Where we're based

Where are our bases – and what do they do?

There are bases (or ‘stations’) across the UK – in England, Wales and Scotland, and one in Northern Ireland. As part of Air Command, every base has its own role, which can cover anything from front-line operations to training establishments.

Bases are usually home to a number of squadrons, which are the basic units that make up each RAF station.

UK bases (link opens in a new window)

A little town

Many bases are like small, self-contained towns. They have many facilities – not just accommodation and catering. Bases can have shops, gyms, playing fields, crèches, post offices, cinemas and even bowling alleys.

Why are some bases in remote places?

Because of the nature of the work we do, some bases need to be away from populated areas. Night flying, for instance, would disturb the general public. However, many bases are close to large cities, so you can take advantage of the facilities available there.

Bases overseas

We need to be able to respond quickly and efficiently to challenges across the globe. That’s why we have permanent bases overseas in:

  • Ascension Island
  • Cyprus
  • The Falkland Islands
  • Gibraltar

The RAF can also mount operations anywhere in the world.

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