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TikTok: US airwomen's RAF Mildenhall video goes viral

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media captionRAF Mildenhall: Moment US airwomen celebrate posting goes viral

Video of the moment a group of young US airwomen found out they were being sent to the UK has gone viral.

Jamilla, based in San Antonio, Texas, filmed herself and three colleagues reacting as they read that they would be posted to RAF Mildenhall, Suffolk.

The clip was watched more than 3.5 million times in two days on social media platform TikTok.

The women cheered with excitement at the chance to travel to Europe - before one asked where Mildenhall was.

RAF Mildenhall and nearby RAF Lakenheath, in west Suffolk, have been home to tens of thousands of US military personnel and their families over the past seven decades.

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The bases employ more than 12,000 US and UK nationals.

image captionAirwoman Joenetta Watkins has been based at Mildenhall for a year

Staff Sgt Select Joenetta Watkins, 22, from California, has been based at Mildenhall for a year and said coming to the UK was a dream come true.

"I love the culture. I love the accent," she said.

"I also like your grocery stores compared to ours. Everything's very fresh and different."

She said the online video brought back memories of when she found out she was moving to Suffolk.

"I didn't know much about it. It was confusing at first but I was excited. I just thought, 'It's England, why not? Let's just go for it.'"

image copyrightGetty Images
image captionRAF Mildenhall, pictured, had been due to close by 2027 but the plan was scrapped

Col Troy Pananon said the reaction of the personnel in the video was typical.

He said: "Maybe there's a shock of not knowing where it's located but that exuberance and excitement the airmen shared is probably resident in every person that knows that they're coming here, because what's not to like?"

Suffolk County Council welcomed Jamilla in a post on Twitter, which said: "We hope you enjoy your posting here at RAF Mildenhall, we're happy to be your home away from home!"

Plans to close Mildenhall by 2027 were recently scrapped.

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Related Topics

  • Mildenhall Royal Air Force Base
  • TikTok
  • US Armed Forces
  • Mildenhall

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