RAF Wittering located in Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire, is the main operating base and headquarters for the RAF A4 Force and is a major Station for flying training.
The A4 Force deploys the vital engineering and logistic support needed to sustain RAF operations and exercises around the world, from explosive ordnance disposal to catering, and aircraft repair to ground transport vehicles.
No 16 Squadron is part of No 3 Flying Training School and provide elementary flying training to the next generation of RAF pilots.
The squadrons of No 6 Flying Training School, teach qualified pilots to become flying instructors, deliver elementary flying training to University Air Squadron students and give Air Cadets their first flying experiences.
Around 1,400 Service, civilian and contractor personnel work at RAF Wittering, although a large number of the Service personnel can be deployed across the globe at any one time.
Group Captain Keeling joined the RAF as an apprentice in 1987. In 1999 he took his commission as an Engineering Officer after completing a university cadetship at the Royal Military College of Science.
His posts have included Senior Engineering Officer of 2 (AC) Squadron in 2006 and he was Officer Commanding Engineering & Logistics Wing at RAF Lossiemouth (2006 to 2009).
Group Captain Keeling has also served twice at the Ministry of Defence.
RAF Wittering, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, PE8 6HB.
Military flying at Wittering began in 1916 when Major Arthur T Harris of the Royal Flying Corps identified Wittering Heath as one of several suitable sites for No 38 Home Defence (HD) Squadron.
Squadrons from RAF Wittering have played a significant role in almost every major conflict for the last 100 years, including the Battle of Britain. The Harriers saw action in the Falklands, Balkans, Gulf War II and Afghanistan.
During World War One the Station served as training facility for pilots (a role to which it has now returned) and as a prisoner of war camp. In 1918 the Station was officially named Royal Air Force Wittering. The Station hosted many diverse units during World War Two and its aircraft were dispatched to southern England to take part in the Battle of Britain.
During the early 1950s the airfield at RAF Wittering was redeveloped to accommodate the arrival of the jet age. English Electric Canberras arrived in March 1954 and Valiant B1s, the first V-Bomber, arrived in July 1955.
Valiant bombers from RAF Wittering were detached to Operation GRAPPLE, a series of British nuclear weapons tests of early atomic bombs and hydrogen bombs carried out in 1957 and 1958 in the Pacific Ocean.
During the 1950s and 1960s all three V-Force bombers operated from RAF Wittering: the Valiant, Victor and the Vulcan.
In 1969 the Harrier arrived. It was an association that lasted for over forty years. The Harriers were involved in almost every major UK conflict including the Falklands, Gulf War Two, the Balkans and Afghanistan.
In 2006 the Station became the Royal Air Force Expeditionary Logistics Hub, with the arrival of No 85 Expeditionary Logistics (EL) Wing. No 42 Expeditionary Support (ES) Wing stood up in 2007, providing a command structure for the engineering units of the A4 Force.
In 2010 the airfield fell silent with the retirement of the Harriers, but was reactivated in 2014. Wittering now provides elementary flying training to the next generation of RAF pilots.
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