Defence College of Aeronautical Engineering

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Crest of the DCAE

The Defence College of Aeronautical Engineering (DCAE) provides training for aircraft engineering officers and tradesmen across the three British armed forces.


It was formed on 1 April 2004 and is one of five federated defence colleges formed after the Defence Training Review. It is part of No. 22 Group RAF.


Its headquarters are located at RAF Cosford (called DCAE Cosford between 2004 and 2009) in Shropshire where only trade training takes place at the No. 1 School of Technical Training. There is also an officer branch of the organisation at RAF Cranwell in Lincolnshire. The Royal Navy has a branch at Gosport in Hampshire at HMS Sultan, which is also headquarters of the Defence College of Electro-Mechanical Engineering. Painter and finishing trade training (for RAF Trade Group 13 personnel) is done at RAF St Athan in the Vale of Glamorgan, South Wales.


On 17 January 2007, Secretary of State for Defence Des Browne announced that Metrix UK, a joint venture between Qinetiq and Land Securities, had been selected as preferred bidder for Package One of Defence training. This would locate all Aeronautical Engineering training for all three services at MOD St Athan in 2017.

The Metrix project was terminated in 2010 as part of the Strategic Defence and Security Review, undertaken by the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition Government of the United Kingdom.

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