High sheriffs, deputy lieutenants pay annual visit to RAF Mildenhall

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  • 100 ARW PA

Leadership at the 100th Air Refueling Wing recently hosted Engagement Day, inviting local high sheriff’s and deputy lieutenants on base for a familiarization tour at RAF Mildenhall, England, Oct. 14, 2022.

The purpose of this event is to provide a venue for new appointees to meet with base leadership, gain a better understanding of the wings’ missions and learn more about our various aircraft. This year there were 23 distinguished guests in attendance.

"Each year, Team Mildenhall looks forward to welcoming the tri-county high sheriffs and deputy lieutenants to our base. Engagements such as this are an invaluable opportunity to learn from one another and further strengthen the existing bond between Team Mildenhall and the local community," said Natalie Murphy, 100th ARW community relations advisor.

"For me, the best part of the tour was being able to showcase the expertise of our brilliant Airmen, demonstrate the effectiveness of our high-level equipment and educate the visitors on our broad and diverse mission here at RAF Mildenhall,” Murphy added.

The event opened with a mission brief presented by Col. Gene Jacobus, 100th ARW commander, and Col. Daniel Harris, 352nd Special Operations Wing vice commander. Afterward, the group toured the base court room and legal office, before viewing a static display, which featured a KC-135, MC-130 and CV-22. Visitors also had the chance to interact with special tactics members, Airmen from the 100th Security Forces Squadron and members of the 100th Civil Engineer Squadron Fire Department.

“Appointed by His Majesty's council, the high sheriffs are a vital part of the community,” said Second Lt. Samantha Benzinger, 100th Maintenance Squadron, section commander. “It is important for us, as guests in the United Kingdom, to not only invite them to see the great work our Airmen do every day, but to continue to strengthen our bond with one of our closest allies."

The responsibilities of the Office of the High Sheriff have changed to fit the needs of the community over time. Modern-day high sheriffs are responsible for things such as crime reduction and social cohesion. They also play an active role in supporting emergency services, public sectors, (such as probation and prison services), and voluntary sector organizations. Originally, in the Saxon age, the high sheriff was appointed by the reigning king and their duties mainly included collecting taxes, enforcing the rule of law within their designated shire or county. Currently, there are a total of 55 high sheriffs serving the counties of England and Wales. Each appointee serves for a term of one year.