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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.
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.
No 3 Flying Training School (3FTS) is responsible for the delivery of Elementary Flying Training (EFT) and Multi-Engine Pilot Training (MEPT) for all 3 UK military Services; EFT/MEPT is also provided to our International Defence Training partner nations. 3FTS currently utilise the Grob Tutor and Beechcraft King Air aircraft, which are provided by Babcock International Group and Serco respectively. 3FTS comprises of 5 Sqns: 16 (R) Sqn, based at RAF Wittering; 45 (R) Sqn (the MEPT Sqn) and 57 (R), both based at RAFC Cranwell; and 674 AAC and 703 NAS, both based at RAF Barkston Heath.
Stood up at RAF Wittering on 7th September 2015. 6 FTS commands and manages the RAF University Air Squadrons (UAS) in the UK. 6 FTS will deliver annual flying and ground training to 1200 UAS students and Air Experience Flying to 25,000 Air Cadets.
No 5 Air Experience Flight (5AEF) is part of Cambridge University Air Squadron and is a training unit of the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve (Training Branch) whose main purpose is to give introductory flying experience to cadets from the Air Training Corps and the Combined Cadet Force.
No 1 Expeditionary Logistics Squadron’s (1ELS) main task is to support the UK’s deployed air operations; to make sure that the Royal Air Force has the right amounts of the correct equipment and fuel, when and where it’s needed. The Squadron also runs RAF Wittering’s station supply, mechanical transport and fuels sections.
No 2 Mechanical Transport Squadron (2MT) is the Royal Air Force’s road-going heavy lift capability. 2MT’s history stretches back to the Battle of Britain when the RAF Drivers transported spares and equipment between airfields. Today the Squadron operates a fleet of specialist vehicles, capable of moving anything from fuel and water to aircraft towing tractors.
The RAF Chefs of No 3 Mobile Catering Squadron (3MCS) feed the Royal Air Force wherever it is deployed. Initially formed in 1975 as the RAF Mobile Catering Support Unit, 3MCS has been supporting exercises and operations for over forty years. The Squadron regularly supports all fast jet detachments when catering support is required and offers immediate support in response to aircraft crash situations.
71 Inspection & Repair Squadron’s (71IR) principal role is to repair damaged structure on UK fixed-wing military aircraft in deployed locations. The Squadron has its own designers, who devise repair solutions in circumstances where conventional fixes may not be effective. 71IR’s aircraft mechanical technicians are skilled in precision metalwork and the use of composite materials like carbon fibre.
93 Expeditionary Armament Squadron is a sub unit within 42 (Expeditionary Support) Wing which delivers specialist expeditionary weapons support capability to the UK air component. The Squadron provide manpower for out of area ESA manning and supply weapons technicians and logisticians for Op SHADER in Iraq and Syria, as well as providing support for bombing exercises all over the world.
5001 Squadron provides almost of all of the off-aircraft engineering required for deployed air operations. Reformed in 1999, the Squadron is best known for providing the temporary hangars (working environments) in which our jets and helicopters are stored when deployed. In reality, 5001 Squadron’s General Technicians bring far more than temporary hangars to deployed ops.
Comprising 1 Expeditionary Logistics Squadron, 2 Mechanical Transport Squadron, 3 Mobile Catering Squadron, and 504 County of Nottingham Squadron (Royal Auxiliary Air Force). The Wing stands by to support operations domestically and world wide in the full range of RAF missions. It can supply logistics personnel, drivers and movers to Expeditionary Air Wings, exercises and operations at short notice and in austere environments.
Composed of 71 Inspection and Repair Squadron, 93 Expeditionary Armaments Squadron, 5131 Bomb Disposal Squadron, 5001 Squadron. The Wing supports RAF operations around the world and within the UK. The Wing is able to bring airfield services to austere locations to support air power.
Streets of Peterborough and Stamford were filled on Remembrance Sunday as citizens and townsfolk joined with Royal Air Force Wittering to mark the hundredth armistice.
Royal Air Force Wittering is reaching out to its neighbours and the nearby equestrian establishments to inform them of a change to the usual pattern of flying activity.
Royal Air Force Wittering’s STEM team has won the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) Inspiring Engineering Award for 2018.
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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