No. 83 Expeditionary Air Group (United Kingdom)

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No. 83 Expeditionary Air Group
No. 83 Group
No. 83 (Composite) Group
Active 1943–1946
Country  United Kingdom
Branch  Royal Air Force
Garrison RAF Al Udeid
Motto A Deux plus Forts
(French: Two are stronger than one)[1]
Air Officer Commanding
UK Air Component Commander

Air Commodore A Gillespie

No. 83 Expeditionary Air Group is a group within the Royal Air Force currently based out of RAF Al Udeid in Qatar.

It used to be No. 83 Group which was controlled by the 2nd Tactical Air Force (2TAF) during the Second World War and the post-war era.


No. 83 (Composite) Group[edit]

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[edit]

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.

Current operations[edit]

No. 83 Group was re-formed on 1 April 2006 from the UK Air Component Headquarters at RAF 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 Kipion and Shader. The group has a small number of headquarters staff.

It is currently in charge of:

901 Expeditionary Air Wing

902 Expeditionary Air Wing

  • Unknown location

903 Expeditionary Air Wing

  • RAF Akrotiri - EAW de-activated in Afghanistan during November 2014 and reformed at RAF Akrotiri in December 2014.

906 Expeditionary Air Wing


1943 to 1946[edit]

1952 to 1958[edit]

2006 to present[edit]


  1. ^ A Dictionary of Mottoes By Leslie Gilbert Pine[page needed]
  2. ^ "Air Marshal Sir Ronald Lees". Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation. Retrieved 21 October 2014. 
  3. ^ "Air Vice Marshal H A V Hogan". Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation. Retrieved 21 October 2014. 

External links[edit]