2624 (County of Oxford)

  1. The Facts

Station name: RAF Brize Norton

Station address: Carterton, Oxfordshire OX18 3LX

Squadron contact:

Tel: 0845 606 9069

Mission:

To provide trained personnel to support RAF Regiment field squadrons on operations worldwide.

More about this squadron

Based at RAF Brize Norton, 2624 (County of Oxford) Squadron is one of the six RAF Reserves units with a Force Protection role, and supports 4 Force Protection Wing. Recently re-formed after a dozen years of disbandment, the unit will consist chiefly of RAF Regiment gunners trained in infantry skills, but it also has a limited number of vacancies for personnel in support duties.

Roles and specialist skills

Gunners are required to master a range of skills, including infantry tactics, covert observation, target acquisition and close combat. Gunners also receive specialist weapons training, and become expert at handling everything from a bayonet to an anti-tank missile. The RAF Regiment needs to operate 24 hours a day, in any weather, so our Gunners become skilled in the use of the latest night-vision aids and other surveillance equipment.

The progressively challenging training begins with general service knowledge and basic foot drill, before moving onto weapons and tactics, signals, first-aid and off-road driving. Combat training is physically and mentally demanding and can take place anywhere in the world, from the jungle to the Arctic. Gunners need to be fit, active and prepared to endure difficult and demanding situations.

For reasons of combat effectiveness, women cannot be accepted for this role.

History

The squadron was formed in 1982 as a Field Squadron tasked with providing ground defence for RAF Brize Norton, and has since changed roles several times. During the 1980s it was reassigned to support the Harrier Force in Germany, though in 1992 it reverted to its original task at the end of the Cold War. In 1998, it unit became a Role Support Squadron and was tasked to support the Air Refuelling Force based at RAF Brize Norton and RAF Lyneham. In 1999, it became an Operations Support Squadron, providing trained Force Protection personnel.

The unit was disbanded between 2001 and 2013, but has been re-formed under the Future Reserves 2020 programme, to provide trained Force Protection Specialists for expeditionary operations.

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