The Station

RAF Odiham in Hampshire is a front line support helicopter base working within the Joint Helicopter Command.

The Station provides critical, rapid support for UK military operations throughout the world.

Home of the UK Chinook Force, RAF Odiham operates three Chinook squadrons.

Promise and fulfil


Group Captain Matt Roberts

Gp Capt Roberts commissioned into the Army Air Corps in 1999 and conducted several operational tours on the Lynx Mk 7 (Anti-Tank) and Mk 9.

Transferring to the Chinook Force as a Flt Lt in 2007, he undertook a number of Operational tours between 2006 and 2018, including several Op HERRICK tours and a tour as the HQ AIR Liaison Officer responsible for Operational Capability based in Lyon, France.

Gp Capt Roberts assumed command of RAF Odiham on 25 August 2023.

Who's based here



Military flying has taken place at Odiham since 1926. The station formally became RAF Odiham on 11 January 1937.

In June 1943 RAF Odiham came under the control of Fighter Command and later the second Tactical Air Force and it played a central role in the preparations for the D-Day landings a year later. 

From June 1945 RAF Odiham became part of Transport Command and was home to Dakota aircraft of Nos. 233 and 271 Squadrons.

In June 1946 the station was returned to RAF Fighter Command and was home to Spitfires, Tempests, Vampires, Meteors, Hunters and Javelins.

In February 1956 No.46 (F) Squadron became the first unit in the world to the Gloster Javelin.

Odiham reopened in January 1960 under Transport Command as the UK home for the RAF light transport fleet of both fixed and rotary wing aircraft. 

In December 1980 the twin rotor Chinook was first introduced into service with the RAF with No.240 Operational Conversion Unit (OCU). The first Squadron to be formed on the Chinook was No.18 (B) Squadron in August 1981.

Since 1998 RAF Odiham has been home to Nos. 7, 18 and 27 Squadrons, who together form the UK Chinook Helicopter Force.

Key dates

1937   RAF Odiham is officially opened.

1942   No.13 (AC) Squadron Blenheims take part in the 1,000 Bomber raids on Germany.

1942   The Station plays a major role in support of the ill-fated Dieppe raid – Operation Jubilee.

1947   The World’s first Jet Formation Display Team ‘The Black Knights’ is formed by No.54 (F) Squadron at RAF Odiham.

1948   The first jet crossing of the Atlantic Ocean by Vampires of No.54 (F) Squadron left from RAF Odiham.

2017   RAF Chinooks of No. 18 (B) and 27 Squadrons assist in the post Hurricane relief efforts in the Caribbean as part of Operation RUMAN.

2018   The first deployment of the Mk5 Chinooks in support of the French forces on Operation NEWCOMBE, Mali.

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