With the Berlin Airlift in full flow and the realisation that Russia wasn’t as technologically inferior to the West as had been thought, the CSE was under great pressure to increase and advance their work on the development of Radio Warfare equipment and techniques. The CSE was also tasked with RCM (jamming) exercises with Fighter Command Ground Controlled Interception (GCI) units and the Chain Home early warning radar installations. Specially equipped aircraft for these exercises were provided by both RCM Squadron and Development Squadron. There were a number of exercises during the year.
A decision was taken to gradually move the GCA responsibility away from 90 (Signals) Group and Watton. A new GCA system was to be introduced into the RAF and training for this system would be undertaken by Technical Training Command.
Airmen from RAF Watton were among those involved in ‘Exercise Homeland’ in July, having to move into the London docks during a dock strike.
A change of Command at Watton took place on 4th November when Air Commodore Philip Jones took over as Commandant CSE from Air Commodore Dalton Morris.
Problems had been found in the operation of the satellite airfield so it was decided to dispense with it and concentrate all flying activities at Watton. The move was made during late November.
By the end of the year, as well as carrying out it’s mandated tasks, the pressure to provide aircraft for ever increasing RCM exercises was becoming difficult for the CSE. A proposal for the formation of a specialist countermeasures force of 16 heavy aircraft was put to 90 Group HQ.
These and the other ‘snapshots’ of my post-war history of RAF Watton are extracts from
‘In Support Of So Many’
Royal Air Force Station Watton 1945 ~ 2000
A Story of a Peacetime RAF Station
© Peter J. Long 1999