Information about the RAF Regiment - Structure - Squadron Listing



The need to raise a dedicated specialist force to protect air installations became apparent during WWII when unprotected aircraft on the ground were vulnerable to enemy air and ground attack. Consequently, the RAF Regiment was raised on 1 February 1942 by a Royal Warrant of King George VI. At the end of WWII, there were over 85,000 personnel serving in the RAF Regiment manning 240 operational squadrons.

As of 2013, the strength of the RAF Regiment is some around 2,100 airmen with approximately 300 officers and 500 part-time reservists. The Regiment is generally formed into Squadrons of 100 to 150 personnel. Currently the RAF Regiment exists to provide defence for RAF installations, and to train all the RAF's combatant personnel to enable them to contribute to the defence of their units. RAF Regiment units are under the operational command of No 2 Group. The annual cost of the core RAF Regiment force (2013) is around 120 million.

As of late 2013 RAF Regiment Squadrons/units are as follows:

Field Squadrons

No 1 Squadron

RAF Honington Field Squadron

No 2 Squadron

RAF Honington

Field/Parachute Squadron

No 3 Squadron RAF Wittering Field Squadron
No 15 Squadron RAF Honington Field Squadron
No 26 Squadron RAF Honington CBRN Defence (RAF element of Joint CBRN Regiment)
No 27 Squadron RAF Honington Biological Detection Capability within the Joint CBRN Regt
No 34 Squadron RAF Leeming Field Squadron
No 51 Squadron RAF Lossiemouth Field Squadron
No 58 Squadron RAF Leuchars Field Squadron
No 63 (QCS) RAF Uxbridge Ceremonial/Field Squadron
RAF Regiment Depot RAF Honington
RAF Force Protection HQ RAF Honington

Note: The future of 58 Squadron following the closure of RAF Leuchars in 2014 is undecided/

No 20 Wing RAF Regiment

No 20 Wing at RAF Honnington is responsible for the Defence CBRN Wing . This organisation provides the CBRN (Chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear) reconnaissance, monitoring, detection and decontamination support required by the three armed services, and where necessary the civilian authorities. 20 Wing has two squadrons:

No 26 Squadron Honington
No 27 Squadron Honington

Specialist RAF Regiment training for gunners is given at the RAF Regiment Depot at Honington. On completion of training at the RAF College Cranwell officers also undergo further specialist training at RAF Honington and, in some cases, the School of Infantry at Warminster in Wiltshire.

The RAF Regiment also mans the Queen's Colour Squadron (QCS) which undertakes all major ceremonial duties for the Royal Air Force. These duties involve mounting the Guard at Buckingham Palace on an occasional basis, and providing Guards of Honour for visiting Heads of State. The Queen's Colour Squadron also has a war role as a field squadron.

The regiment is not alone in defending any RAF station. Every airman based at a station has a ground defence role and is trained to defend his place of work against ground attack and attack by NBC weapons. Training for this is given by RAF Regiment instructors who provide courses at station level for all personnel on various aspects of ground defence.

RAF Force Protection Wings

The former Survive to Operate HQ were restructured in 2006 to become rapidly deployable RAF Force Protection Wings (FPWs). The units integrated elements of the RAF Regiment, RAF Police, Intelligence and Support to deliver a full range of capability from policing and security (including dogs) to close combat. RAF FPWs have been extremely active in Afghanistan.

There are RAF Force Protection Wings at:

No 1 Force Protection Wing RAF Wittering
No 2 Force Protection Wing - RAF Leeming
No 3 Force Protection Wing - RAF Marham
No 5 Force Protection Wing - RAF Lossiemouth
No 6 Force Protection Wing - RAF Leuchars
No 7 Force Protection Wing - RAF Coningsby

Note: The future of No 6 Force Protection Wing following the closure of RAF Leuchars in 2014 is undecided/