Joint Special Forces Aviation Wing
|Joint Special Forces Aviation Wing|
|Active||2 April 2001 – present|
|Branch|| Royal Air Force|
|Role||Helicopter air support|
|Part of||United Kingdom Special Forces|
|Stations||Headquarters – RAF Odiham|
No. 7 Sqn – RAF Odiham
No. 658 Sqn – Stirling Lines
|Aircraft||Boeing Chinook HC6|
Eurocopter AS365N3 Dauphin II
Westland Gazelle AH1
|Group Captain Lee Turner (RAF Odiham station commander)|
The Joint Special Forces Aviation Wing (JSFAW) is a Royal Air Force and British Army organisation that coordinates the provision of rotary wing aviation support to the United Kingdom Special Forces.
The wing formed on 2 April 2001. It initially brought together No. 657 Squadron of the Army Air Corps (AAC) which operated the Westland Lynx AH9A and the Royal Air Force's No. 7 Squadron operating the Boeing Chinook.
In 2008, No. 8 Flight of the AAC and their fleet of Agusta A109A became part of the wing. Subsequently, the Eurocopter AS365N3 Dauphin II replaced the A109A's. The flight was re-designated as No. 658 Squadron in September 2013.
With the Lynx reaching the end of its operational life in January 2018, No. 657 Squadron disbanded in May 2018. Plans to purchase modified AgustaWestland Wildcat helicopters to replace the Lynx in the special forces role were dropped due to budget constraints. No. 657 Squadron's special forces role has therefore been taken over by a flight of special forces-trained personnel within the existing Wildcat fleet.
The composition of the wing and its rotary aircraft is as follows.[Note 1]
- Headquarters Joint Special Forces Aviation Wing
- No. 7 Squadron RAF operating the Boeing Chinook HC6
Role and operations
The role of the wing is to provide specialist rotary wing support to the United Kingdom Special Forces.
- United Kingdom Joint Helicopter Command
- U.S. Army Special Operations Aviation Command
- U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command
- Australian Army 6th Aviation Regiment
- Canadian 427 Special Operations Aviation Squadron
- French 4th Special Forces Helicopter Regiment
- Italian 3rd Special Operations Helicopter Regiment
- Most sources do not state that the Special Forces Flight No. 47 Squadron RAF which operates the Lockheed C-130 Hercules is part of JSFWA, however, one source in 2015 claimed it is part of JSFWA. One source claimed that No. 651 Squadron AAC which operates the Britten-Norman Defender had been part of JSFWA in 2004.
- "JSFAW - Responsibilities and Composition". Royal Air Force. Archived from the original on 27 February 2014.
- "PLG Directive 73/07 Part 8, Restricted files - Administration Guide" (PDF). Veterans UK. Service Personnel and Veterans Agency (SPVA). December 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 July 2014.
- Official page of the Army Air Corps of the British Army (2 September 2013). "8 Flight Army Air Corps was remustered as 658 Squadron Army Air Corps". Facebook. Retrieved 11 June 2017.
- "News briefs". AirForces monthly - Officially The World's Number One Military Aviation Magazine. No. 310. Bourne, Lincolnshire: Key Publishing Ltd. January 2014. p. 7. ISSN 0955-7091.
- Banner, David (17 January 2018). "Pride and sadness as Lynx bows out at RAF Shawbury". Shropshire Star. Retrieved 17 July 2018.
- Ripley, Tim (12 September 2017). "UK reorganises special forces aviation". Jane's 360. Retrieved 13 February 2018.
- Ripley, Tim (November 2015). "Order of Battle; Joint Special Forces Aviation Wing - The Royal Air Force in 2015 (Supplement)". AirForces monthly - Officially The World's Number One Military Aviation Magazine. No. 332. Bourne, Lincolnshire: Key Publishing Ltd. pp. 12, 14. ISSN 0955-7091.
- Warner, Guy (2011). First in the Field: 651 Squadron Army Air Corps. Barnsley, South Yorkshire: Pen & Sword Books Ltd. ISBN 9781848842632.
- "Military Aircraft: Helicopters - Secretary of State for Defence - Column 2351W—continued". www.parliament.uk. 1 October 2007. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
- "Military Aircraft: Helicopters - Secretary of State for Defence - Column 2351W". www.parliament.uk. 1 October 2007. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
- "Chinook is shot down". The Sun. London. 20 August 2009. Retrieved 26 March 2010. (Subscription required (help)).
- British Army Aviation in Action, Tim Ripley, Page 181,ISBN 9781848846708
- Tim Ripley (10 December 2008). "UK Army Air Corps received Dauphins". Jane's Defence Weekly. 45 (50): 10.