Royal Air Force Welford
Royal Air Force Welford or more simply RAF Welford is an active Royal Air Force station in Berkshire, England RG20 7EX. The station is located approximately 6 miles (9.7 km) northwest of Newbury; about 50 miles (80 km) west-southwest of London
Opened in 1943, it was used during the Second World War by both the Royal Air Force and United States Army Air Forces. During the war it was used primarily as a transport airfield. After the war, it was closed in 1946 and placed in reserve status. As a result of the Cold War, the station was reopened in 1955 as a munitions depot by the United States Air Force.
Today it is one of the largest ammunition compounds for the United States Air Force in Western Europe for heavy munitions. One description states RAF Welford comprises 806 acres and is bordered by a 31,680 foot fence-line. They are home to the US Air Forces in Europe’s second-largest munitions hub. The installation currently maintains 15,000 bombs; over a $160 million stockpile.
Welford is now under the command of the 420th Munitions Squadron, and comes under the command of the 501st Combat Support Wing, with headquarters at RAF Alconbury, which provides support to the Geographically Separated Units (GSU)s in the United Kingdom.
RAF Welford is located in West Berkshire with a dedicated and rarely used access road leading to the station from the eastbound M4 motorway between junctions 13 and 14 to the west of the A34 junction with the M4. There is no access from the westbound motorway, so traffic leaving the station for the west must first travel east to Junction 13 of the M4 (the junction with the A34) before heading west.