7630 (VR) Intelligence
Station name: Chicksands
Station address: Shefford, Bedfordshire SG17 5PR
Mission: To provide personnel for information-gathering tasks to support operations.
Get in touch: 0345 606 9069
More about this squadron
7630 (VR) Intelligence Squadron is one of three RAF Reserves units giving intelligence support to the Regular RAF. The unit provides Reservists for information and intelligence-gathering tasks to support operations. Much of this is gathered through interviewing and debriefing both UK and foreign nationals, with the aid of an interpreter. Although headquartered with the other Intelligence Reserves Squadrons at RAF Waddington, most training takes place elsewhere. The unit seeks recruits from throughout the UK.
Roles and specialist skills
Intelligence Analysts working as ‘debriefers’ form a part of small team of military Regulars and Reservists who interview and obtain information to help to build an overall intelligence picture. The squadron works closely with its sister units in the Royal Naval Reserve and the Army Reserve, as well as with Regular personnel in all three Services, and through training together seeks to achieve operational compatibility.
Since 2003, over 50 per cent of 7630’s Reservists have been deployed in support of operations in Iraq or Afghanistan, typically for tours of four to six months.
The squadron started life in 1958 as 7630 Flight RAF Volunteer Reserve and was formed to provide a pool of Russian linguists for intelligence duties. In 1972, the unit evolved from a purely linguistic role to providing information officers for intelligence analysis and briefings on major NATO exercises. This development saw the first non-linguists employed. Following the amalgamation of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force and the Volunteer Reserves in 1997, 7630 Flight became the squadron we know today. It is now headquartered with the other RAF Reserves intelligence squadrons at RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire, although its operating base is at the Intelligence Corps Headquarters at Chicksands in Bedfordshire.