united kingdom RAF Odiham

Odiham, England
united kingdom





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1936 to present

51 14 4 secs N - 0 56 57 secs W
6nm ESE of Basingstoke, Hampshire
ICAO: EGVOIATA: ODH
Elevation: 405 feet


RAF Odiham
Originally a temporary Summer Landing Ground, Odiham opened in 1936 as an Army Co-operation base. Tactical reconnaissance and fighter roles followed before the base began an affiliation with Transport duties, particularly helicopters, that continues to this day. 
After 7 months care and maintenance, RAF Odiham re-opened in Feb 1960 as part of 38 Group Transport Command, and 225 Squadron was formed with the Sycamore and Whirlwind. The Belvedere Trials Unit introduced this radical helicopter into service from July 1960 with 66, 72 and 26 Squadrons all forming with the Belvedere at Odiham in Sep 1961 (from the Trials Unit), Nov 1961 and Jun 1962 respectively. Only 72 Squadron remained; 66 Squadron departed for the Far East in 1962 and 26 Squadron left initially for the Middle East in 1963.

Belvedere operations and overseas departures overlapped with the arrival of the Wessex HC.2, beginning with the establishment of the Wessex IFTU in Jul 1961 and the formation of 18 Squadron from it in Feb 1964 and the re-equipping of 72 Squadron in Aug 1964. 18 Squadron left for Germany in 1965, before yo-yoing briefly in 1969.

RAF Odiham was granted the Freedom of the Borough of Basingstoke in Jul 1968. In May 1971, Puma training began with the formation of a joint Puma / Wessex unit, the Air Training Squadron. Its important role was recognised by establishing 240 OCU in Dec 1971 to convert crews for the Puma and Wessex squadrons. 33 Squadron took up its Pumas in Jun 1971, followed by 230 Squadron some 6 months later.

By mid 1981, the Wessex had left for RAF Benson and RAF Odiham again hosted heavy lift helicopters, when their place was taken in 1982 by the Chinook HC.1. The OCU trained first 18 Squadron, which formed in Aug 1971 (before departing to Germany in May 1983) and in late 1982, 7 Squadron. The Chinooks of 7 Squadron and Pumas of 33 Squadron together with 240 OCU continued to operate at Odiham. During 1993/1994 the Chinook HC1 fleet was updated to the initially unreliable HC.2 version and 240 OCU was re-named 27(R) Squadron.

A major rethink of the UK Support Helicopter Force was implemented in 1997 and the Pumas moved out between mid 1997 and Feb 1998, while 18 Squadron returned from Germany leaving Odiham a Chinook-only base for a time. In Jul 2000 the Lynx of 657 Squadron, AAC moved in from RAF Dishforth.

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News about this location


Chinook Visits Historical RAF Germany Bases, 27-Apr-18 : A RAF Chinook from Odiham’ 27 Squadron taking part at Berlin air show visited former RAF Germany bases of Geilenkirchen, Wildenrath, Brüggen and Laarbruch as part of RAF 100 years celebrations

Farewell to British Army’ Lynx, 05-Jan-18 : To mark the Lynx decommissioning, British Army last 5 Lynx will fly from RAF Odiham on a commemorative tour around England next Tuesday January 16th, 2018

RAF Chinook Mk.6 Simulators and Training System, 02-Jun-15 : The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) is investing £51 million in a new synthetic training system developed by Lockheed Martin for the Royal Air Force’s Chinook Mk6 helicopter.

RAF unveil new Mark 6 Chinook, 16-Jun-14 : The first of the RAF’s fourteen new Chinook helicopters have been unveiled today by the Defence Secretary, Philip Hammond, following its entry into service on time.







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