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RAF Squadrons Awarded Battle Honours

Library image: Members of II Squadron, RAF Regiment are pictured as an RAF Merlin Helicoper arrives to return them to Camp Bastion after patrolling forward of Patrol Base Boldak in Helmand Province [Crown Copyright: Cpl Andy Benson]
The UK MoD has announced that Her Majesty The Queen has approved the award of Battle Honours to squadrons of Her Majesty’s Royal Air Force.


RAF Press Release, 24 March 2020: The Battle Honours have been awarded to commemorate notable battles, actions, or engagements in which squadron aircrew or RAF Regiment personnel played a memorable part.

Library image: 12 Squadron RAF Tornado GR4s when based at Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan [Crown Copyright: SAC Neil Chapman]

Battle Honours have been awarded to 32 operational flying squadrons and nine RAF Regiment squadrons for their service during operations in Afghanistan during the period 7 October 2001 to 31 December 2014. Six operational flying squadrons and nine RAF Regiment squadrons have been awarded the highest honour of ‘Battle Honour with Emblazonment’.

In addition to the Afghanistan honours, Her Majesty The Queen has also granted Battle Honours for some past operations that correct some previous omissions.

  • The Battle Honour, BOSNIA 1995, with emblazonment, is awarded to No IV (AC) Squadron and No 6 Squadron.
  • The Battle Honour, SIERRA LEONE 2000, with emblazonment, is awarded to No. 7 Squadron.
  • The Battle Honour, ‘IRAQ 2003 – 2011’, without the right to emblazon is awarded to 78 Sqn.

The Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Mike Wigston CBE ADC said: “Battle Honours reflect the tremendous contribution of Royal Air Force Squadrons to operations in the air and on the ground. They add to the Royal Air Force’s rich history of operational excellence, protecting our Nation. Everyone involved can be rightly proud of the part they played.”

There are two levels of Battle Honour within the Royal Air Force, the first is entitlement which recognises that a squadron played a notable and significant role in the campaign. The second, higher level, gives the right to emblazon the Battle Honour on the Squadron Standard itself. This highest level has been awarded to squadrons who were involved in direct confrontation with the enemy, and who have demonstrated gallantry and spirit under fire.

Library image: Personnel from 904 Expeditionary Air wing and the Joint Force Support Unit based at Kandahar Air Field in Afghanistan head back to the UK on a Royal Air Force C17 Globemaster aircraft [Crown Copyright: CplAndrew Morris]

Recognised Squadrons For Afghanistan:

Squadrons honoured with the right to emblazon ‘AFGHANISTAN 2001-2014’ on their Squadron Standard.:

  • No. 7 Squadron RAF
  • No. 18 (Bomber) Squadron RAF
  • No. 27 Squadron RAF
  • No. 28 (Army Cooperation) Squadron RAF
  • No. 47 Squadron RAF
  • No. 78 Squadron RAF
  • No. II Squadron RAF Regiment
  • No. 3 Squadron RAF Regiment
  • No. 15 Squadron RAF Regiment
  • No. 27 Squadron RAF Regiment
  • No. 34 Squadron RAF Regiment
  • No. 51 Squadron RAF Regiment
  • No. 58 Squadron RAF Regiment
  • No. 1 Squadron RAF Regiment
  • No. 63 Squadron RAF Regiment

Squadrons honoured with a Battle Honour:

  • No. 1 (Fighter) Squadron RAF
  • No. II (Army Cooperation) Squadron RAF
  • No. 3 (Fighter) Squadron RAF
  • No. IV (Army Cooperation) Squadron RAF
  • No. V (Army Cooperation) Squadron RAF
  • No. 8 Squadron RAF
  • No. IX (Bomber) Squadron RAF No.
  • No. 10 Squadron RAF
  • No. 12 (Bomber) Squadron RAF
  • No. XIII Squadron RAF
  • No. 14 Squadron RAF
  • No. 23 Squadron RAF
  • No. XXIV Squadron RAF
  • No. 30 Squadron RAF
  • No. 31 Squadron RAF
  • No. 32 (The Royal) Squadron RAF
  • No. 39 Squadron RAF
  • No. 51 Squadron RAF
  • No. LXX Squadron RAF
  • 99 Squadron RAF
  • No. 101 Squadron RAF
  • No. 120 Squadron RAF
  • No. 201 Squadron RAF
  • No. 206 Squadron RAF
  • No. 216 Squadron RAF
  • No. 617 Squadron RAF
Library image: An RAF Chinook helicopter flying over the mountains of Afghanistan [Crown Copyright: Cpl Lee Goddard]
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