THE STATION

RAF High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire is a major administrative support Station. 

It hosts and supports HQ Air Command, several Groups, and the European Air Group. It also supports the Joint Ground Based Air Defence, and Joint Force Air Component Commander.

RAF High Wycombe became the Headquarters for UK Space Command, to deliver and coordinate outputs that make space safe, secure, and sustainable for all generations.

Commander

Wing Commander Jenny Dennis

Wing Commander Jenny Dennis joined the Royal Air Force as a Telecommunications Operator and served at various locations including RAF Kinloss, RAF Waddington, Dharan Saudi Arabia, and RAF Brampton. 

She commissioned as Admin Secretarial Officer in 1997 before serving at RAF Laarbruch and Bruggen in Germany, and at RAF Marham.  In 2001, Wing Commander Dennis left the Royal Air Force, before taking up Full and Part Time Reservist roles in 2010, working at RAF Leuchars, RAF Marham and at Headquarters Air Command.

Wing Commander Dennis re-joined the Regular RAF in 2015 and her first assignment was back to RAF Marham where she was Chief of Staff for the £540M infrastructure project to prepare the Station for the arrival of the F-35 Lightning aircraft in 2020.  From there she moved to RAF Wittering where she was Officer Commanding Personnel Management Squadron, responsible for welfare, discipline and career management of 1400 personnel, and was instrumental in keeping this support going during the COVID pandemic.  A subsequent posting saw her return to Headquarters Air Command where she was responsible for managing Terms and Conditions of Service and the promotion and appraisal system across the RAF.  Wing Commander Dennis was appointed as Station Commander RAF High Wycombe on promotion in August 2022.  

Who's based here

KEY DATES

  • 1566 - Queen Elizabeth I visited the area with Lord Windsor of Bradenham when a gap in the surrounding woodland was noticed the area became known as ‘Queens Gap’ and is today the name of the house occupied by the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS) in remembrance of this.
  • 1941 - The camp was built.
  • 2005 - The camp became a Station when the United States Visiting Forces (USVF) became part of its parenting responsibilities.
  • 2021 - RAF High Wycombe became headquarters of UK Space Command, following its formation.

HISTORY

The origins of the RAF presence at Naphill and Walters Ash start with Wing Commander Alan Oakeshott. Born the son of an Army Major and a local town councillor, Wing Commander Oakeshott grew up in the village of Naphill before joining the RAF in 1938. He would go on to become a decorated war hero and also be credited with the idea of building a well hidden RAF High Wycombe in the beech woods of the Chiltern Hills.

In 1938, with war looming, thoughts in the Air Ministry turned to the issue of where to site Bomber Command HQ, within easy reach of the capital, but in a location that could not easily be detected from the air. Anecdotal evidence indicates that Wing Commander Oakeshott suggested that the area of beech woods near the villages of Naphill, Walters Ash and Lacey Green would be an ideal location.

In his relatively short RAF career he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) before going on to make the ultimate sacrifice.

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