RAF LAKENHEATH

Old Nov 2nd, 2009, 11:52 AM
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RAF LAKENHEATH

my husband just found out our first duty station is at Lakenheath AFB.
we are from Alabama.
i've never really lived anywhere but here.
the farthest i've been from alabama is San Antonio, TX so i've never even really been out of the south.
i'm scared i'm not gunna know what anyone is talking about.
i have so many questions.
i know their going to call the sponsor soon but, with them time difference being 5hrs its hard.

-i've been looking at cell phone plans and its 99cents a min to call from there to here on most cell phone company's.
does anyone know if there is anything for international calling over there we can get.

-i think were going to buy a futon for a couch and a blow up mattress for us, and our daughter's crib and have a yard sale for pretty much everything else its not like we have much yet but i don't wanna get stuck with it over there and have no where to put any of it.
is there anything we should defiantly NOT bring.

-what are the chance of us getting base housing?

-were think about having another baby over there.
what is the hospital like?
airmans_wifey is offline  
Old Nov 2nd, 2009, 12:13 PM
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Here's a recent thread that has some helpful information (not all of it will be applicable to you, it sounds like, but some will): http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...h-367511-2.cfm

Regarding the cell phone issue, many UK companies have VERY inexpensive international calling plans. I would not plan to use your US phones/numbers; even if your phones work (some US phones will not), it doesn't make financial sense. But getting a UK mobile phone is very easy. You can buy international calling cards in either country that are fairly inexpensive. Have you looked into Skype (skype.com)? It's a cheap or even free way to place phone calls or video calls using the internet. I've called friends in the UK using it and it works great. If you have a webcam, you can hook it up so your parents (or whoever) can see you and your daughter.

I'm not at all familiar with military procedures or bases, so I can't help with most of your questions, but I think if you can look at this as an adventure you'll really enjoy the experience. The UK is a great place to go for your first experience out of the US; it's definitely different, but not quite as severe a culture shock as other places might be. I would ask the sponsor or other military friends/spouses about expat- or military-specific forums, since you may have better luck with your specific questions there.
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Old Nov 2nd, 2009, 03:28 PM
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Your sponsor will give you all the important info/contacts. But your plans to leave everything home doesn't make sense.

Furniture is one thing - until you hear from your sponsor and get an idea if you get into base housing, or will rent "on the economy" which could be furnished or unfurnished. If you rent unfurnished, you'll definitely want your real mattress/box springs, chairs/table, etc. Unless the bed is king sized that is -- rooms are smaller and a King/Californian King may not fit.

Don't take any appliances (electrical issues) or TVs - but definitely take your pots/pans/dishes/crib (called a cot in the UK) and so forth. The Air Force will ship the stuff for you.

Just hold off on any major decisions until you hear from your sponsor . . . .
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Old Nov 2nd, 2009, 04:14 PM
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I agree to hold off on big decisions until you have more information.

Once you do get a contact from the base you could ask what the procedure for outgoing families and their stuff is. As an American in the UK as well I am friends with a few circles of expats. When one family leaves they pretty much give away anything they can't take. I believe we're the 3rd family to own our toaster!

We did bring electrical appliances with us, but we also brought a converter. You can run some things off a converter, like a kitchenaid or a food processor but not others, like vacuums or some waffle makers!

Relax. See this as the big adventure that it is! You will be near other families from the base so your immersion into English culture will be gradual and maybe even guided!

Do post again if after you get more information you still have questions. This is a very friendly board.
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Old Nov 2nd, 2009, 09:11 PM
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First, you are doing really well to start some research. The advice so far is excellent already. England will be a good place to start your adventure. You will have an opportunity to travel and see other places while you are there.

Here is a good web site for you.
http://www.pepperd.com.
You have to join. It is free and safe to join. This is a web site for military space-a travel, but it has links to lots of other sites that can be useful to you, and there are many people who can answer questions for you. Don't post your initial questions in the General forum section. Drop to the section labeled Off Topic discussion.

At the top of this site, look for Military.com. Click that and see on the left a long list. Click on Military Bases, That takes you to Military Installation Guide. RAF Lakenheath, UK is listed. On that web site you will find just about everything you can possibly need/want to know about the base and what is available.

I don't know specifically about the base hospital, but you will be fine with hospitals there. Don't make any decisions about what to take or get rid of until you get more information about housing. You will want your bed if housing is not furnished. Basic stuff used to be furnished in military housing, but isn't usually now. You won't be stuck with anything, because you can always sell it there if you don't want it. Your sponsor may or may not be a big help. Some hold your hand. Others do little. They will answer your questions though. Doesn't matter. You will make friends quickly and other spouses will be glad to help. The military community is really great that way.

As soon as you can after you get there, go to Family Services, MWR, etc. They will probably have a lending closet where you can borrow things you might need at first, like cribs, dishes, etc. The PX will have everything you need, including some furniture. There will always be ads in the base newspaper for things being sold by people departing. You will get a new phone plan and cell phone plans are cheap there.

It might seem easier to travel together, but sometimes it is easier for him to go ahead of you and have some of these things set up when you get there. Of course, that leaves you by yourself getting things finished up here at home and traveling by yourself to England. If you are getting base housing, and it is available immediately, then going with him is fine. If temporary housing is available immediately, that also works out. If neither are available right away, you might want to let him go ahead.

If you go through commercial airports, and have a layover, visit the USO if they have one. Some in big airports have nurseries with cribs, snack bars, sleep rooms, TVs, Phones, computers, etc. It is for military only and is free for you. It is sort of like a VIP lounge for soldiers. They are mostly manned by volunteers (many retired military people) who want to make your travel easier.

Don't be nervous. You will look back on this as the absolute best years of your life.
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Old Nov 2nd, 2009, 09:41 PM
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" it is easier for him to go ahead of you and have some of these things set up when you get there. "

I absolutely agree w/ that -- especially if you learn you'll probably be living off base. Even if it takes a month or two to get you over there -- the separation isn't bad and he can get a lot accomplished while you are packing up/wrapping up loose ends back home.
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Old Jan 21st, 2010, 05:07 PM
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i was wondering, are u in england yet???
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Old Jan 21st, 2010, 05:29 PM
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jessicalindsay04: The 2 threads you've topped about Lakenheath -- both were by one-time posters who asked their questions and then went away into ether land . . . Neither has been back on the forums. Just happens sometimes.
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