Who is based here?
RAF Northolt comprises 2 Wings and many other Units.
Royal Air Force Northolt
RAF Northolt's Support Wing comprises:
Personnel Management Squadron (PMS), covering Personnel Management, Accounts, Pastoral and Medical and Dental services. The Squadron is responsible for discipline and ceremonial activities on the Station and is also the focus for community support for all Northolt families.
Estates Management Squadron (EMS), covering Estate Management and Energy Conservation.
Station Management Squadron (SMS), covering General Duties, C4i, Catering contracts and the acccommodation cell.
Safety, Health and Environmental Protection, dealing with matters such as Health, Safety and Environmental Protection issues across the Station.
Force Development Squadron (FDS), covering Education, Resettlement and Physical Education.
Finance Department, headed by the Finance Manager, who is directly responsible to the Station Commander for financial advice regarding the management of the Station budget and business development.
Media and Communications, covering all aspects of community engagement, visits to the Station and heritage matters.
Comms Fleet Force HQ. The Comms Fleet Force Headquarters (CF FHQ) stood-up on 1 Oct 06 to support 32 (The Royal) Squadron. The CF FHQ core members include the Comms Fleet Tasking Agency (CFTA), the Integrated Logistics and Operations Centre (ILOC), SERCo , the Air to Air refuelling and Comms Fleet Integrated Project Team (ARC IPT). Together these sections provide all the required support for all tasking undertaken by 32 (TR) Sqn. Day to day the CF FHQ manage the availability and capability of the Comms Fleet in order for the Availability Manager (the Station Commander) to maximise CF force projection.
Other areas of Ops Wing: Operations Squadron (Operations Flight, Security Flight, Fire), Air Movements Squadron (Civilian Airhead Detachment, Shift and Air Cargo Sections) and Air Traffic Control. Operations Flight manages up to 17,500 air movements per year (a single landing or take-off is classed as one air movement) of which a maximum of 12,000 are commercial air movements.
32(The Royal) Squadron
No 32 Squadron was formed on 12th January 1916 at Netheravon, Wiltshire. After service during the First World War 32 Sqn became one of the premier fighting units of the inter-war years. It was 1942 that the Sqn began its association with the warmer climates of the world when it moved to North Africa and became part of the Desert Air Force. By the end of the war the Sqn ended up in Palestine, where it remained until the end of World War 2. Until 1957 the Sqn moved around the Middle East serving in Malta, Egypt, Jordan and Iraq.
A brief look at the history of 32 Sqn shows that it isn't new to the Middle Eastern Theatre. Over the last decade 32 (TR) Sqn has seen its aircraft involved in many operations. The Sqn played a full part in supporting operations in the Gulf during the liberation of Kuwait and was also involved in the Balkans and Sierra Leone. More recently the Sqn has used both HS125 and BAe146 for operations into Afghanistan and Iraq in support of OPs Herrick and Telic, and in support of operations in Libya.
The Sqn currently has 4 BAe 146 and 6 HS 125 aircraft from which it is tasked to provide 2 aircraft in the Middle East throughout the year and this will remain the case until further notice. The optimum capability is provided by an HS125 and a BAe146 in the summer and 2 125s in the winter months. The increased presence of British Forces in the Afghanistan theatre is giving the detachment a considerable amount of tasking into Kabul, Kandahar and Bagram.
The Sqn carries out Operational Support mission transporting key decision makers making the most of the Sqn allowing rapid changes of itinerary, quick turnarounds and flexible timings.
In the UK and near Europe, the Sqn's Agusta 109 Helicopter serves key senior military and VIPs. The aircraft replaced the 3 Twin Squirrel helicopters, allowing better range, higher cruising speeds and increased passenger load.
Other Northolt-based Units
No 1 AIDU (Aeronautical Information Documents Unit)
No 1 Aeronautical Information Documents Unit (No 1 AIDU) has a mission to deliver all aeronautical information products and services to UK defence through production, partnering or acquisition to support the achievement of defence objectives.
For more than 60 years, No 1 AIDU has been at the forefront of the air cartographic world. Established in 1953 and subsequently relocated to RAF Northolt in 1957, No 1 AIDU is a specialist geospatial unit under the Assistant Chief of Staff (Foundation) wing of the Joint Forces Intelligence Group.
No 1 AIDU is charged with the production of all aspects of aeronautical data, including arrival, departure and in-flight data as well as some of the more specialised digital cockpit imagery, in accordance with the civilian Aeronautical Information Regulation and Control cycle. With an area of coverage that may be required for training missions, search and rescue sorties, areas in need of humanitarian aid and areas of military operations, it is important as ever that No 1 AIDU’s aeronautical information “rises above the rest”.
British Forces Post Office
BFPO moved to RAF Northolt from Mill Hill in 2008. It is staffed primarily by Army personnel with a small contingent of Royal Naval staff and is responsible for the distribution of mail to military bases and ships wherever they are around the world.
621 EOD Sqn, Royal Logistics Corps
621 EOD Sqn is a sub-division of 11 EOD Regiment RLC, a specialist regiment of the British Army's Royal Logistic Corps responsible for counter terrorist Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD), the safe recovery or disposal of conventional munitions. The regiment also has an ammunition inspectorate role supporting the Inspector Explosives (Army). The Regiment has sub units geographically based throughout the UK to provide a nationwide high readiness response capability in support of the police.
The Queens Colour Squadron (63 Squadron RAF Regiment)
QCS are renowned for their ceremonial drill but what is less well know is that they have an operational role in support of RAF flying operations, providing protection to vulnerable airfields. In late 2008 they returned from a 6 month deployment to Afghanistan. QCS moved to RAF Northolt from RAF Uxbridge in early 2010.
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Headquarters Music Services and the Central Band of the RAF
Another unit to move to Northolt from Uxbridge is the Central Band of the RAF together with Headquarters Music Services. These two units are now settled into their new home with the Central Band enjoying purpose built rehearsal facilities. The Central Band is well known for the exceptional standard of its performances but also for the smaller sub-group "The Squadronnaires" who perform at many concerts across the country.
Service Prosecution Authority
The SPA is a tri-service unit formed from the combination of the old single service prosecution authorities. It oversees the application of service law and advises commanders of all three services on military legal matters.
600 (City of London) Squadron, Royal Auxiliary Air Force
No 600 (City of London) Squadron is one of the oldest units in the Royal Auxiliary Air Force. The main role of the Squadron is Headquarters Augmentation and it provides trained personnel to support RAF and joint Headquarters within the UK and worldwide. No 600 (City of London) Squadron is established for 160 reserve personnel and training is provided in Administration, Communications, Intelligence, Operations or Logistics. A full-time staff of seven RAF personnel supports the Squadron.
RAF northolt is also home to a variety of other units, including the Naval Aeronautical Information Centre (NAIC), the Polish Records Office and the County and Regional Headquarters of the Air Training Corps.