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


Group Captain Gareth Bryant OBE BEng MA CEng FRAEs RAF

Group Captain Bryant joined the RAF as an Engineer Officer in 1997 and has been primarily employed in the technical and operational support for Chinook and Puma helicopters, commanding and completing operational tours worldwide at all ranks.  He has also worked in staff tours overseas and in the UK, most recently acting as Team Leader and Chief Engineer for the Puma and Gazelle helicopters within Defence Equipment & Support.

In July 2020, he was appointed as Station Commander RAF Cosford and is also the Commandant of the Defence School of Aeronautical Engineering, responsible for the technical training of all aircraft technicians and Aircraft Engineer Officers across the three Services.

Who's based here


  • 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.


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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