RAF Chinook as part of Joint Helicopter Command 01112011 CREDIT MOD
RAF

Prince William's Former RAF Squadron Re-Formed

Prince William spent three years as a Search and Rescue pilot in 22 Squadron.

RAF Chinook as part of Joint Helicopter Command 01112011 CREDIT MOD

The Duke of Cambridge's former RAF squadron has been re-formed as the Joint Helicopter Command's Operational Evaluation Unit.

22 Squadron, which was stood down as a Search and Rescue squadron in 2015, will now carry out tests and evaluations on all of the command's different helicopters.

It will also be responsible for trialling and testing equipment before operational use.

The squadron was re-formed at RAF Benson, however, the traditional parade was cancelled due to social-distancing measures in place over the coronavirus pandemic. 

According to the RAF, personnel chosen to work in the Operational Evaluation Unit are amongst the most experienced helicopter operators in the Armed Forces.

Wing Commander Dave Flynn, the new Commanding Officer of 22 Squadron, said: "It is an honour to command the squadron as it reforms.

"With a strong record in test and evaluation and rotary wing operations, it is fitting that the squadron now reforms as the Joint Helicopter Command Operational Evaluation Unit as part of the Aviation Warfare Branch."

Duke of Cambridge Sandhurst
Prince William spent three years as a Search and Rescue pilot in 22 Squadron (Picture: PA).

Formed in 1915, 22 Squadron initially conducted reconnaissance bombing and photography work before becoming a fighter squadron for the remainder of World War One.

It was disbanded at the end of the war but reformed in 1923 to test every new aircraft, both civilian and military, produced by the British aviation industry.

Throughout the Second World War, 22 Squadron was also responsible for conducting mine-laying sorties and torpedo operations.

Cover image: Library picture of a Chinook helicopter part of the Joint Helicopter Command (Picture: MOD).