Suspicious package at Mildenhall raises alarm
RAF MILDENHALL, England — A suspicious package found under a vehicle at RAF Mildenhall prompted security forces to close the main gate and shut down the road in front of the installation for several hours Thursday, base officials said.
The package, described as a “white object” by base spokeswoman Tech. Sgt. Denise Johnson, was discovered around 10:30 a.m. by security forces searching vehicles, she said. The item was found not to be a threat.
The discovery of the object spurred widespread security activity, as officers from the 100th Security Forces Squadron closed down the main gate and asked local police to shut the main road in front of the base. The closure of the A1101 caused significant traffic disruptions as cars were diverted around the mile-long stretch of road and access to Mildenhall was restricted to the West Row gate.
Officers at that gate also began searching large vehicles, and contracted delivery trucks were turned away until the main gate could be reopened.
The closure lasted nearly five hours, with members of the Suffolk County Constabulary manning roadblocks along the A1101.
To inspect the suspicious object, a British explosive ordnance disposal unit was called in to assist U.S. security forces, Johnson said.
Johnson said the scare was unrelated to an incident that also occurred at 10:30 a.m. at RAF Lakenheath, where eight Afghan youths were found hidden in the back of a truck attempting to get onto the nearby fighter base.
The suspicious package was “specific to Mildenhall,” Johnson said.
“We don’t see any correlation” between the two events, she said.