Life as an instructor on the Strike Command Bombing School

The Strike Command Bombing School didn’t exactly seem like a plum posting for a Vulcan navigator, but the chance to fly the Hastings was among the compensations

The STCBS headquarters building at Lindholme, with a 12,000lb Tallboy bomb exhibited outside. The school was the station’s last flying unit, moving out in 1972.
The STCBS headquarters building at Lindholme, with a 12,000lb Tallboy bomb exhibited outside. The school was the station’s last flying unit, moving out in 1972. CHRIS REID

In May 1970 I was the navigator radar leader on No 617 Squadron at Scampton, finishing my second tour flying the Vulcan B2 armed with the Blue Steel nuclear missile. As usual at the end of a posting, I was anticipating news of my next assignment with some trepidation. As was often said at the time, “the posters ask you for your three choices of next appointment on your annual report, and then give you choice 19”. Mine came through. I was to be an instructor at the Strike Command Bombing School, or STCBS, at Lindholme near Doncaster. As an experienced nav-rad I had hoped to go to a front-line combat aircraft. I had seen the cancellation of the TSR2 and F-111K by ungrateful governments, but the Buccaneer or Phantom as a lead-in to the MRCA, to become the Tornado, were what I’d been asking for. STCBS! This was a backward step. I was not best pleased.

I had

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