The Station

RAF Cranwell in Lincolnshire was the world’s first Air Academy and today, it continues to select and train the next generation of RAF officers.

Additionally, it is home to RAF Recruitment, RAF Air Cadets, No 3 and No 6 Flying Training Schools, Central Flying School, Air Warfare School, the Tedder Leadership Academy and Robson Academy and the Band of the RAF College.

Nurture the highest


Group Captain Tina Jessup MSc MA BSc (Hons) RAF (Air Ops Systems – Flt Ops)

Group Captain Tina Jessup took command of RAF Cranwell in January 2023.  Prior to this she completed staff roles at RAF Air Command, as the Director for Battlespace Management Support and Head of Organisation Governance.

Group Captain Jessup joined the RAF in 2001 and is an Air Operations (Systems) Officer whose service has principally been in the Fast Jet, Air Mobility and Joint Environment.

Who's based here


UAS Squadrons


Where we parent


Sir Hugh Trenchard (first Chief of the Air Staff) established the RAF College at RAF Cranwell on 5 February 1920. This assisted with the consolidation of the RAF’s position as a single and independent Service. 

During the 1930s the College Hall Officers' Mess was completed (1933) and College Hall was opened in 1934 by the then Prince of Wales, Prince Edward.

Many types of training aircraft operated at Cranwell over the years including the SE8, Tiger Moth, Gladiator, Bulldog, Tutor, DH Chipmunk, Dominie, Jetstream and KingAir.

Key dates

1918   Flying training began at RAF Cranwell with the formation of the RAF.

1920   The RAF College was established at RAF Cranwell.

1934   College Hall opened

1941   The first Gloster Whittle Jet (E28/39) flew from RAF Cranwell under great secrecy. 

1960s   Technical training, previously undertaken at RAF Henlow merged with training at RAF Cranwell. 

1971   Prince Charles started his RAF flying training at RAF Cranwell on the jet Provost.

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