British Military Aviation in 1996

Corporal Tracey Wardle becomes the first woman to join the RAF Regiment.
Corporal Wardle had previously been a member of No.2624 Squadron Royal
Auxiliary Air Force Regiment.

8 March
Headquarters, No.2 Group at JHQ Rheindahlen closes, marking the final
demise of a Royal Air Force headquarters in mainland Europe.

31 March
No.11 and No.18 Groups, RAF Strike Command, are amalgamated to form No.11/18

1 April
Headquarters, No.2 Group is disbanded. Command of the Royal Air Force
(RAF) stations and flying squadrons in Germany and RAF Unit Decimomannu
is assumed by No.1 Group at RAF High Wycombe and the remaining units in
Germany become directly administered units under the administrative command
and control of the Air Officer Administration, Headquarters, Strike Command.

25 July
The Ministry of Defence announces a £1.8 billion upgrade programme
for twenty-one Royal Air Force British Aerospace (BAe) Nimrods. The Nimrod
MR4s will incorporate a new radar system, new engines and totally rebuilt


a British Aircraft Corporation Canberra PR9 of No.39 (1 Photographic Reconnaissance
Unit) Squadron, together with three Lockheed Hercules of Nos. 24, 47 and
70 Squadrons carrying ground personnel and equipment, depart en route
to Entebbe in Uganda. The detachment is tasked with conducting high-altitude
photographic sorties in support of possible humanitarian assistance during
the ongoing crisis in Rwanda and Zaire.

31 December
The RAF Staff College Bracknell closes and a new Joint Services Command
and Staff College is formed at Bracknell on 1 January 1997.