honoring Enlisted Heritage
Mr. Geoff Pleasance painted a mural focusing on the enlisted men and women at RAF Mildenhall which was unvieled during the grand opening of the enlisted lounge inside the Galaxy Club here March 31, 2009. The mural took two months to finish and proves to be the room's highlight. The enlisted lounge has undergone renovations to pay tribute to past and present Airmen. The project took more than six months to complete with a price tag of around $6,500, that was donated by organizations such as Top 3, Team 5/6, and Airman Committed to Excellence. New additions are still to come, such as new carpet and a brand new dance floor.