The Station

RAF Brize Norton, in Oxfordshire, is the largest RAF Station with approximately 5,800 Service Personnel, 300 civilian staff and 1,200 contractors.

The Station is home to the RAF's Air Mobility Force, encompassing Strategic and Tactical Air Transport, and Air-to-Air Refuelling (AAR) forces, as well as being host to many lodger and reserve units.

With its mixed fleet of aircraft, RAF Brize Norton provides rapid global mobility in support of UK overseas operations and exercises, as well as AAR support for fast jet aircraft, both on operations and in support of UK Homeland Defence.

Read about RAF Brize Norton environmental policies and major accident emergency instructions.

Latest information on our transformation projects

Brize Development Team

Move with confidence


Group Captain Claire O'Grady ADC MA RAF

Group Captain Claire O’Grady commissioned as a People Operations Officer in 1998 and took command of RAF Brize Norton in July 2022. Prior to this she worked as the Senior Air Staff Officer in Number 22 Group at HQ Air Command.
Throughout her career she has completed command and staff appointments in personnel, welfare, discipline and infrastructure and completed operational tours in Kosovo, Iraq, the Middle East and Afghanistan.

Who's based here




Where we parent


RAF Brize Norton officially opened on 13 August 1937. Number 2 Flying Training School was the first unit to be stationed here, arriving on 7 September 1937.

In July 1942, the Heavy Glider Conversion Unit, later renamed No. 21 HGCU, arrived and remained here until 31 December 1945. Between March and October 1944, the Station was used as a base for parachute and glider operations by Nos 296 and 297 Squadrons, both equipped with Armstrong Whitworth Albemarle aircraft; both Squadrons were involved in D-Day operations, and the airborne landings at Arnhem.

Flying Training Command returned to the Station with No 204 AFTS in August 1949, then left in June 1950. The USAF formally accepted control of the Station on 16 April 1951, initially basing B-36 Convair Peacemaker bombers then B-47 Stratojets at a later date. The RAF took back control of the Station on 1 April 1965.

Various iconic aircraft have been based here, including Airspeed Oxford, Harvard, Whitley, Albermarle, Horsa Glider, Britannia, VC-10, Belfast, Argosy, Andover, Tri-Star, Globemaster III, Hercules, Voyager and Atlas. The Station has been involved in many operations including, CORPORATE (1982), GRANBY (1990), TELIC (2003-11), HERRICK (2001-14), SHADER (2014) RUMAN (2017) and PITTING (2021).

Key dates

1937   Opened as a flying training station.

1944   Nos. 296 and 297 Squadrons dropped paratroops and launched Horsa gliders during D-Day.

1945   RAF Brize Norton transferred from Flying Training Command to Transport Command.

1951   The US Air Force accepted control of the Station.

1965   The RAF took back control of the Station and it became a Transport Command airfield.

2001   First Boeing C-17A Globemaster III aircraft arrived.

2011   The Airbus A330 Voyager arrived.

2012   Lockheed Martin C-130J arrived due to the closure of RAF Lyneham.

2014   Airbus A400M Atlas arrived. 

2023   Lockheed Martin C130-J Hercules retired and Number 47 Squadron disbanded.

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