RAF Brize Norton
RAF Brize Norton is the largest station in the Royal Air Force; with approximately 5800 Service Personnel, 1200 contractors (including Boeing, Airbus, Airtanker, Serco and ISS) and 300 Civilian staff members. RAF Brize Norton is the home of the RAF's Strategic and Tactical Air Transport (AT) and Air-to-Air Refueling (AAR) forces. Number 10 Squadron has operated the new Voyager A330 aircraft since 2012 and with the growth of the Voyager fleet, and the retirement of the VC10 in September 2013, No 101 Squadron became the second Voyager squadron. Both squadrons operate Voyager in both roles, routinely dispensing over 40 tons of fuel per AAR sortie or transporting up to 291 passengers at a high level of comfort. Since 2001, the Station has also been the base for No 99 Squadron, which operates eight C-17 aircraft in the strategic airlift role. These aircraft provide an outsize airlift capability for UK Defence, supporting UK, NATO and coalition Operations.
Relocating from RAF Lyneham in 2011, RAF Brize Norton is now also home to the
C-130 Hercules Tactical AT fleet. Following the retirement of the C-130K in October 2013, the fleet of 24 aircraft now consists solely of C-130Js, which joined the RAF in 1999. Alongside an intra-theatre lift capability for passengers and freight, the C-130 Force also provides support to both Special Forces and the wider MOD through its unique aerial delivery of personnel and equipment. Numbers 30 and 47 Squadrons deliver this front line capability, with XXIV Squadron delivering training to C-130 maintainers and aircrew from initial conversion to qualifications in the more specialist roles, such as low-level and landing on unprepared runways. Though currently in transition, XXIV Squadron will eventually provide training for the initial cadre of A400M (Atlas) personnel, becoming an all-encompassing Tactical AT training squadron supporting both maintainers and aircrew.
With its Voyager, C-130 and C-17 fleets, RAF Brize Norton provides rapid global mobility: the fundamental element of expeditionary Air Power that currently underpin both National and NATO Defence strategies.
Our AT tasks include schedules to Cyprus and UK operational bases in the Arabian Gulf and in Afghanistan. In addition, we provide airlift for other UK operations overseas and numerous exercises. Our AAR tasks include the deployment of fast jet aircraft for operations and exercises, the provision of AAR support for Air Defence forces that provide UK Homeland Defence, and routine AAR training for UK and NATO air forces throughout Europe.
The Airborne Delivery Wing representation at RAF Brize Norton consists of No 1 Parachute Training School, which carries out parachute training for all three Services, as well as Parachute Engineering Squadron and the RAF Falcons Parachute Display Team. The RAF Reserves No 501 Logistics Support, No 2624 Regiment and No 4624 (County of Oxford) Movements (the largest squadron in the RAF Reserves) Squadrons provide support for a range of RAF activities, both at home and overseas. We are also home to the Department of Community Mental Health and more recently Tactical Medical Wing and its associated RAF Reserve Sqn No 4626. We provide administrative support for several other units including the Defence Movements School, which provides movements training for all three services. Furthermore, No 47 Air Dispatch Squadron, Royal Logistics Corp, operates from the Station in support of the Transport Support capability and in conjunction with C-130 Hercules operations. Finally, RAF Brize Norton is the home of the Joint Air Delivery Test & Evaluation Unit, which is an independent Tri-Service trials organisation, commanded by an Army Lieutenant Colonel.