600 (City of London)
Station name: RAF Northolt
Station address: West End Road, Ruislip, Middlesex HA4 6NG
Motto: Praeter Sescentos (Latin meaning ‘More than 600’)
Mission: To provide trained personnel to work in support of RAF and Permanent Joint Headquarters (PJHQ) worldwide.
Get in touch: 0345 606 9069
More about this squadron
Based at RAF Northolt, 600 (City of London) Squadron is one of the founder units of the RAF Reserves, and the only one based in the capital. Today, it operates as a multi-role squadron, chiefly in support of major military headquarters, and on deployments. Members work in five broad areas:
• Personnel Support
• Information Communications & Technology
• Flight Operations
• Medical & Medical Support
It also offers opportunities across in other roles for those with relevant experience and skills.
Training consists of a mix of role-specific training, supplemented by military skills training, personal development and fitness sessions. Reservists can also expect to participate in the Leadership, Ethos and Air Power programme of events.
The squadron welcomes applicants from all suitably-qualified candidates, ranging from direct entrants with no previous military experience to ex-Regular personnel, though service in the Medical Support Flight is limited to pre-qualified medical professionals.
The squadron’s Reservists have served widely on operations over several years, and have been deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan, the Gulf States, as well as being called out for service within the UK. Notably, in 2009, nine Reservists from the Information and Communications Technology Flight were deployed to Afghanistan to support British and NATO Forces.
In common with all of the older RAF Reserves units, 600 Squadron began life as a flying unit, and retained this role until 1957. It was formed at RAF Northolt in 1925, equipped with Avro 504 trainers and Airco DH9A day bombers. The unit moved to RAF Hendon at the end of 1926 and was designated a fighter squadron in July 1934.
During the Second World War, the squadron began experiments with airborne night-fighter radar, as well as flying night patrols. It also moved several times – first to Yorkshire and the south-west of England, then to North Africa (to provide night cover for Allied bases and shipping), Malta and Italy (where the rest of the war was spent on night defence and intruder missions). In 1945 the squadron was disbanded, having become the highest-scoring night-fighter squadron in the RAF.
In 1946, the squadron was reformed at RAF Biggin Hill as a day-fighter squadron with Spitfires. After receiving a Vampire for jet conversion in 1949, it was allotted Meteors in March 1950 and flew these until the Royal Auxiliary Air Force disbanded in 1957.
Re-forming in 1999, 600 Squadron now largely supports the Permanent Joint Headquarters at Northwood, near to its base at Northolt. In 2007, the Corporation of the City of London granted the unit ‘Privileged Regiment Status’, an ancient honour granted to only eight military formations in the history of the City.