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relocation of current base services and personnel from RAF Scampton to RAF Boulmer

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relocation of current base services and personnel from RAF Scampton to RAF Boulmer

Old 24th May 2023, 16:40
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relocation of current base services and personnel from RAF Scampton to RAF Boulmer

Interesting Screening Opinion validated on the Northumberland Planning Portal today..

https://publicaccess.northumberland.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=summary&keyVal=RV3TMHQS0MJ00
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Old 24th May 2023, 16:49
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https://publicaccess.northumberland....N--2379820.pdf

. The size and design of the whole development The proposed development comprises the demolition, construction of new buildings and the refurbishment of existing assets across two sites consisting of operation and administration. The new buildings and infrastructure will be in keeping with the current assets and will not differ from the existing character of the base assets. The proposed development works include new builds / extensions (Accommodation, physical training accommodation, office accommodation, storage and equipment maintenance and parking) and the refurbishment of (accommodation, physical training accommodation) buildings and assets. The total ground footprint of all the buildings and infrastructure components to be constructed will total approximately 0.75ha including 0.1ha for operation facilities and 0.65ha for administrations. Additional land may be required at each site for temporary works and construction compounds as part of the proposed development. The exact extent of additional land take is currently unknown however, it is not anticipated to exceed 0.25ha

It is proposed that existing RAF assets be relocated to RAF Boulmer following the scheduled closure of RAF Scampton. The development will facilitate the relocation of assets, services and personnel with the incumbent units at RAF Boulmer, comprising a mixture of living, working and training facilities as well as the addition of infrastructure assets within the existing administration and operational sites. The development will additionally support a suite of upgrades and refurbishments across RAF Boulmer
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Old 24th May 2023, 16:52
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Whilst its nice that the RAF retains a presence in the frozen north one can't help think that it would generally be a better policy to retain and improve those bases that actually posess a serviceable runway rather than those that do not. Makes for a lot more 'resilience'
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Old 24th May 2023, 16:55
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But when you've hardly any aircraft left why do you need all those runways?
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Old 24th May 2023, 17:41
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There's one aircraft there. Drove past it last week. https://www.thunder-and-lightnings.c...vor.php?id=805
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Old 24th May 2023, 17:56
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The development will facilitate the relocation of assets, services and personnel [...]
200 miles up the A1. That'll please wives and families, no doubt.....
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Old 24th May 2023, 19:20
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Just one question:
Why did they move the fighter controllers from Boulmer to Scampton all those years ago? (About 25 years ago I think but I could be wrong.)
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Old 24th May 2023, 20:47
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Originally Posted by chevvron
Just one question:
Why did they move the fighter controllers from Boulmer to Scampton all those years ago? (About 25 years ago I think but I could be wrong.)
They didnít! There were 2 CRCís, Boulmer and Scampton.

In Cold War times there were CRCís at Buchan and Neatishead too. Now they are Remote Radar Heads.

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Old 24th May 2023, 21:14
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On the plus side, there's an excellent museum at Neatishead now - see:
https://www.radarmuseum.co.uk/
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Old 24th May 2023, 22:37
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In Cold War times there were CRC’s at Buchan and Neatishead too. Now they are Remote Radar Heads.
SOC = Sector Operations Centre running the full local air war with a local air defenc3 commander.

CRC = Control and Reporting Centre with a control team plus a reporting team identifying the air picture.

CRP = Control and Repprting Post with a small control team plus a small team telling the air picture back to the CRC for identification (earlier manually then replaced by RAPDS then fully auto mated.

RP = Reporting Post with no (official) control capability but a small reporting as defined above.

RRH = Remore Radar Head with just a radar head feeding back the radar picture.

During most of the Cold War you had :

SOC/CRC Buchan with CRC Saxa Vord, CRC Benbecula and RP Polestar (Faeroes)

SOC/CRC Boulmer with CRC Staxton Wold and RP Bishops Court

SOC/CRC Neatishead with CRP Ty Croes and CRP Portreath

The run down is complicated as IUKADGE and further cuts came along - but basically all the the CRPs became RPs then RRH, followed by Buchan and The Neatishead going the same route.

(SOCs we’re consolidated for one year at SOC UK at Bentley Priory before being absorbed into the UKCAOC at High Wycombe before that, eventually, was folded into the CAOC at Uedem)

My participation finished when I took my option date and left from the UKCAOC rather than accept the offer to go back to Neatishead to “train the next generation”..

Last edited by ORAC; 25th May 2023 at 04:31.
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Old 24th May 2023, 23:30
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I recall having to visit Ty Croes back in 1975, to check up on the lack of progress being made by DOE to fix MQ issues. What a dump - it was like something out of The Avengers, with deserted wooden buildings and doors banging in the wind. There was an inert Thunderbird missile (or Bloodhound?) by the entrance - and the AMQ varied between dreadfully tatty huts, through the walls of which conversations of the next door occupants could be hear, to an absolute palace being occupied by a Master Aircrew chap of 22 Sqn and his wife....

I was amazed to hear that No. 144 Signals Unit was there for a short time some 20 years later!
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Old 25th May 2023, 01:04
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Originally Posted by BEagle
I recall having to visit Ty Croes back in 1975, to check up on the lack of progress being made by DOE to fix MQ issues. What a dump - it was like something out of The Avengers, with deserted wooden buildings and doors banging in the wind. There was an inert Thunderbird missile (or Bloodhound?) by the entrance - and the AMQ varied between dreadfully tatty huts, through the walls of which conversations of the next door occupants could be hear, to an absolute palace being occupied by a Master Aircrew chap of 22 Sqn and his wife....

I was amazed to hear that No. 144 Signals Unit was there for a short time some 20 years later!
Thunderbird 1 and 2 were fired there by Trials Establishment Royal Artillery (Guided Weapons). 144SU was set up there to cover the gap after Bishops Court was shut. The Type 94 got there on 2nd July 1991, left in December 1995.
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Old 25th May 2023, 01:11
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I was at Ty Croes for a brief stay in '79. We were actually at Valley for summer camp with cadets, but the cadets' accomodation was at Ty Croes which was otherwise almost deserted, there was a 'social club' but otherwise no catering, cadets having to be ferried to/from Valley by coach but there was also a small army (or was it or rock) presence for shooting at 300 yd from the clifftop
2 years earlier I had visited Benbecula from Farnborough and saw the CRP which was (I think) a Type 88 radar head to the north east of the airfield.
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Old 25th May 2023, 06:42
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Originally Posted by BEagle
On the plus side, there's an excellent museum at Neatishead now - see:
https://www.radarmuseum.co.uk/
+1 for the Neatishead museum - well worth a visit.
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Old 25th May 2023, 07:33
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Originally Posted by BEagle
200 miles up the A1. That'll please wives and families, no doubt.....
Like all us older ones did all of the time, sometimes with very little notice. I guess a few will be bailing out rather than move.
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Old 25th May 2023, 08:03
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I recall moving into the new mess and comparing it to the old prefab mess and accommodation blocks, including “the swamp” which flooded every winter.

Then remember that was about 40 years ago…
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Old 25th May 2023, 08:04
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No-one has mentioned Pattrington yet. When Binbrook and Coltishall were still going we far prefered working with them than Boulmer. It took too long to get that far north and back again!
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Old 25th May 2023, 08:26
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Originally Posted by kriskross
No-one has mentioned Pattrington yet. When Binbrook and Coltishall were still going we far prefered working with them than Boulmer. It took too long to get that far north and back again!
Hmmm ?....that must have been "some time ago " then, however, now that you have mentioned it, the former site is now Patrington Haven, a very well kept caravan and leisure site which still retains some original features and acknowledgement to the former RAF Station.

If you, or anybody else, is passing, drop in. The leisure facilities are open to the public and the food, has, justifiably, won several awards.
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Old 25th May 2023, 08:30
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Originally Posted by kriskross
No-one has mentioned Pattrington yet. When Binbrook and Coltishall were still going we far prefered working with them than Boulmer. It took too long to get that far north and back again!
Tha5 gets into the whole run down of Rotor, with the planned introduction of Linesman/Mediator during the Tripwire era, and the abrupt U-turn with the decision to keep the main sites operational with Neatishead replacing Patrington using the SLEWC (Standy Linesman Early Warning Control) consoles in the R30.

That coincided over a couple of years with the change in terminology from MRS (Master Radar Site) to SOC/CRC.

For the Lightning pilots among us note the Firebrigade datalink equipment at Patrington. The software was built into SLEWC but never enabled, but we still had to do a mandatory number of intercepts each month using it with a second controller passing the commands to the pilots by voice.

https://marconiradarhistory.pbworks....68412542/SLEWC


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Old 25th May 2023, 21:23
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The run down is complicated as IUKADGE and further cuts came along - but basically all the the CRPs became RPs then RRH, followed by Buchan and The Neatishead going the same route..
I was Ground Environment Training Design Advisor (Education Officer) at Bentley Priory in the early 1990s so visited most of the Fighter Control bunkers. When the IUKADGE conversion started I took the basic course with the rest of the office at the OCU at Ash. I passed but when the course report landed on the desk of my poster at Innsworth he had no idea what to do with it! Working in a bunker was a strange existence - no daylight for the working week in winter. As we arrived at Ash we were all frisked to remove all chinagraph pencils. My Warrant Officer Nigel was bereft! The reason was that during the initial trials, the first controller to use the big displays did his usual thing of drawing on the screen. The chinagraph clogged up the mesh over the screen causing the disposal of a £30,000 display.
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