USA

President Joe Biden Visits RAF Mildenhall Ahead Of G7 Summit

The US President met with US Air Force personnel based at RAF Mildenhall ahead of the summit of the world's most advanced economies.

American President Joe Biden has addressed US Air Force personnel at RAF Mildenhall, after arriving in the UK for the G7 Summit in Cornwall.

Mr Biden, in his first official visit to the UK since being elected, flew on Air Force One to Mildenhall to meet US Air Force personnel based there on Wednesday evening.

Delivering a speech to American servicemen and women, Mr Biden paid tribute to the Suffolk base's Second World War past. 

"There's an awful lot of history at this base, a proud history for the British people – the bravery and heroism of the Royal Air Force pilots fighting to defend their nation," the US President said.

"Just six hours after Britain and France declared war on Germany in 1939, three Wellington bombers took off from Mildenhall and bombed Nazi battleships.

"And over the course of World War Two, out of this base, RAF bombers dropped nearly 28,000 tons of bombs on Nazi Germany, flying more than 8,000 sorties

"This base has been a significant source of British air power. A proud, proud history of a proud nation."

American KC-135 Stratotankers at RAF Mildenhall 290929 CREDIT US DEPT OF DEFENSE
File photo of American KC-135 Stratotankers at RAF Mildenhall (Picture: US Department of Defense).

Later in the week, Mr Biden will have his first face-to-face meeting with leaders from Germany, France, Italy, Japan, Canada and the UK.

First Lady Jill Biden is accompanying the president on the first leg of his trip. 

RAF Mildenhall is home to the 100th Air Refuelling Wing, the only permanent USAF air refuelling wing in the European theatre.

Mr Biden is not the first US Head of state to visit the Suffolk base.

His predecessor Donald Trump paid a flying visit to RAF Mildenhall in 2019 to refuel on his way to Vietnam to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.