RAF Leeming

RAF Leeming crest

THE STATION

RAF Leeming in North Yorkshire trains, delivers, and supports UK and overseas Expeditionary Air Operations.

The Station is home to a diverse range of squadrons and lodger units including 90 Signals Unit, and a Mountain Rescue Team.

With such a broad range of expertise and close proximity to training areas at Spadeadam, Otterburn and Catterick, RAF Leeming is the preferred site for deployed exercises and detachments from UK and overseas units.

Commander

Portrait of Group Captain J B Crawford OBE MSt MA BEng(Hons) FRAeS RAF

Group Captain J B Crawford OBE MSt MA BEng(Hons) FRAeS RAF

Group Captain Blythe Crawford took command at RAF Leeming in November 2018 following a tour as the RAF exchange officer within the Chief of Staff of the US Air Force’s Strategic Studies Group in Washington.

Group Captain Crawford previously served at the North Yorkshire Station as an Electronic Warfare instructor and deputy Flight Commander with XXV(F) Squadron, participating in Operations ADANA and BOLTON.  He deployed as Commanding Officer of 121 Expeditionary Air Wing in 2013 in support of OPERATION LUMINOUS.  On completion of this tour, he was posted at short notice to Baghdad as part of OPERATION INHERENT RESOLVE and was awarded the MSM for his services. 

ADDRESS

RAF Leeming, Northallerton, DL7 9NJ.

Council: North Yorkshire County Council

Who's based here

  • 609 Squadron RAuxAF
  • 90 Signals Unit

KEY DATES

  • 1940 - RAF Leeming officially opened.
  • 1942 - The Station was handed over to the No 6 (Royal Canadian Air Force) Bomber Group.
  • 1984 to 1988 - The station underwent a £148m reconstruction based around the new F2 Air Defence Variant Tornado.
  • 2005 - 90 Signals Unit arrived from RAF Brize Norton and formed the largest lodger unit on the station.

HISTORY

RAF Leeming was built in 1938 as a bomber base, with the first sortie conducted in a Whitley bomber in July 1940. The Station was handed over to Number 6 Group in 1942 and commanded by the Royal Canadian Air Force for the remainder of World War Two.

At the end of hostilities Leeming became a Night Fighter Operational Conversion Unit equipped with the Mosquito before moving into the jet age with the Meteor and the Javelin.

It became a Basic Flying Training School in 1961 and the Central Flying School arrived in 1977. 

In 1984 RAF Leeming joined Number 11 Group Strike Command and was revamped to open in 1988 as a major operational station with XI(Fighter), 23(Fighter) and XXV(Fighter) Squadrons, equipped with the Tornado F3 fighter.

After 20 years of defending the UK skies RAF Leeming’s Tornado F3 days ended with the disbandment of XXV(F) Sqn in April 2008.

100 Squadron, equipped with the Hawk jet, arrived at Leeming in 1995. Its role has evolved immeasurably since then, and it is now the RAF’s sole Aggressor Squadron, delivering operational training including support to the Typhoon Force and Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC) serials.

The close link with the JTAC world was enhanced with the arrival that year of the Joint Forward Air Control and Standardisation Unit (JFACTSU).

In April 1996, 34 Squadron RAF Regiment arrived in North Yorkshire after 40 years in Cyprus. Now part of No. 2 RAF Force Protection Wing, their role is to provide world-beating air force protection capabilities at readiness.

The 90 Signals Unit moved to RAF Leeming in 2007 and now account for around half the Station population, with around 950 personnel providing vital information and communication services to operations within the UK and operations around the world.

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