Before Arrival - Setting up a P.O. Box

Your sponsor is responsible for obtaining a post office box for you to start redirecting your mail. Send your sponsor a copy of your orders in order for them to set up a P.O. Box for you.

You can use the P.O. Box to start forwarding your mail, especially items like magazines that need up to several weeks lead time for an address change. If for some reason you would like to or need to secure one yourself, the post office can be reached at DSN 314-226-2370 or comm: 01638 522 370.

If you are sending any packages in advance of your arrival, be sure to keep the following mailing tips in mind:

Addresses/customs forms clearly written: Ensure mailing addresses are clearly written on the box with the return address on the upper left-hand corner. Use proper names in the "to" and "from" lines to make sure the mail gets to its destination on time. Customs forms must list everything contained in the package and cannot have generic terms like "gift" or "present."

Check your mail regularly: Check your mail every two to three days, or more if expecting packages. The post office will only hold packages for 15 days after your Report No Later Than date. After that, they will be returned to sender. If you ship your items too early it may be returned before you have a chance to pick it up.

How to prevent returned mail: To prevent your package from being "returned to sender," contact customer service and put your box on hold if you are going TDY or taking leave for more than 15 days. You may also allow someone else to check your mail by filling out the required paperwork at customer service.

Mailing restrictions: Do not abuse your military postal system privileges. Various items like alcohol, flammable items, etc., are not authorized for shipping and can't go through the MPS. Find out what you can and cannot send by checking the guidance posted around the post office before buying and packaging it. Customs will find unauthorized items and you could be prosecuted and lose your MPS privileges.

Do not ship refrigerators, washers, driers or ovens to RAF Lakenheath. These items are provided in base housing, and if off-base housing does not have these items, the base will provide them.

Do not ship swords into the U.K.

For more information on what can or cannot be shipped to the U.K., contact the Traffic Management Office at DSN 314-238-2201/7089/2617 or comm 01638 54 2201/7089/2617

Tip: Inquire about how to get reimbursed for mailing items during your outbound briefing.