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2. AIR / USAFE / RAF Fairford

Last modified: 14 Jun 2022

Country: United States    Region: Overseas

Locale: UK

Latitude: 51° 41' 8" N     Longitude: -2° 13' 47" E

Area use / Military Branches: ACTIVE


5141'9"N 146'12"W USAFE RAF Fairford. Activated in 1944 as an airfield for British and US troop carriers and gliders for the invasion of Normandy during WW2. Also used to lift British troops for Operation Market Garden during WW2. In 1950 the airfield transferred to the USAF for strategic bomber ops and a new runway was constructed. Fairford served through the years as homebase for various USAF longrange detachments on TDY nuc deterrence missions.

Fairford was also used by F-111's and B-52's in the 1st Gulf War (1991), by B-52's and KC-135's during the Kosovo conflict in Operation Allied Force (1999) and during the 2003 Iraq War. In these conflicts Fairford hosted various USAF and NSA aircraft (U-2S) and supported personnel. In recent years the airfield has frequently been used by USAF B-2 Spirit bombers. Due to changes in ops levels, Fairford underwent major runway and bunker upgrades in the largest American military construction project within a NATO country since the end of the Cold War. These upgrades lasted from 2000-2003.

Current status: USAFE Forward Ops Base. A standby base in caretaker status under
- USAF 501 Combat Suppt Wing providing mission support and sustaining deployed forces. Personnel assigned to the base is using USAFE RAF Croughton for their services with
-- 420 Airbase Squadron

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