The Station

MOD St Athan is a large Ministry of Defence site in the Vale of Glamorgan (southern Wales) and where the RAF’s non-aircraft, ground engineering technicians are trained.

It is home to No 4 School of Technical Training who provide continued training to personnel from all three Services and MOD civilian staff. Their mission is to deliver flexible, affordable, modern and effective technical training that meets the requirements of the UK’s Armed Forces.

St Athan is also home to the University of Wales Air Squadron.

Knowledge Sustains


Wing Commander Gavin Wedlake BEng MSc CEng MIET RAF

Wing Commander Wedlake joined the RAF on an Engineering Bursary in 1999 while studying at the University of Glamorgan.

Following completion of his engineering training in 2002 he completed tours at 1001 Signals Unit, RAF Oakhanger, the Tactical Communications Wing and the Storm Shadow Mission Planning Facility at Permanent Joint Headquarters.  During these he completed a number of operational deployments in Afghanistan and the Falklands Islands.

In 2018 he was promoted to Wing Commander and selected for the position of Commander Joint Force Communications and Information Systems (Middle East).  On return from the Middle East, he returned to MOD Corsham as Head of the SKYNET 5 Service Delivery Team.  In August 2021 he was appointed Commanding Officer of MOD St Athan and Number 4 School of Technical Training.

Who's based here

Key dates

  • 1938 - Opened
  • 2006 - Renamed as Ministry of Defence St Athan
  • 2018 - Celebrate 80th Anniversary


The Station officially opened as RAF St Athan on 1 September 1938 and the first unit to take up residence was No. 4 School of Technical Training (4SofTT). In 1939, the station's activities were expanded with the arrival of a fighter group pool, the School of Air Navigation, and a maintenance unit.

During World War Two the station had over 14,000 personnel, and was used for training ground and air crew. It was linked to the aircraft storage and maintenance facility at RAF Llandow.

Between May 1947 and August 1973, St Athan was also home for the Administrative Apprentice Training School, which provided a 20 month training programme for boys who enlisted to become clerks or work in accounting, supply and administration, prior to posting to other RAF units for a 12 year term of service.

MOD Athan was the designated site for the United Kingdom's new defence training academy, but the programme was cancelled in October 2010. It once claimed to be the largest RAF station.

The base has been home to the RAF No. 4 School of Technical Training throughout its life, as well as a major aircraft maintenance unit.

St Athan has also been used to house British Army units, including the 1st Battalion, Welsh Guards.

At one time it was home to a large collection of historical aircraft.

Connect with MOD St Athan