By Rod Powers
RAF Croughton is a communications base in Northamptonshire, England, and operates one of Europe's largest military switchboards and processes approximately a third of all U.S. military communications in Europe. RAF Croughton is a warm and friendly base with extensive travel opportunities both in the UK and on the European continent. There is plenty to do, much to see, and lots to experience.
For over 60 years, RAF Croughton has been an important part of the Brackley community. From its beginnings in 1938 to the present day, the base has taken on many different roles. The Royal Air Force station was constructed in 1938 on 692 acres and named RAF Brackley. In July 1941 it was renamed RAF Croughton. During the Second World War Canadians, South Africans, Australians and New Zealanders flew Hampdens, Blenheims and Wellington bombers from the base and attracted the attention of enemy bombers throughout 1941. In August 1942 Croughton began training the Glider Pilot Regiment, an army unit that flew troop-carrying gliders, whose pilots fought alongside the troops they carried after landing. Flying ceased in May 1946 and the base was used to store ammunitions until the USAF took it over in January 1951. The geographical location of the base was ideal for the technological advances made in communications during the war, and the USAF saw the potential for RAF Croughton to be an effective and important communications center for the U.S. military in Europe.
RAF Croughton provides support for Presidential, NATO, European, and Central Command, operations with 23 communications and information weapon systems. They provide 30% of all DOD communications between Europe and CONUS. The base provides communication for deployed and en route war fighters.