Two heads are better than one

About this Group

The RAF’s operational headquarters in the Middle East. 83 Expeditionary Air Group (EAG) is commanded by an RAF Air Commodore who acts as the Air Component Commander and Air Officer Commanding 83 EAG. He is responsible to the UK’s Permanent Joint Headquarters for the control and direction of 4 Expeditionary Air Wings (EAWs) supporting Operations Kipion and Shader as well as the delivery of UK national and Defence objectives across the Middle East. 83 EAG’s area of responsibility extends from the Southern end of the Arabian Gulf to the Eastern Mediterranean, and encompasses numerous relationships and alliances across the region.

The combined efforts of HQ 83 EAG, its EAWs and Force Elements are pivotal in combatting Daesh. They have performed to the highest of standards across a huge variety of Defence missions from Defence Engagement to Air Combat. Nevertheless, 83 EAG are ready to secure Daesh’s lasting defeat and help legitimate local authorities build a stable, prosperous and united future for communities in both Iraq and Syria. Adaptable, capable and operationally focused, 83 EAG stands ready to deliver world class air power wherever and whenever it is required to meet the challenges of the future.

Air Officer Commanding

Air Commodore Simon Strasdin OBE MA RAF

Air Commodore Simon Strasdin joined the RAF in March 1992 as a fast jet Navigator. He has accumulated over 3000 flying hours operating the Tornado GR1/4 and United States Air Force F15-E Strike Eagle. He has completed 13 operational tours including Op SOUTHERN and NORTHERN WATCH, Op BOLTON, Op TELIC, Op HERRICK and Op SHADER.

Promoted to Group Captain in 2015, Simon served within the Military Aviation Authority (MAA) providing oversight for all UK Military Flying Displays and Display Flying. In June 2018, he was awarded an OBE for his work within Aviation Safety.

He has been appointed as Air Officer Commanding Number 83 Expeditionary Air Group / UK Air Component Commander from October 2020, responsible for 4 Expeditionary Air Wings throughout the Middle East.

Who makes this group


Key dates

1943 - 1946

Formed as part of the Allied Second Tactical Air Force and composed of 10 Wings. The group was created to provide air support to the allied landings in Normandy in 1944, D-Day, and afterwards. The group supported the allied armies through the campaign in North West Europe up until the end of hostilities. Before being absorbed in to 84 Group after the War.

1952 - 1958

Reformed to cover Germany's southern area during the Cold War, again within the Second Tactical Air Force. Flying jet fighters, reconnaissance aircraft and ground attack aircraft comprising five Wings across fourteen Squadrons. It was disbanded again prior to the creation of RAF Germany in 1959.

2006 - Present

Formed on 1 April from the UK air component HQ in the Middle East at Al Udeid, Qatar to provide command and control to the 4 Wings in its area of responsibility.