RAF Benson

Benson , Oxfordshire , England

united kingdom United Kingdom

Satellite and aerial maps of RAF Benson with nearby locations

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Nearby locationsKmBearing
Chalgrove , England 6.7011EGLJ
Laser Gaming , England 10.3300
Denton , England 11.7345
Abingdon , England 17.1298EGUD
Henton , England 17.4052
Radcliffe Hospital , England 18.6333EGG97

  RAF Benson

1939 to present

51° 37' 0'' N     1° 6' 0'' W
11nm SE of Oxford, Benson, Oxfordshire, England
Elevation: 203 feet

RAF Benson
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.

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  List of units at RAF Benson

Years Unit
2020-    22 Squadron
2015-    PCOCUChinook HC.4, Puma Mk2, CH-47F Chinook,
2015/16845 NASMerlin HC.3i, Sea King HC.4,
2014/15846 NASMerlin HC.3i,
2012-    NPASMD900 Explorer, EC135, EC145, EC135,
2009-    230 SquadronPuma Mk2, SA330 Puma,
2007/1478 SquadronEH101 Mk.512, Merlin HC.3, Sea King,
2007-    TVAAEC135/H135, EC135, Bo105,
2001-    28 SquadronPuma Mk2, 414 - H-47D Chinook, CH-47F Chinook, Merlin HC.3,
1997-    33 SquadronPuma Mk2, SA330 Puma,
1996-    606 (Chiltern) Squadron, RAuxAF
1992/9760(R) Squadron412, Wessex,
198172 SquadronWessex,
1980/82Wessex Training FlightWessex,
1953/95Queens FlightWessex HCC.4, Whirlwind, dragonfly,
TVPEC135, AS355 ecureuil 2,

  RAF Benson News

Heli-One Recognized RAF Benson Puma Fleet Plan

Heli-One Recognized RAF Benson Puma Fleet Plan

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
RAF Pumas Returns from Afghanistan

RAF Pumas Returns from Afghanistan

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
RAF 22 Squadron Now OEU at RAF Benson

RAF 22 Squadron Now OEU at 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
Tiger Puma to Celebrate RAF 230 Squadron 100 Years

Tiger Puma to Celebrate RAF 230 Squadron 100 Years

09-May-18 - Royal Air Froce 230 Squadron celebrating its 100 years with Puma helicopter painted in Tiger colour scheme #RAF100
UK MoD’ MSHATF Renewed with CAE

UK MoD’ MSHATF Renewed with CAE

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
RAF 33 Squadron Marks 100 Years

RAF 33 Squadron Marks 100 Years

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.
Chinooks Arrive At RAF Benson

Chinooks Arrive At RAF Benson

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.
Thames Valley Air Ambulance New Training Base

Thames Valley Air Ambulance New Training Base

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
Royal Air Force Hand Over Merlin To Royal Navy

Royal Air Force Hand Over Merlin To Royal Navy

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.
UK Marines learn about AW101 at RAF Benson

UK Marines learn about AW101 at RAF Benson

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.

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