Number 8 Squadron
Welcome to 8 Sqn. With over 100 aircrew 8 Squadron are one of the largest squadrons in today’s Royal Air Force. They were also the first operational squadron to fly the Boeing E-3D AWACS aircraft, moving down from RAF Lossiemouth where they previously flew the Avro Shackleton AEW Mk2.
In the fifteen or so years of E-3D operations, 8 Squadron crews have been involved in many conflicts, providing Airborne Early Warning (AEW) and Command and Control (C²) functions to other aircraft. This started shortly after the Squadron’s reformation with enduring operational tasking over Bosnia. The Squadron remained focussed on Balkan operations during the Kosovan campaign. Shortly after this finished, the crews were re-deployed to the Middle East where they participated in operations over Afghanistan. Most recently, crews were involved in Operation IRAQI FREEDOM.
Today 8 Squadron regularly operates all over the world and in the last year alone have detached to Malaysia, Oman, Cyprus, Italy, Norway, Spain, the Falkland Islands and the USA; including Alaska and Hawaii. The Squadron has also flown in support of operations in the Caribbean and Romania. The Squadron’s proud motto Uspiam et Passim - Everywhere Unbounded, rings truer now than ever.
Charity and Humanitarian Work
In recent years the Squadron has donated almost £2000 to St Francis Community Special School in Lincoln, a day school with residential facilities for young people with physical and/or medical disabilities. More recently they have funded the purchase of various items of equipment for Queens Park Special School, also in Lincoln, a day school with no residential facilities. Contributions here have already passed the £1000 mark, with more equipment purchases planned for the future. Regular fund-raising events and visits to Queens Park by squadron members have allowed close links to be formed with the staff and children alike.
Number 8 Squadron Mascots
The 8 Squadron fund also contributes to the upkeep of the Squadron’s only surviving mascot, Augustus. Sadly his mate Octavia, 8 Squadron's longest serving member, passed away peacefully on 29 November 2007 and is now buried in the Squadron Memorial Garden. Octavia had been an 8 Squadron mascot since 7 November 1978 and had faithfully served for 29 years before succumbing to old age. In 1991 Octavia was introduced to another young male European Eagle Owl named Augustus when the squadron relocated to Royal Air Force Waddington.
After Octavia's death the squadron members decided that Augustus would have a better quality of life living at the Raptor Foundation with his daughter Gambia. He still returns to the Squadron on special occasions, but now spends most of his time visiting schools and public venues educating children, raising monies for the charity or just looking after his new partner Boo.
8 Squadron Engineering
Formerly known as Sentry Maintenance Squadron (SMS) and part of Forward Support Wing, 8 Squadron Engineering became a component of 8 Squadron after the disbandment of 23 Squadron. Established for 179 posts consisiting of Military and MOD civilian personnel, 8 Squadron Engineering is responsible for the maintenance and rectification of 7 Sentry E-3D Airborne Early Warning aircraft based at Sentry Dispersal, RAF Waddington. The technical site includes a purpose-built hangar, which can accommodate 2 aircraft, and technical accommodation for engineering personnel, support personnel and equipment.
8 Squadron Engineering provides serviceable Sentry E-3D aircraft to two squadrons at RAF Waddington; 8 Squadron and the Operational Conversion Unit, 54(R) Squadron. To achieve this, they carry out aircraft servicing to prepare the aircraft for flight, provide aircraft handling to dispatch and receive the aircraft after their sorties and also carry out scheduled and unscheduled maintenance to maintain serviceability of the aircraft. This service is also provided overseas when the Sentry is deployed on exercises or operations.
Depth maintenance is carried out by Single Track Maintenance, which is contracted to Cobham Aviation via Northrup Grumman, and includes a number of military personnel working under the remit of Forward Support Wing.