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2. AIR / USAFE / RAF Croughton

Last modified: 14 Jun 2022, submitted by: Joker

Country: United States    Region: Overseas

Locale: UK

Latitude: 51° 59' 21" N     Longitude: -2° 48' 51" E

Area use / Military Branches: ACTIVE


51°59'38"N 1°11'10"W USAFE RAF Croughton has been established 1938. During WW2 a bomber and trainingbase. 1947 - 1950 only used as an enormous ammo storage. In 1950 USAF took over the station with a Communications Detachment. In 1955 becoming 1230th Airways and Air Communications Service Squadron (AACS) as part of USAF Communication Service and later Air Force Communications Command. In 1961, the 1230 AACS redesignated to 2130th Communications Squadron. Unit and mission grew so unit redesignated again to 2130th Communications Group which controlled USAF communication resources from as far south as Cornwall, England and as far north as Keflavík, Iceland. In 1995 USAFE was clarifying the roles and missions of the numbered air forces resulting in changes.

Currently based: USAFE / 501 Combat Support Wing / 422nd Air Base Group providing combat support enabling communications and global strike ops from RAF Croughton, RAF Fairford and RAF Welford with:
-- 422nd Airbase , Civil Engineer , Communications and Security Forces Squadrons, all based at USAFE RAF Croughton
- 420th Munitions Squadron at RAF Welford and 420th Airbase Squadron at RAF Fairford.

The base uses a significant cluster of aerials as the only focal point for US military comms within the UK. Note 2 hi-sec SIGINT enclaves in the middle of the field. At the S end of the base is a transmitter section with aerial mast in the middle, identical to the one which at MI6's agent communications station at Gawcott, Buckinghamshire. There is a transmitter annex at RAF Barford St. John near Banbury Oxfordshire. These 'disused airfields' provide secure communications facilities for US forces and agencies worldwide.

Note: The US is upgrading RAF Croughton, making it the largest intel hub outside CONUS and a center for future ops in Africa, Plans include an installation for the Defense Intelligence Agency, the Pentagon’s main military intelligence service

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