RAF Waddington

RAF Waddington

Infobox Airport
name = RAF Waddington
nativename =
nativename-a =
nativename-r =

image-width =
caption =
type = Military
owner =
operator = Royal Air Force
city-served =
location = Waddington, Lincolnshire
elevation-f = 231
elevation-m = 70
coordinates = Coord|53|09|58|N|000|31|26|W|type:airport
website =
metric-elev =
metric-rwy =
r1-number = 02/20
r1-length-f = 9,000
r1-length-m = 2,743
r1-surface = Asphalt
stat-year =
stat1-header =
stat1-data =
stat2-header =
stat2-data =
footnotes =

RAF Waddington Airport codes|WTN|EGXW is a Royal Air Force station in Lincolnshire, England.

Early History

Waddington opened as a Royal Flying Corps flying training station in 1916 until 1920, when the station went into care and maintenance.

It re-opened as a bomber base on 12 March 1937, with squadrons flying the Bristol Blenheim and later Handley Page Hampdens, and was in November 1940 the first station to receive the Avro Manchester heavy bomber.

In the Cold War, RAF Waddington became a Vulcan bomber base. It continued in this role until 1984 when the last Vulcan squadron, No 50, disbanded. In 1993 the last RAF Avro Vulcan bomber, serialled XH558, was retired to Bruntingthorpe, Leicestershire. This aircraft has returned to display flying following prolonged refurbishment.

Present Day

It is presently home to the RAF's Sentry,Nimrod R1 and Raytheon Sentinel R1 ASTOR ground-surveillance/intelligence aircraft. The station is also home to No. 34 Expeditionary Air Wing.

There is an outdoor viewing area east of the A15 road close to the northern end of the long runway which was designed to accommodate V-bombers. Short-term visits from different NATO and Swiss fighter squadrons, in the past, used to generate occasional additional noise and interest because the airfield was conveniently placed for offshore practice firing ranges above the North Sea. However with the closure of the aforementioned Air Combat Manoeuvring Instrumentation range these visits have ceased. Waddington also has a very active Force Development ethos, putting emphasis on the development of its busy personnel.

No. 34 Expeditionary Air Wing was formed at Waddington on 1 April 2006 encompassing most of the non-formed unit personnel on station. The EAW does not include the flying units at the station. The station commander is dual-hatted as the commander of the wing.

The RAF Waddington structure as of April 2008 is as follows: [Air Forces Monthly, April 2008 issue, pp. 44]

*34 Expeditionary Air Wing
*Combat Support 2 Group
** No. 5 (Army Co-operation) Sqn - ASTOR/Sentinel R1
** No. 8 Sqn - E-3 Sentry
** No. 23 Sqn - Sentry
** No. 51 Sqn - Nimrod R1
** No. 54 (Reserve) Sqn - Intelligence Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) Operational Conversation Unit
*Other auxiliary units
** No. 26 Sqn - Ground Based Air Defence.This unit disbanded in March 2008 following a tour in Afghanistan.
** No. 2503 Sqn - RAuxAF Regiment Force Sustainment
** No. 39 Sqn - UAV/MQ-9 Reaper Due to relocate at Waddington in 2011-12.It is presently at Creech AFB in Nevada.
** The E-3D Software Support Team

RAF Waddington is also the main site for the Air Warfare Centre.

Waddington International Air Show

RAF Waddington has in the last few years revived its Waddington International Air Show, which usually takes place in the last weekend of June, attracting up to 100,000 visitors and representatives of Air Forces from all round the world. 2007 saw the show running 30 June but being cancelled on 1 July due to poor weather conditions and featured the Military Village concept where all services will be able to display in a large designated area. Of note last year were the static feature displays, and of particular note, the Waddington SERE (Survive Evade Resist Extract) School display with its close RNLI association. An example of mutual benefit between Military and Civilian agencies working toward a common goal. Many clubs will also feature in the Village demonstrating the diversity of exciting hobbies and interests available to personnel today. In 2008, RAF Waddington saw the display debut of [Vulcan] XH558 after 15 years off the display circuit.

The airshow is headed by Wing Commander Colin Reeves OBE and he has a very hardworking and successful team who are devoted all year round to making the airshow weekend a hit, and it does always prove to be.

ee also

*List of RAF stations


*Bruce Barrymore Halpenny "Action Stations: Wartime Military Airfields of Lincolnshire and the East Midlands v. 2" (ISBN 978-0850594843)

External links

* [http://www.raf.mod.uk/rafwaddington RAF Waddington]
* [http://www.raf.mod.uk/rafwaddington/aboutus/airwarfarecentre.cfm Air Warfare Centre, RAF Waddington]
* [http://www.raf.mod.uk/bombercommand/s82.html RAF History - Waddington]
* [http://www.aircraftinaction.co.uk/2008/Waddington.htm Review on Aircraft In Action of the 2008 airshow.]
* [http://www.aircraftinaction.co.uk/2007/Waddington.htm Waddington Airshow 2007 Review]

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