Satellite and aerial maps of RAF Benson with nearby locations
|Chalgrove , England||6.7||011||EGLJ|
|Laser Gaming , England||10.3||300|
|Denton , England||11.7||345|
|Abingdon , England||17.1||298||EGUD|
|Henton , England||17.4||052|
|Radcliffe Hospital , England||18.6||333||EGG97|
1939 to present
|51° 37' 0'' N 1° 6' 0'' W|
|11nm SE of Oxford, Benson, Oxfordshire, England|
|ICAO: EGUB||IATA: BEX|
|Elevation: 203 feet|
Built towards the end of the RAF's 1930s expansion programme, Benson opened in Apr 1939 as a light bomber base and later temporary home to the King's Flight. In 1941, its famous association with Photographic Reconnaissance began and continued until 1951 (a replica Spitfire PR.XI is still the gate guardian). Around 1943, the base was expanded and two paved runways laid. In May 1946, the King's Flight returned and became the Queen's Flight in 1953. After a period with Transport Command, Benson became more heavily involved in rotary wing operations.
The Wessex Training Flight was based between 1980 and 1982. In Jun 1992 Helicopter operations stepped up with the re-formation of 60 Squadron, here. In Apr 1993, this was further strengthened when HQ Support Helicopter Force moved in from RAF Gütersloh in Germany. In Apr 1997, 60 Squadron moved to RAF Shawbury, as part of the Defence Helicopter Flying School, 33 Squadron arrived from RAF Odiham to replace them, to be joined in Jan 1998 by the Pumas from 27 Squadron. The base was affected by the re-tasking of the Support Helicopter Force and its assets to Joint Helicopter Command in Oct 1999. In Jul 2001, they were joined by the newly reformed 28(AC) Squadron's Merlin HC.3s.
List of units at RAF Benson
|2015-||PCOCU||Chinook HC.4, Puma Mk2, CH-47F Chinook,|
|2015/16||845 NAS||Merlin HC.3i, Sea King HC.4,|
|2014/15||846 NAS||Merlin HC.3i,|
|2012-||NPAS||MD900 Explorer, EC135, EC145, EC135,|
|2009-||230 Squadron||Puma Mk2, SA330 Puma,|
|2007/14||78 Squadron||EH101 Mk.512, Merlin HC.3, Sea King,|
|2007-||TVAA||EC135/H135, EC135, Bo105,|
|2001-||28 Squadron||Puma Mk2, 414 - H-47D Chinook, CH-47F Chinook, Merlin HC.3,|
|1997-||33 Squadron||Puma Mk2, SA330 Puma,|
|1996-||606 (Chiltern) Squadron, RAuxAF|
|1992/97||60(R) Squadron||412, Wessex,|
|1980/82||Wessex Training Flight||Wessex,|
|1953/95||Queens Flight||Wessex HCC.4, Whirlwind, dragonfly,|
|TVP||EC135, AS355 ecureuil 2,|
RAF Benson News
27-Oct-22 - Heli-One, CHC MRO provider, presented its Award for Engineering Excellence to RAF Benson Sergeant Burns for assuring the current and future delivery of Puma helicopter capability through Fleet Plan #puma
28-Jun-21 - As part of UK Armed Forces process of withdrawing from Afghanistan the RAF Puma helicopters deployed with NATO Resolute Support Mission since March 2015 returned to RAF Benson
20-May-20 - After 60 years serving as a Search and Rescue unit, Royal Air Force 22 Squadron was designated Operational Evaluation Unit (OEU) for the Joint Helicopter Command (JHC). The OEU mission is to evaluate aircraft’s weapons, systems and performance #OEU
09-May-18 - Royal Air Froce 230 Squadron celebrating its 100 years with Puma helicopter painted in Tiger colour scheme #RAF100
23-Oct-17 - UK Ministry of Defence (UK MoD) Medium Support Helicopter Aircrew Training Facility (MSHATF) at RAF Benson involving CH-47 Chinook, Puma and AW101 Merlin Mk3 fleets renewed to CAE
13-Jan-16 - Royal Air Force 33 Squadron marked 100 years since its formation. They fly the SA330 Puma since 1971, currently in their HC.2 variant.
23-Oct-15 - Royal Air Force Chinook helicopters and around 150 personnel moved to RAF Benson as the Chinook Mk4/6 Operational Conversion Flight joined their Puma HC.2 colleagues.
12-May-15 - Thames Valley Air Ambulance (TVAA) officially open the upgraded operational base and Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS) training facility in RAF Benson, Oxfordshire, UK
01-Oct-14 - Yesterday marked the end of an era for the Royal Air Force and the start of a new one for the Royal Navy as the official handover of the Merlin helicopter took place in a formal ceremony at RAF Benson in Oxfordshire.
03-Jul-12 - The head of the Commando Helicopter Force visited the trailblazers for the future wings of the Royal Marines as they get to grips with the replacement for the venerable Sea King. From 2016, the Merlin will be the mainstay of operations by the Yeovilton-based Force, which has sent engineers and aircrew to RAF Benson to train to fly and maintain the helicopter.