RNZAF Base Woodbourne
Woodbourne was established in 1939 as the base for No. 2 Service Flying Training School (No.2 SFTS). Also located nearby during WWII were the ground training camps of the Delta. In 1942-43, Nos 16 and 18 Squadrons flying Curtiss Kittyhawks used the satellite Fairhall field. In 1945 No.2 SFTS was closed and the Royal New Zealand Air Force Central Flying School and some ground training units, including the Officers' School of Instruction were relocated to Woodbourne. In 1949, The Aircraft Repair Depot RNZAF was relocated from Ohakea, and in 1951 the Boy Entrant School was established at Woodbourne.
Today, Woodbourne is the Air Force's only support base and has no operational squadrons based there. It shares its runways with the Blenheim civil airport, Woodbourne Airport.
The Ground Training Wing was created in 1995 from existing units at Woodbourne and those relocated from Wigram and Hobsonville, and is responsible for the training of recruits (General Service Training School), initial officer training (Command Training School), trade training (except aircrew, medical and photography training) and command training.
Also at Woodbourne is the Air Force's only heavy maintenance facility for the repair of aircraft airframes, engines and avionics systems. This squadron was responsible for reconditioning airframes of RNZAF aircraft. Formally the Airframe Reconditioning Squadron RNZAF, the unit was commercialised in 1998 and is now managed by SAFE Air Ltd. No. 1 Repair Depot was also active at the base for a number of years, though during the war it appears to have been stationed at Hamilton.
Personnel stationed at the base number around 1,250, of which 450 are SAFE Air Ltd employees.
- See Bryan E. Young, 'Beckoning Skies'
- Cambidgeairforce.org, The Marlborough Region
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