Wattisham Airfield is a British Army airfield and barracks located near the village of Wattisham in Suffolk, England. It is home to the Army Air Corps' Apache attack helicopter force. A helicopter repair facility provided by 7 Aviation Support Battalion, REME and 132 Aviation Supply Squadron, RLC is also based at the airfield.
|Wattisham Flying Station|
|Wattisham, Suffolk in England|
|Type||Army Air Corps airfield|
|Owner||Ministry of Defence|
|Controlled by||Army Air Corps|
|In use||Royal Air Force (1939–1942 and 1946–1992)|
US Army Air Forces (1942–1946)
Army Air Corps (1993 – present)
|Identifiers||ICAO: EGUW, WMO: 035900|
|Elevation||86.2 metres (283 ft) AMSL|
|Other airfield facilities||Dummy landing deck|
|Source: UK Military AIP|
The RAF maintains a presence at the airfield with a section of Survival Equipment Specialists who maintain survival equipment carried by Apache aircrew, including their helmets.
The airfield covers a site of 1,072 acres (434 ha), with approximately 2,000 troops stationed on site.
Wattisham Airfield has had a long and distinguished history. First opening in April 1939, the airfield was used by the RAF before being lent to the United States Army Air Forces in 1942. After the Second World War, Wattisham became one of the UK's front-line air force fighter airfields during the Cold War, with aircraft on Quick Reaction Alert on a rotational basis with other UK fighter stations.
Wattisham used to house 'B' Flight, 22 Squadron Royal Air Force with its Search & Rescue Sea King helicopters, until the privatisation of SAR provision in 2015, which led to 22 Squadron standing down. The closest SAR base under the new Bristow Helicopters contract is Lydd Airport in Kent.
As of 1 November 2018, there were 852 personnel assigned to 3 and 4 Regiments and 429 to 7 Aviation Support Battalion.
Apart from the military, the Anglia Gliding Club also operates from the airfield. (making it the oldest serving member of Wattisham, having been there as a RAFGSA club when the RAF occupied). Also resident is No 1287 Sqn, Air Training Corps.
There is a museum on site which tells the history of the airfield and this is open on Sundays during April to October.
Operational units edit
1st Aviation Brigade Combat Team / Army Air Corps
- 3 Regiment
- 4 Regiment
- 6 Regiment
- Headquarters Squadron
- 677 Squadron
- "UK MIL AIP – Wattisham – AD 2 - EGUW" (PDF). UK Military AIP. No. 1 Aeronautical Information Documents Unit.
- "New HM Coastguard Search and Rescue Base at Lydd Airport". DSL Building Services. 13 July 2018. Retrieved 1 October 2023.
- Lancaster, Mark (29 November 2018). "Army:Written question – 194616". UK Parliament. Retrieved 2 December 2018.
- Anglia Gliding Club
- "Air Training Corps 1287 Squadron". infolink.suffolk.gov.uk. Retrieved 1 October 2023.
- Wattisham Airfield Museum
- "3 Regiment Army Air Corps". The British Army. Retrieved 6 November 2017.
- "4 Regiment Army Air Corps". The British Army. Retrieved 6 November 2017.
- "7 Aviation Support Battalion". The British Army. Retrieved 6 November 2017.
- "Army Reserve Units | Ipswich Wattisham Airfield". 1 October 2023.
- Administrator. "Apache AH-64E Attack Helicopter". Defence Equipment & Support. Retrieved 1 October 2023.