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Meet the Americans living in Suffolk showing their love for the NHS

PUBLISHED: 09:15 27 April 2020 | UPDATED: 09:15 27 April 2020

48th Fighter Wing families show their appreciation for medical care workers outside their homes at RAF Lakenheath's Liberty Village. Picture: US AIR FORCE/SENIOR AIRMAN SHANICE WILLIAMS-JONES

48th Fighter Wing families show their appreciation for medical care workers outside their homes at RAF Lakenheath's Liberty Village. Picture: US AIR FORCE/SENIOR AIRMAN SHANICE WILLIAMS-JONES

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Their national flag may be the stars and stripes – but that hasn’t stopped these American families living in Suffolk from showing their love for Britain’s NHS during the coronavirus crisis.

48th Fighter Wing families show their appreciation for medical care workers outside their homes at RAF Lakenheath's Liberty Village. Picture: US AIR FORCE/SENIOR AIRMAN SHANICE WILLIAMS-JONES48th Fighter Wing families show their appreciation for medical care workers outside their homes at RAF Lakenheath's Liberty Village. Picture: US AIR FORCE/SENIOR AIRMAN SHANICE WILLIAMS-JONES

US servicemen and women at RAF Lakenheath already play a crucial role themselves, serving as part of the 48th Fighter Wing – the only F-15 fighter wing in Europe.

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Despite the current global pandemic, the unit has to be ready to provide vital air combat at a moment’s notice if it is needed in an emergency.

48th Fighter Wing families show their appreciation for medical care workers outside their homes at RAF Lakenheath's Liberty Village. Picture: US AIR FORCE/SENIOR AIRMAN SHANICE WILLIAMS-JONES48th Fighter Wing families show their appreciation for medical care workers outside their homes at RAF Lakenheath's Liberty Village. Picture: US AIR FORCE/SENIOR AIRMAN SHANICE WILLIAMS-JONES

Yet despite the base’s incredibly important role, the Wing’s 4,000 personnel and their families living with them have never forgotten to thank the country hosting them.

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Every week, those living in the Liberty Village on the base have come out to applaud not just the Wing’s Medical Group, but also the NHS in the UK and carers around the globe.

48th Fighter Wing families show their appreciation for medical care workers outside their homes at RAF Lakenheath's Liberty Village. Picture: US AIR FORCE/SENIOR AIRMAN SHANICE WILLIAMS-JONES48th Fighter Wing families show their appreciation for medical care workers outside their homes at RAF Lakenheath's Liberty Village. Picture: US AIR FORCE/SENIOR AIRMAN SHANICE WILLIAMS-JONES

And children have also drawn rainbow posters to put in the windows of their homes as a sign of support for medical professionals.

The 48th Fighter Wing has said it “continues to provide worldwide combat airpower despite the Covid-19 pandemic”.

MORE: All of the coronavirus news in Suffolk

48th Fighter Wing families show their appreciation for medical care workers outside their homes at RAF Lakenheath's Liberty Village. Picture: US AIR FORCE/SENIOR AIRMAN SHANICE WILLIAMS-JONES48th Fighter Wing families show their appreciation for medical care workers outside their homes at RAF Lakenheath's Liberty Village. Picture: US AIR FORCE/SENIOR AIRMAN SHANICE WILLIAMS-JONES

On base, staff have been renovating old dormitories for personnel who need to self-isolate to stop the spread of coronavirus, as well as creating a new outdoor running track.

The US Department of Defense has told all airmen on the base to wear masks and maintain a two-metre distance from each other while working, with the arts and crafts centre making protective masks to distribute to squadrons.

Master Sgt Tennille Benton, 48th Community Service Flight Superintendent, said: “It’s what the US Air Force is all about, we put the mission first but our people are always supported.”

48th Fighter Wing families show their appreciation for medical care workers outside their homes at RAF Lakenheath's Liberty Village. Picture: US AIR FORCE/SENIOR AIRMAN SHANICE WILLIAMS-JONES48th Fighter Wing families show their appreciation for medical care workers outside their homes at RAF Lakenheath's Liberty Village. Picture: US AIR FORCE/SENIOR AIRMAN SHANICE WILLIAMS-JONES

The US servicemen’s homeland is the worst hit by coronavirus, with more than 50,000 deaths confirmed so far.

48th Fighter Wing families show their appreciation for medical care workers outside their homes at RAF Lakenheath's Liberty Village. Picture: US AIR FORCE/SENIOR AIRMAN SHANICE WILLIAMS-JONES48th Fighter Wing families show their appreciation for medical care workers outside their homes at RAF Lakenheath's Liberty Village. Picture: US AIR FORCE/SENIOR AIRMAN SHANICE WILLIAMS-JONES

48th Fighter Wing families show their appreciation for medical care workers outside their homes at RAF Lakenheath's Liberty Village. Picture: US AIR FORCE/SENIOR AIRMAN SHANICE WILLIAMS-JONES48th Fighter Wing families show their appreciation for medical care workers outside their homes at RAF Lakenheath's Liberty Village. Picture: US AIR FORCE/SENIOR AIRMAN SHANICE WILLIAMS-JONES


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