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RAF Base or Station?

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RAF Base or Station?

Old 15th Nov 2021, 20:44
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RAF Base or Station?

When I was attached as a civvy, it was always to an RAF (name follows) and called a station, with a Staish.

My granddaughter, newly minted as RAF Regiment Reserve refers to RAF Honington as a base. I think that is an Americanism.

Before I berate her, should I perhaps move with the times? I hope not.

Anyway, she is bigger than I am [most people are].
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Old 15th Nov 2021, 20:52
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Well the official RAF recruiting website talks about bases. The main RAF website calls them Stations.

Seems the RAF can’t make their minds up either, although you commonly hear people talking about ‘being based …’

Interestingly my old Kuwaiti DS was often getting flagged up by security for being overheard talking about ‘Al Qaeda’ … which in English is ‘The Base’ when he was just pottering round the place. So may be Stations and being stationed might be a better idea?
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Old 15th Nov 2021, 20:54
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Isn't the use of the term "station" taken from the (in general but exceptions are there) historic policy of naming RAF units after the nearest railway station?
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Old 15th Nov 2021, 20:59
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During WW2, the older RAF Stations were allocated satellite airfields - the main station acting as their administration centre. The Stations together became a Base, so for example the combine of RAF Waddington, looking after RAF Skellingthorpe and RAF Bardney became Base 53: the third Base in 5 Group. Each of the stations had a Group Captain Station Commander, but in overall control at the main station was the Base Commander, an Air Commodore. Indeed, aircrew/groundcrew are seen in the F540s of the time as posted from a squadron to "Base" if administratively sick for example. I suspect that the "Base" as the HQ of the Stations carried on from here.
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Old 15th Nov 2021, 21:06
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Thank you all. Admonition clearly over the top. Will wind my old-fashioned neck in .................
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Old 15th Nov 2021, 21:38
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When I was in the R.A.F. I was always posted to R.A.F. XXXXXXX.
When asked where in the R.A.F. I was, the reply was always 'I am stationed at R.A.F. XXXXXXX'.
The word 'Base' was only used by our American cousins.
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Old 15th Nov 2021, 22:52
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If I worked on the unit I was said I was stationed there but if I lived there but worked elsewhere I said I was based. I suppose that doesn’t help.
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Old 16th Nov 2021, 00:25
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The R.A.F declined to name Odiham after its nearest railway station.

“R.A.F. Hook”, especially if said quickly, might have caused offence.
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Old 16th Nov 2021, 03:55
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Originally Posted by The Helpful Stacker View Post
Isn't the use of the term "station" taken from the (in general but exceptions are there) historic policy of naming RAF units after the nearest railway station?
Ostensibly so, however, local geography wasn't always what you might call the name designators strong point. Hence RAF Hednesford on Cannock chase, which falls firmly under the heading of "grim and bleak" in Winter was named as such when Rugeley is considerably closer.
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Old 16th Nov 2021, 07:17
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The nearest Railway Station is usually the "rule". However, if it could cause confusion then an alternative was used. For example, RAF Scopwick and RAF Shotwick are very similar, and so became Digby and Sealand respectively. The idea to use the nearest railway station was to help with the movement of logistics and personnel - you just bought a ticket to the station name!
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Old 16th Nov 2021, 07:48
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An alternative view...?

It may be that an RAF Station can exist without having aircraft being "based" there.

However, a Station can also be a "Base" for aircraft. E.G High Wycombe is a Station but Lossiemouth is a base.

IG
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Old 16th Nov 2021, 08:50
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It could get worse, having built a lovely airfield near Yelverton (that's Devon for the northern folk amongst us) the nice people at the Air Ministry decided that the young men entrusted with the aircraft at that time might mistake Yelverton for Yeovilton and called it Harrowbeer!
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Old 16th Nov 2021, 09:16
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Genuine question: when did the term "Staish" come into common RAF parlance? I had never heard it until joining PPRuNe in the noughties.
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Old 16th Nov 2021, 09:30
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Originally Posted by Barksdale Boy View Post
Genuine question: when did the term "Staish" come into common RAF parlance? I had never heard it until joining PPRuNe in the noughties.
I've only heard junior aircrew use the term, like a bit of slang, maybe they think they sound cool.
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Old 16th Nov 2021, 09:37
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The expression "Staish" or even "Harry Staish" was in use during the 60s.
And it was nearly always "RAF Stations", or American "Air bases". However RAF Marham was frequently termed "Mar-ham Air Base" in a mock American accent.
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Old 16th Nov 2021, 09:45
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Originally Posted by ShyTorque View Post
The R.A.F declined to name Odiham after its nearest railway station.

“R.A.F. Hook”, especially if said quickly, might have caused offence.
Reminds me of another station 'funny', RNAS Twatt (HMS Tern). Nearest railway station probably Thurso.
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Old 16th Nov 2021, 09:46
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It could get worse, having built a lovely airfield near Yelverton (that's Devon for the northern folk amongst us) the nice people at the Air Ministry decided that the young men entrusted with the aircraft at that time might mistake Yelverton for Yeovilton and called it Harrowbeer!
Likewise, for the RAF station adjoining the town of Carterton it was felt that they might get confused with RAF Cardington so it was named after the small village on its eastern boundary, Brize Norton.
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Old 16th Nov 2021, 10:16
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Camp was often used when referring to your own station when I was in the '70s RAF.
I'm going back to camp.
Where's the camp barber?
The camp's very quiet over Christmas.
Do you live near the camp?
Etc, etc.
I'm guessing it originated from the tented accommodation airmen lived in when overseas (back in the very old days). Is it still used?
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Old 16th Nov 2021, 10:23
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Sorry for the thread drift here...but whilst we are talking Brize Norton...

What is the disused airfield WNW of the western runway end....looks mostly back to farmland now with some solar panels, but clearly an ex airfield and only a stones throw (maybe 2!) from the current Station / Base ...whatever we are calling them!

Just seems a bit odd that the new one was built so close to the old one.
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Old 16th Nov 2021, 10:32
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Originally Posted by 622 View Post
Sorry for the thread drift here...but whilst we are talking Brize Norton...

What is the disused airfield WNW of the western runway end....looks mostly back to farmland now with some solar panels, but clearly an ex airfield and only a stones throw (maybe 2!) from the current Station / Base ...whatever we are calling them!

Just seems a bit odd that the new one was built so close to the old one.
RAF Broadwell (from a map of historic airfields)
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