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Report - RAF North Luffenham/ Rutland/ December 2015

Discussion in 'Military Sites' started by The Lone Shadow, Dec 12, 2015.

  1. The Lone Shadow

    The Lone Shadow Industrial Fanatic!
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    History
    The station was built as a training airfield, opening in 1940. It was later taken over by 5 Group of RAF Bomber Command as a heavy bomber base, and was expanded by the building of concrete runways later in the war. In 1951, the station was transferred to the Royal Canadian Air Force to become the temporary home of 1 Fighter Wing, the first Canadian NATO base in Europe. 1 Wing moved to Marville, France in 1955.

    From 1959 to 1963, North Luffenham was home to PGM-17 Thor intermediate range ballistic missiles.

    In mid-1964 No.3 Ground Radio Servicing Squadron was transferred from RAF Norton, Sheffield, Yorkshire. No. 3GRSS was responsible for the third-line maintenance repair of all ground radar and radio communication/navigational and landing aids located at airfields throughout Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

    A unit of the RAF School of Aviation Medicine was also established in early 1960s - a very large then state-of-the-art decompression chamber was installed at this facility for aircrew experimentation and research purposes.

    From 1965 to 1997 part of the Joint Services Language School was based here. Russian-language graduates of the school were employed at radio monitoring stations located close to the USSR border in order to monitor Russian air-to-ground radio voice traffic during airborne interception/ border incursion etc. A plaque to commemorate the Language School was unveiled in 2005 by Air Commodore Bruce Benstead, the last Station Commander at RAF North Luffenham.Recruits from RAF Swinderby competed their fieldcraft training at this base in the 80s and early 90s.

    The station was taken over by the British Army and renamed St George's Barracks. As an army base it has been home to battalions of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers and the King's Own Royal Border Regiment, (later 3rd Battalion, the Duke of Lancaster's Regiment). In August 2007, 16th Regiment Royal Artillery relocated here from the Royal Artillery Barracks, Woolwich.
    (Borrowed from Carl747)

    The Explore
    I’m starting to really get a real taste for a good military explore at the moment. I spotted this place over the past few weeks, but with an approximate 4 year report absence I was dubious what to find. Explored here with Session9, when we arrived on the airbase, we had a recce to try and work out what was accessible and what wasn’t. With a highly active military presence and nearby barracks, we were careful not to linger in one place for too long just in case people got suspicious. Once we ventured out onto the airfield everything started to make more sense. Although it should have been a very relaxed explore, it was made a little nervy by the sound of gun fire, dogs barking and orders being shouted coming from the nearby barracks. Although a plane and large anti-aircraft gun appears to have been removed from the site since the previous reports, everything else remained. There were countless military vehicles, tanks, missiles, shells and of course enormous craters all across the main runway and my WW2 binoculars came in very handy to scout out from afar whatever remained. It was a thoroughly enjoyable explore, although we were often a little unsure about where the decay stopped and the live action started. After covering the place in approximately 3-4 hours and coming across some freshly made tracks we decided it was about time we departed.


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    Thanks for viewing, hope you enjoyed my report,

    The Lone Shadow
     

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  2. Ordnance

    Ordnance Moderator
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    I think the airfield is still designated as a MoD Training area.

    The Airfield Explosive Ordnance Disposal Training Flight (AEOD) from No 5131 (Bomb Disposal) Squadron based at nearby RAF Wittering continue to use the former runways at North Luffenham for training. Subject to confirmation.

    104 Dogs Support Unit part of 1 Military Working Dog Regiment (1MWD Regt) is also located at North Luffenham and is one of five working dog units that support military operations. The unit has four main classifications of dogs, which are employed in the following activities: Protection or Patrol, Arms and Explosives, Vehicle search and Tracker. Personnel from 104 MWD undertake deployments in all area of actice operational support, and they may use the training area as well. It is most likely that is was the dogs training you could mainly hear.
     
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  3. The Lone Shadow

    The Lone Shadow Industrial Fanatic!
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    Woah! That is interesting to know - And thanks for that knowledge ☺
     
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  4. hamtagger

    hamtagger 28DL Regular User
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    Spot on that mate @Ordnance
     
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  5. Snake Oil

    Snake Oil go in drains
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    Its good to see this place again, I spent some time there in the 80s on ATC summer camp, happy days :D
     
  6. The Lone Shadow

    The Lone Shadow Industrial Fanatic!
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    Yes, it was a quality explore and lets just say that Session had a "bomb" of a time :D
     
  7. grimm6

    grimm6 28DL Full Member
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  8. Ordnance

    Ordnance Moderator
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    Any indication what this was for (markings on other side for example) ?

    Answers on a used £20 note

    [​IMG]
     
  9. The Lone Shadow

    The Lone Shadow Industrial Fanatic!
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    Not 100% Sure, but it looks like some sort of heavy weapons transporter, don't they transport rocket launchers in similar containers? Maybe Hamtagger can give an idea what this might be.
     
  10. Ordnance

    Ordnance Moderator
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    Yes I agree, some American missile I am sure.

    Was thinking a Lance MMA (Main Missile Assembly) [aka missile body less warhead & control fins]
     
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  11. Baxlin

    Baxlin 28DL Member
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    Midland Radar was indeed sited at North Luffenham, I was stationed there from 1971 to 1973, previously been at its sister station, Northern Radar, from 66 to 70.

    It had Type 82 radar, previously used in connection with the Blue Streak missile programme, and converted to Air Traffic use as transit radar, providing climb out and pre-approach cover to designated airfields. Sitting at the height finder console ranked as one of the most boring jobs ever!
     
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