Battle Honors
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Queen Approves Award Of Battle Honours

Her Majesty The Queen has approved the award of Battle Honours to squadrons of The Royal Air Force, the MOD has announced...

Battle Honors

Her Majesty The Queen has approved the award of Battle Honours to squadrons of The Royal Air Force, the MoD has announced.

The Battle Honours commemorate battles, actions or tenements in which RAF aircrew or Regiment personnel played a memorable part.

Twenty-seven flying squadrons and eight RAF Regiment squadrons received the honours, given for their service during Operation Telic in Iraq.

Five operational flying squadrons and three Royal Air Force Regiment squadrons have been awarded the highest honour of ‘Battle Honour with Emblazonment’.

For Operation Deference and Operation Ellamy in Libya, Battle Honours were approved for 13 operational flying squadrons with three being awarded the highest honour of 'Battle Honour with Emblazonment'.

Battle Honors

There are two types of RAF Battle Honours; the first is called entitlement, which signifies that a squadron participated in a campaign, whilst the second allows a squadron to emblazon the Battle Honour on its standard.

This highest level has been awarded to squadrons who were involved in direct confrontation with the enemy, and who have demonstrated gallantry and spirit under fire.

The RAF’s Deputy Commander for Operations, Air Marshal Stuart Atha said:

"Whilst individuals are often recognised for bravery and courage, the award of a Battle Honour to a unit is rare, so I am delighted to hear that the fighting spirit of Royal Air Force squadrons has been recognised at the highest level by their award today."

"Those Air Mobility, Rotary, Fast Jet, Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance squadrons, and RAF Regiment units, whose people have contributed so much to these operations in the air and on the ground, should be hugely proud of this important addition to their legacies."

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Royal Air Force Squadrons II and IX will now be able to bear the words “Libya 2011” on their standards.

On 19 March 2011, four Tornado fast jets from IX (Bomber) Squadron, Royal Air Force Marham, set out to deliver long-range airstrikes against Libyan Regime targets.

Storm Shadow, the Tornado’s stand-off cruise missile, was the weapon of choice in the gruelling 3,000-mile trip.

For the missions, RAF Marham operated as a cohesive team.

II Squadron personnel planned the complex operation and prepared the aircraft, while aircrew from IX flew the mission. 

Number 33 Squadron, based at RAF Benson, Oxfordshire was also one of seven RAF units to earn the right to emblazon the battle honour ‘Iraq 2003-2011’ on its standard.

33 Squadron operated Puma helicopters during the Iraq campaign and worked to move equipment and soldiers around the battlefield, as well as provide convoy escort, reconnaissance and resupply of Forward Operating Bases (FOB).

Crucially, they also transported the wounded quickly away from the front line for emergency medical care.

Aircraft often flew at 50 feet above the ground in an attempt to avoid ground fire due to the level of the insurgent threat.

The two aircraft came under heavy mortar fire within minutes of landing in an area nicknamed "The Triangle of Death".

Both the Puma and the Lynx were hit by enemy rounds, and the Lynx pilot was injured.

Flight Sergeant Andy Leys, a crewman on the Puma said:

"On arrival back at base after operations, the sense of satisfaction and achievement was immense. This period was the busiest and most intense operational tasking I have completed in my 19-year flying career."

"All of our tasking was completed safely and professionally with crews returning to base wiser and more experienced aviators – something that can never be too highly valued."

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Recognised squadrons:

With the Right to Emblazon ‘IRAQ 2003- 2011’ on Squadron Standards

•             No 7 Squadron RAF

•             No XXIV Squadron RAF

•             No 33 Squadron RAF

•             No 47 Squadron RAF

•             No 230 Squadron RAF

•             No 1 Squadron RAF Regiment

•             No 26 Squadron RAF Regiment

•             No 34 Squadron RAF Regiment.

Without the Right to Emblazon ‘IRAQ 2003- 2011’ on Squadron Standards

•             No II (Army Cooperation) Squadron RAF

•             No IX (Bomber) Squadron RAF

•             No 10 Squadron RAF

•             No 12 (Bomber) Squadron RAF

•             No XIII Squadron RAF

•             No 14 Squadron RAF

•             No 18 Squadron RAF

•             No 27 Squadron RAF

•             No XXVIII (Army Cooperation) Squadron RAF

•             No 30 Squadron RAF

•             No 31 Squadron RAF

•             No 32 (The Royal) Squadron RAF

•             No 39 (Photographic Reconnaissance) Squadron RAF

•             No 51 Squadron RAF

•             No LXX Squadron RAF

•             No 99 Squadron RAF

•             No 101 Squadron RAF

•             No 120 Squadron RAF

•             No 201 Squadron RAF

•             No 206 Squadron RAF

•             No 216 Squadron RAF

•             No 617 Squadron RAF

•             No II Squadron RAF Regiment

•             No 3 Squadron RAF Regiment

•             No 15 Squadron RAF Regiment

•             No 51 Squadron RAF Regiment

•             No 63 Squadron RAF Regiment.

With the Right to Emblazon ‘LIBYA 2011’ on Squadron Standards

•             No II (Army Cooperation) Squadron RAF

•             No IX (Bomber) Squadron RAF

•             No 47 Squadron RAF.

Without the Right to Emblazon ‘LIBYA 2011’ on Squadron Standards

•             No 3 (Fighter) Squadron RAF

•             No V (Army Cooperation) Squadron RAF

•             No VIII Squadron RAF

•             No XI Squadron RAF

•             No 30 Squadron RAF

•             No 32 (The Royal) Squadron RAF

•             No 51 Squadron RAF

•             No 99 Squadron RAF

•             No 101 Squadron RAF

•             No 216 Squadron RAF

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