The Station

RAF Brize Norton, in Oxfordshire, is the largest RAF Station with approximately 5,800 Service Personnel, 300 civilian staff and 1,200 contractors.

The Station is home to the RAF's Air Mobility Force, encompassing Strategic and Tactical Air Transport, and Air-to-Air Refuelling (AAR) forces, as well as being host to many lodger and reserve units.

With its mixed fleet of aircraft, RAF Brize Norton provides rapid global mobility in support of UK overseas operations and exercises, as well as AAR support for fast jet aircraft, both on operations and in support of UK Homeland Defence.

Latest information:

Brize Development Team

Find out about RAF Brize Norton environmental information:

Environmental Information 

Major Accident Emergency Instructions:

Major Accident Emergency Instructions 

"Move with confidence"

 The RAF Brize Norton Station badge depicts a knight’s helmet in front of a castle gateway to symbolize the Gateway to Operations.


Group Captain Claire O'Grady ADC MA RAF

Group Captain Claire O’Grady commissioned as a People Operations Officer in 1998 and took command of RAF Brize Norton in July 2022. Prior to this she worked as the Senior Air Staff Officer in Number 22 Group at HQ Air Command.
Throughout her career she has completed command and staff appointments in personnel, welfare, discipline and infrastructure and completed operational tours in Kosovo, Iraq, the Middle East and Afghanistan.

Who's based here

Where we parent

Key dates

  • 1937 - Opened as a flying training station.
  • 1944 - Nos. 296 and 297 Squadrons dropped paratroops and launched Horsa gliders during D-Day.
  • 1945 - RAF Brize Norton transferred from Flying Training Command to Transport Command.
  • 1951 - The US Air Force accepted control of the Station.
  • 1965 - The RAF took back control of the Station and it became a Transport Command airfield.
  • 2001 - First Boeing C-17A Globemaster III aircraft arrived.
  • 2011 - The Airbus A330 Voyager arrived.
  • 2012 - Lockheed Martin C-130J Hercules arrived due to the closure of RAF Lyneham.
  • 2014 - Airbus A400M Atlas arrived. 
  • 2023 - Lockheed Martin C130-J Hercules retired and Number 47 Squadron disbanded.


RAF Brize Norton officially opened on 13 August 1937. Number 2 Flying Training School was the first unit to be stationed here, arriving on 7 September 1937.

In July 1942, the Heavy Glider Conversion Unit, later renamed No. 21 HGCU, arrived and remained here until 31 December 1945.

Between March and October 1944, the Station was used as a base for parachute and glider operations by Nos 296 and 297 Squadrons, both equipped with Armstrong Whitworth Albemarle aircraft; both Squadrons were involved in D-Day operations, and the airborne landings at Arnhem.

Flying Training Command returned to the Station with No 204 AFTS in August 1949, then left in June 1950.

The USAF formally accepted control of the Station on 16 April 1951, initially basing B-36 Convair Peacemaker bombers then B-47 Stratojets at a later date. The RAF took back control of the Station on 1 April 1965.

Various iconic aircraft have been based here, including Airspeed Oxford, Harvard, Whitley, Albermarle, Horsa Glider, Britannia, VC-10, Belfast, Argosy, Andover, Tri-Star, Globemaster III, Hercules, Voyager and Atlas.

The Station has been involved in many operations including, CORPORATE (1982), GRANBY (1990), TELIC (2003-11), HERRICK (2001-14), SHADER (2014) RUMAN (2017) and PITTING (2021).

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