The former Royal Air Force Station Brüggen, more commonly known as RAF Brüggen, (IATA:
BGN, ICAO: ETUR) in Germany was a major station of the Royal Air Force until 15 June 2001. It was situated next to the village of Elmpt, approximately 43 kilometres (27 mi) west of Düsseldorf near the German-Netherlands border. The base was named after the village of Brüggen, the nearest rail depot. Construction began in mid-1952, which involved the clearing of dense forest and draining of marshland. The station became active in 1953 during the rapid expansion of NATO forces in Europe.
In 1953, the 317 Supply and Transport Column arrived at RAF Brüggen from Uetersen. This followed the decision to supply all RAF stations in Germany through the port of Antwerp. In 1954 the unit was redesignated as a Mechanical Transport Squadron and was responsible for equipping and supplying all RAF stations in Germany and The Netherlands. The unit remained at Brüggen until 1963, when it was amalgamated into the 431 Maintenance Unit which continued to operate until 1993. The demise of 317 MT Squadron marked the end of an era, as it had been on the continent shortly after D-Day under its previous title of 317 Supply & Transport Column. It had built itself an enviable reputation and following the cessation of hostilities carried out convoys to Prague, Warsaw and Moscow. In the 1950 Review of the Royal Air Force, the unit was described as the Carter Paterson of the autobahns.
Throughout its life, 317 carried out a number of humanitarian operations; the first being medical supplies to Bergen-Belsen. This was followed in 1947 by Operation Woodpecker in which timber and peat was supplied to the civilian population of northern Germany in one of the coldest winters on record. This was followed by the return of displaced persons and POWs to their home towns and cities within the British Zone. They were called upon again at the start of the Berlin Airlift (Operation Plain Fare), and lastly, in the winter of 1961, the Squadron took a convoy of fuel trucks to the oil refineries in Rotterdam for heating oil which was delivered to hospitals in Germany during the great freeze when the canals were inoperable.