Red Arrows

New era as Red Arrows move to RAF Waddington

The Red Arrows have a new home. 

RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire has become the new base for the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team – maintaining a link with the county spanning almost 40 years.

This week, the team began permanently operating from the station.

Red Arrows personnel, aircraft and equipment have relocated from their previous base of RAF Scampton, north of Lincoln, to the new setting south of the city.

Group Captain Mark Lorriman-Hughes, Station Commander of RAF Waddington, said he was "delighted to welcome the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team to their new home here at RAF Waddington".

He added: "The Red Arrows join a busy station with a thriving community and I am certain they will quickly become an integral part of the wider Waddington team."

Lincolnshire has been home to the Red Arrows for most of the team's history, having first moved to RAF Scampton in 1983 and with only one brief period away from that airfield – to RAF College Cranwell, also in the county – between 1995 and 2000.

Watch: Parade and flypast marks RAF Scampton closure.

Wing Commander David Montenegro, Officer Commanding, Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, said: "Moving to RAF Waddington is an important development for the Red Arrows and we're delighted to be maintaining a presence and strong connection with Lincolnshire that stretches back almost 40 years."

The Wing Commander added that the move "is going very well... with no impact on the team's training and performances, and ultimately demonstrating the RAF's ability to always adapt and innovate".

A flypast marked the last official event to celebrate RAF Scampton, which took place in September.

Its closure ceremony saw a military parade and flypast take place, which included both the Red Arrows and a Lancaster Bomber, as well as music from the Band of the Royal Air Force College.

RAF Waddington is the new home to Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team 11102022 CREDIT MOD Copyright.jpg
Following the end of the UK display season in September, the majority of the team's Hawk jets, technical gear and 146-strong personnel began the relocation (Picture: MOD).

RAF Waddington is one of the RAF's busiest locations. As well as now being home to the Red Arrows, it is the hub of UK Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance – known as ISTAR – and is the main operating base for airborne intelligence aircraft and systems.

At the moment, the Red Arrows have what is known as "initial operating capability" at RAF Waddington.

Future investment at the station includes plans for the team's hangar and headquarters building, which was previously used by No. 8 Squadron and its Sentry aircraft fleet.

The Red Arrows are now busy preparing for their next deployment this season, which will be displaying at the Bahrain International Airshow in November as part of a visit to the Gulf region.