No 2 Group

Vincemus - 'We Will Conquer'

About this Group


"To generate, sustain and, when directed, command forces for current operations; and develop forces for future operations."


2 Group’s role is to generate and employ military capability. The speed and global reach of 2 Group’s Force Protection and Air Mobility Force Elements allow the UK to rapidly deploy, sustain and recover its Armed Forces in response to developing security and humanitarian crises.

Air Mobility

In addition to being a core air power role in itself, Air Mobility provides activity that underpins all other air power roles. Air Mobility lies at the heart of the UK’s ability to achieve rapid air power effect to influence the behaviour of actors and the course of events. Air Mobility supports national security objectives as a key enabler for combat operations undertaken by the Royal Navy, the British Army, the RAF, cross-government agencies and Allies during national, Joint and Combined operations.

Force Protection


Force Protection, delivered by the RAF Regiment and the RAF Police, is about protecting the RAF at home and away against threats that may impact on our freedom of action and operational effectiveness. The continued recapitalisation of the RAF’s fleet has seen a smaller but increasingly complex and valuable number of aircraft operating from fewer but larger airbases than ever before. This move combined with the ever-changing threat reinforces the need for a specialist Force Protection capability to protect our personnel, defend our assets and secure our freedom to operate.

Air Officer Commanding

Air Vice-Marshal Alan K Gillespie CBE MA BSc RAF

Alan Gillespie joined the RAF in 1988. He spent 10 years flying as a Qualified Weapons Instructor Navigator on the Tornado F3 before completing staff tours in the Defence Intelligence Staff and MOD Directorate of Strategic Plans. He went on to become the Chief of Combat Operations in the USAF Central Command Combined Air Operations Centre before assuming command of 23 Squadron in 2008. Shortly afterwards he deployed to Bastion Airfield to command of 903 Expeditionary Air Wing before assuming command of RAF Waddington in 2009. On promotion to Air Commodore, he became the UK Air Component Commander and Air Officer Commanding 83 Expeditionary Air Group. In 2015, Gillespie became the Battlespace Management Force Commander within Headquarters No.1 Group and in 2017 was appointed as the Head of the Air Transformation Programme. 

He became the Air Officer Commanding No. 2 Group in October 2019.

Who makes this group

RAF Stations



Key dates


The group was first formed as a training group, but was deactivated after the armistice.


The Group was reformed as 2 (Bombing) Group on 20 March 1936, with its headquarters base at Abingdon. By the outbreak of war Group Headquarters were at RAF Wyton and a Blenheim from 2 Group made the first British operational sortie to cross the German frontier in the Second World War. The following day saw the Group's Blenheims make the first British bombing attack of the war. 2 Group flew just over 57,000 operational sorties at a cost of 2,671 men killed or missing and 396 wounded. It was disbanded on 1 May 1947.


Reformed as part of the British Occupation forces in Germany, and transferred to the Second Tactical Air Force in 1951. 


Was formed to encompass RAF Germany after the Cold War and disbanded after the draw down of RAF units on the continent.


It was reformed on 7 January 2000 to take control of air transport, air-to-air refuelling and airborne early warning within the RAF and later also took control of the RAF's Force Protection units.

Contact details

No 2 Group, Air Command, RAF High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire,  HP14 4UE

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