RAF Coningsby, one of two RAF Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) stations which protect UK airspace, is celebrating its 80th anniversary.
Situated in Lincolnshire – a county synonymous with the Royal Air Force – RAF Coningsby is currently home to two frontline, combat-ready squadrons and is the training station for Typhoon pilots. Today, almost 3,000 service personnel, civil servants, and contractors work at the station.
When RAF Coningsby opened in 1941, it served as an RAF Bomber Command station, its role until the early 1960s. Since the late 1960s it has been a fighter station when the Phantom arrived, followed by the Tornado and now the Typhoon.
Group Captain Matt Peterson, Station Commander at RAF Coningsby, said: "This year marks an important milestone for RAF Coningsby, and it's an honour to be here to commemorate the station’s 80th anniversary. Over the years, the RAF Benevolent Fund has played a crucial role in the welfare and wellbeing of everyone at RAF Coningsby by providing practical, financial and emotional assistance. Knowing that this support is available for all current and former members of the RAF is reassuring especially in the toughest of times."
RAF Coningsby also became the home of 617 Squadron (known as the Dambusters) during the latter half of the Second World War, and was later a base for the Vulcan bomber. In 1976 the station became home to the world-famous RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.
In 2019, the RAF Benevolent Fund spent more than £17,000 supporting personnel and their families based at RAF Coningsby. From Airplay and Ben Play support to Covid-19 welfare packs and access to Headspace, the Fund remains committed to supporting the busy operational station and its staff.