HM Lord-Lieutenant, High Sheriffs, and Deputy Lieutenants Make Yearly Visit to RAF Mildenhall

  • Published
  • By Capt. Tyler Whiting
  • 100th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

Leadership at the 100th Air Refueling Wing recently welcomed HM Lord-Lieutenant of Suffolk, High Sheriffs and Deputy Lieutenants to RAF Mildenhall, England, on October 11, 2023.

The event aimed to facilitate interaction between new appointees and base leadership, providing insights into the wing's missions and showcasing various aircraft. This year, 20 distinguished guests attended the event.

Natalie Murphy, 100th ARW community relations advisor, expressed the significance of this occasion, stating, "Team Mildenhall eagerly anticipated the visit HM Lord-Lieutenant of Suffolk, High Sheriffs and Deputy Lieutenants from the tri-county area. These interactions provide a valuable chance to learn from one another and reinforce the strong bond between Team Mildenhall and the local community."

Murphy highlighted the event's emphasis on demonstrating the expertise of the Airmen, showcasing advanced equipment, and educating visitors about the diverse missions carried out at RAF Mildenhall.

The day commenced with a comprehensive mission brief presented by Col. Ryan Garlow, 100th ARW commander, and Col. Daniel Harris, 352d Special Operations Wing, Deputy Commander. Following this, the group toured the base's courtroom and legal office, observed a static display featuring aircraft like KC-135, MC-130, and CV-22, and engaged with special tactics members, Airmen from the 100th Security Forces Squadron, and the 100th Civil Engineer Squadron Fire Department.

Garlow emphasized the crucial roles played by the distinguished visitors, highlighting their importance in both historical and contemporary contexts. He stressed, "While being guests in the United Kingdom, it's crucial not only to spotlight the outstanding efforts of our Airmen but also to enhance our connection with one of our closest allies."

The day provides Airmen stationed in the United Kingdom with a special opportunity to gain insights into their local community.

In every county, there is a team of officials: a Lord Lieutenant, a Vice Lord Lieutenant, and several Deputy Lieutenants, spread across the county. This system dates back to the time of Henry VIII. Originally, this was a military position held by a Peer of the Realm. This meant the king could call upon a trained fighting force in each county if needed. Nowadays, the military role is mostly symbolic, although the title holder often has a military background. The Lord Lieutenant serves as the King's representative in the county and is responsible for upholding the dignity of the Crown.

The Office of High Sheriff is a distinguished, non-political Royal appointment that lasts for a single year. Its origins trace back to Saxon times when the 'Shire Reeve' was responsible for maintaining law and order within the shire or county, as well as collecting and returning taxes to the Crown. Over the centuries, the role of the High Sheriff has evolved to meet the changing needs of the community.

In today's context, high sheriffs focus on critical areas such as reducing crime, enhancing social cohesion, and providing active support to emergency services, public sectors, and voluntary organizations. Initially appointed by the reigning king during the Saxon era, high sheriffs primarily collected taxes and enforced the law within their designated shire or county. Currently, there are 55 high sheriffs serving the counties of England and Wales, with each appointed for a one-year term.