No. 83 Group RAF
|No. 83 Group|
|Branch||Royal Air Force|
|Garrison||Al Udeid Air Base|
|Motto||A Deux plus Forts
(French: Two are stronger than one)
|Air Officer Commanding 83 EAG||Air Commodore S D Atha|
No. 83 Group was a group within the Royal Air Force's 2nd Tactical Air Force (2TAF) during the Second World War and the post-war era. In 2006, the group was re-established as No. 83 Expeditionary Air Group, and is currently based out of Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar.
No. 83 (Composite) Group was formed on 1 April 1943 within the Second Tactical Air Force. By the eve of the D-Day landings, 83 Group had grown to a strength of 29 fighter, ground-attack and reconnaissance squadrons and four artillery observation squadrons, grouped into ten wings. At the time of Operation Market Garden it consisted of the RCAF's 39 Reconnaissance Wing, 121, 122, 123 and 143 Wings flying Hawker Typhoon fighter-bombers, 125 Wing with Supermarine Spitfire fighters, and the RCAF 126 and 127 Wings also flying Spitfires. No 401 (Ram) Squadron with Spitfires was one of its squadrons from 1943. The Group HQ was at RAF Eindhoven from 1 October 1944 to 10 April 1945. It was absorbed into No. 84 Group RAF on 21 April 1946.
No 83 Group was re-formed on 9 July 1952 within the Second Tactical Air Force in Germany to control its southern area. By 1956, the group controlled five wings with a total of fourteen squadrons equipped Hawker Hunter day fighters, de Havilland Venom fighter-bombers, Supermarine Swift fighter-reconnaissance aircraft, Gloster Meteor night-fighters and English Electric Canberra interdiction and reconnaissance aircraft. It was disbanded again on 16 June 1958.
No. 83 Group was re-formed on 1 April 2006 from the UK Air Component Headquarters at Al Udeid, Qatar. It comprised No. 901 Expeditionary Air Wing at Al Udeid and Bahrain and No.902 Expeditionary Air Wing at Seeb. Since that time it has controlled a varying number of Expeditionary Air Wings.
The Air Officer Commanding No. 83 Group is the Air Component Commander in the Middle East. He is responsible to the Permanent Joint Headquarters for the command and control of all RAF units engaged in Operations Telic and Herrick. The group has a small number of headquarters staff.
No. 906 Expeditionary Air Wing RAF was stood up at Al Minhad Air Base in the United Arab Emirates on 15 January 2013. No. 6 Squadron RAF had carried out exercises in the UAE with their Eurofighter Typhoons prior to Christmas 2012. During a visit by Prime Minister David Cameron to the UAE in November 2012, The Guardian said that 'Britain could base Typhoons.. in the UAE if relations with Tehran deteriorate.' Jane's Defence Weekly then said in their 30 January 2013 issue that 'the expeditionary air wing may support RAF Typhoons as a deterrent to Iran. ..reports.. claimed that the UK government was considering the move in response to heightened tensions in the region related to Iran's nuclear programme.'
1943 to 1946
- Air Vice Marshal W F Dickson, from 21 March 1943
- AVM H Broadhurst, from 25 March 1944
- AVM T C Traill, from September 1945
1952 to 1958
- Air Commodore, later acting Air Vice-Marshal R B Lees, 1952 to 1955
- Air Vice-Marshal H A V Hogan, 1955 to 1958
2006 to present
- Air Commodore B M North, 2006
- Air Commodore C A Bairsto, mid-2006 – Jan 2007
- List incomplete
- Air Commodore M J Harwood, – 22 Aug 08
- Air Commodore A S Barmby, 22 Aug 08 – 22 May 2009
- Air Commodore S D Atha, 22 May 2009 – date unknown
- Air Commodore Ashley Stevenson