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RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire is one of the RAF’s busiest Stations as the hub of UK Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) and the main operating base for airborne intelligence aircraft and systems like the E-3D Sentry AEW1.
Air ISTAR is the RAF’s eyes and ears in the sky and provides British and NATO military commanders with critical information about activity on the ground, in the air, and at sea.
The Air Warfare Centre at RAF Waddington provides timely and contextual integrated mission support to front line commanders.
The Air Battlespace Training Centre also prepares Service Personnel through demanding and immersive training scenarios across land, sea, and air.
Approximately 3,500 Service personnel, civil servants and contractors work at RAF Waddington.
Group Captain Burke took over as Station Commander RAF Waddington in November 2017.
He joined the RAF as a University Cadet in 1991 and spent the first half of his career flying the Tornado in the strike/attack role. He has also served as a flying and weapons instructor on the Hawk training aircraft.
His most recent flying appointment was as an MQ9 squadron commander. Away from the cockpit, he has experience in Defence Safety, teaching at the US Air Force Staff Course, the Air Staff Strategy cell in MOD Main Building and Joint Forces Command Capability Development at Northwood HQ. With operational experience covering Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and the Balkans he has logged approximately 3,000 military hours and enjoys flying with all of the RAF Waddington based Force Elements.
RAF Waddington, Lincoln, Lincolnshire, LN5 9NB.
No 8 RAF FP Wing is a multirole Wing aligned to the RAF ISTAR Force. The Wing is prepared for operations overseas protecting RAF assets as well as providing 24-hour security to 6 RAF stations at home in the UK. The Wing consists of a headquarters and 3 squadrons (2 Regular and 1 Reserve). Each squadron has a unique role, but they mutually support each other in the delivery of defence and security of the RAF, at home and overseas. The Wing HQ consists of 12 RAF Police and RAF Regiment personnel and is commanded by a Wing Commander.
The ABTC is a cutting-edge synthetic training organisation. It provides a suite of networked synthetic training equipment to train UK Forces in operationally relevant environments. It enables collaborative training for contingency operations. The synthetic exercises offer a highly immersive but safe, credible and cost-effective environment for training. The provision of a 3-dimensional After Action Review is unique within UK Defence. The ABTC facility can be connected to the other UK and NATO simulation facilities and consist of a 40-strong workforce drawn from Army, RAF (Regular and Reserve) and contractor personnel from Inzpire, QinetiQ, Boeing and Plexys companies. The ABTC Prime Contractor is QinetiQ.
Using an integrated blend of RAF Police, Military Provost Guard Service, and Civil Servants, from its HQ at RAF Waddington, part of 8 Force Protection Wing, 5 RAF Police & Security Squadron is responsible for the Policing, Security and Guarding of all RAF units in the East Midlands and Northern Wales. This includes:
RAF Coningsby (which holds Quick Reaction Alert (South))
RAF Cranwell (which delivers Initial Officer Training and Flying Training)
RAF Scampton (home to the RAF Acrobatics Team and 1ACC)
RAF Valley (a Fast Jet flying training unit)
RAF Waddington (the primary ISTAR force unit)
RAF Wittering (home of the A4 Force HQ)
Phone: 01522 726056
Tuesday 7:30 PM to 9:30 PM
How to Book/ Join
Contact voluntary band instructor
Personnel from 8 Squadron went to Holy Trinity Churchyard, Sunningdale, to tend the grave of Air Commodore Ferdinand West - the first Royal Air Force Victoria Cross recipient.
Engraved paving slabs have been purchased and laid all over the country to commemorate Victoria Cross Winners.
Recently No. 56 Squadron personnel exercised their newly acquired ‘Freedom of the District’ in North Weald, parading through the village in this, the RAF’s Centenary year.
RAF Waddington has been almost continuously active since opening as a Royal Flying Corps training base in 1916 teaching hundreds of pilots to fly a wide variety of aircraft. The Station was put on a care and maintenance basis in 1920 and was enlarged when major RAF expansion began (with many buildings still in use today).
The Station re-opened as a bomber base in March 1937, when it operated Blenheims, Hampdens and Avro Manchesters until December 1941 when the first of the Avro Lancasters entered RAF service with 44 squadron at Waddington. It was with this unit that Squadron Leader John Nettleton earned the Victoria Cross in June 1942 after leading an attack on a German U-boat engine factory.
Post-war Waddington hosted a variety of Lancaster and Avro Lincoln squadrons and later Washingtons, before preparations began for the arrival of the Vulcan bomber. In June 1955 two Canberra squadrons arrived and the first Avro Vulcans arrived in May 1957.
By August 1961, three squadrons of Vulcans were based at the Station and remained there until March 1984 with the type’s planned retirement being postponed because of the Falklands conflict. RAF Waddington provided the Vulcans for the Black Buck raids that bombed Port Stanley. The Vulcans were hastily modified for air-to-air refuelling duties for these raids.
Today, Waddington is one of the RAF’s busiest operational airfields and its squadrons and personnel are involved in supporting operations all around the world. Despite the demanding operational tempo, the Station continues to maintain a high profile and has delivered record-breaking Air Shows for 20 years.
The Station celebrated its centenary in 2016. A series of events marked the occasion, including the unveiling of a sculpture depicting the aircraft of its past and present. The Station also exercised the Freedom of Lincoln alongside RAF Scampton.
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