CHIVENOR

tarka inn chivenor
The Tarka Inn near Chivenor from Fremington Quay

© Copyright Steve Daniels and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

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Royal Marines Base Chivenor is used primarily by the Royal Marines. It is situated on the northern shore of the Taw estuary, adjacent to the South West Coast Path, on the north coast of Devon, England.

Originally a civil airfield opened in the 1930s, the site was taken over by the Royal Air Force in May 1940 for use as a Coastal Command Station, and was known as RAF Chivenor. After World War II, the station was largely used for training, particularly weapons training. During the 1960s, one of the RAF's Tactical Weapons Units (TWU) used Hawker Hunter aircraft for training. In 1974 the station was left on "care and maintenance", though No. 624 Volunteer Gliding Squadron continued to fly from there. The TWU returned, flying BAE Hawks, in 1979 and 1981. In 1994, the TWU left Chivenor, merging with No. 4 Flying Training School at RAF Valley, and the airfield was handed over to the Royal Marines. The Marines have an existing equipment testing base at Arromanches Camp, in Instow, located across the Taw Estuary and approximately two miles from Chivenor.

The RAF still has the "A" flight of 22 Squadron with two search and rescue Sea King helicopters stationed there, and No. 624 Volunteer Gliding Squadron operating Vigilant T1 motor gliders.

In a spending review that was announced over the summer of 2004, the presence of 22 Squadron at Chivenor was under review. After the flooding at Boscastle, this threat was rescinded.

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