RAF Wittering

Badge for RAF Wittering

Strength is Freedom

In front of an escallop, a lion rampant. The lion in the arms of Stamford and the collar and chain detached there from are to suggest that the units at Wittering are released for operations from there. The lion’s three tails are indicative of the three commands under which the station has operated in the past and of the wings of the station organization.
Authority: Elizabeth II, August 1955.

THE STATION

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.

Commander

Portrait of Group Captain J L Lincoln MBE BA(Hons) PGDIP MA FCILT RAF

Group Captain J L Lincoln MBE BA(Hons) PGDIP MA FCILT RAF

Group Captain Lincoln joined the RAF in 1997 having graduated with an honours degree in Business Administration (with Spanish). In addition to completing logistics and air movements training at RAFC Cranwell and RAF Brize Norton, she also attained a master’s degree and a post graduate diploma in logistics management.

Group Captain Lincoln’s posts have included Joint Force Air Component Headquarters, she was the first UK Detachment Commander to 906 Expeditionary Air Wing, and Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff for Workforce Requirements.

Group Captain Lincoln is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT).

ADDRESS

RAF Wittering, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, PE8 6HB.

Council: Cambridgeshire County Council and Northamptonshire County Council

Who's based here

  • 16 Squadron
  • 115 Squadron
  • 504 Squadron RAuxAF
  • 5131 (BD) Squadron
  • Cambridge University Air Squadron
  • University of London Air Squadron
  • Grob Tutor Display Team

KEY DATES

  • 1918 - Formally named RAF Wittering.
  • 1955 to 1968 - V-Force bombers (the Valiant, Victor and Vulcan) flew from RAF Wittering.
  • 1969 - Harriers arrived and remained until 2010.
  • 2014 - The airfield was reactivated and flying squadrons returned in early 2015 to train the next generation of RAF pilots.

HISTORY

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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