What is the RAF REGIMENT?
The RAF Regiment fights on the ground to enable control of the Air
The RAF Regiment is an integral and vital part of the RAF. At its heart the RAF Regiment about warfighting: it is, man for man, the World leader in Air Dismounted Close Combat and Air-minded Force Protection. It is a ground combat specialised capability, experienced and battle-hardened after sustained deployed operations which have honed its capabilities. Air-mindedness, agility, very high readiness, physical and mental robustness and the warrior ethos are central to Corps culture.
Tracing our origins to RAF armoured car companies first formed in 1921, the RAF Regimentis the world’s oldest dedicated air force ground combat organisation and has deployed on all recent major operations including the Falklands conflict, the 1991 Gulf War and operations in the Balkans, it served in Iraq from 2003 (an RAF Regiment squadron was the last UK combat unit to leave Basra in 2009) and RAF Regiment personnel have served in Afghanistan continually since 2001 (The last man out of Camp Bastion was RAF Regiment - 2014). As well as serving with distinction in Northern Ireland, protecting RAF bases and Air operations there for almost 40 years.
Throughout these operations were awarded serval Military Crosses and many others have been awarded other gallantry awards.
RAF Regiment officers have made up the majority of RAF-provided UN observers and liaison officers since the end of the Cold War, and Regiment personnel are still serving in Somalia and Sudan.
What makes up the RAF Regiment
Air dismounted close combat role are distinctly unique, and proven vital for modern deployed operations in not only Afghanistan, but in Libya and Mali, as unlike many operations there is:-
- little opportunity to trade time and space;
- there is no room for error,
- where the opposition only have to be lucky once;
In any future conflict this is likely to remain vital as without it our forces can be vulnerable to attack from the Air and the lack the support of air mobility and lift.
The RAF Regiment employees cutting-edge technology with specialist Air FP ground combat skills, this is vital to securing the lower airspace allowing the RAF’s freedom to operate, often ranging far from our bases and disproportionate to small size the RAF Regiment field squadrons delivers intelligence gathering, seeking out threats to Air operations before adversaries can bring them to bear.
For air operations to be achieved it must be first fought for on the ground, securing our airbases, as well as in the Air, because our adversaries have, and will continue to seek to attack aircraft and disrupt Air operations at their most vulnerable: on the ground, and during approach and departure and those who operate and support our aircraft and the vital systems that they depend on.
Other Key roles
UK CBRN defence.
RAF Regiment’s role as the organisation of choice for UK CBRN defence.
- Defence Counter Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (C-CBRN) Wing.
- Specialist personnel are held at high readiness to provide advice, expertise and rapid response to C-CBRN threats both in the UK and overseas.
- Defence CBRN Centre at Winterbourne Gunner in Wiltshire
Queen’s Colour Squadron
The RAF’s Ceremonial unit which represents the RAF at State ceremonial occasions and events in the UK and overseas; the Squadron is also prepared as a Field Sqn for the Air Dismounted Close Combat Role.
RAF Regiment also delivers a wide range of capabilities to UK Defence; including:-
- Tactical Air Control Parties for Air-Land Integration capabilities,
- Contributions to Special Forces and the Special Forces Support Group,
- Contribution to the Joint Counter-Terrorism Training and Advisory Team,
- United Nations Monitoring Officers,
- Personnel for Special Duties,
- Para capable individual and units.
Throughout their careers, RAF personnel look to the RAF Regiment to learn and maintain their basic military skills and to help prepare them for deployed operations.
From initial training skilled RAF Regiment instructors train, guide and mentor trainee officers and recruits in skills such-as military discipline, skill at arms and drill to operating in the adverse conditions they can expect on operations this is the foundation for their future careers, instilling in them the ethos and core values of the RAF, and the moral courage to do what is right.
The RAF Regt provides broader Defence capabilities worldwide. The skills, experience and expertise of RAF Regiment personnel has and is in high demand for short-term training and outreach teams worldwide, training and advising foreign governments and armed forces on Air Force Protection, counter-terrorism and CBRN defence
RAF Regiment Reserves
Members of the RAF Reserves undertake key functions as part of RAF Regiment operations. Across the country, there are 6 Reserve squadrons assigned to the RAF Regiment. As a whole Force, the RAF Reserves are integrated into our Regular structures and are prepared to operate both in the UK and overseas and are a vital part of the frontline RAF Regiment. We hold in very high regard those employers who support our Reservists, where there arethemutual benefits of developing leaders and team members whilst also drawing upon a broad range of civilian expertise.
Proud of its heritage and distinguished history, the RAF Regiment possesses an enviable esprit de corps, but it looks to the future as a modern, high-readiness, agile organisation that adapts constantly to face the challenges of the future, providing a decisive contribution to Air Power, Defence, and the security of the UK.
Click here for more information. They lead and direct the RAF Regiment squadrons that protect RAF bases and forward operating bases
Click here for more information. These elite airmen carry out a range of crucial duties to defend RAF bases and overseas air operations.