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RAF Gibraltar

Last modified: 11 Jul 2019

Country: United Kingdom    Region: Overseas

Latitude: 36° 9' 4" N     Longitude: -6° 39' 1" E

Area use / Military Branches: Active


Gibraltar is a British overseas territory located on the S end of the Iberian peninsula at the entrance of the Mediterranean. It has a northern border with Andalusia, Spain. The Rock of Gibraltar is the major landmark of the region. At its foot is a densely populated area, home to almost 30,000 people. In WW2 it was an important Royal Navy base; today its economy is based largely on tourism, financial services and shipping.

Gibraltar's defence is the responsibility of the tri-service British Forces Gibraltar. The Royal Gibraltar Regiment provides the garrison, based at Devils Tower Camp. The regiment was originally a part-time reserve force but the British Army placed it on permanent establishment in 1990. The regiment includes full-time and part-time military recruited from Gibraltar, as well as British Army regulars from other regiments.

Royal Navy maintains a squadron at the Rock. The sqn is responsible for security and integrity of British Gibraltar Territorial Waters (BGTW). There is also an integrated RAF/RN aviation base (miltary part of the airport). Gibraltar's strategic position provides an important facility for the UK and its allies. RN and USN nuclear submarines frequently visit the Z berths at Gibraltar. A Z berth provides the facility for nuclear submarines to visit for operational or recreational purposes and for non-nuclear repairs. During the Falklands War, an Argentine plan to attack British shipping in the harbour using frogmen (Operation Algeciras) was foiled.The base played a part in supporting the forces recovering the Falklands.

RAF Gibraltar is part of HQ British Forces Gibraltar. Although aircraft are no longer permanently based at RAF Gibraltar, a composite RAF unit makes regular visits to the Rock and the airfield also houses a section of the Meteo Office and the Defence High Frequency Communications Service in its TASCOMM role with callsign GIBRALTAR. The Rock is also supposed to be a SIGINT listening post. Its strategic position provides a key GCHQ and NSA location for Mediterranean and North African coverage.

RAF Gibraltar web
Gibraltar government web

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