The Station

RAF Wyton in Cambridgeshire is a UK Strategic Command Station and home to the National Centre for Geospatial Intelligence (NCGI), which provides intelligence support to UK Armed Forces on operations globally.

RAF Wyton opened in 1916 as a training establishment for the Royal Flying Corps.  During the Second World War it was primarily a bomber base.  In 1942, it became home to the Pathfinder Force under the Command of Group Captain (later Air Vice-Marshal) Don Bennett.

In addition to NCGI and other Defence Intelligence functions, RAF Wyton is home to the Ministry of Defence Police Headquarters, the Defence Infrastructure Organisation Regional Headquarters, as well as several other UK and Allied capabilities, authorities, and departments.


Wing Commander Jim Doyle MBE MEng(Hons) MA MIET RAF

Wing Commander Jim Doyle MBE is a Royal Air Force Communications and Electronics Engineer whose experience is predominantly in deployed Communications Information Services (CIS), cyber effects and information operations.

Doyle commissioned in July 2006 having gained a Masters in Aeronautical Engineering at the University of Bristol.  His initial assignments were at RAF St Mawgan and RAF Valley supporting the RAF Search and Rescue Force, and later 90 Signals Unit supporting the RAF’s deployable and contingency CIS on operations globally.  He later commanded 591 Signals Unit at RAF Digby, establishing it as the RAF’s lead Defensive Cyberspace Operations unit.  His staff assignments include as Chief Engineer at the Tactical Data Link Support Authority, and 2- and 3-star Personal Staff Officer to the Air Officer Commanding No 38 Group and later the RAF Future Operating Model Study sponsor. 

Wing Commander Doyle assumed command of RAF Wyton in July 2023 on return from a 3-year exchange with United States Cyber Command.

Who's based here



RAF Wyton opened in 1916 as a Royal Flying Corps training establishment. In 1918, the Royal Air Force was formed, and RAF Wyton continued to train units for overseas operations into the 1930s, prior to its significant expansion.

The first sortie of the Second World War launched from RAF Wyton within 90 minutes of the declaration of hostiltiies, and so too RAF Wyton-based aircraft took part in the last Bomber Command raid on Germany in 1945. The legendary Pathfinder Force was created here in 1942, and RAF Wyton was chosen to be Headquarters for No 8 Group as well as one of the Group’s principal airfields.  In 1945, the Pathfinder Force disbanded on cessation of hostilities in Europe.

In 1953, the first Photographic Reconnaissance Units arrived and with them began the RAF Wyton’s long association with the Canberra Force, alongside the Victor V-bomber and later tanker aircraft. In 1971, the Nimrod arrived with 51(R) Squadron. In 1975, the last of the Victor aircraft departed. Throughout the next two decades, Canberra units came and went until their permanent relocation to RAF Marham in 1994.

In 1994, RAF Wyton ceased to be an independent unit, and was merged with nearby RAF Brampton and later RAF Henlow; however, in 2012, RAF Wyton once again became independent, as control transferred from Headquarters Air Command to the newly established Joint Forces Command (JFC), later UK Strategic Command, which placed RAF Wyton under the Joint Forces Intelligence Group (JFIG).  In 2016, JFIG disbanded, and the bulk of its former units and capabilities were re-rolled to establish the National Centre for Geospatial Intelligence.  

Although no longer an operational airfield, RAF Wyton is proud of its heritage spanning a century of support to operations.  It continues to remain at the heart of UK operations globally.

Key dates

1916   Airfield opened as a training airfield for the Royal Flying Corps.

1939   Aircraft from RAF Wyton took part in some of the first bombing raids of the Second World War.

1942   The Pathfinder Force was formed here under Group Captain Don Bennett.

1956   Joint School of Aerial Photographic Interpretation was founded.

2013   Pathfinder building opened to house the Joint Force Intelligence Group.

2016  National Centre for Geospatial Intelligence established

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