Opportunities with USAFE

West Suffolk is home to two United States Airforce in Europe (USAFE) bases, RAF Lakenheath and RAF Mildenhall. In 2019, RAF Mildenhall estimated the overall economic impact of the bases in West Suffolk to around $577 million, including off-base expenditure, expenditure by military and civilian personnel and the value of indirect jobs to accommodate the presence of these two bases.

We work with USAFE to ensure that economic opportunities can be accessed by local businesses using the procurement system outlined below, and to promote any employment opportunities for local workers.

Business opportunities with USAFE

The 48th Contracting Squadron located at RAF Lakenheath is responsible for procuring goods and services for the US Air Force in the United Kingdom.

Contract listings

For most purchases under $25,000 a Government Wide Purchase Card (GPC) which is a standard Mastercard is the preferred method of payment. Cardholders order items from catalogues, over the internet or from local vendors with little or no acquisition lead time. If your business is likely to sell goods or services that would come under this mode of purchase, it is recommended that you contact the 48th Contracting Squadron to raise awareness of your business and what goods and services you offer. To have your details registered send an email to 48CONS.PKP.Vendors@us.af.mil

Requirements over $25,000 are advertised on the SAM.GOV website, in the Contract Opportunities section. Anyone seeking any US Government market for their products and services can search, monitor and retrieve opportunities advertised by the entire Federal contracting community. This is the single point of entry for all US Government procurement opportunities and to aid searching for UK vendors they should use to the Keyword 'FA5587' when searching for opportunities in the UK. To further assist UK vendors a quick search facility is available via a dedicated Facebook page located at Facebook - US Air Force Business Opportunities in the United Kingdom. The site lists a brief summary of the opportunities available in the UK and has a direct links to the main government website where all of the information for that project are available.

Users can also sign up on the web page and they will receive new notifications as they are released by 48 CONS.

Registering to become a supplier

To be able to tender an offer or a quotation on any US Government contracts it is mandatory for all vendors to complete and maintain an active registration in the System for Award Management (SAM), the official website of the US Government.

  • Once active in the system the registration will remain active for 12 months, vendors are able to renew at any time within that period resetting the 12 month clock.
  • There are no fees associated with registering or renewing a SAM registration.
  • It can take up to 15 working days for applications made in SAM to become active so it is never too early to register.

Before beginning a new application vendors must have a data universal numbering system (D-U-N-S) number and a NATO Commercial and Governmental Entity Code (NCAGE) number. It is vital that the name and address information contained within these is an exact match. Any differences in the D-U-N-S data and the NCAGE data will severely delay any SAM registration.

Step 1

In order to register in SAM vendors need to obtain a D-U-N-S number.

  • A D-U-N-S number is automatically allocated to all 'Limited' companies by Dun & Bradstreet (D&B). If you do not know your D-U-N-S number this can be obtained free of charge by contacting Dun & Bradstreet: Dun & Bradstreet D‑U‑N‑S Number Lookup
  • For companies that are not 'Limited' a new D-U-N-S number can also be obtained from D&B after filling out a short application, full details can be found at their website Request a Dun & Bradstreet D-U-N-S ® Number

Step 2

Non US companies must also obtain a NATO Commercial and Governmental Entity (NCAGE) code prior to starting their registration in SAM. This is also available free of charge and can be obtained online. It takes just a few minutes to complete the application on: United Kingdom National codification Bureau

Once companies have a NCAGE code it will take up to five working days to update in the US CAGE system which is required to pass the validation check within SAM.

Step 3

Once these two steps have been completed, registration in SAM can then be started at: SAM (System for Award Management)

Users must first create an individual user account, then they will be able to register the company to their personal account. It is suggested that accounts are registered with a generic email rather than personal email address to aid reactivation in the event of loss of password or closure of an email account.

A comprehensive walk through guide to all aspects of the SAM registration are available on request emailing: 48CONS.PKP.Vendors@us.af.mil

If companies are awarded a contract, US Government contractors now have to submit invoices via the Wide Area Work Flow (WAWF) system. The purpose of WAWF is to enable vendors and government officials to electronically access and process the documentation needed to generate prompt payment for goods and services, full details will be provided to successful contractors following award.

Employment opportunities with USAFE

RAF Lakenheath and RAF Mildenhall employ over 12,000 US and non US personnel, both as part of the military and as civilian support services. There are a wide variety of employment opportunities for non-US civilian personnel – current opportunities include drivers, technicians, electricians, engineers and some admin roles. These opportunities and details of how to apply can be found on: Civilian Personnel: Employment at RAF Lakenheath and RAF Mildenhall.