RAF Support Command


Support Command was a command of the Royal Air Force between 1973 and 1994. The headquarters was located at RAF Brampton in Cambridgeshire.

RAF Support Command
Country United Kingdom
Branch Royal Air Force
RoleLogistical and maintenance support
Size18,144 uniformed personnel (1993)
HeadquartersRAF Brampton[1]
Motto(s)Ut Aquilae Volent (Latin: That Eagles May Fly)[2]

History edit

It was formed on 31 August 1973 by the renaming of RAF Maintenance Command,[3] with No. 90 (Signals) Group being added to it. Its responsibilities included all logistical and maintenance support requirements of the RAF. Among its first stations assigned may have been RAF Gan, transferred from Far East Air Force. It was renamed as RAF Support Command, and its role further increased, on 13 June 1977 when it absorbed Training Command, making it additionally responsible for all RAF ground and aircrew training.[4] In 1982, Support Command had an inventory of 500 aircraft and 49,000 personnel, which included 14,000 civilians and 8,000 trainees.[4]

Support Command undertook training for all officers and other ranks, which was delivered at Biggin Hill, Cosford, Cranwell, Digby, Finningley, Halton, Henlow, Hereford, Leeming, Linton-on-Ouse, Locking, Newton, North Luffenham, St Athan, Sealand, Shawbury, Swinderby, and Valley.[5] One major function of Support Command was facilitating medical training and delivery of medical services. This involved the control of the RAF Hospitals at Ely, Halton, Nocton Hall and Wroughton. Support Command was also responsible for the rehabilitation centres at Chessington and Headley Court.[6]

In the 1980s the bunker at RAF Holmpton was converted to form a new Emergency War Headquarters for RAF Support Command.[7] In the year before it was disbanded (1993), Support Command had 18,144 uniformed personnel under its structure, spread across 40 locations.[8] In October 1985, the HQ building of Support Command at RAF Brampton was destroyed by fire.[9] Staff had to move into temporary accommodation until a new HQ building was built, with the final cost coming in at around £44 million.[10] The new HQ was opened on 7 June 1988 by the Duke of Gloucester.[11]

In 1994 the Command was split up, with many of its functions merging with those of the RAF Personnel Management Centre to form RAF Personnel and Training Command, and others being hived off into RAF Logistics Command.[3]

Air Officers Commanding-in-Chief edit

The following officers have held the appointment of Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief RAF Support Command:[3]

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ Royal Air Force, History of RAF Brampton, accessed December 2013.
  2. ^ Pine, L G (1983). A Dictionary of mottoes. London: Routledge & K. Paul. p. 243. ISBN 0-7100-9339-X.
  3. ^ a b c Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation - RAF Home Commands formed between 1958 - 2002 Archived 5 July 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ a b c Ansell 1982, p. 293.
  5. ^ Ansell 1982, pp. 293–299.
  6. ^ Ansell 1982, p. 299.
  7. ^ "Public warned of 'rigged explosions' during filming at Cold War-era nuclear bunker in Yorkshire". The Yorkshire Post. 1 May 2018. Retrieved 26 September 2021.
  8. ^ "RAF Support Command (Hansard, 9 July 1993)". api.parliament.uk. Retrieved 26 September 2021.
  9. ^ "Fire Sweeps Through RAF Base". AP News. 24 October 1985. Retrieved 27 September 2021.
  10. ^ Short, Eric (12 December 1985). "RAF Fire Raises October Damage Figures To 64.1 Million pounds". The Financial Times. No. 29, 803. p. 9. ISSN 0307-1766. Retrieved 27 September 2021.
  11. ^ March 1989, p. 88.
  12. ^ Alex, May. "Gingell, Sir John". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/101725. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  13. ^ Taylor, John W R (October 1984). "How good is the RAF". Air Force Magazine. Vol. 67, no. 10. Arlington: Air Force Association. p. 69. ISSN 0730-6784. OCLC 907717893.
  14. ^ "John Sutton: Cold War fighter pilot who later rose through the ranks". The Independent. 19 February 2015. Retrieved 26 September 2021.
  15. ^ a b Jenkins, Simon, ed. (3 November 1990). "Appointments". The Times. No. 63, 854. p. 14. ISSN 0140-0460.

Sources edit

  • Ansell, Keith (September 1982). "Royal Air Force Support Command". Armed Forces Magazine. Shepperton: Ian Allan. ISSN 0142-4696. OCLC 231043296.
  • March, P. (1989). Royal Air Force Yearbook 1989. Fairford, UK: Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund.

Further reading edit

  • Jackson, Brendan. "Logistic support in the Royal Air Force." The RUSI Journal 137, no. 6 (1992): 38–43.
  • Terry Ford GEng MRAeS, (1987) "Royal Air Force Engineering", Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, Vol. 59 Issue: 11, pp. 11–13, https://doi.org/10.1108/. An opportunity to become acquainted with the engineering expertise available at RAF Stations and to study the degree of involvement in design and manufacture occurred recently when visiting Abingdon and Marham.
Preceded by Support Command
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Training Command
Absorbed on 13 June 1977
Succeeded by