901 Expeditionary Air Wing (901 EAW) is based alongside 83 Expeditionary Air Group at its base in the Middle East. The Wing provides essential Real Life Support, cargo, postal and technical services to 83 EAG and other assigned units, including Joint Force Communication and Information Systems (Middle East), who support military voice and data services throughout the region. The Wing employs personnel from the Navy, Army and RAF.
Command and Control
901 EAW is one of four expeditionary air wings under command of 83 Expeditionary Air Group (83 EAG). 901 EAW is commanded by an RAF Group Captain, who is responsible to the UK Air Component Commander for the EAW’s operations and who also serves as the UK Deputy Air Component Commander at 83 EAG.
No 901 Wing, part of No 224 Group, 3rd Tactical Air Force, was formed on 1 October 1944 at Chiringa, India. At the time of its formation, 901 Wing consisted of two Squadrons: 177 and 211 Squadron, both of which flew Bristol Beaufighter twin-engined fighter-bombers. The Wing was renamed No 901 (Tactical) Wing with effect from 1 December 1944.
The Wing continued to operate up to four squadrons equipped with Beaufighters and de Havilland Mosquitoes during 1944-45, flying primarily in the long-range, low-level interdiction role in support of the 14th Army during the liberation of Burma and attacking Japanese lines of communication as far away as Thailand. Such was the effectiveness of the rugged and heavily-armed Beaufighter in this role that the Japanese are reputed to have nicknamed the aircraft 'Whispering Death'.
In July 1945 the Wing Headquarters was located at Chittagong, and in November it was later moved to St Thomas Mount. Following the Japanese surrender in August 1945, 901 Wing disbanded in December of that year.
On 1st April 2006 some 61 years later, No 901 Wing was re-formed as an Expeditionary Air Wing with three flights, replacing an RAF deployed operating base in the Middle East. The three flights were located at three separate Middle Eastern bases; 901 EAW ‘B’ Flight was reformed in 2013 as , reflecting the increasing importance of strategic air mobility in the Middle East Theatre, ‘C’ Flight disbanded in March 2015 leaving ‘A’ Flight as a single entity until the end of April 2015 whereupon it became known as merely 901 EAW.