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Wattisham Airfield

For the pre 1992 use of this site, see RAF Wattisham.

Wattisham Airfield
IATA: noneICAO: EGUW
Summary
Airport type Military
Owner Ministry of Defence
Operator Army Air Corps
Location Stowmarket
Elevation AMSL 285 ft / 87 m
Coordinates 52°07′38″N 000°57′23″E / 52.12722°N 0.95639°E / 52.12722; 0.95639Coordinates: 52°07′38″N 000°57′23″E / 52.12722°N 0.95639°E / 52.12722; 0.95639

Map
EGUW
EGUW
Location in Suffolk
Runways
Direction Length Surface
m ft
05/23 2,424 7,953 Asphalt
Sources: World Aero Data[1]


Wattisham Airfield (ICAO: EGUW) is the biggest centralised operational Army Airfield in the UK, located next to the small village of Wattisham in Suffolk, England. It is home to 3 Regiment Army Air Corps and 4 Regiment Army Air Corps. They are part of 16 Air Assault Brigade, whose headquarters is at Colchester. They fly the Westland WAH-64 Apache, as well as the Westland Lynx helicopters.

Also based at Wattisham is 7 Air Assault Battalion REME with a helicopter repair facility with worldwide capability, 132 Aviation Supply Unit and the Royal Logistics Corps. The RAF maintains a presence at the base with B Flight 22 Squadron, flying the Sea King, with a search and rescue responsibility for the whole of the eastern coast, and Brigade Parachute Squadron RAF. Apart from the military, the police helicopter unit for Suffolk Constabulary also operates from Wattisham as well as the Anglia Gliding Club[2] (which, in fact, is the oldest serving member of Wattisham, having been there as a RAFGSA club when the RAF occupied). Also resident is 1287 Sqn, Air Training Corps.

The airfield covers a site of 1,072 acres (434 ha). There are 2,000 troops stationed on site with 600 houses for married personnel between Wattisham, Hadleigh and Ipswich. There are 300 HGVs, 200 Land Rovers, over 40 helicopters including 2 Sea King helicopters (125 and 126) and the Suffolk Police Eurocopter as well as casual access for 2 Air Ambulances.

There is a museum[3] on site which tells the history of the airfield and this is open on Sundays during April to October.

Operational units

History

Main article: RAF Wattisham

Wattisham Airfield has had a long and distinguished history. First opening in April 1939 the base was used by the RAF before being lent to the United States Army Air Forces in 1942. After the Second World War Wattisham became one of the UK's front-line air force fighter bases during the Cold War with aircraft on Quick Reaction Alert on a rotational basis with other UK fighter stations.

References

External links

  • Wattisham Airfield by Wattisham Aviation Society
  • About the airfield at controltowers.co.uk
  • History of Wattisham
  • Another history
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