Restricted Areas

RAF Machrihanish

Last modified: 03 Jul 2019

Country: United Kingdom    Region: Scotland

Locale: Campbeltown

Latitude: 55° 26' 57" N     Longitude: -6° 17' 40" E

Area use / Military Branches: Closed


RAF Machrihanish activated 1918 as a RN airship field. In 1940 772 Naval Air Sqn and the ASW school arrived at Machrihanish and 766 and 768 Naval Air Sqns joined 1943. After WW2 it became a reserve base but in 1959 Machrihanish became a strategic NATO airfield, giving immediate access to patrol & support naval operation over the North Atlantic. US Navy established the Naval Aviation Weapons Facility at Machrihanish. This unit was responsible for 200 B-57 nuclear depth charges and torpedoes stored in a special ammo storage facility to be used by RAF, RN and NATO naval forces in their ASW role against Soviet naval forces trying to break through in the Atlantic in case of WW3. Check RAF St Mawgan for an identical situation.
1985-1995 A US Navy Seal team (Det 1) was permannetly stationed here.

RAF Machrihanish is currently a joint civil/military airfield known as Campbeltown Airfield. The former SAS is still MoD property.

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