The shrinking variety of military aircraft types (especially for the UK armed forces) has been something I’m very aware of and is a factor on where I decide to shoot these days. This is one of the reasons I’ve started to spend more time at RAF Mildenhall. This UK base for the US Air Force Europe is home to the 100 Air Refuelling Wing and the 352nd Special Operations Group but also serves as a place to stop over or to take on more fuel for aircraft that are transiting across the ‘pond’. Whilst RAF Mildenhall has lost out on some of its trade to Ramstein and Prestwick it still has a good selection of types arriving and departing.
A visiting US Marine KC-130J using the call sign RAIDER 46 takes off from Mildenhall after night stopping and a 352nd SOG MC-130H with the call sign Anvil 44 departs on a local sortie.
Air life of all types can be found at RAF Mildenhall including the small C-21A operating from Ramstein Air Force Base, Hercules of all air arms, the US Navy’s C-9B and the US Air Forces’s KC-10A both departing for the US.
Mildenhall also gets visits from aircraft that aren’t common in Europe and some examples that just aren’t common at all. This RC-130S Cobra Ball from the 45th Reconnaissance Squadron based at Offutt Air Force Base is one of only three. Seen here using the call sign Snoop 56 leaving the UK to return to the US.
Mildenhall also gets visits from a lot of KC-135 tankers from various US states. Whilst not the most exciting aircraft in the US fleet they often have some good nose art applied to them.