MoD Woodbridge

  (Redirected from Rock Barracks)

Ministry of Defence Woodbridge or MOD Woodbridge is a military installation located near the town of Woodbridge, in Suffolk, England. The site opened in 2006 and is operated by the British Army and incorporates both Rock Barracks and Woodbridge Airfield. The barracks are home to two Royal Engineers Regiments. The airfield is used periodically by helicopters of the Army Air Corps for training exercises.

MOD Woodbridge
Flag of the British Army.svg
Near Woodbridge, Suffolk in England
MOD Woodbridge is located in Suffolk
MOD Woodbridge
MOD Woodbridge
Location in Suffolk
Coordinates52°05′16.08″N 001°24′02.97″E / 52.0878000°N 1.4008250°E / 52.0878000; 1.4008250Coordinates: 52°05′16.08″N 001°24′02.97″E / 52.0878000°N 1.4008250°E / 52.0878000; 1.4008250
TypeArmy barracks and training airfield
Area369 hectares
Site information
OwnerMinistry of Defence
OperatorBritish Army
Controlled byRoyal Engineers
Site history
Built1943 (1943)
In useRoyal Air Force (1943–1948)
United States Air Force (1952–1993)
British Army (2006–present)

The site was previously known as RAF Woodbridge and had periods where it was operated by the Royal Air Force and United States Air Force. The RAF station closed in August 1993.

HistoryEdit

RAF WoodbridgeEdit

Constructed in 1943 as a Royal Air Force (RAF) airfield during the Second World War to assist damaged aircraft to land on their return from raids over Germany, it was later used by the United States Air Force during the Cold War, being the primary home for the 79th Tactical Fighter Squadron and the 78th Tactical Fighter Squadron and squadrons of the 81st Fighter Wing under various designations until 1993. For many years, the 81st Fighter Wing also operated from nearby RAF Bentwaters, with Bentwaters and Woodbridge being known as the "Twin Bases". The RAF station closed in August 1993.[1]

ReactivationEdit

In 2001, the Ministry of Defence announced that £100 million would be invested in the Woodbridge site in order to accommodate British Army personnel. Due to budgetary constraints and commitments to Operation Telic (the UK's contribution to the Iraq War), the start of work at Woodbridge was delayed until January 2004.[2]

On 1 September 2006, the former Woodbridge site was split up and the two parts renamed as Woodbridge Airfield and Rock Barracks.[3]

Around 500 army personnel are based at Woodbridge.[4]

AirfieldEdit

Woodbridge Airfield is used by Army Air Corps helicopters for training exercises. During August 2016, the airfield was used for testing the Airbus A400M Atlas.[5]

Based unitsEdit

The following notable units are based at Rock Barracks.[6]

British ArmyEdit

Royal Engineers

FutureEdit

In November 2016, the Ministry of Defence announced that MOD Woodbridge would close by 2027.[8][4]

In February 2019, following detailed assessment work, the Ministry of Defence concluded the retention of MOD Woodbridge supports the military requirement of the Army, and its closure was cancelled.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "The skyfields of Suffolk". BBC. 29 August 2002. Retrieved 7 December 2019.
  2. ^ "New life for Suffolk RAF base". Ipswich Star. 10 October 2003. Retrieved 16 October 2018.
  3. ^ "Gallery: Thousands enjoy Rock Barracks open day". East Anglian Daily Times. 5 September 2011. Retrieved 7 December 2019.
  4. ^ a b Geater, Paul (7 November 2016). "Rock Barracks at Woodbridge, home to 23 Parachute Engineer Regiment, set to close". East Anglian Daily Times. Retrieved 16 October 2018.
  5. ^ Allison, George (25 August 2016). "A400M in austere runway trials". UK Defence Journal. Retrieved 16 October 2018.
  6. ^ "Airborne engineer squadron returns to the ranks". British Army. 16 July 2018. Retrieved 16 October 2018.
  7. ^ "Army Takes Command Of Military's Counter Chemical Team". Forces Network. Retrieved 7 December 2019.
  8. ^ "A Better Defence Estate" (PDF). GOV.UK. Ministry of Defence. November 2016. Retrieved 16 October 2018.