united kingdom 656 Squadron

Army Air Corps

Part of 4 Regiment, AAC

1942 to present    


656 Squadron
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. The unit deployed to the South Atlantic in 1982 in support of 5th Infantry Brigade.
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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2007/    AAC WattishamEGUW
1993/07AAC DishforthEGXD
1982/93AAC NetheravonEGDN
1982/87 Port StanleySFAL
1979/81ZW GweruFVTL
1979/81ZW Harare InternationalFVHA
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


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


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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