|This article needs additional citations for verification. (April 2012)|
|Royal Air Force Stanbridge|
|near Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, England|
|Owner||Ministry of Defence|
|Controlled by||Royal Air Force|
|In use||1939–March 2013 (Planned Closure Date)|
Second World War
During the Second World War the station was a major base for secret communication traffic. A large number of underground tunnels filled with what was state-of-the art equipment were used to protect the equipment.
During the Cold War the station was still used as an vital communications base.
In the early 1970s RAF Stanbridge had satellite sites at RAF Bampton Castle (Receiver site), RAF Weyhill (Transmitter site), RAF Edlesborough (Transmitter site), RAF Greatworth (transmitter site) and RAF Stoke Hammond (Receiver site). Stanbridge was then known as the Communications Control Centre (CCC or CommConCent) and was the hub of the Defence Communications Network (DCN). The main building hosted Systems Control, a tape relay centre and later a Telegraphic Automatic Routing Equipment (TARE). The DCN connected sites all over the world by HF radio links using the two diverse transmitter sites and the diverse receiver sites. The Distant Terminals of these links included Canberra, Gan, Cyprus, Ottawa and Malta. Other UK sites involved were the RN site at HMS Forest Moor and RAF Oakhanger with its satellite earth-station.
- RAF Bampton Castle was a technical site only, equipped with HF radio receivers and an aerial farm and parented by RAF Brize Norton.
- RAF Edlesborough was a technical site only, equipped with HF radio transmitters and a large aerial farm and parented by RAF Stanbridge.
- RAF Stoke Hammond was a technical site only, equipped with HF radio receivers and an aerial farm and parented by RAF Stanbridge. It closed in the mid 1970s and the site was returned to the owner, leaving Bampton Castle as the only receiver site.
- RAF Greatworth had its own accommodation but was administratively parented from RAF Stanbridge. Like Edlesborough it was an HF radio transmitter site with a large aerial farm. The site opened in the 1930s and finally closed in 1992. It is now an industrial park known as Greatworth Park.
These sites were equipped with radio equipment made by Marconi and Racal. During the 1970s the transmitters used were the Marconi HS series (HS31, HS51 and HS71) and their more modern MST series. The power of these transmitters ranged from 1kW up to 30kW and the two transmitter sites operated as a RED path and a YELLOW path to provide diversity to cope with atmospheric conditions, HF radio being at the mercy of the ionosphere. Aerials were of the dipole, rhombic or biconical designs being usually fed via twin wire feeders.
Post Cold War
The base was one of the smallest RAF Stations having only two Station buildings and 24 married quarters. It was part of a bigger site which was sold off by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) in 1999.
The last station commander was Wing Commander M G Brown MBE MSc BEng RAF.
Reports indicate that the site may be sold off for development in 2013.
- "RAF Stanbridge". BBC - Domesday. Retrieved 22 April 2012.
- "RAF Brampton Wyton". Ministry of Defence - Royal Air Force. Retrieved 21 April 2012.
- "RAF base set to hold 1970s staff reunion in Leighton". Leighton Buzzard Observer. Retrieved 22 April 2012.
- "RAF Brampton Wyton - (Stations)". Ministry of Defence - Royal Air Force. Retrieved 22 April 2012.