The Station

RAF Henlow in Bedfordshire provides the support to enable lodger units to deliver global operations.

 

Commander

Wing Commander J C A (Chris) Brooke BSc (Hons) RAF

Wing Commander Chris Brooke commissioned into the RAF in 1997. After Initial Officer Training and Supply Branch Officer Training, his first tour was commanding the Motor Transport Flight at RAF Coltishall.

Following promotion to Squadron Leader he completed further tours before being posted to command the Logistics Squadron at RAF Leuchars. As a Wing Commander he has been employed within UKStratCom as the Air and Logistics SME. In 2019 he was detached to DExEU to provide Border and Customs planning expertise. 

He took command of RAF Henlow in 2022.

Who's based here

History

The RAF was only six weeks old when Lieutenant Colonel Robert Francis Stapleton-Cotton and a party of 40 airmen arrived from RAF Farnborough on 10 May 1918. 

The Lieutenant Colonel was to become the first CO of RAF Henlow in August 1918.  Although still under construction, the Depot had achieved a limited output of Bristol Fighters and De Havilland aircraft.

In the original list of RAF Stations for April 1918, Henlow counts among only five other stations which remain open as RAF stations today: Halton, Leuchars, Northolt, Waddington and Wittering. 

During the war years, RAF Henlow became one of the largest RAF Maintenance Units in the country and made an invaluable contribution to the war effort.  It is a proud part of our history that RAF Henlow contributed (albeit indirectly) to the Battle of Britain, repairing Hurricanes that were damaged during the Battle. 

After World War Two, a new role developed for the station, that of radio equipment calibration and signals development. 

Through the years RAF Henlow has been home to the Parachute Test Unit, the Royal Air Force Technical College, the RAF Officer Cadet Training Unit (OCTU) and the Officers’ Command School & Intermediate Command & Staff Course.

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