RAF Regiment personnel.

26 Sqn RAF Regt History

26 Sqn RAF Regt Badge 26 Squadron Royal Air Force Regiment


26 Squadron RAF Regiment was formed on 27 August 1951 at RAF Yatesbury in the Low Level Air Defence (LLAD) role equipped with L40/60 Bofor Guns. The following 5 years saw the Squadron operating from Abu Sueir in Egypt; Habbaniya in Iraq and Mafraq in Jordan.

In December 1956, the Squadron moved to Cyprus where it was tasked with peacekeeping and internal security duties against EOKA terrorists. Then, in June 1964, during the Indonesian confrontation, the Squadron was deployed to RAF Changi in Singapore until, in 1966, the Squadron moved to Salalah in Oman, where it served until 1970.

After Oman, the Squadron moved to RAF Gutersloh in Germany tasked with providing LLAD to the Station. In 1974, the Squadron converted to the field role and deployed to Cyprus in response to the Turkish invasion where it provided the defence of RAF Akrotiri in the Western Base Area.

The Squadron reverted to the Air Defence role with the Rapier weapons system and moved to a new location, RAF Laarbruch, in 1976. In the same year, the Squadron was tasked to provide air defence of Belize Airport. The Squadron continued to provide detachments to the Belize Garrison until the conclusion of the Falkland Islands conflict in 1982, subsequently tasked with the Air Defence of, initially, Stanley airfield and then RAF Mount Pleasant.

After a period of conversion, the Squadron deployed with the new Rapier Field Standard B1(M) in 1991 to Tabuk Airfield in Saudi Arabia in support of the coalition forces during the Gulf War.

In 1995, the Squadron was the first to convert to the next iteration of Rapier as it was upgraded to Field Standard C. In November 1998, the Squadron moved back to RAF Waddington in the UK where it deployed as part of OPERATION SOUTHERN WATCH and in the field role as part of OPERATION TELIC.

In March 2008, 26 Squadron was disbanded. After a short period of disestablishment the Squadron was reinstated on 24 May 2010 when the existing Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear (CBRN) Operations Squadron was re-numbered to 26 Squadron RAF Regiment.

26 Squadron’s current role is to deliver specialist CBRN defence capabilities at very high readiness in support of national strategic operations. This is achieved through the following functions:

Overseas Sampling and Identification of Biological, Chemical and Radiological Agents Military Sampling Team to exploit CBRN programme/event scenes globally, recovering evidence and intelligence to approved analytical agencies in a safe and forensically-sound manner in order to support national strategic decision-making.

Support to UK Explosive CBRN (ECBRN) Counter-Terrorism as part of the Technical Response Force delivering Hotline Command, contamination control and casualty evacuation during the disablement phase of ECBRN Terrorist incidents in the UK.

Support to UK Nuclear Accident Response through radiation monitoring, contamination control, and casualty evacuation for Nuclear Weapon, or Special Nuclear Material, incidents throughout the UK, in order to safeguard both civilian and military public safety.

In March 2011, 26 Squadron deployed a small radiation monitoring team to the British Embassy in Tokyo, Japan, in response to the nuclear meltdown at the Fukushima Power Plant.

In August 2011, The Secretary of State for Defence agreed to the 2010 SDSR measure to transfer Defence’s CBRN capabilities to the RAF Regiment.

In December 2011, the Transfer of Authority from the Joint CBRN Regiment to the newly formed Defence CBRN Wing (20 Wing RAF Regiment) was conducted at RAF Honington. 26 Squadron took over the CBRN Light Role Reconnaissance and Multi-Purpose Decontamination capability from the Joint CBRN Regiment and declared full operating capability on 14 December 2011

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