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Winter weather info quick, easy

ROYAL AIR FORCE LAKENHEATH, England --
Waking up to thick fog, icy roads or even a snow covered vehicle may cause some logistics and safety challenges for Liberty Wing commuters and students. However, resources are available to easily access weather delay or closure information for RAF Lakenheath personnel.

Weather information line

Command posts at both RAF Lakenheath and RAF Mildenhall update the base weather information line every day. If there is a base closure or delay, or a school closure or delay, the weather line will provide up-to-date information.

"Each morning the command post calls the weather shop to see if there is any adverse weather that could affect the base or commuters," said Staff Sgt. Tricia Showers, 48th Fighter Wing Command Post emergency actions controller. "If so, we notify wing leadership of the weather conditions and let them make a decision on base or school delays or closure."

The command post then updates the weather line, which is done every duty day between 4 and 4:30 a.m., Sergeant Showers said. "It allows people to call in and get a brief description of whether it's a normal duty day or if there's any inclement weather that could cause a delay in getting to work or school," she added.

The numbers to call for the RAF Lakenheath weather line are 226-3541 on base or (01638) 523 541 off base; for RAF Mildenhall, 238-3541 on base or (01638) 543 541 off base.

Telephone recall

In addition to the weather line, RAF Lakenheath employees should receive a telephone call at home from their unit or supervisor, relaying base and school closure or delay information. This is executed via a telephone recall. To ensure telephone recalls are effective, each member must ensure their contact information is correct and updated regularly on unit recall rosters, and members must keep a copy of the most current version of their unit recall roster readily available at home.

"The biggest challenge with any type of wing telephone recall is that people don't update their information with their unit when they move or change phone numbers," said Tech. Sgt. Kenry Peart, 48th Fighter Wing assistant to the command chief. "It's in your best interest to ensure your unit can reach you, if only so you can crawl back in bed and sleep through the snowstorm."

On the Web

Another resource Team Liberty members can use to check weather updates is the World Wide Web. Both the public Web site, www.lakenheath. af.mil, and the intranet site, https://48fw.lakenheath.af .mil/default.aspx, provide weather information and/or the numbers for the weather line. The public site is accessible from anywhere; the intranet site can be accessed from a government computer or through a family portal account. Contact your unit computer support administrator to set up a family portal account.

On the news

Public Affairs also contacts local news stations (television and radio), to notify them of base weather closures or delays. Tune to local stations for information and more detailed weather forecasts for your area. For Team Liberty members with an Armed Forces Network satellite, AFN U.K. Prime is coming online soon. This new, U.K.-specific AFN channel will be available in early-to-mid 2007, according to Air Force News officials. The channel will allow weather notifications to run at the bottom of the screen during AFN Prime programming for all AFN users, both on base and off, as well as provide U.K.-specific news, advertisements and spots.

Still not sure about the weather?

If all else fails, RAF Lakenheath personnel should contact their supervisor directly to confirm weather conditions and base status. Often, weather in one area may be quite different from weather around the bases.

"When in doubt, or if weather in your neighborhood is unsafe, call your supervisor or commander to determine the best course of action," said Sergeant Showes. "Safety is paramount and communication with your chain-of-command is key."