Timetable revealed for RAF Wittering and RAF Cottesmore

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MORE details have emerged about the future of RAF Wittering and RAF Cottesmore.

RAF Cottesmore will be handed over to the Ministry of Defence at the end of this month when it will become an Army base.

Troops from the 2nd Battalion the Royal Anglian Regiment are gearing up to move to the base in the summer.

The 7 Regiment Royal Logistics Company will follow a year later from Bielefeld in Germany.

RAF Cottesmore became a satellite of RAF Wittering in July last year.

RAF Wittering spokesman Sqn Ldr (Ret’d) Tony Walsh said families would begin arriving at the base in three months.

He said: “Families will arrive in June and July so they are ready for the children starting school in September.”

The battalion will return from Dhekelia in Cyprus, where they are stationed performing security duties.

The soldiers of the battalion have not been permanently based in the UK since 2007 when they departed to Celle, northern Germany, followed by a second move to Cyprus in 2009.

Sqn Ldr Walsh said 25 service personnel would arrive in June, about 120 in July and up to 500 more in August.

He said the following summer, 460 personnel will arrive from the 7 Regiment Royal Logistics Corps.

Deputy leader of Rutland County Council Terry King (Con) said schools had started receiving applications and the council is expecting 170 pupils to apply, of which about 90 will be primary school pupils.

Coun King said Cottesmore Primary School, which is on the base, had received the majority of the applications.

It has space for 300 pupils but currently only has between 60 and 70 pupils on roll.

There will also be change at RAF Wittering, when 504 Squadron (Auxiliary) moves from RAF Cottesmore to the base.

RAF Wittering is also the Ministry of Defence’s “preferred option” for a number of other squadrons including 57 (Reserve) Squadron, University of London Air Squadron, Cambridge University Air Squadron and 5 Air Experience Flight.

A decision is due to be taken next month on whether they will be moving to the base.

But Sqn Ldr Walsh said: “If we do get these squadrons, it won’t swell the numbers here by a lot and there will be no married quarters.

“But it will be a boost to RAF Wittering.”