united kingdom 656 squadron

Army Air Corps



Part of 4 Regiment, AAC


1942 to present    





Formed in the Far East on 31 Dec 1942 as an AOP unit, attached to General Slims 14th Army.
A number of Flights administered by 656 Squadron were active in Brunei, Sarawak and Sabah, throughout the Malaya campaign with Indonesia.
The unit maintained a small detachment of Scout in Belize between Nov 1975 and Apr 1980. A detachment of 3 Scouts (to Gwelo) and 3 Gazelles (to Salisbury) were deployed for Peacekeeping operations in Southern Rhodesia from Dec 1979 until Jan 1981.
Apache was introduced to the unit in 2003 and by end of 2004, its Lynx AH.7 had been replaced. In Sep 2005 656 Sqd deployed to HMS Ocean to establish a Maritime Interim Operational Capability. In April 2006, 656 Sqd deployed to Helmand Province as part of Operation Herrick 4 and conducted its first combat operations on 10 May.
The unit moved its Apache AH.1 from Dishforth to Wattisham and became part of 4 REGT during 2007, as part of the AAC restructuring to single model Regiments.
For a period of 3 weeks in Oct 2010, the unit embarked 3 Apache AH.1 on HMS Ark Royal to prove operations in a maritime environment.
During May 2011, whilst working with the Royal Navy aboard HMS Ocean to prove Response Force Task Group concept, the ship was ordered off Libya to participate in Operation Ellamy, the UK contribution to Operation Unified Protector. 4 Apache AH.1 (ZJ179, ZJ188, ZJ207, ZJ233) were embarked for this iconoclastic mission, conducting combat operations in a heavy helicopter with a narrow undercarriage and high centre of gravity from a deck, in a corrosive environment.

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Locations


YearsLocationICAO/FAA
2007/    AAC WattishamEGUW
1993/07AAC DishforthEGXD
1982/93AAC NetheravonEGDN
1982/87 Port StanleySFAL
1979/81ZW GweruFVTL
1979/81ZW Harare InternationalFVHA
1978/82FarnboroughEGLF
1975/80BZ Philip S W Goldson International Airport (PGIA)MZBZ
1969/77HK Sek KongVHSK
1966/69MY Paroi Camp
1965/66MY LabuanWBKL
1962/65MY KluangWMAP
1957/62MY SimpangWMKF

Models

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YearsModels
2003/    WAH-64 Apache
1985/04 Lynx     Lynx AH7
1975/05SA341B Gazelle AH.1











List of aircraft

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List of Aircraft for . / 656Sq / 656 Sq
C/NVersionBuiltIn this OrgIn other Org
f.9528 ah.1 1964 XR628 : 8 Flt/B by Jul 1969; 656 Sq by Mar 1982.
: Flown from Netheravon to Southampton Docks for loading onto mv Europic Fer+
f.9632 ah.1 1966 XT626 : 656 Sq by Mar 1982; Wroughton by May 1982,
f.9643 ah.1 1966 XT637 : Issued from RNAY Wroughton to 656 Sq and flown to Netheravon to replace ex+
: Flown from Netheravon to Southampton Docks for loading onto mv Europic Fer+
f.9648 ah.1 1966 XT642 : 656 Sq by Mar 1982; Wroughton by May 1982; scr. Middle Wallop 1993
f.9655 ah.1 1966 XT649 : 656 Sq by Mar 1982.
: Flown from Netheravon to Southampton Docks for loading onto mv Europic Fer+
- ZK-HUK : to ZK-HUK, w/o 12 Mar 2003
1257 ah.1 1974 XX377 : AAC AH.1; 656Sqn w/o 06jun82 Falklands/Malvinas, shot down by friendly fir+
Royal Marines XX377 : Royal Marines; jan78 3CBAS./L
1351 ah.1 1975 XX409 : ex-Belize; 656 Sq by Feb 1977 ditched at night in Tolo Harbour Hong Kong a+
1563 ah.1 1976 XZ308 : AAC Gazelle AH1 built by Westland 1994 /V 657Sqn ; 2001 656Sqn ; 2004 4Reg+
1595 ah.1 1977 XZ314 : 656 Squadron by Apr 1982, 8 Flight by May 2004
1797 ah.1 1979 ZA728 : 656 Sq on 19 Apr 1982
Royal Marines ZA728 : Royal Marines Gazelle AH.1 built by Westland; 1985 3CBAS./33D
: 3CBAS A Flt/(C)A by Mar 1982. Stored in Plymouth, early-mid Apr 1982.
: 05jun94 3CBAS./E Flypast Portsmouth Harbour
: 847 NAS / (C)E at Culdrose on 14 Jul 1999
: 2000 847Sqn./E
274 ah1 1983 ZD272 : AAC; 1987 656Sqn
- ZD272 : to Air and Ground Aviation, Hixon by Nov 2013
277 ah1 1983 ZD274 : AAC in 1992 656Sqn.
279 ah1 1983 ZD275 : 656 Sq by 1984, 657 Sq by 1985 still 1991, 657 Sq/Q by 1992, to Fleetlands+
wah8 wah-64 ZJ173 : AAC DU008/WAH8; Feb04 asg 656Sqn. AAC Disforth
wah14 wah-64 2001 ZJ179 : deployed with 3 other 656 Squadron airframes to HMS Ocean for combat opera+
wah23 wah-64 2001 ZJ188 : deployed with 3 other 656 Squadron airframes to HMS Ocean for combat opera+
wah41 wah-64 2003 ZJ207 : May11 deployed with 3 other 656 Squadron airframes to HMS Ocean for combat+
wah42 wah-64 ZJ208 : AAC DU042/WAH42; Feb04 asg 656Sqn. AAC Disforth
wah57 wah-64 ZJ223 : AAC DU057/WAH57; Feb04 asg 656Sqn. AAC Disforth
wah58 wah-64 ZJ224 : Feb04 asg 656Sqn. AAC Dishforth
wah59 wah-64 ZJ225 : Feb04 asg 656Sqn. AAC Disforth
wah61 wah-64 ZJ227 : Feb04 asg 656Sqn. AAC Disforth
wah62 wah-64 ZJ228 : Feb04 asg 656Sqn. AAC Disforth
wah63 wah-64 ZJ229 : Feb04 asg 656Sqn. AAC Disforth
wah67 wah-64 2004 ZJ233 : 656 Sq AAC embarked
: deployed with 3 other 656 Squadron airframes to HMS Ocean for combat opera+



Operations


DatesOperation
may-11oct-11LY Operation Unified Protector
jan-09may-09AF Operation Herrick
jan-07may-07AF Operation Herrick
apr-06sep-06AF Operation Herrick
21-apr-8202-aug-82 Operation Corporate
19-dec-79mar-80ZW Operation Agila
08-dec-6211-aug-66MY Konfrontasi

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