Firefighters in action

Operations Wing

Operations Wing provides the personnel and facilities required to maintain operational support and services for RAF Brize Norton based and visiting aircraft, as well as orchestrating the safe arrival and departure of all aircraft, passengers and freight. The Wing comprises:

Air-to-Air Refuelling Cell

The Air-to-Air Refuelling Cell is responsible for the detailed planning, coordination and execution of operational and exercise aircraft deployments that require Air-to-Air Refuelling support throughout the world.

Air Traffic Control Squadron


Air traffic controlAir Traffic Control (ATC) Squadron and the Fire Section are the responsibility of the Senior Air Traffic Control Officer. In 1971, with the increasingly congested airspace due to the large number of local airfields, 'Oxford Radar' was established at RAF Brize Norton. Its role was to provide much needed centralised control to the surrounding airspace and to manage the increasing flow of transiting aircraft. By 1992 Oxford Radar had been renamed Brize Radar, received its own Secondary Surveillance Radar and, shortly afterwards, a new Watchman airfield radar. The Unit reverted to a Terminal ATC role in July 1998. ATC is also open 24 hours every day and handles approximately 110,000 aircraft movements annually. Radar services are provided to transiting aircraft within a 60nm radius of Brize Norton.

The aerodrome supports a wide variety of aircraft types, from light aircraft to huge Antonov 124 heavy-lift aircraft. The ATC Squadron also provides ATC services for nearby RAF Fairford and plays a vital role in coordinating the annual Royal International Air Tattoo which is the largest flying display in Europe. All of this is achieved in the midst of one of the most congested pieces of airspace in the UK.

ASCOT Operations

Air Support Command Overseas Transport (ASCOT) Operations is responsible for the tasking, command & control and daily management of all RAF Air Transport and Air-to-Air Refuelling aircraft deployed overseas.

Some will note that Air Support Command no longer exists, however, the historical reference persists to this day.

Boeing Operational Control System

The Boeing Operational Control System application is an Oracle database used by Headquarters Number 2 Group and Defence Support Chain Operations and Movements personnel to plan and manage strategic and tactical air transport operations. The application is also used by a number of deployed units who require access to information relating the strategic and tactical flying programmes. All aspects of the application, including contractual and hosting arrangements are managed by a dedicated Officer.

C4I Support Squadron

The Command, Control, Communications, Computer and Intelligence (C4I) Support Squadron provides and manages all of the Station Telephony Systems, Communication and Information Systems, Secure Communications Facilities, Printing Capabilities (both design and production) and Communications Advice to the Mobility Force Headquarters for RAF Brize Norton.

C4I Support Squadron consists of 4 areas:

  • Information Systems Flight.
  • Communications Flight.
  • Print and Resource Centre.
  • Mobility Force Headquarters Cell.

Defence Fire Section

Fire sectionThe Defence Fire Section is permanently committed to the provision of category 5A fire cover (required for large passenger-carrying airliners). The Section is equipped with the latest Carmichael MFV fire vehicles, and was the first RAF Fire Section to receive the new Rapid Intervention Vehicle in 2000. The fire section also provides fire safety advice and domestic fire cover for arguably the largest RAF base.

Intelligence Cell

Station Intelligence Flight is responsible for the provision of timely and accurate intelligence to Brize Norton aircrew, who fly to many diverse locations around the world. The Intelligence flight is also responsible for similar briefings to any Brize Norton sub-units or personnel who may be deploying, either as a formed unit or as individual Augmentees, to any of the Operations that the UK is currently supporting. Finally, the Intelligence section provides intelligence briefings to both Station and Force Headquarters executives in order to provide them with the intelligence information required to assist their decision making process.

Station Operations Squadron

Air terminalThe Headquarters is situated in the Air Terminal and from here Station Operations Squadron co-ordinates the movements and monitors the progress of all aircraft based at RAF Brize Norton. Whether it is a VC10 on a North Sea air-to-air refuelling sortie, a TriStar flying into operational theatres or a C-17 supporting operations in some far-flung parts of the world, the personnel of Station Operations are there to ensure that our aircraft are fully supported 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. Airfield Operations Wing provides a worldwide flight planning capability, aviation information facilities, meteorological services and support to visiting aircraft, including frequent visiting VIP flights and a variety of civilian aircraft movements. The Headquarters also provides intelligence and tactical briefings, through a dedicated Mission Support Cell, to all Brize Norton aircraft departing to the various operational theatres around the world.

The Station Meteorological Office

The Station Meteorological Office reports to the Officer Commanding Airfield Wing via Squadron Leader Operations.


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