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  • united kingdom RAF Benson

    Benson, Oxfordshire, England

    United Kingdom


    Satellite and aerial maps of RAF Benson with nearby locations

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    6.7011EGLJ Chalgrove, England
    10.3300 Laser Gaming, England
    17.1298EGUD Abingdon, England
    17.4052 Henton, England
    18.6333EGG97 Radcliffe Hospital, England
    19.4118 Henley, England

    1939 to present

    51° 37' 0'' N - 1° 6' 0'' W
    11nm SE of Oxford
    Elevation: 203 feet

    History of this Location

    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

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    YearsRotary Wing Aircraft Unitbold : Current Model
    normal: Unit no longer at this base
    2020/    22 Squadron
    2015/    PCOCUChinook HC.4 2015/   
    Puma Mk2 2015/   
    CH-47F Chinook 2015/   
    2015/16845 NASMerlin HC.3i 2015/   
    Sea King HC.4 1984/15
    2014/15846 NASMerlin HC.3i 2015/   
    2009/    230 SquadronPuma Mk2 2012/   
    SA330 Puma 1971/12
    2007/    TVAAEC135/H135 2015/   
    EC135 2008/   
    Bo105 1999/08
    2007/1478 SquadronEH101 Mk.512 2008/14
    Merlin HC.3 2007/14
    Sea King 1986/07
    2001/    28 SquadronPuma Mk2 2015/   
    414 - H-47D Chinook 2015/   
    CH-47F Chinook 2015/   
    Merlin HC.3 2001/15
    1997/    33 SquadronPuma Mk2 2012/   
    SA330 Puma 1971/12
    1996/    606 (Chiltern) Squadron, RAuxAF
    1992/9760(R) Squadron412 1997/18
    Wessex 1992/97
    198172 SquadronWessex 1964/02
    1980/82Wessex Training FlightWessex 1980/82
    1953/95Queens FlightWessex HCC.4 1969/95
    Whirlwind 1958/69
    dragonfly 1954/58
    TVPEC135 1999/   

    RAF Benson News

    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, 20-May-20 : #OEU 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

    Tiger Puma to Celebrate RAF 230 Squadron 100 Years, 09-May-18 : #RAF100 Royal Air Froce 230 Squadron celebrating its 100 years with Puma helicopter painted in Tiger colour scheme

    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, 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 - Chinooks Arrive At RAF Benson
    12-May-15 - Thames Valley Air Ambulance New Training Base
    01-Oct-14 - Royal Air Force Hand Over Merlin To Royal Navy
    03-Jul-12 - UK Marines learn about AW101 at RAF Benson

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