Joint Special Forces Aviation Wing

The Joint Special Forces Aviation Wing (JSFAW) is a Royal Air Force and British Army organisation that coordinates the provision of aviation support to the United Kingdom Special Forces.[1][2]

Joint Special Forces Aviation Wing
Active2 April 2001 – present[1]
Country United Kingdom
Branch Royal Air Force
 British Army
TypeSpecial forces
RoleSpecial operations aviation support
SizeTwo squadrons
Part ofUnited Kingdom Special Forces
StationsHeadquarters – RAF Odiham
No. 7 Sqn – RAF Odiham
No. 658 Sqn – Stirling Lines
Motto(s)Resolute
AircraftBoeing Chinook HC6
Eurocopter AS365N3 Dauphin II
Westland Gazelle AH1
Commanders
Current
commander
Group Captain Nicholas Knight (RAF Odiham station commander)
Insignia
AbbreviationJSFAW

The wing is under the peacetime command of the Station Commander of RAF Odiham. However the Army and RAF retain full command of their respective personnel.[1]

History

The wing was established on 2 April 2001 to unite No. 657 Squadron of the Army Air Corps (AAC), which operated the Westland Lynx AH9 helicopter, and the Royal Air Force's No. 7 Squadron, which operated the Boeing Chinook HC2 helicopter, under the one command.[1][2][3]

In 2006, No. 651 Squadron AAC was reformed at RAF Odiham to operate the fixed-wing Britten-Norman Defender 4000 and incorporated into the wing.[2][4][5] In July 2008, the squadron relocated to RAF Aldergrove as part of 5 Regiment AAC.[5][6]

In 2008, No. 8 Flight AAC, which operated a covert fleet of Eurocopter AS365N3 Dauphin II helicopters in civilian livery and a fleet of Westland Gazelle AH1 helicopters, was incorporated into the wing.[1][7] [8] In September 2013, the flight was re-designated as No. 658 Squadron.[9][10]

In May 2018, No. 657 Squadron AAC was disbanded following the retirement of the Lynx on 31 January 2018 with budget cuts precluding the purchase of replacement helicopters for the squadron's fleet.[11][12][13] It was reported that an Army Air Corps Special Forces Flight of AgustaWestland Wildcat helicopters of between two and four helicopters named the Special Forces Wildcat Flight would be established.[12]

The wing has a charitable affiliation with the Worshipful Company of Curriers in the City of London.[14]

Structure

The composition of the wing and its rotary aircraft is as follows:[Note 1]

See also

Notes

  1. Most sources do not state that the Special Forces Flight No. 47 Squadron RAF which operates the Lockheed C-130 Hercules is part of JSFWA.[15] However, one source in 2015 claimed it is part of JSFWA.[16]

References

  1. "JSFAW - Responsibilities and Composition". Royal Air Force. Archived from the original on 27 February 2014.
  2. "RAF Odiham - Service Community Official Guide" (PDF). British Army. 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 September 2008.
  3. British Army Aviation in Action: Kosovo to Helmand by Tim Ripley, p. 181, at Google Books
  4. Warner, Guy (2011). First in the Field: 651 Squadron Army Air Corps. Barnsley, South Yorkshire: Pen & Sword Books Ltd. ISBN 9781848842632.
  5. "651 Squadron Army Air Corps". British Army. Archived from the original on 1 February 2013.
  6. "5 Regiment Army Air Corps". British Army. Archived from the original on 8 January 2018.
  7. Tim Ripley (10 December 2008). "UK Army Air Corps received Dauphins". Jane's Defence Weekly. 45 (50): 10.
  8. "Military Aircraft: Helicopters - Secretary of State for Defence - Column 2351W". www.parliament.uk. 1 October 2007. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  9. Official page of the Army Air Corps of the British Army (2 September 2013). "8 Flight Army Air Corps was remustered as 658 Squadron Army Air Corps". Facebook. Retrieved 11 June 2017.
  10. "News briefs". AirForces monthly - Officially The World's Number One Military Aviation Magazine. No. 310. Bourne, Lincolnshire: Key Publishing Ltd. January 2014. p. 7. ISSN 0955-7091.
  11. "Army's Lynx helicopters make final tour before decommissioning". Belfast Telegraph. Press Association. 16 January 2018. Retrieved 30 June 2019.
  12. Ripley, Tom (12 September 2017). "UK reorganises special forces aviation". IHS Jane's Defence Weekly. Jane's. Archived from the original on 12 September 2017.
  13. Chuter, Andrew (21 December 2011). "U.K. Special Forces To Use Wildcat Variant". DefenseNews. Archived from the original on 24 July 2012. Retrieved 30 June 2019.
  14. "Military Affiliations". Livery Companies of the City of London. Retrieved 3 July 2019.
  15. "PLG Directive 73/07 Part 8, Restricted files - Administration Guide" (PDF). Veterans UK. Service Personnel and Veterans Agency (SPVA). December 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 July 2014.
  16. Ripley, Tim (November 2015). "Order of Battle; Joint Special Forces Aviation Wing - The Royal Air Force in 2015 (Supplement)". AirForces monthly - Officially The World's Number One Military Aviation Magazine. No. 332. Bourne, Lincolnshire: Key Publishing Ltd. pp. 12, 14. ISSN 0955-7091.
  17. "Military Aircraft: Helicopters - Secretary of State for Defence - Column 2351W—continued". www.parliament.uk. 1 October 2007. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
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