The Duke of Kent visits RAF Stafford

Move your pointing device over the image to zoom to detail. If using a mouse click on the image to toggle zoom.
When in zoom mode use + or - keys to adjust level of image zoom.

Date:8th of April 1997

Description:The Duke of Kent with Michelle Gilchrist, storekeeper in the SADAC (Storage and Density Activity Complex) during his visit to RAF Stafford. The machine that Michelle is demonstrating is a barcode scanner with which she would scan the barcode on the racking to see what’s stored there and also scan the barcode on the box to see how many individual stock items are in the box. The Duke spent five hours on the site visiting several sections and meeting staff and their families.

RAF Stafford was formed 1 December 1939 following the purchase by the Treasury of 362 acres of land near Stafford. The main site was at Beaconside and originally known as No. 16 Maintenance Unit or more often as 16 MU and there were outlying sites around the area. The Unit's motto was ‘Instumenta Fundamenta’ which translates as 'Supplies are the Foundations'.

Apart from helicopters, the site was a non-flying base which formed part of a large and complex RAF logistics organisation. There were many enormous stores and warehouse buildings with facilities for the maintenance of equipment and storage of parts needed by the Ministry of Defence in order to keep front line aircraft flying worldwide. Later the site also became involved in supporting military aircraft for NATO partners in Europe and for India and New Zealand.

The site celebrated 50 years in 1989 and at that time stood on 670 acres with seven dispersed sites. There were around 1600 personnel of which half were service and half civilian. The stores held around 617,000 different items of equipment including airframes, aero-engine spares, complete engines (e.g. for the Tornado), guided missile spares, right down to nuts and bolts.

On 1 April 1999 the name 16 MU disappeared and two new agencies were created with the site renamed as RAF Stafford and DSDC (Defence Storage and Distribution Centre) Stafford, subsequently known as DSDC North. In later years, due to Government policy, there were many changes for RAF Stafford and airmen and airwomen began to relocate to other sites. On 17 December 2004 the Mountain Rescue Team relocated to RAF Valley after 42 years with RAF Stafford. During September 2005 DSDC North was closed and on 31 March 2006 RAF Stafford closed after 67 years.

The site was given a new future by the Ministry of Defence who required the Army to occupy the base and it was given a new name: Beacon Barracks, MOD Stafford. A major redevelopment of the site took place with new buildings and facilities for troops transferring to Stafford. Additionally a new estate of over 340 houses was created on one of the former Storage sites opposite to the Beacon Barracks main entrance.

Copyright for this image belongs to MOD Stafford (Ministry of Defence) and it may not be used for resale or commercial purposes without MOD Stafford’s express permission.


Timeline

The timeline shows resources around this location over a number of years.

1940s
Officers and Service Personnel at RAF Stafford
Officers and Service Personnel at RAF Stafford

Service personnel gathered for the photographer at an unidentified event at RAF ...

1950s
The Station Football Team at RAF Stafford
The Station Football Team at RAF Stafford

Back row (left to right): S/LDR NH Potts (officer I/C Soccer), SAC Inglis, LAC Hopkirk, ...

1970s
Mr Brynmor John MP, visits RAF Stafford
Mr Brynmor John MP, visits RAF Stafford

Pictured seated in the computer room, Mr Brynmor John MP, Under Secretary of State ...

1990s
FSD Course at RAF Stafford
FSD Course at RAF Stafford

Among those attending the FSD (Field Supply Duties) Course 33/92 are: Cpl Hughes, ...

2010s
St. Chad's Church at Beacon Barracks formerly  RAF Stafford
St. Chad's Church at Beacon Barracks formerly RAF Stafford

On 3 February 1961 St. Chad’s Church was dedicated by the Bishop of Lichfield, Dr ...

View Location

Share:

Link to this resource

Creators: MOD Stafford (The Ministry of Defence) - Creator

Donor ref:4 - HRH the Duke of Kent 8th April 1997 (198/27959)

Copyright information: Copyrights to all resources are retained by the individual rights holders. They have kindly made their collections available for non-commercial private study & educational use. Re-distribution of resources in any form is only permitted subject to strict adherence to the usage guidelines.