A fond farewell to 27 Squadron RAF Regiment

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Photo by: SAC Craig Williams RAF. UK MOD © Crown copyright 2021

The Royal Air Force bids a fond farewell to Number 27 Squadron RAF Regiment as their disbandment parade took place at RAF Honington this week (6th October).

The parade was led by Squadron Leader James Baldwin BA (Hons) RAF with Air Vice Marshall A K Gillespie CBE MA BSC RAF as the reviewing officer. Squadron Leader James Baldwin BA (Hons) RAF said:

“Today was an honour to lead the disbandment parade for the Squadron, whilst a sad occasion that the Squadron will disband and lodge its Standard at RAFC Cranwell, we should also be proud of the 70 years of history that the Squadron has accrued and the personnel that have passed through the Squadron over that time. 

A Squadron is greater than the sum of the people serving on it and it is only right that the Officers and Gunners that have gone before us are also acknowledged here, a Squadron is a family held together through shared experience.

Defensores Defendo!”

The Squadron hands over Counter-Chemical, Biological, Radioactive and Nuclear (C-CBRN) capability to 28 Engineer Regiment. 28 Eng Regt (C-CBRN) moved into RAF Honington in 2019 in preparation for the take over where they have worked hand in hand with 27 Squadron RAF Regiment personnel until today. Squadron personnel will continue their career within the RAF Force Protection Force, becoming members of other RAF Regiment Force Elements across the UK.

Photo by: SAC Craig Williams RAF. UK MOD © Crown copyright 2021

Group Captain Weaver Smith, AIR C-CBRN said:

“This disbandment Parade recognises the achievements of Number 27 Squadron RAF Regiment over its 70 years of Service to the Royal Air Force and our Country,  The Squadron has performed a variety of roles, in support of Air Power, but most recently it has been as a specialist Counter-Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (C-CBRN) unit that the Squadron has “Defended the Defender”. 

Whilst these occasions are tinged with some sadness the personnel of 27 Squadron (past and present) can be extremely proud of what they have achieved. 27 Squadron Personnel will return to a variety of RAF FP Force duties, post disbandment, and will help the FP Force continue to innovate and drive forward in support of RAF operational outputs.”

Number 27 Squadron RAF Regiment was formed at RAF Yatesbury on 3rd Sep 1951 as a Light Anti-Aircraft (LAA) squadron, equipped with the L40/60 Bofors gun. It was one of twenty-eight formed in response to the outbreak of the Cold War and the Korean War. 

In 2010 the Strategic Defence Security Review resulted in the disbandment of the Joint Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Regt and the formation of the new Def CBRN Wg (20 Wg RAF Regt), with the RAF officially becoming the sole provider of specialist C-CBRN capability on 14 December 2011. During this period the squadron had converted back to its specialist CBRN role and, along with its sister squadron (Number 26 Squadron RAF Regiment), formed the operationally deployable elements of this new CBRN Wg.

In 2018 when the news broke about a Nerve Agent attack in Salisbury the Armed Forces assisted experts from Defra, with support from civilian specialists, to safely restore the area.

Personnel from a Joint CBRN Task Force worked tirelessly to remove the Novichok Nerve Agent from contaminated sites in Salisbury and Amesbury.

The specialist military contribution to the Joint CBRN Task Force comprised of C-CBRN teams drawn from Number 27 Squadron RAF Regiment.

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