RAF

RAF Squadrons Awarded Battle Honours By The Queen

The honours commemorate the "memorable part" played by RAF squadrons in notable battles, actions or engagements.

The Queen has approved the award of Battle Honours to a number of RAF squadrons, the Ministry of Defence (MOD) has announced. 

The honours are awarded to squadron aircrew or RAF Regiment personnel for significant contributions in notable battles, actions or engagements.

The honours were given for service in Afghanistan between 7 October 2001 and 31 December 2014. 

The highest honour -  ‘Battle Honour with Emblazonment’ - was awarded to six operational flying squadrons and 9 RAF Regiment squadrons.

In total, 32 operational flying squadrons received Battle Honours.

Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Mike Wigston, said: "Battle Honours reflect the tremendous contribution of Royal Air Force squadrons to operations in the air and on the ground.

"They add to the Royal Air Force's rich history of operational excellence, protecting our nation.

"Everyone involved can be rightly proud of the part they played." 

II Squadron RAF Regiment - pictured in Afghanistan in 2012 - were one of 9 RAF Regiment squadrons to be honoured (Picture: MOD).

There are two levels of Battle Honours within the RAF - the first recognises a squadron played a "notable and significant role" during a campaign.

The second and higher level allows a squadron to display the honour on their Squadron Standard.

It is awarded to squadrons that have shown "gallantry and spirit under fire" while in "direct confrontation with the enemy". 

The Queen also honoured squadrons for efforts during past operations in order to correct previous omissions.

This included squadrons that had contributed significantly to campaigns in Bosnia, Sierra Leone and Iraq.

Cover image: 904 Expeditionary Air Wing in Afghanistan in 2014 (Picture: MOD).