603 (City of Edinburgh)

The facts

Station name: Edinburgh

Station address: 25 Learmonth Terrace, Edinburgh EH4 1NZ

Motto: Gin ye daur (Doric meaning ‘If you dare’)

Roles: https://www.raf.mod.uk/recruitment/roles/

Get in touch: 0345 606 9069

More about this squadron

603 (City of Edinburgh) Squadron is the younger of the RAF Reserves’ two specialised Police units, converting to this role as part of the Future Reserves 2020 programme as recently as 2013. The squadron’s specialised training will consist of a 15-month ‘battlefield policeman’ course, focused on developing the skills needed to support the Regular RAF on operations. Although the majority of serving RAF Police Reservists have previous police experience (civilian or military) this is not a prerequisite and the unit welcomes applications from all (male or female). 3 Tactical Police Squadron fills a similar role from its base at Henlow.

Roles and Specialist Skills

RAF Police duties are diverse. They range from protective policing – safeguarding personnel and equipment from enemy, criminal and terrorist threats – though policing supply routes, conducting searches, and supporting non-combatant evacuation from trouble spots. RAF Police also have a major role in air transport security duties, searching passengers and cargo, guarding aircraft and their payloads, and assessing the security of airfields.

However employed, RAF Police need to be ready to react to a wide range of incidents professionally and effectively, and use their own initiative to resolve potentially stressful situations.

Recent Deployments

Since 2003 (in its previous Force Protection role) a high percentage of 603 Squadron’s Reservists have deployed to the Falkland Islands, Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan.


603 (City of Edinburgh) Squadron was formed in 1925 at RAF Turnhouse, choosing as its motto the Doric words Gin ye Daur ('If you dare'). In common with all of the older RAF Reserves units, 603 began life as a flying unit, and retained this role until 1957. It was involved from the first enemy action of the Second World War, and on 28 October, 603 and 602 Squadrons were jointly involved in shooting down the first enemy bomber onto British soil. Despite suffering heavy losses, 603 emerged from the Battle of Britain in 1940 as the top scoring Squadron in the Royal Air Force, and eventually received eight Battle Honours during the course of the war. The squadron lost its flying role in 1957, but survived in a ground support role for a further two years.

In 1999 the squadron was reformed from No 2 (City of Edinburgh) Maritime Headquarters Unit, and the number 603 was revived. Filling a ‘Survive to Operate’ or Force Protection role, the unit retained this function until re-roling for RAF Police duties in 2013.

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