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RAF College Cranwell is a thriving RAF Station in the heart of Lincolnshire with a long and distinguished history dating back to its foundations as a Royal Navy Training Establishment in 1916. It was the world’s first Air Academy and today, it continues to select and train the next generation of officers and aircrew. It is also home to No 3 Flying Training School which delivers the elementary flying training for fixed wing and multiengine student pilots from the RAF, Royal Navy and Army Air Corps, No 6 Flying Training School which oversees all University Air Squadrons in universities across the UK and the Tedder Leadership Academy.
RAF College Cranwell is also home to a broad range of Supported Force Elements including RAF Recruitment and Selection, Headquarters Air Cadets, Central Flying School, The Air Warfare School and the Band of the RAF College.
Air Commodore Peter Squires joined the RAF as a pilot in 1989 following a bursary at Southampton University studying Aeronautics & Astronautics. His flying career has been predominantly on the Harrier as a Qualified Weapons Instructor, although he latterly commanded 100 Squadron flying Hawks in the Aggressor and Close Air Support roles.
Following various staff tours and operational deployments, including commanding the Expeditionary Air Wing during Operation UNIFIED PROTECTOR during the Libyan crisis in 2011, he completed a period of study at the Royal College of Defence Studies. In August 2016 Air Commodore Squires assumed command of RAF College Cranwell.
RAF College Cranwell, Sleaford, Lincolnshire, NG34 8HB.
Stood up at RAF Wittering on 7th September 2015. 6 FTS commands and manages the RAF University Air Squadrons (UAS) in the UK. 6 FTS will deliver annual flying and ground training to 1200 UAS students and Air Experience Flying to 25,000 Air Cadets.
No 3 Flying Training School (3FTS) is responsible for the delivery of Elementary Flying Training (EFT) and Multi-Engine Pilot Training (MEPT) for all 3 UK military Services; EFT/MEPT is also provided to our International Defence Training partner nations. 3FTS currently utilise the Grob Tutor and Beechcraft King Air aircraft, which are provided by Babcock International Group and Serco respectively. 3FTS comprises of 5 Sqns: 16 (R) Sqn, based at RAF Wittering; 45 (R) Sqn (the MEPT Sqn) and 57 (R), both based at RAFC Cranwell; and 674 AAC and 703 NAS, both based at RAF Barkston Heath.
The Central Flying School (CFS) is the oldest established Flying School in the world. Its mission is to ‘Deliver, Develop and Assure Excellence in Aircrew Instruction for Defence’ achieving this by training all flying instructors, both fixed-wing and rotary, as well as all other airborne instructors. Its Exam Wing assures the standards of instruction for the RAF through regular station and squadron visits and the Smith-Barry Research Institute, our Research & Development arm, is tasked to study how we can improve flying training for the future. In addition, the RAF Aerobatic Team, the Red Arrows, are under the command of Commandant CFS.
The Naval Air Squadron responsible for delivering Elementary Flying Training (EFT) to Royal Navy students. It is under the command of 3 Flying Training School at RAF Cranwell. On completion of EFT, Rotary Wing trainees will continue at RAF Shawbury, and Fast Jet aircrew will undergo Basic Fast Jet Training with 72(R) Squadron, RAF.
An Air Corps squadron, providing flying training to British Army students.The Squadron falls under 3 Flying Training School. Although the number was created during the Second World War, the squadron was not formed until 2003. Students continue their training at RAF Shawbury.
The Tedder Academy is responsible for delivering world-class, through career, air-minded Leadership and Command education and training within the RAF for all ranks. In so doing it supports the RAF objectives by delivering the air power leaders of the future. Airpower, air-mindedness and operational effectiveness underpin all Tedder activity, thus differentiating it from other similar institutions. The Tedder Academy is a constituent part of a ‘centennial reset of Trenchard’s persistent pursuit of training and education excellence’, itself part of the RAF 100 legacy line of operation. The Academy will, therefore, operate in a way that promotes a reputation for excellence and that ensures a continued legacy. The Tedder Academy will engage with all RAF personnel but will also develop and strengthen relationships with our Sister Services, academic institutions and foreign militaries. The Academy HQ currently consists of 6 staff but this will grow consistent with the development of the Academy.
HQ RAF Air Cadets manages both the community-based Air Training Corps (ATC) and the school-based Combined Cadet Force (RAF). Within the ATC there are six regional HQs, 34 wing HQs and 921 squadrons throughout the UK and at five locations overseas. The Combined Cadet Force (RAF) has 220 units in both state and public schools in the UK and at three locations overseas. In total there are 55,000 cadets and volunteers, a flying training school and two adventure training centres which are all managed by HQ RAFAC. The RAFAC is a world-class uniformed training organisation which is often used by other nations to model their own cadet forces and it is a leader in the provision of training to young people aged 12-19 years.
RAF Disclosures is a team of 13 MOD civilians, supported by an RAF medical practitioner, that manages the disclosure of personal and medical information as retained by the MOD on its former RAF military personnel (living and deceased). Disclosure is undertaken in accordance with FOIA 2000 and UK Data Protection regulations and their statute.
Work undertaken is varied, and enquiries are received from former employees, family members, other internal MOD departments and an array of external agencies, organisations and other public sector bodies. Enquiries concerning veteran welfare are the highest priority.
Stationed at RAF College Cranwell since its formation in 1920, The Band of the Royal Air Force College enjoys international recognition through musical excellence both on parade and on the concert platform. As one of three bands in Royal Air Force Music Services, its mission is to provide optimum musical support for the RAF in order to enhance public perception, support State Ceremonial and to further Defence and National interests.
The Band of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force was formed with the intention to support the regular Royal Air Force Bands to ensure maximum operational effectiveness as part of the Royal Air Force Engagement Strategy. The Headquarters based at RAFC Cranwell is staffed by four FTRS personnel who provide the support and experience to attract and retain Part Time Voluntary Reserve Musicians into the Royal Auxiliary Air Force. (Link to RAF Recruitment)
The Air Warfare School is part of the Air Warfare Centre at RAF Waddington and is a Lodger Unit at RAFC Cranwell. The School provides operationally focussed and joint-minded Individual Training and Education in Air Warfare. Our courses include Targeting, Weapons, Space, Electronic Warfare, and Air Operations Planning. We deliver to over 1000 students from across the UK Armed Forces, and our international partners, each year.
A Relief Landing Ground to the nearby RAF Cranwell, just four minutes flying time away. The airfield is a valuable asset for trainee pilots from the three services.
Royal Air Force College Cranwell were delighted to host the final RAF 100 STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) residential week.
It was a privilege to host the Sheffield Branch of the Normandy Veterans on 17 Oct 18.
On 9th October a century old bomb was found on Royal Air Force College Cranwell’s Airfield.
Sir Hugh Trenchard (first Chief of the Air Staff) established the RAF College at RAF Cranwell on 5 February 1920. This assisted with the consolidation of the RAF’s position as a single and independent Service.
The foundation stone was laid on 29 April 1929 by Lady Maud Hoare, wife of Secretary of State for Air.
Sir Frank Whittle became a Flight Cadet in 1926 and TE Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) was stationed at Cranwell from 1925 to 1926 as Aircraftman Second Class TE Shaw.
During the 1930s the College Hall Officers' Mess was completed (1933) and College Hall was opened in 1934 by the then Prince of Wales, Prince Edward. Group Captain Sir Douglas Bader was also a Flight Cadet at Cranwell during the 1930s.
During World War Two, Hermann Goering ordered the Luftwaffe not to bomb the College as he wanted it as his headquarters when Germany won the War.
In the 1950s the peal of bells were added to College Hall. The bells were given by Shell Petroleum Company and play the retreat each evening as the ensign is lowered, in honour of the 477 former Cadets who were killed in action during World War Two.
Many types of training aircraft operated at Cranwell over the years including the SE8, Tiger Moth, Gladiator, Bulldog and DH Chipmunk.
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