RAF Henlow

RAF Henlow crest


RAF Henlow in Bedfordshire provides the support to enable lodger units to deliver global operations.



Portrait of Wing Commander Rachel Mawdsley MA BSc RAF

Wing Commander Rachel Mawdsley MA BSc RAF

Wing Commander Mawdsley took command of RAF Henlow in August 2018. During her career she has deployed on Operations and Exercises all over the world, including Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan. As a Flight Lieutenant she was posted to Las Vegas where she was the RAF Liaison Officer responsible for all RAF Air Transport movements across the West of the United States. Promoted to Squadron Leader, Mawdsley was posted to the Defence Support Chain Operations and Movements organisation at Andover and then Abbey Wood. On return from deployment to Operation HERRICK she took up command of Number 2 Mechanical Transport Squadron at RAF Wittering. Following a staff tour in the MOD as the NATO desk officer within the international engagement team in Defence Logistics, Mawdsley was promoted to Wing Commander in 2015.


RAF Henlow, Bedfordshire, SG16 6DN.

Council: Central Bedfordshire Council

Who's based here


The RAF was only six weeks old when Lieutenant Colonel Robert Francis Stapleton-Cotton and a party of 40 airmen arrived from RAF Farnborough on 10 May 1918. 

The Lieutenant Colonel was to become the first CO of RAF Henlow in August 1918.  Although still under construction, the Depot had achieved a limited output of Bristol Fighters and De Havilland aircraft.

In the original list of RAF Stations for April 1918, Henlow counts among only five other stations which remain open as RAF stations today: Halton, Leuchars, Northolt, Waddington and Wittering. 

During the war years, RAF Henlow became one of the largest RAF Maintenance Units in the country and made an invaluable contribution to the war effort.  It is a proud part of our history that RAF Henlow contributed (albeit indirectly) to the Battle of Britain, repairing Hurricanes that were damaged during the Battle. 

After World War Two, a new role developed for the station, that of radio equipment calibration and signals development. 

Through the years RAF Henlow has been home to the Parachute Test Unit, the Royal Air Force Technical College, the RAF Officer Cadet Training Unit (OCTU) and the Officers’ Command School & Intermediate Command & Staff Course.

Connect with RAF Henlow

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