RAF LAKENHEATH, England — Widespread computer problems brought work to a crawl across the 48th Fighter Wing on Thursday and Friday, but base officials declined to reveal the cause.

“There’s a problem with the system. That’s all we are willing to say about it,” said Tech Sgt. Renee Kirkland, the noncommissioned officer in charge of the 48th Public Affairs office.

The situation affected scores of airmen working across the largest Air Force installation in the United Kingdom.

Calls placed by Stars and Stripes to several offices and squadrons across the base were either unanswered Friday or had messages that said computer difficulties were slowing their work.

Calls to the hospital were answered by message saying those wanting appointments might face a delay because computer problems.

Still, Kirkland said work continued basewide.

“The base has been able to operate,” she said.

Members of the 48th Communications Squadron were working Thursday and Friday to correct the problem, which included directing airmen to physically unplug their Internet connections from the wall.

Kirkland refused to release information as to when and where the problem originated and when it is expected to be corrected.

“That relays operational capabilities of the base and we do not comment on that,” Kirkland said.

The 423rd Air Base Group spokesman said the snafu had not affected RAF Alconbury.

“I know it’s a big deal down there, but we have not been affected,” said Master Sgt. Rich Romero.

U.S. Air Forces in Europe spokesman Wolfgang Hofmann said the problem had not spread to other bases.

Kirkland said there is an investigation under way to determine how the problem began, but would not say if a criminal investigation was opened or whether there was any type of security breach involved in the computer difficulties.

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