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23 photos of RAF Mildenhall to celebrate The United States Air Force’s 70th birthday

PUBLISHED: 19:14 18 September 2017 | UPDATED: 19:14 18 September 2017

U.S. Air Force Col. Christopher Amrhein receives his first salute as the commander of the 100th Air Refueling Wing July 21, 2017, during the change of command ceremony on RAF Mildenhall. Photo: US Air Force/Senior Airman Justine Rho

U.S. Air Force Col. Christopher Amrhein receives his first salute as the commander of the 100th Air Refueling Wing July 21, 2017, during the change of command ceremony on RAF Mildenhall. Photo: US Air Force/Senior Airman Justine Rho

US Air Force/Senior Airman Justine Rho

The United States Air Force (USAF) turns 70 today.

RAF Mildenhall hold regualr open days for the public to explore the base and visit areas usually off limits to the public. Photo: Sonya Duncan RAF Mildenhall hold regualr open days for the public to explore the base and visit areas usually off limits to the public. Photo: Sonya Duncan

Established on September 18, 1947 as a separate branch of the military, the USAF is the largest and one of the most technologically advanced air forces in the world.

RAF Mildenhall hold regualr open days for the public to explore the base and visit areas usually off limits to the public. Pictured is Airman 1st Class Jonathan Brumfield in the weather department. Photo: Sonya Duncan RAF Mildenhall hold regualr open days for the public to explore the base and visit areas usually off limits to the public. Pictured is Airman 1st Class Jonathan Brumfield in the weather department. Photo: Sonya Duncan

To mark the occasion we’ve collected a range of photos from Suffolk’s RAF Mildenhall, a Royal Air Force station which primarily supports the USAF.

RAF Mildenhall hold regualr open days for the public to explore the base and visit areas usually off limits to the public. Photo: Sonya Duncan RAF Mildenhall hold regualr open days for the public to explore the base and visit areas usually off limits to the public. Photo: Sonya Duncan

US service personnel have been on site at Mildenhall since 1950 and according to Matt Hancock, MP for West Suffolk, are a “valued presence in the community”.

RAF Mildenhall hold regualr open days for the public to explore the base and visit areas usually off limits to the public. Photo: Sonya Duncan RAF Mildenhall hold regualr open days for the public to explore the base and visit areas usually off limits to the public. Photo: Sonya Duncan

The base, along with 14 others across Europe, is set to close in 2023 on the order of the US Department of Defense.

RAF Mildenhall hold regualr open days for the public to explore the base and visit areas usually off limits to the public. Photo: Sonya Duncan RAF Mildenhall hold regualr open days for the public to explore the base and visit areas usually off limits to the public. Photo: Sonya Duncan

Colonel Thomas Torkelson who, up until recently, was commander of the base, said: “None of us want to see the base close. From a military point of view operationally, Mildenhall adds a lot of value and as a military advisor I would want Mildenhall to stay open.”

RAF Mildenhall hold regualr open days for the public to explore the base and visit areas usually off limits to the public. Photo: Sonya Duncan RAF Mildenhall hold regualr open days for the public to explore the base and visit areas usually off limits to the public. Photo: Sonya Duncan

RAF Mildenhall. Picture: SONYA DUNCAN RAF Mildenhall. Picture: SONYA DUNCAN

RAF Mildenhall hold regualr open days for the public to explore the base and visit areas usually off limits to the public. Pictured is Boom Operator A1C Justin Pauleon. Photo: Sonya Duncan RAF Mildenhall hold regualr open days for the public to explore the base and visit areas usually off limits to the public. Pictured is Boom Operator A1C Justin Pauleon. Photo: Sonya Duncan

RAF Mildenhall hold regualr open days for the public to explore the base and visit areas usually off limits to the public. Pictured is Pilot Brian Klasura Photo: Sonya Duncan RAF Mildenhall hold regualr open days for the public to explore the base and visit areas usually off limits to the public. Pictured is Pilot Brian Klasura Photo: Sonya Duncan

RAF Mildenhall hold regualr open days for the public to explore the base and visit areas usually off limits to the public. Pictured are V22 Osprey in the hanger. Photo: Sonya Duncan RAF Mildenhall hold regualr open days for the public to explore the base and visit areas usually off limits to the public. Pictured are V22 Osprey in the hanger. Photo: Sonya Duncan

RAF Mildenhall hold regualr open days for the public to explore the base and visit areas usually off limits to the public. Pictured are V22 Osprey in the hanger. Photo: Sonya Duncan RAF Mildenhall hold regualr open days for the public to explore the base and visit areas usually off limits to the public. Pictured are V22 Osprey in the hanger. Photo: Sonya Duncan

RAF Mildenhall hold regualr open days for the public to explore the base and visit areas usually off limits to the public. Pictured are a tour from the local area. Photo: Sonya Duncan RAF Mildenhall hold regualr open days for the public to explore the base and visit areas usually off limits to the public. Pictured are a tour from the local area. Photo: Sonya Duncan

RAF Mildenhall hold regualr open days for the public to explore the base and visit areas usually off limits to the public. Pictured is staff in the control tower. Photo: Sonya Duncan RAF Mildenhall hold regualr open days for the public to explore the base and visit areas usually off limits to the public. Pictured is staff in the control tower. Photo: Sonya Duncan

RAF Mildenhall hold regualr open days for the public to explore the base and visit areas usually off limits to the public. Pictured is  the control tower. Photo: Sonya Duncan RAF Mildenhall hold regualr open days for the public to explore the base and visit areas usually off limits to the public. Pictured is the control tower. Photo: Sonya Duncan

RAF Mildenhall hold regualr open days for the public to explore the base and visit areas usually off limits to the public. Photo: Sonya Duncan RAF Mildenhall hold regualr open days for the public to explore the base and visit areas usually off limits to the public. Photo: Sonya Duncan

The First Lady Michelle Obama visit RAF Mildenhall, meeting troops and families based there, waves as she gets on a plane to leave. Picture; Matthew Usher. The First Lady Michelle Obama visit RAF Mildenhall, meeting troops and families based there, waves as she gets on a plane to leave. Picture; Matthew Usher.

The First Lady Michelle Obama visit RAF Mildenhall, meeting troops and families based there. Picture; Matthew Usher. The First Lady Michelle Obama visit RAF Mildenhall, meeting troops and families based there. Picture; Matthew Usher.

9/11 Memorial and Retreat Ceremony featuring security forces and fire department first responders from both RAF Lakenheath and RAF Mildenhall. Photo: Gregg Brown 9/11 Memorial and Retreat Ceremony featuring security forces and fire department first responders from both RAF Lakenheath and RAF Mildenhall. Photo: Gregg Brown

American Air Force Base RAF Mildenhall in Suffolk. Photo: Chris Radburn/PA Wire American Air Force Base RAF Mildenhall in Suffolk. Photo: Chris Radburn/PA Wire

RAF Mildenhall. Pictured: Officers mess. Date: Feb 1987. Picture: EDP Library/Denise Bradley RAF Mildenhall. Pictured: Officers mess. Date: Feb 1987. Picture: EDP Library/Denise Bradley

RAF Mildenhall. Pictured: SR-71 Blackbird. Picture: EDP Library RAF Mildenhall. Pictured: SR-71 Blackbird. Picture: EDP Library

RAF Mildenhall. Pictured: SR-71A Blackbird. Picture: EDP Library RAF Mildenhall. Pictured: SR-71A Blackbird. Picture: EDP Library

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