RAF Leeming
RAF Leeming is a Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force
The Royal Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Formed on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world...

 station in North Yorkshire
North Yorkshire
North Yorkshire is a non-metropolitan or shire county located in the Yorkshire and the Humber region of England, and a ceremonial county primarily in that region but partly in North East England. Created in 1974 by the Local Government Act 1972 it covers an area of , making it the largest...

, UK
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...


HRH The Duchess of Cornwall is the Honorary Air Commodore of RAF Leeming. The Station Commander is Group Captain Anthony Innes.

The station opened in 1940 as a bomber station during the Second World War. In 1943 the station was assigned to No. 6 Group
No. 6 Group RCAF
No. 6 Group RCAF was an organization of Royal Canadian Air Force bomber squadrons which operated from airfields in Yorkshire, England during the Second World War. Although 6 Group was RCAF, it was controlled by the Royal Air Force as part of Bomber Command. No. 6 Group had been previously active...

 Royal Canadian Air Force
Royal Canadian Air Force
The history of the Royal Canadian Air Force begins in 1920, when the air force was created as the Canadian Air Force . In 1924 the CAF was renamed the Royal Canadian Air Force and granted royal sanction by King George V. The RCAF existed as an independent service until 1968...

 (RCAF) with a sub-station at RAF Skipton-on-Swale
RAF Skipton-on-Swale
RAF Skipton-on-Swale was a Royal Air Force air station operated by RAF Bomber Command during the Second World War. The station was located at Skipton-on-Swale four miles west of Thirsk , North Yorkshire, England. The village of Sandhutton is located just to the east...

. The main aircraft operated were Whitley
Armstrong Whitworth Whitley
The Armstrong Whitworth A.W.38 Whitley was one of three British twin-engine, front line medium bomber types in service with the Royal Air Force at the outbreak of the Second World War...

, Stirling
Short Stirling
The Short Stirling was the first four-engined British heavy bomber of the Second World War. The Stirling was designed and built by Short Brothers to an Air Ministry specification from 1936, and entered service in 1941...

, Halifax
Handley Page Halifax
The Handley Page Halifax was one of the British front-line, four-engined heavy bombers of the Royal Air Force during the Second World War. A contemporary of the famous Avro Lancaster, the Halifax remained in service until the end of the war, performing a variety of duties in addition to bombing...

 and Lancaster
Avro Lancaster
The Avro Lancaster is a British four-engined Second World War heavy bomber made initially by Avro for the Royal Air Force . It first saw active service in 1942, and together with the Handley Page Halifax it was one of the main heavy bombers of the RAF, the RCAF, and squadrons from other...

A bomber is a military aircraft designed to attack ground and sea targets, by dropping bombs on them, or – in recent years – by launching cruise missiles at them.-Classifications of bombers:...

s. Following the war, the station became a night fighter base, equipped initially with Mosquito
De Havilland Mosquito
The de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito was a British multi-role combat aircraft that served during the Second World War and the postwar era. It was known affectionately as the "Mossie" to its crews and was also nicknamed "The Wooden Wonder"...

 and then with Meteor
Gloster Meteor
The Gloster Meteor was the first British jet fighter and the Allies' first operational jet. It first flew in 1943 and commenced operations on 27 July 1944 with 616 Squadron of the Royal Air Force...

 and Javelin
Gloster Javelin
The Gloster Javelin was an "all-weather" interceptor aircraft that served with Britain's Royal Air Force in the late 1950s and most of the 1960s...

 aircraft before becoming a Training Command
RAF Training Command
Training Command was the RAF's command responsible for flying and ground training from 1936 to 1940 and again from 1968 to 1977.-History:Training Command was formed from Inland Area on 1 May 1936 and absorbed into RAF Support Command on 13 June 1977...

 airfield in 1961. The station was then home to No. 3 Flying Training School, equipped with the Jet Provost
BAC Jet Provost
The BAC Jet Provost was a British jet-powered trainer aircraft used by the Royal Air Force from 1955 to 1993. The Jet Provost was also successfully exported, serving in many air forces worldwide....

 aircraft. It functioned as a training base until 1988 when it became a front line base in the air defence role equipped with Tornado
Panavia Tornado
The Panavia Tornado is a family of twin-engine, variable-sweep wing combat aircraft, which was jointly developed and manufactured by the United Kingdom, West Germany and Italy...

 F3s. Initially it hosted Nos 11, 23
No. 23 Squadron RAF
No. 23 Squadron was a squadron of the Royal Air Force. Until October 2009, it operated the Boeing Sentry AEW1 Airborne Warning And Control System aircraft from RAF Waddington, Lincolnshire.-First World War:...

, and 25(XXV
No. XXV Squadron RAF
No. 25 Squadron was a squadron of the Royal Air Force. Until April 2008 the squadron operated the Panavia Tornado F3, from RAF Leeming.-The first years:...

) Squadrons, all flying the F3.

23 Sqn
No. 23 Squadron RAF
No. 23 Squadron was a squadron of the Royal Air Force. Until October 2009, it operated the Boeing Sentry AEW1 Airborne Warning And Control System aircraft from RAF Waddington, Lincolnshire.-First World War:...

 was disbanded on 1 March 1994, and was reformed at RAF Waddington
RAF Waddington
RAF Waddington is a Royal Air Force station in Lincolnshire, England.-Formation:Waddington opened as a Royal Flying Corps flying training station in 1916 until 1920, when the station went into care and maintenance....

 in 1996 flying the Sentry E3D, This left two Tornado squadrons, which were half of the air defence fighter squadrons of the RAF. 11 Squadron was disbanded in October 2005, but it re-formed at RAF Coningsby on 29 March 2007 flying the Eurofighter Typhoon F2. The last Tornado squadron at Leeming (No XXV Squadron) disbanded on 4 April 2008.

The only remaining jets are the BAe Hawk
BAE Hawk
The BAE Systems Hawk is a British single-engine, advanced jet trainer aircraft. It first flew in 1974 as the Hawker Siddeley Hawk. The Hawk is used by the Royal Air Force, and other air forces, as either a trainer or a low-cost combat aircraft...

s of 100 Squadron
No. 100 Squadron RAF
No. 100 Squadron of the Royal Air Force is based at RAF Leeming in North Yorkshire, UK, and operates the Hawker-Siddeley Hawk.-World War I:No. 100 was established on 23 February 1917 at Hingham in Norfolk as the Royal Flying Corps' first squadron formed specifically as a night bombing unit and...

 which provides an air combat training service as well as support to the Joint Forward Air Control Training Support Unit (JFACTSU).

Currently Leeming is operating as a Forward Operating Base and as a Fast Jet Turnround facility. The remaining air defence bases are RAF Leuchars
RAF Leuchars
RAF Leuchars is the most northerly air defence station in the United Kingdom. It is located in Leuchars, Fife, on the east coast of Scotland, near to the university town of St Andrews.-Operations:...

 in Fife
Fife is a council area and former county of Scotland. It is situated between the Firth of Tay and the Firth of Forth, with inland boundaries to Perth and Kinross and Clackmannanshire...

, Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

 which has also exchanged its Tornado F3s for Typhoons, and since June 2007 RAF Coningsby
RAF Coningsby
RAF Coningsby , is a Royal Air Force station in Lincolnshire, England. It has been commanded by Group Captain Martin Sampson since 10 December 2010.-Operational units:...

 in Lincolnshire
Lincolnshire is a county in the east of England. It borders Norfolk to the south east, Cambridgeshire to the south, Rutland to the south west, Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire to the west, South Yorkshire to the north west, and the East Riding of Yorkshire to the north. It also borders...

 which is home to Typhoon F2s
Eurofighter Typhoon
The Eurofighter Typhoon is a twin-engine, canard-delta wing, multirole combat aircraft, designed and built by a consortium of three companies: EADS, Alenia Aeronautica and BAE Systems; working through a holding company, Eurofighter GmbH, which was formed in 1986...

. Coningsby took over from Leeming as England's main air defence base in April 2008 when 3 Sqn
No. 3 Squadron RAF
No 3 Squadron of the Royal Air Force operates the Typhoon F2, FGR4 and T3 from RAF Coningsby, Lincolnshire.No 3 Squadron, which celebrated its 95th anniversary over the weekend of 11-13 May 2007, is unique in the RAF for having two official crests....

 became fully operational. Leeming is also home to No 11 Air Experience Flight and Northumbrian Universities Air Squadron, with four Grob Tutor aircraft stationed there.

The future of RAF Leeming following the disbandment of its remaining Tornado squadron was not clear for a period. Under current plans by the UK Ministry of Defence
Ministry of Defence (United Kingdom)
The Ministry of Defence is the United Kingdom government department responsible for implementation of government defence policy and is the headquarters of the British Armed Forces....

, Air Combat Service Support units of 2 Group
No. 2 Group RAF
Number 2 Group is a Group of the Royal Air Force which was first activated in 1918, served from 1918–20, from 1936 through the Second World War to 1947, from 1948 to 1958, from 1993 to 1996, was reactivated in 2000, and is today part of Air Command....

 and personnel from RAF Boulmer
RAF Boulmer
RAF Boulmer is a Royal Air Force station near Alnwick in Northumberland and is currently home to Aerospace Surveillance and Control System Force Command, Control and Reporting Centre Boulmer, the School of Aerospace Battle Management, No...

 and elsewhere who were destined to move to RAF Scampton
RAF Scampton
Royal Air Force Station Scampton is a Royal Air Force station situated north of Lincoln in England, near the village of Scampton, on the site of an old First World War landing field.-First World War:...

 in Lincolnshire will now be stationed at Leeming due to problems with accommodation at Scampton. this move is underway.

It is not clear if Leeming, which was substantially rebuilt less than twenty years ago, will continue as a flying base. However, the Red Arrows
Red Arrows
The Red Arrows, officially known as the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, is the aerobatics display team of the Royal Air Force based at RAF Scampton, but due to move to RAF Waddington in 2011...

, who are also based at Scampton, are relocating to Waddington, likely by the end of the decade. A number of options is believed to be on the table. Leeming is being developed as a communications hub with No 90 Signals Unit being the resident unit. Currently two flying squadrons remain, 100 Squadron and the Northumbrian Universities Air Squadron, and there are no plans to disband or move either of these squadrons.

No. 135 Expeditionary Air Wing (EAW) was formed at the station on 1 April 2006 and encompasses most of the non-formed unit personnel. The EAW does not include the flying squadrons or any other formed units. The station commander at RAF Leeming is also the commander of the wing.

Previous units based at RAF Leeming

    • 219 Squadron RAF 1940
    • 10 Squadron
      No. 10 Squadron RAF
      No. 10 Squadron was a Royal Air Force squadron. The squadron served in a variety of roles over its 90 year history...

       RAF 1940-1942
    • 7 Squadron
      No. 7 Squadron RAF
      No. 7 Squadron of the Royal Air Force operates the Boeing Chinook HC.2 from RAF Odiham, Hampshire.-Formation and early years:No. 7 Squadron was formed at Farnborough Airfield on 1 May 1914 as the last squadron of the RFC to be formed before the First World War, but has been disbanded and reformed...

       RAF 1940
    • 102 Squadron RAF 1940
    • 35 Squadron
      No. XXXV Squadron RAF
      No. 35 Squadron is a squadron of the Royal Air Force.It was formed on February 1, 1916 at Thetford, training as a Corps reconnaissance squadron...

       RAF 1940-1942
    • 77 Squadron RAF 1940
    • 408 Squadron RCAF 1941
    • 1659 HCU RAF 1941-1942
    • 40 Squadron
      No. 40 Squadron RAF
      No. 40 Squadron of the Royal Air Force was formed in 1916 at Gosport as No 40 Squadron RFC and was disbanded for the last time in 1957.Edward Mannock gained 16 of his 73 victories while with 40 Squadron, 15 of which he shot down while flying a Nieuport Scout...

       RAF 1941
    • 424 Squadron RCAF 1941
    • 427 Squadron
      427 Squadron
      427 Special Operations Aviation Squadron is a tactical helicopter unit that provides aviation support to Canadian Special Operations Forces Command. The squadron is based at CFB Petawawa, Ontario with a fleet of Bell CH-146 Griffon helicopters. It was originally founded as No...

       RCAF 1943-1948
    • 429 Squadron RCAF 1945-1948
    • 228 OCU RAF 1948-1965
    • 3 FTS RAF 1965-1975
    • 23 Squadron
      No. 23 Squadron RAF
      No. 23 Squadron was a squadron of the Royal Air Force. Until October 2009, it operated the Boeing Sentry AEW1 Airborne Warning And Control System aircraft from RAF Waddington, Lincolnshire.-First World War:...

       RAF 1988-1994
    • 11 Squadron RAF 1988-2005
    • 25 Squadron RAF 1989-2008

Flying Units based at RAF Leeming

    • No. 100 Squadron RAF
      No. 100 Squadron RAF
      No. 100 Squadron of the Royal Air Force is based at RAF Leeming in North Yorkshire, UK, and operates the Hawker-Siddeley Hawk.-World War I:No. 100 was established on 23 February 1917 at Hingham in Norfolk as the Royal Flying Corps' first squadron formed specifically as a night bombing unit and...

    • Northumbrian UAS RAF 1970-
      • 11 AEF RAF 1980-
    • JFACTSU RAF 1995-

Ground Units based at RAF Leeming

      • 609 (West Riding) RAF Auxiliary Squadron  RAF 1998-
      • 34 Squadron RAF Regiment RAF 2001-
    • 135 Expeditionary Air Wing
    • Base Support Wing
      • Administrative Squadron
      • Plans and Business Squadron
      • Finance Department
    • Forward Support Wing
      • Forward Support Sqn
      • Logistics Sqn
    • Operations Wing
      • Operations Squadron
      • Air Movements Squadron
      • Airfield Support Squadron
    • 90 Signals Unit
      • Force Generation Wing
        • Engineering Support Sqn
        • Operational Evaluation and Conversion Sqn
        • Operations Sqn
      • Tactical Communications Wing
        • 1 Field Communications (FC) Squadrons
        • 2 Field Communications (FC) Squadrons
        • 3 Field Communications (FC) Squadrons
        • 4 Field Communications (FC) Squadrons
        • 5 Information Services (IS) Squadrons
    • 2 Force Protection Wing
    • 10 Royal Engineers Field Squadron

External links

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