RAF Sealand

RAF Sealand

RAF Sealand is a Royal Air Force station in Flintshire, north Wales.

Sealand is a communications support base for RAF operations around the world. It functions as a third line repair base for avionics equipment for all three services. No 631 Volunteer Gliding Squadron operated at Sealand between 1963 and 2006, most recently flying the Viking TMk1 conventional winch-launched glider. In March 2006, 631 VGS relocated to RAF Woodvale to operate the Grob109b 'Vigilant' self-launched motorglider.

It was originally a civilian airfield and was taken over by the military in 1916 for training. No 30 Maintenance unit was formed there in 1939. In 1951 the base was taken over by the United States Air Force, and handed back to the RAF in 1957.

Under the round of defence cuts announced in 2004 RAF Sealand is scheduled to close in April 2006, the units there being moved to RAF Scampton. With effect from 13 January 2006 this was changed to RAF Leeming.

The Electronics Business Unit of the Defence Aviation Repair Agency (DARA) occupies part of the Sealand site and will remain at Sealand after the closure of the RAF station. The business unit is responsible for the repair and maintenance of Avionic equipment and operates as part of a Trading Fund of the Ministry of Defence.

RAF Sealand has now fully closed leaving just DARA at the site. The MOD Have contemplated using the site for several different purposes, one of the most controversial was the idea to turn Sealand into an Emergency Prison to cope with over crowded prisons in England and Wales but this idea was quickly dropped due to fierce opposition from local residents. The site now faces an uncertain future.

Sealand's ranges are still used for shooting, where cadets from different services come to either compete or practice shooting.

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