No. 26 Squadron RAF Regiment

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No. 26 Sqn RAF Regiment
JBLM soldiers train with RAF airmen 121025-A-LU698-628.jpg
Soldiers from the 11th Chemical Company train jointly with Airmen from No. 26 Squadron RAF Regiment in Washington State
Active Aug 1951 - Mar 2008
May 2010 - present
Type Air Force Infantry
Role Biological Warfare Detection Squadron
Parent Station RAF Waddington 2008
RAF Honington 2010-present
Motto(s) "Action - Reaction"[1]
Battle honours Gulf 1991[2]
Iraq 2003–2011*[3]
Honours marked with an asterix* are those emblazoned on the Squadron Standard

No. 26 Squadron RAF Regiment was an RAF Regiment Field Squadron between 1951 and 2008. It was reformed in 2010 as a specialist Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Squadron initially based at RAF Honington in Suffolk. When it was a Field Squadron, it served at locations such as RAF Abu Sueir, RAF Habbaniya, RAF Amman, RAF Tymbou, RAF Nicosia, RAF Changi, RAF Bicester, RAF Gutersloh and RAF Laarbruch. It took part in Operation's Granby and Desert Storm in 1990-91 and latterly it was based at RAF Waddington as a Rapier Squadron.

History[edit]

The Squadron was formed at RAF Yatesbury on 27 August 1951 and spent the next 5 years in the Middle East at Abu Sueir in Egypt, Habbaniya in Iraq and Mafrac in Jordan.[4] In late 1956, the squadron moved to Cyprus to partake in peacekeeping duties and stayed there for 8 years before moving on to Indonesia.

The Squadron routinely spent a great deal of time away from home, carrying out an 8-month roulement in the Falklands and being on call to defend the RAF or other UK assets throughout the world as part of the Joint Rapid Deployment Force or NATO Reaction Force (Air). The Squadron also deployed in the field role to provide Force Protection for deployed RAF Operating Bases, a role performed as part of the Coalition Forces in Iraq during Operation Telic.

In July 2004 it was announced that the role of providing Ground Based Air Defence was to be transferred to the Army and the four Royal Air Force Regiment Rapier squadrons (15 Sqn; 16 Sqn; 26 Sqn and 37 Sqn) were to be disbanded. Prior to 26 Sqn's disbandment in March 2008, there was time for one last tour of duty as the Falkland Islands Resident Rapier Sqn (RRS) in April–November 2006, during which time the last ever RAF Regiment Rapier missile practice camp (MPC) took place. The gunners then amalgamated with those of sister squadron, 15 Sqn RAF Regiment to create a field squadron. The combined squadron deployed to Afghanistan for a 6 month tour of duty in August 2007, before 26 Sqn's formal disbandment and march-off in March 2008 from RAF Waddington, its home of the previous 10 years.

Reactivation in 2010[edit]

On 24 May 2010 the existing Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear (CBRN) Operations Squadron was renumbered to 26 Squadron RAF Regiment. The Squadron's current role is to deliver specialist CBRN defence capabilities at very high readiness in support of national strategic operations both in the UK and abroad.[5] This is achieved through sampling and identification of CBRN materials both domestically in the United Kingdom and abroad, support UK explosive anti-terrorist teams and supporting UK Nuclear Accident Response teams (which includes evacuating casualties of such events) to safeguard public and military safety.[6]

From August 2011, 27 Squadron also took over responsibility of supplying a Parachute trained Light Role Team Flight.

The Light Role Team –This concept was born out of a requirement for a rapidly deployable Special Monitoring Teams which operated in the initial operations in Afghanistan in 2001 and in the invasion of Iraq in 2003. During this Operation the SMT’s surveyed a total of sixty-eight sites of CBRN Interest in the British AOR.

The 27 Squadrons LRT Flight consists of two Parachute teams of eight men commanded by a sergeant, with a two-man command element.

In November 2014, Prince Harry visited the squadron to present them with a new standard.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Pine, L.G. (1983). A dictionary of mottoes (1 ed.). London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. p. 4. ISBN 0-7100-9339-X. 
  2. ^ "Gulf battle honours". The Independent. 20 October 1993. Retrieved 23 February 2017. 
  3. ^ Mander, Simon (20 October 2017). "Royal honours for heroes of Libya and Iraq". RAF News. High Wycombe: Royal Air Force (1429): 5. ISSN 0035-8614. 
  4. ^ "RAF - 26 Sqn RAF Regt History". www.raf.mod.uk. Retrieved 23 February 2017. 
  5. ^ "New RAF units to provide force protection in Afghanistan - Announcements - GOV.UK". www.gov.uk. 6 August 2010. Retrieved 23 February 2017. 
  6. ^ "RAF - 26 Squadron RAF Regiment". www.raf.mod.uk. Retrieved 23 February 2017. 
  7. ^ "Harry praises RAF regiment[sic] for key anti-terror role". The Telegraph. 13 November 2014. Retrieved 23 February 2017. 

External links[edit]