RAF High Wycombe

High Wycombe crest

THE STATION

RAF High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire is a major administrative support Station. 

It hosts and supports HQ Air Command, several Groups, and the European Air Group. It also supports the Joint Ground Based Air Defence, and Joint Force Air Component Commander.

RAF High Wycombe acts as the liaison between the RAF and United States Visiting Forces (USVF), and human resource support for Ministry of Defence civil servants working on USVF Bases in the UK.

Commander

Portrait of Group Captain Shaun Harris CBE MA BEng (Hons) CEng MIET RAF

Group Captain Shaun Harris CBE MA BEng (Hons) CEng MIET RAF

Group Captain Harris took command of RAF High Wycombe in March 2019. Before assuming his appointment, he was the Non-Kinetic Operations Director for the multi-national coalition to defeat Da'esh in Iraq and Syria (Operation INHERENT RESOLVE), based in Baghdad.

Previously as Wing Commander he deployed to Afghanistan, where he was responsible for Harrier and C130 engineering, logistics and administration in 904 Expeditionary Air Wing.  He attended the United States Air Force Command and Staff College and was then selected for a Chief of the Air Staff's Fellowship to study strategy at the prestigious School of Advanced Air and Space Studies (SAASS).  On graduation from SAASS, Shaun was assigned to United States Cyber Command, where he served as the Deputy Future Operations Director, responsible for planning and executing cyberspace operations, and designing and building the first United States offensive cyber forces.  On his return to the UK, he commanded the Typhoon and Tornado Engineering and Logistics Wing at RAF Lossiemouth, supporting operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and 24/7 UK and Baltic Air Defence. 

ADDRESS

RAF High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, HP14 4UF.

Council: Buckinghamshire County Council:

Who's based here

  • No 1 Group
  • No 2 Group
  • No 22 Group
  • No 38 Group
  • RAF Safety Centre

KEY DATES

  • 1566 - Queen Elizabeth I visited the area with Lord Windsor of Bradenham when a gap in the surrounding woodland was noticed the area became known as ‘Queens Gap’ and is today the name of the house occupied by the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS) in remembrance of this.
  • 1941 - The camp was built.
  • 2005 - The camp became a Station when the United States Visiting Forces (USVF) became part of its parenting responsibilities.

HISTORY

The origins of the RAF presence at Naphill and Walters Ash start with Wing Commander Alan Oakeshott. Born the son of an Army Major and a local town councillor, Wing Commander Oakeshott grew up in the village of Naphill before joining the RAF in 1938. He would go on to become a decorated war hero and also be credited with the idea of building a well hidden RAF High Wycombe in the beech woods of the Chiltern Hills.

In 1938, with war looming, thoughts in the Air Ministry turned to the issue of where to site Bomber Command HQ, within easy reach of the capital, but in a location that could not easily be detected from the air. Anecdotal evidence indicates that Wing Commander Oakeshott suggested that the area of beech woods near the villages of Naphill, Walters Ash and Lacey Green would be an ideal location.

In his relatively short RAF career he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) before going on to make the ultimate sacrifice.

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