THE STATION

RAF Cosford in Shropshire is a major part of the Defence College of Technical Training (DCTT). It is at the centre of the RAF’s mission to deliver flexible, affordable, modern and effective technical training that meets the needs of the UK’s Armed Forces now and into the future.

RAF Apprenticeships delivered at RAF Cosford were recently recognised as ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted.

RAF Cosford is also home to the popular RAF Museum and the world-renowned Cosford Airshow.

Only the Beginning is Difficult

Commander

Group Captain Cameron G W Gibb MBA BEng (Hons) CEng CMgr MIET MCMI RAF

Group Captain Cameron Gibb is an Aerosystems Engineer Officer with experience across fast jet, rotary and multi-engine platform operations. Originally from Aberdeenshire and educated at Aberdeen Grammar School, he graduated in 1999 with an Honours degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from the University of Aberdeen. He began his career at the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency (DERA) where he conducted a range of research, design, and flight test activities. A change of career saw Gibb complete both Initial Officer and Engineer Specialist Training at RAF Cranwell in 2001 before 2 tours at RAF Lossiemouth, supporting Tornado GR4 conversion and the modification programme for Op TELIC.  In 2005 he became a JEngO on Tornado F3 at RAF Leuchars, including being the last Display Team JEngO. And in 2007 began a long association with Typhoon, moving to RAF Coningsby as the HQ 1 Group lead for capability upgrades. 

In 2009 Gibb was assigned on promotion to Squadron Leader as the HQ JHC lead for implementing Continuing Airworthiness Management systems following the Haddon-Cave report.  In the summer of 2010, he also became the J4 Desk Officer for Attack and Utility platforms, including the AH-64 Apache, and he and his Team supported Op ELLAMY & Op HERRICK.

In 2012 Gibb returned to RAF Leuchars and the Typhoon Force as the SEngO on Number 6 Squadron operating the Multi-Role FGR4 Typhoon. His tour included support of Number 1 (Fighter) Squadron stand-up, several operational upgrades and the first ever frontline drop of Paveway II weapons on Tranche 2 Typhoon. He deployed to the Middle East, Arctic Circle and North America and planned the Squadron relocation to RAF Lossiemouth. He was subsequently awarded a CAS Commendation for exceptional service during that tour.

Deploying to Afghanistan once more in May 2014, Gibb saw operational service as the Chief Air Engineer at Bastion Airfield during Op HERRICK 19 & 20 and, in leading the 903 EAW redeployment plan, was one of the final UK Servicemen to leave Helmand Province. He was awarded a ComJFC Commendation for outstanding operational service during that tour.

Promoted to Wing Commander and selected for the Advanced Command and Staff Course at Shrivenham in 2015, Gibb then became the Typhoon Systems Integration lead within DE&S, with Engineering Authority responsibility for Project CENTURION P2E/P3E capability upgrades. Subsequently he Commanded Engineering and Logistics Wing at RAF Coningsby from August 2018, where he was able to bring those upgrades into service and deliver on operations SHADER and AZOTIZE. His time also included being MilCAM for the Typhoon Force and the privilege of being the Chief Air Engineer and MilCAM for the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight – a dream job for any engineer.

Following an Op SHADER tour and a deployment on Op RESCRIPT, he promoted to Group Captain and became Atlas CMk1 Head of Operations in Aug 2021. Selected for Command, In July 2022 he was appointed as Station Commander RAF Cosford and Commandant of the Defence School of Aeronautical Engineering.

Who's based here

KEY DATES

  • 1938 - RAF Cosford formally opened.
  • 1939 - No 9 Maintenance Unit opened.
  • 1940 - Hospital opened with 42,000 patients admitted throughout the war (closed in 1977).
  • 1963 - RAF School of Photography moves to Cosford.
  • 1977 - RAF School of Physical Training returned to Cosford.
  • 1978 - University of Birmingham Air Squadron moved to RAF Cosford.

HISTORY

As part of the pre-World War Two RAF Expansion Plan, the requirement for additional aircraft storage and repair facilities and a network of Aircraft Storage Units (ASUs) was recognised. A site near Shifnal, Shropshire, was selected for an ASU to be erected.

Additionally, the upsurge of manpower requirements was soon to overwhelm the RAF's existing training units at Halton, Cranwell and Uxbridge. Further analysis showed that a succession of Technical Training Schools would ease the manpower and knowledge gaps and it was suggested that the ASUs could house the new schools.

Building started at Cosford in August 1937. The RAF's No 2 School of Technical Training was formed on 15 July 1938. By the outbreak of World War Two, Cosford had 3,580 trainees consisting of apprentices in the trades of (Fitter) Engines, Airframes, Armourers, plus a significant number of Flight Mechanics and Flight Riggers (however, the apprentice element was ordered back to RAF Halton in March 1940).

In March 1939 No 9 Maintenance Unit took up residence at Cosford, its initial role being to store, maintain, modify, repair and, ultimately, issue aircraft to operational units.

Throughout the war years many and varied units came to Cosford, (an Officers' School, No 12 Ferry Pilots Pool, a Czechoslovak Depot, School of Musketry to name but a few); some remained for many years while others departed relatively quickly.

A major RAF Hospital was added to the site in 1940 and towards the end of the war it was decided that repatriated RAF PoWs would be processed through RAF Cosford.

Nos 106 and 108 Personnel Reception Centres were established and over 13,000 ex-PoWs had passed through RAF Cosford by 23 August 1948 when the units were eventually closed down.

The hospital continued to serve the RAF and local community until it closed in 1977.

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